First Access Visa® credit card review
While the First Access Visa® credit card doesn’t have a lot of features, it does offer a few minor benefits.
Lenient approval requirements
Most applicants, regardless of their credit history, can expect to be approved for the First Access Visa® credit card. This is an option if you are rebuilding your credit after some issues with your credit history, or if you do not yet have a credit history and want to start building credit.
It’s worth noting that First Access has a good reason for being so lenient when it comes to approvals – it charges new cardholders $ 170 in total fees up front. If you’re looking for the easiest credit card to get, there are other options that aren’t that expensive.
$ 300 starting credit limit
The starting credit limit for the First Access Visa® credit card is still $ 300. Considering this is an unsecured credit card (which does not require a security deposit to open), this is not a bad credit limit to start with.
Learn more: Secured vs. Unsecured Credit Cards: What Should You Get?
What could be improved
The First Access Visa® credit card has serious drawbacks, the big problem being all the costs associated with its transport.
When shopping for a card to create credit or replenish credit, one of the most important things to look for is the low fees. With this credit card, First Access charges several fees:
- One-time program fee of $ 95 to open credit card account after approval
- $ 75 annual fee the first year ($ 48 per year from the second year)
- Monthly service charge of $ 8.25 from the second year
- A 20% credit limit increase fee of the amount of the increase if you agree to a higher credit limit (if you agree to a $ 100 credit limit increase, the fee would be $ 20)
Right off the bat, you envision $ 170 in upfront costs. Program fees are due when your application is approved, and First Access takes the annual fee of $ 75 from your card’s credit line. Since the line of credit is $ 300, you start with $ 225 of credit available after that $ 75 fee.
Considering the cost of this card, you better have a secure card. Most secured credit cards require a deposit of $ 200 or less, so you would pay virtually the same amount. The difference is that you can possibly get your security deposit back, while you won’t get any of your fees back from First Access.
After the first year, you pay both an annual fee of $ 48 and a monthly service charge of $ 8.25, for a total annual cost of $ 147.
To top it off, First Access charges you if you agree to a credit limit increase. These are at least a fee that you can avoid, but increasing the credit limit is something reputable card issuers don’t charge.
The First Access Visa® credit card charges a fixed purchase and cash advance APR that is much higher than bad credit credit cards.
You can avoid credit card interest charges entirely if you pay off your balance in full each month and only use your card for purchases, not cash advances. It’s good to take this approach with any credit card, but it’s especially important with this First Access card because of its high APR.
Learn more: What is APR and what does it mean for your credit cards?
Cannot be used for transactions abroad
Some credit cards charge an additional fee, typically 3%, on foreign transactions made outside of the United States. Most of the best credit cards don’t charge any overseas transaction fees. The First Access Visa® credit card is the rare card that does not even allow purchases abroad. It prohibits any purchase outside of the United States or in a foreign currency.
Suggested credit score
There is no minimum recommended credit score for the First Access Visa® credit card. It is possible to get approval with a FICO® score of 500 or less, which is in the poor credit range. First Access can also approve your request even if you do not yet have any activity on your credit file.