OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card review: An easily accessible way to rebuild your credit
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OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Overview
If you want to build your credit with a card, but you have bad credit or no credit history at all, your first step might be to consider looking into secured credit cards. The OpenSky Secured Visa gives an automatic $50 unsecured credit line increase after three on-time payments (up to $200 in the first year), but it isn’t the most competitive option out there. In fact, only its low 20.39 percent (variable) ongoing APR gives it an edge over rival cards that offer automatic credit line upgrade reviews, cash back and more.
However, its easy application with no credit check can make a world of difference if you need a credit card after bankruptcy.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- $35 annual fee. While it isn’t an outrageous amount, there are many secured credit card options available that carry no annual fee.
- No rewards or welcome bonus. Welcome offers aren’t par for the course with secured cards, but many do offer them. You won’t earn rewards at all with this card.
A deeper look at the current card offer
- Rewards rate: N/A
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $35
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: N/A
- Regular APR: 20.39 percent (variable)
Current sign-up bonus
The OpenSky Secured card doesn’t have a welcome offer. Like many secured cards, it focuses more on helping you build your credit rather than delivering additional benefits. Once you get your credit built up and can qualify for a new card, you can always switch to a rewards credit card and receive a sign-up bonus.
Other cardholder perks
The OpenSky Secured Card has several valuable benefits, but they’re focused on managing your account in order to help you improve your credit score to then qualify for an unsecured card. Other secured cards, even unsecured cards designed for limited credit, may offer richer perks than OpenSky’s standard features like email alerts and mobile app account management.
No credit check required
When you open an OpenSky account, the issuer won’t check your credit to determine if you qualify for the card. Instead, you’ll pay a security deposit between $200 and $3,000. You can get the deposit back when you close the account after you have paid everything in full. Your deposit reduces the lender’s risk, which is why it doesn’t need to check your credit and ding your credit score with a hard pull.
Reports to all three major credit bureaus
OpenSky reports all of your payments to the three credit bureaus—Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. This reporting will help you to build your credit because your on-time payments made on the card will show up on your credit report at each of the different bureaus. Just remember to avoid any late payments since this can lower your credit score significantly.
Set your own credit limit
With the OpenSky Secured Visa, you can set how much you can spend each month, with a maximum of $3,000 (a much higher cap than many other secured cards). Your credit limit is determined based on how much you deposit into the account. If you deposit less than $3,000 to start, you can increase your limit at any time by adding more money to your OpenSky account.
Traditional Visa perks
Like all base-level cards branded with the Visa network, you’ll receive a quaint list of staple Visa benefits, including $0 fraud liability, 24/7 pay-per-use roadside dispatch, and 24-hour assistance if your card is lost or stolen and you need a replacement. In case you’re worried about potential identity theft, the ID Navigator tools you’ll receive can monitor the dark web for your personal information and alert you about any suspicious activity.
Rates and fees
The $35 annual fee for the OpenSky secured card is higher than most since many secured cards are also no annual fee cards. However, the purchase APR is much lower than most other secured cards at 20.39 percent (variable), which is just above the current average interest rate. Even better, all cardholders are charged the same APR, while many other cards offer a wide range of possibilities based on your creditworthiness.
Other fees you should be aware of include a 3 percent foreign transaction fee, a $6 or 5 percent cash advance fee (whichever is greater), an up to $38 late payment fee and a $25 returned payment fee.
How the OpenSky Secured Card compares to other secured cards
The OpenSky Visa is a solid, cost-effective credit-building tool, despite that there are cards that are less expensive and more rewarding. For its purpose, the card can stand up against these alternatives, but there are features to consider that might make these competitor cards worth it.
OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card vs. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card requires a credit check for approval, so it’s a bit less accessible for people with limited credit histories and damaged credit. It’s also the less expensive option. The Platinum secured has no annual fee, whereas the OpenSky carries a $35 annual fee. Carrying a balance on the Capital One Platinum card will be more expensive, though. OpenSky cardholders get a low 20.39 percent variable APR. Capital One Platinum cardholders are saddled with a 28.49 percent variable APR.
The Capital One Platinum is the more flexible choice for someone with less funds to work with. Depending on your creditworthiness, you can get an initial credit limit of $200 for a security deposit as small as $49 (it’s one of the few secured cards that do this). On the other hand, if you know you’ll need a larger credit limit to work with—for keeping your credit utilization ratio low and still need the ability to spend—the higher potential credit limit ($3,000 maximum) of the OpenSky might be your best bet.
The OpenSky does carry a 3 percent foreign transaction fee, so if you find yourself overseas often, the Capital One Platinum with no foreign transaction fee will be the least costly.
OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
The Discover it Secured Credit Card is a great choice if you’re looking to earn rewards on your spending and build your credit at the same time. Unlike the OpenSky, it earns rewards—2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter and 1 percent thereafter). If you believe you’ll carry a balance from month to month, you’ll do better with the OpenSky card. The APR on the Discover it Secured does carry a middle-of-the-road APR at 25.99 percent, but there are certainly other secured cards with lower APRs, and the OpenSky’s APR is significantly lower at 20.39 percent.
The Discover it Secured also comes out ahead with its welcome offer. While OpenSky cardholders will forgo earning a welcome bonus, Discover it secured will provide cardholders with an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of their cash back earnings after the first year of account holding. The OpenSky is the easier card to get approved for, as the Discover it Secured requires a credit check as a part of its approval process. The Discover it Secured, however, provides an easier path to a traditional unsecured card for people improving their credit situation. With just seven months of good payment behavior on the Discover it Secured, cardholders can be considered for a card upgrade.
Best card to pair with the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
The best card to pair with the OpenSky Secured Visa is one that would earn rewards while helping you to rebuild your credit. The Petal 2® “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card, for example, earns 1 percent cash back on all purchases. It incentivizes good credit behaviors by boosting to a 1.5 percent cash back rate with 12 months of on-time payments.
The Petal 2, combined with the OpenSky will also provide cardholders come flexibility with its higher potential credit limit. Between the OpenSky and the Petal 2, cardholders can have access to at least $500 in available credit, helping to keep utilization low.
Bankrate’s Take—Is the OpenSky Secured Card worth it?
The OpenSky Credit Card works well for a cardholder who needs to build up credit or wants a card for bad credit and wants a reasonable APR or an above-average initial credit limit. If you’re worried you’ll need to revolve a balance occasionally on your secured card, getting the lowest APR possible is a good idea. Plus, you’ll get a higher initial credit limit than several other secured cards, (provided you can put down a high deposit) and there’s no credit check required.
Otherwise, this card isn’t the best choice on the market since you’ll owe a $35 annual fee and you can’t offset it by earning rewards or boosting your credit limit beyond the $3,000 secured max.