Total Visa Credit Card Review - Is This The Right Card If You Have Bad Credit
Total Visa Credit Card Review
Plains Commerce Bank is a bank out of South Dakota which began as the Bank of Hoven in 1931. The Total Visa Card was issued by Plains Commerce Bank as a card for people with no credit or bad credit, as a means to not only have a credit card but to establish and improve on their credit in the meantime. Unfortunately, regardless of the long bank's long history in South Dakota, the Total Visa Card is not the greatest card to use to assist in that process.
Fees - Because Total Visa is a sub-prime card targeted at those with not so good credit, they can of course get away with an obscene amount of fees because people who are trying to rebuild their credit histories will pay them. Once you get approved for this card, there is an account set-up fee of $56.00. There is also a program fee of $96.00. The annual fee is $48.00 and there is also a monthly participating fee of $8.00 (which works out to $96.00). This totals $296.00 just to have the card.
The APR is a fixed rate at 19.92% for both purchases and cash advances, which isn't the highest APR that we've seen with sub-prime cards, but considering all of the other fees that are involved, it's still pretty high. The average daily balance method is used to calculate your monthly interest charges. The grace period is 25 days, which is longer than the standard 20 days that most credit cards give.
Verdict - The Total Visa® Card will appeal to those have bad credit and want to get an unsecured credit card. There are some upfront fees and annual fees that you have to pay but to be honest, these fees are exorbitant even for a sub-prime card. No matter how bad one's credit is, you should consider with any card, the amount of fees that are involved and whether it's worth paying those fees to establish or re-establish your credit history. Sometimes you can save yourself quite a bit of money just by waiting a little bit longer in order to qualify for a better card.
Total Visa Card Comparison With Other Sub-Prime Cards - Other sub-prime cards we can compare the Total Visa with are the First Premier card and the Orchard Bank card. Both issue cards to people with no credit or bad credit.
Although all of the cards have additional fees for carrying the cards, First Premier's fees include a security deposit of $95.00 which is refundable, an annual fee of $75.00 the first year and then $45.00 annually thereafter and a monthly servicing fee which is billed at $6.50 per month for a total of $78.00 annually. These fees total a little lower than Total Visa Card's fees however, the APR on the First Premier card is 49.9% and at one time was 79.9%
The Orchard Bank card has fees that include annual fees range from $39-$79 for the unsecured cards and an annual fee of $35 for the secured card which is waived the first year. There is also a processing fees for Orchard Bank cards that may range from 0-$49 for unsecured cards and a $200 security deposit for the secured card. The APR may be anywhere from 7.9% to 19.9% .
Update - Total Visa is no longer being offered because of the CARD Act which prohibits issuers from charging an upfront fee that is up to 25% of the initial credit limit given. Since the initial credit limit is $300, all the fees are clearly way above 25% and are actually almost 100%. In fact, even before the CARD Act, the fees were really too high to begin with. Based on the comparison of sub-prime cards we would still suggest you consider the Orchard Bank Credit Card instead of the Total Visa card. You will pay less fees, a lower interest rate and possibly even qualify for a better card. Even if the Total Visa card were still available, it would not be a card that we would recommend.