Credit One Bank® Card: Credit Score Needed for Approval

Credit One Bank® Card: Credit Score Needed for Approval

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: July 30, 2019
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines and are updated regularly.

Credit One Bank is a major credit card company that has offered cards to consumers with less-than-perfect credit since 1984. The bank claims to be the fastest-growing credit card issuer in the U.S. and currently offers three cards with varying benefits and fees, all of which are certainly viable options if you want an unsecured, credit-building card.

In this article, we review the pros and cons of Credit One cards and suggest five alternatives for you to consider, based on the features that matter most to you.

Credit One Bank Cards | Alternatives | FAQs

Credit Scores from 300 to 670+ Welcome to Apply

Credit One aims its cards at folks with fair or poor credit scores. While the issuer doesn’t publish any information about required scores, we’ve come across a review that indicates a recommended credit score range of 300 to 670. Customers commented on receiving a card despite credit scores in the 500s, and several mentioned getting a card just months after filing for bankruptcy.

You can visit the Credit One website to see whether you pre-qualify for the card before applying. Credit One cards offer cash back rewards, provide $0 fraud liability, and do not require a security deposit.

The issuer performs automatic reviews for increasing your credit line, gives you free access to your credit score and history report, and offers optional credit protection. Other benefits are car rental collision damage waiver and travel accident insurance.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • Seeing if you Pre-Qualify is fast, easy, and secure
  • Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply
  • Rewards post automatically to your account each month
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Pick a card that fits your style. Multiple card designs are available, a fee may apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.99%-25.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Poor
Credit One Bank® Visa® with Free Credit Score Tracking Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • See if you Pre-Qualify in less than 60 seconds—without affecting your credit score. It's fast, easy, and secure.
  • Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV. Terms apply.
  • This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card—not a debit card, prepaid card, or secured credit card with deposit requirements.
  • Credit One Bank evaluates every account for credit line increase opportunities. We'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line.
  • Take advantage of free online access to your Experian credit score and credit report summary so you can track the key factors impacting your credit health. Terms apply.
  • Zero Fraud Liability protects you if your card is ever lost or stolen. Rest easy knowing you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.99%-25.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Poor Credit
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Track your progress with free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
  • Stay in-the-know with customizable account alerts via email and text
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.99%-25.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Bad Credit

On the downside, the card’s annual fees range from $0 to $99, and you won’t know the precise amount until you apply. The cards charge fees for things like foreign transactions and authorized users.

Customer reviews give the company low marks for service, but that certainly isn’t universal. In sum, the Credit One cards are midpack in terms of value but do offer unsecured credit for folks with low scores who want a chance to earn rewards while rebuilding their credit.

5 Alternatives to Credit One Bank Cards

These five alternatives compete with Credit One for consumers who have bad credit. One is a secured card that requires a deposit. If you can swing it, a secured card is often the easiest to obtain, whatever your credit score.

  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.49% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® markets itself to consumers with limited credit history. The card requires a security deposit and proof of income. Your monthly income must exceed your monthly rent/mortgage payments by a set amount. You aren’t eligible for the card if you lack a bank account, have an unresolved bankruptcy, or have two or more open account accounts with Capital One. The card charges no annual or transfer fees and provides $0 fraud liability.

Fingerhut Credit Account Review

at Fingerhut'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands
  • Take advantage of low monthly payments if you apply and are accepted for a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank, who determines eligibility and qualifications for the terms of credit
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Issuers Website
$0
Poor Credit

The Fingerhut Credit Account provides credit for purchases you make from the Fingerhut website. The account requires no security deposit nor annual fee. Fingerhut reports your payments to all three national credit bureaus, which can help build your credit. While the card does not specify a minimum credit score, it is widely known to be easy to obtain for most consumers. Fingerhut will assign you a credit limit after you agree to the account, and it can change the limit at any time.

Total Visa® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.5/5.0
  • Checking Account Required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine Visa credit card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • If approved, simply pay a Program Fee to open your account and access your available credit
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Terms
See Terms
Fair, Bad Credit

The Total Visa® Card targets consumers who have struggled to get credit and have faced financial challenges. It promises a response in seconds after you apply. The card charges an annual fee and a one-time program fee but waives the monthly servicing fee for the first year. You must have a checking account to receive approval, and you cannot use the card at an automated fuel pump, for gambling, or outside the United States. The Total Visa® Card reports your monthly payments to all three of the major credit bureaus.

Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

3.9/5.0
  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Protection from fraud if your card is stolen
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • *Dependent on credit worthiness
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$35 - $99
Bad, Poor Credit

The Milestone® Mastercard® is an unsecured card for those with imperfect credit. You should not apply if you have been delinquent with any creditor in the past two months. When you apply for the card, the issuer will consider you for one of three different versions, each with its own annual fee and account-opening fee schedule. You can pre-apply for the card without affecting your credit score. The card waives the cash advance fee for the first year. If you make a late payment, your APR will increase for an indefinite period.

Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pre-qualify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$0 - $99
Bad, Poor Credit

The Indigo® Mastercard® invites applications from consumers with limited, bad, or no credit. It lets you prequalify without affecting your credit score. If you don’t prequalify, the issuer may refer you to a credit card from another bank. You may qualify for one of three versions of the card, two of which charge an annual fee. The card reports your payments each month to the three national credit bureaus. Additional benefits include road assistance, extended warranty coverage, car rental insurance, and travel assistance services.

Is Credit One a Good Credit Card?

A card from Credit One may be useful for those with bad or no credit. Like any financial product, it has its pros and cons.

On the plus side, its cards do not require a security deposit and may charge no annual fee. You get free credit scores, $0 fraud liability, free collision damage waiver for car rentals, and travel accident coverage.

Screenshot from the Credit One website

Choose from among almost two dozen Credit One card designs.

Credit One lets you choose from among almost two-dozen card designs at no extra cost. Perhaps the most distinguishing benefit is the availability of cash back rewards on various types of eligible purchases. You will also receive automatic consideration for credit line increases. The cards’ APRs are in line with those of its competitors.

Despite all the benefits, you will want to consider potential problems with a card from Credit One, including:

  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has received more than 5,000 complaints about Credit One.
  • You will not know important parameters until after you apply, including the APR, fees, and grace period.
  • According to its FAQs, the issuer may take a week to process payments, which could result in late fees. If you pay off principal, new credit will become available after a delay of 12 days.
  • The card charges fees for many of its services and may charge an annual fee as well.

To be sure, these policies may help Credit One extend credit to consumers who would otherwise have trouble obtaining a credit card. Nonetheless, our experts have assigned higher ratings to the five credit cards reviewed in this article, all of which serve consumers with bad credit.

Does Credit One Increase Credit Limits?

Most issuers, including Credit One, offer increases on your credit limit, often without you asking for it. Issuers generally use a soft inquiry that won’t hurt your credit score to decide if you’re eligible for an automatic limit increase.

Credit One recommends certain steps to increase your likelihood for a credit limit increase:

  • Don’t use too much of your available credit. Most issuers want you to keep our credit utilization ratio (CUR), at or below 30%. When your CUR rises too high, it could indicate financial distress and hurt your chances for a limit increase.
  • Always pay your bills on time and always make at least the minimum payment. When you pay more than the minimum, you indicate that your finances aren’t stretching you too thin.
  • Be on the lookout for unusual activity. You do this by periodically reviewing your account and your credit report. Errors, fraud, and identity theft can have devastating negative effects if you don’t promptly respond.

A credit limit increase is rewarding in several ways:

  1. It reduces your CUR, which can help you achieve a higher credit score.
  2. Being able to spend more means you can earn more rewards, assuming your card offers cash back, points or miles. If it doesn’t, you can apply for a rewards card and point to your recent limit increase as proof of your creditworthiness.
  3. It can improve your lifestyle by making certain expenses affordable. For instance, you may need a higher limit to finance a vacation or a big-ticket purchase. That said, it’s probably a good idea to wait a month or more before spending your higher limit, so that you can benefit from your lower CUR.

Does Credit One Have an Annual Fee?

According to its Disclosures and Terms & Conditions, Credit One offers a range of annual fees, although if you have good credit, you may avoid it. Folks with poor credit will likely have to pay an annual fee during the first year, which may increase in subsequent years. Credit One bills the annual fee when you open the account, which will reduce your initial credit limit.

For example, if you receive an initial credit limit of $300, your available credit could be as low as $225 after subtracting a $75 annual fee. However, for some accounts, Credit One will divide the annual fee for Year 2 and later into 12 equal portions and bill them monthly. Other accounts will have to pay the annual fee after Year 1 in a lump sum payment.

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® doesn’t charge an annual fee. The same is true for the Fingerhut Credit Account and for one version of the Indigo® Mastercard®. All things being equal, you will no doubt prefer a card that charges a low or no annual fee.

Unfortunately, all things are never equal. Each card presents a unique mix of costs and benefits, so it takes some effort to evaluate the trade-offs. A card may require an annual fee to offset the risk of offering cards to customers with bad credit. You should assess the overall benefits that a card offers and whether you feel it’s worth an annual fee.

Are Credit One Bank and Capital One the Same?

It’s easy to confuse these two banks due to their similar names and logos. But they are decidedly not the same company. Credit One Bank®, N.A., of Las Vegas is a subsidiary of a private company, Sherman Financial Group of Charleston, South Carolina. It is an online-only national bank, chartered by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

The bank’s sole product is the lineup of Credit One credit cards — it has no checking or savings accounts, no tellers or no brick-and-mortar branches. Credit One describes itself as a technology and data-driven financial services company serving millions of cardmembers. The bank’s roots stem from its founding in San Rafael, California, in 1981. It relocated to Las Vegas in 1998 and adopted its swoosh logo in 2002.

Credit One Bank and Capital One Bank Logos

In contrast, Capital One® is a full-service bank — one of America’s 10 largest based on deposits — and a member of the Fortune 500. It has branch offices primarily located in six states and the District of Columbia and is headquartered in McLean, Virginia.

In addition to credit cards, it offers checking and savings accounts, automobile loans, business banking, merchant services, retirement solutions, and commercial services. In 2018, 75% of the company’s revenues came from credit cards. Capital One® offers several credit cards accommodating credit scores from poor to excellent.

The Right Card will Depend on Many Factors

If you have bad credit, you may define a “good” credit card as one that will accept you. We support a more nuanced approach by offering you smart information about the universe of credit cards — the good and the bad.

Credit One cards can be a good addition to your wallet if you understand the various fees and use the card responsibly. It offers cash back rewards, which is unusual for a card pitched to those with bad credit. The five alternatives we review in this article also compete for consumers with bad credit. Use the information we present as a starting point for further research to determine which card makes the most sense for you.