Astoria Bank Secured Visa Credit Card Review

By Christina Majaski. Last updated 21 February 2018. 0 comments

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The Astoria Bank Secured Visa Card provides an opportunity for those who may have had credit problems in the past or are just starting out with no credit, to establish a positive credit rating. Secured cards can help those who are not able to get approved for a traditional credit card. (See also:Best Secured Credit Cards)

Why We Like This Card

  • Low $19 annual fee
  • Opportunity to graduate to unsecured card after 11 months of responsible management

How This Card Works

When you are approved for the card, you must make a deposit between $300 to $5,000. You are issued a credit card with a credit limit in the amount of your deposit, and can qualify for a credit limit increase without an additional deposit if you make regular, on time payments, after 7 months. Your payments and account activity are reported to the three major credit bureaus, which if managed responsibly, can help establish a positive credit rating. You may also get your deposit back and be moved to an unsecured card after 11 months, subject to credit approval.

Other Benefits

Free FICO Score. Includes access to your FICO score which can help you to manage and monitor your credit rating.

Costs

  • $19 Annual Fee
  • 21.24% Variable APR 
  • 3% Foreign Transaction Fee

Pros

Reasonable annual fee. The annual fee of $19 is the lowest annual fee charged by secured credit cards (except in rare cases where there is no annual fee). Depending on the credit card issuer, the annual fee can be as much as $50 per year, without taking into consideration higher APRs and other fees that secured cards are known for. (See also: Best Secured Cards with No Annual Fees)

Unsecured card after 11 months. Although you can often apply and get approved for an unsecured card with any card issuer once you have established a positive credit rating, not all secured cards offer the opportunity for your account to be evaluated and considered after 11 months. This is especially helpful if you don't need to close your account to keep the benefit of a longer credit history.

Cons

Foreign transaction fee. If you travel abroad frequently or plan to use your card for foreign transactions, the 3% balance transfer fee will cut into your budget. This is not a problem if your purchases are domestic, and it is a fairly typical fee with secured credit cards. However, if you do travel outside of the U.S. frequently, you should instead carry a secured card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. (See also: Best Secured Credit Cards with No Foreign Fees)

Who This Card Is Best For

The Astoria Bank Secured Visa Credit Card is best for those in the process of building or rebuilding their credit. It is also ideal for those who do not plan on using the card for foreign purchases who will work toward graduating to an unsecured credit card.

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