UNITY Visa® Secured Credit Card review
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UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card Overview
The UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card is good for building credit, and your refundable security deposit (between $250 to $10,000) also becomes your line of credit. The UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card’s introductory rate for balance transfers is also a selling point, as it’s less than the regular balance transfer fixed rate. The card comes with no major perks, but if you need a credit card to build your credit score, this is an option that might work.
What are the advantages and disadvantages?
- Annual fee and fee for increasing your credit limit
- Must provide a refundable security deposit to get a line of credit
- No rewards or welcome offer
A deeper look at the current card offer
- Rewards rate: N/A
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $39
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: 9.95 percent fixed rate for the first 6 months (17.99 percent fixed-rate thereafter)
- Regular APR: 17.99 percent fixed rate (remains fixed through the expiration date of the card)
Current sign-up bonus
Unfortunately, there’s no current welcome offer or sign-up bonus with this card.
Key cardholder perks
The main benefit of the UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card is that it helps you build your credit score, meaning it’s an accessible card for those with no credit history or bad credit.
With responsible use, cardholders can build their credit score with the UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card. This card reports to the three major credit bureaus, so making on-time payments and keeping your balances low can really give your score a boost.
Balance transfer benefits
The UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card has a relatively low intro APR period for balance transfers—a 9.95 percent fixed rate for six months from the date of the account opening (17.99 percent fixed-rate thereafter). Many secured credit cards don’t offer any type of lower APR period for balance transfers, so if you want to make a balance transfer onto a secured credit card this could be a good option.
Option to use Speedpay
The UNITY Visa makes it easy to pay your bill with a service called Speedpay. This system takes one-time card payments online or over the phone so you never miss a payment date.
Rates and fees
The UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card has a $39 annual fee. The regular APR for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances is 17.99 percent, and it stays fixed through the expiration date of the card. The card’s transaction fees for both balance transfers and cash advances are 3 percent of the amount of each transfer or $10, whichever’s greater (maximum fee: $150). Foreign transaction fees are 3 percent of each transaction in U.S. dollars. The late payment penalty fee is up to $10 and the returned payment fee is up to $37.
There are other fees associated with this card. It costs $35 for expedited card delivery and $10 for a replacement or additional card. There is also a $10 credit limit increase fee. With some secured credit cards, you might get considered and approved for a credit limit increase automatically, which could benefit your credit score. With this card, that’s not an option.
How the UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card compares to other credit-building cards
When you’re comparing cards for credit-building or credit cards for bad credit, you may be better off with a different choice depending on your needs. The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is another secured credit card but it comes with no annual fee. The max starting line of credit is considerably lower than the UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card at $200 but if you increase the amount of your security deposit (up to a credit limit of $1,000) within the first 35 days of approval, you’ll automatically be considered for a higher line of credit in as few as six months with on-time monthly payments . There’s no fee for this line of credit increase consideration, as opposed to the UNITY Visa secured credit card. However, there’s no balance transfer intro APR with this card—it’s a variable 26.99 percent APR, just like the purchase APR.
Although it begins automatically reviewing your account to graduate you to an unsecured line after seven months instead of after the Capital One Secured’s six months, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is one of the best secured cards on the market. In fact, it won the best card for building credit crown in our 2022 Bankrate Awards for its unique 2 percent cash back at restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, then 1 percent), unlimited 1 percent on all other purchases and stellar welcome offer. It delivers Discover’s full Cashback Match for all rewards earned in your first 12 months, essentially doubling your first year’s cash back.
Its accessible $200 to $2,500 security deposit doesn’t carry the highest potential credit limit on the market, but the card poses minimal fees, including no annual fee or foreign transaction fees and your first late payment fee is waived (up to $41 afterward). Granted, the UNITY Visa Secured’s rates beat the Discover it Secured’s six-month 10.99 percent intro balance transfer APR (3 percent intro balance transfer fee, 5 percent after the date listed on your application) and 25.24 percent APR (variable), but the Discover card is much more valuable considering its rewards potential and $0 annual fee.
Best cards to pair with the UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card
As you’re building credit, you don’t want to get too many cards at once because that can negatively impact your credit score. If you choose to get the UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card for the intro balance transfer period, you might want to pair it with a rewards credit card or travel credit card if you qualify. You could pair this with the Bank of America® Cash Back Secured credit card, for example, to get both cash rewards and balance transfer benefits from both cards.
Bankrate’s take—Is the UNITY Visa secured credit card worth it?
If you need a secured credit card and want one to make a balance transfer on it, you might consider the UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card. Though it doesn’t provide any welcome offer or rewards, it can help you build your credit score if you use it responsibly.
If you qualify for a card that offers something like cash back rewards or travel points, that may be a better choice. If you need a secured credit card but don’t need to make a balance transfer, it might be better to look for a secured credit card with no annual fee that gives you a chance to increase your line of credit without charging fees.
The information about Bank of America® Cash Back Secured card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.