Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

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Only good if you need emergency funds, otherwise choose something else.

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If it’s difficult to understand what a credit card has to offer, that’s usually a bad sign. Credit One Bank does not make it easy to examine the features of its cards, and muddies the water even more when it comes to what you’ll pay in annual fees and what you can earn in rewards.

And so, while it’s nice to find a credit card offering cash-back for those with no credit history, the terms of the Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa for Rebuilding Credit are so confusing that it’s a bit of a gamble to apply.

Rather than wading through this card’s terms and conditions, it may be best just to move along to better options.

Review

So what does Credit One offer? You’ll earn 1% cash back on “eligible purchases.” Those include gas and grocery store purchases from merchants using specific “Standard Industrial Classification Codes.” No consumer should have to figure this out on their own.

What’s clear is you won’t earn any rewards from warehouse clubs and “discount supercenters” such as Wal-Mart and Target.

Even worse, consumers have no idea what annual fee they might have to pay – until after they apply. Annual fees run from $0 annually (reserved only for people with excellent credit) to $99. If you get tagged for the $99 fee, you’ll only have to pay $75 in the first year, which is hardly a break.

Cardholders with decent credit could pay as little as $45 a year.

Who should get this card

If you’re in a pinch and need access to credit, this card is better than the outrageously high interest rates charged by payday lenders. This is one of the few unsecured credit cards available for applicants with no credit history. It’s also one of the only credit cards in this category that offers cash-back rewards.

Advantages
  • Earn 1% back on certain purchases.
  • If your application for this card is approved, you’ll receive a minimum of $300 as a credit line.
Disadvantages
  • Not all cardholders are granted a grace period on interest. This means that you could start accruing interest immediately after purchases, instead of starting at your statement due date.
  • You won’t know what your annual fee will be and what rewards plan you qualify for until the issuer approves your application.
  • The annual fee will reduce your initial line of credit. For example, if you receive a $300 line of credit and your annual fee is $75, you’ll only be able to charge $225 on the card.

Fees and APR

  • The annual fee varies based on creditworthiness from $0 to $75 the first year and $0 to $99 thereafter.
  • The variable APR is 19.99% to 25.99%.
  • Additional authorized users have an annual fee of $19 per card.
  • There’s a $49 fee for requesting a higher credit limit.
  • There’s an express payment fee of $9.95 for each expedited payment.

Extras, perks and using points

Rewards are automatically redeemed as a statement credit each month.

You can personalize your card by choosing from one of 20 designs. For some cards, a fee may apply.

This card comes with travel accident and auto rental collision insurance from Visa.

You can register to get a free monthly credit score report. You can also opt to enroll in the card’s Credit Protection program, which will help make monthly payments in the event of employment loss or disability. The fee for this is $0.96 for every $100 on your balance.

Discover it® Secured
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit from $200-$2500 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • Receive Free Social Security number alerts— Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Credit Needed

Limited/Bad Credit

Regular APR

24.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

10.99% for 6 months

The Discover it Secured Card gives you a line of credit equal to the collateral you put down, anywhere from $200 to a maximum of $2,500. Although you have to put money down, there are no annual or other hidden fees with this card. It also has a generous rewards program.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app
Credit Needed

Average, Fair, Limited

Regular APR

24.99% (Variable)

Annual Fee

$39

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

As a rewards credit card, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card just doesn’t stand up to the competition. As a rewards card for a consumer trying to rebuild (or build for the first time) their credit, this card is worth a look.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
  • Pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
  • Previous bankruptcy OK
  • Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
  • Free online account access (mobile friendly)
  • Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
  • Accepted at over 35 Million Locations Worldwide!
Credit Needed

Fair Credit

Regular APR

23.90% Fixed

Annual Fee

$0 - $99

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfers Intro APR

N/A

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard has an annual fee of either $0, $59, or $75 the first year, $99 thereafter based on credit profile. There’s a penalty APR of 29.9% that may apply indefinitely after one missed payment. This still might be a better choice than the murky charges levied by the Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa.

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.