DCU Visa Platinum Secured Card Review

By Christina Majaski. Last updated 10 January 2019. 0 comments

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Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), headquartered in Massachusetts, may not be one of the most popular financial institutions in the country, but it does claim over 470,000 members across the United States. Hence, the DCU Visa Platinum Secured Card is not quite as well-known as some of the other secured credit cards available, but is definitely one that should be considered if you need to give a boost to your credit rating. (See also: Best Secured Credit Cards)

How This Card Works

A security deposit of at least $500 is required, which is held in an interest earning savings account with DCU. Your credit limit is equal to the amount of your deposit. Your payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus, which can help improve your credit rating if managed responsibly. If you've maintained your account responsibly, you may qualify for an unsecured card with DCU. If you are approved, the secured card account will be closed and you will receive a refund of your security deposit, less any outstanding balance.

DCU Membership

You do need to become a DCU member to qualify for the credit card but there are a number of ways you can qualify. If you work for or are retired from one of many qualifying companies, or if you are a family member such as spouse, domestic partner, child, grandparent, or parent of someone who worked for or retired from a qualifying company, you can become a DCU member. You can also qualify if you are a resident of certain communities in Massachusetts and Georgia. Finally, there are a number of organizations that you can join for a low fee that would qualify you.

Costs

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • 13.75% Variable APR
  • $0 Foreign Transaction Fee

Pros

No fees. Secured credit cards often carry higher fees than unsecured cards. The annual fee alone is typically as much as $50 per year and balance transfers and cash advance fees are usually 3%. Other secured cards also often carry additional fees, sometimes administrative. This is one of the lowest fee cards on the market. (See also: Secured Credit Cards with No Annual Fees)

Low APR. Secured cards are also known for APRs which can reach as high as 24.99%. This isn't a problem if you consistently pay your balances within the grace period, but if you carry a balance from month to month, a high APR can end up costing quite a bit. 

Deposit earns interest. Your security deposit is held in a savings account which earns interest while the account is open. It isn't a large amount of money but it at least gives you an opportunity to earn a little extra on the deposit while it is held. Many secured cards require the security deposit without any option of earning interest and when you close the account you receive exactly what you started with, less any outstanding balance or fees. (See also: Secured Cards that Offer Interest on Deposit)

Cons

Does not graduate. While you have the opportunity to be approved for an unsecured credit card through DCU if you maintain your account responsibly, it would be considered a new account. That means your secured card account would close and you would lose the extra boost from the credit history you've built from that card.

Who This Card Is Best For

The DCU Visa Platinum Secured Card is best for those who are in the process of repairing their credit or are just starting out. It is one of the best secured cards on the market because of the low APR and almost no fees. If you carry a balance from month to month, it is one of the better secured cards available. Additionally, the security deposit earns interest while you are establishing a positive credit rating. However, it's not a good card to use abroad due to its foreign transaction fees.

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