Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee review
While a good flat-rate cash back card on the surface, the card terms can make the benefits of this card a bit murky.
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Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee Overview
Although the Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee trims the overall cost and doubles its sibling Credit One cards’ cash back rate on everyday spending categories, it’s just as difficult to digest the card’s terms.
As we’ve said in the *Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit card review, you won’t actually know which Platinum card and rates you’ll receive until you prequalify. These are decent reward offerings while you build credit, but you’ll probably find a more valuable card for average credit from another issuer.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- High 26.99 percent ongoing variable APR
- Benefits are bare bones compared to many competing cards
- Rewards are only available as automatic statement credits
A deeper look at the current card offer
- Rewards rate: 2 percent cash back on eligible gas, grocery, cellphone, internet and cable/satellite TV purchases
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $0
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 26.99 percent variable
Current welcome bonus
Like the other Credit One Bank credit cards, this no annual fee card variant of the Credit One Platinum Visa does not offer a sign-up bonus.
The Credit One Platinum No Annual Fee card stands out from its siblings by offering unlimited 2 percent cash back (instead of 1 percent) on the same bonus categories for day-to-day purchases.
The catch is, you won’t know which of the Credit One Platinum cards and reward structures you’re eligible for until Credit One Bank reviews your application and picks one according to your creditworthiness.
According to the purely “informational” card terms from Credit One, you could receive either 1 percent cash back, 2 percent cash back or 5 percent cash back (up to $5,000 per year, then 1 percent) on the eligible bonus category purchases.
How you earn
If you do qualify for the Platinum card with No Annual Fee, you’ll earn unlimited 2 percent cash back on eligible purchases in key everyday categories: gas and groceries, along with cellphone, internet, cable TV and satellite TV services.
The bright side is that unlimited 2 percent cash back is hard to come by with fair credit, let alone on cellphone payments and other digital services.
However, defining “eligible” takes a lot of effort, because 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 could mean your Credit One cards might not earn cash back at the same locations other Visa credit cards normally would. You do get 10 percent cash back on some of the “nation’s top retailers” according to Credit One so you have a chance to earn boosted rewards with bigger brands, but it’s not specified which ones.
How to redeem
Unfortunately, you don’t have any redemption choices—cash back is received in the form of automatic statement credits.
How much are points worth?
Cash back is calculated as a percentage of each dollar, so your eligible purchases will earn 2 cents per dollar, 10 cents per dollar on boosted rewards.
Other cardholder perks
Despite the higher-quality rewards rate, you’re still receiving the same bare-bones Credit One Bank Platinum Visa benefits. You can collect a bit more cash back on eligible online purchases and save money with two card-linked programs, but your mileage will vary with the sparse Visa card benefits.
Credit One More Rewards and Visa Offers + Perks
By linking your card to Credit One’s More Rewards program and the Visa Offers + Perks program, you can earn additional cash back and discounts while online shopping with select retailers.
It operates similarly to Amex Offers. You can activate limited-time deals with More Rewards and earn up to an extra 10 percent cash back with a variety of merchants, while Visa + Perks extends percentage-off discounts instead.
Traditional Visa perks
As a Visa card, you also have access to “Visa Traditional credit card” benefits. There aren’t any standout perks other than 24/7 pay-per-use Roadside Dispatch and auto rental collision damage insurance, both of which may help out in a pinch on the road.
Credit Protection Program
All Credit One Platinum cards offer optional insurance that covers you in case you become involuntarily unemployed or disabled if you’re eligible. For 96 cents per $100 of your balance each month, your minimum payment will be waived for up to six months. This coverage also provides up to a $10,000 balance payoff in the event of death as well.
However, you’ll have to wait 30 days for this coverage to go into effect, and your account will be frozen (except to accrue interest) once the policy is activated. Because of these stipulations and the slippery slope into extra costs like compound interest, you might want to opt out of this protection in favor of another debt management plan.
Rates and fees
Since this card doesn’t carry an annual fee, the well-above-average 26.99 percent variable APR—with no zero-interest APR offers—and the confusing card terms are a bit easier to swallow. Before you apply, make sure you thoroughly read the card agreement Credit One proposes. Otherwise, you might miss the $300 minimum credit limit, $49 credit limit request fee, 3 percent foreign transaction fee (or $1, whichever is greater) and the $19 annual authorized user fee.
You should also double-check to make sure you specifically qualified for the Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee. Other Credit One cards may come with additional exorbitant terms, such as no grace period and a $9.95 “optional express payment service fee” since your payment might not be posted the same day—which could lead to an up to $39 late payment fee if you’re not careful.
How the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee compares to other cards for fair credit
The Credit One Platinum Rewards with No Annual Fee is a better value than the Platinum Visa credit cards, but it’s missing the decent features from the Credit One American Express® Card. If you’re looking to upgrade credit cards or you’re eligible for a student card, you’ll probably be able to find better benefits and credit-building features elsewhere.
Credit One Platinum Visa with No Annual Fee vs. Discover it Student chrome
If you’re a student, the Discover it® Student chrome easily beats out the Credit One Platinum with No Annual Fee. For one, you can apply without a credit history, making it automatically accessible to beginners. On top of offering 2 percent cash back on gas stations and restaurants with no annual fee, it also has an intro APR offer on purchases at a lower interest rate (0 percent APR for six months and then, 15.99 to 24.99 percent, variable). Adding in the welcome offer, where all your cash back earned in the first year is matched by Discover, you get far more on this card.
The only drawbacks are the lack of categories where you earn 2 percent cash back in comparison to the Platinum with No Annual Fee and the $1,000 cap per quarter.
Credit One Platinum Visa with No Annual Fee vs. Discover it Secured
Similar to the student version, the Discover it Secured offers 2 percent cash back on gas stations and restaurants as well as the Discover Cashback Match welcome bonus, all with no annual fee. However, this card does set you up to be considered—for free—for an unsecured card in seven months. If you do qualify and switch to an unsecured card, your deposit on the secured card will be returned. This is great for those looking to build their credit but are not in school.
While it still has the same drawbacks as the student chrome—spending caps and lack of categories—it has a stronger long-term value than the Credit One Platinum with No Annual Fee and puts you in a better position for card upgrades.
Best cards to pair with the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee
The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card can cover the remaining ground that your Credit One card’s bonus categories don’t. Plus, its monthly credit building review feature can get you automatically considered for a higher credit line starting at only six months if you practice healthy credit habits.
Bankrate’s Take—Is the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee worth it?
The Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee carries more favorable terms compared to the rest of the Credit One Platinum family, including double the unlimited cash back. Considering that there’s no annual fee, this might be one of the best Credit One cards overall.
It’s a solid option if you’re building up from average credit, but a high ongoing APR, baffling card agreement and lackluster benefits mean you might want to ditch this card for a more valuable option once your credit score allows it.
*The information about Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.