The First Access VISA Credit Card

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A secured card with lower fees would be a better choice.

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If you have little credit history or poor credit, you might consider The First Access VISA Credit Card if you’re confident you can use it responsibly. But be prepared to pay a lot of fees in the name of building your credit.

Review

If you don’t qualify for a better type of credit card, and you don’t want to fork over the cash for a secured card, you might think The First Access VISA Credit Card is your best shot at getting a credit card. You’d be wrong.

This card’s low credit limit and high first-year fees means your credit utilization ratio — how much credit you use versus how much has been extended to you — will immediately be out of whack. That’s bad news for your credit score.

Prior to receiving the card, you’ll have to pay an $89 “processing” fee. Then you’ll be charged a $75 annual fee, which takes a big bite out of your $300 credit limit.

Before ever making a single purchase, you will already have used up one-fourth of your credit on this card, giving you a debt to available credit ratio of 25%. This ratio makes up a big part of your credit score as this card reports to all three of the credit reporting agencies. The only way to come out with an improved score with this card is charging something and paying it off within the short 21-day billing cycle.

Keep in mind that in addition to the processing fee and the annual fee, you’ll also get socked with a monthly servicing fee of $6.25 beginning in the second year of card ownership.

It’s pretty hard to get a handle on your finances with fees like this. You’d be better off getting a secured card that lets you eventually graduate to a better unsecured card with good payment behavior.

Who should own this card

We can’t recommend this card to anyone.

Advantages
  • Easy approval as it's designed for people with poor or limited credit history.
  • Not a secured card, which requires a collateral deposit.
Disadvantages
  • Comes with a high APR of 29.99%.
  • Has an extremely low credit limit of $300.
  • Charges an $89 "processing" fee to open the account, plus a $75 annual fee the first year and $48 annually after that. This affects the amount of useable credit you'll actually have.
  • The payment due date is only 21 days after the close of each billing cycle; many other cards give you 24 or 25 days before your payment is considered late.
  • There’s a late payment fee and a returned payment fee of up to $38.

Fees and APR

  • The annual percentage rate is a variable 29.9% APR.
  • You’ll pay $89 processing fee when you apply.
  • You’ll pay a first-year annual fee of $75, $48 thereafter.
  • This card has a monthly servicing fee of $6.25, waived the first year.
  • Late payments will be assessed a fee of up to $38.

Extras, perks and using points

There are no extras or points with this card.

How this card compares

Discover it® Secured Card
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line.
  • You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Credit Needed

No Credit

Regular APR

23.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

10.99% for 6 months


The Discover it Secured Card packs a powerful punch of attributes not typically seen in secured cards. For starters, you earn cash back with the card—something no other secured card on the market offers. And it will double your cash back at the end of the first year. The bank will also review your account, starting at eight months to see if you qualify to graduate to an unsecured card.

Credit One Bank® Platinum Card
  • Credit One Bank automatically monitors every account for credit line increase opportunities each month. We'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line. A fee may apply.
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score. Find the card that's right for you in less than 60 seconds.
  • Eligible purchases will automatically get you 1% cash back, terms apply.
  • This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card—not a debit, prepaid, or secured card. No need to load funds or tie up cash in deposits. There are no out-of-pocket costs to open your account.
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Email and text alerts remind you when your bill is due, your payment posts, or your available credit is running low
Credit Needed

No Credit

Regular APR

16.99% - 24.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 - $99

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A


The Credit One Bank Platinum Card offers some rewards, and offers decent APRs for a secured card. A major drawback of the Credit One Bank Platinum Card is that you won’t know the exact terms of your offer until you’ve applied.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • There's no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards won't expire for the life of the account
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Pay no annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Credit Needed

Fair

Regular APR

24.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A


You don’t have to be a student to benefit from the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One card. It was designed for people with little credit and with regular on-time payments for five months, you can increase your credit limit. And this card earns 1% cash back on all purchases, boosted to a 1.25% when you pay the bill on time. There’s no fee to own this card and no foreign transaction fees.

Capital One® Secured MasterCard®
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
Credit Needed

No Credit

Regular APR

24.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A


The Capital One Secured MasterCard has flexible opening options that other secured cards do
not. If you qualify, you can put down as little as $49 to get a credit limit of
$200. Or, you can pay the $200 security deposit in installments. This card can
give you access to a higher credit line after you make five on-time monthly
payments.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.