The Merrick Bank Secured Visa credit card is one of the most affordable options for rebuilding poor credit. It doesn’t offer much in terms of perks, apart from regularly reporting your payment history to the credit bureaus. But it makes up for its lack of perks with fair fees and one of the most affordable interest rates of any secured credit card on the market.

ALSO READ: CardCruncher’s Complete Guide to Improving Your Credit Score

Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card Review

Here are the key details of the Merrick Bank Secured Visa Credit Card:

  • Annual Fee: $36 for the first year; $3 per month thereafter
  • APR:
    • 18.95% for purchases
    • 23.95% for cash advances
  • Sign-Up Bonus: None
  • Benefits:
    • Initial credit limit of $200 to $3,000, depending on security deposit
    • Payment history is reported to credit bureaus, which can help improve your credit
    • Online account management tools
    • Choose your card’s design
  • Minimum Payment:
    • If balance is $35 or less, then the full balance
    • If balance is greater than $35, then 1% of your new balance plus any fees and interest accrued
  • Other Fees:
    • $10 or 4% of the amount for cash advances, whichever is greater
    • 2% foreign transaction fee
    • Up to $39 for late payments
    • Up to $39 for returned payments

Why to Apply for the Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card

There are a few reasons you may want to take a closer look at the Merrick Bank Secured Visa.

You’re looking to improve your poor credit. If you’ve been turned down for traditional credit cards, you may want to give the Merrick Bank Secured Card a shot. There is no minimum credit score required to apply, and you can get approved in minutes. The issuer reports your payment history to the credit bureaus each month, and making full, on-time payments can help to improve your credit score.

You want a high credit limit. The Merrick Bank Secured Card gives you a credit limit of up to $3,000, provided you can come up with the security deposit to match it. Most other secured credit cards limit your initial credit limit to a few hundred dollars, so the Merrick Bank Secured Card is an excellent value for those who want a little more purchasing power.

You don’t want to be charged excessive fees. The Merrick Bank Secured Card does charge an annual fee, but at $36, it’s one of the lowest annual fees of any secured card on the market. Many charge upwards of $100 per year just to own the card. The Merrick Bank Secured Card’s 18.70% APR is also surprisingly low for a secured credit card, so you won’t be penalized as much if you carry a balance.

Merrick Bank Secured Card: Drawbacks and Downsides

The Merrick Bank Secured Card isn’t right for everyone. Here are a few reasons you may want to avoid it.

Your purchasing power is limited by your security deposit. Your credit limit is only as high as the security deposit you put down when you opened the Merrick Bank Secured Card. While this is typical of most secured credit cards, it poses a challenge for those who can’t afford the security deposit. In that case, you must either seek out an expensive unsecured credit card that accepts individuals with poor credit or look for one of the few secured cards that don’t tie your credit limit to your security deposit.

You won’t earn any rewards. There are some secured credit cards that offer rewards, though they are rare. Unfortunately, the Merrick Bank Secured Card is not one of them. If you’re interested in a rewards card but can’t currently qualify for one, your best bet is to use the Merrick Bank Secured Card until your score improves and then upgrade to a better card.

Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card Alternatives

If the Merrick Bank Secured Visa card doesn’t suit you, we recommend checking out one of these cards instead.

If you want a secured card with no annual fee and a low security deposit, the Capital One Secured MasterCard may be a good fit. Depending on your credit, you may only have to put down $49 in order to obtain the initial $200 line of credit. After you make your first five full, on-time payments, you’ll automatically be considered for a credit limit increase without any additional deposit. The card’s APR is higher than the Merrick Bank Secured Card’s at 26.99% (Variable), however, so it’s not a good choice if you’ve been known to carry a balance.

Those looking for a secured credit card that offers rewards should take a closer look at the Discover it Secured Card. Like the Merrick Bank Secured Visa, you must put at least $200 down for a security deposit and that amount determines your credit limit. But once you’re approved, you’ll begin earning 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants and 1% cash back on everything else. Discover will even double the cash back you earn in your first year. There’s no annual fee, but there is a 25.24% APR, so carrying a balance can get expensive.

Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card?

The Merrick Bank Secured Card is a solid option for those looking to rebuild their bad credit. There are fees associated with owning the card, but they are fair and well worth it if using the card helps to improve your credit score.

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