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This article was last updated Jul 26, 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.
If you’re considering the Total VISA® Credit Card, thoroughly review the terms before you apply and consider other options with fewer fees. You may be tempted to open this card if you’re someone with less than perfect credit, since the application states this card is the “perfect tool for people who have faced financial challenges and struggled to get credit in the past” — but don’t let that mislead you. This card isn’t the “perfect” choice due to its numerous fees that can cause you to rack up unnecessary charges. We discuss these fees in the section below.
What to watch out for
Fees, fees, and more fees. This card has numerous fees that make it very costly to carry. If approved, you must pay an $89 processing fee in order to open your account and access your available credit. Then, there’s an annual fee at $75 for first year, then $48 annually. Plus, the annual fee is deducted from your initial available credit limit so if you receive a $300 credit limit, deduct the $75 annual fee and your initial credit limit will be $225. That limits your purchasing power and may be an issue if you need to utilize that credit.
After your first year, there’s a $6.25 monthly servicing fee which comes to $75 annually. And, if you want to add an authorized user, that’ll be an additional $29 a year per authorized user. Most credit cards don’t charge processing, monthly servicing, or authorized user fees, so these fees are a major drawback.
In addition to fees, this card has a high 29.99% (fixed) APR. If you end up carrying a balance, the interest charges will be quite high. For example, if you have a $1,000 balance due January 22 but don’t pay it until February 22, you’ll incur a $299.90 interest charge. A late payment fee up to $39 may also apply.
Can the Total VISA® Credit Card help me build credit?
If you decide to open this card and use it responsibly, you may be able to build credit. But, again, it’s extremely costly to carry this card and there are definitely better options out there to help you improve your score.
Here are a few credit building tips you can follow that factor into your credit score:
- Pay on time and in full. Payment history is the most important factor of your credit score making it key to pay each bill on time and in full. These actions contribute to good payment history and can help you avoid late payment fees and interest charges.
- Maintain a low utilization rate. The amount of your total credit you use is known as utilization and it’s an important factor of your credit score. We recommend maintaining a utilization rate below 30%. To find how much money that would be, multiply your total credit limit by 0.3. For example, if you open the Total VISA® Credit Card and receive a $300 credit limit, keep your spending to $90 a billing cycle.
How does it compare to The First Access VISA® Credit Card?
If you’re wondering what the difference between the Total VISA® Credit Card and The First Access VISA® Credit Card is, there is none beyond the card names. They are identical cards issued by The Bank of Missouri offering the same rates and fees, so the card you choose is up to you.
Compare it with the Discover it® Secured
A better alternative is a $0 annual fee secured card, like the Discover it® Secured.
2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
Credit line will equal your security deposit of $200 or more*
No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment. No penalty APR*
- No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
- It’s a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
- Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit from $200-$2500 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
- Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
- 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
- We automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Discover it® Secured
Secured cards are a great way to build credit and are nearly identical to unsecured (traditional) credit cards. The main difference is that a secured card requires a security deposit that becomes your line of credit. For the Discover it® Secured, there is a $200 minimum security deposit, which is typical.
The Discover it® Secured is a better choice if you’re looking to minimize fees. There’s a $0 annual fee and no monthly servicing fees or authorized user fees. That’s compared to the Total VISA® Credit Card’s multitude of fees. Plus, the Discover it® Secured has a lower 25.24% Variable APR versus the Total VISA® Credit Card’s 29.99% (fixed) APR.
Also, you have the added benefit of a cashback program with the Discover it® Secured — earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases. Overall, the Discover it® Secured is a more well-rounded card with less fees and more perks than the Total VISA® Credit Card.
Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each card:
|Total VISA® Credit Card||Discover it® Secured|
|Annual Fee||$75 for first year, then $48 annually||$0|
|Regular Purchase APR||29.99% (fixed)||25.24% Variable|
|Rewards||None||2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.|
|New Cardmember Offer||None||Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.|
The Total VISA® Credit Card is laden with annual, processing, monthly servicing, and authorized user fees, making it costly to use. We recommend checking out secured cards that have more straightforward terms and less fees.