Merrick Bank Secured Visa
For people with a lower credit score, the Merrick Bank Secured Visa can be a solid way to start rebuilding your credit. You can use it to build up a strong history of on-time payments. But is the Merrick Bank Secured Card right for you? What are the advantages and drawbacks? Does Merrick Bank Secured Card graduate? We’ll answer all of these questions and more below.
Merrick Bank Secured Visa – Pros
The Merrick Bank Credit Card Application is very straightforward. You do have to be 18 years old at a minimum and have a valid social security number. They have to be able to verify your address in the United States. Additionally, you’ll pay a security deposit with this card. However, the entire application for the Merrick Bank Secured Visa is online. Once you complete it, they’ll let you know within minutes if you get it. If not, they’ll mail you a detailed reason why.
2. Set Your Credit Line
However much you pay for your deposit to open this card will be your new credit line amount. This is nice for people who don’t have a lot of money lying around. The minimum deposit is $200. But, this card has a unique feature. You can add to your initial deposit over time up to $3,000. The more money you add, the more your credit line rises. This looks good on your credit to have higher limits. Compare this Merrick Bank with other secured credit card offers.
3. Free Credit Score
You can’t fix your credit score unless you know what it is and any issues you have with it. With the Merrick Bank Secured card, you’ll have access to your free credit score. This allows you to log in and monitor it whenever you like. It’s great for spotting fraud and seeing how new accounts impact your credit score as a whole. You’ll have access to your credit score for as long as you have the card in good standing.
4. $0 Fraud Liability
If someone gets your card and makes fraudulent purchases, Merrick Bank won’t make you pay them. You do have to report the fraudulent activity to them. They’ll freeze your card to prevent any other purchases. Once they finish their investigation, they’ll wipe out any balances that aren’t yours. Finally, they’ll authorize you a new card that you can set up and use however you like.
5. Auto Rental Insurance
Merrick has a form of auto rental insurance you can use when you travel and need to rent a car in the United States. This can save you both time and money, especially if you travel a lot. This doesn’t cost you anything extra, either. All you have to do is book your car rental with your Merrick Bank Secured Visa card. Everything else will be automatic.
6. Credit Increases
Does Merrick Bank Secured card graduate? The answer is no. After you rebuild your credit score you will need to apply for unsecured line(s) of credit.
7. Reports to All Credit Bureaus
Some credit card companies only report to one or two credit bureaus. Merrick is different. They report to all major credit monitoring bureaus. This means it can help your credit score increase much quicker. However, this also means it’ll drag your score down faster if you miss payments. Double-check all of the credit bureaus and make sure they all have your card information.
8. Available to Low Credit Scores
People with low credit scores usually have a tough time getting credit cards and loans. However, the Merrick Bank Secured Visa comes designed for these lower scores. Since it’s a secured card, you have to pay for your credit line. However, it’s useful for helping you re-establish your credit. Additionally, you can get this card without having a credit history.
Merrick Bank Secured Visa – Cons
1. High APR
The lenders see you as a high-risk borrower. They believe that there is a good chance you won’t repay your balance. To offset this risk, they assign a higher APR to the card. Each month you carry a balance on your card, you’ll pay this rate. So the variable APR starts at 17.45% and goes up.
2. Annual Fee
One thing about the Merrick Bank Secured Visa is that it has an annual fee. Many secured cards don’t have this feature, but this one does. For the first year, you’ll pay $36 for the annual fee. Every year after, the lender charges $3 per month. While this isn’t a huge amount, it can be an expense you don’t necessarily need. The OpenSky Visa Secured Card is very similar to the Merrick Bank Secured Card.
3. Minimum Security Deposit
It is true that the Merrick Bank Secured Visa card has a unique security deposit. However, it does have a minimum. This minimum deposit is $200. If you don’t have it, you can’t open a line of credit with this card. For some people, this could be a struggle to come up with.
4. No Rewards
This is a very basic card with no frills. There’s no rewards program attached to it. This means you won’t get any points you can redeem when you use it. While this isn’t terrible, it’s not convenient. You can use it as a vehicle to learn about controlling your spending and building a solid credit history.
The good news is, there aren’t a lot of fees attached to the Merrick Bank Secured Visa. You will pay an annual feel as we mentioned, and this card has a late payment fee of up to $40 for every late payment. The foreign transaction fee is 2% each time you use your card. You’ll pay a variable cash advance fee of 22.45% as well. These fees can really add up to an unpleasant surprise, especially if you travel with it.
Bottom Line on the Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card
The Merrick Bank Secured Visa is a straightforward card for helping people build or re-establish their credit. We recommend starting with it and applying for an unsecured card when your credit score increases. This way, you could potentially get a better card with rewards and make it more worthwhile to use it.