Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee Card Review
Why trust us? Investor.com has no financial relationship with any of the credit card providers whose products we analyze and review. Our opinions are based solely on data and our own extensive independent research — that means unbiased guidance for consumers. Rewards cards in our cashback credit card calculator are listed in descending order according to how much money they pay out annually based on the inputs.
Credit One’s 2% cashback rate on gas, groceries and cell/’net/cable bills comes thisclose to making you forget about the card’s limitations.
As a starter card to build your credit, the Credit One Platinum Visa with no annual fee may suffice, at least for a time. The unlimited 2% cashback rewards on certain shopping categories —gas, groceries, internet, cable, mobile — is generous compared to the other no-fee cards in the Credit One lineup. And cashback you earn is automatically applied as a statement credit each month you earn rewards, which is convenient for hands-off card management.
But purchases that don’t fall under the designated rewards categories? You’ll earn a big fat nothin’ cash back on those. Plus, there’s no welcome mat of sign-up bonuses or low promotional APRs on balance transfers/new purchases. Other signs that this card deserves just a temporary parking spot in your wallet: Potential fees for things like adding an authorized user or requesting a replacement card, and the low $300 minimum starting credit limit.
The basics: Earn 2% cash back rewards on eligible purchases of gas, grocery, and internet, cable, satellite TV and mobile phone services. Automatically get up to 10% More Cash Back Rewards from participating merchants. Free online access to your Experian credit score. (Enrollment required.)
Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee pros and cons
- 2% cashback on gas, groceries, phone, internet, cable and satellite TV bills
- Up to 10% rewards rate from participating retailers
- No annual fee
- Automated monthly cashback redemption
- Offers prequalification option
- No sign-up bonus
- No 0% intro APR on purchases/balance transfers
- Pays zero (nada, 0%) cashback on purchases outside of the specified rewards categories
- Potentially low $300 starting credit limit
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- Fee-heavy card terms
Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee cashback rewards spending categories
The following table shows the cashback rewards rate per $1 spent in the six most common spending categories. The “Bonus Rate” refers to the amount you can earn in excess of the card’s standard rewards rate.
Some cashback cards limit the spending amount eligible for the bonus rate (a.k.a. the “Spend Cap”). Once you hit that cap (e.g. $1,500 spending in a particular category during a defined time period), the rewards rate on future purchases in that category reverts to the lower “Default Rate.”
|Category||Default Rate||Bonus Rate||Bonus Spend Cap||Bonus Spend Period (Months)|
Note: In addition to the rewards categories in the table above, the no-annual-fee Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa also offers 2% cashback on internet, cable and satellite TV, and mobile phone services.
What we like
The unlimited 2% rewards rate on major budget line items like gas and groceries is quite decent, among starter/credit building cashback credit cards.
Even better, Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa’s 2% cashback rate also applies to cell phone, streaming services, internet and satellite TV payments — categories you don’t always see on rewards cards.
The “More Cash Back Program” features a rotating cast of merchants with which you can earn — you guessed it — more cash back. Purchases using your Credit One card are eligible for occasional discounts and cashback rewards rate of up to 10%.
Rewards are automatically credited back to your account, taking that “to do” off your list. The cashback you rack up the previous month will reduce your account balance. Just be sure to make at least the minimum payment due; the credit doesn’t affect that amount.
The prequalification option allows you to see your chances of being approved without impacting your credit score.
Comes with free membership to Experian IdentityWorks credit monitoring program and access your free monthly Experian credit score (sign-up required).
Prefer a different due date? Cardmembers are allowed to choose a payment due date six days before or after your original one. As long as your account is current, you can change up your due date once every six months.
Comes with Visa Zero Liability protection against ne’er-do-wells who do bad things in your name. And that’s it. At least it’s something, amirite?
What we don't like
With no sign-up bonus or 0% introductory APR on balance transfers or purchases, this is the definition of a bare-bones cashback credit card.
The limited rewards categories — and 0% cashback rate that applies to purchases in any other category, not even the standard 1% default rate offered elsewhere — mean you’re leaving potential earnings on the table.
The Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa credit limit starts at a low $300, making it too easy to bump up against the charging ceiling. Be careful. Maxing out available credit is something that makes anyone checking out your credit score nervous. Best to stay well below the limit until you’re granted a credit line increase.
Brace yourself for a higher-than-average variable interest rate if you carry a balance. This is Credit One covering it's butt on customers it deems may be a bigger credit risk.
Step gingerly around the card’s transaction and penalty fees, including the 3% foreign transaction fee, 5% (or $10, whichever is greater) cash advance fee and up to $39 for a late or returned payment.
Adding an authorized user could cost you up to $19 a year. Credit One says this “fee may apply,” which in our experience means “expect to pony up for that, mmmkay?”
Other fees that Credit One “may impose” (see page 131 of the 600-page downloadable PDF of cardholder agreements) include ones for requesting a credit limit increase and $25 for a replacement card, which is just mean.
Grocery purchases at superstores, warehouse stores, drugstores and convenience stores don’t qualify for the “grocery” 2% cashback rate, as with many other rewards programs.
In theory, the optional Credit Protection Program is comforting if the primary cardholder is involuntarily unemployed or disabled. But it costs $0.96 for each $100 (or part of $100) of your balance whether you use it or not. It also takes a month to kick in and locks your card so you can’t make new purchases. Better option: Establishing an emergency fund that can cover minimum payments for six months, which is all the Credit Potection Plan pays for anyway.
The card requires “average-excellent” credit, which Credit One describes as having an above-average credit score and limited payment issues in the recent past. If you’re offered a different Credit One card after you apply, carefully examine the terms (note annual fees, lower rewards rates, stingier terms) before accepting.
The bottom line
Is the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee the best rewards card for your wallet? The answer depends entirely on your spending patterns. Let the numbers speak for themselves: Use the investor.com Cashback Credit Card Calculator to see which credit card pays back the highest rewards based on how much you spend each month.
Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee fine print
Does the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee charge an annual fee?
No, there is no annual fee for the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee.
Roughly 14% of the consumer cashback cards we track in our database charge an annual fee. The average annual fee is $72.60, while the median is $95.
Does the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee offer a welcome bonus?
No, the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee card does not currently offer a welcome bonus.
Of the more than 60 cashback credit cards in our database, 66% offer a welcome bonus. Currently, the average sign-up bonus on a new cashback card is $210.71, with the median being $200.
How much cashback can I earn with the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee?
The average American that spends $1000 per month will earn $81.36 in cash back per year using the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee. For comparison, the average annual rewards payout from the cashback credit cards in the investor.com database is $191.26, and $180 is the median.
These calculations are based on average consumer spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and the reward payout rates from the providers we track. Of course, you’re so much more than an average data point (aka “consumer unit,” in BLS parlance). The amount you can earn in cashback rewards using the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee depends entirely on your unique spending habits.
Find out exactly how much you’ll rake in with the Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee by tailoring the spending inputs in the calculator above.
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Compare Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa with No Annual Fee
The results of the investor.com Credit Card Rewards Calculator are based on the monthly spending amounts you enter and the annual dollar value of the rewards each credit card program pays per $1 spent. Credit card companies often express this payout amount as a percentage (e.g., 1.5% of every dollar spent) or on a points basis (e.g. ,1.5 points for every dollar spent). We converted all of them to a dollar amount (“Cash Back Per Year”) to make comparing offers easier.
To calculate the amount of cash back you could earn per year, we factored in:
- Spend category inputs: The default dollar values for each “Spend Category” in the Best Cashback Credit Cards tool — gas, groceries, travel, restaurant, entertainment, pharmacy, other — are based on average American spending data from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. We also include additional spend categories (such as streaming services, online shopping, utilities, transit, Amazon and more) to help you see which rewards cards are most closely aligned with your actual spending patterns. We encourage you to customize the monthly spend inputs for the most accurate results.
- Tiered rewards rates: If a rewards credit card pays higher cashback rates on certain spending categories (also called “Bonus Rewards”), that difference is reflected in the total “Cash Back Per Year” tally.
- Rewards spending caps: Some cards impose category- or time-based limits (monthly, quarterly, annually) that affect the amount of rewards you can earn. For example, a card may pay 3% cash back on groceries on up to $1,000 of spending each quarter, then revert to the base/default rewards rate until the following quarter. We accounted for bonus spending caps and timeframe in the calculations.
- Default rewards rates: Purchases that exceed a spending cap are usually subject to a lower default rewards rate (e.g., 1% or 1.5%). We mathed that out too.
- Annual fees: If a rewards card charges an annual fee, we deducted that amount from the “Cash Back Per Year” total to provide a true accounting of a card’s annual rewards payout.
What’s not included in the “Cash Back Per Year” total is the cash value of any sign-up/introductory bonus. We highlight any Welcome Bonus separately. While sign-up bonuses can be the most lucrative part of getting a new cashback rewards credit card, not everyone will want or be able to do what it takes to earn the extra cash. (It usually requires spending a certain amount in a specified time period after the card is activated.)