What Is Credit One Bank?

What Is Credit One Bank?

January 6, 2016         Written By Jason Steele

When you have had problems with your credit, it can be difficult to find a card issuer that will approve you for a new card, yet this is a necessary step towards rebuilding your credit. On one hand, there are plenty of credit cards that are offered to applicants with good or excellent credit, while other companies offer secured cards that require the payment of a refundable security deposit before an account can be opened.

Credit One is one of the leading providers of cards for people with credit problems. It offers a range of unsecured Credit One credit cards that can feature cash back on gas and groceries, credit line increase reviews, and free credit score tracking.

The history of Credit One Bank

Credit One Bank is a limited service American bank that just offers credit cards. Credit One’s current iteration evolved from a bank called First National Bank of Marin, which began operating in 1984. By the mid 90’s, it began focusing its operations on the credit card market, and changed its name to Credit One in 2006. It now claims to be one of the largest and fastest growing credit card issuers in the United States, with more than six million current card members.

What products does Credit One offer?

Credit One offers a Platinum Visa card that has a variety of features. Cardholders can earn unlimited 1% cash back on gas and grocery purchases, and their rewards post automatically to their account each month. Credit One cards also offer a zero fraud liability policy, waiving the $50 in maximum liability for fraud allowed by the Fair Credit Billing Act of 1974. So customers can be confident that they won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges.

Cardholders can also personalize their card’s appearance by choosing from Credit One’s premium card design gallery. Another feature offered by Credit One is custom e-mail or text alerts to notify you of your payment due date, when a payment posts, and if your available credit runs low. Cardholders can also use its free online monthly credit score tracking and see how their credit score changes over time. Credit One also reports your payment history each month to all three major credit bureaus.

Rates and terms of the Credit One Platinum card

The Credit One Platinum Visa card offers a standard APR of 17.99% to 23.99% Variable, based on your creditworthiness when you opened your account. Just keep in mind this is a variable APR that can change with the market based on the Prime Rate. For example, the Federal Reserve Bank recently announced an increase in the federal funds rate for the first time in a decade. As a result, the Prime Rate rose and this interest rate went up slightly.

It is also important to note that this card does not offer an interest free grace period, so interest will begin to accrue on all purchases from the date of the transaction. Interest charges will not be waived if the entire statement balance is paid in full by the due date.

Cash advances have a fee of $5.00/8% or $10.00/3%, whichever is greater (see terms). There is a late payment fee and a returned payment fee of $38. Cardholders will pay an annual membership fee for the first year of between $0 - $99, depending on their creditworthiness. This membership fee counts against your line of credit, so if you have a $50 fee and a $200 line of credit, you will only have $150 of available credit before you make your first payment. In each subsequent year, the annual membership fee will be between $0 - $99 and will be billed monthly in 12 equal portions. There is also an authorized user participation fee of $19.

Is Credit One right for you?

This card is right for those who have damaged credit and are looking for a new card to rebuild their credit, without paying the security deposit required by a secured card. Once approved, cardholders will undoubtedly receive a modest credit limit of $300 to $500. When this credit limit is used sparingly, and payment is full made quickly, cardholders can expect their credit scores to rise quickly while holding interest charges to a minimum. In addition, this card’s 1% cash back rewards for gas and groceries will help to offset the annual membership fees and interest charges.

After a year of on-time payments, most cardholders will find their credit scores have risen to the point where they can qualify for a more competitive credit card. At that time, Credit One customers should have “fair” credit and may wish to graduate to a card that offers an interest free grace period, in order to have the opportunity to avoid interest charges by paying their entire statement balance in full and on time. In addition, Credit One cardholders will want to eventually upgrade to a card with lower annual fees.

By offering an unsecured credit card to people with any nearly any credit score, Credit One has become a popular card issuer for those who are looking to rebuild their credit.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of January 6, 2016. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a journalist that covers credit cards, travel and consumer credit. As one of the nation's leading experts in credit cards, Jason has contributed to dozens of travel and personal finance outlets including NerdWallet, Credit Karma and the Points Guy, where he serves as the Senior Points and Miles Contributor. Jason has also been widely quoted in mainstream media in outlets such as the Washington Post, the USA Today and Bloomberg Business Week. Jason is also the founder and producer of CardCon, which is the annual Conference for Credit and Credit Card Media.
View all posts by Jason Steele