*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Jul 30, 2015, 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.
For consumers who have poor credit, it can be tricky to find a credit card that you will be approved for. Secured credit cards present a good option, but if you don’t have the funds to lay down a security deposit then they are out of the question. One option worth considering is the Total Visa Credit Card. Even if you are just coming out of bankruptcy and have very poor credit, you may still be able to get approved for the Total Visa Credit Card. However, this credit card comes with some costly fees, so let’s take a look the the Total Visa Credit Card review and see if it is a good option for you.
No deposit, but plenty of fees
Although you don’t have to put down the money for a security deposit, the Total Visa Credit Card comes with a number of costly fees that should not be overlooked. To start off, you have to pay an $89 processing fee for submitting the application. After that, the annual fee for the first year is $75. While the annual fee drops to $48 after the first year, they tack on a $6.25 “monthly servicing fee” which will total another $75 per year.
Don’t be fooled by the deceptive language; over all, you’ll pay a minimum of $164 during the first year and at least $123 for every year after that. To put that in perspective, if you hold the card for five years, you’ll pay a whopping $656 in fees! Furthermore, the APR on the Total Visa Credit Card is 29.99%, so if you only make the minimum payment each month, you’ll end up paying a fortune in interest.
How does it compare?
It is relatively common for sub-prime credit card offers to have high fees associated with them. Having cardholders pay these expensive fees is the primary way that the banks can mitigate the inherent risk from extending a line of credit to a very risky borrower. However, there are a few cards on the market that offer the same opportunity to build credit, but won’t cost you as much up front.
The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® is designed for consumers who have poor credit and are trying to rebuild. At 17.49% - 25.49% Variable, the interest rate on this credit card isn’t nearly as high as that on the Total Visa Credit Card. Furthermore, the annual fee falls between $0-$99, but you won’t have to pay any pesky processing fees or monthly service fees. This card also offers a cash back program which is extremely rare on credit cards for bad credit; cardholders can earn an unlimited 1% on eligible purchases, terms apply.
When you consider how much the Total Visa Credit Card charges in fees, in many cases, it may make more sense to simply put that money towards a security deposit on a secured credit card. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard®® is an excellent option. This card has no annual fee and an interest rate of 24.99% (Variable). Another great feature available for all Capital One cardholders is access to their free Credit Tracker service. This allows you to get monthly updates on your credit score and track your progress as you build credit.
The Final Word
Overall, the Total Visa Credit Card is a viable option for consumers who need to build credit and simply can’t get approved for another credit card. As long as you use the card responsibly, it will help you build your credit score which should be the ultimate goal. Although it does comes with some rather high fees, once you have established a good repayment history, you should be able to get approved with a better credit card with more favorable terms. But before you apply, check out Total Visa Card reviews and be sure to consider the alternative options mentioned above. If you can get approved for the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® or the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, you may be able to save some money with fewer fees and lower interest rates.
* Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.