primor Secured Visa Classic Card

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A decent low-interest tool to build credit.

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Another in a line of secured cards issued by FDIC-insured Green Dot Bank, based in Pasadena, California, the primor Secured Visa Classic Card rivals its cousin, the primor Secured Visa Gold Card, in offering a low-interest option to consumers who don’t have many.

Review

As far as secured credit cards go, the Secured Visa Classic isn’t terrible. It offers a good fixed interest rate and a fairly low annual fee. But this is the type of card you get when you have few other choices.

There’s no application fee, and with regular on-time payments you can boost your credit score because this card reports to all three of the major credit bureaus.

The main requirement is opening a savings account with Green Dot Bank and depositing an amount from $200 to $5,000. Your credit line will equal the amount you deposit.

The major drawback here is the annual fee, which is $39. That’s better than the gold card, but there are no-fee options available. You should consider those first.

Who should get this card

If you need a credit card, but don’t qualify for an unsecured one the primor Secured Visa Classic can help you boost your credit ratings with regular on-time payments.

Advantages
  • This card has a fixed annual percentage rate of 13.99 % for purchases – a good rate for a secured card and better than many unsecured cards.
  • There are no credit score requirements for approval.
Disadvantages
  • Unlike some other secured credit cards, there’s no option to “graduate” to an unsecured card with good payment behavior.
  • There are no rewards or sign-up bonuses with this card.
  • This card charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • There is no opportunity to transfer a balance from a high-interest card.

Fees and APR

  • You’ll pay a $39 annual fee, that’s slightly lower than the fee on the gold card.
  • This card has a fixed APR of 13.99%, which is rare. There aren’t too many fixed rate cards available today.

Extras and perks

Unlike most credit cards, the interest rate on primor’s Secured Visa Gold Card is fixed so you won’t be subject to any rate increases as with variable rate credit cards.

You cannot earn rewards on this card.

How this card compares

Discover it® Secured Card
Card Details
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line.
  • You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
Credit Needed No Credit
Regular APR 23.99% Variable
Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR 10.99% for 6 months

If you have a bank account but limited or poor credit history, the no-fee Discover it Secured Card is a terrific choice to help build your credit and earn cash-back rewards, too.

We also like that you can quickly graduate to an unsecured Discover card with just eight months of good payment behavior.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Card Details
  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search "OpenSky Card" in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card.
Credit Needed No Credit
Regular APR 18.39% (Variable)
Annual Fee $35
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

The two reasons you may want to apply for the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is if you don’t own a checking account, but still want access to a credit card, or if you’re looking for a secured card with a decent annual percentage rate.

There’s a very narrow band of consumers this applies to, we imagine.

USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa®
Card Details
  • Best for members rebuilding or establishing credit.
  • Determine your own credit limit ($250 to $5,000) with an interest-earning CD.
  • No foreign transaction fees when you travel outside the United States.
Credit Needed No Credit
Regular APR 10.90%-20.90% (Variable)
Annual Fee $35
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

If you’re a USAA member, the USAA Secured Card Platinum Visa could be a good option. To get the card, you have to open a CD with their bank for an amount between $250 and $5,000. The amount you deposit will be the amount of your credit limit. If you qualify for the lowest end of this card’s APR range, it’s one of the best available among all credit cards and by far the best for an unsecured card.

Note that USAA membership is restricted to military members and their families.

EDITORIAL NOTE

Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.