Credit One Bank American Express Card

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Picture of Credit One Bank American Express Card
By : Mr Credit Card

Credit One Has An American Express Card

Credit One Bank is perhaps the largest issuer of subprime credit cards and they have just recently added American Express as a network partner. They also have a partnership with Visa and now folks can also for a Credit One American Express card. In terms of rates and fees, this card is similar to their Visa version but there are some interesting features that this card has.
 

Card Details

Annual Fee $35
One-time Application Fee N.A.
Monthly Fee N.A.
APR 25.49%
Cash Back Program 1% cash back on all purchases
Free Credit Score Experian CreditX Score


The table above highlights the key features of this card. It has a $39 annual fee and does not charge any other monthly fee or one-time fees that some cards charge. It is also one of the rare cards in this space that has a cash back program. You get to earn 1% cash back on all purchases with the card.

You will also get a free Experian ScoreX credit score from Experian (obviously).
 

American Express Travel Benefits

Since this card uses American Express as it's network, it comes some pretty compelling American Express benefits.

  • 2%-10% off Delta Flights - You can get anywhere from 2% to 10% off the price of Delta flights depending on the cities you fly to and from (this includes a couple of Canadian cities as well). You have to book your flights through Amex booking engine (which is provided by ALTOUR).

  • Up to 20% off hotel rates - Amex has got over 18,000 participating properties.

  • Up to 25% off Major Car Rentals - You could also get serious discounts when you rent a car using this card.

  • Special Fares and Amenities on Cruise Booking - You can also get special fares and some free amenities when you book your cruise through Amex Connect.

  • North American Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance - With this card, you can decline the auto rental insurance that the car rental offers you and just charge the rental to this card. You will be covered for up to $50,000. Like most credit card auto rental insurance, certain types of vehicles are not covered. You can read the terms and conditions here.

  • Amex Travel Insurance - When you book your trip with this card, you will also get Amex Travel Insurance for up to $150,000. You can see the terms and conditions here.

 

American Express Shopping Benefits

This card also comes with the following shopping benefits.

  • Retail Protection - This card will offer you protection from accidental damage and theft for 90 days from the date that you bought the product (using this card).

  • Extended Warranty - If you buy a product that has a warranty of 12 months or less, this card (with it's Amex benefit) will double that warranty (for up to 12 months). For example, if you something that has a 6 month warranty, it will double to 12 months if you use this card to pay for it. If it has a 12 month warranty, it will double to 24 months (or 2 years).

  • Return Protection - Cardmembers will be reimbursed for covered items if you return it undamaged to the retailer but they do not accept it.

 

Entertainment Benefits

  • Entertainment Access - With this card, you will be offered tickets to popular events before they become available to the public. I have the Amex Platinum and this is the same perk that you will get with every Amex card that has this benefit.


Competition

Card Details
Credit One Amex Annual Fee = $35
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee=N.A.

APR=25.49%
Initial Credit Limit = $500
Mobile App=N.A.
Total Visa Annual Fee = $75 1st Year, Then $48
Upfront Fee = $89
Monthly Fee = $0 1st Year, Then $6.25/month
APR = 34.99%
Initial Credit Line = $300
Mobile App = N.A.
Surge Mastercard Annual Fee = $135 1st Year, then $96
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee = $10/month
APR = 29.90%
Initial Credit Line = $500
Mobile App = Yes
Credit One Visa Annual Fee=$0 to $99
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee = N.A.
APR = 19.49% to 25.49%
Initial Credit Line = $300
Mobile App = Yes
Indigo Annual Fee=$0 to $75
Upfront Fee=N.A.
Monthly Fee = N.A.
APR = 24.9%
Initial Credit Line = $300
Mobile App = N.A.


The first card we have to compare is Credit One's own Visa credit cards. There are a few differences. While the annual fee of the Credit One American Express is fixed at $39, it ranges between $0 and $99 for Credit One's other Visa credit cards. While the APR is fixed at 25.49% for the Credit One Amex version, it ranges from 19.49% to 25.49% for their other Visa credit cards. There is also a difference in starting credit limit. The Amex version gives you a starting credit limit of $500 vs $300 for the other Visa cards.

Another big difference between this Credit One Amex version and and the Visa version (in fact with all other subprime credit cards) is the benefits that the Amex network provides. For example, you can get discounts off Delta flights, hotel rates and car rentals because of the Amex network benefits. No other cards in this space gives you that kind of benefit. You also get shopping benefits and entertainment access benefits that are unique to American Express.

Another feature of this card (and in fact all credit cards from Credit One) is that they do not charge any monthly fee or one-time application fee (which some cards do - see table above). They also have a cash back program which very few cards in this space have. They also provide a free credit score (which some of it's competitors have - like Continental Finance cards - and many do not).
 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Reasonable Annual Fee - Credit One charges a very reasonable annual fee of $39.

  • No Monthly Maintenance Fee - The Credit One American Express also does not charge any monthly maintenance fees unlike other cards.

  • Earn 1% Cash Back On All Purchases - This card is one of the rare subprime credit card that offers cash back to it's cardholders.

  • Mobile App - Credit One is also one of the few issuers in this space that has a mobile app. You can also manage your account online through their website.

  • Free Experian Credit Score - Credit One is one of the rare issuers in subprime land that gives their card members access to a free credit score from Experian.

  • American Express Travel Benefits - Because this card is part of the Amex Network, it also benefits from having all the travel perks that most Amex cards have. For example, you can get between 2% to 10% off Delta flights on certain routes, up to 20% off hotel rates etc.

  • American Express Shopping Benefits - This card also offers Retail Protection, Extended Warranty and Return Protection for cardmembers.

  • Entertainment Access - Cardmembers can get access to tickets of popular events before they are made available to the public.

Cons

  • American Express is not as widely accepted as Visa or Mastercard - Those of you who want an Amex have to accept that there are still shops and retailers that do not accept Amex. For the most parts, it is a minor inconvenience.

 

Our Take on the Credit One American Express

Credit One has grown tremendously over the last few years and is now arguably the largest issuer of credit cards targeting folks with bad to fair credit. They have formed partnerships and is the issuer of Nascar's line of credit cards. Now they have teamed up with American Express and right now, this is one of the few credits card in this "bad to fair credit" space that is an American Express card.

In terms of features, this card is slightly better than Credit One's other credit cards. It has an annual fee of $39 (vs $0 to $99) and your starting limit will be at least $500 (vs $300). They also have a mobile app where you can manage your account and also provide you with a free Experian credit score.

What makes this card standout is that you earn 1% cash back for all your purchases. While 1% cash back may not sound as attractive compared to prime credit cards, you have to remember that most credit cards targeting folks with low to fair scores do not even have any rewards at all.

The other standout feature is that this card uses American Express as it's network and so it comes with perks like Auto CDW feature that are from Amex and not Visa. In particular, the Amex Travel Benefits standout. For example, you can get up to 10% discounts on Delta flights, up to 20% on hotel rates and also discounts on cruise if you book your travel through American Express own portal. The Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty and Return Protection are also great features that are not found among Credit One's competitors. Another great feature that this card has is that you can get access to tickets for popular events before they become available to the public.

If you are have bad credit and are looking for an unsecured credit card to help you to rebuild or if you have just fair credit, then the Credit One Bank American Express Card might just be the card for you. It has unique features that come from just being an Amex partner and you will be hard pressed to find these features in other similar credit cards.