Credit Cards Credit Card Reviews

Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit Review

overall rating
2.5

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Designed for people who need to build or rebuild their credit, the Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit is a card that offers a rotating credit line with no need to put down a security deposit. While many people will pay an annual fee for the card, it also offers 1% cash back on select purchases.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®

Overall Rating
2.5
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®
On Credit One Bank's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 - $99
Rewards Earning Rate 1% cash back on eligible purchases including gas, groceries and phone services.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 3%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all low cost cards in our database:
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
Rewards
Benefits
worst best

The Credit One Visa is not one of our top rated cash back credit cards. You can review our list of the best cash back credit cards for what we think are better options.

Full Review of Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit

Pros
  • Credit access without a security deposit

  • 1% cash back on select purchases

  • Periodic credit-line reviews

Cons
  • Annual fee

  • Credit limit can be low

  • Issues with customer service

Pros Explained

  • Credit Access Without a Security Deposit: Most credit cards designed for people with poor credit or no credit are secured, meaning they require you to put down a security deposit on the card. The Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit is unsecured, so there’s no need for a deposit. You also get access to a revolving line of credit. The minimum credit line you can receive is $300. 
  • 1% Cash Back on Select Purchases: With the Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit, you’ll receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases of gas, groceries, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable and satellite TV services. A 1% rewards rate is relatively low for a rewards credit card. However, credit cards designed for people with poor credit often have no rewards at all, so being able to earn some cash back on select purchases is a decent perk. 
  • Periodic Reviews of Credit Line: Credit One will periodically review your account and payment history. If you’ve been using your account responsibly and making all of your payments on time, you could automatically qualify for an increase to your credit limit. Having a larger credit limit gives you more spending power. And, when you have a higher limit, you may find it easier to maintain a lower ratio of credit utilization, assuming your average card spending level doesn’t increase. Your credit utilization—or how much of your available credit you use—accounts for 30% of your credit score. With a lower credit utilization (along with responsible card use and other favorable credit behavior), you can potentially boost your credit score over time and possibly qualify for other credit cards or loans.  

Cons Explained

  • Annual Fee: The Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit card does have an annual fee, as do most cards in the secured card market. The fee, Credit One says, ranges from $0 to $99 ($ 0 to $95 for the first year), and does not provide details on how the fee is determined for a particular individual. A similar card, the AvantCard, has a maximum fee of $59, so this card’s $99 maximum is relatively high. 
  • The Credit Limit May Be Low: This card’s minimum initial credit line of $300 is roughly in line with the minimum credit line options with other secured cards but some cards offer higher maximum lines—provided, of course, you are willing and able to qualify for a higher limit with a deposit of an equal amount with a secured card.Credit One says it will review your credit line from time to time, and may raise it. Still, if you have more than $300 for a security deposit, a secured card will provide the ability to charge more to a card, at least initially, than will the Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit. 
  • Issues with Customer Service: Credit One’s customer service for this card is not up to the norm for the credit-card industry in several respects. Human 24/7 phone support is available only for lost or stolen cards, where most issuers provide it continuously. Unlike most other issuers, Credit One does not offer online chat.  Even when you reach the company, the quality of the experience may be lacking. Credit One ranked last out of 11 national card issuers in the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction study

This Card is Best For

  • Avatar for Cash Back Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize cash back earnings across spending categories
    Cash Back Strategist
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Motivated to create positive credit history
    Credit Builder

The Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit aims to appeal to people with poor credit (an estimated 12% of the U.S. population, according to Equifax) or no credit at all who want a credit card without the need to put down money to do so. Unlike secured cards aimed at credit-deficient consumers, the Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit offers access to a revolving line of credit without a security deposit. 

It’s also a card for those willing to pay an annual fee (which may be $0for some applicants), which may be offset by 1% cash back rewards on some categories of everyday spending. 

Rewards Earning Details

With the Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit, you’ll earn 1% cash back on gas, groceries, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable and satellite TV services. 

Rewards Redemption Details

You’ll receive your cash back rewards automatically in the form of a statement credit. Unlike some other credit cards, you don’t have any other redemption options. You can’t use your rewards for gift cards, merchandise, travel arrangements, or charitable donations. 

How to Maximize Your Rewards

To get the most value from the card, use it for your routine purchases of gas, groceries, and other eligible services to earn 1% cash back and avoid carrying any balances forward each month, since the interest incurred would more than offset the value of any earned rewards.

To show you how your rewards can add up, let’s consider some typical spending habits:

  • Fuel: According to AAA, the average new vehicle owner will spend $1,500 per year on gas for their cars. 
  • Groceries: The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average person spends $4,464 per year on groceries consumed at home. 
  • Cell service: In a recent study, the Tax Foundation found that the average cell phone bill is $38.66 per month, or $463.92 per year.

If you spent the average amount in each of these three categories, you’d spend $6,427.92. If you used your Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit to pay for all of these bills, you’d earn 1% cash back on the total spent, giving you $64.28 in rewards. However, keep in mind this type of rewards scenario would require a credit limit of around $550 to be able to achieve this average level of spend in the three categories listed. Cardholders with lower credit limits would logically earn less.

Standard Benefits

The Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit offers a few benefits that are standard for basic credit cards, including: 

  • Free online access to your Experian credit report
  • Zero fraud liability

Cardholder Experience

Unfortunately, Credit One ranks poorly in terms of customer service. In the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction study, Credit One was last out of 11 national card issuers in customer satisfaction. Its score of 728 out of a possible 1,000 puts Credit One below even Wells-Fargo and Synchrony in providing satisfying customer service to its credit-card owners.   

Its general customer support line is only staffed during select hours. However, if your card is lost or stolen, you can get help 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-877-825-3242. There are no chat or email options for customer service. 

Security Features

This card has a few features that are standard for credit cards, such as fraud alerts and zero fraud liability. 

Fees to Watch Out For

If you’re thinking of applying for this card, there are four fees (in addition to a possible annual fee charge) that you should be aware of first. Neither is unusual for the industry, but a first-time credit-card owner might be unfamiliar with them:

  • Foreign-transaction fees: If you use the card when traveling outside of the United States, you’ll pay a fee of 3% of each transaction, whichever is greater. 
  • Cash-advance fees: If you take out a cash advance, the cash advance fee is $5 or 8% of the amount, whichever is greater. If you took out a $100 cash advance, that means you’d pay $8 in fees. 
  • Authorized user fees: If you want to add an authorized user to the account, such as your spouse or child, you’ll have to pay a $19 annual fee. The fee will also reduce the amount of your available credit. 
  • Late-payment fees: If you’re late paying your minimum monthly payment, you’ll be charged up to $39 in late fees. 

Our Verdict

If you have poor credit or no credit history, the Credit One Visa for Rebuilding Credit can give you access to an unsecured line of credit and the ability to earn rewards on your purchases. The card resembles AvantCard, another unsecured card that has a lower maximum annual fee ($59, compared with $99 for this card) but offers no rewards, which could potentially justify that gap in annual fee expense.

If you want to avoid fees, consider the Discover it Secured card. While it does require a security deposit, it doesn’t charge an annual fee. And, cardholders will receive 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in purchases at gas stations and restaurants each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There’s also the Petal Visa card, which has no annual fee or fees for late payment, foreign transactions, or to add authorized users. 

Another option is the Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured card. There’s a $49 annual fee, but the APR is a low 9.99% fixed, much lower than the norm for cards for people with poor or no credit.

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For Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®
on Credit One Bank's Secured Site.
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CURRENT CARD
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®
overall rating
2.5
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 17.99% - 23.99% variable
Annual Fee $0 - $99
Rewards Earning Rate 1% cash back on eligible purchases including gas, groceries and phone services.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.