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

  1. RK

    The WORST! I pay off my balance outstanding every 15 days. Company put a “hold” on card as my “behavior is suspicious and pay offs are indicative of high risk”. I was told by Customer Care Representative that I “should not pay off the balance so much”. This is a TRUE situation (conversations were recorded. At present just paid off $680 balance ( in full) prior to due date and balance is near zero and cannot use card.


    I received the offer for $600 in Jan 2017. I only paid the annual fee of $36. There were no deposits. My APR was 22.70% and cash advances 27.70%. To me, this is somewhat high since I have had much lower rates in the past with good credit. I make payments with my visa debit card. I cannot tell if this card has helped my credit score since I have other credit cards.There have been no issues so far (after 7 months) so I am looking forward to the double increase.

    It seems from these comments that each person’s APR, deposit and credit limit is different.

  3. Tamara Mcauliff

    I just had a few questions about this card if someone could help me out thank you


      I just posted on 8/12/2017 which may answer some of your questions.

  4. cjohnnsoin

    Please Avoid this card…

  5. Gretchen

    Hi All,

    I’ve had this card now for 18 months and it was an awesome way to rebuild my badly damaged credit. It was my first credit card after destroying my credit when I was younger. I paid the $200 deposit, used it wisely, and paid the bill off each month.

    My score has risen just about two hundred points since then with responsible use of credit. I have a Discover and a Cap1 QS1 with really decent limits.

    This card has a purpose and it works well for that purpose but the thing is you can’t convert it to an unsecured card. You have to wait for the invitation from Merrick.

    Their website is very easy to use and I’ve never had any type of issue at all. I’ve never gotten a FICO score from them though. They advertise that the FICO’s update on the first of every month but every time I try I get a message telling me that mine is not able to be obtained. For me that’s okay because I get it from a variety of different places.

    Overall this card is great as a rebuilding tool and I would definitely suggest it for those looking to rebuild.

    My question now, Beverly, is would it hurt my score to close this account or should I keep it open a while longer until my other accounts age? I could use the $200 with the holidays right around the corner, but keeping my scores in line is far more important to me because I have worked incredibly hard and been very diligent about paying EVERYTHING on time since I began the rebuilding phase.

    Any thoughts?

  6. Pat

    I like this unsecured card. They have increased my credit limit 3 times so far. First, it was doubled (as promised in the promotion). Then not long after, they raised it another $500. About 3 months later, it was raised another $300. I never asked for an increase. I wonder if they did this because I make very large payments on my account. Perhaps if they can see the customer can make larger payments, they will increase the limit.

  7. Dee Crawford

    Hi Bev,
    Received the double your credit line offer (unsecured) applied, and was approved immediately (no waiting). After the 6 or 7 months (I don’t remember which), my credit line automatically doubled to $1200. My payments made online or thru their mobile app are posted same day –even on Saturdays and access to funds is immediate upon posting. No problems; courteous customer service. Only downside: cash advances are charged interest every billing until paid off in addition to interest on balance. Also there is a $10 charge just for getting the cash advance. So avoid cash advance unless you can pay it off in full. Website does offer financial advice, as well as FICO score. So far, so good.

  8. Brad Sharp

    Merrick reports as a SECURED card. I started at $1000 secured and my limit is now $2500 as a result of timely payments and my personal credit worthiness recovery. In the presence of my excellent rating with the entire world, Merrick Bank steadfastly will not remove the word “secured.” Truly, these people have the “New York Point of View” as described these days in politics. I will be recapturing my $1000 in the morning from these despicable Jack donkeys.

  9. John Benson

    I’ve had the double your line card for a year and my score has jumped from 550 to653.it doubled from $500 to $1000 aftr 7 months just like promised.I got my new chip card a couple days ago.The interest is a little high but I don’t carry balances for long.I like Merrick Bank!!They Get 5***** stars from me!!!

    1. Meiko N Robinson


      1. Meiko N Robinson


        1. Camille

          You have a problem with one of the bank’s policies. You can choose to not do business with them. To bring Beverly’s integrity into question is to say the least, unfair and unreasonable. She does not work for the bank, and does her best to update the public as accurately as she possibly can. She opens the forum up for constructive input, because it is impossible for her to know every little detail regarding policy. Personally, I have no problem paying with my bank account. My intentions are good and I am serious about my financial health. I personally do not see the problem. However, if I shared your view, as stated earlier, I would simply opt to not do business with this institution.

        2. Alex

          Banks generally do not take payments via debit card because they lose about 3% in processing fees. Would you want to lose 3% of you annual salary because your company stopped paying by check/direct deposit?

  10. Armando

    This card does a excellent job in rebuilding your credit, but so are many others, however my review is not about the card but the bank behind. It take them 60 days to refund your secured deposit after you close the account and the expiration time for this card is 5 years.

    1. Jan

      Is there a fee to close down the secured card?

  11. shannon riggle

    I have received a acceptance certificate just recently and it was for$1100 after 7 payments its double your line .That really will help my utilization .Have had a cap one for bout6 months and finger hut also.My score is627 637 hope this card can be approved I think itii help also no annual or monthly sounds good

  12. sade

    I was wondering if the secured card report as secured or unsecured

  13. Mark Benedict

    My complaint about the Merrick unsecured card that I have is…when I make an online payment, it usually takes 3-5 days for them to actually take the money from my account. Then, once it shows it went through, they post on the Merrick Mobile site that payment was made and posted. However, my available credit takes up to 10 DAYS to reflect the payment. So, let’s say I make a $200.00 payment, I do not have access to that $200.00 for up to two weeks! It is taken out of my bank account and floats around in some alternative universe before it is available on my credit card! What kind of antiquated, primitive way of conducting business.

  14. Karen Walker

    All that glitters isn’t gold. I am very disappointed in Merrick Bank. As a loyal customer for some time, I consistently paid my entire bill on time each month. I was surprised to see my credit limit increased because I didn’t request such, but as always continued to pay my entire bill to ensure that the balance was low going into the next month. Instead of being rewarded for being a good customer, Merrick Bank decided to punish me. After Merrick Bank received (posted and processed) the electronic payment transfer of funds from my bank and posted it to my account, they applied only half of the amount paid to my available credit and put an unnecessary hold on the remaining amount of my limit (over $700!), which they planned to keep in place for 7 days. It was not enough that Merrick had the funds already, but the rude robotic customer service reps and supervisor insisted that my bank needed to fax “proof” of my personal bank account balance to Merrick Bank showing my balance before the credit payment and after. What in the world?!! My personal bank account information is none of their business; they received full payment. Another annoying aspect is that the reps kept saying, “You made such a large payment. The hold is set up to protect you.” Really? Boo-boo, the fool, I am not. The ridiculousness of it pushed me to close my account. If Merrick Bank doesn’t trust me as a loyal customer in spite of my excellent payment history with them, then we are best parting ways. There are too many other companies out there with better rates and service to deal with these robots.

  15. Pat

    Be cautious with the Merrick “Double Your Line” card. There’s nothing wrong with it per se, but there’s a reason why they want to bill the annual fee in $3 monthly increments after the first year. They plan to bilk a whole bunch of late fees from people who have no balance but forget they have to pay the monthly fee. So, set these payments up as automatic payments from your checking account every month so you can forget about it. Otherwise, that is a mess waiting to happen.

  16. LJ Johnson

    Through the mail I received an app. to apply for this ‘credit rebuilding’ merrick bank visa card. It states ‘no annual fee’, no set-up fee, no processing fee, no cash advance fee, etc,,,but in small print it states the cardholder agreement allows merrick bank to make changes to the terms and conditions of the account after the account is open. Any advice on this one?

  17. Kay

    I’ve had an acct with Merrick for well over ten years and they have NEVER lowered my monthly charge of $5. I have no balance with them and in fact they have $300 deposit of mine since approximately 2003 or thereabouts. I did have some trouble around Sept/Oct last year where I was late for 2 months- but they charged me $35 each month as a late fee and I paid in full… Now the card is being declined when I try to use it. I’m honestly kind of fed up with Merrick as it seems they are not being helpful with me at all… At every turn they just charge me and I’m thinking to close the account,

  18. Trebor

    I need to post a very important notice about this bank, this bank needs to be avoided at all cost. The issue is when I used my bank online bill pay to fund my deposit. After two weeks I still have not received my card in the mail.So I called Merrick Bank to let them know I funded my deposit half a month ago and no card. They told me they never received my deposit and there is nothing they can do. So now I have to get with my bank and file criminal charges with law enforcement as I learned the FBI will be handling this as felony wire fraud and felony theft is a federal crime. I just hope law enforcement can get these people off the streets ASAP

    1. Kasey

      Can we get a follow up.?

    2. Cameron

      I would also like a follow-up, as I have applied online for a Merrick secured credit card, and sent in my deposit using chase bill-pay and have yet to receive confirmation. I have called multiple times and have been told they haven’t received a deposit. I don’t want to lose half a paycheck, and I am starting to worry.

      1. andrew

        I recently applied and tried to send my deposit via
        Western union. I had a bunch of trouble with that.
        Due mostly to my own fault of not sending the money through
        An actual western union facility. (I used a walgreens western union kisok which wont work)
        I now have went with the old standby of a money order and
        Snail mail. My tip: SEND IN YOUR DEPOSIT VIA MAIL.
        Takes longer but less potential problems.

      2. Gretchen

        I just applied for this card on June 30th. My FICO is horrible at a 535 but I have NO open tradelines reporting yet. I got into some financial trouble some years ago but am trying desperately to rebuild now. This card was recommended through Credit Karma for me.

        An important note – I used my bank’s online bill pay to fund the card and noticed when I get the notification that the addresses didn’t match and I panicked. I called Merrick and spoke to CS and was told that they recently closed their Tampa, FL dropbox address and moved it to their Dallas, TX address, which could be why some of you are seeing issues with payments taking a really long time to post. I’m thinking that most financial institutions haven’t made the update to their databases yet, I know mine didn’t. So when sending payments and/or funding this card be sure to check the address it’s going to and make sure it’s the Dallas, TX address. Otherwise, it will be an additional 7-10 days of snail mail time for the paper check to be sent to the correct address.

        I really hope I’m approved for this card so I can begin rebuilding. I was denied by Capital One Secured card, not because of my score, but the denial letter said it was due to my income not being high enough.

        I hope this info has helped. Fingers crossed!

        1. Gretchen

          Got this card in July. I was approved after lots of nailbiting. I’ve had absolutely NO issues whatsoever. Payments get posted promptly and their website isn’t the greatest but it has the basic info you need. So far so good. No complaints.

          1. casey

            If you don’t mind me asking, what was your annual income you put on your application for this card? I have about a 620-630 credit score and received a offer in the mail from them but I don’t want to take the hit to my credit if I wont be approved. Thank you!

  19. 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.”.


  20. Emla


  21. karl

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

    1. LadeeGee58

      From what I’ve read, its the 1st of every month.

  22. 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.

  23. 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.

    1. Stacey

      Yikes! So I am worried the initial credit will come while they are diligently reporting to all (3) then if the reporting becomes haphazard or sporadic…there goes your credit boost! Still hesitant to accept the offer we have received for the “Double Your Line” card.

      1. LadeeGee58

        The “Double Your Limit” feature is for unsecured cards and is by invitation only.

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. 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?

  27. Andy Crawford

    Any update on this card?

  28. 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…

  29. 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).

  30. 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.

  31. 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.

  32. 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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