Merrick Bank Secured Visa® review

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Merrick Bank Image

Recommended Credit Score

No Credit History

A FICO score/credit score is used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any financial product.

Apply Now On Merrick Bank's secure website
Annual Fee:
$36
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
17.45% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

 

Best for building or rebuilding credit

  • Reward Rate: None
  • Welcome Offer: None
  • Annual Fee: $36 the first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter.
  • Purchase Intro APR: None
  • Balance Transfer Intro APR: N/A
  • Regular APR: 17.45% variable APR

Merrick Bank Secured Visa Credit Card details and benefits

The Merrick Bank Secured Visa® credit card is a credit card designed for building or rebuilding credit. The cardholder’s initial credit line will be equal to the amount of their security deposit, which can be between $200 and $3,000. You’ll have to submit your security deposit for your Merrick Bank application to be complete. Merrick Bank also looks into pending bankruptcies and outstanding tax obligations. It also makes sure you meet income assessment and identity verification requirements before approving you.

One of the advantages of this card is that you can get a credit limit increase at any time when you add additional money to the security deposit. Merrick Bank may also increase your credit line automatically based on your account performance. This can be helpful when you’re working on improving your credit since a higher credit line can lower your credit utilization, which is beneficial for your credit scores.

Additionally, your card usage is reported to all three major credit bureaus. This is an important factor for a card you use to build credit. Having your credit card payments reported allows you to demonstrate that you’re a responsible borrower and raise your score.

If you’re curious about where you can use your Merrick Bank Secured card, it’s accepted at any merchant that accepts Visa, one of the world’s largest global payments brands.

Advantages

  • You can increase your credit line by adding money to your security deposit, lowering your credit utilization ratio.
  • Merrick Bank can also increase your credit limit automatically.
  • This credit card is designed for those with no credit history or poor credit as a way to build their credit.
  • The security deposit is refundable. Get back the security deposit funds after you close your credit card account and pay all owed amounts in full.
  • The Zero Liability policy protects you from being held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your account information or with your card.
  • You can access your account for free, 24/7, from any connected device. Merrick Bank also offers the goMobile app for easy smartphone access.

Disadvantages

  • There are no rewards or intro offers with this credit card.
  • The card has an annual fee, while many other secured credit cards don’t.

Is Merrick Bank Secured Visa Credit Card worth it for you?

The Merrick Bank Secured Visa card can be an option worth considering for those who have limited credit history or bad credit scores (between 300 and 579) since this card has no minimum credit score requirement. The security deposit provides security to the card issuer, allowing you to rebuild your credit with on-time payments and low credit utilization.

However, take your time to look into other secured credit card options. There are other credit cards for bad credit and credit cards for no credit history with no annual fee that offer the same opportunities to build credit, as well as to upgrade to a different credit card product once your score is in better shape.

Get the most value from Merrick Bank Secured Visa Credit Card

To use your Merrick Bank Secured credit card for credit building, only use it for what you can pay off in full, on time. That way, you’ll keep your credit utilization low and maintain positive payment history, which can benefit your credit score. One way to ensure you do this is to view your credit card like cash. Only swipe it when you have the funds to pay the balance off immediately.

Another way to lower your credit utilization as you use this card is to add more money to your security deposit and increase your line of credit. Remember that you’ll get whatever you contribute to your security deposit refunded when you close your account as long as you meet the requirements, so it can benefit you to add more to your security deposit if you’re able to.

To track your progress, use the online Merrick Bank credit card login and management tools and monitor your account for free. Check your monthly FICO score with Merrick Bank’s goScore so you can stay on top of how your credit is changing. When your credit score improves to where you’d qualify for an unsecured card, you can look into a product change.

Should you upgrade?

After using the Merrick Bank Secured Visa to improve your credit score, you might consider contacting the issuer for the Merrick Bank Platinum Visa. This unsecured credit card for building and reestablishing your credit is sent as an offer to those whose credit profile qualifies.

While Merrick Bank does provide this unsecured credit card option, keep in mind that it comes with high fees (you may end up paying up to $72 per year in annual fees) and APR. Considering that even some excellent rewards credit cards don’t charge an annual fee, the Merrick Bank Platinum Visa card isn’t the best deal. For that reason, once your credit improves, it might be a better idea to look into a different card – maybe even another secured card. That way, you’ll also be able to get your deposit back.

For example, Discover it® Secured Credit Card earns 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%, and 1 percent cash back on everything else. The best part is, it doesn’t charge an annual fee.