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The First Access Visa Card: Worth It?

First Access VISA® Credit Card
First Access VISA® Credit Card

The First Access Visa Card: Worth It?

If you have no other options and need to rebuild your credit, this is the card for you.
Editor's Rating: 3.0/5.0
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Editor's Rating

{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

3.0/5.0

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

The information related to the First Access VISA® Credit Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

The First Access VISA® Credit Card was made specifically for people with subprime credit ratings, but is this the right choice for you? The card has the potential to help individuals quickly recover from poor credit, but due to its high fees, it may only be worth it as a last resort.

First Access VISA® Credit Card Review

First Access VISA® Credit Card

  • $300 initial credit limit
  • Easy and secure online application
  • First year annual fee $75 then $48 for all subsequent years
  • Monthly servicing fee waived for first year
  • Cash advance fee waived for first year
  • $300 initial credit limit
  • Easy and secure online application
  • First year annual fee $75 then $48 for all subsequent years
  • Monthly servicing fee waived for first year
  • Cash advance fee waived for first year
Annual Fee
$48
Regular APR
34.99%
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Poor
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

Our Thoughts

The First Access VISA® Credit Card is targeting an important market of individuals who have bad credit and are trying to recover, but the amount of fees makes the card mediocre. The combination of an annual fee, monthly service fee (although waived for the first year) and program fee add up quickly and should deter most consumers from applying for this card. The card also features a staggeringly high APR.

On the other hand, the card has an extremely simple application process and accepts many individuals who may have no other options available given their current credit ratings. If you are truly struggling to be approved for a credit card and don’t know where to go next, this card may be for you. Regardless, you should take a look at and apply for its alternatives first.

Great for Rebuilding Credit

The First Access VISA® Credit Card is an answer for individuals who want to rebuild their credit but have been declined by the few other issuers who offer subprime credit cards. This card boasts a quick and easy online application process that provides results in minutes, and it also accepts the majority of its applicants.

Despite the many fees, the First Access VISA® Credit Card would absolutely improve an individual’s credit rating if they manage their finances well. The card reports your payment history to three major credit bureaus. Therefore, as long as you pay your balance off in full each billing cycle to avoid the high APR, your credit rating will improve rapidly with the immediate $300 line of credit that is available to you. You can also apply for a higher line of credit after a few months of using the card.

Large Fees and Second Thoughts

Because the bank that issues the First Access VISA® Credit Card is taking a risk in approving individuals with subprime credit ratings, there is a hefty amount of fees. There is a one-time $89 program fee that must be paid to access the $300 line of credit. There is also a $75 annual fee for the first year that then reduces to $48 for all following years. In addition, the card features a monthly servicing fee that adds up to $75 annually, but that fee is waived for the first year. The array of fees may be difficult for some to manage.

Another concern is that the card has a tremendously high APR of 34.99%. You will need to pay off your entire balance each billing cycle to avoid having to deal with this rate. Having to pay both the fees and entire monthly balances may be difficult, so make sure this is feasible for you before applying.

Verdict

The First Access VISA® Credit Card has many fees and a high APR that make its alternatives more appealing. But, if you have been declined by other issuers due to your poor credit score and financial history, there is still a good chance that you will be approved for this card, and it is worth applying.

The card reports your payment history to three major credit bureaus, provides a $300 line of credit immediately and has a simple application process. If all other options have failed, you should definitely apply for this card and begin to rebuild your credit rating so you can have access to better options in the future.

Alternatives to the First Access VISA® Credit Card

There are much better options for individuals attempting to rebuild their credit than the First Access VISA® Credit Card, given its fees and high APR. The following are all credit cards that are intended for people with poor credit ratings and deserve consideration before applying for the First Access VISA® Credit Card:

Rewards on a Secured Card

On Discover's Secure Website

Discover it® Secured

On Discover's Secure Website
INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There’s no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: We automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
25.24% Variable
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

We recently selected the Discover it® Secured as the best credit card for individuals with poor credit in 2019. It has a lower APR of 25.24% Variable and no annual fee whatsoever, but its greatest strength is easily its cash back rewards. It offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, in addition to unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Also, your cash back is matched at the end of the first year.

However, unlike the First Access VISA® Credit Card, this is a secured credit card, meaning that it requires a security deposit of atleast $200 after you are approved for the card. This deposit will decide your available line of credit, and the entire security deposit will be refunded back to you after eight months of punctual payments. Being able to choose your line of credit is a significant benefit over the First Access VISA® Credit Card’s flat $300 initial line of credit.

One of the Lowest APR Secured Credit Cards

On State Department Federal Cred's Secure Website

Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card

On State Department Federal Cred's Secure Website
  • Earn 1 Flexpoint reward for each dollar you spend
  • No foreign transaction fees and no income verification
  • 25-day grace period on purchases
  • No annual fees or balance transfer fees
  • Credit lines starting as low as $250
  • Lost luggage reimbursement and travel assistance services
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Earn 1 Flexpoint reward for each dollar you spend
  • No foreign transaction fees and no income verification
  • 25-day grace period on purchases
  • No annual fees or balance transfer fees
  • Credit lines starting as low as $250
  • Lost luggage reimbursement and travel assistance services
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
Annual Fee
No Annual Fee
Regular APR
13.99%
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Poor
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card has a variable APR rate of 13.99%, which is the lowest APR available for a subprime credit card. This card would be ideal for individuals who struggle to completely pay off their balance every billing cycle.

Similar to the Discover it® Secured, the Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card provides value back on all purchases. This card gives one point for every dollar spent, meaning you will rack up points on every purchase.

Potential for Higher Limit Than Deposit

On Capital One's Secure Website

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

On Capital One's Secure Website
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide

Note: The information in this box was provided by Capital One and is not part of our independent analysis.

  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
26.99% (Variable)
Credit Needed
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"There are various types of credit scores. Each creditor uses a variety of different types of credit scores to make lending decisions."}
Limited, Bad
Editor's Rating
{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers."}

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has an APR of 26.99% (Variable), which is still lower than that of the First Access VISA® Credit Card. There is also no annual fee. Unlike the other two alternatives, this card unfortunately does not offer cash back or reward points.

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® requires a security deposit, but it will give a line of credit greater than the deposit provided. For example, a deposit of only $49 will grant a $200 line of credit. That credit will be significantly greater if you choose to deposit a larger sum, meaning you have significant discretion in deciding the size of your credit limit from the very beginning.

Conclusion

We would strongly recommend applying for the alternatives before the First Access VISA® Credit Card, given that all have less fees, better benefits and were also intended for people who have poor credit. If you are unable to qualify for any of these alternatives, then you should apply for the First Access VISA® Credit Card. Remember to completely pay off your balance every billing cycle because of the high APR, set funds aside to pay off the fees, and you will be able to quickly rebuild your credit rating.

Comments and Questions

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

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