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November 11, 2015

Secured Credit Cards

Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank Review

By offering Zero Fraud Liability and monthly reporting to all three major credit bureaus, the Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank can offer you a solid option to start rebuilding your credit. However, with high interest rates and multiple hidden fees, this card may not be for everyone.

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The Good

Zero fraud liability

Most credit card companies will offer you various benefits regarding your security and privacy. Merrick Bank offers a Zero Fraud Liability policy to protect consumers from identity theft at no extra cost to you. Included in the price of admission is this added layer of security that will help you if you are ever a victim of identity theft.

Credit reporting

If you are looking to rebuild your credit history, the Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank could be a good opportunity as they directly report to the three major credit bureaus on a monthly basis. Monthly reporting can positively and dramatically affect your credit, giving you the ability to explore other credit options in the future.

Reasonable annual fee

At $3 a month, Merrick Bank offers an alternative to simply charging you a one-time fee for membership by allowing you to split the annual fee into monthly payments. Most other debit accounts in comparison will charge more for monthly maintenance fees.

Credit limit increases

With the Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank, it is pretty easy to get your credit limit increased. As we are still recuperating from the effects of the recession, it is increasingly more difficult to be rewarded for your financial responsibility. Merrick Bank recognizes financial responsibility and will increase your spending limit accordingly.

The Bad

High interest rates

One area of concern regarding the Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank is its relatively high interest rates compared to competing cards. For starters, the APR for purchases starts at 17.45% and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. APR for cash advances is high as well, sitting at 22.45%. If you plan on carrying a balance, perhaps this card would not be the best option as there are others out there with lower percentage rates.

Substantial penalty fees

If you are often late on payments and overdraw your account, each transaction will cost you up to $35. This could be tough to cope with for some customers as other cards we reviewed charge lesser fees and some even omit overdrawn fees.

Additional card fee

While most other card providers will allow you to add multiple names to a single card account at no additional cost, you are out of luck with the Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank as they charge $12 per additional card issued per year. Such hidden fees could be a burden to add on to the already steady $36 per year you fork over for the annual fee.

The Details

Deposits and Limits

  • Maximum Credit Limit: $3,000
  • Minimum Credit Limit: $200
  • Minimum Security Deposit: $200


  • Cash Advance Rate (APR): 22.45%* Variable
  • Grace Period: 25 days
  • Standard Balance Transfer Rate (APR): N/A
  • Standard Rate (APR): 17.45%* Variable


  • Annual Fee: $36
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 4% per advance
  • Foreign Currency Transaction Fee: 2% per transaction
  • Late Payment Fee: Up to $38
  • Minimum Interest Charge: $1
  • Over-Limit Fee: Up to $35
  • Returned Payment Fee: Up to $38
  • Set-up Fee: $0

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