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Credit One Bank® Cash Back Rewards Credit Card Review
At a Glance
Credit One Bank® Cash Back Rewards Credit Card
- Sign-up Bonus: None
- Rewards: Up to 1.1% cash back on dining purchases; generally 1% cash back on select purchases, depending on creditworthiness
- Benefits: Free credit score each month; customizable card face
- Fees: Cash advances 3% to 8% (minimum $5 to $10); foreign transaction fee 3%
- Annual Fee: $0 to $99 ($0 to $75 first year)
- Credit Needed: Below average
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Depending on your creditworthiness, the annual fee ranges between $0 and $99 ($0 and $75 during the first year). Your return on spending also varies based on your creditworthiness. Cardholders with good to very good credit earn 1.1% cash back on dining and 1% cash back on everything else, while cardholders with not-so-great credit get 1% cash back on gas, groceries, and telecommunications.
Credit One Bank Cash Rewards Visa is notable for its relatively laid-back qualification standards. This card is available to people with average to good credit, meaning it’s appropriate for applicants who’ve been denied access to more generous, exclusive credit cards. However, it has some notable omissions: there’s no sign-up bonus, introductory APR promotion, or balance transfer functionality. Here’s what to expect from this entry-level cash back product.
Earning Cash Back Rewards
The Credit One Bank Cash Back Rewards Visa has 4 different cash back rewards programs. During the application process, Credit One Bank analyzes your credit profile and automatically assigns you to the program that best fits your credit profile:
- 1% cash back on eligible gas, grocery, mobile phone, Internet, and cable/satellite TV service
- 1% cash back on eligible gas, grocery, dining, mobile phone, Internet, and cable/satellite TV service
- 1.1% cash back on eligible dining purchases and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
- 1.0% cash back on all eligible purchases
Redeeming Cash Back Rewards
Cash back is automatically applied to your account via statement credit at the end of each month. You don’t need to actively redeem your cash back, and can’t directly exchange it for goods or services.
Customizable Card Face
You can choose from 23 unique card face designs for your card. Some designs may carry a one-time fee, so be sure to ask before you apply.
Free FICO Score Each Month
Every month, you receive an updated FICO score with your account statement (also visible in your online account dashboard). There’s no fee associated with this service.
Credit One Bank Cash Back Rewards Visa’s annual fee ranges between $0 and $75 during the first year your account is open, depending on your creditworthiness. Every year thereafter, it ranges from $0 to $99. The cash advance fee is either the greater of 8% of the transferred amount or $5, or the greater of 3% of the transferred amount or $10, depending on your creditworthiness. Late payments cost up to $37, while returned payments cost up to $35. There is no foreign transaction fee. It costs up to $19 per year to add an authorized user.
Visa Card Benefits
This card requires average to good credit. Minor to moderate credit history blemishes are unlikely to disqualify your application, but serious issues (such as recent bankruptcies or foreclosures) are not acceptable.
- Cardholders With Good Credit Pay No Annual Fee. If you have good, very good, or excellent credit, you’ll likely be able to avoid this card’s annual fee. That’s great news, as the fee can rise as high as $99 – quite a pretty penny for an entry-level cash back credit card.
- Cash Back Is Automatically Credited to Your Account. Cash back earned with this card is automatically credited to your account at the end of each month. If you earn $10 during the billing cycle, your statement balance is reduced by $10. That’s a simple, elegant way to redeem cash back without having to think about it at all, and a great advantage over cash back cards with complex rewards programs, such as Blue Cash Everyday from American Express (a Membership Rewards card).
- No Penalty APR. This card doesn’t charge penalty interest, which is great news for cardholders who occasionally miss payments due to liquidity issues. Some cash back cards charge penalty interest at rates as high as 30%, significantly adding to the cost of carried balances.
- Free Credit Score Each Month. Credit One Bank includes a free FICO score with your monthly statement, and allows you to view your updated score in your online account dashboard. If you’re in the process of rebuilding your credit, this is a valuable service that can illuminate the implications of your spending and credit utilization.
- Relatively Laid Back Qualification Standards. This card’s qualification standards are fairly laid back, at least by the standards of the unsecured cash back credit card category. Applicants with average to good credit stand decent chances of securing approval, which is great news for those seeking their first true rewards credit card.
- May Carry an Annual Fee. Credit One Bank Cash Back Rewards Visa can carry an annual fee as high as $99. If you have average credit, you’re likely to face some sort of recurring levy – a big disadvantage relative to competing cash back cards such as Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited.
- No Sign-up Bonus. This card has no sign-up bonus – a significant drawback relative to many competing cash back cards. Some popular alternatives, such as Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card, carry sign-up bonuses of $100 or better when new cardholders spend $500 or more within the first 3 months their accounts are open.
- Cash Back Earnings Are Mediocre. Credit One Bank Cash Back Rewards Visa’s cash back programs aren’t the most generous around. The most you can earn with this card is 1.1% back on dining purchases. By contrast, some fellow cash back cards, including Citi Double Cash Card, earn up to 2% cash back on all spending.
- No Balance Transfers. You’re not allowed to make balance transfers with this card. If you’re struggling with existing high-interest credit card balances and see a cash back card that lets you start from scratch at 0% interest for 6 months, 12 months, or even longer, you need to look to a competitor such as Discover it.
- Has a 3% Foreign Transaction Fee. This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee (or $1 for small transactions). That’s a bummer for frequent overseas travelers.
- Cash Advances Can Be Very Expensive. This card’s cash advances can cost as much as 8% of the advanced amount. That’s far more expensive than most competing cards, whose cash advance fees top out at 5% of the advanced amount.
As cash back credit cards go, the Credit One Bank® Cash Back Rewards Credit Card is a bit outside the box. Its cash back program is multifaceted, it lacks common cash back trappings such as sign-up bonuses and introductory APR promotions, and it’s specifically designed for people with imperfect credit. If you’ve struggled to find the right cash back card for your needs, and you worry that your credit is not good enough to qualify you for a top-tier product, this card is worth a closer look.