The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, June 18, 2024

First Access Visa® Card Review

Eric Bank

By: Eric Bank

Eric Bank
Eric Bank

Eric Bank is an M.B.A. who has covered financial and business topics since 1985, appearing regularly on Credible, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Zacks, Chron, BadCredit.org and dozens of other outlets. Eric specializes in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences, particularly in the world of personal finance. Eric holds a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Master's in Finance from DePaul University.

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Editor: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Reviewer: Danielle Spurlin

Danielle Spurlin
Danielle Spurlin

With more than 10 years of accounting experience, Danielle Marshall has a deep understanding of many financial disciplines, including personal and commercial lending, retirement annuities, financial forecasting, and general bookkeeping. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida's Fisher School of Accounting and currently manages all accounts receivable and payable for the parent company of CardRates.com. She works directly with credit card issuers and advertising partners to ensure our content meets compliance expectations and regulatory standards.

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First Access Visa® Card Review

Rated 3.8 /5.0 ★★★★

You can count on one hand the best unsecured cash back cards for consumers with bad credit. The First Access Visa® Card belongs to this select group. That’s a good thing since you’ll need the cash back you earn to offset some of the card’s considerable fees.

We review the First Access Visa® Card and three alternatives to help you choose a credit card that welcomes consumers with any credit. Consider each card’s fees and interest rates before choosing the best one for you.

An Unsecured Card for Bad Credit (Below 600 FICO Score)

The First Access Visa® Card caters to consumers with poor credit. To be eligible for this cash back credit card, you must reside in the United States, be at least 18 years old, own an active checking account, and earn enough income to afford the monthly minimum payments.

You must pay a one-time processing fee (separate from the annual fee) before the issuer will send you the card.

You can apply for the card in two ways. The first is by responding online to a mailed preapproval letter. Note that preapproval does not guarantee final acceptance.

You can also apply online without preapproval. You can access the application on the bank’s website by clicking the Apply Now button below:

Disclosure: When you apply through links on our site, we often earn referral fees from partners. For more information, see our ad disclosure and review policy.

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CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.

First Access Visa® Card Review

at First Access Visa®'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★

3.8

OVERALL RATING

Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
35.99%
$75.00 1st year, $48.00 after
Bad Credit

The online application requires the following information:

    • Name

    • Address

    • Email address

    • Phone number

    • Acknowledgement of checking account and minimum time open

    • Date of birth

    • Social Security number

    • Employment status

    • Employer name and phone

    • Years you’ve lived at current residence

    • Paycheck amount, frequency, and next pay date

    • Estimated monthly expenses

    • Whether you own a debit or credit card

    • Whether you intend to take cash advances

    • Whether you would like to add an authorized cardholder

The credit card company will usually make an approval decision in minutes. If favorable, you’ll have to pay the one-time program fee and await the card’s arrival. You can then activate the card online, via the mobile app, or by phone, and then begin using it.

This cash back credit card assesses an annual fee at issuance, which reduces your initial credit limit by the fee amount. You restore your full credit line when you pay the yearly fee.

Benefits & Drawbacks to Consider

The First Access Visa® Card, as with any credit card, manifests a set of benefits and drawbacks. You should carefully consider both before applying for this card. Aside from the modest cash back reward rate, the card provides only the most essential benefits.

Benefits

    • Rewards on Payments: The card lets you earn cash back when you pay for eligible purchases.

    • Potential to Improve Credit: The card issuer reports to each major credit bureau (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) monthly, which may help your credit as long as you make timely payments and use the card responsibly.

    • Accessibility for Bad Credit: The credit card company designed the card for consumers with bad credit. You may qualify for the card even if other cards have previously rejected your applications.

    • No Security Deposit Required: Unlike a secured card, the First Access Visa® Card does not require a security deposit. You may find this advantageous if you don’t have the money for a deposit on a secured card.

    • Simple Application Process: The application process is straightforward. You can complete it online, usually with a fast response time.

    • Free Credit Monitoring: The card provides free access to your VantageScore. It also offers credit education resources that explain how to monitor and interpret your score.

    • Mobile App: You can download a user-friendly mobile app to manage your card without going online. The app is available for Apple or Android devices.

Drawbacks

    • High Fees: The card comes with a variety of high fees, including a one-time program fee, an annual fee ($75.00 1st year, $48.00 after), a monthly servicing fee after the first year, a credit limit increase fee, and others. These fees are considerably higher than those of many other credit cards.

    • High APR: The card has a high annual percentage rate (APR) of 35.99%, which is much higher than the average credit card. You can avoid interest charges by paying your bill in full each month.

    • Low Initial Credit Limit: The initial credit limit is relatively low at $300, and you cannot request an increase for at least the first 12 months.

    • Restrictions on Cash Back Rewards: You earn cash back rewards only on payments, not purchases, and only as statement credits. You must wait six months to redeem any rewards you’ve collected, in 500-point increments.

Given the high fees and interest rates, the card may not be your best choice for everyday use compared to other cards that offer better terms and rewards, such as the three that we review next.

More Cards Worth Considering

The following three cards directly compete with First Access Visa® Card for consumers with bad credit. In some instances, they may have lower fees and higher spending limits.

FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® Review

at Continental Finance'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
3.5

OVERALL RATING

  • $400 credit limit doubles to $800! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Initial Credit Limit of $400.00 (Subject to available credit)
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
  • Access to your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Checking Account Required
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
35.90% Fixed
$99 introductory fee for the first year, then $125 thereafter
Fair/Poor/Bad

The FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® serves consumers with less-than-perfect credit. The application process is speedy, and you may receive a decision instantly. This card charges an annual fee, but its APR is a bit lower than that of other subprime cards that charge the maximum allowable amount of 36%.

The card reports your monthly activity to all three major credit bureaus, and you’ll get free access to your credit score to help monitor your credit-building progress.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
4.1

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 1% cash back rewards^^ on payments made to your Revvi Credit Card
  • Perfect credit not required
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Checking account required
  • Opportunity to request credit limit increase after twelve months, fee applies
  • *See Rates, Fees, Costs & Limitations for complete offer details
  • ^^See Revvi Rewards Programs Terms & Conditions for details
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
N/A
35.99%
$75.00 1st year, $48.00 after
Fair

The Revvi Card is nearly identical to the First Access Visa® Card, given they’re from the same issuer. It supports a quick and easy application process and caters to consumers with subprime credit. It pays cash back rewards on payments and charges an annual fee.

Like the First Access Visa® Card, this card charges about the highest legal APR it can, along with program fees and a monthly servicing fee after the first year.

Surge® Platinum Mastercard® Review

at Continental Finance'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
4.1

OVERALL RATING

  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Monthly Credit Score – Sign up for electronic statements, and get your Vantage 3.0 Score Credit Score From Experian
  • Initial Credit Limit of $300 – $1,000 (subject to available credit)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
See website for Details
35.90% Fixed
$75 - $125
See website for Details*

The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® offers an initial credit limit of up to $1,000, which may double after a number of months when you consistently pay on time. You can receive approval quickly, but it may take several days to receive your card in the mail.

You can prequalify for this unsecured card without a hard credit check. If you don’t qualify for the unsecured card, you may be eligible for the Surge Secured credit card.

Cardholder Reviews Around the Web

An anonymous consumer seems happy with the First Access Visa® Card:

“I applied for a First Access Visa a few weeks ago, and I was not automatically approved. They asked for proof of income. Well, I sent the needed information, and I found out I was approved for a $300 spending limit today. This is not much, but it works for me.”

However, negative reviews far outnumbered kudos, as exemplified by a comment from this user:

“Just looking at their rates, fees, and costs — I’d definitely be staying away from this card (personally)… They also impose a credit limit increase fee.”

Generally, internet comments advise potential cardholders to choose a different card, one with lower costs and better benefits.

FAQs: What is the Credit Limit?

The card’s initial credit limit is $300 minus the annual fee and costs for additional cards, if applicable. The card does not increase credit limits during the first year of ownership.

You may qualify for a credit limit increase after your account has been open for at least one year, but you’ll be charged a fee based on the amount of any increase in your credit limit.

You may use your card to obtain cash advances if your account:

    • Has been open for at least the later of ninety (90) days or three completed billing cycles

    • Is not past due

    • You have available credit for cash advances

Cash advances may not exceed one-half of your available credit limit. So with a $300 credit limit, you wouldn’t be able to withdraw more than $150. Advances may also be subject to limits imposed by banks and ATM operators, and interest begins accruing daily on the withdrawn amount.

Does the Bank Do a Hard Pull?

Yes, the Bank of Missouri will perform a hard credit check when you apply for the First Access Visa® Card. Hard pulls may impact your credit score and remain on your credit reports for two years. But a hard pull may only affect your scores for up to one year.

The effect of hard inquiries is minimal unless you accrue several within a short period, which is why it’s best to space out applications for new credit.

How Does Its Cash Back Work?

You earn cash back rewards based on the payments you make to your account. After opening your account, the card automatically enrolls you in the rewards program. Payment of the program fee and merchant credits/refunds to your account do not earn rewards.

The card tracks your rewards as points and redeems them as statement credits only. It awards your points at the end of each billing cycle based on your payments. Reward points have no cash value, and you cannot redeem them for cash, goods, services, or merchandise.

You can begin redeeming accrued points after your account is active and in good standing for six months. “Good standing” means that your account is:

    • Open with active charging privileges

    • Up to date and not in default

    • Under the credit limit

    • Without returned payments

    • In possession of complete, valid contact information

You can redeem your rewards online via MyCCPay.com, through the First Access Visa® Card Mobile App, or by calling a member of the customer service team.

You may redeem your points in increments of 500. The card applies your resulting statement credits to your outstanding account balance, but you must still make regularly scheduled minimum payments.

Rewards do not expire and are good for the life of the account. However, if your account closes for any reason, you will lose any unredeemed rewards.

Can It Help Me Build Credit?

The bank sends monthly activity reports to all three major credit bureaus, which is the most efficient tactic for building credit — if you pay your bills on time. Timely payments account for 35% of your FICO score, the most significant component.

FICO score factors

Generally, cardholders who pay their credit card bill on time every month see an increase in their credit. Your credit should steadily improve, although it may take six to 12 months to see progress.

Another 30% of your FICO score stems from how much debt you owe. One key factor is your credit utilization ratio, i.e., your outstanding credit card balances divided by your overall credit limits. You should keep this ratio below 30% to maintain good credit.

For example, if you have a credit card with a $500 limit, your outstanding balance shouldn’t exceed $150.

Generally, the best practice is to pay your entire balance each month to minimize your CUR and avoid interest charges — the APR on the First Access Visa® Card is 35.99%.

Which Bank Issues the First Access Visa® Card?

The Bank of Missouri issues the card. It is a $1.7 billion independent community bank and has been serving Missourians since 1891. The bank has more than 450 employees in 35 locations across Missouri.

The Better Business Bureau has not accredited the bank, which has a BBB rating of ‘F’ and a customer score of 1.04 out of 5. The bank has closed 437 complaints in the last three years and 175 in the previous 12 months.

The BBB attributes the bank’s abysmal rating to its failure to resolve the underlying cause(s) of a pattern of complaints.

The bank issues almost a dozen subprime credit cards. In addition to First Access Visa® Card, these include the following:

    • Aspire® Cash Back Reward Card

    • Cerulean Mastercard®

    • First Phase Visa®

    • FIT™ Platinum Mastercard®

    • Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card

    • Milestone® Mastercard®

    • Total Visa® Card (unsecured or secured credit card)

    • Verve Mastercard®

Generally, the Bank of Missouri tailors these cards to consumers interested in building or rebuilding credit, and they often come with high costs.

How Long Will It Take For My Card to Arrive?

Once the credit card issuer approves your application, it starts printing your card almost immediately. Final approval occurs when the bank receives your program fee.

The issuer will send your card within three to seven days business days after approval. Because of mail delays, you may have to allow 14 business days for your card to arrive.

This Card May Be For You If…

    • You want to earn cash back rewards: One of the unique features is that it offers cash back rewards on payments (rather than purchases).

    • You need credit reporting: The card reports to each major credit bureau — Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion — to help you build credit with responsible credit usage.

    • You have bad credit. The card caters to individuals with a bad or limited credit history.

These benefits may encourage you to apply for the First Access Visa® Card. But before you do, read the cardmember agreement so you fully understand the card’s costs and limitations.

About the Author

Eric Bank
Eric Bank Finance Expert

Eric Bank is an M.B.A. who has covered financial and business topics since 1985, appearing regularly on Credible, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Zacks, Chron, BadCredit.org and dozens of other outlets. Eric specializes in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences, particularly in the world of personal finance. Eric holds a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Master's in Finance from DePaul University.

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Eric Bank