The Total Visa Credit Card is not one of Investopedia's top-rated credit cards. Review our 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, make the minimum monthly payment, and keep your balance below your credit limit, 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.
While the Total Visa Credit Card doesn’t require a security deposit, it does have several 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 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 $99 after that ($8.25 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, 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 up to a $41 fee.
- Returned payment fee: If a payment is returned to you because of insufficient funds, you’ll be charged up to a $41 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 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 the 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.
For more information about Total Visa fees, see rates, fees, costs, and limitations for additional details.
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.
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 (877) 480-6988, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
You can also contact customer service with general questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (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.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Bank Owns Total Visa?
Total Visa is issued by The Bank of Missouri. Since this is a small financial institution, it isn't part of the Credit Card Satisfaction Study from J.D. Power. However, The Bank of Missouri does have a 5-star rating from Bauer Financial and is fully FDIC-insured.
What Is the Initial Credit Limit for Total Visa?
The initial credit limit for Total Visa is $300, and you can qualify without a security deposit, though you do need a checking account. However, since your annual fee is deducted against your credit limit, so your actual initial credit limit is $225.
Does the Total Visa Card Give Credit Increases?
Total Visa does give credit increases; after you have been a cardholder for a year, you can contact customer service to ask to raise your credit limit. How much of an increase you can qualify for will depend on your personal financial situation and your payment history. You will be charged a credit limit increase fee equal to 20% of the increase.
Can You Use the Total Visa Credit Card Instantly?
Before you can use the Total Visa credit card, you must first pay a one-time $89 program fee. You must also activate your credit card before you can use it by visiting TotalCardVisa.com or calling 1-877-526-5799.
What Is the Minimum Payment for a Total Visa Credit Card?
The minimum payment for Total Visa is either $40 or 5% of your balance, plus fees, interest charges, and any past-due amounts. You will need to pay the higher amount.