Credit One Bank Wander™ Card review: Travel rewards with fair credit
The Credit One Bank Wander Card is geared to consumers with okay credit who want the chance to earn flexible rewards. A $95 annual fee applies, but cardholders can earn 5X points on eligible recreational & amusement park purchases (including national parks & sporting events), 3X points on eligible restaurant & lodging purchases (including campgrounds) and 1X points on all other purchases.
You can even get prequalified for the Credit One Bank Wander Card online and without a hard inquiry on your credit report. This combination of features makes the Credit One Bank Wander Card a good option for “fair” credit consumers who want to earn rewards and build credit at the same time.
However, the Credit One Bank Wander Card is far from perfect, and its rewards program is definitely subpar when you compare it to the best travel credit cards on the market today.
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What are the advantages and disadvantages?
A deeper look into the current card offer
- Rewards rate: Earn 5X points on eligible recreational & amusement park purchases (including national parks & sporting events), 3X points on eligible restaurant & lodging purchases (including campgrounds) and 1X points on all other purchases
- Annual fee: $95
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 23.99% (variable)
Statement credit toward cost of National Park Pass
The Credit One Bank Wander Card doesn’t offer a traditional sign-up bonus, which is fairly typical among credit cards for fair credit. However, you can qualify for a $80 statement credit toward a qualifying National Park Pass when you pay for this pass with your card within a year of account opening. That’s obviously better than nothing, but not everyone has the option (or the desire) to take advantage of this perk.
For a credit card for fair credit, the Credit One Bank Wander Card offers a very generous rewards rate. However, some of the bonus categories are pretty specific, so not everyone will be able to maximize them.
How you earn
Cardholders of the Credit One Bank Wander Card earn 5X points on eligible recreational & amusement park purchases (including national parks & sporting events), 3X points on eligible restaurant & lodging purchases (including campgrounds) and 1X points on all other purchases.
While the 5x point categories may be difficult to use more than a few times per year, earning 3x points on eligible dining and lodging (including campgrounds) can help you rack up a lot of points. You’ll also earn a flat 1x points on all non-bonus spending, which can add up fast.
Just keep in mind that other credit cards for fair credit offer different rewards categories, and potentially even a higher rate on regular spending.
How to redeem
When it comes to redeeming your rewards, there are quite a few options on the table. For example, you can redeem your points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, and travel.
While statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise options are pretty cut and dry, the travel program offered with this card is pretty specific.
For starters, there is no basic expectation of how much your rewards are worth when you redeem for travel. You can also only redeem for travel through Credit One Bank’s own travel portal, which partners with Aspire Loyalty Travel Solutions, LLC. This means you can’t use your points to book directly with airlines, hotels and other travel vendors.
How much are the rewards worth?
Rewards earned with the Credit One Bank Wander Card are worth one cent each when redeemed for statement credits. With this redemption rate, 1,000 points are worth $10. However, the value for your rewards can vary if you redeem for gift cards, merchandise or travel.
Other cardholder perks
The Credit One Bank Wander Card doesn’t have a ton of meaningful cardholder perks, but this is common among credit cards for fair credit. If you want a credit card that comes with all the bells and whistles, you’ll need to improve your credit score until it’s in the “good” range or better.
With that being said, you can expect the following benefits if you sign up for the Credit One Bank Wander Card.
Bonus rewards with select retailers
If you’re eager to boost how much you earn in rewards, the Credit One Bank Wander Card has a bonus program that lets you earn up to 10% more in rewards with participating merchants. Credit One Bank also says that new offers are added all the time, so you can always check in and see which stores are available.
Credit One Bank mobile app
Credit One Bank has a mobile app that lets you track your spending and your rewards on your phone or another mobile device. Their mobile app is highly rated in the Google Play store with 4.5 out of 5 possible stars.
Zero fraud liability
If you’re just getting the hang of using a credit card, you should know this card offers zero fraud liability for unauthorized charges. This perk can provide you with considerable peace of mind and some protection if a hacker or thief gets their hands on your credit card or your card number.
Rates and fees
The Credit One Bank Wander Card charges a $95 annual fee, which is higher than many comparable cards charge. The high APR this card charges (23.99% variable rate) is also higher than the average rate for all credit cards combined, yet it’s not that high when you compare to other credit cards in the “fair credit” niche.
Other fees to be aware of include a 3% foreign transaction fee (minimum $1, whichever is greater), late payment and returned payment fees up to $39 (terms apply), and a 5% cash advance fee (minimum $10) you’ll pay if you use your card to get cash at an ATM.
All things considered, the fees for the Credit One Bank Wander Card are pretty average when you compare to similar options.
How the Credit One Wander Card compares to other rewards cards
As you decide which credit card to sign up for, you should make sure you compare at least three or four of the top options. Other credit cards for fair credit feature their own rewards programs and value proposition. You may even find that a different card would leave you with more rewards at the end of the year, or let you pay a lower annual fee or no annual fee.
|Feature||Credit One Bank Wander Card||Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card|
|Rewards Rate||5X points on eligible recreational & amusement park purchases (including national parks & sporting events), 3X points on eligible restaurant & lodging purchases (including campgrounds) and 1X points on all other purchases||1.5% cash back on all purchases||1% back on all purchases, then graduate to 1.25% back with six on-time monthly payments and up to 1.5% back with 12 on-time monthly payments on your card|
|APR||23.99% variable APR||26.99% variable APR||12.99% to 26.99% variable APR|
For example, many people like the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card for its flat 1.5% back rewards rate and low annual fee of $39. However, you’ll notice that the APR on this card is very high, so carrying a balance can get expensive in a hurry.
Meanwhile, the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card is worth considering since there’s no annual fee. While you start out earning just 1% back, you’ll graduate to 1.25% with six months of on-time monthly payments, then up to 1.5% back once you have made 12 on-time monthly payments on your card.
Best cards to pair with the Credit One Wander card
The fact the Credit One Bank Wander Card offers such generous categories makes it a no-brainer for spending that qualifies. But, what about everything else you buy?
Since the Credit One Bank Wander Card only offers 1x points on non-bonus purchases, you may want to pair it with a card that offers a higher rewards rate on regular purchases. The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good card to pair with since you earn 1.5% back right off the bat, although you’ll want to account for the $39 annual fee.
The Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card can also be a good option since there’s no annual fee and you can earn up to 1.5% back on all spending after 12 on-time monthly payments on your card.
Bankrate’s Take: Is the Credit One Bank Wander Card worth it?
The Credit One Bank Wander Card can definitely be worth it due to its generous earning rates in several different categories. However, you’ll have to pay a $95 annual fee each year you have the card, and this fee will wipe out the first $95 in rewards value you get each year. Meanwhile, the fact you only earn 1x points on regular spending also makes the Credit One Bank Wander Card slightly disappointing.
With that being said, this card does let you get prequalified online without a hard inquiry on your credit report, and you get the chance to use it to build your credit over time.
Our advice: Consider the Credit One Bank Wander Card for sure, but make sure you compare it to a few other rewards credit cards before you apply.