The Total Visa Credit Card is not one of Investopedia's top rated credit cards. Here is a list of our best credit cards that we think provide better options.
Full Review of Total Visa Credit Card
Does not require a security deposit
Reports to the three major credit bureaus
Cash advance fees waived for the first year
Limitations on how the card can be used
May be liable for $50 of unauthorized purchases
- Does Not Require a Security Deposit: People with poor credit or little to no credit history often use secured credit cards to start establishing or rebuilding their credit. With a secured credit card, you have to put down a security deposit, which then acts as your credit limit. A secured card typically requires you to deposit hundreds of dollars at once so you can use your card, which can be difficult for many people to afford. The Total Visa Credit Card is unsecured, so no security deposit is required. You can potentially qualify for the card even if you have less-than-stellar credit, and get a credit limit of $300 without having to use your money as collateral.
- Reports to the Three Major Credit Bureaus: The Total Visa Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri, which reports your account activity to the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. If you use your account responsibly, meaning you make all of your payments on time and keep your balance low, you can improve your credit over time.
- Cash Advance Fees Waived for the First Year: During your first year as a cardholder, there are no cash advance fees. If you use your card to get cash at a checkout, an ATM, or a bank, you’ll still have to pay interest on the money, but you won’t face an added cash advance fee for that first year. After that, the cash advance fee is either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
- Expensive Fees: While the Total Visa Credit Card doesn’t require a security deposit, it does have a number of costly fees that you should keep in mind:
- Annual fee: The annual fee is $75 for the first year and $48 per year after that. The fee is assessed before you begin using your card and is deducted from your initial credit limit. For example, if your credit limit is $300, your initial available credit limit is $225.
- Program fee: There is a one-time $89 program fee.
- Monthly servicing fee: The servicing fee is $0 for the first year and $75 after that ($6.25 billed monthly).
- Additional card fee: If you request an additional card for another user, there is a $29 fee per card.
- Credit limit increase fee: If you request a credit limit increase and qualify for one, you will be charged a credit limit increase fee equal to 20% of the increase. For example, if your credit limit was increased by $100, your fee would be $20, which is deducted from your available credit.
- Express delivery fee: To have your card delivered to you via express delivery, there is a $35 fee.
- Copying fee: If you ask for copies of billing statements or other documents, there is a $3 copying charge per page.
- Late payment fee: Late payments are subject to a $40 fee.
- Returned payment fee: If a payment is returned to you because of insufficient funds, you’ll be charged a $40 fee.
To put those fees in perspective, you’d pay at least $164 in non-refundable fees during your first year as a cardholder. That’s money you never get back, making this a costly card to have. A lower-cost option is the Capital One Secured Mastercard. It has no annual fee, and, depending on your credit profile, your security deposit may be $49, $99, or $200. Plus, your security deposit is refundable.
- Limitations on How the Card Can Be Used: The Total Visa Credit Card has some unusual limitations on how you can use it. For example, you can’t use it outside of the United States or at automated fuel pumps. If you want to use your card to buy gas, you’ll have to go inside the gas station and pay for fuel at the register. That rule is an inconvenient restriction, as many people use their credit cards to pay at the pump.
- May Be Liable for $50 of Unauthorized Purchases: Most credit cards offer zero liability protection, meaning you aren’t responsible for unauthorized charges made to your credit card if it’s lost or stolen. With the Total Visa Credit Card, that’s not always the case. Certain exceptions apply, and you may be held liable for up to $50 in unauthorized transactions.
This Card is Best For
Motivated to create positive credit history
The Total Visa Credit Card is for someone with poor credit or little to no credit history who can’t or doesn’t want to put up a deposit for a secured credit card. You can apply for the card online and get a response within seconds. If approved, you’ll have access to an unsecured Visa card that you can use at merchants throughout the United States.
The card has few benefits, but it does allow you to choose your own card design, and it reports your account activity to the major credit bureaus.
The Total Visa Credit Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri. As a small issuer of credit cards, The Bank of Missouri is not included in the J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study. However, it is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.
For questions about your card application or to pay your program fee to open an account, you can call 877-526-5799. To check your account balance or make a payment, call 877-480-6988.
If you need to report a lost or stolen card, you can call 888-257-1159, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can also contact customer service with general questions by emailing email@example.com. (But remember, as the bank points out, that it’s never a good idea to send personal information—including account numbers or passwords—through email.)
This card has very basic security features. While you are generally not liable for unauthorized purchases, you are required to notify The Bank of Missouri orally or in writing as soon as you are aware that your card has been lost, stolen, or used without your consent. Exceptions do apply, and you may be liable for up to $50 in unauthorized charges in some instances.
While the Total Visa Credit Card can give you access to an unsecured credit card even if you have poor credit, its multiple fees make it a very expensive option. Because those fees are non-refundable, you’re likely better off with a secured credit card. Over time, you can improve your credit and qualify for a regular unsecured card. When you do, you can get your security deposit back, saving you hundreds of dollars over using the Total Visa Credit Card.
Instead of the Total Visa Credit Card. consider a card like the Discover it Secured credit card. It has no annual fee, monthly servicing fee, or program fee, and it doesn’t have the use limitations of the Total Visa card. The Discover it Secured card also offers rewards on select purchases, and you can eventually qualify for an unsecured card with responsible credit use.