|Credit Building Rating:||2.0 / 5|
|Cost of Membership||1.0|
|Ease of Building Credit||2.8|
In a Nutshell:
While the Total Visa Unsecured doesn’t require a security deposit, cardholders will be buried in additional program fees.
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: $0 fraud liability, car rental insurance
The Total Visa Unsecured does offer some benefits to those with bad to fair credit looking to improve their credit**, including an easy application process and no required security deposit. But with a high annual fee, program fee and monthly servicing fee, cardholders will have to pay quite a bit for these perks.
Good approval odds
The biggest perk of the Total Visa Unsecured credit card is the low barrier of entry. Applicants with bad to fair credit are encouraged to apply and can find out if they’ve been approved in seconds. If you’ve had trouble getting a credit card application accepted and need to open a card as soon as possible, the Total Visa can be a good option (offer not guaranteed, response provided in seconds).
No specified timeline for credit limit increase
The initial credit limit for the Total Visa Unsecured is on the lower side, at $300. This is also reduced by your annual fee, and unlike a secured credit card, you won’t be able to increase this limit by paying a bigger deposit up front.
The Total Visa Unsecured also doesn’t specify a timeline for reviewing your account for a credit line increase. If you do request an increase and are approved, you’ll also have to pay a 20 percent credit limit increase fee. So if you increase your credit limit by $100, you’ll be charged $20.
Higher than average APR
Even for a card available to those with lower credit, the Total Visa has a high APR, and all cardholders are charged the same high rate, regardless of credit history. If you expect to have to carry a balance at all while using this card, it is probably not the best choice for you. Other unsecured cards such as the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit and Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card offer lower APRs.
Numerous additional fees and restrictions
In addition to its high annual fee, the Total Visa Unsecured credit card charges users a slew of other fees that make the card expensive to own.
In your first year, you’ll not only pay an annual fee, but also a one-time activation fee. After year one, your annual fee is reduced, but you’ll have to pay additional service fees, making this card expensive to hold onto long term.
The card also carries fees for each extra card you add to your account, so if you need to add any cards for authorized users, this is probably not the best option for you. Plus, anytime you have to pay interest, you’ll be charged a minimum interest fee. While this fee is low, it can make a substantial difference over time.
In short, with no rewards program to offset high costs, the Total Visa Unsecured is an expensive card to own. Before deciding if this is the card for you, consider just how much you are able and willing to pay to improve your credit.
No rewards and limited perks
The Total Visa Unsecured credit card is pretty bare bones and doesn’t include any sort of rewards program. You won’t enjoy many other perks, like account alerts or additional insurances. The Total Visa also doesn’t allow foreign transactions and you won’t be able to use the card at all while traveling abroad.
If any of these benefits are important to you, consider options such as the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. You’ll have to pay a security deposit, but the fees are much lower and you’ll earn cash back rewards.
Why get the Total Visa Unsecured?
- You have bad to fair credit and want a quick application process.
- You don’t want to put down a security deposit.
How to use the Total Visa Unsecured:
- Make your payments on time to avoid high interest charges.
- Avoid adding authorized users or taking out cash advances to limit fees.
**Rebuilding credit depends on factors like making on-time payments, keeping balance below credit limit and paying at least the minimum monthly payment.
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