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.
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