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Credit Union of New Jersey Secured Mastercard
REVIEW

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By : Mr Credit Card

Introduction to the Credit Union of New Jersey Secured Mastercard

The Credit Union of New Jersey Secured Credit Card is a Mastercard that is available to members of CUNJ. One of the distinguishing features of this card is that you can deposit up to $25,000 as your security deposit and hence have a limit as high as that. As a credit card from a credit union, it is obviously only available to those who can become members (we will show you the criteria later on in this review).


Card Details

Annual Fee $0
Regular APR Min 14.99%
Foreign Transaction Fee 1%
Security Deposit and Credit Limit Max $25,000


Fees - The CU of New Jersey Secured Card does not have any annual fee but it does charge foreign transaction fees.

Security Deposit and Credit Limits - You can deposit up to $25,000 and get a limit as high as that. Their website does not state what the minimum deposit is but we can safely assume it is about $500 (which is a common minimum deposit requirement for secured credit cards from Credit Unions).

Available on Payment Apps - The CU of NJ Secured Card is is available to be used on ApplePay, GooglePay and SamsungPay.


Mastercard Benefits

The Credit Union of New Jersey Secured Card comes with the following Mastercard Benefits:
  • Mastercard Travel Insurance
  • Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
  • Auto Rental Collision Waiver Insurance


Comparison

There are many secured credit cards available to consumers today. However, the standout feature of this card is that you can deposit up to $25,000, we will feature secured cards with high limits as others.


Card Annual Fee APR Credit Limit Foreign Transaction Fee Chip and Pin
CU of New Jersey $0 Min 14.99% Max $25,000 1% No
FirstTech Secured $0 9% to 18% $500 - $25,000 0% Yes
NIH Secured Visa $0 8.99% $250-$25,000 1% No
1st NorCal Secured $0 7.9% Up to $10,000 Not Sure No


Credit Limits - As far as credit limits go, the Credit Union of New Jersey Secured Mastercard ranks up there with the FirstTech FCU Secured Card and NIH secured Visa. There are a couple of other cards like 1st NorCal Secured Visa and Wells Fargo Secured Visa that allow you to deposit up to $10,000 for your security deposit and credit limit.

Other Aspects - While this card has no annual fee and a high credit limit, there are other aspects that they lack. For example, this card does not have any reward program. While most secured credit cards do not have reward programs, some of their peers like the FirstTech FCU Secured Card do. Furthermore, they charge and foreign transaction fee and they do not have Chip and Pin (but rather have Chip and Signature).

Payment Apps - One strong feature of this card is that you can load your card onto ApplePay, GooglePay and SamsungPay. Not all credit cards (especially from Credit Unions) can be used on these payment platforms.


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • High Credit Limit and Security Deposit - The Credit Union of New Jersey Secured Card allows you to deposit up to $25,000 for your security deposit (which becomes your credit limit). While most of you will not deposit anywhere close to this amount, the ability to deposit a large sum allows you to control your credit utilization ratio.

  • No Annual Fee - While many secured credit cards still charge an annual fee, this card does not.

  • Has Mobile App - The CU of NJ has a mobile app.

  • ApplePay, GooglePay and SamsungPay - This card is eligible to be used in all of the common mobile pay apps that are available from Apple, Google and Samsung. Paying with these apps is actually more secure than swiping it with the cashier.

  • Offers Trip Cancellation Insurance Policy - This is part of the Mastercard Benefits that you get with this card. Many secured credit cards do not offer this benefit.

Cons

  • Foreign Transaction Fee - CU of New Jersey charges a foreign transaction. Though it is lower than most credit cards (at 1% versus 3% for most other cards), a fee is a fee and it makes this not the best card to use when you are abroad.

  • No Reward Program - Though most secured credit cards do not offer reward program, many do and CUNJ does not.

  • Have to Qualify and Join CU of New Jersey - This is one hoop that every one has to go through to join a credit union. We will list the criteria to join them next.


How To Join Credit Union of New Jersey?

There are several criteria that you can meet to be eligible to join the Credit Union of New Jersey. They are:

  • If you donate $5 to the Credit Union of New Jersey Foundation, a charitable organization supporting many local non-profits, you qualify to join.

  • If you work for the State of New Jersey, a state agency, commission or authority (excluding Law and Public Safety) or any of our 200+ select employer groups, you’re also “in.” Retirees of these organizations and family members are also eligible to join.

  • If you live, work, attend school or worship in Ewing Township, in designated areas of Burlington County or Trenton, you may also join.

  • If you are unsure whether you are eligible, you can call them at 609.538.4061 or 800.538.4061, email them at memberservices@cunj.org or simply visit a branch.


Our take - Should you get the CU of New Jersey Secured Credit Card?

Secured credit cards are meant for folks who are rebuilding or establishing their credit history. One of the downsides to getting a secured credit card is that they normally cap the amount that you can deposit with them (to $2,000 which is typical). Some of you do have the cash and want to deposit a large amount because you do charge a lot to your credit card a month. Having a large security deposit and credit limit also allows you to manage your credit utilization ratio better.

Well, the big draw of this card is that you can deposit up to $25,000. There is also no annual fee for this card. They do have a mobile app and the card is eligible for ApplePay, GooglePay and SamsungPay. One of the things we are not sure of is whether you can graduate to one of CUNJ's unsecured credit cards.

Obviously, this card only makes sense for you if you live in New Jersey (in particular Ewing Township and designated areas of Burlington and Trenton). If you do meet the criteria to join CUNJ and are looking for a secured credit card, then this card is worth considering.