Credit Cards Cards for Bad Credit

Total Visa Credit Card Review

overall rating

An unsecured card for poor credit with high fees and a high APR

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If you have poor credit, you’re typically limited to secured credit cards that require you to put down hundreds of dollars as a security deposit. The unsecured Total Visa Credit Card offers an alternative. You can qualify for a credit limit of $300 without a security deposit, and your account activity is reported to the major credit bureaus. However, the card has very expensive fees that can cost you more over the long run than a secured card.

Total Visa® Credit Card

Overall Rating
Total Visa® Credit Card
On Mid America Bank & Trust Company'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 (%) 34.99% fixed
Annual Fee $75 for the first year, then $48
Rewards Earning Rate This card does not offer a rewards program.
how this card stacks up
When compared among all low cost cards in our database:
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

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

  • Expensive fees

  • Limitations on how the card can be used

  • May be liable for $50 of unauthorized purchases

Pros Explained

  • 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.

Cons Explained

Expensive Fees

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. 

Additional Cons

  • 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

  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Motivated to create positive credit history
    Credit Builder

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.

Standard Benefits

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. 

Cardholder Experience

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 (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.) 

Security Features

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. 

Final Verdict

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 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.

Next Steps
For Total Visa® Credit Card
on Mid America Bank & Trust Company's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
See how this card compares to similar cards
Total Visa® Credit Card
overall rating
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 (%) 34.99% fixed
Annual Fee $75 for the first year, then $48
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.