American Express Platinum Review Summary
The Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card is one of the most popular credit cards for people with bad credit, largely because it’s one of the few unsecured cards that applicants with poor credit scores can get approved for. In addition to a $300 minimum credit line, Credit One’s Platinum Visa offers rewards and regular credit-limit increases, or at least the potential for both.
You’ll earn 1% cash back on at least some purchases as long as your account is not delinquent. You will be regularly considered for a higher credit limit, too, though you are by no means guaranteed to actually receive one. It all depends on how responsibly you use the card and how generous Credit One Bank is feeling.
For all that the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® offers, it also takes an awful lot in return. It charges an annual fee that can be anywhere from $0 to $95 the first year (up to $99 thereafter), depending on creditworthiness. That reduces your initial credit line to as little as $205. The Credit One Visa also has an APR of 17.99% - 23.99% (V), based on your credit standing.
Credit One Platinum Visa’s Key Terms:
- Credit Limit: $300+
- Annual Fee: $0 - $99
- APR: 17.99% - 23.99% (V)
- Rewards Rate: 0 - 1% Cash Back
With all of that being said, your decision of whether to apply for this card should ultimately rest on your need, or lack thereof, of an emergency loan. If obtaining one is a necessity – to cover the cost of car repairs or medical treatment, for example – Credit One’s Platinum Visa will be one of your top options. But if you don’t need extra spending power, perhaps because credit-building is your top priority, then you’d be better off placing a refundable deposit on a no-annual-fee secured card.
Below, you can learn even more about what the Credit One Platinum card brings to the table, what it lacks, and how much it all will cost you. You can also see how the Credit One Platinum card compares to other popular credit cards for bad credit.
American Express Platinum Highlights
1% Cash Back On Eligible Purchases
You will earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases made with the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit. You’ll get your earnings in the form of a monthly statement credit. Although that’s just the market-average earning rate for a cash back credit card, it’s actually great as far as credit cards for bad credit are concerned. Most don’t offer rewards at all.
There are a couple of factors that figure to limit how much you earn, though. The first is your spending limit. Assuming you’re approved for a $300 credit line and you pay your bill in full on a monthly basis, you’d only be able to earn a maximum of $36 in cash back over the course of a year. Second, you won’t learn what spending categories qualify as “eligible purchases” for Credit One credit card rewards until after you’re approved for an account.
Automatic Credit Line-Increase Reviews
Credit One Bank promises to regularly consider you for a higher credit limit if you get approved for the Platinum Visa as well as to automatically apply the higher limit if you’re deemed worthy of it. That is an obvious incentive when spending power is in high demand, as tends to be the case with unsecured credit cards for bad credit. However, it’s neither something unique to this Credit One Visa nor a guarantee.
Most credit-card companies make it a practice to consider customers for higher credit limits; they just don’t always advertise it. What’s more, Credit One does not disclose either the frequency with which cardholders will be evaluated for an increase or the criteria used to make the final determination. This shouldn’t stop you from using your card as responsibly as possible (i.e., always paying your bill on time and maintaining reasonable credit utilization) in hopes of earning an addition to your credit line. But you shouldn’t count on it, either.
American Express Platinum Lowlights
Annual Fee Of Up To $99
Not only does this card’s pricey annual fee promise to consume a healthy portion of your starting credit line, but you’ll also be kept in the dark about how much it will end up costing you until well after you’ve submitted an application. It could be anywhere from $0 - $99, depending on the state of your credit history as well as what credit limit you’re assigned. That’s a wide range, representing 0% to 33% of a $300 spending limit.
High Interest Rate
It figures that you will carry a balance with this card at some point, considering that its unsecured credit line is among its main draws. Unfortunately, financing with this type of plastic also stands to be quite expensive. Balances will accrue interest at a rate of 17.99% - 23.99% (V), based on your credit standing.
For context, the average APR among new credit card offers is 17.98%, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report, while the average secured credit card charges 17.19%. Oh, and the Credit One Card’s terms and conditions note that although its rate is variable, it cannot exceed 29.90%. It’s not clear whether that should be reassuring or not.
Other Things To Consider
- $300 Minimum Credit Line: Credit One doesn’t disclose what the highest possible spending limit is for its Platinum Visa, but you’re assured of getting an initial credit line of at least $300 (and as much as $500) should you get approved. That should give you a sense of whether this card is capable of covering the emergency expenses that perhaps serve as your impetus for contemplating an application.
- Free Monthly Credit Score: Credit-score access is extremely beneficial to people with damaged credit, providing a barometer with which to measure improvement. It should not, however, be the reason that you apply for this Credit One card. Many other credit-card companies offer free credit scores, after all, and the one you’ll get from Credit One updates only once per month. In contrast, WalletHub offers free credit scores that are updated on a daily basis. So you could always just use that and make your credit-card choice based on account terms only.
Compared To The Competition
Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card
Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
|Annual Fee||$0 - $99||$35 - $99*||$0|
|Rewards Rate||0 - 1% Cash Back||N/A||N/A|
|Purchase Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Transfer Intro APR||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Regular APR||17.99% - 23.99% (V)||24.9%||26.99% (V)|
|Editors' Rating||3.0 / 5||3.0 / 5||5.0 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|