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Bad credit can be expensive. But the Total Visa® may be even worse. Although this card is easy to get for even the worst credit, the fees it charges are over the top. The cost of a Total Visa® account is nearly as high as the refundable deposit for a secured card, and the quality is lower. See how in our full Total Visa® review below.
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$75 for first year, after that $48 annually
This credit card is a good fit for: Credit builders who have been rejected for every other card.
This card is the definition of bare bones, offering only very basic perks.
The most significant perk of the Total Visa® card is that it is easy to get. There aren't any minimum credit score requirements, and people with bad credit are welcome to apply.
While this card is easy to get, you'll still undergo a credit check. Approval isn't guaranteed, though it is very likely as long as you can pay the fees.
Once you open an account, your payment history and balance will be reported to the three major credit bureaus. This means the Total Visa® could help you build credit if you use it responsibly, including paying your bill on time every month and not using a large portion of your balance.
Many credit cards for bad credit are secured cards that require a refundable deposit to open. The Total Visa® doesn't have a security deposit requirement.
However, this isn't as good as it sounds when it comes to the Total Visa®. The high program fee, annual fee, and maintenance fees of the Total Visa® are actually more expensive than the minimum deposit for many secured credit cards.
For example, many secured credit cards have a minimum deposit requirement of $200. The program fee and first year's annual fee for the Total Visa® totals $164. So, for $36 more, you could potentially get a secured credit card with a refundable deposit and no annual fee.
This card has several downsides, from high fees to low spending limits and more.
This card not only charges a fee for just about everything, they're high fees at that. To start, you'll need to pay a nonrefundable $89 program fee just to open your account. Then you'll be charged a $75 annual fee before you even get your card.
The annual fee does drop down to $48 after the first year -- but don't relax yet. There is a servicing fee that kicks in during the second year of $6.25 a month ($75 a year). And if you don't remember to pay that service fee, you'll be charged interest on it.
That interest will be expensive, too. The Total Visa® has an APR higher than the majority of cards on the market. The late payment fee is also higher than average.
Then there's all the other fees. Want an additional card or a premium card design? There's a fee for that. Want a credit limit increase? Big fee (see below). Don't ask for express delivery on your card -- that's another fee.
Every approved applicant will receive an initial credit limit of just $300.
The annual fee is charged as soon as you open your account. This means before you even use your card, your credit limit will be down to just $225. You won't be eligible for a higher credit limit until you've had the account for at least one year.
Adding insult to injury, you'll need to pay yet another fee if you want a higher credit limit on your Total Visa®. You'll be charged 20% of the amount of the increase for a credit limit increase. So, if you get an increase of $100 to your credit limit, you'll be stuck with a $20 fee.
Often, a high annual fee for a credit card is associated with lots of purchase rewards. Not in this case. The Total Visa® doesn't earn any kind of rewards. No cash back, no points -- nothing.
You also shouldn't look for any other common card perks. There's not even a welcome bonus of any kind. In fact, if you count the mandatory program fee to open a Total Visa® account, which is charged on top of the annual fee, it's basically like a reverse sign-up bonus.
As you might expect from all the cons already listed, customers are not big fans of this card. The reviews rip apart the service fees and high interest rates. But perhaps even more concerning is the many complaints about the customer service.
Not only do users seem to have trouble getting people on the phone, but canceling the card also appears to be a challenge for many reviewers. Considering the cost of the card, it could get expensive quickly if you can't conveniently cancel when you're ready to move on.
Almost anyone can qualify for the Total Visa® card. There are no minimum credit score or credit history requirements. This makes the card very easy to get.
Although there aren't credit score requirements, you do need to meet other card requirements. This includes having a valid checking account. Remember that federal law also requires credit card companies to verify your identity when you apply.
If you want an unsecured card: The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card is also a credit-builder card, so it's still easy to get. However, it doesn't have any extra fees. The annual fee amount will be determined when you apply, but some applicants may have no fee. See The Ascent's Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card review to learn more.
If you want refundable costs: The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card has no credit check requirement, so anyone can qualify. The $200 deposit is refundable when you close your account as long as you pay your bill. Even with the $35 annual fee, it's significantly less expensive than the Total Visa®.
Given the high fees, high interest rate, and low credit limit, the Total Visa® should be avoided by most people. Make sure you explore all of your other options before you choose this credit card. A secured credit card will likely offer better terms, including a refundable deposit instead of giant fees.
Our Credit Cards Expert
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