While the rewards rate and accessibility of this card are great, the $95 annual fee is still high for this card, mostly due to the lack of benefits. Plus, redeeming the points you earn with this card can be difficult because of its redemption limitations.
Annual fee: A bit high for what’s included
The Credit One Bank Wander Card charges a $95 annual fee, which is higher than what you'd find on many credit cards for fair credit (some cards charge no fees at all). This fee is worth factoring into your budget ahead of time since it has the potential to offset a big chunk of your yearly rewards.
If your main goal is building credit, you can find a lower-cost card option, even if you want to avoid a security deposit. Still, the fee may be worth it if you want to earn rewards and think you’ll spend enough in the Wander card’s categories.
Benefits: Back to basics
This card includes essential card protections and features, including zero liability, contactless payments and access to free credit scores. These perks can provide you with considerable peace of mind and it’s easy to use,, especially if you’re just getting the hang of using a credit card.
However, all these perks are industry standard for nearly any credit card, so they’re not a unique perk to hinge your card decision on. Considering the annual fee of this card, these benefits are lacking.
The only standout feature is Credit One’s Credit Protection Program. It can waive your card’s minimum payment for up to six months if you’re involuntarily unemployed or disabled if you pay 96 cents per $100 of your new monthly balance. For example, if you have a $1000 balance on your card, you’ll only be required to pay $9.60 during the Protection Program.
However, there's a notable catch. Rather than activating immediately, it will take 30 days for your policy to take effect, which then freezes your account while allowing compound interest to keep accruing. Since this element can snowball your balance when you might not be able to make your minimum payment to begin with, you might want to consider a more cost-effective debt management plan that won’t pose the risk of over-extending and closing your account.
Redemption: Not the best with travel
When redeeming your rewards, quite a few options are on the table. You can redeem your points for statement credits (in 1,000-point increments), gift cards, merchandise and travel.
However, while the statement credit, gift card and merchandise options are pretty cut and dry, travel redemptions come with a few caveats. While many travel card rewards programs guarantee at least 1 cent per point in redemption value when you opt for travel, the value you get from your Wander card points will vary based on your booking details.
Plus, you can only redeem for travel through Credit One Bank’s travel portal, which partners with Aspire Loyalty Travel Solutions, LLC, so you can’t use or transfer your points to book directly with airlines, hotels and other travel vendors for a better deal.