Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® review
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Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® Overview
Even if it’s one of the few unsecured cards for average credit available to you at the moment, don’t be afraid to cut your losses before you apply. There are plenty of other more reliable and rewarding cards to help you build credit.
Pros and cons
- Ridiculously confusing card terms that aren’t defined until you prequalify
- Limited cash back compared to other secured and student cards
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: 1 percent cash back on eligible gas, grocery, mobile phone service, internet service and cable and satellite TV service purchases
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $39
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 25.49 percent variable
If you carefully read the terms and conditions for any Credit One Bank Visa card, you’ll notice it says “for informational purposes only” at the top. This is because you may not know if you’ll qualify for the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa and its annual fee, APR or cash back rate until Credit One Bank reviews your application and selects them according to your creditworthiness.
We’ve described the cash back rate for the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa below, but Credit One’s “informational” terms note that you may be eligible for one of these four reward plans, depending on whether you qualify for the Platinum Visa, the Visa Cash Back Rewards, the Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee or the Platinum Rewards Visa for Building Credit.
Earning cash back
The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa earns unlimited 1 percent cash back on eligible gas, grocery, mobile phone service, internet service and cable and satellite TV service purchases.
Exploring what “eligible” means muddies the water even more. Credit One Visa cards earn cash back based on the merchant’s “Standard Industrial Classification Code” instead of Visa’s normal merchant category codes (MCCs). This makes it harder to understand whether you’ll earn cash back at each store you shop with.
However, it’s easy to see that these codes are at least as restrictive as MCCs. Wholesale clubs and superstores such as Walmart and Target don’t earn grocery rewards, for instance.
Redeeming cash back
This card doesn’t provide multiple redemption options. Cash back is automatically returned to your account as a statement credit.
How much are cash rewards worth?
The cash back you earn is equivalent to 1 percent of each purchase, so you earn 1 cent per dollar.
Credit One Visa cards don’t provide much in the way of benefits outside two card-linked rewards programs and its “Credit Protection Program,” but the standard Visa vehicle perks might come in handy if you’re in a pinch.
Credit One More Rewards and Visa Offers + Perks
Your Credit One Bank Platinum Visa gives you access to two programs that earn you extra cash back, discounts or other rewards by linking your card and shopping with select merchants — similar to Amex Offers or Chase Offers.
Credit One’s More Rewards program allows you to activate limited time offers for up to 10 percent cash back on top of your purchase’s original earnings. Meanwhile, the Visa Offers + Perks program caters to online shoppers looking for discounts on apparel, dining and other retailers.
Visa vehicle perks
All “traditional” Visa credit cards receive 24/7 pay-per-use Roadside Dispatch service and auto rental collision damage insurance, which is a waiver that covers your rental vehicle for damage and theft by paying with your card and declining the rental agency’s protection.
Credit Protection Program
Credit One offers a pricey credit protection benefit that waives your minimum payment for six months if you become involuntarily unemployed or disabled. This feature costs 96 cents per $100 of your balance each month after you enroll, whether you activate it or not. You must also wait 30 days to activate if you need to use it. After that, your account is closed, but you’ll still owe interest.
Considering all of the other possible rates and fees this card might pose, this might get expensive compared to other debt management opportunities.
Rates and fees
If you’re looking for a low-fee card, the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa is certainly not one. You can end up paying a lot in fees after you apply if you haven’t read the fine print.
The annual fee is $39, and the card terms also state that your annual fee eats into your credit limit, which can hamper your credit building. For instance, if you qualify for the minimum $300 credit line, your card will max out at $261 until you qualify for a higher credit line.
With the ongoing APR already being an expensive 25.49 percent variable, it’s critical to note that interest rate could lead to a slippery compound interest slope if you tack on the $39 late fee and 3 percent (or $1, whichever is greater) foreign transaction fee.
However, Credit One is known for making their card agreement terms confusing, so make sure you read them very carefully to avoid any hidden fees and charges.
How the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa compares to other cards for fair credit
Compared to many other starter cards to build credit, the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa and other Credit One cards are distinctly confusing and potentially costly for the limited rewards.
If you’re going to college, plenty of student credit cards can provide better cash back and features. The Discover it® Student chrome offers 2 percent cash back (up to $1,000 per quarter, then 1 percent) on gas station and restaurant purchases each quarter, along with 1 percent back on all other purchases. Of course, we can’t forget that Discover matches your first year’s cash back at the end of the first year.
Discover’s cash back match policy and the Student chrome’s rewards also extend to the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. Choosing a secured credit card over the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa might be less expensive in the long run, despite the upfront deposit. The Discover it Secured deposit also acts as your credit line, so using the maximum up to $2,500 deposit could establish a fantastic credit utilization ratio and improve your chances of graduating to an unsecured line of credit at Discover’s seven-month review.
Take a look at these other credit cards that might be a better opportunity to build your credit and earn rewards than the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa:
Bankrate’s Take—Is the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa worth it?
It might be appealing to go after an unsecured card if you’re building credit, but the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa card offers bare-minimum rewards at the cost of confusing terms that could siphon your wallet with fees and interest.
If you’re looking for a starter card, a secured or student credit card is probably an all-around better option.