Considering it’s available with only fair credit, the Credit One Bank offers an intriguing set of reward perks for cardholders.
Rewards rate: Surprisingly generous cash back for a credit-building card
The Credit One Platinum X5 Visa card earns 1 percent cash back rewards on all purchases and a formidable 5 percent cash back rewards on your first $5,000 in annual spending on eligible gas, grocery, internet service, cellphone service, cable, and satellite TV service purchases. After you meet this spending cap, your rate reverts to 1 percent back.
That’s a generous rate and covers a terrific mix of everyday spending categories. In fact, it’s one of the highest rewards rates you can get in these categories on a card available with only fair credit. Most competing cards in this category only offer a flat 1 to 1.5 percent back.
That said, the card’s bonus category spending limit is disappointing. While a $5,000 annual rewards-eligible spending limit is impressive for a card designed for people with fair credit, it will likely be less lucrative than limit on most 5 percent rotating cash back category cards (typically $1,500 per quarter or $6,000 per year). Maximizing your rewards may also be unrealistic if you start with the minimum credit limit of $500. If you pay your bill monthly, you may only have $500 in purchasing power each billing cycle, which could mean missing out on potential cash back
There is also some fine print worth considering before you get excited about the Platinum X5 Visa card’s cash back rewards rate. To start, you may not qualify and get approved for the Platinum X5 Visa card specifically. Credit One brands its cards very similarly, and you may actually prequalify for a completely different card with a different rewards rate.
In addition, although it’s a Visa card, the Platinum X5 Visa card’s prequalification terms state that eligible purchases are defined by each merchant’s “Standard Industrial Classification Code” instead of Visa’s normal merchant category codes (MCCs). That means your Platinum X5 Visa might not earn rewards at the same places your other Visa cards do.
Other cardholder perks: More opportunities for cash back
The other two major perks on the Platinum X5 Visa aim to put even more cash back in your pocket. The Credit One More Rewards and Visa Offers + Perks programs allow you to save money with select online shopping retailers by linking your credit card to these online portals, just like you would with Amex Offers or Shop Through Chase.
Both programs cycle participating merchant offers for a limited time, but More Rewards deals can earn up to an extra 10 percent in cash back rewards, while Visa Offers + Perks mainly provides product discounts. Just be sure to read the offer limitations carefully.
All Visa credit cards also carry a roster of perks based on your credit limit. The Credit One Platinum X5 Visa card qualifies as a Visa Traditional card, which will get you basic features like $0 liability on unauthorized purchases, emergency card replacement, Emergency Cash Disbursement and 24/7 pay-per-use Roadside Dispatch.