Credit One Bank Visa Platinum Card Review

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Credit One Bank has a reputation for approving applicants with bad credit, which may sound good for someone who needs to rebuild his credit score. There are catches, however. If you're considering a Credit One Bank Platinum, here's what you need to know.

Credit One Bank Platinum Visa Pricing

Credit One Bank makes money and offsets the risk associated with giving credit cards to riskier borrowers by charging fees.

 The annual fees fluctuate, but in the past, they have been up to $75 for this card in the first year and up to $99 each year after that. Moreover, the annual fee is charged to your account the date it's opened and reduces your available credit by that amount. The minimum credit limit you'll be approved for is $300. So, with the annual fee, your initial available credit may only be $225. With some accounts, the annual fee is divided into 12 equal payments and charged monthly, rather than annually, in the second year.

If you add an authorized user to your account, you'll be charged an additional $19 annual fee for that user.

The annual percentage rate (APR) for purchases depends on your credit history. If you have a better credit score, you'll likely qualify for a lower interest rate. The APR for cash advances will be slightly higher. 

As for cash advances, you'll find out the specific fee structure for your cash advance if you're approved.

It's best to avoid cash advances unless you know the fee you'll be charged for them.

Late payments and returned payments also result in fees. Check the terms to find out what they are. You should also know that some accounts do not have a grace period, which means your purchases will begin accruing interest right away.

You will not have a chance to pay in full and avoid interest on the credit card. You can, however, minimize the amount of interest you pay on your balances by paying the full balance often.

In the past, Credit One Bank charged a $49 credit limit increase fee if your credit limit was increased -- even if you didn't request the fee. There's no mention of this fee in the latest version of the credit card terms.

How to Use the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa

Make no mistake about it, the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa is a risky credit card, especially when there are better options available on the market. It's a credit card you should only get if you have no other options and can't even afford to pay a deposit for a secured credit card. (Seriously, take a look at the Capital One Secured MasterCard first.)

Understand that this isn't the most cardholder-friendly credit card. This is a credit card that you should use only to build up a payment history so you can qualify for something better. If you're not ready to make regular, timely payments on a credit card, don't get this or any other credit card.

Pay off the annual fee right away. If your card does not have a grace period, pay your annual fee even before your first statement arrives and before you make any other purchases on your card.

 Keep your purchases to a minimum, particularly if you have a low credit limit. Aim to only charge a maximum of 30 percent of your credit limit -- which is $90 if you have a $300 credit limit. This will help build your credit score and keep you out of debt.

Make your monthly payments on time each month, even before the due date, if your card doesn't have a grace period. Apply for a better credit card after six to 12 months of using this card responsibly. Once you're approved for something better, close the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa and never look back.