30 responses to “Merrick Bank’s Secured Visa Card Review”

  1. Oliver

    I just talked to someone in customer service who plain out told me they do not do credit limit increases on secured cards. I have not seen anywhere on there website that they do either. I have had a $300 secured card and paid on time for well over 7 months and haven’t seen any movement. I do not know how other say they have received increases if the Customer Service Rep says they do not. On my Fico Score on the website it states 655 so they say they base there cards on this score so I know they can verify that my score has been improving.

    1. Jaimie

      I found the Merrick Bank card through a Google compare and it said “Credit line increases – Your account will be reviewed for automatic unsecured credit line increases with no additional security deposit or fees.”.


  2. Emla


  3. karl

    The FICO score is a great feature of this card. What day of the month does it update?

  4. Katherine

    Hi there. I wanted to offer an update to Merrick’s secured credit card offering: it looks like you no longer need to be invited. If you go to their website, there are links to apply directly online.

    I noticed this today when I was logging in (I have an unsecured card with their “Double Your Line” program and was making a payment.) The APR for their default secured product is not bad at 17.45% – in fact, that’s better than my unsecured. Definitely better than a lot of other secured offerings out there. It does have a $36 annual fee, billed annually first month, and $3/mo thereafter.

    I’ve had my card less than a month so I can’t offer much of an opinion yet. But I thought I would share for those of your readers who are working their way to better credit and are shopping for a secured card, this might be good news.

  5. Anony

    Maybe I missed it, but I noticed you asked if this card reports as secured or unsecured. I’m not sure if you got your answer yet or not.

    This card DOES report as a secured credit card to Equifax and Transunion, however on Experian it doesn’t.

    I have also noticed that All the way up until Oct 2014 it was reporting payment history to all 3 bureaus. Then in Nov 2014 it only reported to Equifax and Experian. Now in Dec 2014 it’s only showing a report to Experian.

  6. Don

    I have opened an unsecured account with a credit line of $550.I like my card and with, making payments on time they double the credit line this is perfect for, me. Great card I get cash advances with, no problems. I rate them the best. They give me an opportunity to show my credit worthiness.

  7. Michael Flowers

    I got the Merrick Secured Card with a $350 limit as my first card following a 13 discharge. I have no negatives about this card and always just pay the $3 fee every month. I have 4 prime cards with $30k worth of limits. This card is still at the initial $350 limit, and I’ve never been offered a cli or an unsecured ap. I may eventually close this account.

  8. Millie

    Im a bit confused about the merrick card. Does one start with a secured card that does not increse credit limits over time and wait to eventually get anan offer for an unsecured? Does everyone that statrs with a secured eventually receive an unsecured invitation is really what im asking?

  9. Andy Crawford

    Any update on this card?

  10. GVC


    Lately, I started receiving multiple unsecured cc offers in the mail but I usually dump them since my credit is poor and I prefer to use my bank card for any transactions. I decided to open the last 3 I got this week, the first from Verve had multiple fees as pointed out in your site $500 credit limit, $125 annual fee, after first year it becomes $96 and $60 maintenance fee and as you stated it is not recommended. I also got one from First Premier $500 credit limit, $95 processing, $99 annual fee which reduces to $45 after the first year and a free monthly servicing fee for first year and after the year they charge $8.25…these two have very high fees and I do not recommend.


    Then I opened the offer from Merrick Bank for double your line program and I liked everything they offer. NO annual fee, NO acct set up fee, NO monthly service fee, NO penalty rates and NO over limit fee and no fees if you pay off your balance by due date. Their APR is 29.70% and 34.70% for cash advances, 2% fee per foreign transaction. They offer a $550 credit line and after 7 months if you make minimum payments on time they double your credit line limit to $1100. This seems like a winner for those trying to rebuild their credit. I give MERRICK BANK a thumbs up!! I signed up and will get my card within two weeks.

    Thanks for blogging and helping those of us with credit issues become more informed about what is out there and pitfalls to avoid. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS CARD, even with the APR rates, since all second chance cards are also high…

  11. stu

    FYI for those who want to increase their secured Merrick credit line… the minimum increment is $50. I sent in a $35 check and it never posted, and customer service clarified today, this is why.

    I have been with Merrick for about 4 months now and no major complaints thus far.

    My tip is just to try to pay as far in advance of the due date as you are able. 10 to 14 days prior has worked fine for me. Their computer system seems to have some lag time issues, so if you wait to pay 2 days before the due date, it might not get posted in time (hello Late Fees).

  12. ian

    something you failed to mention in your review. you do choose your credit limit with your security deposit, however merrick will give you credit limit increases as well without additional deposits. it states that fact on website. I have had this card for almost a year now and have no complaints. if you sign up for paperless you get access to your fico8 score aswell. I started at 488 and am now at 598 fico8.

    1. ian

      Another thing you stated the graduation of this card is unclear. Well it doesn’t graduate. You may get an app in the mail for their unsecured card but your secured will remain the same. The above statement is kinda why i chose this card. I have only deposited 200 but I can potentially end up with a 3000 dollar card if I get cli’s. Since it hurts your score to close an account I figured that I would have this card for a good long time. Being able to upgrade to an unsecured without it showing that your account is closed would be great but Wells Fargo turned me down and I don’t have a Citi bank near me. I do bank at us bank so I could get one of their cards but same thing they don’t graduate the account. Plus all the other interest rates are higher. I also never pay my balance in full. I charge what ever and always pay it down to 30% or less every month. My fiance’s mom had a discover card and when she didn’t carry a balance they closed the account. It is how they make money. So I figure I am giving them a reason to up my limit by doing so. They get annual fee and whatever interest I pay. So far I have payed zero in interest even carrying a balance. I can only conclude that this is because of the grace period and I pay the charges off from inside this while incurring new charges that fall into next months period. I am not really sure i understand what i just said:)
      So to recap. 36 annual fee 200 initial deposit(that doesn’t earn interest) but a potential 3000 limit, and 17.45 interest rate( i think it starts at 4% above prime rate but could change with your credit worthiness ie late payments), and free fico score. It was the lowest out of pocket with the highest potential credit limit out of the choices that I researched.

  13. Roy Jenkins

    I just got one of the Merrick Bank offers in the mail, and it’s intriguing.

    They refer to it as the “Double Your Line” Visa. They offer an initial credit limit (in my case $550), which is then doubled automatically after making the first seven payments on time.

    They don’t reference increases beyond that amount, nor do they indicate a fee will be charged for the increase.

    There are no setup fees, no maintenance fees, and NO ANNUAL FEE, which seems almost too good to be true.

    The only “gotcha” on their offer might be the 29.70% APR, which I don’t worry so much about, because I don’t plan on paying interest.

    On the front, it says no penalty rates (how much worse could a rate get?), and no over limit fee, although on the back it does indicate overlimit fee of “up to $35.” Again, this doesn’t matter so much to me. If you’re worried about the size of late payment fees and overlimit fees, you probably have no business applying for a card like this.

    Even though I have two great cards (Cap One and BofA), I’m considering sending this in, as it is not a secured card that I’d have to commit dollars to. Of course, the “gotcha” always present on prescreened offers like this is that you’re not guaranteed approval. Kind of a slap in the face when you’re turned down after THEY CAME TO YOU, but I’m kind of numb to that sort of rejection, by now. lol

    If anyone else has had experience with these UNSECURED cards, I’d be interested in hearing about it!

    1. Roy Jenkins

      Update on this..

      I applied for the card online, and got an immediate acceptance notice. A day or two later, the new account showed up on Experian, and then another two days, the new account showed on Equifax. Today, a week later, I got the card in the mail.

      All seems good with this card, though if you read some of the online reviews, a LOT of people have had issues with them. Now, the majority of these are from people who just “don’t get it.” They are the ones who complain after paying the amount due “only a couple of days after the due date” and getting hit with a fee. Yeah, those types. Always the victim. You can try and complain, but ultimately, you should know that it’s YOUR screwup and just deal with it.

      My inference from everything I read is that Merrick Bank will completely take advantage of you if you trip, doing things like adding an annual fee, where there was none originally. Maybe a bait-and-switch…maybe a penalty…I don’t know. I don’t plan on tripping. They are also one of those providers that will bill you 1/12 of the annual fee monthly. Some might think this is a benefit for lower-income folks. I think it’s an opportunity to trip you up with a balance every month, even if you didn’t use the card. What could be more frustrating than paying a $35 late fee on a $3.99 balance?

      Again…don’t trip. I’ll try to post more in six months or so, when the credit limit is scheduled to double.

  14. Lyle

    What do you think of Merrick Banks unsecured credit cards. I am trying to rebuild my credit. I was hurt real bad in an auto accident in 2001. Me and my wife lost everything. Merrick bank is the frist card that I got to start rebuilding my credit. Since I have had the Merrick Card with a 300.00 dollar limit I have paid the bill the like clock work. I have since gotten 2 other Cards from Capital One Bank with no annual fee. The Merrick Bank card has an anuual fee of 75.00. One of the Capital One cards has A 300.00 dollar credit limit and the other has a 1000.00 credit limit. Should I get rid of the Merrick bank card since it has an annual fee. I have heard that if you close a credit card account out it can hurt your credit score. I don’t want to hurt my score, but on the other hand I don’t want to pay out money for the annual fee either. Please help?


    Lyle C Rose

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