NASCAR Credit Card from Credit One Bank Review: Is It Worth It?
The NASCAR Credit Card from Credit One Bank 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. Also, we believe that knowing how a card compares to similar cards is important, so we’re going to include a chart that shows you how the Credit One NASCAR’s various features stack up against similar products.
The NASCAR Credit Card’s Rewards
A credit card’s rewards usually take the form of a percentage that you earn on most purchases you make. This card has two rewards rates: a 2% rate for NASCAR.com purchases and a 1% rate on everything else.
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.
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.
Based on our research on consumer spending, we believe this card can earn you about $250 a year without any NASCAR.com purchases. If you spend, say, $500 a year between your own purchases and Christmas gifts, then you can add $10 to your yearly rewards total.
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.
The NASCAR Credit Card’s Benefits
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.
The NASCAR Credit Card’s Rates and Fees
One thing we always like to remind you of is that credit cards are a double-edged sword. They can provide you with some great rewards – at least $250 for the average household, in this case – but they can also cost you a lot of money via late payments and interest payments.
We’re going to list this card’s rates and fees, then talk about how they can change and how they can impact you:
- Purchase APR: 19.74% - 25.74%
- Cash advance APR: 25.74%
- Annual fee: $0 - $99
- Cash advance fee: 3% or 8%
- Foreign transaction fee: $1 or 3%, whichever is greater
There are a few things we want to point out to you. First, the card’s terms and conditions note that someone with excellent credit (720 and up) will get an APR between 19.74% - 25.74%, while those with credit scores that are good or poor will get a 25.74% 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 card has a low APR of 13.74% and most credit cards have a low APR below 17%.
We also want to point out that the annual fee is $0-$75 the first year and $0-$99 thereafter. Your annual fee is based on several factors, the most important of which are your credit scores. If you’ve got excellent scores, then there’s a good chance your annual fee will be $0.
Finally, we want to note that the cash advance fee and the foreign transaction fees are unusually high. Most cash advance fees range from 3% to 5% and, admittedly, those with good credit scores can get the 3% rate.
However, those with bad credit scores will have to pay an 8% fee, which means that every time you use your Credit One NASCAR to withdraw cash, you’ll pay a fee that’s equal to 8% a – $8 on $100, for example.
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.
Comparing the NASCAR Credit Card to Other Cards
|Credit One NASCAR||Indigo Platinum||Total Visa||Discover it Secured||Credit One Platinum|
|APR||19.74% - 25.74%||23.90%||29.99%||24.74%||19.74% - 25.74%|
|Annual Fee||$0 - $99||$0/$59/$99||$48||$37||$0 - $99|
|Rewards||2% on NASCAR.com, 1% everything else||None||None||2% on gas, 1% everything else||1% on everything|
|Security Deposit||None||None||None||$200 - $500||None|
|Extra Yearly Fees||None||None||$75||None||None|
What we’ve done in this chart is compare the Credit One NASCAR card’s rates, rewards, and fees against other cards designed for those with low credit scores, as the card doesn’t really compare to other rewards cards that offer lower interest rates and higher rewards rates.
The NASCAR card’s interest rates for customers with bad credit are the highest of the cards in the chart and equal to the Credit One Platinum Visa, which is almost identical to the NASCAR card minus the 2% bonus on NASCAR.com purchases.
The card’s lack of a penalty APR, security deposit and the absence of yearly maintenance fees give it an advantage over the Indigo and the Discover it Secured. However, its foreign transaction fee and cash advance fee of 8% is higher than the other non-Credit One cards.
Its annual fee, though, is high, as we’re inclined to conclude that cardholders with scores below 650 have a good chance of getting the highest annual fee the first year ($75) and every year thereafter ($99).
Compared to the other cards in the chart, we think the Credit One NASCAR is average with some strong areas and weak areas, which we’ll discuss in the next section.
Bottom Line: Should You Sign Up?
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, 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, but, ideally, 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.
» See Also: Best Secured Credit Card for Bad Credit of 2018