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Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card
Apply Now
On Merrick Bank's secure site
Build Credit
Get your FICO® Credit Score for free each month.
Credit Line
Once approved, you’ll have an initial credit line based on your deposit - $200 - $3,000 - you can choose the amount!
Fraud Protection
Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen. Access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get help staying on track with available Auto Pay and account alerts.
Card Network
Annual Fee
$36 for first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter
Credit Score Needed
Bad, Limited
Offer Details
  • Choose your own credit line based on how much money you want to put down as a security deposit.

  • Initial deposits can be from $200 to $3,000. You can increase your credit line at any time by adding additional money to your security deposit, up to $3,000.

  • After 9 months, we review your account for a credit line increase. No additional deposit required!

  • Secured Credit Cards are great for people looking to build or rebuild credit and are available to people with all kinds of credit backgrounds.

  • Unlike a debit card or a pre-paid card, it helps build your credit history. We report your payment history to all three major credit-reporting agencies.

  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free each month.

  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen. Access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get help staying on track with available Auto Pay and account alerts.

  • Card issued by Merrick Bank, Member FDIC.

Rated Best for:
All content is written by editorial staff or writers engaged by the site, not by marketers/sales staff. Editors responsible for producing the content are not in contact or affiliated with any advertiser and are not compensated based on success of the affiliate links. All decisions regarding recommendations are determined separately from advertising relationships. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card Review

May 27, 2020

Who is the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card for?

As a secured card, the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card is a great first credit card option. This card is also appealing to anyone who wants to build their credit score if they have a history of missing or late payments.

The main feature of this card is that the amount the cardholder deposits becomes their line of credit. The minimum for this deposit is $200, and it can be up to $3,000. This is a beneficial feature to the target audience of the card because it ensures that they have the funds to complete all of their transactions. This makes it easy to stay on top of payments because you know that if your purchase goes through, you have the funds to pay it off.

Cardholders also can gain a higher maximum on their deposit and therefore a higher credit line after nine months of owning the card. Therefore, if you are looking to have a higher credit line, it is important to stay on top of payments.

This card has an annual fee of $36, which is broken down into $3 a month after the first year. There is also a foreign transaction fee of 2% and a late fee of up to $40. These fees are important to note when choosing your card.

Intro APR

Although there is no intro APR for purchases, the main purpose of this card is to build credit. Therefore, if you need to finance large purchases or transfer balances between two accounts, we recommend you wait until your credit score improves and you upgrade to a more rewards-heavy card.

The regular APR for purchases is 18.20% (variable), so if your credit score is low, this interest rate will be even higher.

Is a Secured Credit Card Right for you?

A secured credit card is a little different from one that is unsecured, and knowing that difference will help you determine if this particular card is the right one for you. The main function of having a secured credit card is putting down a down payment that will then act as collateral, should you end up defaulting on a payment. They are great for people who have bad credit and are trying to build it. They act as normal credit cards while helping you to build credit at the same time. 

The Security Deposit

The great thing about using the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card is that you are able to determine what amount you want to deposit. It starts at a minimum of $200 and maximizes at $3,000. This initial security deposit will then directly correspond to your line of credit offered by Merrick Bank. The amount you deposit will be the exact same as the amount you are allowed to spend on credit. This ties back into the function of the credit card as a secured card. This deposit acts as collateral for the lending financial institution, so they know they will get paid, up to that amount, no matter what.

This deposit can change depending on your behavior with the card. If you demonstrate that you can make payments on time and be responsible with your habits, you may be able to extend your line of credit without having to add to the security deposit. This is because you will have a good standing with the lender and have a relationship where they know they can trust you over time. Even if they do not automatically offer you more credit, you can add to the initial security deposit over time. If you start out at the minimum of $200, you could contribute to it each month, and eventually get the amount up to the maximum of $3,000. 

Security Feature

This card offers a variety of different security features as well. The first of these features is fraud coverage which allows cardholders to have peace of mind if their card gets lost or stolen.

Another tool you are able to use is account alerts. This can help remind you of payments and notify you if there are any suspicious charges on your account, among many other important alerts. Merrick cards also offer online management tools to better manage your debts and transactions. Also, your card and deposits are insured under the FDIC for up to $250,000 cap.

Required Credit Score

You are eligible for the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card with a bad credit score. You can have below a 579 FICO credit score and still be approved for this card. This makes it a good card for anyone trying to build credit and get back on their feet. If you have a higher credit score, anything from 580-850, you should look at other cards that can give you more rewards and lower interest rates. 

Credit Building

The Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card ensures that cardholders can make their payments by having their deposits become their credit line. This is therefore a great card for a student or someone who does not have to pay a lot of monthly fees since the maximum credit that is given is $3,000. Merrick helps report your credit history to three independent credit bureaus, which can really help boost your credit score approvals so long as you make timely payments.

Additionally, cardholders can set up auto-pay. This feature will make sure that card users will improve their credit score since they will not be late on any payments. All you have to do is set it up, and then every month on the same day you will automatically withdraw funds from your account to complete this payment. This is also helpful since there is a late fee of up to $39, so using auto-pay can help avoid this fee.

Annual Fee

The Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card requires you to pay an annual fee of $36. However, unlike other cards, this only applies to the first year. On the anniversary of your account being opened, this will then change to a monthly fee of $3. You will still be paying the same amount annually, but the charges to your account will be spread out over time. 

Foreign Transaction Fee

The Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card has a foreign transaction fee (FTF) of 2%, meaning that any purchase made outside of the US will carry a 2% fee to your account. This charge is calculated by first converting the purchase price to US dollars, and then multiplying by the 2% fee. If you plan on traveling abroad a lot and making a lot of purchases in foreign countries, this card may not be the best option for you. There are cards available to you that have a 0% FTF, so they can save you money in the long-run. You will pay less for these purchases, and make travel more accessible. 

Requirements for applying for a card

Any credit score or history is acceptable when applying for this card but there are a series of requirements that need to be completed:

  • Not having a pending bankruptcy filing
  • Do not have any outstanding Federal, State, Local tax obligations
  • 18 years old and older
  • Successfully fund your security deposit
  • Have a valid Social Security Number (SSN)
  • Have a verifiable physical U.S. home address
  • Meet the Income Assessment and Identity Verification requirements mandated by the government common across all credit card applications

Further information is available on https://merrickbank.com/

Advantages of the Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card

If you meet all of the above requirements, you will be able to enjoy many benefits of owning this card. We will go over these below, to help you get a good picture of the advantages. 

  • An initial credit line based on your security deposit that can be up to $3,000
  • You get to choose how much you want to deposit (with a minimum of $200 and a maximum of $3,000
  • Your account information will be reported to three different credit bureaus to help you build credit 
  • You have access to plenty of online management tools that can help you maintain your account and remain financially secure
  • The online tools come at no charge to you
  • The security deposit is FDIC insured, so there is no risk of you losing this money if the bank runs into financial problems

Conclusion

Ultimately, this card is a solid choice for new cardholders and people looking to build their credit. We recommend that people who choose this card take advantage of the auto-pay feature to help boost their creditworthiness.

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All content is written by editorial staff or writers engaged by the site, not by marketers/sales staff. Editors responsible for producing the content are not in contact or affiliated with any advertiser and are not compensated based on success of the affiliate links. All decisions regarding recommendations are determined separately from advertising relationships. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
Approval Odds
BestCreditCard calculates your approval odds by comparing your credit profile to other BestCreditCard members who were approved for this product. These approval odds are estimates only and do not guarantee approval. Credit card issuers use a variety of different types of credit scores and criteria to make credit decisions. The TransUnion credit score we provide is based on the VantageScore 3.0 model and may not be the credit scoring model used by financial institutions presenting offers on our website.