A Low APR Secured Credit Card: Excent Secured

By Christina Majaski. Last updated 29 August 2017. 0 comments

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Consumers with bad or no credit often find it difficult to get approved for a credit card. If you are just starting out or have had credit problems in the past, you may find your only option is a secured credit card. The Excent™ Secured Credit Card offers a solution for those building or rebuilding their credit. (See also: Best Secured Credit Cards)

How This Card Works

Approval is guaranteed as long as your monthly income exceeds expenses by $100. A security deposit of $200 to $5,000 is required. When you make your security deposit, you receive a credit card with a limit in the amount of the deposit. You can increase your credit limit to a maximum of $5,000 by making additional deposits in $50 increments. Your security deposit is held in a savings account with First Choice Bank, which earns interest. As you use your card and manage your account responsibly, your payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus, helping you to establish a good credit rating. 

Guaranteed approval. Although you would think that everyone automatically qualifies for secured credit cards, this isn’t always true. There are credit card issuers with stricter requirements than others, even while requiring a security deposit. With the Excent card, however, you are guaranteed approval as long as your income exceeds your monthly expenses by at least $100. (See also: Secured Credit Cards That Don't Require a Credit Check for Approval)

Deposit earns interest. Your security deposit earns interest in a savings account while your credit card is open. You won’t get rich from the interest you earn, but when you close your account, you’ll receive a little more than you started with in the beginning. And, not all secured credit cards allow you to earn interest on your security deposit. (See also: Secured Cards that Pay Interest on Your Deposit)

Low APR. The APR with many other secured credit cards is significantly higher than those on unsecured cards — sometimes nearly 30%. This is especially helpful if you typically carry a balance from month to month. The APR of 13.99% fixed is among the lowest offered by any credit card, secured or not. (See also: Best Secured Cards with Low APRs)

Costs

  • $39 Annual Fee
  • 13.99% fixed purchase APR
  • 3% Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Up to $49 Credit Limit Increase Fee
  • $0.50 Automated Account Information Fee for each separate inquiry (no charge for first two in a billing cycle)

Considerations

High annual fee. The annual fee can be considered particularly high especially since there are secured cards with no annual fee at all. However, cards with lower annual fees also have higher interest rates. If you are planning on leaving a balance, the higher annual fee may be worth it. (See also: Best Secured Credit Cards with No Annual Fee)

Additional fees. This card includes a number of extra fees such as the copying charge, additional card fee, and inquiry fee. Further, there is a fee if you request a credit limit increase even though you are already adding your own money to the deposit for the increase. If you use any of these features, these fees will add up quickly.

No rewards or benefits. The Excent card does not include any additional card benefits or rewards. Although these aren’t features that secured cards typically offer, they are options if you prefer to earn at least a little extra from your purchases while rebuilding your credit. 

Foreign transaction fee. Secured credit cards also usually carry foreign transaction fees, which can be an additional expense if you need to use your card for foreign purchases. If you travel frequently outside of the U.S. you should choose a secured card with a lower or no foreign transaction fee. (See also: Secured Cards with Low or No Foreign Transaction Fees)

Who This Card Is Best For

This card is best for those who are working on building or repairing their credit rating. If you have been denied by other credit card providers, you may have a better chance of approval as long as your income is $100 more than your monthly expenses. Because of the low APR it’s also ideal for those who typically carry balances from month to month. Although you will pay a slightly higher annual fee, it will be difficult to find many other secured credit cards with APRs as low.

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