The Credit One credit card targets people who want to rebuild credit but bombards them with unexpected fees and unclear terms. Is Credit One the worst credit card?
We’ve talked about a few bad cards — most of them are high annual fee cards without positive expected value.
Credit One falls into a different category: there’s no expected positive value, only guaranteed negative value. You’re getting lured in with the promise of rebuilding your credit. There’s a monthly fee, and they start charging you interest from the moment you make a purchase.
If you look at some of the fine print on the card landing pages, the terms are unclear. “A fee may apply, or terms apply” appear after some features.
Credit One cards are terrible for:
- People with bad credit
- Those who want to earn rewards
- Anyone who wants to avoid fees
Credit One Platinum Visa
- Annual fee can range from $0–99
- Sign-up bonus: None
- Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges
- Terms are unclear and come loaded with fees
- Purchase APR: 15.9–24.4% variable
- Interest fees start accumulating at the time of first purchase
Credit One’s target market is people who have no credit or people who have defaulted in the back and wanted to rebuild credit. They target people through snail mail and have a ton of hidden fees. The card doesn’t tell you upfront what fee you’ll pay until they run a soft pull.
Bottom line: Credit One is a predatory card, and you should avoid it at all costs.
Good alternatives to Credit One credit cards
- Secured credit cards — The idea is you give the bank $500 or $X amount deposit and your “credit limit” for the secured card is that set amount. If you default, you lose the deposit. In most cases, you’ll get your deposit back after 12 months and graduate to credit card. Read this post to learn more about secured credit cards.
- Self-Lender — Helps you establish credit history with a small, secured loan from a bank that’s placed into a CD account. After completing the term with on-time payments, the loan is paid off, and the CD account unlocks (with the original amount you selected) plus interest.
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