Review of Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card

Secured cards are specifically designed to help build the credit scores of people with bad credit, limited credit or no credit history. If you have had credit challenges in the past, getting a secured card could be the first step to take in your credit recovery.

Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card

Key Features: Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card

To better understand if Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® is right for you, examine some of the card's key features. These include:

  • 9.99% fixed APR
  • $48 annual fee
  • Payments reported to all three bureaus
  • No grace period
  • No credit check or minimum credit score needed
  • No application fee
  • No penalty rate
  • Initial credit limits between $200 and $1,000; up to $5,000 with additional security deposits

Pros of Applied Bank® Gold Preferred® Secured Card

The low 9.99% fixed APR on the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card is certainly the stand-out feature for the card. This is low compared to secured credit cards and unsecured cards. If you carry a card balance from one month to the next, you won't be weighed down by a high interest rate.

The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card offers many of the modern amenities you'd expect from a credit card, such as online banking and smart chip technology. You can check your available credit, make a payment, see how much you owe on your card, and handle a variety of other account management tasks from your phone or computer.

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While the initial credit limit for the card is only $200 to $1,000, you can quickly boost that to up to $5,000 after the account is set up. Many other secured cards cap your credit limit to $2,000 for the first year, which hinders your credit building options.

There is no application fee for the card, and your APR will not go up after a late payment. The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card also comes with no monthly fee, and your payments are reported to Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. As long as you continue making your monthly payments on time, you will start to see a slight increase in your credit score.

Cons of Applied Bank® Gold Preferred® Secured Card

The biggest downside to the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card is the fact that it has no grace period. This means you will start to be charged interest on each transaction from the date of purchase. Most cards have a 21 to 25 day grace period, meaning that if you pay your balance in full within the grace period, you will not incur any interest on the transactions. Not so with this card. Interest will start to be charged on the day of your transaction.

This lack of a grace period offsets the attractive 9.99% fixed APR on the card for many consumers.

The annual fee for Applied Bank® Gold Preferred® is higher than some other secured cards, but it is still comparable to many on the market.

If you need a high credit limit right away, the $1,000 limit cap may be a slight inconvenience for you. You can immediately provide additional security deposits up to $5,000 once the account is set up, but there will be a slight delay in fund availability.

Additional Fees on the Applied Bank® Secured Credit Card

There are no hidden fees on the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card, but there are some circumstantial fees that you should be aware of. These include:

  • An additional card fee
  • A replacement card fee
  • Late fees
  • Returned payment fee
  • Optional Payments fee which is charged for expedited payments made by phone and posted to the account on the same day
  • Copying charges which are charged if you request duplicate copies of statements, cash advance checks, etc.
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Cash advance fee, whichever is greater
  • Stop payment fee
  • Account reinstatement fee

You may not encounter any of these situations as a cardholder, but if you do, they will be outlined in the card terms. Make note of these charges before conducting any account activity that is out of the ordinary.

How to Increase Your Credit Limit to up to $5,000

As with any secured credit card, the credit limit for Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® comes from a refundable security deposit. When you apply for the account, you can provide a deposit between $200 and $1,000 to act as your line of credit. After your application is approved and the account is established, you can provide additional security deposits at any time. The highest credit limit you can have on your card is $5,000.

Your security deposit(s) may be refunded at any time in the future. However, you must pay off your balance before Applied Bank® will issue the refund. If you have a $5,000 credit limit and owe a balance of $1,000, you will need to pay off the $1,000 owed before receiving a refund for the full $5,000. This is a standard practice for secured credit cards.

How to Build Credit with the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Credit Card

If Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card is a good fit for you, there are some steps you can take to maximize your credit building options. Follow these secured card management tips, courtesy of Secured Card Choice.

  • Show frequent activity on your secured card account. We recommend using your card for your everyday purchases. Then on cards with a grace period, use your cash or save the money in your bank account to pay off the entire card balance before the due date.
  • Keep your credit utilization rate low.This is the balance owed on the card vs. the credit limit. Maintain a ratio below 30%. If you have a $1,000 credit limit, try not to carry a balance any higher than $300 from month-to-month.
  • Make all of your monthly payments on time. If you can only afford the minimum monthly payment, make it. That will at least show that the account is in good standing.
  • Don't make the same credit mistakes you did in the past. If you found yourself maxing out your credit cards without paying them back in a timely manner, don't fall into the same habits now. Be strategic about the types of purchases you make with your card.
  • Create a payment plan for large transactions before completing them. Before using your card, think carefully about how long it will take you to pay off the balance. Can you pay it back in three months? Six months? A year? If it's not something you can repay quickly, you probably need to save money before making the purchase.
  • Monitor your account. The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card comes with online and mobile banking tools. Use them! Stay well informed about your account, and report any fraudulent transactions at the first sign.

By using your Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card wisely, you can gradually reestablish your credit history and lift credit score.