If you have to have an unsecured credit card and your score is low, finding a card that will approve you and your financial situation can be nerve-racking. The Total credit card is exceptionally permissive. Due to this, they also charge more fees and interest than most. That, and they did the “searching” for you if they’ve identified you as a likely approval candidate and have solicited your business as a new account holder through a www.preapprovedtotal.com invitation with reservation number.
Still, there are other credit card offers that are equally permissive and that allow you to work your way up without the hefty price tag the Total card Visa program offers. In short, the Total Visa credit card should never be your first choice, but if you need a card and have nothing but rejections so far, it may occasionally be your only choice.
The Total card is meant to be used by people who need to rebuild their credit after a number of credit mishaps. If you've filed for bankruptcy, you know what kind of card this is. Cards in the "credit rebuilder" category cost dearly. However, they may be necessary when you have to rebuild your credit from square one before every derogatory mark has fallen off of your credit report.
If you are in the market for a card meant for rebuilding credit, this could be the one if you're willing to pay very high fees for a few years. This is not the best credit rebuilder card, but it's also not the most expensive. Further, Total Visa has very permissive standards. This means they tend to approve even the most subprime of borrowers. Albeit, if you’ve received a www.preapprovedtotal.com notification, there is a good chance of approval.
Given the type of card this is, you should be aware that everything from APR to annual fees starts high and stays there, no matter how loyal you are or how much better your credit gets. The Total card itself isn't anything special in that or any other regard.
APR for purchases and cash advances is a somewhat shocking 34.99%. There is no penalty interest and the grace period is 21 days after the close of each billing cycle.
The standard credit limit, as outlined in the preapprovedtotal.com letters, for the Total card is $300. From this, you will have your initial annual fee deducted at the start of your first billing cycle. This will leave you with $225. If you choose to add an authorized user to your account, that drops down to $196.00.
One important note about the Total Visa program is the annual and monthly servicing fees. For example, when you start this program, you will be charged a total of $164 dollars for just one card and a new account. Then, in order to keep the card after your first year, you'll have to pay $123 each year. It is unlikely you will be able to negotiate this fee down or away, unlike with better credit card offers.
Fees for the Total Credit Card
- Annual Fee – $75 the first year and $48 each year after that.
- Cash Advance – No cash advance fees for the first year. After the first year, the transaction fee for each cash advance with the Total card is $10 or 3% of the transaction total. APR is 34.99% either way.
- Foreign Transaction – Foreign transactions are prohibited altogether with the Total credit card program.
- Late Payment – Late payment fees for the Total Visa card are up to $40. If this is your first late payment, your fee with be $29.
- Return Payment - return payment fees for the Total Visa card are up to $40.
- Authorized User Fees – The authorized user fee is $29, charged each year.
- Balance Transfer – Balance transfers are not accepted.
- Credit Limit Increase Fee – Want to have your credit limit increased from $300? Expect to pay 20% of that increase. This means that for every $100 that is added to your credit line, you have to pay $20. Credit limit increase checks are initiated automatically once per year.
The Total card has no rewards program and they have no plans to implement one.
Pros – Advantages of the Total Visa Credit Card
The Total card's biggest advantage is how easy they are to get.
- Fast Online Application – With just a little personal information, you can receive a determination in as little as 1 minute. Once you are accepted, which is likely, you will be asked to pay the initial program fee of $89. Then your card will be set up, another fee will be charged, and you'll have a new credit line with a few hundred dollars available.
- Very Low Credit Score Requirements – The Total credit card seems to have been built around the idea that if someone has experienced enough rejection, they'll accept poor terms without their best interests in mind.
- $300 Credit Limit – Compared to similar cards, the Total Visa program offers a higher starting credit limit for those with lower scores, though this is substantially offset by high fees.
Cons – Disadvantages of the Total Visa Credit Card
The Total card's biggest disadvantage is how expensive it is to have around.
- No Automated Fuel Pump Transactions – If you are approved for the Total Visa, or even before, be sure to read the entire cardmember agreement. There are a few places you won't be able to use your card, including automated fuel pumps.
- No Foreign Transactions – You cannot use this card for a foreign transaction or in a foreign country.
- Annual Fees and Maintenance Fees – The Total Visa card comes with fees on top of fees.
- No Room to Grow – Unlike other credit rebuilding cards and programs, the Total card has no room to grow. As soon as you get a few dozen points on your credit score, something most people can do in a year, you run out of runway. The fees are too high to make sense and negotiating your way out of them is discouraged, if not outright rejected.
- High APR – There may be no penalty APR, but the rate you get to start with is far higher than the penalty rate offered by most banks and lenders.
The Total card is a credit card that is easy to outgrow in a very short amount of time if you take rebuilding your credit very seriously. Once you have outgrown the limitations of the total card, what is left? Do you keep it and continue to pay over a hundred dollars a year? Or do you let it go and take yet another small hit to your credit report? While utilizing the Total Visa card via a www.preapprovedtotal.com invitation can be helpful short term, it can be costly over the years.