The America First Credit Union Secured Visa Credit Card is one of the best secured credit cards around. It is right up there with DCU's Visa Platinum® Secured and the SDFCU's EMV Savings Secured Visa Platinum® Card. This card is great for people trying to rebuild their credit because you can qualify for large credit limits, if you have the cash to place as a security deposit. Around 35% of your credit score is determined by your available credit, so you can practically buy yourself out of bad credit (over time), if you have the savings to place as a deposit. For more information on how to repair your credit read our article "How To Improve Your Credit Score: Tips From 15 Finance & Credit Experts (http://www.supermoney.com/2014/03/tips-to-improve-credit-score/)
America's First Credit Union secured credit card has no annual fee, relatively low rates, all the advantages of a premier Visa card, and the potential for large credit limits. The big caveat is not everyone qualifies to be a member of the America First Credit Union. The good news is that other credit unions, such as those mentioned above, are open to general public and offer similar deals.
The rates range from 6.99% APR to 17.49% APR, which rate you receive will depend on how good (or bad) your credit is.
The America First's secured credit card has no annual fee, which is a $30 to $70 saving, when you compare it to other secured credit cards. The cash advance fee is low compared to other cards, just 1.5% of the amount. The late payment fee is high: $35, which is the maximum federal law allows. However, the fee for returned checks or drafts is $10, which is low compared to the $25 to $35 many cards charge. Foreign transaction fees are also low: 1% of each transaction.
This card doesn't have a rewards program. Its big attractions are low rates and low fees. Notice that to have a credit card you will also need to open a checking account with America First. This is not a problem, because as long as you keep $25 in your account, there are no pesky account fees to pay.
There is no signup bonus.
Although you can't earn points with this card you do get premium Visa card benefits, such as travel insurance and auto rental insurance when you pay with the Secured Visa Card.
If you qualify to join America First Credit Union, this card offers excellent rates and low fees to boot. If you are not eligible, consider the secured cards of other credit unions, such as DCU (link to our DCU Secured Credit Card review) and The State Department Federal Credit Union, which are open to anyone (as long as you're willing to jump through a few hoops) and provide similar secured credit cards. Why do credit unions offers such great deals? They are not-for-profit corporations that have members not shareholders. Their bottom line is to help their members, so they are often willing to work with you when you are going through rocky financial (or credit) times.
However, if you have bad credit and don't have cash set aside to pay a deposit, credit union secured cards may not be a realistic option for you. You can either save for a deposit or apply for credit cards targeted at customers with bad credit. Here are a few to get you started (http://www.supermoney.com/2014/03/credit-cards-for-bad-credit/).
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