Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® With Cash Back Rewards Review: Build Your Credit Quickly

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Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850
Our Bottom Line:

Designed for consumers with modest credit histories, The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards offers 1% cash rewards on eligible purchases, zero fraud liability and no annual fee. Terms Apply.

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The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards is a high-interest, high-fee card. However, it’s a practical option for people with poor to fair credit who don’t want to use a secured card.

Borrowers who keep on top of their credit card usage and pay off their balance in full each month can rebuild their credit and graduate to a lower-fee credit card.

For people with poor credit, this is a good step to take in the long process to financial stability.

Card Overview

Although everyone wants a low-fee credit card with a huge credit limit and lots of perks, that’s not going to be accessible to everyone. When I turned 18 I made a bunch of bad financial decisions that left me with terrible credit. When I woke up in my 20’s and got serious, I realized that I needed to do something to change my credit rating if I ever wanted to move ahead.

I took a series of careful steps to rebuild my credit. One of those was using an unsecured credit-building credit card. I only used it for a few purchases each month and I paid off the balance in full each time. At the same time, I kept an eye on my credit score. As soon as I’d built up enough credit, I cut up the card and moved on to a better one.

The high fees and interest rates offered by Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards are there to offset the risk that the bank takes on by extending an unsecured credit card to borrowers with poor credit. It’s an unsecured card, meaning that there’s no hassle over paying a deposit.

It gives borrowers the reassurance of knowing that they can draw on it in an emergency. Cash back, credit monitoring support, and Apple Pay are some of the benefits that accompany this card. Plus, there’s the fun option of personalizing your credit card with your own design.

Credit One Bank’s application process is streamlined such that if you apply with Poor credit, you’ll likely get accepted for a card with high fees and terms. The better your credit score, though, the better your terms will be. That way, Credit One is raising the likelihood they’ll be able to approve your application for the card.

Key facts

  • High APR and fees: If you’re thinking of getting the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards, the first thing to pay attention to is the relatively high APR rates—17.99% to 23.99% Variable percent on purchases. The late payment fee of up to $37 and returned payment fee of up to $35 are risks worth taking into consideration for anyone who might not be able to pay their bill on time.
  • Additional user fee: You can add extra users for just $19 per person, making the card practical for families with poor credit but multiple credit card users.
  • No minimum credit score: This card doesn’t require any particular minimum credit score to qualify for this card—you can apply even if your credit is poor. If you want to find out your credit score, check out our free Estimator Tool.
  • Minimum credit limit: $300 isn’t a very big credit limit, but you can get it increased quickly as you prove yourself to be a reliable borrower. Make your payments on time and in full each month, and you may get an opportunity to increase your limit. Be aware, a fee may apply to do this.
  • Annual fee: It’s important to know that the annual fee is charged against your initial credit limit as soon as you open the account. That means that your starting credit of $300 could be actually only $225 because the fee was already charged. You can ask to have the annual fee charged in 12 equal payments. The annual fee varies, but in the first year it won’t be more than $75 and in subsequent years it won’t be more than $99. Plan to pay off your annual fee as fast as you can so that you don’t have to pay interest on it. There’s no 0 percent balance transfer option here.
  • Interest period: Some Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards accounts have a grace period of 24 days before purchases begin to accrue interest. Read the fine print to find out if your account has a designated grace period. If it doesn’t, do your best to pay off every charge as soon as possible.

 

In-Depth Analysis

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards extends a certain amount of flexibility to borrowers. In order to help you make your payment date, you can change it to one that suits you better, as long as it’s within six days of the original payment date. You can change your payment date once every six months if you want.

Another cute perk is that you can choose a special design for your card from among Credit One’s premium design options. But, you’ll probably need to pay a small fee for this.

Here are some of the main benefits to using the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards:

Credit builder

This unsecured card is aimed at anyone who needs to build their credit score, whether that’s as a result of bad borrowing habits in your past or because you’re new to credit.

To help card users, Credit One offers a range of credit-building tools to help you monitor your credit score for free, track the changes online, and learn more about how to build and maintain a healthy credit rating.

Cash back

Credit One Bank® has three different cash back programs that it extends to eligible Credit One Bank®Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards borrowers. If you qualify, you could get one of the following three options:

  • One percent cash back on eligible purchases for gas, groceries, and mobile phone, internet, and cable TV bills.
  • A slightly higher rate of 1.1 percent cash back on eligible dining transactions. One percent cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • A flat rate of one percent cash back on all eligible purchases.

This level of flexibility is pretty rare in a credit card. It means that you’ll likely find some way of making it suitable for your own individual needs.

Alerts and advice

As part of the plan to help borrowers rebuild their credit, this card does all it can to help you make your payments on time. You can download the mobile app for free so that you can make payments, track your purchases, and adjust your account settings wherever you are.

It’s a good idea to set up account notifications which send you alerts via text or email.  These alerts are super-helpful and can save you from missing a payment or over-running your credit limit.

Apple

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards also has high-tech benefits. You can connect your credit card to your Apple Pay account and use it to make purchases at thousands of participating retailers.

Security

Anyone worried about losing money through fraud can be reassured with Credit One Bank’s® zero-fraud liability promise. You’re protected against unauthorized charges to your credit card if it’s ever lost or stolen, as long as you report the loss quickly.

Credit One Bank’s® credit cards also use EMV chip technology to keep you safe from counterfeiting.

Full credit card functionality

Although Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards is aimed at borrowers who need to rebuild their credit, it doesn’t skimp on its usability. It’s card that’s accepted almost everywhere.

You get traditional coverage like travel insurance and auto rental collision insurance. Plus, you can also access the same exclusive shopping discounts that are offered to every Visa user.

 

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Earn Cash Back Rewards — This card offers you 1% cash back on select purchases.
  • You Don't Need Perfect Credit — This card is offered to people with credit problems, so you can rebuild your credit.

Cons

  • High Annual Fee — This card has an annual fee of up to $99.
  • Costly Interest Charges — This card has a high standard interest rate.

Should you get the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® With Cash Back Rewards?

Note: Depending on your credit score, you could be approved for one of these two cards on the right, which carry slightly different terms and fees.

This card isn’t going to be right for everyone. But for people like me, who find themselves needing to rebuild their credit, it could be exactly what you need.

It’s for borrowers who have poor credit. It also works if you just arrived in the country and need to build up their credit quickly.

As long as you know that you won’t let the idea of a credit card tempt you into spending more than you can afford and you pay off your balance in full each month, the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards is a great option to consider. Use it for as long as it takes to build up your credit and then move on.

All information about the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards has been collected independently by MoneyUnder30 and has not been reviewed by the issuer

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