The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank Review: A Secured Credit Card That Covers the Basics
The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank
The Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card can help you build or rebuild your credit score. It’ll do what you need it to do, but it doesn’t offer any features that differentiate it from other secured cards. If you’re in the market for a secured credit card, shop around for one with no annual fee or one that earns rewards while you spend. Read our review for a full breakdown on the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card’s features.
The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank Credit Card Quick Review
Here are the highlights of the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card:
Annual Fee: $36, billed $3 per month
APR: 26.99% Variable
Sign-Up Bonus: None
- $200 minimum security deposit
- Customize your credit limit
- Lower-than-average foreign transaction fee
- Standard Visa card benefits
Your minimum payment consists of all past due amounts, any monthly portion of your annual fee, and additional card fees billed monthly, plus the greater of:
- 1% of your new balance plus late, cash advance, over limit and returned payment fees and interest charges
- OR, if the new balance is less than $35, the total amount owed
- Up to $38 for late payment
- Up to $38 for returned payments
- $12 additional card fee
- 2% foreign transaction fee
Why Apply for the Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank Credit Card
There are a few reasons to consider picking up the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card.
You want to build credit and don’t qualify for another card
Secured credit cards help people with poor or no credit improve their credit scores. The Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card is open to almost anyone, regardless of credit score. In fact, the only disqualifying conditions Merrick Bank lists are pending bankruptcy filings and outstanding tax obligations. So long as you don’t have either of those, you should qualify for the card, even if you have terrible credit. The card reports to all three credit bureaus, too, helping you build your score once you start spending and paying your bills on time.
You need a card with a low security deposit
Secured credit cards require a cash deposit to secure your card—hence the name. Generally, the amount you provide will equal the credit limit you receive. Many card issuers require a deposit of $300 or more before you can start using your card. Merrick Bank requires a deposit of just $200, making it a bit easier on your wallet, especially if you don’t have a lot of savings. If you need a higher credit limit, you can deposit up to a total of $3,000 to increase your credit limit.
The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides
The Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card has a handful of downsides to think about if you need a secured card.
High annual fee
The Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card charges an annual fee of $36, billed $3 per month. As soon as you open the card, the bank charges the first fee, which puts you in immediate debt to the bank. The fee converts to a monthly portion after the first year, which is a little easier to swallow. Many secured credit cards charge annual fees, but not all of them. When you’re rebuilding your credit, you probably don’t have a lot of cash to spare, so look for an alternative without an annual fee.
No path to an unsecured card
When you open an unsecured card, your goal is to improve your credit to qualify for unsecured cards and loans. Some secured card issuers give you a clear path to graduating to an unsecured card and refunding your security deposit. The Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card doesn’t offer any such path. To do that, you’ll have to close your Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card account to get your deposit back, then apply for a different unsecured card.
The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank Credit Card Alternatives
Here are a few great alternatives to the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card.
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
If you want a secured credit card with no annual fee, consider the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. As a bonus, the security deposit can be as low as $49 depending on your credit score. This card also brings a bevy of other benefits, including an automatic credit limit increase after five on-time payments, and the ability to view and track your credit score with Capital One Credit Wise.
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
If you want a secured credit card that with a clear path to an unsecured credit card, consider the Citi® Secured Mastercard®. This fee-free secured card helps you reports to all three major credit bureaus. Once you’ve had it for 18 months, Citi will automatically review your account to determine your eligibility for upgrade to an unsecured card. If you qualify, the bank will refund your deposit and you can continue using your card.
Other Things to Know
Here are some common questions people have about the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card.
How long does it take for a credit limit increase?
The Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card’s credit limit won’t increase over time. If you need a larger line of credit, you’ll need to add to your security deposit. You can add up to $3,000.
Does Merrick Bank report authorized users?
Merrick Bank will report credit account details to authorized users’ credit reports only if the authorized user is theaccount holder’s spouse. Other authorized users will not see the account on their credit report.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank Credit Card?
There’s nothing that really sets the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card apart from the competition. It covers the basics of a secured card, but you have fee-free options on the market. Don’t pay fees when you don’t have to. You’re probably better off with a different card.