Credit One Bank Platinum Visa Review
The Credit One Platinum Visa is an unsecured, credit building card that also offers rewards. However, the card can also come with high fees depending on your credit score.
If your credit is poor, the Credit One Platinum Visa may be a good option for repairing your score. On the other hand, most of the benefits available with this card vary depending on your creditworthiness, and you might find a card with better terms if you're willing to shop around.
Is Credit One Bank a Legitimate Company?
Founded in 1984 and based in Las Vegas, Nevada, Credit One Bank is a legitimate company. Unlike traditional banks, it doesn't maintain any physical branch locations, so you can't meet face to face with a bank representative if you have questions or concerns.
Credit One Bank's main offerings are credit cards. Currently, it offers seven different cards, which are primarily marketed toward people with less than perfect credit scores.
While Credit One is a legitimate company, it's important to note that it's not affiliated with Capital One. Many online reviewers state that they confused the two when researching credit cards and ended up applying for a card through Credit One when they intended to apply with Capital One.
Credit One caters mostly to people who need to repair their credit scores. Offering both secured and unsecured credit cards, it offers credit building options to individuals who might not otherwise qualify for a credit card.
Credit One Platinum Visa Snapshot
The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa is an unsecured credit card, which means you don't have to put down a security deposit to open an account. This can be a big help if your budget is tight and you lack the cash to put toward a secured credit card.
The Credit One Platinum Visa can also be a good option for those who've encountered difficulty getting approved for other credit cards. You can even get pre-qualified online without racking up a hard inquiry on your credit report.
Additionally, the Credit One Platinum Visa is a rare subprime card that comes with a rewards program. Unlike most cards marketed toward people with bad credit scores, the Platinum Visa offers a chance to earn cash back on purchases.
However, there are potential downsides to the Credit One Platinum Visa, including the possibility of an annual fee as high as $99. If a poor credit history or low score means you end up paying this much, you're probably better off looking at alternatives that offer a better deal.
For example, many secured credit cards work with people with bad credit. While you'll need to come up with a security deposit, you'll get this money back eventually, and you can use your secured card to improve your credit score.
Pros vs. Cons of the Credit One Platinum Visa
The Credit One Platinum Visa has a number of pros and cons. If you're interested in applying for this card, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the possible benefits and drawbacks.
You can view the full list of terms and conditions for the Credit One Platinum Visa by reviewing the disclosures page.
The Credit One Platinum Visa offers several advantages, especially if you have a decent credit score. Here's a look at some of the benefits.
- Reasonable APR - The Credit One Platinum Visa has an annual percentage rate (APR) that varies between 17.99% and 23.99% depending on your credit score. This is competitive for a card marketed toward those with bad credit.
- Reports to all credit bureaus - Credit One Bank reports payment history to all three major credit bureaus, so you get credit for your on-time payments. If you're consistent about paying your bill on time, this can help improve your credit score.
- Widely accepted - The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa is a Visa credit card, which is accepted at most retailers nationwide and around the world.
- Rewards program - It's rare to find a credit card in this class that offers rewards. The Credit One Platinum Visa gives you 1% cash back on certain purchases, as well as specific bills and things you buy at select retailers.
- $300 credit limit - The $300 credit limit is relatively modest, but this is within range of most credit cards offered to people with poor credit.
- No enrollment or startup fee - Many cards marketed toward those with bad credit charge a program enrollment or startup fee just to open an account. The Credit One Platinum Visa doesn't charge a fee to set up your account.
- No monthly maintenance fee - The Credit One Platinum Visa doesn't have a monthly maintenance fee.
- Pre-qualify with no hard inquiry - You can see if you pre-qualify for the Credit One Platinum Visa without Credit One Bank pulling your credit. This means you won't rack up a hard inquiry that can lower your credit score.When shopping around for credit cards, you might be tempted to apply for as many as possible and see if you get approved. The problem with doing this is that many lenders will pull your credit, resulting in a hard inquiry on your credit report. If you accumulate too many hard inquiries, they can damage your credit score. Credit One Bank will do a soft inquiry when you pre-qualify, which means it won't hurt your score. Keep in mind, however, that pre-qualifying doesn't mean your approval is guaranteed.
- Fraud protection - Credit One Bank offers fraud protection if your card is lost or stolen. If someone makes purchases without your consent or knowledge, you won't have to cover these expenses.
- Choose a design - Credit One lets you personalize the look of your credit card.
- Select a payment due date - You can choose a payment due date that's convenient for you. You can also change this due date every six months if you need to adjust it.
- No over-limit fees - If you exceed your credit limit, Credit One won't charge you a fee. However, you'll still rack up interest charges on those purchases unless you pay them off right away.
- No penalty APR - The Credit One Platinum Visa doesn't charge a penalty APR, so you won't pay a higher interest rate if you miss a payment.
- Free access to your Experian ScoreX credit score - You can get free access to your Experian ScoreX credit score, which is a credit score used for educational purposes only. This isn't the same score as your FICO score, but it's still helpful to have if you're monitoring your credit.
Unfortunately, the Credit One Platinum Visa comes with its share of downsides. Here are several negatives to keep in mind before you apply.
- Possibility of a high annual fee - Your creditworthiness will determine whether you pay an annual fee as well as how much you'll pay. For those with poor credit, the annual fee can be as high as $95 for the first year and then $99 for subsequent years. Another drawback is that you won't know how much you have to pay, if anything, until after you apply.
- Not everyone gets an interest grace period - Your credit score will also determine if you're eligible for an interest grace period for finance charges. With a grace period, you can delay paying any interest on purchases as long as you totally pay them off each billing cycle. With the Credit One Platinum Visa, however, cardholders who don't get a grace period are assessed interest charges as soon as a purchase is charged to their account.
- Difficult to get clear terms - Unlike most credit cards, which state the same APR and annual fee for all applicants, the Credit One Platinum Visa varies its terms and conditions based on each applicant's credit score. This variability can make it tough to know if the card is worth it, since you won't know for sure until after you apply.
- APR varies widely - As with the annual fee, the Credit One Platinum Visa's APR can vary widely depending on what kind of credit score you bring to the table. You might pay as little as 17.99%, but you could end up paying as much as 23.99%. Again, you won't know your APR until after you apply, which makes it hard to compare this card side by side with other options.
- Credit limit increases don't happen for everyone - With the Credit One Platinum Visa, there is no guarantee you'll receive credit limit increases. According to Credit One Bank, it evaluates each cardholder's credit performance and bases its decision to award higher credit limits on that somewhat vague criteria.
- Rewards program could be better - The Credit One Platinum Visa's 1% cash back rewards are a nice perk, but they're limited to specific types of purchases. There are other credit cards that offer better rewards.
- Authorized user fee - If you want to add an authorized user to your account, you'll pay $19 annually. This is unusual in that the fee is assessed every year.
Who Should Apply for the Credit One Platinum Visa?
It can be tough to find a credit card willing to take you on when your credit is bad. If your budget is too tight to accommodate the security deposit required for a secured credit card, the Credit One Platinum Visa might be a more affordable choice.
However, the card's affordability depends on what kind of terms you receive. While the Platinum Visa's rewards are nice, these can be overshadowed by a high APR and burdensome annual fee.
In short, the Credit One Platinum Visa is a decent card for someone who needs to rebuild their credit and doesn't have a high enough credit score to qualify for a card with better terms. It's also ideal for someone who wants the credit building benefits of a credit card but can't come up with the security deposit for a secured credit card.
On the other hand, a secured credit card might be a less expensive option depending on your creditworthiness. With a secured credit card, you'll typically pay a couple hundred dollars as a security deposit, but you recoup that money when you close your account.
The security deposit also acts as your credit limit. When you factor in the Credit One Platinum Visa's annual fee and the possibility of other fees, such as an annual authorized user fee, a secured card might offer a better interest rate and a higher credit limit.
There are a number of secured credit cards that come with no annual fee and competitive interest rates. You can even find a handful of secured cards that offer a rewards program.
The bottom line is that the Credit One Platinum Visa card can help you rebuild your credit, but the variability in its APR and annual fee make it tough to know for sure if the card will end up costing you in the long run. Before you apply, it's worth comparing the Platinum Visa to other cards marketed toward people with bad credit.
Key Features for Cardholders
What can the Credit One Platinum Visa offer you? Here's a quick look at some of the features you might find beneficial.
Possibility of Credit Limit Increases
You might be eligible for periodic credit limit increases. However, Credit One Bank doesn't give clear guidance as to how often you can expect to receive limit increases or what you can do to make sure you receive them on a regular basis.
Free Access to Your Experian ScoreX Credit Score
You can receive free access to your Experian ScoreX credit score when you sign up for online account access. However, this score is not the same as your FICO score, which is used by 90 percent of lenders when making credit decisions.
Credit Protection Program
You can enroll in Credit One Bank's Credit Protection Program, which gives you the option to postpone your monthly payments for up to six months if you become disabled or unemployed. The fee for participating in the program is 96 cents per every $100 of your balance.
Reports to All Three Major Credit Bureaus
Credit One Bank reports to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, so you get credit for making your payments on time. As long as you use your credit card responsibly, you can use it to boost your credit score.
How to Earn Points and Rewards
The Credit One Platinum Visa card comes with a rewards program that gives you 1% cash back on certain purchases. This is something of a rarity among credit cards offered to those with bad credit scores.
When you earn rewards, they'll show up as automatic credits on your statement, which can be useful for keeping your balance low. Credit One assigns rewards categories based on your individual creditworthiness, which means you'll be placed in one of the following benefit groups:
- 1% cash back rewards on qualified fuel and grocery purchases, plus 1% cash back on certain mobile phone services, internet service, and cable and satellite television services, or
- 1% cash back on fuel, groceries, mobile phone service, internet service, cable and satellite service, plus participating dining purchases, or
- 1% cash back on eligible purchases, or
- 2% cash back on qualified grocery and dining purchases plus internet service and cable and satellite television service, or
- 5% cash back on eligible fuel, groceries, mobile phone service, and cable and satellite service up to $5,000 annually, then 1% cash back thereafter.
It's easy to redeem your rewards, since Credit One Bank automatically credits your account each month. When your rewards post, you'll see your balance shrink.
However, it's worth noting that this is the only way to redeem your rewards. Credit One doesn't offer cash payments or other forms of redemption beyond automatic credits to your statement.
What Is the Maximum Credit Limit for Credit One?
While Credit One Bank offers periodic credit limit increases, it's vague about how often you can expect these to happen. If you're approved for a credit card, you'll receive an initial credit limit of $300.
From there, Credit One doesn't offer much detail about maximum credit limits. Your eligibility for limit increases is "based on your overall credit performance."
Credit One Bank Platinum Fees
The Credit One Platinum Visa comes with the possibility of significant fees, which is the main reason why consumers should shop around before signing up. Here's a look at what kind of fees you can expect with this card.
Type of Fee
$0-$99 depending on your credit score ($0-$95 for the first year depending on your score)
Authorized user fee
$19 per authorized user per year
17.99% to 23.99%
Cash advance fee
Up to $10 or up to 8% of the advance amount, whichever is greater (varies depending on your creditworthiness)
Foreign transaction fee
3% or $1, whichever is greater
Up to $39
Credit One Platinum Visa Reviews
Like most credit cards, the Credit One Platinum Visa has positive as well as negative reviews.
For example, several Credit Karma reviewers said the card is good for rebuilding credit, even though it has its share of drawbacks. One pragmatic reviewer said they used the card to rebuild their credit score starting from 594and plan to cancel it as soon as their score hits 700.
Other reviewers say Credit One Bank is generous with credit limit increases, with one reviewer saying they received additional credit after just one month.
Another Credit Karma reviewer said the Credit One Platinum Visa is a "great card to have."
Yet another reviewer called the Credit One Platinum Visa the "best card ever" and said they used the card to increase their credit score from below 600 to 700.
However, the Credit One Platinum Visa receives its share of negative reviews. For example, one Credit Karma reviewer said the customer service is poor.
Another reviewer said they had difficulty getting help when their card was used fraudulently.
Yet another reviewer said the card was the "worst card." They also reported difficulties accessing the website to manage their card, which they "wouldn't even recommend as a last resort."
Another reviewer appeared to complain about the lack of a grace period, which means they were charged interest on purchases even though they paid them off within three days after making the purchase. This is one of the possible drawbacks of the Credit One Platinum Visa, which doesn't always offer a grace period to individuals with very low credit scores.
Alternatives to the Credit One Platinum Credit Card
The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa isn't the only option for people with bad credit. While a low credit score can limit your options, you still have options.
For example, there are several secured credit cards that can help you build credit, boost your credit score, and even get access to rewards. Here are three alternatives to the Credit One Platinum Visa to consider.
1. Capital One Secured Mastercard
The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a secured credit card, which means you'll need to come up with a security deposit. However, you can pick how much you want to pay, choosing from $49, $99, or $200.
Even better, the Capital One Secured Mastercard has no annual fee, making it more affordable in the long run than the Credit One Platinum Visa.
The Capital One Secured Mastercard has a 26.99% APR, which can be higher than the rate you'll receive with the Credit One card depending on your creditworthiness. On the other hand, you're automatically eligible for a credit limit increase after five months of responsible use.
2. Citi Secured Mastercard
The Citi Secured Mastercard is a secured credit card with a required deposit of $200. The APR is 22.49%, which is competitive for credit cards marketed toward people with bad credit.
On the upside, the Citi Secured Mastercard has no annual fee, no account startup fee, and no monthly fee.
3. OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
The OpenSky Secured Visa credit card requires a $200 security deposit, but it also has a low APR of just 18.89%. This is extremely competitive for a credit rebuilding card.
The OpenSky card has a $35 annual fee, but this is much lower than the maximum $99 annual fee you could end up paying with the Credit One Platinum Visa.
The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa can be an effective card for people looking to rebuild their credit score or establish credit. However, the potential of an annual fee as high as $99 can make this an expensive card to own.
On the other hand, there are no enrollment fees or monthly maintenance fees with this card, and your interest rate could be as low as 19.49%. The card also offers a rewards program that can lower your balance if you make eligible purchases.
While the Credit One Platinum Visa can be a good credit card for those who qualify for the best rates, it's still a good idea to explore alternatives before you apply.
About the Author
Mike is a recognized credit expert and founder of Credit Takeoff. His credit advice has been featured in CNBC, Investopedia, CreditCards.com, Bankrate, Huffpost, The Simple Dollar, Reader's Digest, LendingTree, and Quickbooks. Read more.