The Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card is offered by, as the name implies, Applied Bank. Applied Bank has been in business since 1996 and they specialize in providing credit cards, either secured or unsecured, to individuals with bad credit or no credit. This article reviews the card, its benefits and its drawbacks.
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Having a credit card in today’s society is pretty much the norm. Nearly every adult has at least one credit card, even if it is a card specifically designated for big dollar emergencies. However, every single one of these individuals had to start somewhere in terms of establishing their credit, and fortunately for those of you who have no credit and can’t seem to get a traditional credit card; there are easier options for establishing credit than there ever was before.
Secured credit cards can be an excellent way for you to establish your credit; however, not all secured credit cards can do this for you. One of the things that you should look for if you are trying to establish your credit is a secured credit card that actually reports to the major credit reporting bureaus (not all of them do), otherwise you are not doing anything to establish your credit. One secured credit card that does report to the credit reporting bureaus to build your credit score is the Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card.
What is a Secured Credit Card?
A secured card is a credit card that uses money that you deposit as your credit line. There are typically two types of secured credit card companies: a bank that has you open an account, which is what the Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card is based upon, or a bank that treats the card like the account.
Sound confusing? It can be, however one way to see the difference is how a company words the deposit. A company such as Applied Bank requires that you open an account with the bank, while some banks require that you deposit money to the card. The biggest difference between the two is that an actual bank account is protected by the FDIC, ensuring that your money is federally insured.
Sometimes a secured card is called a prepaid card, and often a bank that requires an actual account refers to the card as a secured card and a bank that requires a card deposit will refer to the card as a prepaid card. In either case, the premise is the same; your money provides the credit line.
The Pros and Cons of the Platinum Zero Secured Credit Card
Like any credit card, the Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card has both its good and not so good qualities. One of the greatest benefits to the Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card is that it reports to the credit reporting bureaus. Many secured and prepaid credit cards don’t, and those that do often do so if you borrow money from them (in very small amounts) and you repay the loan. However, it is not so complex with Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card. They report to the credit reporting bureaus because they charge an interest rate on cash advances, which means that you are making an additional payment over your initial deposit.
This is a mixed bag because you are getting charged an interest rate for getting your own money out of your account. A cash advance is defined by Applied Bank as an ATM withdrawal, among other things. In addition to the finance charge, you are also charged a $5 fee by Applied Bank to use an ATM machine, plus the ATM fees. It can cost you $10 to withdraw $20 from your account, and you have to pay interest. However, if you compare these fees with a traditional credit card, they are very reasonable. Many credit card companies charge 29% or more interest on a cash withdrawal of any kind (plus ATM fees).
Another thing about the Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card is that you are required to open an account at Applied Bank. This is not a standard checking account, your only access to your money is to either close the account or use your card. Additionally, this account does not accrue any interest on the money you deposit, which is unlike a traditional bank account.
However, the upside to using a bank account is that transferring money into the account is free. Most companies that deposit directly to a card rather than an account charge fees for every deposit. You also get the advantage of being able to check all of your account information online at no additional charge, another benefit that can be lacking with other accounts.
What You Need to Know Before Applying for the Platinum Zero Credit Card
The Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card has a maximum of $5,000 total deposits. This is as large as the account can get. Applied Bank offers free identity theft protection on all accounts that have over $500 in it, but they allow starting deposits of as little as $100.
Just like any credit card, there are late payment fees and over the limit fees associated with the Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card. However, the late payment fee works a bit differently. Your account cannot fall below $100. If it does, you are required to make a deposit to your account. The fee for not making a timely deposit is $32.
The over the limit fee works just the same as any credit card. If you charge more than your available money (or fees are applied to your account that puts you over your limit, which is more likely than an overcharge as the bank will deny that charge) then you will be charged a fee of $32.
Lastly, although Applied Bank does not charge an annual fee, per say, they do charge a monthly maintenance fee. Many credit card companies will charge this fee in order to claim they do not charge an annual fee, but essentially, they are the same thing. However the maintenance fee is charged in monthly increments rather than all at once. The fee is $9.95 a month, which equals $119.40 annually. This fee is the standard rate for a secured card; however, some charge more and some charge less. It is important to note that many companies that charge less often have many other fees, such as transaction fees, deposit fees and so on, to compensate for that. Applied Bank does not charge these fees.
So, is the Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card a good secured card? Yes, it is for those of you who have bad credit or no credit and need a way to establish their credit. For those of you with good credit who are trying to avoid an actual credit card, consider the fees and determine if it would be better to simply open a checking account and get a debit card. You will receive all of the same benefits (other than the credit bureau reporting) with none of the fees.
Whether you are looking for a secured credit card or a traditional credit card, you should compare different cards before making your selection. With different fees, interest rates, and benefits, you may find that the Applied Bank Platinum Zero Secured Visa Credit Card is perfect for you or you may find another card fits your needs better. You may also find that your credit isn’t so bad that you can’t get a traditional card; however, unless you compare them you will never know.
Using our card chaser tool makes this process super easy. You can use our comparison tool to look at three cards side by side or you can use the tool to narrow down your choices in a category (such as all Visa credit cards, all secured credit cards or all bad credit credit cards). Our chaser tool will take the guesswork out of your search and help you to find the right credit card quickly and easily. Why don’t you give it a try and start comparing credit cards today?
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