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Imagine Visa Credit Card - Is it Legit?
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

Imagine Visa Credit Card is the New Kid on the Block

The Imagine Visa Credit Card is one of the rare unsecured credit cards with a bonus cateogory cash back program and one that also allows you to pay with a debit card (either through the website or mobile app and also through autopay). It also has a very low payment hold period (4 days). You would have to go through a pre-approval process (with no impact on your credit score) and if you are pre-approved, you will be offered a card out of 5 possible offers that Imagine Visa has. They come with different starting credit limits ($350, $400, $500, $700 and $1,000) and also different fees for each version. A free Vantage 4.0 credit score, mobile app and autopay come standard with the card.

If you get pre-approved for the $350, $700 or $1,000 version, then I would no hesitation recommending this card. Based on the fees, I would shop around for other cards if you get offered the other versions with lower initial credit limits.

In this review, I will analyze each of these versions and give you my evaluation of this card and any alternatives you should consider. Find out more below.....


Has 5 Different Credit Limit Versions Ranging from $350 to $1,000

Card Annual Fee Monthly Fee Credit Limit
Imagine $1,000 Y1 = $175, then $49 Y1 = $0, then $12.50/month = $150/year $1,000
Imagine $700 Y1 = $175, then $49 Y1 = $0, then $12.50/month = $150/year $700
Imagine $500 Y1 = $125, then $39 Y1 = $0, then $10/month = $120/year $500
Imagine $400 Y1 = $99, then $39 Y1 = $0, then $8.25/month = $99/year $400
Imagine $350 Y1 = $85, then $39 Y1 = $0, then $7.25/month = $87/year $350


If you are pre-approved or pre-qualify for the Imagine Visa, you may be offered one of the five different versions of their card. All 5 versions have doifferent credit limits (ranging from $350 to $1,000) and different annual fees and also different monthly fees from the second year onwards.

The table above illustrates all five possible versions you may be offered.

Other Features

  • Free Credit Score - Imagine credit card provides free VantageScore 4.0 from TransUnion after 60 days of your account opening.

  • Mobile App - The Imgine Visa has a mobile app where you can monitor your account and make payments as well.

  • Autopay - You can also set up autopay with the Imagine Visa Credit Card. While this may not seem like a big deal, many subprime issuers do not have autopay enabled.


Imagine Has Unique Bonus Category Cash Back Program

The Imagine Visa Credit Card is one of the rare subrpime credit card that actually has a bonus category cash back program:

  • Earn 3% Cash Back on Gasoline, Grocery and Utility Bills - You can earn 3% cash back on gasoline and grocery purchases. You will also get 3% cash back when you pay your utility bills with the Imagine Visa. One thing to note here. Utility bills are a very rare bonus cateogory item even in prime cash back credit cards.

  • Earn 1% Cash Back on other regular purchases - This is pretty much standard in all cash back credit cards

  • You can earn Unlimited Cash Back

  • Cash Back Rewards are redeemed annually by statement credit - The cash back that you earned can be redeemed via statement credits once a year.


Payment Methods: How to Pay Your Imagine Visa credit card?

I am now going to talk about the various ways you can pay your Imagine Visa credit card bill. And I actually found a few interesting things about this topic.

Autopay - In the terms and conditions, Imagine Visa clearly states that you can set up autopay. You can set the autopay to pay either the minimum amount or a fixed amount. There is no option to pay the whole balance but Imageine Visa says that if the fixed amount you set exceeds the balance, then only the balance will be drawn.

What is more interesting is that you can use either you bank account, debit card or even a credit card to pay your bills through autopay. This makes the Imagine credit card one of the rare credit cards that lets you pay your credit bill with a debit card. And an even rarer one that allows you to pay with another credit card!

Other Payment Methods - You can also pay via check, money orders, over-the-phone or online through their portal. I also checked out their mobile in the Android and IOS store and from the screen shots, it appears that you can make payments as well as set up autopay from your mobile app.

Max 4 Day Payment Hold - Imagine Visa will only apply a payment hold of not more than 4 days after you pay. That means that it will take at most 4 days after your payment for it to be reflected in your credit limit. This is shorter than many subprime credit card which has payment holds up to 14 days.


Analysis Using Total Fee to Credit Limit Ratio

When we analyze unsecured credit cards for rebuilders, we like to use the Total Fee to Credit Limit ratio to get a sense of how much fees you are paying relative to the credit limit you are getting. Ideally, a card with a TFCL ratio of 25% (no more than 30%) or less would get a pass from us.

The table below shows the Total Fee to Credit Limit Ratio for all the 5 possible offers and versions.

We have to calculate the TFCL ratio for the first year and another for the second year onwards because during the first year, there is only an annual fee. But from the second year onwards, the annual fee from the first year is reduced but Imagine adds a monthly fee on top of the annual fee.

We also have to factor in the cash back you can earn because the cash back you earn will help to offset the fees you will pay. For illustration purposes, we assume you will use 30% of the credit limit given to you and earn an average of 1.5% in cash back.

Card
Annual Fee (AF)
Monthly Fee (MF)
Program Fee (PF)
Credit Limit (CL)
Fees/Credit Limit Ratio (TFCL)
Imagine Visa $350
AF = Y1 = $85, then $39
MF = Y1 = $0, then $7.50/month = $87/year
PF = $0
CL = $350
TFCL = Y1 = $85/$350 = 24.29%
Y2 = $(39+87)/$350 = 27.42%
 
Imagine Visa $400
AF = Y1 = $99, then $39
MF = $0, then $8.50/month = $99/year
PF = $0
CL = $400
TFCL = Y1 = $99/$400 = 24.75%
Y2 = $(39 + 99)/$400 = 34.5%
 
Imagine Visa $500
AF = Y1 = $125, then $39
MF = Y1 = $0, then $10/month = $120/year
PF = $0
CL = $500
TFCL = Y1 = $(125)/$500 = 25%
Y2 = $(39 + 120)/$500 = 31.8%
 
Imagine Visa $700
AF = Y1 = $175, then $49
MF = Y1 = $0, then $12.50/month = $150/year
PF = $0
CL = $700
TFCL = Y1 = $175/$700 = 25%
Y2 = $(49 + 150)/$700 = 28.49%
Imagine Visa $1,000
AF = Y1 = $175, then $49
MF = = $0, then $12.50/month = $150/year
PF = $0
CL = $1,000
TFCL = Y1 = $175/$1,000 = 17.5%
Y2 = $(49 + 150)/$1,000 = 19.9%
 


Comparison with Other Similar Cards

First off, I want to say that the Imagine Visa Credit Card is marketed by Atlanticus. And Atlanticus have two other credit cards called the Fortiva and Aspire Mastercard that are identical to Imagine Visa.

As Imagine has 5 different versions with different credit limits, we will breakdown our competition analysis by credit limit range.

Analysis of $700 and $1,000 Credit Limit Version

The best credit cards to compare the Imagine Visa $700 and $1,000 credit limit version are the Reflex Platinum Mastercard and the Milestone and Destiny Mastercard. The table below shows the comparison.

Card
Annual Fee (AF)
Monthly Fee (MF)
Program Fee (PF)
Credit Limit (CL)
Fees/Credit Limit Ratio (TFCL)
Reflex Mastercard $750
AF = Y1 = $125
MF = $0
PF = $0
CL = $750, then $1,500 after 6 Months
TFCL = $125/$750 = 16.67%
>6 Months = $125/$1,500 = 8.33%
 
Reflex Mastercard $1,000
AF = Y1 = $125
MF = $0
PF = $0
CL = $1,000, then $2,000 after 6 Months
TFCL = $125/$1,000 = 12.5%
>6 Months = $125/$2,000 = 6.25%
 
Destiny Mastercard $700
AF = Y1 = $175, then $49
MF = $0, then $12.50/month = $150/year
PF = $0
CL = $700
TFCL = Y1 = $175/$700 = 25%
Y2 = $(49 + 150)/$700 = 28.49%
 
Milestone Mastercard $700
AF = Y1 = $175, then $49
MF = Y1 = $0, then $12.50/month = $150/year
PF = $0
CL = $700
TFCL = Y1 = $175/$700 = 25%
Y2 = $(49 + 150)/$700 = 28.49%
 
Imagine Visa $700
AF = Y1 = $175, then $49
MF = Y1 = $0, then $12.50/month = $150/year
PF = $0
CL = $700
TFCL = Y1 = $175/$700 = 25%
Y2 = $(49 + 150)/$700 = 28.49%
Imagine Visa $1,000
AF = Y1 = $175, then $49
MF = = $0, then $12.50/month = $150/year
PF = $0
CL = $1,000
TFCL = Y1 = $175/$1,000 = 17.5%
Y2 = $(49 + 150)/$1,000 = 19.9%
 
Let's start with the $1,000 version first. The closest competitor to the Imagine Visa is the Reflex Mastercard. Like the Imagine Visa, Reflex allows you to go through a pre-approval process and may offer you 4 version of their cards. Two of these versions come with a $750 and $1,000 credit limits. Both come with a $125 annual fee. While Reflex does not have any cash back program like Imagine, they will double your credit limit after 6 months if you pay your first 6 bills on time. Hence, from a Total Fee to Credit Limit ratio, Reflex is much better than Imagine. To put it in layman's term, you get more credit limit for Reflex than the fees that you pay compared to Imagine Visa (and this is referring to the $700 - $1,000 version).

Imagine's other competitor in the $700 credit limit space is the Milestone Mastercard and the Destiny Mastercard. They all have identical fees and credit limits but Imagine is slightly better because it has the cash back program that both Milestone and Destiny do not.

Analysis of $500 Credit Limit Version

The best comparable for the Imagine $500 credit limit version is from Reflex Mastercard (one again). Like I mentioned before, Reflex comes in 4 versions 9$300, $500, $750 and $1,000 credit limit) and one of them has a $500 initial starting credit limit. Once again, I will compare the Total Fee to Credit Limit ratio and the table below shows the calculation and comparison.

Card
Annual Fee (AF)
Monthly Fee (MF)
Program Fee (PF)
Credit Limit (CL)
Fees/Credit Limit Ratio (TFCL)
Fees/Credit Limit Ratio (cashback)
Imagine Visa $500
AF = Y1 = $125, Y2 = $39
MF = Y1 = $0, then $10/month = $120/year
PF = $0
CL = $500
TFCL = $125/$500 = 25%
Y2 = $(39 + 120)/$500 = 31.8%
 
Reflex Mastercard $500
AF = Y1 = $125
MF = Y1 = $0, Y2 = $10/month = $120/Year
PF = $0
CL = $500, then $1,000 after 6 Months
TFCL = $125/$500 = 25%
Y2 = $(125 + 120)/$1,000 = 24.5%
 
The comparison between the $500 credit limit version of the Imagine Visa and Reflex Mastercard is rather interesting. During the first year, their fees are identical so aside from the cash back program that Imagine has, both are identical cards. However, things change from the second year onwards and the most important changes come from the Reflex Mastercard. The Reflex $500 limit version will double to $1,000 limit after 6 months and though their total fees (both annual fee and monthly fee) from the second year onwards is higher than Imagine Visa, the doubling of the initial credit limit to $1,000 results in a lower Total Fee to Credit Limit ratio for Reflex versus the Imagine Visa. So even though you are paying a higher fee for Reflex, you get a higher credit limit.

Analysis of the $350 and $400 Credit Limit Version

To analyze both the $350 and $400 credit limit versions, I am going to compare the Imagine credit card with Fit Mastercard from Continental Finance and other cards from Vervent. I have listed the comparisons in the table below.

Card
Annual Fee (AF)
Monthly Fee (MF)
Program Fee (PF)
Credit Limit (CL)
Fees/Credit Limit Ratio (TFCL)
Imagine Visa $350
AF = Y1 = $85, then $39
MF = Y1 = $0, then $7.50/month = $87/year
PF = $0
CL = $350
TFCL = Y1 = $85/$350 = 24.29%
Y2 = $(39+87)/$350 = 27.42%
 
Imagine Visa $400
AF = Y1 = $99, then $39
MF = $0, then $8.50/month = $99/year
PF = $0
CL = $400
TFCL = Y1 = $99/$400 = 24.75%
Y2 = $(39 + 99)/$400 = 34.5%
 
Fit Mastercard $400
AF = $99
MF = $0, then $6.25/month = $75/year
PF = $89 - one time
CL = $300
TFCL = Y1 = $(89 + 99)/$400 = 47%
Y2 = $(99 + 75)/$800 = 21.75%
 
Revvi Visa
AF = Y1 = $75, then $48
MF = Y1 = $0, then $8.25/month = $99/year
PF = $95
CL = $300
TFCL = Y1 = $(75+95)/$300 = 56.67%
Y2 = $(48 + 99)/$300 = 49%
 
First Digital
AF = Y1 = $75, then $48
MF = Y1 = $0, then $8.25/month = $99/year
PF = $95
CL = $300
TFCL = Y1 = $(75+95)/$300 = 56.67%
Y2 = $(48 + 99)/$300 = 49%
First Access
AF = Y1 = $75, then $48
MF = = $0, then $8.25/month = $99/year
PF = $95
CL = $300
TFCL = Y1 = $(75+95)/$300 = 56.67%
Y2 = $(48 + 99)/$300 = 49%
 
Total Visa
AF = Y1 = $75, then $48
MF = Y1 = $0, then $8.25/month = $99/year
PF = $95
CL = $300
TFCL = Y1 = $(75+95)/$300 = 56.67%
Y2 = $(48 + 99)/$300 = 49%
 


Comparing both the Imagine $350 and $400 version with the Fit Mastercard is very interest. Unlike Imagine, Fit charges a one-time processing fee before you can activate the card. Hence, for the first year, you have to pay the one-time processing fee and the annual fee and for the first year, the Total Fee to Credit Limit ratio is really high at 47%. That means that you are paying 47% of your credit limit in fees. But Fit doubles your credit limit to $800 after 6 months and from the second year onwards, the TFCL ratio drops to 21.75%, which is the lowest ratio among all the comparable peers.

The other credit cards that I chose from comparisons are from Vervent. They include cards like Total Visa, First Access Visa, First Digital Visa and Revvi Visa Card. All these cards have an intial starting credit limit of $300 and have 1% cash back programs. However, they also have higher total fees and their Total Fees to Credit Limit ratio (TFCL) does not compare favorably to either the Imagine Visa or Fit Mastercard.


Benefits We Like

  • Pre-Approval Process - 5 Different Credit Limits - Imagine allows you to go through a pre-approval process. This results in a soft pull with no impact on your credit score. If you get pre-approved, you will be offered one of the five possible versions of the card. If you are happy with the offer, you can then proceed with the actual application where there will be a hard inquiry. If you are not happy with the offer that you got, you can simply walk away knowing there was no impact on your credit score.

  • Bonus Category Cash Back Program - Imagine has a very good bonus category cash back program whereby you can earn 3% cash back on groceries, gasoline and utilities. Utilities is a very rare bonus category even among prime credit cards.

  • Can Pay Bills with Debit Card and Credit Card - Imagine Visa credit card is one of the rare credit card that allows you to pay your bills with a debit card and even a credit card through autopay.

  • May be offered fixed rate APR - This card is also one of the rare credit cards that may offer you a fixed rate APR. This means that you are locked into a fixed rate that will not change.

  • Payment Holds Max is 4 Days - The maximum payment hold is only 4 days. This is relatively short compared to other subprime credit cards which can have payment holds as long as 14 days.

  • Can Pay and Set Up Autopay through Mobile App - Most mobile app of subprime credit cards are not good and many do not allow you to pay from the app or set up autopay. From what I can gather from the app store, the Imagine mobile app allows you to pay and set up autopay via the mobile app.

  • Free Vantage 4.0 Score from TransUnion - The Imagine credit card does provide a free Vantage 4.0 score from TransUnion. It is available to cardholders once you have the card for 6 months. Imagine is ahead of many credit cards who are still offering Vantage 3.0 version to their cardholders rather than the latest 4.0 version.


Some Drawbacks We Don't Like

  • Does Not accept payment from third party digital payment systems - The Imagine Visa does not accept payments 3rd party digital payment platforms like PayNearMe, MoneyGram or Western Union.

  • Charges Monthly Fee on all versions - Imagine charges a monthly fee from the second year onwards on all versions of their offers.


How Good Is the Imagine Visa? Depends on what terms you get

The Imagine Visa Credit Card is a decent unsecured credit card for rebuilders that offers you a wide range of starting credit limits. And one things nice about their offers is that the you get lower fees with lower credit limit versions. One of the drawbacks of this card is that they do charge a monthly fee on ALL versions from the second year onwards. Because of this, I would say that the $350, $700 and $1,000 starting credit limit versions are better than the others in terms of Total Fee to Credit Limit ratio. These three versions have TFCL ratio that are below 30% (which is the maximum threshold you should tolerate as far as fees to credit limit go).

You will also be able to offset the fees you pay for the card with its' 3% bonus category cash back program on groceries, gasoline and utilities. How much you can offset will depend on your spending on these category items and the total spending you put on the card a month.

Though the Imagine Visa does not have the lowest fees, I think what is going to attract some of you to this card is that you can pay your credit card with a debit card even when you set up autopay. Most credit cards do not allow you to pay by debit card even if it is linked to your checking account (which they will gladly accept). Even those that do accept debit cards will not accept them if you sign up for autopay where using your checking account is the norm. Imagine Visa breaks the norm in this aspect because you can use either your checking account, debit card or even another credit card when you set up autopay. The maximum payment hold of 4 days is also very reasonable.

The Imagine Visa also has a mobile where you can manage your account, make payments and even set up autopay with it. Since this is a new credit card and app, we cannot be sure how user-friendly is the mobile app and whether it works smoothly or is it clunky?

If you are preapproved and get offered the $350, $700 or $1,000 version, then I think it may be worth going for it and getting this card.

To sum up, after my evaluation and review of the Imagine Visa Credit Card, I have decided to give it a 3.8 star out of 5 for it's potential high starting credit limit, the 3% bonus cateogory cash back program, it's short 4 day hold on payment and most importantly, that you can use your debit card to pay your bills. The monthly fee in all their versions prevents us from giving it a higher rating.


Alternatives

If you are a rebuilder looking for unsecured credit cards, here are a couple of alternatives to consider.

Reflex Platinum Mastercard

The Reflex Platinum Mastercard is quite similar to the the Imagine Visa in that you go through a pre-approval process and you may be offered 4 different versions with different credit limits ($300, $500, $750 and $1,000). There are two key differences between the Reflex and Imagine cards. Firstly, the Reflex $750 and $1,000 version do not have monthly fees from the second year onwards and from a fee perspective, is better than Imagine. Reflex will also double your initial credit limit after 6 months if you pay your first 6 bills on time. Though it has no cash back program, it's lower fees and doubling of initial credit limit after 6 months makes this card potentially more attractive and is a great alternative to Imagine.

Read our review of the Reflex Platinum Mastercard


Extra Debit Card

The Extra Debit Card has a $149 annual fee (which is lower than any of Imagine Card versions). It is a debit card so you will never get into debt. What is more important is that there are no credit checks and no hard inquiry. You simply need to have a positive bank balance and link it to Extra. Though you may start with a small credit limit (say around $200), it will increase very rapidly the more you use your card. You could get a credit limit up to 85% of your bank balance over time.

Read our review of the Extra Card


Arro Mastercard

The Arro Mastercard is a very rare unsecured credit card with no credit checks and will definitely approved you as long as you have at least $1,800 in monthly income and have a positive bank balance of at least $50. All you have to do is then to link your bank account to Arro. Approval is simply based on these simple criterias. Your starting credit limit will be between $50 and $200. But the more you use your card, the higher your credit limit will increase. The APR is only 16% and you only have to pay a monthly fee of $1/month.


Contact Information

Imagine Visa Customer Phone Service: 1-888-549-0049

Telecommunications Relay Service or TTY/TDD hearing imparied: 1-855-921-5700

Customer Service Hours: Monday - Sunday, 8am to 12am EST

Mailing Address: Account Services, PO Box 105824, Atlanta, GA 30348-5824