Don’t be fooled if you get a Credit One Bank credit card application in your mailbox. This is one of the worst offers of 2013.
When your credit score is in the dumps, obviously your choices for cards will be limited. But that doesn’t mean you deserve to be put through the wringer while you’re rebuilding. Unfortunately, it appears Credit One begs to differ.
Complaints, complaints, and more 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…
Many allege that Credit One is attempting to ride the coat-tails off Capital One’s good name. I’ll let you look at their logos and decide for yourself!
Capital One’s cards are a million times better. Don’t believe me? 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, but reportedly it will cost $9.99 to do so. Here’s what Tony of Lincoln, NE posted last year about this:
“Another thing of concern to me is the fact that payments are held for 10 days. This is the free, pay-from-your-checking account method. I do appreciate that opportunity, but for $9.99, they will expedite the payment and process the funds within 48 hours. So for them to say that they need to protect themselves by waiting for the payment to clear from my checking account is a lie because for an extra 10 bucks, they don’t care if it clears first?”
Your credit limit may be lower than expected. On some of the marketing material for the Credit One cards, it says your credit limit will be up to $1,500. But guess what? Most comments I’ve seen report that they only get the $300 credit limit. Now in defense of the issuer, they do put the words “up to” in front of the $1,500 so technically we can’t blame them. But regardless, it still feels like sneaky marketing.
There a couple versions of the Credit One Visa but to be honest, the terms appear to be identical. The biggest difference I see is the card’s design (one is blue, the other is silver).
The silver one says “Platinum” on the front of it, but ironically both versions say in the fine print that they have “platinum status” (as if that even mattered). Here are the fees and rates for both…
Annual Fee: $75 for the 1st year. $99 each year after that, billed monthly at $8.25.
Interest Rate: 23.90%
Credit Limit: $300 to $500, though most customer reviews I’ve seen say they get $300.
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? I haven’t even gotten to the worst part yet, which is this…
That’s right, 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 going back to the date of your purchases.
But with the Credit One Bank credit card, since there’s no grace period it becomes almost impossible to avoid finance charges completely.
And to make matters worse, reportedly the number of online payments that Credit Bank allows per month is a maximum of four.
So are they 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 scammed and ripped off by the what they’re getting in return with this product.
Meanwhile on the bright side, having one of these accounts will show up on your credit report. That means if you use the card responsibly, it can help you rebuild your credit history. But the question is… why do that when there are other less costly ways to get a credit card for bad credit?
Even though I could get paid to promote Credit One’s credit card application (it’s offered thru the ad network I use), I choose not to because I think they’re way too expensive.
As an alternative, here are my favorite secured cards of 2013 which I believe are a much better value.
Written or last updated November 9, 2013