5 Things to Know About the Credit One Platinum E3 Visa

The potential for a high annual fee makes the Platinum E3 Visa from Credit One Bank a less-than-ideal choice when cheaper options exist for consumers with bad credit.
Jae Bratton
By Jae Bratton 
Edited by Kenley Young

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Several credit cards in Credit One’s portfolio are targeted toward people with bad credit who want to improve their scores. Of those, the Platinum E3 Visa has one of the highest rewards rates, at 3%.

Depending on your credit scores, though, that rate may come at a price — an annual fee of up to $99. Plus, the card's 3% rewards categories aren’t necessarily representative of everyday expenses.

Even if you have bad credit, it’s possible to find cheaper and better options than the Platinum E3 Visa.

Here’s what you need to know about Credit One’s Platinum E3 Visa.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Credit One (not to be confused with Capital One) offers multiple versions of its "Platinum" card, including the Credit One Platinum X5 Visa, which has different features and terms. For more information on the X5, see our review here.

1. Annual fee is based on your credit score

Credit One says the Platinum E3 Visa is meant for people who are building or rebuilding credit. If that’s you, expect to pay a price for carrying the credit card. Cardholders with bad credit (credit scores of 629 or lower) will pay a $75 annual fee in the first year and $99 thereafter. The initial $75 annual fee is assessed upon account opening and immediately lowers your amount of available credit. After the first year, the $99 annual fee is billed in monthly increments of $8.25.

Balking at a nearly $ 100 annual fee is a reasonable response when there are several other good cards for people with bad credit that don’t cost a thing. Many of the best secured cards don’t have an annual fee, though they do require an upfront, refundable security deposit.

The annual fees for the Platinum E3 card decrease the better your credit score is: Those with fair (aka average) credit — or credit scores from 630-689 — can expect a $39 annual fee. Credit cards for fair credit are somewhat limited, and as such, the Platinum E3 Visa isn't the worst you can do.

There’s no annual fee if your credit is excellent, meaning a score of 720 or above. But then again, if you have excellent credit, there's little reason to apply for the Platinum E3 Visa. With an excellent credit score, you can qualify for credit cards that earn 5% cash back, travel credit cards with hundreds of dollars in bonuses or credits, or a balance transfer card that waives interest for more than a year.

2. It earns rewards

The Platinum E3 Visa has a two-tiered rewards structure. It earns:

  • Unlimited 3% cash back on streaming services, entertainment and ridesharing.

  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Credit One counts movies, live theater and sporting events purchased through Ticketmaster as entertainment, but not amusement parks and sports tickets from the box office. Prime Video is excluded from the 3% rate on streaming.

Platinum E3 Visa cardholders can also get up to 10% back at select merchants, which as of this writing include places like Costco, Petco and CVS Health. Rewards are earned automatically without having to activate offers. Merchants change periodically, but cardholders can find the current list of eligible retailers by logging in to their accounts.

Rewards don’t expire as long as the account is in good standing.

3. Rewards can be redeemed for gift cards, among other things

Redemption options include statement credit, gift cards, or eligible merchandise and services. Cardholders may choose to redeem rewards manually or automatically. However, statement credit is the only option if you opt for automatic redemption.

The minimum redemption amount for a statement credit is $10. For a gift card, it's $25.

4. Credit lines start at $300

The minimum credit line on the Platinum E3 Visa is $300. (Credit One didn't disclose the maximum credit limit.) Remember, though, that any annual fee will be charged upon account opening and thus will immediately reduce the amount of available credit.

If you need more spending power, consider a card like the Varo credit card or Chime Secured Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card. Credit limits on both cards are determined by the amount of money you have in a linked spending account.

Credit One regularly reviews cardholders’ accounts to see whether they are eligible for a credit line increase.

Chime says the following:

  • The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.

  • To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

  1. Based on a representative study conducted by Experian®, members who made their first purchase with Credit Builder between June 2020 and October 2020 observed an average FICO® Score 8 increase of 30 points after approximately 8 months. On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score.

  2. On-time payment history may have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

  3. Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.

  4. Out of network ATM withdrawal and over the counter advance fees may apply. See here for details: https://www.chime.com/chime-credit-builder-visa-credit-card-agreement/

5. It touts itself as eco-friendly

The Platinum E3 Visa has joined the recent trend of eco-friendly credit cards. The card is partially made with recycled plastic, and cardholders are automatically enrolled in paperless communications. Credit One also submits an annual donation to the Arbor Day Foundation on your card anniversary.

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