Credit One Credit Cards Review: Confusing Reigns

Credit One Credit Cards:

Credit One credit cards have unclear terms, come loaded with fees, and don’t offer much cashback rewards. However, this article focuses more on why this credit card seems confusing for customers.

Credit One Credit Card

First, credit cards from Credit One Bank are, across the board, fairly poor deals for consumers. They include: Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®, Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit, Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa®, and the NASCAR Credit Card

The four cards all provide very similarly, and limited, rewards and high fees. The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa Card is an unsecured credit card option for people with poor credit.

The terms you’ll be offered vary depending on your creditworthiness, and you won’t even find out what they are until you’re approved. In most cases, you can find something less expensive if you opt for a secured credit card.

In this article:

Who is Credit One?

The first thing you have to know about Credit One, is who they are not. Credit One is not Capital One. They are entirely unrelated companies that both happen to issue credit cards. This is made even more confusing by the similarities of their logos.

Next, you should know that Credit One focuses on sub-prime cards for those who’ve had problems with their credit. Credit One is also the official credit card partner of NASCAR.

It offers a NASCAR credit card and even sponsors one of the competitors, the #42 car of Chip Ganassi Racing, driven by Kyle Larson. Finally, Credit One Bank is based in Las Vegas and boasts over seven million cardholders.

Credit One Bank Fees and Fine Print: Confusing Reigns

Disclaimer:

At the very top of Credit One Bank’s credit card terms and conditions is this disclaimer:

These Disclosures and Terms & Conditions are for informational purposes only.”

Right away that should be a red flag since you won’t find that disclaimer on T&Cs from major banks.

Credit One Bank’s disclaimer means any information you see in the T&C may or may not be accurate when you receive your official credit card agreement. Unfortunately, you won’t know the exact terms you receive until you submit a prequalification application.

The annual fee varies:

Credit One Bank has a varying annual fee that fluctuates from the first and second years your account is open. That depends on your creditworthiness.

The annual fee is $0-$75 for the first year. After that, $0-$99. Meanwhile, most credit cards have a predetermined annual fee that all cardholders will receive,

 Grace Period:

You may not receive a grace period. Typically when you read the “paying interest” section of your card’s T&Cs, you’ll see a period of time — usually 21-25 days — from the close of each billing cycle where you won’t be charged interest.

However, Credit One Bank states “if your account has a grace period” — meaning you may not be so lucky to receive one. That means interest will start accruing on your purchases from the date they post to your account.

Considering adding an authorized user? Think twice. This card charges a $19 annual fee for adding an authorized user. This is uncommon for mainstream credit cards and adds to the list of many fees you’re charged as a Credit One Bank card member.

Don’t wait until the last minute to pay your bill. Credit One Bank is sneaky about how long it takes for your payment to be processed.

Searching their FAQs under “Pay Bill,” differences between express and standard payments are detailed in a somewhat confusing way. They use the term “funds” a lot, which means your available credit limit.

With a standard payment, “funds will be available within 7 days.” That means your payment will post within those seven days and you can access the amount of your credit limit you just paid.

For express payments, your “funds” will be available sooner — typically the next business day, but it’ll cost you $9.95. Typically, credit card payments made with the major issuers post the same or next day without an additional charge.

Cashback Rewards Programs

Credit One Bank offers cashback rewards programs for all of their cards where you can earn 1%-2% cash back on eligible purchases.

Compared with other cashback cards that can offer up to 6%, those provided by Credit One Bank are subpar. Especially since you can only receive double cash back on NASCAR.com purchases with select cards.

In addition to different cashback programs, you won’t know the exact program you qualify for until after you submit a prequalification request.

This is a drawback of Credit One Bank credit cards since cards from major issuers disclose the rewards rate prior to submitting a prequalification request or applying for a card.

The cashback options you may qualify for with a Credit One Bank credit card include:

  • 1% cash back 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 service; or
  • 1% cashback rewards on eligible dining purchases and 1% cash back rewards on other eligible purchases; or
  • 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases

For Credit One Bank NASCAR credit cards, you may receive:

  • 1% cashback rewards on eligible purchases, eligible gas and automotive purchases, double cashback rewards on NASCAR.com purchases; or
  • 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases, double cashback rewards on nascar.com purchases

Card Benefits

Don’t get too excited — the additional “perks” provided by Credit One Bank credit cards are pretty standard when compared with offerings from other cards.

  • Zero fraud liability protection
  • Free monthly Experian ScoreX credit score
  • Select insurances: When you use your card to pay for eligible trips, you may receive travel accident and auto rental collision insurance, at no additional cost
  • Shopping discounts: The Visa Offers + Perks program provides discounts at select merchants including food and clothing stores, available when you use your card

Should You Consider Credit One?

This is a tough call. Credit One’s products don’t offer very competitive terms, and the possibility of having a credit card with no grace period is very troubling. In addition, these cards can have very high annual fees.

On the other hand, Credit One’s cards aren’t meant for those who can qualify for most other credit cards. They are made for people with serious credit problems. The other kind of card that meets this need is called secured cards.

Secured cards work like other credit cards, except that they require the payment of a refundable security deposit before you can open an account. And in most cases, the amount of the security deposit becomes your credit limit. However, you still have to pay your statement balances every month.

So if you can come up with a security deposit, then you can open a secured card account with nearly any credit profile. And thankfully, there are secured card accounts with low annual fees, or no fee at all.

For example, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® requires a minimum deposit of at least $49 and has no annual fee. The Discover it® Secured has a minimum deposit of $200 and no annual fee either.

Better Alternatives

Taking into consideration the tricky terms and numerous fees of Credit One Bank’s credit cards, there are plenty of alternative credit cards that can help you build or rebuild credit.

There are cashback and rewards cards that can earn you more than 1%, secured cards that help build credit and even cards with better terms for people with bad or limited/no credit.

Here are some of our top picks:

A secured card: Discover it® Secured

Credit One Credit Card

A $0 annual fee secured card like the Discover it® Secured is a great way for you to build or rebuild credit. It has all the same features of a regular, unsecured card but requires a security deposit that becomes your line of credit.

For the Discover it® Secured, there is a minimum $200 security deposit. But don’t worry about losing the deposit — if you pay your balance in full and close your account.

Discover decides you’re eligible to receive an unsecured card during one of their monthly account reviews (starting at eight months from account opening), your deposit will be refunded.

This card also comes with a cashback program where you can earn 2% cash back at Gas stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases Plus, for new cardholders, Discover automatically matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

For average/fair/limited credit: Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Credit one Credit Card

If you have average/fair/limited, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good cashback card. You can earn a straightforward 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.

This seems better than the cashback offerings of Credit One Bank credit cards. Plus, cash back can conveniently be redeemed at any time and for any amount.

There is a $39 annual fee, but spend $2,600 annually and you earn enough cash back to pay for the card. Additional perks of this card include Platinum Mastercard® benefits such as auto rental and travel accident insurance, 24/7 roadside and travel assistance services and more.

FAQs

1. Is Credit One Bank affiliated with Capital One?

No. They’re separate companies and not affiliated at all.

2. Can I request an increase to my credit limit?

Yes. Sign in to your online account. Select Settings from the website menu and click Credit line increase. Watch out for fees to increase your credit line.

3. Will Credit One increase my credit line?

The minimum credit line is $300, but Credit One says it may increase credit lines based on responsible card use.

4. Why do I need to get prequalified?

Credit One uses the information you provide to show credit cards you qualify for.

Bottom Line

If you want to rebuild your credit at the lowest possible cost, then a secured card is the product for you. But if you have poor credit, and you simply want to avoid paying a security deposit, then Credit One can be an option to consider.

But with secured cards available that require as little as $49 as a refundable deposit, which is likely less than Credit One’s non-refundable annual fee of up to $75, most would be better off applying for a secured card rather than an unsecured card from Credit One.

By understanding exactly what Credit One offers, you can make the best choice for your needs.

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