The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card has one of the lowest interest rates among secured credit cards. The annual fee is very reasonable as well. However, there is no grace period at all.
Fees, Rates and Other Information - When we review secured cards, the first thing we look at are the fees and rates. The great thing about this card is that the APR is really low at 9.99%. While the rate is very low, the problem is that there is no grace period at all. That means you will always be charged an interest even if you pay your bills fully every month because the interest starts accruing after your purchases! But what about the annual fee? Well, it is very reasonable as well at $50.
Like all secured cards, you need to deposit an amount (anyway between $200 and $5,000) with Applied Bank. Your deposit will be FDIC insured. Your credit limit will be amount of deposit you have with Applied Bank.
Your payments will also be reported to the credit bureaus.
Applied Bank Gold Compared To Other Similar Cards
There are really two segments in the secured card market. The first segment is targeted strictly at those with no credit, and those with bad credit or have just been discharged from bankruptcy will never be approved. These type of cards are typically issued by mainstream banks. The second of cards are like those issued by Applied Bank, whereby even those with bad credit can be approved. Therefore, any comparison that we make will be with the type of cards that belong to the second group.
Applied Bank vs Orchard - Orchard Bank is perhaps the biggest player in this space. The way their application process works is unique and different from other banks because depending on their assessment of your credit, you could either be approved for an secured or unsecured card. There secured cards comes with a lower annual fee at $35 (first year waived) and a lower interest rate at 7.90%. Hence, from a cost perspective, the Orchard Bank comes out slightly ahead. Unfortunately, Orchard Bank's credit card portfolio has been sold to Capital One and going forward, it appears that Capital One are no longer aggressively marketing this card.
Applied Bank vs First Progress - First Progress has a secured card that competes with this one. It has a slightly lower annual fee at $39, but a higher interest rate at 14.99%. First Progress beat this card in terms of annual fee, but has a higher rate. But once again, the problem with Applied Bank is that it has no grace period. Hence, I think despite the slightly higher rate, First Progress is the better card.
Applied Bank vs First Premier The First Premier Secured Credit Card, like this card, has a $50 annual fee. But the APR is at 19.90%. So this card has a much lower interest rate though it has no grace period.
How Does This Card Stack Up?
After looking the features of its main competitors, I would say that the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Preferred® Gold Credit Card is one of the candidates of secured cards to consider if you have bad credit. The annual fee is reasonable and the interest rate is very low. The First Progress might be an alternative if you are concerned about the lack of grace period. Another thing to note is that they do have a A plus rating from BBB.