Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit Review

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If you have less-than-perfect credit and you’re shopping around for an unsecured card, the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit is an excellent option that helps you to rebuild or establish credit while enjoying the privileges that come with the Visa network. Pre-qualification for this card takes less than a minute when you apply online, and it won’t impact your credit score.

Although there is an annual fee for most cardholders, Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit is one of the few unsecured credit cards for bad credit to offer what premium cards have — namely, a rewards program. According to the Credit One website, cardholders will receive 1% cash back on eligible gas, groceries, cable and satellite TV services, mobile phone service and internet. The reward comes in the form of a statement credit, which can help to make the annual fee more affordable. This is a great perk for people wanting to minimize the expense of credit card ownership.

What we like about the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

  • The card reports to the three main credit bureaus, helping you rebuild your credit faster than ever
  • You can track your credit journey online by checking out free Experian credit reports
  • You get to participate in a cash back reward program that gives cardholders 1% back on eligible purchases
  • You’ll enjoy zero fraud liability, which is great if your card gets stolen
  • There are regular reviews for credit line increases

Things to consider

  • There are different fee structures for this card, and you won’t know where you stand until you are approved
  • The annual fee is applied immediately to your credit line, limiting the amount you can charge
  • The initial credit line is only $300
  • There is a hefty cash advance fee at all approved card levels
  • Some cardholders will have no grace period on purchases made with the card, meaning that their purchases will immediately start accruing interest

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit details

The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit gives people with bad credit access to small credit lines — in this case, only $300. If your credit is poor but you want to rebuild credit, you may have to settle for the annual fee and interest rate that goes along with this unsecured card.

It’s important that you read the fine print once you are approved for this card to know what your annual fee is. It will be taken from the credit limit immediately before you make purchases, so it could be easy to go over the credit limit. You’ll also increase your credit utilization ratio, which you want to ideally keep lower than 30%. The key to building credit with this card is to pay down the balance consistently right after making purchases.

Fee details

There’s a major wild card with the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit — you won’t know your fees until your application is approved (not pre-qualified). Some cardholders pay no annual fee, while others pay up to $99. The highest level of the annual fee will cut your credit line down by almost a third before you even make a single purchase, so it’s important to read your card details carefully.

In addition to the annual fee, the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit charges either $5 or 8%, $10 or 3% or $10 or 5% (whichever is greater) on cash advances. However you look at this, the cash advance fees are high. The late fee and returned payment fees are both up to $39. You’ll also pay a 3% or $1 fee for each purchase on any foreign transactions.

How does it compare to other credit cards for rebuilding credit?

Most unsecured cards for rebuilding credit are vehicles to earning back trust with lenders. Milestone® Gold Mastercard® and Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® give cardholders some of the perks that come with the Mastercard network, but little else. Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit has comparable fees and APR rates, but it also lets cardholders earn cash back rewards in the form of a statement credit.

Card Ongoing Purchase APR Annual Fee Intro Bonus Credit Needed Key features
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit 17.99% to 23.99% Variable $0-$99 (See Rates & Fees) Cardholders who qualify for the $99 annual fee will receive a slight rate reduction the first year Poor
  • Zero fraud liability
  • Free Experian credit report summary online
  • Earn cash back rewards when shopping at eligible merchants
Milestone® Gold Mastercard® 24.90% $35-$99 No cash advance fee for the first year Poor
  • Identity theft resolution services
  • 1% foreign transaction fee
  • Quick pre-qualification with no impact on credit score
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® 24.90% $0-$99 None Poor
  • Extended warranty and travel insurance
  • Low 1% foreign transaction fee
  • Reports to all three credit bureaus

The bottom line

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit is one of the best unsecured cards for rebuilding credit. It offers a rewards program with 1% back in the form of a statement credit on eligible purchases. The fees can be high depending on your creditworthiness, so you need to read the fine print and commit to paying your balance either in full each month or immediately after making a purchase.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.

Valerie Fulton
Valerie Fulton
Contributing Writer

Valerie Fulton is a freelance writer who specializes in personal finance, real estate, higher education, home improvement and business copy. Her work has been published at Veros Real Estate Solutions, Bluehost, Sears, UPS, Movoto, Peak Communications and the University of Tennessee. Every summer, she travels from Austin, Texas to the coast of Maine with her two standard poodles in order to manage the vacation property she bought for a steal several years ago.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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