NASCAR Credit Card from Credit One Bank Review: Is It Worth It?
The NASCAR Visa Credit Card is a rewards credit card with a bonus cash-back rate for NASCAR purchases.
The card is intended for consumers with bad to excellent credit, with varying APR’s depending on how good your scores are. Also, it’s the only NASCAR-branded card on the market, making it a great card for stock-car racing fans.
The card presents some interesting opportunities for those looking for a starter credit card, as it’s got decent interest rates, relatively low fees and the perk of having rewards.
Exactly how the card can benefit you is something we’re going to cover in this review. We will talk about how the card’s rewards work, what its added benefits are, its rates and fees and how it compares to other cards for bad credit.
Pros: $210 in rewards each year
Cons: APR and annual fee could be high for bad credit
Estimated Yearly Cash Rewards: $210
|Sign-Up Bonus||Annual Fee||Regular APR|
|None||$0 to $99, depending on credit||20.24% to 26.24%|
|Rewards Rate: 2% on NASCAR Shop purchases, 1% on everything else|
A credit card’s rewards usually take the form of a percentage that you earn on most purchases you make.
This card has two sets of rewards rates. The first is for applicants for better credit: a 2% cash-back rate for NASCAR.com purchases and a 1% rate on everything else. The second is 2% cash back on NASCAR.com purchases and 1% cash-on gas and car purchases.
The 2% you get back on NASCAR.com purchases encompasses most purchases you make on NASCAR.com. Their website focuses on driver-branded gear. Here’s what was available, at the time of publishing, for Brad Keselowski:
- Pit shirts
- Die-cast cars
- Cases for die-cast cars
- Beverage coolers
The card’s fine print doesn’t list any exceptions to the purchases you make on NASCAR.com, but keep in mind that, if you buy something online and return it, then any rewards you earned on that purchases won’t count.
For those with good credit, you also get 1% back on all other purchases, except for fees you pay related to your credit card account: interest payments, late fees, cash advance fees, and annual fees.
If you spend $20,000 a year on this card with $1,000 of that devoted to NASCAR.com, you can earn $210 in cash back.
However, if you get the low-credit rate of 1% back on gas and automotive purchases, you’ll earn around $40 in cash back.
What’s tricky about this is that you won’t know which rewards rate you get until Credit One approves your application and you get your card in the mail.
According to the terms and conditions, the rewards you earn on your purchases will appear on your credit card statement every month in the form of a credit from “Credit One Rewards Credit”. The company says that any rewards applied to your account don’t count as a payment.
So, if your minimum payment is $25 and you had $25 in rewards for that month, then you’re still responsible to make a $25 payment.
Deep in the card’s fine print is an interesting section that talks about what we consider, based on our research, the main benefit of the card: credit protection.
Basically, this program allows you to cancel payments for up to six months should you involuntarily lose your job or become disabled.
Also, if you die, then Credit One will cancel up to $10,000 of any balance you owed on the card.
This particular benefit costs you, according to the fine print, $0.96 for every $100 on your balance. So, if you owe $400 this month, then Credit One will charge you $3.84 for your credit protection.
Another benefit you get, according to Credit One, is that you’ll get “exclusive access” to various NASCAR “deals, discounts and experiences” from merchants who participate with NASCAR.
Among these benefits is a discounted membership with the Official NASCAR Members Club. However, Credit One doesn’t reveal what that discount is.
A card’s rates and fees are important to know because they can end up costing you more in interest payments than the dollar amount you earn in cash back.
We’re going to list this card’s rates and fees, then talk about how they can impact you:
- Purchase APR: 20.24% - 26.24%
- Cash advance APR: 26.24%
- Cash advance fee: Depends on credit scores ($5/$10 or 8%/3%)
- Foreign transaction fee: $1 or 3%, whichever is greater
- Annual fee: $0 to $75 first year, $0 to $99 after
- Late/returned payment fee: $39
There are a few things we want to point out to you. First, someone with excellent credit (720 and up) will most likely get the 20.24% APR, whereas those with scores below 675 will most likely get the highest APR.
Based on our research of more than 100 credit cards, we believe the APR’s are high, especially for those with excellent credit scores. For example, the Discover it Cash Back Card has a low APR of 14.24% and most credit cards have a low APR below 17%.
Even with this context, it’s hard to know exactly how a card’s APR’s can affect you. With that in mind, we created the following chart to show you how much three possible interest rates can cost you in one year based on three different average daily balances:
|20.24% APR for one year||24.24% APR for one year||26.24% APR for one year|
|$1,000 daily balance||$202.40||$242.40||$262.40|
|$2,000 APR daily balance||$404.80||$484.80||$524.80|
|$3,000 daily balance||$607.20||$727.20||$787.20|
|$4,000 daily balance||$809.60||$969.60||$1,049.60|
|$5,000 daily balance||$1,012.00||$1,212.00||$1,312.00|
Anytime you don’t pay your balance off completely by the time your bill is due or you make a late payment, Credit One will charge you interest on the balance you had during that billing period.
This can be an expensive cycle to get caught in, especially if you accumulate a bigger and bigger balance. As the chart shows, once you hit a $5,000 balance for a year, you’ll pay at least $1,000 in interest.
We also want to point out that the annual fee is $0 to $75 the first year and then $0 to $99 after that. Credit One will determine your annual fee based on your credit scores and credit history.
Finally, we want to note that the cash advance fee is unusually high.
If you’ve got bad credit, Credit One will most likely give you the $5 or 8% rate. Based on this, any cash advance of $65 or more will get the 8% rate.
If you have better credit, the fee will most likely be $10 or 3%. In this case, withdrawals of $340 or more will get the 3% fee.
Also, while the foreign transaction fee of 3% is industry standard, few cards we've reviewed will charge you $1 if the fee results in a charge of less than $1.
This is particularly interesting because you’ll pay $1 every time you make a transaction of less than $134 USD, which, based on our experiences abroad, constitutes most of the transactions you’ll make when you’re in a foreign country.
Our research indicates this fee can add up quickly – far quicker than what you’d pay if you had a card with a 3% foreign transaction fee.
|NASCAR Visa Credit Card||Indigo Platinum Mastercard||TOTAL Visa||Deserve Classic||Citi Secured Mastercard||Discover it Secured||Platinum Credit Card from Capital One|
|Yearly rewards for $20K spending||$210||None||None||None||None||$200||None|
|Minimum deposit required||None||None||$89||None||$200||$200||None|
|Annual fee||$0 to $99||Up to $99, depending on credit||$75 first year, $123 after||None||None||None||None|
|APR||20.24% to 26.24%||24.90%||34.99%||24.99%||24.49%||25.24%||26.99%|
|Late fees||Up to $39||Up to $39||Up to $39||Up to $25||Up to $39||1st one free, up to $39 after||Up to $39|
This chart shows the NASCAR Visa Credit Card rates when you compare it to other credit cards available for those with bad credit.
The card is the best rewards card in the group, edging out the Discover it Secured by $10 per year.
Also, the card’s APR range provides a low APR (20.24%) that’s better than every card in the lost. Also, it doesn’t have a penalty APR, which gives it the advantage over the Indigo Platinum Mastercard.
It’s two weaknesses are its late fee and annual fee. While its late fee is on par with most of the cards in the chart, trails the Deserve Classic’s $25 late fee. Its annual fee, on the other hand, is
We believe the data in this chart reveals that the NASCAR Visa Credit Card is tough to pin down. It has the best yearly rewards and requires no deposit. However, if you have bad credit, you’re probably going to pay an annual fee and have a higher APR.
For this reason, we’d say the Deserve Classic and Discover it Secured are the slightly better choice, if only because they have reasonable APR’s and they don’t charge an annual fee.
When we take into account this card’s features and rates/fee, then compare it to other cards, we think its strength lies in the fact that it can provide NASCAR fans a 2% cash back rate on the purchases they make on NASCAR.com.
We also believe that the card’s lack of an annual fee for those with good credit, no penalty APR and yearly maintenance fees are a nice trio for those looking for a fee-free experience.
However, the fees the card does have tend to be higher than competing cards. In most cases, you’ll pay $1 per transaction to use the card overseas and, if you have poor credit scores, then there’s a good chance you’ll have an annual fee of $75 the first year and $99 in following years.
Granted, the average household will earn enough rewards to cancel out those fees Ideally, though you’d be able to get a card with a low annual fee so you can maximize your rewards.
We see this card being ideal for NASCAR fans with credit scores in the mid-600's who may not be able to get a popular rewards card like the Citi Double Cash but still want a card that will earn them rewards and give them a chance at a decent annual fee and APR.