Credit One® Rewards Credit Card
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

We recommend this card to folks with damaged credit who want an unsecured credit card because it has a relatively low annaul fee (compared to it's peers), a reasonable rate and has a reward program as well. Before you actually apply, you can check if you are pre-approved with no hard pulls (soft pull on Experian)

For best chances of approval,
 

  • Have a postive record (like a secured card) on Experian for six months (record for six months is different from having the card for six months
  • Your score should be at least 550
  • You should have on-time payments for 18 months
  • There should not be any recent charge offs, collections or liens on your credit report
  • Ideally, you should not have a record in chexsystems


If you are not pre-approved, you should
 

 

 

Summary
Summary

There are many folks who have been working hard to improve their credit. More often that not, you would have got a secured card and slowly rebuild your credit and your scores have moved up where they are now average. If this describes you, then this is a card to consider. But more importantly, they report to all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion).

Who is Credit One Bank?
Who is Credit One Bank?

Before we look into the card details, I thought it would be important to look at who is Credit One Bank since there have been so many instances where the FTC has gone after subprime issuers for deceptive marketing practices. According to Wikipedia, Credit One is held by Credit One Financial, which itself is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sherman Financial Group. It is registered in Nevada. Credit One services approximately 2 million cardholders across the United States.

Fees and Rates
Fees and Rates

 

Annual Fee $0 to $99
APR : 17.99% to 23.99% (variable)*
Application Fee : None
Monthly Maintenance Fees : None
Initial Credit Lines : $300 to $500

For this card, the annual fee is $35-99. However, during the first year, the annual fee could range between $35 and $99 (according to their terms and conditions). Another thing to note is that from the second year onwards, you may be billed your annual fee on a monthly basis or on an annual basis. I am not really sure about the rational for that, but this is something to be aware of. The APR is 17.90%-23.90%(Variable)*.

Credit One also claims (in their terms and conditions) to give you an initial credit line of at least $300 to $500. It also comes with some usual Visa benefits like auto rental and travel insurance.

 

Gas and Grocery Rewards
Gas and Grocery Rewards

One of the most interesting features of this card is that it has a reward program. And this is very rare for cards in this sector. You will earn 1% rewards for gasoline and groceries. You will receive these rewards in the form of a statement credit the following month (essentially, it is really a cash back program). The exact features and reward of this card are fully described in the card's terms and conditions. You should review the terms to assure these features are still available when they apply for the card.

Free Credit Score Tracking
Free Credit Score Tracking

This card also allows cardholders to check their credit score online. Their website does not specify what sort of score it is. So while I doubt that it will be a FICO score, I still think that this is nevertheless a very helpful feature.

Peer Comparison
Peer Comparison

 

Cards Annual Fee Monthly Maintenance Fees One-time Processing Fee APR
Credit One $35 to $99 N.A. N.A. 17.99% to 23.99%
Surge $125 For 1st Year
After that, $96 annually
None For 1st Year
After that, $10 monthly = $120 annually
N.A. 29.9%
Verve $125 For 1st Year
After that, $96 annually
None For 1st Year
After that, $10 monthly = $120 annually
N.A. 29.9%
First Access $75 For 1st Year
After that, $48 annually
None For 1st Year
After that, $6.25 monthly = $75 annually
$89 29.9%
Total Visa $75 For 1st Year
After that, $48 annually
None For 1st Year
After that, $6.25 monthly = $75 annually
$89 29.9%
First Premier $75 For 1st Year
After that, $45 annually
None For 1st Year
After that, $6.25 monthly = $75 annually
$95 36%

 



There are quite a few cards today that has the same target market as Credit One (i.e. folks with bad to fair credit). And many of them come with very high fees and APR. In fact, one-time fees and monthly processing fees are not uncommon. Let us look at some of these cards.

Continental Finance has a couple of cards like the Verve and Surge. For the first year, they tag on a $125 annual fee (higher than Credit One will ever charge you). On the second year, they look nice by reducing the annual fee to $96, but they tag on a monthly processing fee which works out to $120 a year. So all in all, you are paying over two hundred dollars if you have either of these cards from the second year onwards. APR is also sky high at 29.9%.

First Access and Total Visa have almost identical fees (and both are worse than Credit One). They hit you with a one-time application fee of $89. During the first year, the annual fee is $75. Though they reduce it to $48 from the second year onwards, the tag on a monthly processing fee which works out to $75 annually. Rates are also at $29.9%. As you can see, Credit One beats these folks as well.

First Premier charges a $95 application fee. During the first year, the annual fee is $75. This is reduced to $45 from the second year onwards but once again, they tag on a monthly maintenance fee which totals $75 a year. The APR is even worse at 36%.

None of Credit One competitors offer any reward program or any online credit score tracking. In terms of fees and rates, Credit One is heads and shoulders above it's peers today.
 

Opinion and Verdict
Opinion and Verdict

Let's just start off by saying that in terms of fees and rates, Credit One has the lowest among it's peers today. What I like is that they charge you an annual fee and that's it. There is no one-time application fee or any other fees on top of the annual membership fee. I also like the fact that you earn rewards (cash back in my opinion) for gasoline spending and grocery spending). I have never seen a card in this category has such a great reward program (let alone a reward program). They also have an online credit score tracker which will be useful for you as you can monitor your progress.

Application Process
Application Process

The application process of this card needs a little explanation. It is a two step process. You first have to get pre-qualified. If you do pre-qualify, then you have to proceed and fill in your details again to do the actual application.

After the pre-qualification process, you will know if you have pre-qualified or not. According to feedback from applicants, there are no hard pull on your credit report during the pre-qualification process. If you do not qualify, Credit One will actually provide you with a score (feedback is that it is the Experian score) and reasons for your decline.

Once you pass the pre-qualification process, you should proceed and go through another application page. This is an extra step you have to take which many folks forget.

Some may call this process a little more cumbersome. But in the event that you are denied, at least you know there is no hard pull.

If you have gotten a snail mail saying you are pre-qualified, then you should click on the link that says "I have a mail offer" and proceed from there.
 


like First Progress to start your rebuilding process.

  • If insufficient credit history - get a secured card like First Progress
  • Recent delinquent accounts - Clean up any inaccurate reports, or wait for six months
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