|Credit Building Rating:||2.2 / 5|
|Cost of Membership||1.3|
|Ease of Building Credit||3.2|
Average cost of membership per year ($3,600 annual spend)
Security deposit required
Initial credit limit
Access to higher credit line?
Other rates and fees
Features: Free Experian credit score and report summary, $0 fraud liability
If you’re looking to boost a lower credit score but don’t have the money for a security deposit, the Credit One Bank Visa Credit Card can be a great option, especially if you still want to earn rewards. You might end up having to pay a larger annual fee, but you’ll continue to improve your credit with regular opportunities to increase your credit line.
No security deposit
In most cases, credit-building cards require a security deposit of at least $300 and only match your initial credit limit to what you contribute. But with the Credit One Bank Visa, you don’t have to make a deposit and will receive a minimum credit limit of $300.
While this is not a very high limit to start with, it is a great way to save money when deciding to open a card to build your credit. Plus, your account will be automatically reviewed for credit line increases regularly. As long as you make your payments on time and don’t carry a balance, you should be able to increase your limit without a hefty deposit.
Variable annual fee
One potential downside to the Credit One Bank Visa is that you may end up paying an annual fee with the card. Depending on your current creditworthiness, you’ll qualify for anywhere from $0-$95 in the first year and $0-$99 after that. That means if you’re spending an average of $3,600 a year on your card, it is possible your fee will be more than your rewards.
On the plus side, Credit One allows cardholders to pre-qualify for the card before they apply. You can see what kind of fee you qualify for ahead of time, and can decide whether you can afford it without risking a ding to your credit report. If you don’t want to sign up for an annual fee, you may instead want to opt for a secured card, such as the Discover it® Secured.
High maximum APR
The Credit One Bank Visa offers a variable APR of 17.99% to 23.99%. Unless you qualify for the low end of this range, you could end up paying quite a bit in interest. To make the best of this card, make sure you can pay off your balance each month.
Customizable cash back rewards
One of the great features of the Credit One Bank Visa is the cash back rewards program. Even with a lower credit score, you’ll have the opportunity to earn 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases. Once you are approved for the card, you’ll choose between six categories of rewards programs which include cash back for gas, groceries, phone services, dining, automotive purchases and more. This lets you choose the categories that work best for you and maximize your reward potential.
Benefits that help manage your credit
On top of cash back rewards, the Credit One Bank Visa offers perks such as $0 fraud liability and a free monthly credit score and credit report through Experian. This is a great resource for those trying to build their credit, since you can keep a close eye on your progress.
The Credit One Bank Visa also offers optional credit protection in case of involuntary unemployment or disability, although it does come at an extra charge. The plan costs $.96 for every $100 of new balance, which can add up quickly if you are making significant charges. If you choose to invest in this option, you should expect to need it.
Additional fees and penalties
In addition to the annual fee, the Credit One Bank Visa has a few other charges to look out for when choosing this card. For cash advances, there is a fee of $5 or 8 percent of the amount of each transaction (whichever is greater) as well as a 23.99% APR (variable). You’ll also be charged 3 percent on all foreign transactions. If you are looking for a card to use while you travel, this might not be the best choice for you.
Other fees for this card include a $19 annual charge to add an authorized user, a $1 minimum on interest charges and up to a $39 fee for late or returned payments.
Great approval odds
The Credit One Bank Visa is a great credit building option, with a recommended credit score of 300-670. Even if you aren’t sure you’ll get approved, you can see if you pre-qualify on the Credit One website without hurting your credit score.
Why get the Credit One Bank Visa?
- You have bad to fair credit.
- You can’t afford or don’t want to pay a security deposit.
- You are willing to invest in an annual fee to build your credit.
- You want to earn cash back rewards in the best categories for you.
How to use the Credit One Bank Visa:
- Make your payments on time to avoid high interest charges and increase your chances for a higher credit limit.
- Use this card for purchases within your rewards program to maximize cash back.
- Take advantage of your monthly credit report to keep an eye on your credit-building progress.
Our reviews and best card recommendations are based on an objective rating process and are not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy
All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.
Responses to comments in the discussion section below are not provided, reviewed, approved, endorsed or commissioned by our financial partners. It is not our partner’s responsibility to ensure all posts or questions are answered.