How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.
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Advertising Disclosure
LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).

Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products. We are compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order).
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American Express Disclosure
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

American Express Disclosure

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

First Access Visa® Card Review

First Access VISA<sup>®</sup> Credit Card
Get Approved Fast
Quick and Easy Secure Online Application
Rewards Rate
1% Cash Back
Ongoing Purchase APR
35.99%*
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It was not reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Our take: Our take on the First Access VISA® Credit Card can be summarized in a few words: Don’t get it unless it’s a last resort. Ongoing account servicing fees and an extremely high 35.99%* variable APR make this card more expensive than it’s worth. There are better credit cards designed for people with bad credit.

Pros and cons

  • Accepts applicants with low credit scores
  • Earns 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Free access to credit score and credit-building tools
  • No security deposit required
  • Extremely high interest rates
  • Long list of ongoing fees
  • You have to pay to increase your credit limit

Is the First Access VISA® Credit Card worth it?

The First Access VISA® Credit Card just isn’t worth the high interest rates and fees. The card does have some benefits: It offers rewards, doesn’t require a deposit and can help you build your credit because it reports to all three credit bureaus. That said, you’re better off paying the deposit for a secured credit card, most of which come with lower fees and interest rates.

How much does it cost to own? (0 out of 5 stars)
You’ll pay $170 for the card’s set-up and annual fee in the first year versus $0 for the average credit-building card. You can potentially earn up to $36 in rewards with a $300 credit limit, which is not enough to cover the fees.

Quick facts

  • Recommended Credit
    Credit scores ranges may vary. Your individual chance at approval may vary due to factors such as creditors using a particular variation at their discretion
  • 300 600 660
    Poor/Fair
  • Credit needed: Poor/Fair
  • Earning rate: 1% cash back

Intro Purchase APR

N/A

Regular Purchase APR

35.99%*

Intro BT APR

N/A

Regular BT APR

N/A

Annual Fee

$75.00 1st year, $48.00 after*

Cash Advance Fee

Either $10, or 3% of the amount of the Cash Advance, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fee

N/A

Balance Transfer Fee

N/A

First Access VISA® Credit Card benefits

  • Accepts applicants with lower credit scores

    The First Access VISA® Credit Card is available to applicants with poor/fair credit, which is a major plus if you’ve had a hard time qualifying for a credit card in the past. The application and approval process is quick – you’ll know whether you’re approved within 60 seconds of submitting your application.

  • Cash back rewards

    The First Access VISA® Credit Card offers 1% cash back, which is a rare feature for a credit card for poor/fair credit. You’ll earn rewards when you’ve paid your credit card bill — 1 point for each $1 you pay off. You can only redeem your points after your account has been active and in good standing for six months.

  • Credit-building tools

    Like any good credit-building card, the First Access VISA® Credit Card offers free access to your credit score via their mobile app. Plus, First Access reports payments to the three major credit bureaus, so making your monthly payments on time with your First Access VISA® Credit Card will improve your credit score.

  • No security deposit

    The First Access VISA® Credit Card is technically an unsecured card, meaning that it doesn’t require a security deposit. But you will have to cough up a one-time $95 program fee to open an account, and unlike a security deposit, this fee is not refundable.

First Access VISA® Credit Card drawbacks

  • Extremely high interest rates

    The First Access VISA® Credit Card has a 35.99%* variable APR, which is one of the highest interest rates on the market. The typical APR for cards for poor/fair credit is currently around 30%, and you can find even better rates if you’re willing to submit a refundable security deposit for a secured credit card.

  • Long list of ongoing fees

    In addition to the one-time program fee of $95, you might be on the hook for a host of unexpected ongoing fees for the First Access VISA® Credit Card, including:

    • Annual fee: $75.00 1st year, $48.00 after*
    • Servicing fee: $0 first year, $99/year after
    • Late payment fee: Up to $41.00*
    • Cash advance fee: Either $10, or 3% of the amount of the Cash Advance, whichever is greater.
    • Additional card fee: $29 per additional authorized user per year
    • Premium plastic card fee: $10
    • Credit limit increase fee: 25% of the amount of credit limit increase
    • Express delivery fee: up to $35

    Late payment fees are fairly standard, especially for cards designed for bad credit. But most card issuers don’t charge fees for credit limit increases or premium plastic cards, and many allow you to add authorized users for free.

    To illustrate how expensive the First Access VISA® Credit Card is, we’ve compared the card’s mandatory first year fees and rewards to those of similar cards below:

    First-year feesEstimated first-year rewards*
    First Access VISA® Credit Card$170$36
    Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®$0$254
    Capital One Platinum Credit Card$0$0
    Discover it® Secured Credit Card$0 (but requires a minimum $200 refundable security deposit)$90

    *Based on LendingTree’s value methodology

  • You have to pay to increase your credit limit

    If you need access to more credit than the initial $300 limit, you’ll have to pony up 25% of the amount of the increase. For instance, if you want a $500 credit limit, you’ll pay a $50 fee. The fees get worse the higher your limit – you’ll be charged $1,175 to increase your credit line to $5,000.

    Most credit card issuers allow you to increase your credit line for free. You’d be better off starting with a secured credit card, building your credit and getting your security deposit back once you’ve upgraded to an unsecured card.

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® vs. First Access VISA® Credit Card

| Disclosures
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Upgrade's secure site
Rates & Fees
N/A
14.99% - 29.99% APR
$0
1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a
  • $200 bonus after opening a Rewards Checking Plus account and making 3 debit card transactions*
  • Earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment
  • Combine the flexibility of a credit card with the predictability of a personal loan
  • No annual fee
  • No touch payments with contactless technology built in
  • See if you qualify in minutes without hurting your credit score
  • Great for large purchases with predictable payments you can budget for
  • Mobile app to access your account anytime, anywhere
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud liability
  • *To qualify for the welcome bonus, you must open and fund a new Rewards Checking Plus account through Upgrade and make 3 qualifying debit card transactions from your Rewards Checking Plus account within 60 days of the date the Rewards Checking Plus account is opened. If you have previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not open a Rewards Checking Plus account as part of this application process, you are not eligible for this welcome bonus offer. Your Upgrade Card and Rewards Checking Plus account must be open and in good standing to receive a bonus. To qualify, debit card transactions must have settled and exclude ATM transactions. Please refer to the applicable Upgrade VISA® Debit Card Agreement and Disclosures for more information. Welcome bonus offers cannot be combined, substituted, or applied retroactively. The bonus will be applied to your Rewards Checking Plus account as a one-time payout credit within 60 days after meeting the conditions.
600 660
Fair

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Verdict: Lower interest rates and better rewards for those with fair credit

If your credit score is between 580 and 669, we recommend the Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®. It offers a better rewards rate — 1.5% unlimited cash back on card purchases every time you make a payment — and a lower APR than the First Access VISA® Credit Card. Compared to the First Access VISA® Credit Card, the fees are minimal. There are no annual, account servicing or late payment fees.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card vs. First Access VISA® Credit Card

| Disclosures
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Rates & Fees
N/A
30.74% (Variable)
$0
Non-rewards Card
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Help build your credit through responsible use of a card like this
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One's mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply
600 660
Limited/Fair

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Verdict: An unsecured card with better interest rates and no annual fee

While you won’t earn rewards with the Capital One Platinum Credit Card, you won’t be stuck paying a slew of fees, either. Unlike the First Access VISA® Credit Card, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card doesn’t charge annual fees, account servicing fees or authorized user fees. Plus, Capital One will automatically consider you for a (fee-free) credit limit increase after six months. The APR is also significantly lower, meaning it’ll cost less to carry a balance with the Capital One Platinum Credit Card.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card vs. First Access VISA® Credit Card

| Disclosures
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
apply-now-icon Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Rates & Fees
N/A
28.24% Variable APR
$0
Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit history.
  • Your secured credit card requires a refundable security deposit, and your credit line will equal your deposit amount, starting at $200. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. Activate for free.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
300 600
Limited/Poor

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Verdict: Lower ongoing rates and fees in exchange for a refundable security deposit

Even with the $200 minimum security deposit, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is less expensive to carry than the First Access VISA® Credit Card. You won’t have to pay annual, account servicing or authorized user fees to carry the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, and the interest rate is much lower at 28.24% Variable APR. Plus, the deposit is refundable, and Discover offers a clear path to graduate to an unsecured card with even better terms and benefits.

Should you get the First Access VISA® Credit Card?

The First Access VISA® Credit Card may be a viable option if your score is so low that you can’t get approved for better offers. Since it reports to the three major credit bureaus, it can help you build credit as long as you keep your account in good standing.

However, we don’t recommend the First Access VISA® Credit Card unless you’ve tried and failed to be approved for better secured credit cards and credit-building cards. The extremely high interest rates and ongoing fees make the card a poor choice for most consumers.

For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product. See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply.

Frequently asked questions

Yes, the First Access VISA® Credit Card comes with an app that allows you to track your spending, make payments, redeem rewards and monitor your credit score.

The Bank of Missouri issues the First Access VISA® Credit Card.