Credit One Bank Visa Review

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The Credit One Visa is an unsecured credit card option for those seeking to rebuild credit. But in most cases, you can find a less expensive card with better rewards if you opt for a secured credit card instead. The terms and rewards on the Credit One Visa vary dramatically depending on creditworthiness, and you won’t even find out which Credit One Visa card you get until you’re approved.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®

overall rating
3.3
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 19.74% - 25.74% variable
Annual Fee $0 - $99
Rewards Earning Rate 1% cash back on eligible purchases including gas, groceries and phone services
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
1.9
for Fees
2.7
for Rewards
3.8
for Credit
4.4

Who is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need
    Savvy Saver

The Credit One Bank Visa is only worth considering if you have bad credit and are looking for an unsecured card to help you bounce back—particularly if you want a somewhat larger credit limit and can’t afford the deposit for a secured credit card. The Credit One Bank Visa offers a minimum credit line of $300, which is more than the minimum some secured cards offer. 

But you’re better off with a secured credit card or an unsecured card with a lower fee if Credit One Bank assigns you the card’s maximum $99 annual fee. Some secured cards only require roughly half that amount to secure a line of credit. Others require a larger deposit—but, unlike an annual fee, the money is refundable.

Pros

  • Fairly low APR for an unsecured card made for building credit

  • Modest rewards for some cardholders

Cons

  • You may not get an interest grace period

  • Potentially high annual fee

  • Unclear terms for applicants

Pros Explained

  • Fairly low APR for an unsecured card made for building credit: Although the Credit One Bank Visa card’s APR is high, it’s on the lower end for a subprime unsecured credit card, which means it's for people who have fair or poor credit. Some competitors charge APRs that are at least 10 percentage points higher than Credit One’s for similar cards. Many secured cards, however, charge APRs in line with Credit One’s—or lower.
  • Modest rewards for some cardholders: Depending on the terms you’re offered, you may qualify for cash-back rewards, which is somewhat unusual for this type of card. However, the rewards are minimal: You’ll be rewarded just 1% to 1.1% cash back at most, and only certain purchases may qualify.

Cons Explained

  • You may not get an interest grace period: The biggest downside to the Credit One Bank Visa card is that only some cardholders are given a grace period, which allows you to avoid paying interest on new purchases by paying off your balance in full before your bill is due. Without a grace period, you may be charged interest as soon as a charge hits your account. Most cards—including some of the priciest cards for those with bad credit—offer at least some time to pay off your balance before they charge interest.
  • Potentially high annual fee: Depending on your credit history, you could pay an annual fee of $75 for the first year and $99 thereafter. You may qualify to pay no annual fee, but you won’t find out until you’re approved. By contrast, there are secured credit cards that don't charge an annual fee to anyone who is approved. Plus, secured card deposits are refundable, while annual fees are not.
  • Unclear terms for applicants: If you apply for this card, you won't know exactly what fees you will be charged or what rewards you'll get until you're approved, which is unfortunate and potentially confusing. Other cards serving poor-credit applicants make clearer the potential pros and cons of the product, making it easier to evaluate your options.

Earning Points & Rewards

Many similar cards don’t offer rewards, so the Credit One Bank Visa rewards program stands out. Even so, its structure is a bit murky. You may qualify for modest cash back rewards, but you won’t find out until you get prequalified for a card. 

Credit One Bank offers four different rewards tiers, ranging from 1% cash back on certain purchases—such as gas and groceries—to 1.1% cash back on dining, and 1% cash back on everything else. 

If you’re placed in a limited rewards tier, you’ll only earn cash back when you charge select purchases, such as gas, groceries, cell phone, internet and cable bills, and, in some cases, dining. Other cardholders, on the other hand, earn 1% cash back on all of their purchases. However, Credit One Bank also offers a promotional program that could get you up to 10% cash back with partner retailers.

If you’re willing to pay a security deposit, a secured card that offers cash back may be simpler (and more lucrative) for everyone who is approved.

Redeeming Rewards  

Redeeming cash back is fairly simple: Credit One Bank will automatically give you a statement credit every month that you’ve made a qualifying purchase. The statement credit will help reduce your balance, but you will still have to pay the minimum amount due each month as calculated by the bank. 

You’re out of luck if you prefer to receive a check or deposit your cash back in a bank account. Credit One Bank doesn’t offer any redemption options beyond an automatic statement credit. 

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

If you’re given a grace period, you can use this card for all of the purchases that earn at least 1% cash back. For example, if you’re given rewards for phone, internet and cable bills, pay those bills with your credit card, rather than with a debit card or cash. This strategy only works, though, if your utility companies don’t charge a convenience fee in exchange for accepting cards. If a company charges a fee, then the rewards you get may not justify using it. 

Don’t use this card for everyday purchases if Credit One Bank denies you a grace period. In that case, you’ll pay interest as soon as you make those charges, so you’re better off only using this card for emergencies—or opting for a different card all together. 

Limit your charges, and pay off your balance in full each month, if your goal with this card is to improve your credit over time. Credit scores place a lot of weight on the amount of available credit you use compared to your credit limit, which is known as your credit utilization ratio.

Credit One Bank Visa’s Other Features

The Credit One Bank Visa doesn’t offer a ton of benefits. However, it provides these perks that can be helpful to consumers rebuilding their credit:

  • Periodic review for credit limit increases
  • Free Experian ScoreX credit score and summary of your credit report—which is for educational purposes only, and isn’t used by lenders to make credit decisions
  • The option to pay for a credit protection program that lets you cancel payments for up to six months if you lose your job or become disabled.

Using Credit One Visa’s credit protection plan means closing your account during that time, and it’s not free. The program cost will be based on your monthly balance.

Customer Experience

Credit One doesn’t offer 24-hour customer support or chat services on its website, which could be a big inconvenience. It does provide automated account information 24/7 for customers who have basic questions about their account, and a mobile banking app that you can use to check your balance and pay bills.

Security Features 

The Credit One Visa card offers standard security features.

Credit One Bank Visa’s Fees

In addition to a potentially high annual fee, the Credit One Visa charges an exceptionally high cash advance fee of 8% for some cardholders. It also charges an additional $19 fee annually when you add an authorized user. Both the annual fee and authorized user fee will come out of your credit line, reducing the amount of credit you have available. One pro: The card doesn’t charge a penalty APR, so your APR won’t increase if you miss a payment.

For Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®
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See how this card stacks up to the competition
CURRENT CARD
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®
overall rating
3.3
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 19.74% - 25.74% variable
Annual Fee $0 - $99
Rewards Earning Rate 1% cash back on eligible purchases including gas, groceries and phone services

Our Methodology

  • At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.