When you have bad credit, qualifying for an unsecured credit card isn’t easy. But Credit One specializes in it, offering three credit cards targeted to people who want to rebuild their credit.
The offer sounds enticing, but it might not be worth it. Sure, you don’t have to put down a deposit like you would with a secured credit card. But Credit One’s fees are so high and its terms so confusing, that it can make your head spin.
What’s more, Credit One’s customer reviews tell a cautionary tale. Find out why.
Credit One review
Founded in 1984, Credit One Bank only offers credit cards to its customers. The bank serves seven million cardholders from its headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The bank gets a lot of its business through its website and by sending pre-approval offers in the mail to people who have bad credit.
Credit One credit card review
Credit One offers three credit cards:
- Credit One Platinum Visa
- Credit One Platinum Cash Back Rewards Visa
- Credit One Official NASCAR Visa
Beyond those names, however, it’s not clear what you’re going to get as far as card terms and features until you apply.
Credit One credit card interest rates and fees
As of October 2017, Credit One charges an APR of 16.99% to 24.99%, depending on your creditworthiness. That’s not bad, considering the average interest rate for a secured credit card in September 2017 was 23.46%, according to CreditCards.com.
But here’s the kicker: You might not get a grace period between your statement date and your due date, which is a standard for all major credit cards.
If you qualify, and there are no criteria available to know whether you do or not, Credit One gives you 24 days to pay off your statement balance each month. But if you don’t, interest starts accruing on your transactions as soon as they post to your account. In other words, you don’t even get until the monthly statement closes to pay off your balance interest-free.
With Credit One’s fees, the terms get even murkier. The annual fee can range from $0 to $75 the first year, then $0 to $99 each year after that.
The problem is you won’t know what fee you’re getting until you apply because it’s based on creditworthiness. What’s more, some cardholders have to pay monthly installments for the annual fee rather than yearly, which can eat up a portion of your credit limit at the beginning of each month.
A few other fees to watch out for include:
- Authorized user fee: $19 (for the vast majority of credit cards, adding an authorized user is free)
- Cash advance fee: $5 or 8 percent of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater, or $10 or 3 percent of each cash advance, whichever is greater (the fee level depends on your creditworthiness)
- Late payment fee: Up to $37
- Returned payment fee: Up to $35
- Credit limit increase fee: $0 to $49
- Foreign transaction fee: 3 percent
- Replacement card fee: Up to $25
Credit One credit card rewards
Although Credit One offers rewards on some of its cards, it’s not clear what you’re going to get before you apply. Based on your creditworthiness and the card you apply for, Credit One will offer you one of five rewards programs.
|Cards||Potential Rewards Programs|
|Cash Back Rewards Visa and
|1 percent cash back* on eligible gas, groceries, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable and satellite TV service.|
|1.1 percent cash back on eligible dining purchases and 1 percent cash back on all other eligible purchases.|
|1 percent cash back on all eligible purchases.|
|Official NASCAR Visa||1 percent cash back on eligible gas and automotive purchases; double cash back on NASCAR.com purchases.|
|1 percent cash back on all eligible purchases, double cash back on NASCAR.com purchases.|
*Cash back is applied as an automatic statement credit
To be fair, most bad-credit credit cards don’t offer rewards at all. But it’s nice to know what you’re getting before you apply.
For example, the Discover it Secured Credit Card offers 2 percent cash back at restaurants or gas stations up to $1,000 spent each quarter, and 1 percent cash back on everything else. If you qualify for the card, that’s what you get. No guessing game.
Credit One reviews: customer satisfaction
Credit One claims high customer reviews on its website (4.6 out of 5 stars, as of October 2017), with most of the short reviews lauding the card for helping them build or rebuild their credit. For example, here’s one review:
“I don’t have the best credit history but Credit One gave me a chance to help fix my credit. After a few months they even increased my limit for making payments on time.”
The reviews on neutral, third-party websites aren’t as rosy. For example, the bank gets 2.3 out of 5 stars on Credit Karma, with 56 percent of users giving it just 1 star as of October 2017.
Users who gave the bank 5 stars wrote about how their card helped them rebuild their credit. In contrast, those who left bad Credit One reviews complained of poor customer service and delayed payment processing:
“The amount of time it takes for a payment to post and become available is disgusting. A whole week before funds are available unless you pay for express payment.”
Credit One contact information
If you have any questions about your Credit One account, you might have a hard time. The only phone number it lists on its website for account-related inquiries is an automated line (1-877-825-3242).
Consider these alternatives to Credit One
Based on the Credit One credit card reviews by consumers and the bank’s high fees and confusing terms, you might want to consider a secured credit card to start rebuilding your credit.
For example, the Discover it Secured Credit Card offers cash back rewards, no annual fee, and your security deposit might be refundable if they deem your account in good standing after eight months.
Alternatively, you can check out the Capital One Secured Mastercard. Depending on your creditworthiness, your starting deposit can be $49, $99, or $200 for a $200 credit limit – it’s almost unheard of to get a higher credit limit than your deposit amount.
Plus, you can get access to a higher credit line with no additional deposits after five on-time payments. The card has no annual fee.
Check out these and other secured credit cards before you consider a Credit One card. Even with the security deposit, you’ll save a lot more not having to deal with high fees and opaque terms.
Interested in refinancing student loans?Here are the top 6 lenders of 2019!
|Lender||Variable APR||Eligible Degrees|
|Check out the testimonials and our in-depth reviews!
1 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
2 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.89% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.50% APR (with Auto Pay) to 7.27% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of April 17, 2019, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 04/17/2019. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at email@example.com, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on our student loan refinance product.
© 2018 Earnest LLC. All rights reserved. Earnest LLC and its subsidiaries, including Earnest Operations LLC, are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
3 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the fixed rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular fixed interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
However, if the borrower chooses to make monthly payments automatically by electronic funds transfer (EFT) from a bank account, the variable rate will decrease by 0.25%, and will increase back up to the regular variable interest rate described in the preceding paragraph if the borrower stops making (or we stop accepting) monthly payments automatically by EFT from the designated borrower’s bank account.
All credit products are subject to credit approval.
Laurel Road began originating student loans in 2013 and has since helped thousands of professionals with undergraduate and postgraduate degrees consolidate and refinance more than $4 billion in federal and private school loans. Laurel Road also offers a suite of online graduate school loan products and personal loans that help simplify lending through customized technology and personalized service. In April 2019, Laurel Road was acquired by KeyBank, one of the nation’s largest bank-based financial services companies. Laurel Road is a brand of KeyBank National Association offering online lending products in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico. All loans are provided by KeyBank National Association, a nationally chartered bank. Member FDIC. For more information, visit www.laurelroad.com.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
5 Important Disclosures for CommonBond.
Offered terms are subject to change. Loans are offered by CommonBond Lending, LLC (NMLS # 1175900). If you are approved for a loan, the interest rate offered will depend on your credit profile, your application, the loan term selected and will be within the ranges of rates shown.
All Annual Percentage Rates (APRs) displayed assume borrowers enroll in auto pay and account for the 0.25% reduction in interest rate. All variable rates are based on a 1-month LIBOR assumption of 2.49% effective March 10, 2019.
6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
|2.50% – 7.27%1||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 7.12%3||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.53% – 8.79%4||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.50% – 6.65%2||Undergrad & Graduate|
|2.55% – 7.12%5||Undergrad & Graduate|
|3.00% – 9.74%6||Undergrad & Graduate|