Is the JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card worth it? | April 2018

Review: JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card – April 2018

Rebuild your credit with this affordable secured credit card with a 0% APR for the first six months.

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Product NameJustice Federal Credit Union (JFCU) VISA Classic Secured Card
Intro APR for Balance Transfer0% Intro APR for 6 months
Balance Transfer Rate (not intro)16.90% variable
APR for Purchases ( Purchase Rate )16.90% variable
Annual fee$0
Cash Advance Rate16.90% variable
Card TypeVisa
Interest Free Period
The interest-free period on purchases is the period or number of days you do not have to pay interest on your card purchases. You will be charged interest either from the day you make a purchase or from the statement date, unless you pay the closing balance in full by the due date (or within the interest-free period) on your statement.
Up to 23 days
Returned Payment Fee$30
Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (VISA)
Foreign currency conversion fees are charged when you make a transaction that is converted by a credit card network, such as MasterCard, Visa or American Express, from Australian dollars to a foreign currency. You’ll also incur a currency conversion fee if you make a purchase or obtain a cash advance in Australian dollars while overseas or shopping online with a foreign merchant or financial institution.
1% of transaction value
Minimum Age18 years of age
Min credit limit
This is the lowest credit card limit that you can request. It is possible to apply for a higher credit card limit but not a lower one than this figure.
$100
Max credit limit
This credit limit may not be issued to you immediately on application. This is the maximum credit limit for this card which must be applied for or offered to you after you are approved and have already opened the account.
$5,000
Annual fee$0
Returned Payment Fee$30
Late Payment Fee$25
Cash Advance Fee2.00% of the advance or $10.00, whichever is greater ($50.00 maximum)

What the Justice Federal Credit Union Visa Classic Secured Card has to offer

The Justice Federal Credit Union (JFCU) Visa Classic Secured Card is an affordable card, great for building — or rebuilding — your credit history. Unlike most secured cards, the JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card offers 0% APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances for the first six months. With a credit limit between $100 and $5,000 and no annual fees, this card is a great pick for secured credit cards.

Eligibility

You must be a member of the Justice Federal Credit Union to apply. You’re eligible as a member if you’re an employee, retiree or family member of the Justice Department, Department of Homeland Security and other agencies. Learn about other eligible government branches on the JFCU site.

If you’re not affiliated with any of the organizations or companies, simply join the National Sheriffs’ Association as an auxiliary or student member for $38. Though you can expect to pay at least $153 in fees and deposits to open an account before you apply for the card.

What’s great about this card?

This card has no annual or balance transfer fees and a reasonable 16.90% variable APR for all purchases after six months. The 0% introductory APR is a bonus you generally won’t see with secured credit cards, making it an amazing choice if you carry a balance while building or rebuilding credit.

JFCU comes with emergency card replacements, travel emergency and assistance, and even the option to design your own card.

Flexible credit limits are based on an initial deposit that can be as low as $100 and as high as $5,000. Once you close your account in good standing, you’ll get your deposit back.

How to make this card worth it

Like most secured cards, the JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card is designed to help you build or repair credit. The card doesn’t offer a signup bonus or rewards program, but it does offer 0% APR for 6 months. So by using the card responsibly, maintaining a low balance and making ontime payments, you can improve your credit without paying too much in fees.

What to watch out for

Despite the rare introductory APR and lack of an annual fee, this card does have a few drawbacks. Here’s what you should watch out for if you’re considering this card:

  • It reports as a secured card. This doesn’t directly affect your FICO score, but it can cause issues if someone checks your credit history manually.

A potential issue is that the JFCU only reports your card activity to two of the three credit bureaus — Experian and Equifax. This means that a TransUnion report may show a lower score than your Equifax or Experian. There’s not much you can do about this, and unfortunately it may affect your approval for a mortgage or other large loan, since lenders generally check with all three bureaus before approval.

  • Membership is required. You have to be a member of the credit union to qualify for the card, even before you apply.
  • Dispute charges. If you dispute a bill, you might be charged $15 per hour for account research if the charges are found to be correct. If you request statement copies that aren’t related to a valid dispute, you’ll be charged $1 per page.
  • Don’t get used to the introductory APR. You won’t be charged interest for the first six months, but if you continue carrying a balance afterwards, you’ll be charged 16.90% variable interest.

How to apply for the JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card

If you’re already a member, applying for the JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card is easy. Your application can be completed online, by phone or in person. You’ll need a membership and all of the required documents regardless of how you apply.

1. Visit the Justice Federal Credit Union’s site and find the Visa Classic Secured Card on the Credit Cards page. Click Apply Now.

JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card step 1

2. Scroll to the bottom of the page to “Apply for loans & credit,” and click Apply Online.

JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card step 2

3. Choose the Credit Card tab and click Apply Now on the Visa Classic Secured card box.

JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card step 3

4. From there, either log in and apply or continue as a guest. Next, fill out your name, address, date of birth and Social Security number and other documents and information, then click Continue.

JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card step 4

If you’d rather apply by phone, you can call the 24-hour card services line at 800-550-5328. If you’d prefer to talk to someone face to face, visit the website to find a branch near you.

How likely is my approval?

Approval for this card is very likely, as there is no minimum credit score. However, credit checks are required for new users to verify your identity.

How long will it take to be approved?

For new members, the entire membership application process and Visa approval takes about a week and a half to two weeks.

I got the card. Now what?

Now that you’ve been approved, it’s time to start using your card. Here’s how to take advantage of your new JFCU Visa Classic Secured Card:

  • Activate your card. Once it arrives, activate your card through an existing online banking account or by phone.
  • Make timely payments. You can mail in your payment, pay through your online account or pay by phone for a $5 service fee. You can 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.
  • Customer service. Support is available by phone or secure email through your online account.

What do customers say?

The Justice Federal Credit Union isn’t rated on Trustpilot, and they’re not Better Business Bureau (BBB) accredited. They do have an A- rating on the BBB website, but there aren’t a whole lot of customer reviews to back that up.

Bottom line

This card is a great option for those who are looking for a lower minimum deposit and no annual fees. The introductory APR is a great selling feature, and the lack of annual and balance transfer fees make it even more attractive. Consider applying for this card if you are looking to build or rebuild credit on a budget, or explore other secured card options.

Frequently asked questions about JFCU

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