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This article was last updated Jul 05, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
Who the card is best for
Credit building potential — with a catch. If you have bad/poor/fair credit and have trouble qualifying for cards from major issuers, the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card may give you the opportunity to build credit. However, this carries a high $0-$99 annual fee and lacks transparency — you won’t know your exact fee until after you apply.
A better option: There are plenty of alternative cards that help you build credit without charging high fees. A no-fee secured card can be a better choice to improve poor credit, and we’ll cover secured cards later in this review. If you already have good credit or better, look at our top credit cards that have straightforward terms and more perks.
Where this card stands out in its category
Prequalify before you apply. This card allows you to check if you prequalify before applying. This doesn’t hurt your credit score and is a good way to see if you have a good chance of being approved. Take note that prequalification is not a guarantee you’ll be approved for the card.
Discounts and rewards. Additionally, this card has a few helpful perks like shopping discounts available through Visa and a rewards program where you can earn 1% on eligible purchases, terms apply. Compared to other cards for bad credit that don’t offer rewards like the Horizon Gold Card and the First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card , this is a decent perk of the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card.
Where this card falls short in its category
The opaque annual fee. There is a $0-$99 annual fee and you won’t know your exact fee until after you apply. The lack of disclosing your annual fee upfront means you may receive the highest fee, which is pretty steep for someone with bad/poor/fair credit looking to improve their score. You can find cards for bad credit that have lower annual fees like the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card with a disclosed $29 annual fee.
The annual fee eats into your available credit limit. In addition, the annual fee is deducted from your initial available credit. For example, if you receive a credit limit of $300 and a $75 annual fee, your initial available credit will be reduced to $225.
How to use Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card most effectively
You can see the most value with this card by following several credit building tips that can improve your score over time.
Pay on time. The most important factor of your credit score is payment history; therefore, it’s key to always pay on time and also in full. This prevents you from racking up interest fees, late payments and other penalties.
Keep your balance low. Another key practice to follow is maintaining a low utilization rate. Utilization is the amount of your total credit limit you use as a percent of your available credit. For example, if you have a card with a $1,000 credit limit and spend $200 a month, that means your utilization is 20% — which is generally ideal.
Seek out alternative options first. The high $0-$99 annual fee makes the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card a very expensive option for building credit. Check out alternative secured cards instead — they may require a deposit to open, but at least you know you’ll get your full deposit back so long as you pay your bill in full prior to closing or upgrading your account. In contrast, your Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card annual fee is deducted immediately from your available balance and never refunded.
This card offers 1% on eligible purchases, terms apply*. The rewards rate you receive depends on your creditworthiness and will be disclosed after you submit a pre-qualification request and you qualify for a credit card offer. Cash back is automatically redeemed in the form of statement credit with each statement.
Per Credit One’s terms and conditions, you can qualify for:
- 1% cashback rewards on eligible gas, groceries, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable & satellite TV service; or
- 1% cashback rewards on eligible gas, groceries, dining purchases, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable & satellite TV services; or
- 1.1% cashback rewards on eligible dining purchases and 1.0% cash back rewards on other eligible purchases; or
- 1% cashback rewards on eligible purchases.
*Rewards are subject to change at any time.
Additional card benefits
The Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card offers a few additional benefits:
- Free credit score tracker: You can view your free monthly Experian ScoreX Credit Score to track you credit.
- Select insurances: At no additional cost, receive travel accident and auto rental collision insurance when you use your card to pay for eligible travel or rentals.
- Shopping discounts: The Visa Offers + Perks allows you to choose from numerous shopping discounts when you use your card. Check current offers here.
Compare it with the Discover it® Secured
A good alternative to the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card is the Discover it® Secured, another secured card that also helps you build credit.
Secured cards vs. unsecured cards. What makes secured cards different than regular “unsecured” cards is that they require a security deposit that becomes your line of credit. For the Discover it® Secured, there is a minimum $200 security deposit, but it’s refundable if you’re transitioned to an unsecured card or pay your balance in full and close your account.
The Discover it® Secured comes out on top. Comparing both cards, the Discover it® Secured offers a more straightforward cashback program than the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card. Plus, it has a $0 annual fee while the Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card has a $0-$99 annual fee, which is based on your creditworthiness.
While you can build credit with either card, the Discover it® Secured is a better choice for those who can set money aside for the security deposit to benefit from the more robust card offering.
Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each card:
|Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card||Discover it® Secured|
|Minimum Security Deposit||N/A||$200|
|Regular Purchase APR||17.49% - 25.49% Variable||24.74% Variable|
|Rewards||1% on eligible purchases, terms apply||2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases|
|Sign-Up Bonus||No bonus||Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||3% or $1.00, whichever is greater||None|
The fees associated with this card are something to consider before applying and while you may be better with a secured card, you still have a chance to build credit with Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card when using it responsibly.