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If you have poor credit, it might seem as if the only credit cards that are available to you are secured cards that require a refundable security deposit.
The Total Visa® Credit Card is a standard unsecured card issued by Mid America Bank & Trust Co. that is designed for applicants who struggle to get approved for credit. Instead of paying a refundable security deposit, as you would with a secured card, you pay several fees that are not refundable.
This is one of the few standard unsecured cards that are available to applicants with poor credit. Read on to learn more about this Visa® card.
- The rundown: Everything we like about the Total Visa® Credit Card
- Heads up: What you should consider before applying for the Total Visa® Credit Card
- Do the math: How to get the most out of the Total Visa® Credit Card
- The competition: How the Total Visa® Credit Card stacks up against similar cards
- Bottom line: Is the Total Visa® Credit Card right for you?
The Total Visa® Credit Card is designed specifically for people who have had credit problems in the past. Here are some other good qualities about the card:
No security deposit
Most importantly, this is an unsecured credit card that doesn’t require the payment of a refundable security deposit. This means those who have had trouble being accepted for a credit card in the past have other options besides a secured card.
Designed to help you build credit
Unlike debit cards and prepaid cards, your balance and payment information will be reported to the three major consumer credit bureaus, allowing you to build your credit history and improve your credit health.
You are also eligible to receive a credit-limit increase once your account has been open for six billing cycles, you’ve made all your payments on time and you haven’t gone over your credit limit.
Grace period for payments
The Total Visa® Credit Card offers a 21-day grace period between the statement closing date and the payment due date. When you pay your monthly statement balance in full before the due date, interest charges for that statement period will be waived.
Another advantage this card has is a no cash advance fee during the first year. After that, the fee will be $5 or 5% of the amount advanced, whichever is greater.
Small line of credit
If approved for this card, you will receive a credit limit of only $300, minus the $75 cost of your first year’s annual fee. With a secured card, your credit limit is typically equal to the amount of your security deposit, which you have more flexibility to choose.
Very high fees
This card is offered to applicants with a poor credit history, and it doesn’t require a security deposit, so something has to give. Applicants should expect to pay very high fees every step of the way.
Fees include a one-time $89 processing fee to open your account. The annual fee for the card is $75 the first year, then $48 annually.
While the vast majority of credit cards offer additional cards for authorized users at no charge, the Total Visa® Credit Card imposes a $29 fee on each additional card, every year.
And should you continue to use this card for more than 12 months, you will also pay an additional $6.25 a month, or $75 annually, in servicing fees.
Limits on usage
One of the most important reasons you’ll want a Visa® credit card is to use it anywhere that Visa is accepted. However, this card has some serious restrictions not found on other Visa® cards.
First, you will not be able to use this card for unattended transactions at fuel pumps. Presumably this is because many gas stations place a hold of $100 or more on your credit line when authorizing a transaction, and it can take days for this hold to be released. If this happened, it would consume a large percentage of this card’s modest $300 credit limit.
Also, this card cannot be used for any transaction that’s processed outside of the United States. This restriction prevents you from using the card when you travel to a foreign country and also prohibits you from making online purchases in a foreign currency.
Finally, you won’t be able to receive a cash advance within 90 days or three billing cycles of your account opening, whichever is greater. And when you do, your cash advance balance may not be more than half of your credit limit.
This card can be extremely valuable to build your credit, but you should consider the costs of using this card to do so. At a minimum, you’ll have to pay $164 in non-refundable fees the first year after you open a Total Visa® Credit Card account, only to receive a card with a $300 line of credit. And although this card may give you the opportunity to improve your credit, it also comes with some substantial limits on its usage.
To get the most out of this card, you will want to make all of your payments on time and stay well within your credit limit.
You can also improve your credit with responsible use of a secured card, which could have lower fees but require the payment of a refundable security deposit.
|Milestone® Gold Mastercard®||Unsecured card with a $35 to $99 annual fee|
|Credit One Bank® Cash Back Credit Card||
Unsecured card with $0 to $75 annual fee the first year, $0 to $99 after that
1% cash back on eligible purchases
No grace period for many cardholders
|Capital One® Secured Mastercard®||
No annual fee
Minimum $49 deposit gives you an initial $200 line of credit
Milestone® Gold Mastercard®
This unsecured card offers different rates and fees depending on your credit worthiness. It offers a standard variable interest rate of 23.9% for purchases.
From our partner
Credit One Bank® Cash Back Credit Card
An unsecured card that offers 1% cash back on eligible purchases of gas, groceries, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable and satellite TV service. The card has an APR with a variable rate of 16.99 percent to 24.99 percent for purchases.
From our partner
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
This is a secured card that requires a minimum deposit of $49 to receive an initial credit line of $200. There’s no annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees. The card has an APR with a variable rate of 24.99 percent for purchases.
If you believe that having an unsecured credit card is a privilege that’s worth paying dearly for, then this card may be worth considering.
But if saving money is a priority while building your credit, then you should strongly consider a secured card that requires the payment of a refundable deposit rather than a card like the Total Visa® Credit Card, which charges several expensive, non-refundable fees.
Editorial Note: The opinions you read here come from our editorial team. While compensation may affect which companies we write about and products we review, our marketing partners don't review, approve or endorse our editorial content. Our content is accurate (to the best of our knowledge) when we initially post it, but we don't guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. You can visit the company's website to get complete details about a product. See an error in an article? Use this form to report it to our editorial team. For questions about your Credit Karma account, please submit a help request to our support team.