If you’ve got a modest budget and at least fair credit, this card is a decent option for earning cash back at a competitive rewards rate—5% of your purchases—on a wide range of everyday spending categories (gas, groceries, internet, cable, satellite TV, and cellphone services). Just keep in mind that the rewards rate drops to 1% after the first $5,000 you spend in a calendar year on those bills, so if you usually spend more than about $415 a month on them, you’ll only get the lower earnings rate on anything above that threshold.
Doesn’t require good credit
Competitive rewards rate
Low cap on rewards
No bonus for new cardholders
- Doesn’t require good credit: Having good credit (a FICO score of at least 670) is recommended to qualify for most rewards cards, but Credit One Bank markets this card to people with average to excellent credit.
- Competitive rewards rate: The 5% cash-back rate is as good as or better than what other cards offer on everyday spending categories, particularly for a card available to people with so-so credit. Plus, you can earn up to 10% cash back when you shop at retailers who participate in the More Cash Back Rewards Program. (More about this below.)
- Pre-qualification option: When you have a thin credit history, your score may take a harder hit when you apply for a new card. This card lets you pre-qualify before formally applying, and that counts only as a soft credit inquiry, which won’t ding your score. In other words, you can see if the credit card company thinks you might be a good fit for the card before you apply.
- Low cap on rewards: If you spend more than $417 per month on gas, groceries and eligible utilities, you’ll reach the $5,000 ceiling for earning 5% cash back and get just 1% back for the rest of the year. Competing cards have much higher caps or no cap at all.
- Annual fee: There are many cash-back cards that don’t charge an annual fee, even ones for people with fair credit. At $95, this card’s fee is steep, considering the relatively low cap on rewards. (More on this below.)
- No bonus for new cardholders: A bonus can offset a card’s initial annual fee, but there’s nothing to help the medicine go down with this card. This isn’t unusual for lower-tier cards, but if you’ve got good credit, there are plenty of other cash-back cards with no annual fee and an easy-to-earn sign-up bonus.
- High APR: Ideally, the interest rate on your rewards card shouldn’t matter because you pay your bill in full each month and don’t get charged interest. But if you tend to carry a balance, be aware that this card has a variable APR of 25.49%. That’s more than 5 percentage points more than the average for a cash-back credit card, according to data collected by The Balance. Even our analysis of other cards for people with poor to fair credit shows they have an average APR under 25%.
Earning Points & Rewards
As mentioned above, you’ll earn 5% cash back on the first $5,000 you spend on eligible gas, groceries, internet, cable, satellite TV, and cellphone services each calendar year. Once you’ve reached that cap, you’ll earn 1% back in those categories. All other purchases will also earn 1% cash back, with no limit on total earnings.
Not all grocery and gas purchases will be eligible for the 5% cash-back rate. For example, purchases at warehouses like Sam’s Club and Costco won’t count, and neither will groceries bought at convenience or drugstores.
Competing cards, including others offered by Credit One Bank, will earn you significantly lower rates of cash back. (For cards marketed for fair credit, you'll often earn only 1%-3% cash back, depending on whether that rate applies to all spending or just certain categories of merchants.) However, this card's low ceiling on earnings (about $417 a month) is a major drawback, considering that the average U.S. household spends about $372 a month just for groceries.
In fact, if you spend at least $1,000 a month on gas, groceries and the eligible utilities, you’re better off getting a no-fee card without a limit on earnings, even if it pays just 2% cash back on similar categories. An annual budget of $12,000 for gas, groceries, and the other bills listed would net you $240 a year with such a card, compared to $225 with the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa (after subtracting the cost of the annual fee.)
That said, there may be more upside for the card, depending on where you shop. You can earn additional cash back—as much as 10%—at retailers who participate in the More Cash Back Rewards program. Credit One Bank doesn’t disclose much information about the program, but some of the big name participants include Walmart, Pizza Hut, Gap, and Costco, according to a spokesperson.
Redeeming rewards with the Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa Card is super simple, even as cash-back cards go. The bank will automatically credit your monthly statement with your rewards amount, so it’s like getting a small rebate on each purchase you make. While this is definitely a no-fuss feature, it’s also a bit restrictive. You can’t get cash or buy a gift card like you can with some other cards.
How to Get the Most Out of This Card
Besides using this card whenever you have 5% cash-back earning opportunities, use it at retailers who participate in the More Cash Back Rewards programs to earn automatic cash-back bonuses while out and about. (You’ll find information about current offers through your online account after receiving your card.)
And if you don’t already have the card, consider waiting until later in the year to get it so the cap on rewards—determined by calendar years—doesn’t limit you as much in those first months.
You should also consider pairing this card with another card that offers more than 1% cash back on everyday expenses (and doesn’t charge an annual fee).
This shouldn’t be a long-term rewards card. If you are building your credit history, take advantage of the rewards it offers now and then move on to a more generous card once you’ve improved your score.
Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa’s Other Features
This card doesn’t have the insurance benefits or purchase protections many competing cards offer. The most noteworthy features on the card include:
- Automatic account reviews to determine if you qualify for a credit line increase.
- Your choice of payment due date.
- An opt-in credit protection program that lets you skip your minimum payments for up to six months if you lose your job or become disabled.
The cost of the credit protection plan will depend on your card balance. If you use the coverage, you won't be able to use your account.
Credit One Bank got the worst marks among 11 national credit card companies ranked in J.D. Power’s 2019 customer satisfaction survey. The market researcher looked at factors like terms, benefits, rewards, communication, and interaction, assessing the responses of more than 28,000 card customers.
The bank doesn’t offer online chat support, which is inconvenient if you can’t or don’t want to make a phone call. Generally, customer service is available into the evening and on weekends, though not 24/7 (unless you want automated account information or need to report a lost or stolen card.)
On the plus side, you can manage your account online and through the Credit One Bank mobile app. You’ll have free access to your Experian credit score and a monthly summary of your credit report to help you keep tabs on your overall credit health.
The Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa Card comes with industry-standard security features, such as opt-in account alerts and zero fraud liability.
Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa’s Fees to Watch
Besides the $95 annual fee, this card charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% of the purchase amount (with a $1 minimum) when you use your card abroad. In addition, if you request a credit limit increase (rather than being offered one), Credit One Bank may charge you a convenience fee, which will vary based on your creditworthiness, according to a spokesperson.