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Rebuild your credit: Secured Visa® Card

Reporting to the credit bureaus, this card can help you graduate to an unsecured card with on-time payments.

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Annual fee


Purchase APR (variable)


Recommended credit score


Annual fee$0
Purchase APR20.24% variable
Balance transfer APR20.24% variable
Minimum Credit Score300

Review by

Peter Carleton is a writer that covers banking and investing, breaking down what you need to know about where you put your money. When Peter's not thinking about cutting-edge banking apps and robo-advisors, he runs a creative agency and spends his spare time cooking or reading.

Expert review

If your credit score sits on the low end of the spectrum, the Secured Visa® Card is a solid way to start building credit. All you need to apply is a US address and Social Security number, and the card comes with free monthly FICO credit checks to help you maintain or improve your financial well-being.

With First National’s Secured Visa® Card, you request your own credit limit with a deposit as low as $300 and up to $5,000. With on-time payments, you could qualify for a credit limit increase without an additional deposit in as few as seven months. And with an excellent payment history, you might even get your deposit back in less than a year.

How to apply for the Secured Visa® Card

Applying for the Secured Visa® Card is a straightforward process that starts online.

1. Visit First National Bank’s site and find the Secured Visa® Card in the Credit Cards tab. Click Apply Now.

First National Bank Secured Visa Card step 1

2. Complete the application with your personal contact, ID, housing and financial information. Add any authorized users, and then supply your deposit information, including your bank account details. Click Continue.

First National Bank Secured Visa Card step 2a

First National Bank Secured Visa Card step 2b

First National Bank Secured Visa Card step 2c
3. Proceed through the application, confirming the information you’ve entered. Carefully read the terms and conditions of the card, and then submit your application.

You’ll receive confirmation of your approval status after submitting your application.

How likely is my approval?

This card doesn’t require a minimum credit score, but First National Bank is notoriously thorough with its credit card applications. The bank processes each application manually, so approvals are not instantaneous, like with other cards.

How long will it take to be approved?

Because applications are processed manually, expect to wait anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks before hearing back about your application.

How to make this card worth it

With no monthly and annual fees, it’s easy to get the most out of this card. Start by setting up a credit limit that works for your budget — anywhere from the $300 minimum to a high $5,000 in $50 increments. Reasonable APRs and low fees make it easy to stay on top of your payments.

It also rewards on-time payments with a series of steps that can ultimately lead to an unsecured card. With a solid payment history, you may be eligible for a credit increase or even a return on your initial deposit. After 15 months of responsible payments, call to see if you eligible for an upgrade to one of the bank’s unsecured cards.

What to watch out for

It’s rare to find a secured card that doesn’t charge monthly or annual fees — a factor we’re used to including here. Despite the low costs and generous benefits, however, the card does have a couple minor drawbacks.

  • You won’t earn interest on your deposit. With some secured cards, you accrue interest on your deposit while it’s held for security. You wouldn’t retire off that interest, but a little extra income never hurts.
  • Foreign transaction fees. If you plan on traveling outside of the country, you may want to consider a different card for your purchases. Otherwise, you’ll pay 3% of your transaction in fees.
  • No rewards program. Secured cards are designed to help build credit, but a few offer rewards as an incentive. This one doesn’t.
  • Limited availability. This card is only available in the seven states First National services only, so be sure to check that your state is included.

I got the card. Now what?

Now that you’re approved, it’s time to start using your card. Here’s how to take advantage of your new Secured Visa® Card with First National Bank:

  • Activating your card. Once it arrives, activate your card and fund your deposit through an existing online banking account or by setting one up.
  • Make timely payments. You can mail in your payment or pay through your online account. And you’ll avoid interest on your purchases by paying your balance in full.
  • Set up autopay. Avoid unnecessary fees and interest by setting up automatic withdrawals for your monthly payments.
  • Check your FICO Credit Score. Simply log in to your online account and click View your FICO score.
  • Customer service. Support is available by phone or secure email through your online account.
  • Graduate to an unsecured card. After 15 months of responsible payments, you could be eligible for an upgrade.

Secured Visa® Card reviews and complaints

First National Bank currently holds a 3.2 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot.

The bank isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), though it has garnered an excellent A+ rating as of October 2020. But it also has many customer complaints that range from lack of communication and late-received cards to issues with credit line increases and a subpar online banking system.

However, users often mention that the card did in fact help them build a strong credit history. So if you’re prepared to spend a little more time on the phone with customer support or wrestling with the online system, this card could be a great option to raise your credit score without tons of fees.

What else should I know?

In 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ordered First National Bank of Omaha to reimburse customers $27 million for “unfair, deceptive practices” that resulted in customers being unknowingly charged for products they didn’t use or, worse, approve. First National began reimbursing customers in 2017 and agreed to change its practices.

Compare secured credit cards

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Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
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A no-annual-fee secured card that separates itself from the pack with a $200 credit limit after making a more affordable than average deposit of $49, $99 or $200.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
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No credit check is required for this secured card. Make a deposit of at least $200 to open this card and get a low 9.99% fixed APR on purchases.
Surge Secured Mastercard®
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Bottom line

This card is a decent option for those looking to build a positive credit history. The flexible credit limit, free FICO score checks and no fees make it stand out among other secured options. And you just might graduate to an unsecured card with 15 months of on-time payments.

If this card doesn’t suit your needs, compare secured credit cards for more options.

Frequently asked questions

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    Default Gravatar
    September 6, 2019

    What is the possibility of lowering the credit limit? My wife and I went on vacation and spent way less than we thought. We want to keep the card, but taking out about half the amount would be better in savings, not on a credit card.

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      September 7, 2019

      Hi Jacob,

      Thanks for contacting Finder.

      Banks or card issuers can generally decrease your credit card limit at any time as long as it’s allowed as per your credit card agreement.

      Please get in touch with your bank or credit card issuer to request for credit limit reduction and they should be able to assist you further with the process. Remember to review your card terms and conditions to see whether it is right for you.

      I hope this helps.

      Kind Regards,

    Default Gravatar
    February 7, 2019

    How do I find out if a check from First National Bank is written on a good account?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      February 16, 2019

      Hi Kathy,

      Thanks for getting in touch with Finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      The best way for you to verify a check’s validity and whether it is written on a good account or not is to directly get in touch with the First National Bank. You can visit a branch near you or get in touch with them through the phone. You can also visit their website for more information.

      Once you’re in contact with First National Bank, let them know that you want to verify a check you received. Provide the specific information they need and they should be able to let you know whether the check is valid or not.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


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