Credit One Bank Visa Review

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The Credit One Bank Visa Card is an unsecured credit card option for people with poor credit. The terms you’ll be offered vary depending on your creditworthiness, and you won’t even find out what they are until you’re approved. In most cases, you can find something less expensive if you opt for a secured credit card.  

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®

Overall Rating
3.9
Credit One Bank® Unsecured 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 (%) 17.99% - 23.99% 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
2.0
for Rewards
2.7
for Credit
5.0

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Deal Seeker Persona
    Diligently searches for the best products and delights in a good bargain See more cards
    Deal Seeker
  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    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. If you can’t afford the deposit for a secured credit card, the Credit One Visa offers a minimum credit line of $300—more than the minimum some secured cards offer. 

Keep in mind you may have to pay an annual fee of up to $99 with this card, depending on your credit history. If Credit One Bank assigns you the maximum, you’re probably better off with an alternative card with a lower fee. Some secured cards have an annual fee of less than half that, or none at all. 

Pros
  • Low APR for an unsecured card in this class

  • Rewards on purchases

Cons
  • May not get an interest grace period

  • Potentially high annual fee

  • Unclear terms for applicants

Pros Explained

  • Low APR for an unsecured card in this class: This card’s APR is on the lower end for an unsecured credit card geared to people with poor credit. Some competitors charge APRs almost 10 percentage points higher. (This APR is still higher than many secured cards offer, however.)
  • Rewards on purchases: The rewards tied to this card are pretty modest, but it’s better than nothing. You’ll earn 1% cash back on a number of common expenses (like gas and groceries) and also on monthly bills such as cellphone and internet services. There are opportunities to earn extra cash back when you use this card at select retailers, too. (More about this below.)

Cons Explained

  • May not get an interest grace period: The biggest downside to this card is that only some cardholders are given a grace period on paying finance charges. Grace periods allow you to avoid interest on new purchases by paying off your balance once you get your bill. Without one, you’ll 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 as much as $95 for the first year and $99 thereafter. (You may qualify for no annual fee, but you won’t find out until you’re approved.) Given that there are secured cards that don’t charge anyone an annual fee, this is a definite drawback. Plus, secured card deposits are refundable, while annual fees are not. 
  • Unclear terms for applicants: You can prequalify for this card, which will give you an idea of what the terms of your account will be, but nothing is final until you are formally approved. Other cards for applicants with poor credit are more transparent about the potential pros and cons, making it easier to evaluate your options.

Earning Points & Rewards

Many competitors don’t offer rewards on purchases, so the Credit One Bank Visa stands out. Its program is simple with a low earnings rate, but routine expenses are rewarded, which may help you rack up cash back faster.

You’ll get 1% cash back on gas and groceries, plus your monthly cell phone, internet, cable and satellite TV bills. Credit One Bank also offers a promotional program that could get you up to 10% cash back with partner retailers such as Walmart, Pizza Hut, Gap, and Costco, according to a spokesperson. There’s no limit to how much you can earn with the card. 

Redeeming Rewards  

Redeeming cash back is fairly simple: Credit One 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 Credit One. 

You’re out of luck if you prefer to receive a check or deposit your cash back in a bank account. Credit One 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, use this card for all of the purchases that will earn 1% cash back. For example, pay your phone, internet and cable bills with your credit card, rather than with a debit card or cash. (Just make sure your utility companies don’t charge a convenience fee to accept cards. Then the rewards you get may not justify it.)

Don’t use this card for everyday purchases if Credit One Bank denies you a grace period. In that case, you’re better off only using this card for emergencies—or opting for a different card altogether.

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 Bank Visa may also charge an exceptionally high cash advance fee of 10% 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.

Next Steps
For Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®
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CURRENT CARD
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®
overall rating
3.9
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 (%) 17.99% - 23.99% 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.

Article Sources

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  1. Credit One Bank. "Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit." Accessed May 4, 2020.

  2. Credit One Bank. "Disclosures and Terms & Conditions for Credit One Bank's Credit Cards and Credit Protection Program." Accessed May 4, 2020.