Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card review

A man in a wheelchair smiles while paying for groceries with the Credit One Bank American Express rewards card.Image: A man in a wheelchair smiles while paying for groceries with the Credit One Bank American Express rewards card.
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This offer is no longer available on our site: Chase Freedom Flex℠

Pros

  • Potential to earn a high cash back rate
  • Ability to prequalify
  • Amex deals on entertainment, shopping, dining and travel

Cons

  • Bonus categories limited to specific purchases
  • Spending limits in bonus categories
  • High annual fee
From our partner

Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card

4.6 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

The Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card is a rewards card for people who want rewards in specific categories.

But you’ll have to ask yourself whether those rewards are worth the cost of the card’s annual fee — plus the cash you’ll have to spend to earn them.

Key features of the Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card

The annual fee could make you think twice

The Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card charges a rather pricey $95 annual fee.

If you want to get some rewards without paying such a hefty fee, it might be worth considering the Credit One Bank American Express® Card which charges a more reasonable $39 annual fee. Plus you’ll still get 1% cash back on all your purchases.

Earn rewards in several bonus categories

The Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card features a 5% cash back bonus category for the eligible grocery (not including most warehouse and wholesale clubs), gas, internet, cellphone, cable and satellite TV purchases you make.

But the bonus category is capped at $5,000 in spending each year, which means your 5% cash back earnings won’t top $250. After that, you’ll get 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Interest charges outweigh any rewards you’ll earn

If you think you might carry a balance, the Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card could cost you more than you’ll earn from any rewards. It comes with a variable purchase APR of 26.99%, which is relatively high.

In general, we don’t recommend getting a rewards card unless you can pay off your balance in full each month. If you can’t, you’d be better off with a card that offers a low interest rate and doesn’t encourage you to spend more.

What else you need to know about the Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card

If you’re considering this card, here are a few more things to keep in mind.

  • Ability to prequalify — Before you apply, you can check to see if you qualify without a hard check on your credit.
  • Amex benefits and other perks — Get access to shopping, dining, travel and entertainment deals with Amex offers, plus exclusive access to presale tickets.
  • Optional credit protection program — If you’re worried about making sure your bill gets paid in the event you lose your job or can’t pay for other qualifying reasons, you can sign up for the credit protection program.

Who is this card good for?

The Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card might be good for people who want to earn rewards in its specific bonus categories. While the categories come with a spending cap, they might match up with your spending and provide more value than other options.

But since the card comes with a high annual fee, the rewards may not be worth the cost of the card. Even if you max out your bonus categories, the 5% bonus rate will earn just $250 against the $95 annual fee. And if you think you might carry a balance, the high APR could cost you even more.

It may be a good idea to look around for other cards that might offer more potential value without the upfront cost.

Not sure this is the card for you? Consider these alternatives.

If the Credit One Bank American Express® Rewards Card doesn’t suit your fancy, you might be interested in one of these other credit cards.


About the author: Tim Devaney is a personal finance writer and credit card expert at Credit Karma. He’s a longtime journalist who prides himself on being a good storyteller who can explain complex information in an easily digestible wa… Read more.