The Total Visa® credit card promises to help you build credit and will approve even applicants with poor credit. But is it worth it?
- $75 annual fee the first year, then it drops to $48 annually
- A monthly service fee of $8.25 after the first year
- 35.99% APR
- A $95 setup fee that must be paid before you can use the card
- Initial $300 credit limit
While most people aren’t big fans of the Total Visa® credit card, there are some benefits and perks to consider.
Perhaps the largest benefit of the Total Visa® credit card is its relaxed credit card requirements. It’s advertised as a credit card for people with bad credit. This allows you to get a credit card without a security deposit, even if you have bad credit.
The Total Visa® credit card reports your payment history to the major credit bureaus, allowing you to build credit.
If you use the card responsibly, you may improve your credit score. This means paying your bill on or before its due date and keeping your balance at less than 30% of your credit line.
On the other hand, if you miss payments or overextend your credit, it could damage your credit score, so using it wisely is important.
Most credit cards for bad credit require money down as a security deposit. The deposit becomes your credit line, and if you miss a payment, the credit card company takes it from your deposit.
The Total Visa® credit card doesn’t have this requirement, so you get the benefits of an unsecured credit card even if you have less-than-perfect credit.
The Total Visa® credit card mobile app is user-friendly and offers many benefits, including secure online payments. You can also set up customized alerts to help you avoid going over your credit limit or missing a payment.
As you can imagine, there are many drawbacks of the Total Visa® credit card to consider.
The largest complaint about the Total Visa® credit card is the number of fees it has. First, you must pay a Program Fee of $95. You cannot use your card until this fee is paid in full.
They offer an option to spread it out over three months, but you cannot use the card until you make the final payment.
There are also other fees, including:
- A $75 annual fee for the first year
- A $48 annual fee after the first year
- Monthly service fee after first year $8.25
- Up to a $41 penalty fee for late or returned payments
- $29 for a card for an authorized user
- Up to $10 for a premium card design
- Up to 25% of any credit limit increase you receive after the first year
- $35 for express delivery of your card
The AR on the Total Visa® credit card is excessive compared to other cards, especially secured credit cards. Currently, the APR is 35.99%.
Every approved applicant receives a maximum credit limit of $300. From that $300, the $95 annual fee is taken, leaving you with $205 available in your credit line. Since you shouldn’t use over 30% of your credit line, you have only $61.50 to use.
Many credit card companies require a checking account to qualify, especially credit cards for people with bad credit. Still, it’s another downside of the Total Visa® credit card. Without a checking account, you aren’t eligible for the card.
Honestly, there aren’t many people who should consider this credit card. Unless you have bad credit and do not want a secured credit card because you don’t have the money to put down, there are many better options.
If you need this credit card to build credit without making a deposit, make it a short-term solution that you cancel after the first year because you’ve improved your credit and can get much more affordable credit cards.
As we mentioned above, many alternatives to the Total Visa® credit card exist. Here are some of your options.
The Discover it® credit card has a credit line equal to your refundable security deposit. Discover determines if you qualify for a secured card or higher credit limit within seven months based on your history.
The card also pays 2% cash back on gas station and restaurant purchases. This is on up to $1,000 per quarter and 1% cash back on everything else.
The Revvi Visa® credit card is another credit card for bad credit but without the high fees the Total Visa® credit card charges. You need a checking account to qualify, but you don’t need perfect credit. The card also pays 1% cash back on purchases using this card.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students has no annual or foreign transaction fees, and students can earn 1.5 points for every $1 spent on purchases.
It has a low 0% intro offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months and provides monthly access to your FICO® score.
The Petal 1 ‘No Annual Fee’ Visa® credit card helps you build better credit with no fees. It offers credit limits of $300 to $5,000 and cash back at specific retailers of up to 10%. You can monitor your credit score in the Petal app and manage your card on the go.
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card has no annual fee and an 88% approval rate. With good payment habits, you can get a credit line increase, and if you handle your secured card well, you may graduate to an unsecured card within six months!
The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa® credit card helps you rebuild credit for a small annual fee of $75 the first year, then $99.
While there are cheaper options, this can be a solid backup if you don’t qualify for any of the above alternatives. It includes free credit score access, a user-friendly mobile app, and customized notifications.
The Total Visa® credit card has limited benefits, and very few people should consider it. Here are more questions you may have about it.
Overall, the Total Visa® credit card isn’t a good card. It has a lot of fees and a low credit limit that makes it hard to build credit, which is supposed to be the point of the card. There are better options available.
No, many other credit cards work better for first-time cardholders, including secured and unsecured options with little to no annual fees and more benefits, such as cashback rewards.
The minimum payment on your Total Visa® credit card depends on your balance. The minimum interest charge is $1, so if your interest charges are less than $1, you’ll be charged $1.
The initial credit limit for any new applicant is $300, and that’s before the $95 program fee. Because you must pay it upfront, it reduces your credit line to $205 unless you pay the fee in full immediately.
You may apply for a credit line increase after having the card for 12 months. There isn’t a guarantee you will get it. You must call customer service to determine the next steps, and if you get it, they charge up to 25% of the increase.
The Total Visa® credit card is accepted anywhere Visa is accepted.
No, this credit card is barebones and expensive. There aren’t any rewards or bonuses for choosing it, but its many alternatives offer rewards and bonuses.
The Total Visa® credit card prefers a credit rating between 550 – 620. They state that the card is for credit-building purposes and is meant for people with no or bad credit.
No, the Total Visa® credit card has no benefits for new cardholders. It’s a card with high fees and APRs without providing any benefits to users.
There are many better options than the Total Visa® credit card. Even if you have less-than-perfect credit or no money to put down on a secured credit card, there are many other options.
Yes, you may pay an annual fee or have to make a security deposit, but you’ll typically get many more rewards looking elsewhere.