Have applications for a Credit One Bank Visa appeared in your mailbox? When your credit score is in the dumps, your choices for cards will be limited. But that doesn’t mean you deserve to be put through the wringer while you’re rebuilding. Read our review to learn what you can expect with Credit One.
Confusion and complaints
Right off the bat, many people are confused by the name, logo, and graphics, which appear quite similar to the reputable and much larger Capital One (don’t confuse the two). This is how Wikipedia describes it:
“Credit One is not affiliated with Capital One, a multi-billion-dollar first-tier corporation. However, Credit One has adopted confusingly similar trade dress, using a confusingly similar name, similar fonts, similar trademark layout and a similar circular swoosh, which they changed from red to blue.”
Those statements echo the other reviews and comments I see from consumers. On a regular basis I see people asking if Credit One is part of Capital One. I understand why so many ask that, given that their two logos are so eerily similar…
The difference is that Credit One’s cards are designed for those with poor credit in mind. Capital One, although it has a reputation for good starter cards, is a mainstream issuer — and therefore has cards for those across the credit spectrum, including rewards cards for those with good credit. Try out this tool and see for yourself:
Excessively slow payment processing times is another frequent complaint about Credit One. I’ve read countless credit card reviews by customers who allege that the Credit One Bank payment center can take a long time to clear your payments. You can expedite your payments using the “Express Pay” option, but it costs $9.95 to do so.
As with most cards designed for those with bad credit, the Credit One Visa charges you for the privilege of rebuilding your credit. The fees and interest rates associated with your card will depend on your credibility.
Annual Fee: Depending on which terms you get, you could get charged any one of the following:
- $75 the first year and $99 thereafter (billed monthly at $8.25)
- $75 annual fee (billed monthly at $6.25)
- $35 annual fee
Interest Rate: A variable 23.9 percent, 19.9 percent or 17.9 percent, depending on credibility
Credit Limit: $300 to $500, though most customer reviews I’ve seen say they get $300. Keep in mind that the first year’s annual fee will immediately be billed to your account when it’s opened and reduce your available credit by that amount.
Now if you just saw that, you may think “That’s not the that bad for someone with really awful credit or a recent bankruptcy.” But guess what:
That means interest begins accruing on the date you make your purchases.
It’s true that all credit cards charge interest on purchases, but the difference is that the other guys give you a grace period; after your 30-day billing cycle closes, if you pay the full balance within 21 days from that date, you won’t get charged interest. But if you don’t, the interest charges will be tacked on in the following month.
But with the Credit One Bank credit card, since there’s no grace period, it becomes almost impossible to avoid finance charges completely.
So is it a scam?
Since they disclose the terms and conditions in the application’s fine print, technically the card is not a scam. But that doesn’t change the fact that many consumers are feeling ripped off and caught off guard by the product’s terms.
Meanwhile, on the bright side, having one of these accounts will show up on your credit reports. That means if you use the card responsibly, it can help you rebuild your credit history. However, there are other lower-fee options if you want to rebuild your credit. As an alternative, here are some secured credit cards to consider.
Written or last updated April 11, 2014