What is Credit One Bank? (Credit One Bank Reviews)
You may not have heard of Credit One Bank, but their website says they are one of the “largest and fastest-growing credit card issuers in the United States.”
This bank does not have any offices you can visit, nor can you get a checking or savings account.
It focuses exclusively on unsecured credit cards and specializes in customers who have credit problems.
Who Chooses Credit One?
According to Credit One Bank reviews at Consumer Affairs, people choose this company if they have bad or poor credit scores. They have often tried other options from store cards like Kohl’s to other major banks like Capital One but were denied.
One Credit One credit card reviewer on Credit Karma said he damaged his credit rating by making poor financial decisions as a young adult. Others suffered a setback like unemployment and fell behind on their bills. Sadly, some consumers had medical emergencies and had to file bankruptcy before finding Credit One.
Creditcards.com mentions that other options for people with bad credit include prepaid and secured cards. However, these cards both have downsides. Secured cards require a deposit before you can use them, which may not be possible in an emergency. Experian also points out that prepaid cards don’t help customers improve their credit scores as they don’t show the ability to use credit responsibly.
Quick Facts About Credit One Bank (Review)
- Founded in 1984 in San Rafael, California
- Original name was First National Bank of Marin
- Started focus on credit cards in 1995
- Moved to Las Vegas in 1998
- Changed name to Credit One in 1996
What is a Credit Score?
When people talk about a credit score, they usually mean a rating from FICO. This company receives information from the three major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. FICO analyzes your behavior around money and develops a score that predicts how likely you are to pay your bills on time and how much credit you can handle.
Image Source: myFICO.com
Scores range from 300-850. Higher scores are better and are divided into the following categories:
- Excellent Credit: 750+
- Good Credit: 700-749
- Fair Credit: 650-699
- Poor Credit: 600-649
- Bad Credit: below 600
One Credit One Bank credit card review claimed that he was able to open an account with a FICO score of 530, which is very low. He then was able to increase his score 64 points in just 16 months by regularly making payments.
According to Experian, your credit score is not affected by:
- Your location
- Race or ethnicity
- Religious beliefs
- Marital status
- Employment history
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What Products Does Credit One Offer?
The bank currently has four different Visa credit cards featured on their website. They include:
- 1% CashBack
- Unsecured Platinum
- Credit Line Increase Reviews
- Official Credit Card of NASCAR
Image Source: Credit One Bank
Unfortunately, you can’t find out much about them until you apply, with the exception of the NASCAR card. All these products do have a few things in common like:
- Free credit score tracking monthly
- Email or text alerts that your payment is due
- 1% cash rewards on selected purchases
- Total fraud protection
The NASCAR card also offers you the opportunity to pick your payment date, get extra cashback at NASCAR.com, and have your account automatically monitored for credit line increases.
What Are the Interest Rates and Other Fees?
Although there are only four credit cards pictured, that’s not all the products that Credit One Bank has. If you scan their website carefully, you can find a list of 11 cardholder agreements. They have cryptic codes, not names, so it’s not clear if the extra 7 are past offers or match up with pre-approvals sent through the mail.
We can learn something about the cost of ownership, though. The charges are high, as many Credit One card reviews on CardHub noted, but also variable. You can check the most current fees on Credit One’s website. As always, make sure you also review the company’s terms and conditions.
No Grace Period
Many Credit One credit card reviews complained that this bank usually does not offer grace periods on purchases. A grace period is a very common courtesy given to credit card customers who pay on time.
On Yelp, one Credit One bank review points out that most banks will give you at least 25 days between the date your purchase was made and the due date for your card without charging any interest. With Credit One, you will start accruing interest from the very first day you use it. This can really add up quickly if you use your card a lot and don’t send payments immediately.
How Does Credit One Use Technology?
Since the bank doesn’t have any branches, you have to do all your business remotely. You can check on the status of your application on the website or design your own card. You can look at past statements, pay bills, look at your recent activity or your rewards balance online. You can choose to receive email or text notifications on the status of your account.
Image Source: Credit One Bank
One Credit One Bank credit card review mentioned that you can even make payments using your phone, and it’s received in your account the next day. Another reviewer disputed that statement and claimed that you have to pay a week in advance to avoid late fees or be charged $9.95 for an express payment.
However, in some ways, this company is technologically backward. One Credit One review points out that it’s impossible to send a secure email, so the bank will not discuss your account this way. New accounts can’t be activated online, only through an old-fashioned phone call. Only the primary account holders receive their own login; authorized users cannot.
Credit One or Capital One?
Why do so many people think Credit One Bank is a scam? Perhaps it’s because of their logo. It looks extremely similar to Capital One’s design. It’s so similar that many Credit One bank reviews mention accidentally applying for a card because they thought the offer was from Capital One. Looking at the two side-by-side, it is easy to see why someone might get confused.
Image Source: Credit One Bank vs Capital One Bank
How Is the Credit One Credit Card Customer Service?
Credit One card reviews agree that the service generally works correctly if you keep track of your spending and pay online and on time. Many people report holding these credit cards for years without a headache.
The problems seem to occur when you have to talk to a customer representative. Common complaints of Credit One credit card reviews include rude staff with strong accents who were difficult to understand. Representatives were also known to call very early or late to demand money, and to call more than 10 times a day. Other customers were hung up on when asking about errors on their statements.
One woman described the company on Credit Karma as “terrible” when they would not let her dispute a charge over the phone. Many Credit One card reviews claimed that their card was canceled with no notice and the bank’s employees would not give a satisfactory explanation.
One tip to get better service was to talk to a U.S.-based representative. Usually, the automated system routes you to India or the automated system. One Credit One bank review points out that calling the Collections number — regardless of your problem — gets you a human in Las Vegas who is more polite and better trained.
What Are Credit One Credit Card Reviews Like?
Credit One’s reviews are all over the map. On their website, there are 2,449 reviews, and the average rating is 4.7 out of 5 stars. The bank apparently bought the website Credit One Reviews too, as the ratings are identical there.
CardHub was much less positive, with an average score of 3.1 out of 5. Still, 11% of the reviewers gave the bank a perfect score.
The Credit One Bank reviews get worse from there. Credit Karma awards only 2.1 stars, while Yelp gives a scathing 1.5 stars. Their Consumer Affairs score barely beats the 1 out of 5 mark. Some reviewers at that website claim to have hired lawyers and are alleging fraud by the company.
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So, what is Credit One Bank? Is it a scam? It seems doubtful. It’s a real bank licensed by the U.S. government to issue credit cards. In addition, there are thousands of reviews online that talk about receiving and using the cards. No one has claimed that the credit cards don’t really exist.
Why all of the concern about a Credit One Bank “scam,” then? This might boil down to some of the company’s practices being deceptive. Their logo copies a competitor, and their fees and interest rates are unclear. Many customers had mysterious charges show up in their account, and representatives were unhelpful or even hostile when questioned.
Nevertheless, some consumers may feel that Credit One Bank is their only hope to repair their credit history. If you have bad credit and no one wants to work with you, it’s worth a look. Here is a brief summary of the pros and cons:
Credit One Bank Is For You If:
- Your credit is poor or bad
- You’ve tried and failed to get other credit cards
- You can’t afford the deposit for a secured credit card
- You are willing to use the card for small purchases only
- You will make payments frequently and regularly
- You are comfortable paying online
- You plan to keep the card for a short time
Credit One Bank Is NOT For You If:
- You have a fair credit score or better
- You want to pay by phone or mail
- You are not very organized
- You have credit card offers with better terms
- You can afford a secured credit card
A better option would be to check out what cards American Express and Discover have available and see which fits you best. The J.D. Power 2014 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study gave these banks their highest rating for customer satisfaction.
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