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Credit One Bank Platinum X5 Visa: Average Rewards for Average Credit

Just make sure you can justify this card's high annual fee.

Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa®

7/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Apply Now with Credit One Bank
CNET’S PICK
Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa®
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Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa®

7/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Apply Now
On Credit One Bank’s secure website
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$95
APR
29.74% Variable
Rewards rate
1% – 5% Get 5% cash back rewards on the first $5,000 of eligible gas, grocery, internet, cable, satellite TV, and mobile phone service purchases each year, and then 1% thereafter.; 1% cash back rewards on all other purchases. Terms Apply.
Rewards Rate
5%
Get 5% cash back rewards on the first $5,000 of eligible gas, grocery, internet, cable, satellite TV, and mobile phone service purchases each year, and then 1% thereafter.
1%
1% cash back rewards on all other purchases. Terms Apply.

If you’re still working to build your credit profile, the Credit One Bank Platinum X5 Visa might be a decent option -- just watch out for the $95 annual fee and higher tier reward caps. 

Finding a credit card that offers decent rewards can be tough when your credit score falls in the fair category -- a 580 to 669 FICO score. The Credit One Bank Platinum X5 Visa, however, is a notable exception. This card offers 5% cash back on the first $5,000 of eligible spending on gas, groceries, internet, cable, satellite TV and mobile phone service per year. After that, you’ll earn the same 1% flat cash-back rate the card pays on all other purchases. So, if you can hit the $5,000 threshold, that’s $250 back, along with the additional 1% cash back you can rack up throughout the year with no restrictions.

Those earnings aren’t all upside, though, as you’ll need to pay a $95 annual fee for the Platinum X5 Visa, which is a big drawback. The best cards for fair/average credit all have lower annual fees, or better yet, no annual fees at all. There’s no welcome bonus, either, so you won’t get any extra perks in your first year to justify that $95 price tag. And if you carry a balance, you’ll pay even more for this card due to its very high 29.24% variable annual percentage rate.

Is the card a slam dunk for those with fair credit? Not quite. But it’s not a complete miss, either. And if you don’t plan to spend much more than $5,000 in the X5’s top-tier categories, it’s worth a look. If you want to avoid an annual fee, though, you might want to consider the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card, issued by WebBank, or one of the best secured credit cards instead.

Rewards

The Credit One Bank Platinum X5 offers 5% cash back on the first $5,000 of eligible purchases per year in a few categories: gas, groceries, internet, cable, satellite TV and mobile phone service. The key word here, though, is eligible, and the Credit One Bank terms and conditions are a reminder of the importance of reading the fine print. You won’t score 5% cash back if you do your grocery shopping at a warehouse club like Costco or a store that sells more than groceries -- think major names like Target and Walmart. However, if you regularly shop at an eligible grocery store, this card may be lucrative.

After hitting the $5,000 mark, the Platinum X5 pays 1% on those purchases -- the same flat rate you’ll earn for other purchases. Once your rewards drop to 1%, you might consider using a different cash-back credit card with a higher flat rate.

Rewards redemption

Every point you earn is worth 1 cent, and there’s only one way to redeem those points: as a statement credit. So, if you rack up 10,000 points, Credit One Bank will automatically reduce the balance on your billing statement by $100. It’s a no-frills reward redemption process, and that’s OK. If you’re still in the process of building your credit, it can help you focus on keeping your bill at $0 rather than overspending to earn rewards.

Other perks

There isn’t much to cover in terms of additional features on the Platinum X5, a common theme across most of the Credit One Bank lineup. In some cases, you’ll earn up to 10% cash back at select retailers, but the issuer doesn’t list any of these retailers, so it’s hard to determine if this benefit can help rationalize paying the $95 annual fee.

Otherwise, the Platinum X5 offers zero-fraud liability protection and access to monitor your credit score online -- two benefits you should expect from most major credit cards. 

Comparable cards

Petal 2: Fair credit

You won’t earn 5% cash back with the Petal 2, but you also won’t pay an annual fee. And if you travel outside the US, this is a better pick for your wallet. While the Platinum X5 has a 3% foreign transaction fee ($1 minimum), the Petal 2 won’t charge you any extra if you use your card while traveling internationally. 

The other upside to the Petal 2 is that it rewards you for building good credit habits. You start with a nominal 1% cash-back rate on all your eligible spending, but this rate can increase to 1.5% when you make 12 consecutive on-time monthly payments. Plus, Petal 2 offers credit lines from $300 to $10,000. So, even if you wind up graduating to a premium rewards card down the road, this one is a great pick to keep in your wallet to give your credit utilization ratio a boost without worrying about an annual fee. 

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Good credit

While you’re unlikely to get approved for the Blue Cash Preferred Card* with fair credit, you could start off with a different no-annual-fee card and work your credit up to this one. It beats the Credit One Bank Platinum X5 on every front. 

First, it has a welcome bonus of a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first six months. Second, the payout on groceries is significantly better: earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 of annual spending (then 1%). Plus, you’ll earn 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% back on U.S. gas stations -- with no cap. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. The perks all make the $95 annual fee here worth it if you can take advantage of them, and you won’t have to worry about this fee until your second year as a cardholder ($0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95).

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

How Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa® compares to other cards

CNET’S PICK
Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa®
Apply Now

Credit One Bank® Platinum X5 Visa®

7/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$95
APR
29.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
1% – 5% Get 5% cash back rewards on the first $5,000 of eligible gas, grocery, internet, cable, satellite TV, and mobile phone service purchases each year, and then 1% thereafter.; 1% cash back rewards on all other purchases. Terms Apply.
Apply Now
On Credit One Bank’s secure website
Petal® 2

Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card

9/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
No current offer
Annual fee
$0
APR
18.24% – 32.24% (Variable)
Intro Purchase APR
N/A
Rewards rate
1% – 1.5% Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments.; 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Learn More

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

8/10 CNET Rating CNET rates credit cards by comparing their offers to those of their categorical competitors. Each card is individually evaluated through a formula which reflects the standards and expectations of the contemporary market. Credit card issuers have no say or influence in our ratings. How we rate credit cards
Intro Offer
Earn $250 Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
Annual fee
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
APR
19.24% – 29.99% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% on purchases for 12 months
Rewards rate
1% – 6% 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more; 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations; 1% Cash Back on other purchases

FAQs

If you want to boost your credit score, a credit card can be a valuable tool. By making your payments on time and in full each month, you’ll demonstrate to other lenders that you’re a responsible money manager.

No. There are loads of great credit cards that do not charge an annual fee. Then there are some cards with high rewards opportunities that can easily cover the cost of the annual fee based on your spending habits. Just be sure to consider your past expenses when deciding if a specific card is right for you. If you have fair credit, it may be better to get a card without an annual fee, so you can focus on building good credit habits to boost your score before graduating to a more lucrative card in the future.

Secured credit cards require a cash deposit to guarantee your credit limit or a portion of the limit. If you have less-than-perfect credit or are applying for your first credit card, some issuers won’t feel confident extending you a credit account without a security deposit. This deposit can then be used to protect the issuer in case you fail to make your credit card payments.

*All information about the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

David McMillin writes about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes and travel. Based in Chicago, he writes with one objective in mind: Help readers figure out how to save more and stress less. He is also a musician, which means he has spent a lot of time worrying about money. He applies the lessons he's learned from that financial balancing act to offer practical advice for personal spending decisions.