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Credit One Bank Review

With 7 million members and counting, Credit One Bank offers financial products geared towards people with less-than-stellar credit. Here's everything you need to know before applying.

As one of the fastest growing credit card issuers in the country, Credit One Bank already has 7 million loyal members.

But there's something different about this pool of cardholders: most of them have less than perfect credit.

Paying off a credit card demonstrates the kind of responsible borrowing behavior the three major credit bureaus look for when increasing your credit score.

Yet if your credit score dips too low, you may find it hard to gain approval for a credit card at all.

Credit card applicants with low credit scores are often given very high interest rates and very low credit limits if they do happen to score an approval.

They also don't normally qualify for credit cards that offer rewards either.

So maybe that's why 85% of Credit One Bank cardholders would recommend a Credit One credit card to their friends.

According to Credit One, they've paid out over $33 million in cash back rewards to their members.

While the thought of simultaneously repairing your credit score and earning cash back sounds like a total win, there's a lot more you'll need to consider before applying for a Credit One Bank card.

What Is Credit One Bank?

With words like "credit" and "bank" in their name, you may be confused as to what Credit One Bank actually offers if you've never heard of them.

Let's clear that up.

A Brief Rundown of Credit One Bank's History

Back in 1984, First National Bank of Marin (FNBM) opened as a full-service bank in San Rafael, California.

They offered your typical variety of banking services until the late 90s when they decided to focus their attention on credit cards.

After relocating their headquarters to Las Vegas, Nevada in 1998, FNBM received the green light from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, to operate as a CEBA bank in 2005.

CEBA banks are only allowed to "engage in credit card activities," as the FDIC puts it, and cannot perform other routine banking transactions like making commercial loans.

FNBM changed their name to Credit One Bank, N.A. in 2006, and adopted a logo to better represent their mission of helping cardholders improve their credit scores.

Though Credit One Bank doesn't have any branches you can visit, you can apply for three different credit cards they offer online.

Services and Products Offered by Credit One Bank

A majority of credit card issuers offer both secured credit cards and unsecured ones.

Here's the difference:

  • A secured credit card requires a cash deposit to "secure" your credit limit. If you deposit $500 to the bank backing your credit card, you generally have a $500 credit limit. This removes the risk of lending you money since you're providing the money upfront.

  • An unsecured credit card does not require a cash deposit. If you're approved, you'll be given a line of credit and you'll be able to make purchases with your card up to this limit.

Credit One Bank issues unsecured credit cards aimed for applicants with low and bad credit scores.

This makes their cards a good choice for those who cannot afford to make a secured credit card deposit before needing to use their line of credit.

Who are the Credit One Bank Cards Best For?

When credit card issuers screen for qualified candidates, they check every applicant's:

  • Credit score
  • Income
  • Credit history
  • Income-to-debt ratio

If any one of these factors falls short of the criteria set by that credit card issuer, your application will get denied.

So one of the first factors every potential applicant should check when researching credit cards is actually the easiest to find: your credit score.

When you know your credit score, you'll have a better idea of your approval odds.

Credit scores generally break down as:

  • Excellent: 750+
  • Good: 680–749
  • Average: 600–679
  • Poor: under 600

As David Weliver writes for Money Under 30, "Most so-called 'prime' and 'superprime' credit cards are only available to applicants with credit scores of 750 or better."

On the other hand, Credit One Bank approves applicants with credit scores as low as the mid 500s, making them ideal for people who have previously been denied credit cards but want to build or rebuild their credit history.

Let's discuss the three Credit One credit card options briefly now.

Credit One Credit Cards

Credit One Bank offers three different credit cards and they each have varying applicant requirements, credit card terms, and benefits.

  • The Credit One Cash Back Rewards Visa card gives cardholders an unlimited 1% back on eligible purchases (depending on your creditworthiness). We'll get to all the perks associated with this card in section 4.
  • The Credit One Platinum Visa card helps applicants build or rebuild their credit and earn rewards at gas stations. We'll talk more about improving your credit with the Credit One Platinum Visa in section 5.
  • The Credit One Official NASCAR Visa card gives fans 1% cash back on eligible purchases and double cash back at the Superstore. For more information about the Official NASCAR Visa, hop in the fast lane to section 6.

You have to fill out one general pre-approval application for Credit One Bank and then decide which card you want based on what you're approved for.

Let's go over each card in more detail so you know what you're being offered.

Cash Back Rewards Visa

Designed for applicants with low or poor credit, the Credit One Cash Back Rewards Visa card helps cardholders earn an unlimited 1% cash back depending on their creditworthiness.

Do I Qualify for the Credit One Cash Back Rewards Card?

To qualify for a Credit One Bank credit card, you must:

  • Be a U.S. resident
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid social security number and U.S. mailing address

Rates and Applicable Fees

Since Credit One approves so many applicants with "risky" credit behavior, they have to take certain precautions to decrease the risk of lending to applicants without a positive or established credit history.

This means you may face a higher APR or annual fee depending on your credit score (and other financial factors specific to your situation).

Since the APR for Credit One Bank cards is variable, remember that it can change whenever the Prime Rate adjusts with the market (Translation: It could go up or down).

Here are the current rates and fees for the Credit One Cash Back Visa, depending on your creditworthiness:

  • APR: Variable 16.15% to 24.65%
  • Annual fee: $0–$99

Just a note about your annual fee:

When you're first approved, your annual fee is taken directly from your line of credit.

So if you're approved for a $300 credit limit and you have a $75 annual fee, you will only have $225 of available credit before making your first purchase.

You'll then need to pay off your annual fee immediately or you'll start accruing interest on this amount.

In each subsequent year afterwards, your annual membership fee will be billed monthly in 12 equal portions. So that $75 annual fee will be a $6.25 monthly charge instead.

How Do I Apply?

Credit One Bank doesn't let you apply for their credit cards straight away.

You'll need to head over to the Credit One bank website and see if you pre-qualify for one first.

The good news is that this pre-qualification stage gives you an indication of whether you'll be approved for a credit card without hurting your credit score.

Just click the link that says "See if You Pre-Qualify" either at the top of the navigation bar or underneath the scrolling banner of credit card offers.

When you click one of those links, you'll be taken to a screen asking for your address, phone number, social security number, and your annual income.

Hit the orange button that says "See Card Offers" at the bottom when you're done.

Credit One Bank's online algorithms will then search one or more of the credit reporting agency databases to match your information with your personal credit profile.

Don't get too comfortable—you'll know whether you're pre-qualified for one of their credit cards in less than 60 seconds.

Pre-qualification doesn't guarantee an approval, but it means your chances of approval are pretty high. You'll still need to fill out a full application before you're officially approved.

To accept a Credit One pre-approval offer you received in the mail, click the links that say "Accept Mail Offer" on the Credit One Bank website.

You'll need to enter your approval code and your social security number. When you accept your pre-approved credit card offer you'll have an instant decision about your approval.

If you don't qualify for a Credit One credit card after all this, Credit One will at least provide your Experian credit score and a reason why your application was denied.

This way you'll know what you need to fix before applying again.

Perks and Features of Having a Credit One Cash Back Rewards Visa

Having a line of credit when you've been denied credit cards in the past can feel like a reward in and of itself.

But Credit One also gives their Cash Back Rewards Visa cardholders:

Unlimited 1% cash back on eligible purchases made with the Credit One credit card. Depending on your creditworthiness, your cash back will either be:

  • 1.0% cash back on eligible gas, groceries, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable & satellite tv service
  • 1.1% cash back on eligible dining purchases and 1.0% cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • 1.0% cash back on all eligible purchases

Your rewards post automatically to your account each month as a statement credit. So if you earned $5 back in rewards that month, you'll see $5 credited back to your account.

Though your statement credits cannot be used to pay off your credit card bill, they do help lower your balance so you pay less for your purchases (and pay less interest) so it does help.

Minimum $300 credit line for approved applicants. Though only a modest line of credit, you'll still have room to make small purchases and build up your borrowing activity.

23 different credit card designs to choose from to make your Credit One credit card as interesting as you are. PS: Certain designs carry an extra fee.

While the Credit One Cash Back Visa helps you earn rewards for your eligible purchases, the focus of the Credit One Platinum Visa is all about rebuilding your credit.

Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit

There's nothing more disheartening than being denied for a credit card when you really need the extra line of cash.

If your credit score is lower than average—and you don't have the money to deposit in a secured credit card account—you may think there's no way you're going to raise your credit score.

But Credit One wants to change that.

Display solid borrower behavior by spending modestly and paying off your balances quickly and your credit score should improve every month.

In a few months to a year of quality creditworthy behavior, many cardholders find that their credit scores raise so much that they can apply for credit cards with lower interest rates, longer grace periods, and better rewards.

So are you ready to take the first step to better credit?

Do I Qualify for the Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit?

The Credit One Platinum Visa is designed for applicants who need to rebuild their credit scores, therefore, it's offered to applicants with fair, poor, and bad credit scores.

You also need to be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • A U.S. resident with a valid social security number and U.S. mailing address

Rates and Applicable Fees

Check out the current rates and associated fees for the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa, depending on your creditworthiness:

How Do I Apply?

To apply for the Credit One Platinum Visa credit card, you'll need to fill out a form to pre-qualify first.

Since Credit One uses the same pre-qualification application for all three of their credit cards, simply follow the instructions in section 4.3. for everything you need to know.

Perks and Features of Having the Credit One Platinum Visa

Besides boosting a bad credit score, Credit One Platinum Visa holders may also:

  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases
  • Pick one of 20 different credit card designs to customize the look and feel of your credit card
  • Qualify for a credit limit over $1,500 so you'll have more room to make larger purchases. FYI: Most applicants don't start off with credit limits this high, but cardholders report automatic credit limit increases down the road.

Credit One Bank may help applicants with low or bad credit obtain credit cards, but they also have a credit card to reward loyal NASCAR fans too.

Official NASCAR Visa

Credit One Bank is the proud issuer of the Official NASCAR Visa credit card.

With a minimum $300 credit limit if you're approved, it's the perfect way to get decked out for every race and outfit your car like your favorite drivers.

Though other Credit One credit cards welcome applicants with low or poor credit scores, anyone can apply for the Official NASCAR Visa.

Do I Qualify for the Official NASCAR Visa?

Feel free to apply for the NASCAR Visa card as long as you're at least 18 years old, a U.S. resident, and have a valid social security number and U.S. mailing address.

The NASCAR Visa is open to applicants of all credit scores.

When you know your credit score, you can see what kind of rates and fees you'll probably be offered.

Rates and Applicable Fees

The APR and annual fees for the Official NASCAR Visa are based on your creditworthiness. The better your credit, the lower your fees:

Applicants with excellent credit will be offered:

  • 17.15%–23.40% variable APR
  • $0 annual fee

Applicants with average credit should expect:

  • 18.65% variable APR
  • $35–$75 annual fee

Applicants rebuilding their credit may have terms such as:

  • 20.65%–24.65% variable APR
  • $75–$99 annual fee

How Do I Apply?

You'll have to go through the Credit One pre-qualification process before you fill out an actual application for the Official NASCAR Visa.

Check out section 4.3. for more information about the Credit One pre-qualification and application steps.

Perks and Features of Having the Official NASCAR Visa

  • NASCAR cardmembers can rev their engines for rewards like:

    • 1% cash back on eligible purchases.

    Applicants with high credit scores may receive 1% cash back on all eligible purchases while other applicants may receive 1% cash back on eligible gas and automotive purchases only.

    • Double cash back at the Superstore
    • Special access to deals, promotions, and exclusive NASCAR events

You can see why the Official NASCAR Visa takes first place if you're a diehard fan.

What are the Features and Benefits Offered by Credit One Bank?

In addition to all the perks associated with each Credit One credit card, cardholders also receive all these Credit One Bank benefits at no extra charge:

  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back

    • All Credit One cardholders have the opportunity to earn an unlimited amount of cash back, depending on their card's specific terms.
    • These cash back rewards automatically post to your account as a statement credit. Though your rewards cannot be used to pay your credit card balance, they do lower your account balance so you don't have to pay as much.
  • Free Credit Score Monitoring and Reporting

    • Credit One cardholders receive access to free online credit tracking so they can monitor their progress to better credit.
    • Cardholders will be able to view their credit report summary and learn more about the specific details affecting their credit score (and how to improve them).
    • Every month, Credit One will also report your spending and payment activity to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), which will help build a credit history if you don't have one. Show off responsible borrower behavior and you'll increase your credit score.
  • Customizable Account Alerts

    • Create, customize, and set notifications for your Credit One account so you never miss a due date or spend too much of your credit limit.
    • Receive daily or weekly notifications about your posted activity, including your balance, available credit, and if your credit score has been updated.
  • Expert Level Fraud Protection

    • All Credit One credit cards are equipped with EMV chip technology to safeguard against counterfeiting.
    • Your account activity is regularly monitored to help detect and prevent fraud and suspicious behavior from wreaking havoc on your account.
    • Zero fraud liability means you won't have to pay for unauthorized charges if your card is ever lost or stolen.
  • Secure Mobile Account Access

    • Create your online Credit One account to make payments, check your statement balance, update your account preferences, and adjust your notification settings.
    • Your account can be accessed via the mobile app on any mobile device or by navigating to their mobile-optimized website. You can also login from any browser on your laptop or desktop.
    • Make secure purchases from your iPhone using Apple Pay at thousands of participating retailers by adding your Credit One card to your Wallet app.
  • Flexibility to Fit Your Life

    • Cardholders can choose their payment due date so it better aligns with their paydays and other bills.
    • Members can also add authorized users to their account.
    • All accounts will be automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities.
    • For extra peace of mind, you can opt for Credit Protection, which will cover your payments in the event of involuntary unemployment or disability and cancel your full balance (up to $10,000) in the event of your death. For more about this program, check out section 15.4.
  • Visa Benefits and Perks

    • Credit One credit cards backed by Visa are accepted at millions of merchants all over the world so you can use your card to make purchases and earn rewards for eligible charges almost anywhere.
    • Cardholders will even have access to exclusive discounts via the Visa Offers portal.
    • If you book your next vacation using your Credit One Visa, you'll be protected by Visa travel accident and auto rental collision insurance for no additional fee.

Where Do I Check the Status of My Application?

You should receive an immediate answer as to whether you're pre-approved for a Credit One credit card online within a few minutes.

However, sometimes Credit One will need additional time to approve your actual application for a credit card.

To check on the status of your Credit One Bank application, go to the Credit One website and scroll to the bottom of the page where you'll see a link that says "Application Status."

You can also enter the address directly in your browser:

You'll be taken to a page asking for your last name and social security number. Fill these in, hit the "Check Status" button, and you should receive some answers.

You can also contact the designated Application hotline at 1-800-752-5493 (between the hours of 5:00 AM–9:00 PM PST Monday–Friday; and 6:30 AM–5:00 PM during weekends).

What are My Payment Options for Credit One Bank Credit Cards?

Credit One Bank does not operate any locations or brick-and-mortar branches. That means you cannot simply walk into a Credit One establishment to pay your monthly bill.

What are the Acceptable Payment Methods?

Credit One Bank accepts payments in the form of:

  • Checks
  • Money orders from MoneyGram and Western Union
  • Debit/ATM cards when you pay online using the Express Payment option

You cannot use another credit card to pay your Credit One Bank credit card bill.

What Is the Minimum Payment?

Your minimum payment is the minimum amount you must pay at the end of your billing cycle in order for your account to remain in good standing. To find out how this number is calculated, check the terms of your specific card in your Cardholder Agreement.

You cannot make a payment less than $1.00 as that's the minimum amount of interest Credit One will charge.

If you fail to make your entire minimum payment by your bill's due date, you'll be charged a late fee.

What Are the Late Payment Repercussions?

  • You'll be hit with a late fee of $37 if your payment posts after your payment due date.

    To give you an idea of what's considered late, if your payment is received by Credit One:

    • Before 2:00 PM (PST) Sunday through Friday, it will post the same day and show up online in the "Posted Activity" section of your account "Overview" page the following business day.
    • After 2:00 PM (PST), it will post the following business day.
    • After 5:00 PM (PST) Friday and before 2:00 PM (PST) Saturday, it will post Sunday.
    • After 5:00 PM (PST) Saturday, it will post the next business day.

Where Can I Make the Payments?

  • You can pay your Credit One credit card bill by mail or online from your account page.

    To pay your bill my mail, send your payment coupon, your monthly statement, and a check to:

    Credit One Bank
    Payment Services
    P.O. Box 60500
    City of Industry, CA 91716-0500

    FYI: Payments received by mail are not processed during holidays such as: New Year's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, or Christmas Day.

    You also have the option of mailing a payment using MoneyGram's ExpressPayment service. Just provide your 16-digit Credit One Bank credit card account number and the Credit One 4-digit Receive Code (1430).

    To mail a payment using Western Union, use your 16-digit credit card account number with the Credit One "code city" (CREDITONEBANK) and "code state" (NV).

  • To pay your bill online, login to your Credit One mobile account dashboard and navigate to the "Current Snapshot" page where you'll have an up-to-date summary of all your account information, including your payment due date and minimum payment.

    Hit the "Pay Bill" button and you'll have two choices:

    1. Pay using the Standard Payment option and your funds will be available in "about five business days" according to Credit One Bank.

    This means if you pay $100, you'll need to wait around five days to see that $100 added as a credit to your account.

    You're only allowed to use your bank account to make a Standard payment so you'll need to have your account and routing numbers handy.

    There's no fee charged when you choose the Standard Payment option.

    2. Pay using the Express Payment option and your funds will usually be available the next business day.

    You can use either your bank account or your Debit/ATM card to make an Express Payment. Be warned: You'll be charged a fee of $9.95 for choosing the Express Payment feature.

What are the Pros of Credit One Bank Credit Cards?

Credit One Bank credit cards may not have all the glitz and glamour associated with other celebrity-endorsed credit cards, but that doesn't mean they're not the right option for someone who's been denied credit in the past and wants to rebuild their credit now.

If you're in this boat (as many Americans are), here are the top four benefits of a Credit One credit card:

Great for those with Poor or Limited Credit

Credit One credit cards are geared for applicants with less-than-awesome credit scores.

Their high approval rating is great for people who have been denied credit cards in the past due to their poor or limited credit history.

Unlike secured credit cards that require a deposit to use, the unsecured credit cards from Credit One don't require any money down to start borrowing and making purchases right away.

Plus, certain applicants will be eligible to earn 1% cash back rewards—an unusual credit card perk for applicants with low or bad credit scores.

  • Helps Rebuild Your Credit History

    As an unsecured credit card, all of your spending and repayment activity attached to your Credit One Bank card gets reported to all three major credit bureaus.

    Display creditworthy behavior—like only spending 30% of your credit limit and paying off your purchases several times each month to keep interest charges to a minimum—and your credit score will slowly climb into the higher ranges.

    You'll then start to qualify for better offers from other credit card issuers with your shiny, new-and-improved credit score.

  • Offers Various Reward Programs Attached to their Cards

    Most credit cards given to applicants with little or bad credit offer very little in the way of loyalty rewards. However, Credit One cardholders have the chance to earn 1% cash back for their eligible purchases.

    NASCAR fans carrying the Official NASCAR Visa card will also earn double cash back online at the Superstore.

    Plus, all the Visa-backed Credit One cards come standard with access to Visa Offers and perks, like travel accident and auto rental collision insurance when you book your vacation with your Credit One Visa.

  • You Can Check Your Credit Score Progress for Free

    All Credit One Bank credit cards give their cardholders access to free online credit monitoring so they can watch the progress of their credit score in real time.

    Tracking your credit score every month helps you nail down exactly what's hurting or helping your credit score.

    Despite those four benefits, there are three downsides you should also consider before submitting a formal application to Credit One.

What are the Cons of Credit One Bank Credit Cards?

Credit One credit cards may be a gift for some and nightmare for others.

To get them to work for you, you'll need to overcome these three negative points:

  • Annual Fees Vary Based on Your Creditworthiness

    It's not uncommon for credit cards offering rewards to charge an annual fee. After all, this fee helps cover the costs associated with giving away all that cash back and member-exclusive swag.

    Typically this annual fee is a one-price-fits-all kind of thing.

    However, Credit One bases their annual fee on your creditworthiness.

    That means you could be on the line for an annual fee anywhere from $0–$99 depending on what your credit looks like when you apply for a card.

  • High APR and No Grace Period

    The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for your Credit One Bank cards is variable and based on the U.S. Prime Rate (Credit One uses the rate that appears in the The Wall Street Journal every 25th of the month).

    Currently, the APR for Credit One Bank credit cards is between 16.15% and 24.65% based on your creditworthiness when you open your account.

    To give you an idea of how that compares to other credit card APRs, cash back credit cards can offer qualified applicants APRs as low as 13.24% or as high as 22.99%.

    What may be harder to deal with than the super high APR is that most applicants will only qualify for credit cards without a grace period.

    A grace period is the time between when you make your purchases and when your purchases start accruing interest.

    Normally, credit card issuers give cardholders a grace period between 20–25 days. This means if you're able to pay off your purchases within this time frame, you will not have to pay interest.

    However, certain Credit One credit cards have a zero grace period stipulation, meaning your purchases start racking up interest the same day they're made.

    If you don't pay off your purchase immediately, you'll be hit with an interest charge for the purchase every day after you charged it to your card. This accumulated interest will be added to your balance to pay off.

    So it's best to make several smaller payments on your Credit One credit card if you plan to use it for everyday purchases. If you only make your payment when it's due, you'll be faced with lots of additional interest fees.

  • Credit Limit Increases Are Hard to Get

    Even though Credit One Bank automatically reviews your account to see if you're worthy of a credit limit increase, several customers have complained about this being extremely hard to get.

    What we know from customers online is that Credit One usually increases credit limits in $100 increments about once or twice every year (as long as your account remains in good standing and your spending habits are reasonable).

    So if you're only approved for a $300 credit limit, don't expect to reach a $1,500 credit limit in a year.

What are Customers Saying About Credit One Bank and Its Cards?

Customers reviewing the Credit One cards on Credit Karma frequently complain about high interest rates and expensive annual fees.

Other negative reviews seem to focus on the lack of credit limit increases and the not-so-friendly customer service representatives:

But cardholders who do their homework and understand the way Credit One operates are more than satisfied with their services, as these positive Credit Karma reviews show:

You'll see so many mixed reviews for credit cards because everyone's financial history and credit needs are different.

Take these opinions as general market research before deciding what's right for you.

Can I Cancel My Card at Any Time? What Are the Fees and Consequences of Terminating My Card?

You'll need to time the closing of your Credit One Bank card very carefully—especially if you're charged an annual fee.

See, your first annual fee is subtracted from your credit limit when you're initially approved for your Credit One credit card.

So if you were approved for a $500 credit limit with a $75 annual fee, you would start out with a $425 credit limit and need to pay off that $75 before making any purchases with your card.

However, after your first year, certain accounts will have an annual fee billed every month instead of all at once. So that $75 annual fee breaks down to a $6.25 monthly charge.

You'll have to pay your outstanding balance in full when you close your Credit One account, but you'll also need to pay off that annual fee that was prorated during the year.

For example, let's say you've been paying $6.25 for four months of the year and you want to cancel your account.

You will be charged for the remaining eight months of your annual fee before your account is able to be closed ($50).

Pay off your balance near the end of your credit card year (around month 10) and cancel your account before you start the annual fee cycle for the following year.

Our Thoughts—Should You Go for It?

There's really only one group of people who will benefit the most from using Credit One Bank's credit cards: applicants with bad or little credit looking to boost their credit scores and qualify for better credit cards in the future.

If you've been denied for credit cards before, Credit One will give you the fresh start you've been looking for.

You'll have access to cash back rewards, free credit monitoring, and won't have to put down a deposit like you would with a secured credit card.

But if you're lucky enough to have good credit, Credit One's measly 1% cash back (only as a statement credit no less) won't be enough incentive to keep around a card with a low credit limit and an annual fee when you'll be able to qualify for cards that offer so much more.

FAQs about Credit One Bank Credit Cards

Now that you know more about Credit One Bank credit cards, let's see if we can answer the most commonly asked questions about their products and services:

What Is the Pre-Approval Stage?

You must be pre-qualified for a Credit One Bank credit card before filling out a full credit card application.

To see if you're pre-qualified, simply enter your personal information over at the Credit One Bank secure website. You'll receive an answer in minutes as to which credit cards you're pre-approved to apply for.

Bonus: Your credit score will not be affected by this pre-qualifying process.

If you receive a pre-approval letter in the mail, all you need to do is enter the approval code from your letter and your social security number online to complete the application process.

Application responses only take a few minutes, but may take longer under certain circumstances.

What's the Difference Between Secured vs. Unsecured Credit Cards? Which One Is Best for Me?

Secured credit cards require a security deposit before you're allowed to use them.

This money will act as your credit limit. So if you place $500 in your account, you will be allowed to spend up to this amount.

Secured credit cards are usually offered to applicants with bad credit scores as a way to reduce the lender's risks of extending credit to less creditworthy applicants.

If the cardholder doesn't pay back their debt, it costs nothing to the lending company since it was not their money.

Unsecured credit cards do not require a security deposit.

If you're approved for a $500 credit limit, you will not be asked to put that amount down.

While it's harder to be approved for an unsecured credit card with bad credit, you may be able to qualify for a line of credit that's more than what you'd be able to deposit in cash for a secured credit card by choosing Credit One.

What are the Average Credit Limits for the Credit One Cards? How Often Do I Get Credit Limit Increases?

Cardholders report an average starting credit limit between $300–$500, but certain cardmembers are eligible for credit limits above $1,500.

Credit One says they automatically consider all their accounts for credit line increase opportunities based on each cardholder's credit and payment history.

When this happens, they'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit limit.

Credit One will use your "overall credit performance" as an indicator of increasing your credit line.

As a general rule, if you make at least six months of consecutive on-time payments and pay more than your minimum amount due, you should be a good candidate for an increase.

Customers typically see increases in $100 increments about once or twice a year as long as their account remains in good standing.

What Is the Credit Protection Program?

Credit One Bank offers their cardholders access to their Credit Protection Program, or their optional debt cancellation program.

Basically, if you ever become involuntarily unemployed or disabled and can't make your credit card payments, Credit One will cover up to six benefit payments and will cancel your full balance (up to $10,000) in the event of your death.

You'll have to pay a monthly fee to participate in the Credit Protection Program which will show up on your credit card statement.

That charge is "based on your account balance each month and is calculated by multiplying the unit cost of the Credit Protection Program ($0.96 per $100, or part thereof) by the New Balance printed on your statement," according to their website.

What are the Cardholder Agreements I Should Be Aware Of?

Contrary to most credit cards, certain Credit One Bank cards do not have a grace period, or the time between when you make a purchase and when that charge starts accruing interest.

While you're usually allowed to avoid interest charges by paying off your balance in full before your grace period ends, your Credit One purchases will start earning interest the second they post to your account so watch out.

And if you're charged an annual fee, keep in mind that this will be deducted from your initial credit limit (and accrue interest charges) before you make any purchases with your card.

Your annual fee may be broken up into monthly payments the following year so you will need to pay that off even if you cancel your card before the year is over.

Where Can I Access My Free Online Credit Score?

Sign into your Credit One online account dashboard and click the link that says "Credit Score" at the top of the page in the navigation bar.

Here you'll have access to your credit history, credit report summary, and your credit score.

How Do I Look for the Offers Available for My Card?

Every Credit One Bank credit card comes with exclusive offers just for your account.

To view these, just login to your online account and select "Offers" in the site menu or at the top navigation bar.

Is it Better to Go With their Express Payment or a Standard Payment Option?

The Standard Payment option may take up to five days to post to your account, but this option doesn't cost anything to utilize.

The Express Payment option processes your payment almost immediately so your funds are received and available to use the next business day.

Yet this speed comes with a $9.95 fee.

Get in the habit of making the Standard Payment early enough that you avoid the Express Payment charge.

Just be aware that you don't want your payment posting too late or you'll incur a ($37) late penalty.

If you need to make a payment that's on the verge of being late, you'll have no choice but to choose the Express Payment option, which will still be cheaper than a late fee.

Similarly, if you anticipate an expense and need your credit line available ASAP, you may want to use Express Payment to have your available funds sooner rather than later.

How and Where Do I Dispute a Charge?

If you ever have to dispute a charge posted on your account, you have to send Credit One a written dispute letter.

Make sure you include information relating to your account dispute, such as:

  1. Your account number
  2. The name of the disputed merchant
  3. A detailed explanation of the disputed charge
  4. The date the disputed charge was made
  5. The specific amount of the disputed charge

Mail this written dispute letter within 60 days of the potential error appearing on your statement to:

Credit One Bank

Attn: Dispute Department

P.O. Box 98876

Las Vegas, NV 89193-8876

Credit One bank will respond to your written dispute within 30 days of receiving your written notice.

Their dispute process may take up to 60–90 days to resolve, but it will never go on longer than two complete billing cycles.

Can I Pay Using Apple Pay?

You can use the contactless Apple Pay software to pay for your purchases wherever you see the Apple Pay symbol.

Follow the official Apple Pay instructions to add your Credit One Bank credit card to the Wallet app on your iPhone or iPad.

You can even set up Apple Pay on your Apple Watch.

You'll enjoy the same benefits and cash back rewards when you use your Credit One card through Apple Pay for your purchases.

How Can I Request an Increase to My Credit Limit?

To request a credit limit increase, sign into your online Credit One Bank account and find the "Settings" section from the site menu.

You'll see a link for "Credit Line Increase" and then follow the steps from there.

Remember, requesting a higher credit limit may force Credit One to perform a hard inquiry on your credit. Hard checks have the potential to lower your credit score by up to five points.

Can I Add More Authorized Users to My Card?

Credit One cardholders are allowed to add additional users to their credit card account for a $19 fee.

These authorized users will be issued a card with your account number and they will be able to make purchases using your credit card.

However, you as the account holder will be solely responsible for paying off these charges.

Which Credit Bureaus Does Credit One Bank Report To?

Credit One bank will report your credit activity to the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

Can I Really Rebuild My Credit by Using the Platinum Visa Card?

The Credit One Platinum Visa is designed for applicants looking for a roadmap to rebuild their credit score the easy way.

Since the cards start off with very low credit limits, cardholders are able to quickly pay off their balances with small, manageable payments.

This responsible borrowing behavior will be reported to all three credit bureaus and your score will improve every month you keep up the good work.

Credit One believes in helping their members on the road to financial success so much that they offer free monthly credit tracking online so their cardholders know exactly what's going on with their credit score.

Is Credit One the Same as Capital One?

Even though their names are super similar, and their logos look nearly identical, Credit One Bank is not the same as Capital One.

Capital One offers credit cards for a range of applicants; Credit One Bank targets applicants with bad credit or very limited credit histories.

Since Capital One is part of the major credit card issuer club, applicants with anything less than excellent or good credit may find it tough to get an approval for their credit cards.

It's not uncommon for Credit One Bank customers to graduate to Capital One credit cards after they've successfully raised their credit scores.

Where Can I Use My Credit Cards?

You can use your Credit One Visa cards wherever Visa is accepted, in-store or online.

Can I Track the Progress of My Credit Building for Free Via Credit One Bank?

All Credit One Bank credit cards come with free monthly credit score monitoring.

Access your credit history, credit report summary, and your credit score just by signing into your Credit One account online and clicking the "Credit Score" link in the top navigation bar.

Once you agree to the Terms of Use / Credit Score Authorization, you'll be able to watch your credit report for any changes and track the progress of your credit score.

Can I Use My Card Outside the Issued Country? If So, What Are the Foreign Fees?

You can use your Credit One Visa credit card anywhere Visa is accepted. Since Visa cards are accepted all over the world, you should be able to use your card when traveling outside the U.S.

Just be prepared to face a 3% foreign transaction fee (or $1.00, whichever is greater) anytime you use it abroad.

I Have Been Getting Multiple Calls from Credit One Bank. How Can I Make Them Stop Calling Me?

During the application process, you will need to give Credit One Bank approval to contact you via telephone about offers and specials (among other reasons for communication).

As per your cardholder agreement, you'll need to provide Credit One with written notice if you want to revoke this permission and have them stop calling you.

Are there Any Cash Advance Rates and Fees If I Withdraw Cash from My Credit Line?

You're allowed to withdraw cash from your Credit One credit line, but you will be charged a fee to do so.

Depending on the terms of your specific credit card, you could be charged either:

  • A flat $5 fee or 8% of the total amount of your cash advance (whichever is greater)
  • A flat $10 fee or 3% of the total amount of your cash advance (whichever is greater)

Additionally, you'll pay a different interest rate for your cash advance than you would for your normal purchases.

Expect a cash advance APR between 18.65% and 25.65% based on your credit score at the time you opened your Credit One account.

Are there Better Credit Card Options If I Have a Fair to Good Credit Score?

Credit One credit cards are not created with fair-to-good credit score holders in mind.

When you have decent credit, you may not get approved for top-tier credit cards, but you'll qualify for better cards with lower interest rates and annual fees, such as:

  • The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card which boasts unlimited 1.5% cash back everywhere your card is accepted for just a $39 annual fee
  • The Citi Double Cash Card that gives you 1% cash back for purchases you make and 1% cash back as you pay off those purchases without charging an annual fee
  • The USAA Rate Advantage Platinum Visa card that has a variable APR range of 7.65%–24.65% and doesn't have an annual fee

Can I Get the Cash Back Bonus on Gas Purchases at All Gas Stations?

Credit One cardholders earn an unlimited 1% cash back in rewards for all gas purchases made with their credit card.

Unlike gas station-branded credit cards, you can use your Credit One credit card at any gas station that accepts Visa credit cards for payment.

Do I Have a Balance Transfer Option?

You cannot transfer a balance from another card to your Credit One Bank credit card.

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