Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank review
A simple secured card to rebuild your creditworthiness.
- Get this card if: you really want a credit-building card that isn’t secured.
- Pick something else if: you qualify for a solid unsecured or secured credit-building card.
- Apply with a poor credit score of 300 or higher.
Purchase APR (variable)
Recommended credit score
Steven Dashiell is a credit cards writer at Finder. He's worked on 250 Finder articles and counting, helping readers embrace and maximize credit cards. Backed by nearly a decade of research and reporting experience, Steve's work can be seen on Debt.com, CreditCards.com and Lifehacker.
The Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank is a simple card that doesn’t come with perks like a low intro APR or rewards. But it can offer you a solid opportunity to rebuild your credit with no set-up fees.
Your security deposit becomes your credit limit, and Merrick Bank reports on-time payments and other details to all three major credit bureaus. You can also use it to build up to a Merrick Bank unsecured card.
How to apply for Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank
Because your line of credit is based on the security deposit you put down with your application, you won’t need a strong credit score for approval. However, if you have any pending bankruptcy filings or outstanding tax obligations, you may have to look elsewhere.
You must be at least 18 years old to apply for the Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank and willing to provide your Social Security number, date of birth, annual income and monthly rent or mortgage payment.
- Go to Merrick Bank’s website and find the Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank. Click Apply Now.
- Choose a card design and complete the application form with your personal contact information. Click Continue to next step.
- Merrick Bank will walk you through the remaining steps, which include providing your financial information, e-signing your forms, reviewing the terms and conditions and funding your security deposit.
- Confirm the information you’ve provided and submit your application.
How long will it take to be approved?
You may have to wait up to six weeks for Merrick Bank to process your application and security deposit. If accepted, you’ll receive a letter within six weeks.
If you have poor or no credit, a secured credit card can help you build or rebuild your credit. Your initial line of credit is based on your security deposit, opening up the ability for you to re-establish your credit through responsible everyday spending.
- Reports to major credit bureaus.
This helps you develop healthy credit more quickly.
- Reasonable security deposit.
You’ll have 30 days to fund a deposit of as low as $200, which is FDIC insured.
- Low foreign transaction fee.
Compared with other secured cards, 2% is reasonable for overseas spending.
- Free monthly FICO® Score.
Monitor your score while you repair your creditworthiness through monthly updates on your progress.
What to watch out for
Because Merrick Bank reports to the three major credit bureaus, you can boost your creditworthiness quickly. But you’ll want to consider a few drawbacks when weighing whether to apply.
- Annual fee.
It’s not uncommon to pay a fee for a secured card, but you may be able to find a card without one, like the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®.
- Deposit required with application.
You’ll submit your deposit before approval, which means you’ll need to plan to be without this cash for up to six weeks even if you’re not approved.
- Higher APR for advances.
Cash advances come with a higher 22.45% variable APR.
- No automatic upgrade to secured.
Some providers offer an upgrade to an unsecured card to reward you for improving your credit. Merrick Bank does not.
- No rewards.
You won’t get points or cash back with this card.
I got the card. Now what?
You’re on your way to rebuilding your overall credit history and financial health. Here are some important tips to help making your payments a little easier.
- Manage your account online. Set up an online account to monitor and stay on top of your spending. Consider setting up autopay to guarantee on-time payments.
- Avoid unnecessary interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 25 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
- Avoid fees. Returned payments come with hefty fees of up to $40. Balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions also come with fees.
- Contact customer service. If you have questions, you’re limited to calling Merrick Bank at 800-204-5936.
What customers are saying about the Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank
The Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank gets fair to good reviews from its cardholders, with many customers claiming the bad reviews are coming from people who don’t understand how credit works. Merrick Bank Corporation gets and A+ from the Better Business Bureau and 3.5 stars out of 5 from Consumer Affairs.
Compare secured credit cards
If you’re looking to build or improve your credit score, the no-frills Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank could help with regular reporting to the three major credit bureaus — if you use your card responsibly and make on-time payments and keep your credit utilization ratio low.
If this card doesn’t suit your needs, compare other secured cards to find one that works for you.