Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This influences which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.
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.
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.
» LEARN: How to redeem credit card rewards
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.
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.