Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee review
Best for everyday spending with fair credit
- 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: 23.99 percent variable
Although the Credit One Bank Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee trims the annual fee and doubles its sibling Credit One cards’ cash back rate on everyday spending categories, it’s just as difficult to digest the card terms.
As we’ve said in another Credit One card review for the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit, 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.
Current sign-up bonus
Like this no annual fee card variant of the Credit One Platinum Visa, none of the other Credit One Bank credit cards offer a sign-up bonus.
Sign-up bonuses aren’t especially common for cards at this credit level, but even several starter credit cards carry some kind of introductory offer. For instance, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card comes with the Discover first-year cash back match feature. That means all the rewards you earn in the first year will essentially be doubled.
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.
Earning cash back
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.
Redeeming cash back
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.
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, but both might 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 23.99 percent variable APR—with no zero-interest 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.
Here are a few other options in case you’d like to avoid this Credit One Bank card’s possible caveats:
|Card||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Bonus offers|
|Discover it® Student chrome||
|Discover it® Secured Credit Card||
||$0 (minimum $200 security deposit required)||All cash back earned by the end of the first year will be matched|
|Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card||
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.
If you’re a student, choosing a card like the Discover it® Student chrome or the Discover it® Student Cash Back can provide more bonus categories on top of other student-oriented benefits, like a $20 Good Grade Reward statement credit for a 3.0+ GPA and access to Discover’s 2020 bonus category calendar with the Discover it Student Cash Back.
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.
- One of Credit One’s highest unlimited cash back rate on day-to-day bonus categories
- No annual fee
- High 23.99 percent ongoing variable APR
- Benefits are bare-bones compared to many competing cards
- Rewards are only available as automatic statement credits