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Union Bank® Secured Visa® Credit Card review

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For a $25 annual fee, this no-frills card might help you get on the road to financial health.

Secured cards can help you build or repair your credit score through everyday spending. When you open the card, you simply put down a deposit that then typically becomes your credit limit.

$25

Annual fee

21.24%

Purchase APR (variable)

300

Recommended credit score

Details

Product NameUnion Bank® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Card typeVisa
Annual fee$25
Purchase APR21.24% variable
Balance transfer APR21.24% variable
Balance transfer fee$10 or 5% of the transaction, whichever is greater
Cash advance rate27.5% variable
Cash advance fee$15 or 5% of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Penalty APR29.99% variable
Foreign transaction fee3% of the transaction value
Interest free periodUp to 21 days
Late payment feeUp to $37
Returned payment feeUp to $35
Additional cardholder fee$0

What’s great about this card?

At just $25 a year, this secured card is an affordable and flexible option for building your credit through your everyday purchases. While you won’t know your credit limit until you apply, by staying within your approved limit and paying your statements on time, you could see credit increase and even a return on your deposit after an initial waiting period.

Union Bank also reports your responsible spending to all three major credit bureaus, along with free credit checks to keep track of your score. The bank may even reward responsible payments with an upgrade to an unsecured card.

Add to this the benefits that come with most Visa cards — like cell phone protection, roadside dispatch and auto rental collision damage — and it’s a card worth weighing among your other options.

What to watch out for

The Union Bank® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn’t come with a rewards program

  • No online application. You can manage your Union Bank account online, there’s no way for you to apply for a credit card. Instead, you’ll need to visit a branch in California, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Oregon, Texas or Washington.
  • No rewards or interest on deposit. Some secured credit cards offer perks like a rewards program or interest on your security deposit. Not so with this one.
  • No clear credit limits. Union Bank doesn’t advertise the lowest or highest credit limit you could be approved for. You’ll have to apply to learn your limit.
  • Foreign transaction fees. If you do a lot of traveling, you may want to consider a different card for your international purchases to avoid potentially hefty fees.
  • High penalty and cash advance APR. Do your best to avoid cash advances, late payments, returned payments or exceeding your credit limit. Any of these circumstances can cause your APR to jump.

How to apply for the Union Bank® Secured Visa® Credit Card

You can’t apply for this credit card online. To apply, visit your local Union Bank branch with such information as:

  • Your personal contact information, including whether you rent or own.
  • Your date of birth, Social Security number and mother’s maiden name.
  • Your employer, annual income and savings.
  • Information for any authorized users you’d like to add to your account.
  • The amount you plan to deposit from your Union Bank account.

Once you’ve completed your application, wait for a confirmation of approval and delivery of your card within two weeks.

How likely is my approval?

Secured cards are generally designed to help those with poor credit improve their creditworthiness and overall financial health. Because a deposit secures your card against default on payments, approval is typically more lenient than an unsecured card.

How long will it take to be approved?

Because Union Bank processes its applications manually, expect to wait anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks before hearing back about your application.

I got the card. Now what?

Now that you’re approved, it’s time to start using your card. Activate it online or by phone to start taking advantage of your new Union Bank® Secured Visa® Credit Card.

To make sure you never miss a payment, consider signing up for autopay through your Union Bank online account. You can avoid unnecessary interest by paying your bill in full each month.

Watch out for high fees for late or returned payment, balance transfers, cash advances and foreign transactions, which can quickly add up.

After paying your bills consistently and on time for a year or longer, ask a bank representative if you’re eligible for graduating to an unsecured card.

If you lose your card, you’re protected by Visa’s worldwide emergency card replacement and cash disbursement through any of Visa’s Global Customer Assistant Services toll-free numbers worldwide.

What other customers have to say

Union Bank is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and earns an A+ overall rating. However, customers on online forums and message boards report poor customer service, issues with credit limit increases and trouble graduating to unsecured cards.

Compare secured credit cards

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
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Apply for this card with no credit check if you're new to credit or have bad credit.
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
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A rare secured card with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, followed by 12.99% variable.
First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
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Build your credit with all three major credit bureaus.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
Starting at $200
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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.
Self Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $100
21.74% variable
$25
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Build your credit with a low minimum security deposit of $100 and no credit score required.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Union Bank’s secured card is a solid option if you’re looking to build a positive credit history. It reports your on-time payments to the major credit bureaus, which can get you on the road to financial health more quickly.

But by comparing other secured credit cards out there, you could find one with no annual fee or even rewards — even with poor credit.

Frequently asked questions

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