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Ollo Rewards MasterCard®
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

Introduction

Ollo is a new credit card issuer that was formed by former executives from Capital One and Bank of America. I also happen to know someone who works at Ollo and according to him, they are targeting consumers just below the prime market. They have just launched two credit cards and in this review, we will be looking at one of them, the Ollo MasterCard.
 

Card Details

  • 2% on all gas stations, grocery stores and drugstores
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • No Late Fees
  • No Over-the-limit Fees
  • No Return Payment Fees
  • Automatic Line Increases
  • Free FICO Score Online

Ollo appears to be going all out to give consumers a card which no "gotchas". I commend them for this. But next, how does this really stack up against it's peers.
 

Peer Comparison

Cards Annual Fee
APR
Rewards
Ollo Rewards AF = $39
APR = 24.9%
Rewards = 2% on gas, grocery and drugstor
1% on everything else
Indigo AF = $0 or $35
APR = 23.9%
Rewards = N.A.
Credit One AF = $0 or $99
AF = 15.9% to 24.4%
Rewards = 1% Cash Back on Gas and Grocery
Cap One
Platinum
AF = $0
APR = 24.99%
Rewards = N.A.
Cap One
QuicksilverOne
AF = $39
APR = 23.24%
Rewards = 1.5% Cash Back
All Purchases
USAA
Classic
AF = $35
APR = 18.15% to 24.15%
Rewards = N.A.


Initially, I thought it would be tough to pick cards to compare the Ollo Rewards with. However, it became apparent when I realized that this card is targeted at the market that is just below prime (ie the "average credit" folks).

It's peers include cards like the USAA Classic Visa and American Express, Capital One QuickSilverOne, Credit One Bank, Nascar.

Let's compare them. Like the USAA Classic, Ollo charges an annual fee ($39 vs $35). However, Ollo has a cash back rewards program whereas USAA does not. The card that is most similar to this is the Capital One QuicksilverOne. Like Ollo, they both have a $39 and it also has a cash back program. However, the cash back program of Capital One is slight different in that you earn 1.5% cash back for all purchases whereas Ollo give you 2% on certain expenses and 1% for the rest. Credit One also has a cash back program and there have three choices. But they all pay 1% max for either all spending or on certain items like gasoline. The annual fee can range between $0 and $99 so you could get a lower or higher annual fee compared to Ollo. Nascar is also issued by Credit One and has the same annual fee range ($0 to $99) and also gives you rewards for spending at nascar.com.

If you compare the annual fee and rewards, Ollo is very competitive with it's peers. In addition to that, it has features that only appear in prime cards (like no late fees, no over-the-limit fees and free FICO scores) that gives it a slight edge over it's peers.

Another card that many folks seems to be comparing this card with is the Amex Blue Cash Everyday (also called BCE). The BCE gives card members 3% cash back on grocery stores (up to $6,000 a year), 2% on gasoline and select department stores. Many folks have said that the BCE is much better because of the 3% cash back at grocery stores and the fact that there is no annual fee. However, what people do not realize is that the BCE is targeted at the prime market (ie those with over 700 scores) whereas Ollo is targeting those just below prime (ie those of you with average credit). So I think that comparison is not really fair (though there are folks with average credit score that have got approved for the BCE).

Pros and Cons

  • Reward Program
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • US based customer service

Cons
  • Annual Fee

 

Our Take

While lots of credit issuers compete for either the prime or sub-prime market, there are only a handful of cards that is specifically targeted at those with fair credit (just below prime). Ollo has just joined the fray.

For the most parts, the Ollo Rewards MasterCard has compare annual fees and rewards with it's peers. However, there are a few areas where it shines. Firstly, they have done away with fees that are very common among most credit cards today. For example, they do not charge any foreign transaction fee, late fee, over-the-limit fee. They also provide you with a free FICO score (which though many cards increasingly do so, most "fair credit" card do not). They also offer a US-based customer service.

The credit cards from Ollo are best suited for those of you who are in the second phase of your rebuilding. In the first phase, you are getting secured cards and perhaps a couple of high fee cards with low limits or a store card like Fingerhut. Your scores have improved but not to the point where you can get a high limit no annual fee unsecured card. This is where Ollo comes in. It is a card to bridge the gap where your scores are still average and when perhaps you are just on the cusp of a good credit score.

Even if you already have other cards, you might want to consider adding Ollo to your portfolio to increase your available limits and help out with your utilization ratio. And if the annual fee bothers you, Ollo also has a no annual fee mastercard, but does not have any rewards.