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First Access Visa Card Review

First Access Visa Card Review

Our First Access Visa card review covers what First Access Visa has to offer and explains why you may and may not want one. First Access Visa was built for people with very bad credit. Apply online and they will run a soft search on your credit after you have signed up. The soft search will not damage your credit rating, but if you accept the card and complete your application, then you will see a mark on your credit history. First Access Visa is not ideal for rebuilding your credit. You should only apply for this card if you have a specific task in mind and you need a credit card to achieve that task, such as for the deposit when renting a car, or booking a hotel room, or signing up for certain types of apps.

First Access Visa Card Review – Sign Up Quick And Get Out Slow

First Access Visa say that your account will be set up within sixty seconds, but that is only the application time. You will also need to set up an account and submit to a soft search. If you are accepted for a First Access Visa, then you have to register more of your details and agree to a hard search of your credit.

After you are accepted for a second time, you have to go back and pay your processing fee. You will then receive your card within two to four weeks (within five days in some states). Getting an account is fairly quick, but you will have to pay off your balance, and then call the customer service department to cancel your account. Calling takes time, being on hold is annoying, and having to convince the customer support worker to cancel your account is irritating.

Sadly, your processing fee and other fees (mentioned below) will have already been taken out before you cancel your account. If you sign up today and quit the card in two weeks, you will be at least $166 out of pocket.

Are Credit Limit Increases Allowed?

You can increase your credit limit from the initial $300 ($225 available balance). They allowed us to increase our credit limit to $350 after the first six billing cycles and then up to $450 after the first year. Our account holder had a terrible credit rating, but had kept up all the payments, had used the card, and had not overdrawn. There are people online who claim you cannot increase your credit limit, but it must have something to do with that person’s circumstances because First Access does allow credit limit increases.

If it gets to the point where you are applying for increases above $450, then it may be time to check your credit rating again (use a free service such as Credit Karma or Credit Sesame). If your credit rating has risen a little, then you should start looking into other cards that have more favorable terms, conditions and fees.

Do not close your First Access visa card until you have the other credit card in your hands. If you pay off and close your First Access visa card, then your credit rating will dip for a few months. Instead, pay off your First Access card, apply for the new credit card and have the new credit card in your hands before you cancel your First Access card. Again, if you cancel your First Access card, then your credit rating may dip to the point where other credit card issuers will not give you a credit card.

The Cash Advance Confusion

The First Access Visa terms and conditions state that you cannot make a cash advance within the first three months (three billing cycles) of having your First Access Visa credit card.

There are people who complain that they cannot do things such as gamble with the card or use it with Western Union, but it is a Visa card which means there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do these things. The most likely reason why users cannot do such things is because they are trying it within the first three months, and it is during those months when cash advances are not allowed.

For the record, most credit card companies consider things such as money transfers and uploads to gambling websites to be cash advances. If you are using gambling websites, then try them after your first three credit card bills. There is a chance that First Access has banned uploads to that particular website, but it may be worth a shot.

First Access Visa card review – Rates And Fees

The Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is 29.99%, which means you should only consider this card if you have a poor credit rating. It is not the worst APR we have seen, but it is about as high as you may ever want to consider. If you are considering rates any higher than this, then I hope it is for a very good reason, such as because you need to rent a car and you need a credit card to do it.

The due date is a minimum of 21 days after each billing cycle. That means that if you pay off your balance within 20 days after your last bill, then you will not be charged interest for new purchases made within that time.

The minimum interest charge is $0.50. A charge of £38.00 is added if you make a late payment, and $38.00 is charged as a returned payment fee. There is a one-time fee of $89.00, which is applied when you set up your First Access Visa the first time. This fee is only charged once your application is complete and you have been accepted. You will receive an email saying that everything is set up and ready for you, at which point you go back to the First Access website and use their tool to retrieve your application and pay the one-time processing fee.

Setup and maintenance fees are applied to your First Access Visa. The annual fee is charged automatically to your credit card balance, which means your initial credit limit is going to drop from the advertised $300 to $225.

Understanding Your Credit Limit

Is the credit limit $300 as advertised, or is it $225. What First Access Visa has done is to take your annual fee out of your credit limit. This means that you are paying 29.99% on $300, but you only have access to $225. If you spend all of your $225, you are actually paying 29.99% APR on $300. Pretty sneaky if you ask me.

Understanding Their Cash Advance Fee

You have to wait for three billing cycles before First Access Visa allows you to take out a cash advance. You are not about to do a balance transfer, you may only draw money from a cash machine.

During the first year, you will not have to pay a cash advance fee. After the first year, you will have to pay $5 or 5% of the cash advance amount. Yet, the maximum amount you are able to draw out as a cash advance is half of your credit limit.

Your credit limit is advertised as $300, but for the first year (and subsequent others unless you request a credit limit increase) your credit limit will be $225. This means your cash advance fee will be between $5 and $6 while your credit limit is $225 because you are only allowed to withdraw a maximum of $110.

Most credit cards have a separate cash-advance APR rate, but First Access Visa doesn’t have this. When you make a cash advance, you are still charged the same 29.99% APR that you are charged when you make purchases.

Understanding Their Monthly Fee And Annual Fee

First Access Visa make it a little confusing because they have a monthly fee and an annual fee. They show you an annual fee of $75 that they charge you yearly. They also show you the monthly fee, but they include how much it costs annually at $75.

The monthly fee comes to $75 per year, but it is charged monthly, and the annual fee is $75 per year which is taken out of your credit card balance. One could mistake the annual fee and monthly fee as being the same thing, but they are not.

Annual Fee

There is an annual fee of $75.00, which may lower to $48.00 per year if you manage your credit card correctly. If you close your account and open it again, then you have to pay a pro-rated annual fee for the first year. After you have had your card for 2 weeks, you are going to see $75 come off of it.

Monthly Fee

The monthly fee is $6.25, which they charged us annually and not monthly, yet the terms and conditions said we would be charged monthly. Most other people we talked to said they were charged monthly.

There is a rumor that you can avoid the monthly fee if you keep your balance to $20 or less, but it is not true. You are charged the monthly fee until your account is closed, and they will not allow you to apply to close your account until the balance is $20 or less.

There is an additional card fee that is charged annually at $29.00 per year. If you need your regular card or your additional card a little more quickly, then there is an express delivery charge of $35.00. If you want a duplicate of your monthly statement, then there is a $3.00 charge.

Rates And Fees In Short

$89.00 – One-time processing fee
$75.00 – First year annual fee
$48.00 – Subsequent year annual fee
$6.25 – Monthly service fee
$29.00 – The annual fee for a second card
$38.00 – Late payment fee
$38.00 – Returned payment fee
$5 or 5% – Cash advance fee
$225 – Starting credit limit

Conclusion – Another Crappy Credit Card For People With Poor Credit

Unlike what online user reviews say, First Access Visa is not a scam. Our First Access Visa card review found it to be a genuine company with a usable credit card for people with poor credit. The only problem is that it is a really crappy deal.

The company is not scamming people, and it isn’t even a predatory company in the technical sense of the phrase. It is just that the deal you get with First Access Visa card review is very poor.

You have to pay for part of a credit limit that you do not use, which is part of how they charge you for your annual fee. Plus, you have to pay a monthly fee, and the APR is stupidly high. In addition, the credit limit you get is so small that it is almost useless.

The credit limit is so low at $225 that it is almost useless. It is only useful as a tool for gaining access to services. For example, a hotel may ask that you register a credit card before you enter your room. There are some car rental companies that will ask for more of a deposit than your credit limit allows, so your First Access Visa may be useless when hiring a car. If you need a credit card to sign up for something like credit reports with a credit monitoring bureau, then maybe this credit card would come in useful.

Bit Of Advice – Don’t Use These Types Of Card For Rebuilding Credit

If you have read our First Access Visa card review, you will see that there is no way of holding this card without paying a bill. You have to pay interest on the annual fee every month and there is no way around that fee. Plus, you are charged a monthly fee too. When you sign up for a First Access Visa card, you are adding another bill into your budget, and that is probably the last thing you want to do.

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Save yourself some money and go without credit cards. Build your credit rating by paying your regular bills on time, by managing your bank accounts correctly, and by letting a little time pass. Time will heal your credit rating better than taking on another expense that is the First Access Visa card (or any of these poor quality credit cards). Only use these types of card if you need access to a service that demands a credit card, such as hotel stays, bitcoin exchanges, storage rentals, etc.

About The Author

Ash The Great

After a varied career in different industries from the hospitality industry to the financial consultancy industry, Ash now spends his days working as a professional writer.

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