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November 9, 2015

Secured Credit Cards

Platinum Zero® Secured Visa® from Applied Bank Review

The Platinum Zero® Secured Visa® from Applied Bank is a unique secured credit card that charges a monthly maintenance fee, but no interest on purchases. The minimum deposit requirement is on the higher side, but favorable cash advance charges and low foreign currency transaction fees may tip the scales in the card's favor.

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The Good

No interest accrued on purchases

The Platinum Zero® Secured Visa® from Applied Bank is a unique secured credit card that does not charge interest on purchases. Instead of charging interest, the secured credit card charges a monthly maintenance fee. Not all cardholders will appreciate this feature, but if managing high interest rates of previous credit cards has been a problem, the Platinum Zero® card may be a good solution.

Favorable cash advance charges

When it comes to cash advances, the Platinum Zero® Secured Visa® offers some of the most competitive rates in the secured credit card industry. Some of the top secured credit cards charge an APR as high as 24.99% for cash advances, while the Platinum Zero® card comes in at a much lower 9.99%. Similarly, the $5 or 5% per advance fee charged by Platinum Zero® is competitive. If low cash advance rates are important to you, the Platinum Zero® Secured Visa® is a definite contender.

Low foreign currency transaction fee

The majority of top secured credit cards charge a fee for foreign currency transactions, with most charging 3%. Those that travel internationally will appreciate the comparatively low 1% foreign transaction fee of the Platinum Zero® card. This difference may not sound like much, but if you work or travel internationally often, foreign currency transaction fees can definitely add up.

The Bad

High minimum deposit requirement

With secured credit cards, your credit limit typically matches your security deposit. The Platinum Zero® Secured Visa® card requires a $500 minimum security deposit. Many of the top secured credit cards have security deposit requirements of $300 or less, with one card even offering a $49 deposit. Although $500 is a good starting point, it may be a little out of reach for some cardholders.

Monthly maintenance charge

One potential drawback of the Platinum Zero® card is the monthly maintenance fee of $9.95. Though the card technically does not have an annual fee, this monthly fee accumulates to a charge of $119.40 per year. Because the Platinum Zero® card does not charge interest, this monthly fee is the way the issuer generates revenue. Though the $119.40 may seem high, depending on your credit limit, purchasing habits, and payment discipline, there may be cases where the annual interest paid on other secured credit cards exceeds this monthly maintenance charge. However, if you have a low credit limit and don't use the secured card often, the Platinum Zero® card may not be the best fit.

The Details

Deposits and Limits

  • Maximum Credit Limit: $5,000
  • Minimum Credit Limit: $500
  • Minimum Security Deposit: $500


  • Cash Advance Rate (APR): 9.99%* Variable
  • Grace Period: N/A
  • Standard Balance Transfer Rate (APR): N/A
  • Standard Rate (APR): N/A


  • Annual Fee: $0 (there is a $9.95 per month maintenance fee)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: $5 or 5% per advance
  • Foreign Currency Transaction Fee: 1% per transaction
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $35
  • Minimum Interest Charge: $0
  • Over-Limit Fee: $0
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $35
  • Set-up Fee: $0

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