With no credit check and an easy sign-up process, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card makes it simple to build credit, even if you have a shaky or non-existent credit history.
With the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card, you determine your line of credit based on the security deposit amount. OpenSky® essentially asks cardholders to make an initial investment in themselves — similar to how a bank asks you to make a down payment to qualify for a home loan.
Make a deposit of $500 and that’s your credit limit. Credit lines go up to $3,000, but you can increase your credit line later to $5,000 with the required deposit. OpenSky® accepts security deposits via debit card, wire transfer, check or money order. The amount is fully refundable.
The no-credit-check policy for OpenSky® makes it simpler for people who have bad credit to repair it. The company reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus, so pay your credit card balance on time and it'll boost your score, making it easy to apply for an unsecured card down the road.
OpenSky® doesn't charge interest on purchases during the first billing cycle, and the Visa Zero Liability policy protects cardholders against fraud. If any unusual activity occurs on your account, Visa will contact you to verify its authenticity. OpenSky® offers fraud protection, financial literacy tools in the form of online education and a regular newsletter that covers topics such as understanding your credit score, building credit and debt management.
One drawback for the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card is its $35 annual fee. Competitors, such as the First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured credit card, have a lower annual fee ($29) or no annual fee like the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®.
You also don’t get any rewards or sign-up bonuses with the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card, but that’s to be expected since this card is more about function than fashion. If you plan to use this card abroad, be warned, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Like OpenSky®, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® reports to all three credit bureaus. However, Capital One® doesn’t have an annual fee. The security deposit terms also are better with Capital One® than OpenSky®. Depending on your creditworthiness, pay a refundable security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 and get approved for a credit line between $200 and $3,000. The lower the deposit, the lower your credit limit.
With OpenSky®, your credit line is determined solely based on your deposit amount, which is a conundrum for cardholders who need access to credit, but must have cash on hand to get it. If you’re looking for a secured card with less red tape, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a better option.
There is no annual fee on Citi® Secured Mastercard® as compared to the $39 annual fee for the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card. Citi® also asks applicants to make a security deposit that will be equal to their credit limit. Credit lines for the Citi® Secured Mastercard® range from $200 to $5,000.
The Citi® card also has a $0 liability guarantee if fraudulent charges are made on your account, and worldwide car rental insurance so you can deny the insurance the rental company offers and save a few extra bucks. The Citi® Secured Mastercard® comes with roadside assistance and trip cancellation/interruption protection that gives you up to a $1,500 reimbursement each year if you paid for your trip with your card. If you want a few more perks with your secured card, then the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is right for you.
Secured credit cards are a great tool for anyone just entering the credit card world, or looking to repair their existing credit history. This card requires potential cardholders to have the cash on hand to open a line of credit, which helps curb overspending. You’ll only get what you give, which is a great credit — and life — lesson everyone should learn.