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Meet the Team: Nick

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We interviewed MagnifyMoney co-founder Nick Clements to hear a little more about the origins of MagnifyMoney and what Nick does when he isn’t looking to help save people money.

Why did you start MagnifyMoney?

When I was working in London, a man named Martin Lewis inspired me.  He started as a personal finance reporter, and has an absolute obsession with finding people the best deals. He later built MoneySavingExpert.com in the UK – the premier destination for anyone who is confused by complicated financial products or wants to save money.

I think he did two things brilliantly:

1) He made it easy for people to make better financial choices

2) He was not afraid to speak up when he thought products or practices were unfair.

When I ran the largest consumer credit card business in the UK, his words would be listened to and acted upon.

I am thrilled that I have the chance to build something like his business here in the US.

How did people react when you told them about your career change?

I was surprised by the reaction.  I thought people would be skeptical.  I was lucky to have reached a very senior position at a young age – so why walk away so soon?

But the overwhelming reaction has been support and enthusiasm.  Some people still think I was nuts to away from my job, but most people have been incredibly supportive, and not surprised that I took a risk.

How many places have you lived?

Too many.  In the US I have lived in 6 states.  I have also lived in England (London and Manchester), Switzerland (Zurich), and Russia (Moscow).

And, when I was a student, I spent most of my junior year in Florence, Italy.

Which three are your favorites?

An impossible question to answer!  I liked all of them for different reasons.

For best weather, nothing can beat southern California.  And I am always happy to visit my mom in Laguna Niguel and enjoy the sunshine and beach.

London was just a wonderful place to live.  A beautiful city to live in, and it is so easy to explore Europe on weekends.

But Italy still holds a soft spot in my heart.  Who doesn’t want to be surrounded by rolling Tuscan hills, bottles of amazing wine, plates of incredible food and a culture that slows down life a little bit – and focuses on friends, family and the value of time together.  (It may have helped that I was a student when I lived there!)

Can you remember the first thing you ever purchased with your own hard-earned money?

I can! When I was in grade school, I started a dog walking business. It slowly morphed into a dog-watching franchise. I would “sub-contract” and play a supervisory role, and had other reputable dog-watchers working for me.

I remember having a few hundred dollars in cash at Christmas time. I was so proud to be able to buy Christmas presents for my family, with my own money.

What was your first credit card?

Wells Fargo for Students. They had a deal with my university, where I could get a totally free checking account and a credit card that came along with it.

I remember enjoying the picture of the stagecoach on the plastic, and the sense of history that Wells Fargo had in their brand identity. (That is a true story. I have always been a nerd when it comes to finance and branding).

Do you still use it?

Absolutely not!  I soon learned that you shouldn’t choose credit cards based upon the picture on the plastic.  And, bundled products (you have a checking account, and now I sell you a credit card) usually don’t give you the best deals.

You need to look for the best individual product – and I am now earning great rewards!

If you had to spend all your credit card rewards tomorrow, what would you purchase?

I still have an insatiable desire to travel.  I would see how far I could go with my points, and then I would go there.

How do you spend your time outside of the office?

Walking, running, eating and reading.

I have two rescue dogs, and my wife and I love our long walks in the park (weather permitting of course).  During the weekend, we usually spend at least two hours with them outside.

I love to jog.  After a nice run, I am energized and usually have better ideas than when I started.

I love a good meal with amazing people. Italy really taught me that there is nothing better than a few hours sharing food with your friends and family.

And I have always been one to bury myself in books.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Erin Lowry
Erin Lowry |

Erin Lowry is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at [email protected]

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MagnifyMoney’s Editorial Code of Ethics

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

At MagnifyMoney and our parent company, LendingTree, all of our writers — both freelance and full-time staff — must adhere to a strict editorial code of ethics whether they are developing product reviews, recommendations, personal finance guides, features, investigative reports, or videos.

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Affiliate links help keep the MagnifyMoney site and financial education tools free, but they in no way influence our recommendations, reviews, and other editorial content. You can learn how we make money here.

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Whenever there is potential conflict with a source or product mentioned in one of our articles, we will be transparent and forthcoming with that information.

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Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

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Credit One Bank Review: Average Credit Welcome But Complicated Terms

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

Credit One Bank (not to be confused with Capital One Bank) specializes in credit cards for people who do not have the best credit. Credit One provides access to credit when other people do not. However, it does come at a price.

The potential drawbacks of choosing a Credit One Bank credit card are the fees and conditions that can apply to your account, depending on your creditworthiness.

Credit One Bank Credit Card Terms

Creditone Currently, Credit One Bank offers three main credit cards including the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® with Cash Back Rewards, the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit, and the Credit One Bank® NASCAR® Visa® Credit Card. However, the account terms for each card above including the interest rate, annual fee, and rewards program varies, depending on your creditworthiness. This means Credit One Bank will take a look at your credit history and income before offering your credit card terms and conditions.

There are 26 available credit card agreements you may be offered by Credit One Bank after applying. Fortunately, you can prequalify to review which specific terms you will receive, and the good news is this pre-qualification won’t impact your credit score.

Interest Rates, Fees, and Fine Print

Credit One Bank does provide an easier to read terms-and-conditions disclosure document with a range of the possible fees, interest rates, and terms you may encounter as a cardholder.

We’ve also put together a quick overview of the facts:

  • The minimum credit line is $300
  • Variable interest rates vary by product. In general, the ongoing purchase variable APRs across products range from 20.24% - 26.24% Variable.
  • Accounts may or may not have a payment grace period
  • The annual fee ranges from $0-$99
  • If you add on an authorized user, the fee is $19 annually
  • The late payment fee is up to $38
  • The returned payment fee is up to $38

As you can see from the terms above, the cost of borrowing from Credit One Bank can vary greatly, specifically when it comes to the annual fee. You can pay an annual fee from $0-$99. That’s no small amount of money.

For the first year, the annual fee is charged to your account right away. This means when you first receive the card the annual feel will be subtracted from your available credit line. After the first year, the annual fee may be charged all at once or split into 12 monthly payments.

The payment grace period

Another area besides fees to draw attention to is the payment grace period. The account you qualify for may or may not have one.

A payment grace period is a certain amount of days that credit card issuers give you to pay the bill before applying interest. Credit cards that don’t have a grace period begin charging interest on the day the purchase hits your account. For example, if you were to buy a nice, new couch on a credit card today, interest would start applying to that purchase today.

Again, terms vary, depending on creditworthiness, so it’s possible you can get the best terms that Credit One Bank has to offer, including the lowest possible interest rate, no annual fee, and an account with a payment grace period. But you should be aware of the most expensive scenario.

Cash Back Rewards and Card Benefits

Credit One Bank offers five cash back rewards programs and a few additional card benefits.

There are three cash back programs that reward you for everyday spending like gas, groceries, and dining, and two other programs that reward you for auto and NASCAR.com related purchases.

Here are the five rewards programs:

Cash Back Rewards Program

  • 1% on eligible purchases, terms apply.

NASCAR Cash Back Rewards Program

  • 1% Cash Back on Eligible Purchases and Double Cash Back at the NASCAR.com Superstore, terms apply.

If you qualify for a cash back program, the cash back that you earn each month will be credited to your account statements. The cash back credited to your account doesn’t count as a payment, so you’ll need to make your regular minimum payment to keep your card in good standing.

Additional card benefits

As mentioned, free credit score tracking and a credit report summary are included. Visa Zero Fraud Liability is another benefit and means you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Visa account if you report them in a timely manner.

How to Prequalify for Credit One Bank Credit Cards

On the Credit One Bank website, you can prequalify for a card without a hard inquiry. You just need to type in your address, Social Security number, birthdate, and income.

Make sure to read through the terms you receive after pre-qualification for the interest rate, the fees, and whether you get a payment grace period before thinking about moving forward with the full application.

The Cost of Using a Credit One Bank Card

So, what’s the cost? That’s always the most important question.

Taking a look at the cost of cash back rewards first, the interest rate range offered by Credit One Bank is slightly higher than other rewards cards with similar cash back offers.

Here are a few cash back alternatives with lower interest rates and no annual fee:

  • The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases., and an APR of 15.99%– 25.99% (Variable) with a $0 annual fee.
  • The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day and 0% intro on purchases for 15 months an a 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months, 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) APR after that. There is a $0 annual fee.

For the most part, the cheaper cash back rewards cards listed above are also ones that require decent credit, which may be a reason why you would try applying with Credit One Bank instead.

However, Credit One Bank cards can come with fees you need to be mindful of before thinking they’re an ideal alternative. You may qualify for Credit One Bank with less-than-perfect credit, but the catch is you may also get approved for less-than-desirable credit card terms like high interest and a high annual fee.

Example of what it costs to borrow

To analyze the cost of borrowing from Credit One Bank, let’s take an example:

  • 24.15% variable APR
  • $99 annual fee
  • No payment grace period
  • 1% cash back on gas and grocery spending

If you charge $500 of furniture to this card as soon as you get it, it’ll cost you about $62 in interest to pay the balance off in 12 months with regular payments of $51 per month.

The exact interest cost will vary, depending on interest rate fluctuations and when you make the purchase during the month. (Remember, there’s no grace period.)

PaymentInterestPrincipal
$51$10$459
$51$9.23$417.23
$51$8.39$374.62
$51$7.53$331.15
$51$6.66$286.81
$51$5.77$241.48
$51$4.86$195.34
$51$3.93$148.27
$51$2.98$100.25
$51$2.02$51.26
$51$1.03$1.29

In total, you would pay about $161 (interest plus the $99 annual fee) to borrow $500 during your first year as a cardholder. The next year, you also have another $99 in annual fees ($8.25 per month) to look forward to paying before even swiping your card on new purchases.

From this example, you can see fees play a big role in costs and are a factor you want to measure if you prequalify for a Credit One Bank credit card.

Another caveat to this is if you planned to use this card for cash back specifically, you would need to pay off your balance the same day you make a purchase. Otherwise, interest charges from having no grace period can eat away at the cash back earned.

Other Ways to Borrow Money and to Build Credit

The big advantage of Credit One Bank is that you can prequalify without a hard inquiry so it doesn’t hurt to find out what terms you will receive. There are a few other credit card issuers that offer the same convenience. If you’re not sure whether you can qualify for cards with lower fees, you can search for providers that offer prequalification here.

To build or rebuild credit, you can also turn to store cards or secured cards. Learn more about how to build credit with a secured card here. It’s worth mentioning that not all store cards and secured cards are cheap either. You need to review the fees and interest rates to find the most affordable option just like you would with the Credit One Bank accounts.

Finally, if your focus is solely getting your hands on cash, a personal loan may offer you a better deal when you need to borrow money than a credit card. You can also prequalify for personal loans without impacting your credit score. You can shop for personal loans here.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor here