By Marcy Bialeschki


5 Min. To Read

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Wouldn’t it be nice if a credit-building credit card came with a few perks? Most credit cards available to people with struggling credit are punitive, offering no perks and tons of extra fees. At first glance, the Credit One NASCAR Visa seems to have a lot going for it with a basic but attractive rewards program. Watch out, however. Like most credit-building cards, there’s always a catch -- or several.

Unlike most credit-building credit cards, the Credit One NASCAR Visa has a cash back rewards program. The specifics of the rewards, however, are left rather vague because they are linked to creditworthiness. Potential cardholders with better credit will receive 1% back on qualifying purchases and 2% back on purchases at the NASCAR store. Applicants who have poor credit will receive 1% back on gasoline and automotive supplies and 2% back at the NASCAR store. What complicates the vague verbiage, even more, is that applicants will not know what rewards they qualify for until after applying. The details applicants divulge in the application determine their level of rewards, so they might not receive what they thought they were getting.

Credit One NASCAR Visa cardholders have access to The More rewards program, which is a separate entity, not tied to Credit One Bank. The More program gives card owners access to exclusive cash back rewards on shopping such as name brand clothing, gourmet foods, and much more. The cardholder can access The More program website to see the latest shopping deals. The cash back rewards from purchases are then directly applied to the card balance. However, most people will have a limited line of credit, so utilizing this feature may not be typical.

Another perk of the rewards program is targeted towards NASCAR fans exclusively. Card owners will receive deals and discounts from participating NASCAR merchants on exclusive NASCAR experiences and products, including a discounted membership to the Official NASCAR Members Club.

The rewards program of the Credit One NASCAR Visa is a unique feature most credit-building cards do not have. Still, the specifics are vague, and the bulk of the extras are unnecessary expenses most people will not utilize. The underlying saving-grace of this mediocre and uncertain rewards program is the automatic application of cash back to the statement balance every month. This convenience is an attempt, at least, to compensate for the lack-luster rewards program as a whole.

The addition of a rewards program is a definite attempt to catch potential card owners' attention. Still, as mentioned above, the rewards are average, at best. Looking beyond that temptation, a prospective card owner needs to examine the card's basic features. Depending on who you ask, these features are either pro's or con's. Conversely, everyone who considers the Credit One NASCAR Visa will be shrouded by clouds of uncertainly regarding the card's details. Let's take a closer look.

The purchase APR for the Credit One NASCAR Visa is 17.99% - 23.99% variable, based on creditworthiness. The reality is that many card owner's APR will tip to the high side, which is eye-opening when assessed to a carry-over balance. Additionally, because the rate is gauged by creditworthiness, people who apply for it will not know their purchase APR until after being accepted.

The annual fee is another unknown for potential card owners because the amount will remain a mystery until after being accepted. The yearly fee will sit in a range between $0 and $99, with the average being around $40.

The Credit One NASCAR Visa is an unsecured card, whereas most credit building cards require a security deposit. The trade-off for not having a security deposit is the annual fee, which gets subtracted from the standard $300 credit limit.

The Credit One NASCAR Visa has free online access to Experian to track your credit score without affecting your credit. Many other comparable cards allow access to all three national credit bureaus.

Card owners can set up custom notifications for transactions, payment reminders, and fraud alerts with the choice of texts, push notifications, or e-mail.

Cardholders have peace of mind knowing they will not be responsible for fraudulent charges made on their card.

Credit One NASCAR Visa customers also have access to a convenient mobile app as well as paperless statements with the ability to manage their accounts online. Many people like this feature, but many prefer a paper statement, which is not an option.

Credit One Bank allows its customers to choose their payment date, which is a convenient feature that makes it easier to avoid late payments.

For an additional fee, the NASCAR Visa has an optional credit protection program that cancels the minimum payment for up to 6 months if you become involuntarily disabled or unemployed. Even though you pay a fee for this service, it is still your burden to prove your condition, and Credit One Bank determines if your specific situation qualifies for this benefit. Remember, you are paying for the service but may not receive the benefit.

The annual fee scale of $0 to $99 is not the only fee attached to the Credit One NASCAR Visa. One of the most outrageous fees is $10 for immediate payment processing. Most banks automatically process your payment instantly, but the Credit One Bank does not, which can cause problems. People might think they have made a payment on time, but the delay in processing leads to a late payment with an additional $37 fee. According to online customer reviews, this outrageous process seems to be the #1 customer complaint. The only way to avoid a late fee is by paying another fee -- the $10 immediate processing fee. So, owning the Credit One NASCAR Visa card has the potential of making customers pay an extra fee every month. Sounds brutal, doesn't it? Here's a list of other costs attached to the NASCAR Visa.

$19 to add an authorized user

$19 for adding a person to a joint account

$9 - $19 to request a line of credit increase

3% foreign transaction fee

$37 late payment fee

$10 immediate processing fee

Of course, when you read the online reviews, some delighted customers say they love their NASCAR Visa card. However, Credit Karma's overall customer review score of 1.9 stars speaks volumes. The number one complaint was receiving a late fee when customers paid on time, but the payment was processed after the due date. The number 2 complaint was the "horrible" customer service they experienced when calling to correct the late payment fee problem. Many of the online reviews made complaints that it was difficult to get a customer service representative on the phone, and if they did, that person was often not helpful in resolving the issue. Other complaints include problems accessing the mobile app. No credit card will have a 100% customer approval rating; however, the number of frustrated customers and negative issues reported with the NASCAR Visa should be a "red flag" to potential card owners.

The rewards program attached to the Credit One NASCAR Visa is quite alluring. Earning cash back that is directly applied to your statement each month is a unique feature that most credit-building cards cannot match. However, customers must weigh the rewards with the negatives of the card and determine if these rewards are enough to cover the inevitable extra fees. Because there are many options, it would be smart to shop around a bit before committing to this card. The customer reviews should also give you pause. Even though Credit One Bank advertises a quick and easy application process, there is a long list of unknowns. For example, your purchase rate, annual fee, and rewards values are not divulged until after acceptance, even if you go through a prequalified route at If you do get this card, you should not carry a balance, and you should make payments several days before the due date to avoid extra fees.

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