Full review

Merrick Bank offers three credit card products: the Merrick Bank Double Your Line™ Visa® Credit Card, the Merrick Bank Secured Visa® Card and the Merrick Bank Visa® Card. Unlike points or cash back cards, these cards do not feature any rewards. Instead, they are focused on customers with limited access to credit or those looking to improve their credit histories. While Merrick Bank does report your payment history to all three credit bureaus—which helps cardholders build credit—it is not worth paying the exorbitant fees for this service. 

Details of pros

Potential to double your credit limit quickly: Everyone loves to be rewarded for good behavior, and it can be a pain to have a low credit line.

 If your credit limit is initially $550, just make timely payments for seven months and it will automatically increase to $1,100, at no additional cost to you. Not only will you have to worry less about maxing out your card, but you’re less likely to negatively affect your credit utilization ratio—an important credit scoring metric. (More on this below.) 

Free access to your FICO score: Free credit scores have become a ubiquitous benefit on mainstream cards, but aren’t nearly as common on cards for consumers with bad credit, oddly enough. Plus, some card issuers offer scores that are less widely used by lenders, such as the VantageScore. The FICO score is the most popular score with lenders and is particularly good to monitor as you rebuild your credit. 

Details of cons

High annual fee for some borrowers: If you’re offered a card carrying an annual fee, it will be as high as $72. Among unsecured cards in this category, $72 is on the higher end, though there are cards on the market charging as much as $99. (If you’re charged $72, it will be spread out after the first year, at $6 a month.)2  

Account set-up fee for some borrowers: Depending on the offer, you may be charged a one-time fee of up to $75 just to get your account started. With the annual fee, that means you could wind up owing $147 before you’ve even used your card. Be aware that any annual or set-up fees eat into the credit limit initially available to you. (So if you’re approved for a $550 credit limit, it could actually be $403 at first.) 

Steep APR: If you have bad credit, you’ll likely have to pay a significant amount to carry a balance on any card. But this card’s highest interest rate is expensive by any standard, outdoing several competing cards. Such a high APR could make it much harder for you to afford your card’s minimum payments, putting you at risk of falling behind on your bills.

Other Things To Consider

2% Foreign-Transaction Fee: This card does not make a good international travel companion or means of paying for purchases from foreign-based merchants. That’s because it charges a 2% foreign-transaction fee, which is more than the market average but not a fee anyone should feel resigned to pay.

Relatively Low Regular APR: The Merrick Bank Card’s 17.45% (V) regular APR is comparable to the secured-card average of 17.28%, according to WalletHub’s latest Credit Card Landscape Report, but that doesn’t make carrying a balance a good idea. After all, you fronted the money for your credit line, so carrying a balance from month to month will be tantamount to loaning yourself money at a nearly 18% interest rate. Would you really charge yourself that much?

Visa Benefits: The fact that the Merrick Card is on the Visa network means you can use it to make purchases pretty much anywhere plastic is accepted. You’ll also enjoy network benefits such as rental-car insurance. 

Balance Transfers Prohibited: Balance transfers generally shouldn’t be of much interest to secured-card users for one simple reason: A transferred balance can’t exceed your credit limit, which is prepaid with a secured card. And if you had the money to cover the balance to begin with, you’d just pay off the debt directly. But it’s still worth mentioning that this type of transaction cannot be performed with the Merrick Bank Secured Card because that’s not the case for all secured cards. 

Off-Limits To Some Bad-Credit Applicants: Secured cards generally are the easiest credit cards to get, as their refundable security deposit erases the risk typically associated with lending to people with bad credit. Secured cards don’t offer guaranteed approval, though. There’s always some sort of qualification that must be met, whether it’s simply a valid Social Security number or a certain type of credit history. Merrick Bank’s line in the sand is that you can’t have an undischarged bankruptcy pending or unpaid tax debts.

Merrick Bank Credit Card Review

Sams Credit Card

The Sam’s Club Credit Card, issued by Synchrony Bank, is a basic store credit card for Sam’s Club members with a less-than-stellar credit profile. The Sam’s Club Credit Card can only be used at Sam’s Club and Walmart stores and doesn’t offer any rewards on purchases, so it’s mainly for borrowers who aren’t likely to qualify for a better credit card that can be used more broadly. If your credit is just fair (if you have a FICO score of 580 to 669) and you shop at Sam’s Club and Walmart frequently, this card can be a worthwhile financing tool, albeit with a steep interest rate.

Big Lots Credit Card

The Big Lots Credit Card is a good choice for frequent Big Lots shoppers who want the flexibility to pay for their purchases over time. If you can handle the deferred-interest financing deals properly, you can save a lot of money and gain the flexibility around paying your credit card bill. Most people, however, will be better off with a cash-back card that works anywhere and earns rewards of some kind. Try the CardCruncher tool to find the right card for you.

Surge Mastercard Credit Card

The Surge Mastercard® is one of the easiest credit cards to get if you have bad credit, but the card's annual and monthly fees may reduce its appeal. If you're considering the Surge Mastercard® to build credit, here's what you need to know before you submit your application.

Menards BIG Credit Card

Menards has been one of the leading stores for home improvements for over five decades now. Many people rely on this store for their home improvement needs where they spend thousands of dollars. The Menards Big Card is designed to help all the Menards loyalists to get more rewards from making their purchases in the store and a few other selected gas stations. The card offers different types of rewards from cash back to in-store financing making it a very valuable tool especially if you tend to do a lot of home improvement.

Stein Mart Credit Card

The Stein Mart Platinum Mastercard® offers additional savings on items that fly off the rack at the discount retailer's store.The card, issued by Synchrony Bank, earns rewards at the retailer online and in-store and everywhere that Mastercard is accepted. It also offers perks such as exclusive savings events, birthday surprises and the chance to earn even more rewards with Elite status. The card's annual fee is $0.

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Related Credit Card/Article

Merrick Bank, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the institution, is an online lender headquartered in Utah that specializes in credit cards and boat/RV financing. That’s interesting enough, but the Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card doesn’t offer much to hold your attention. Don’t get us wrong; it’s not a bad card. It’s just a no-frills, moderately priced option with competitors that are both cheaper and more exciting.
Merrick Bank Credit Card
The Merrick Bank Secured Visa card can be an option worth considering for those who have limited credit history or bad credit scores (between 300 and 579) since this card has no minimum credit score requirement. The security deposit provides security to the card issuer, allowing you to rebuild your
Apply onlinesearch the MerrickBank websiteOn the MerrickBank.com home page, click the "Enroll" link located on the top, right hand side of the navigation menu. You may also enroll by clicking the "Not Enrolled" link located under the Cardholder Center login.
Chances are you have a poor credit score if you’re looking at this card. If so, make sure to pay your bills on time, month in and month out. It’s the best thing you can do to rehabilitate your credit.That’s partly because payment behavior is the single biggest factor in a FICO credit score cal
Reward$200 Minimum Deposit: Many secured cards require minimum deposits of $300 to $400, which means the Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card is less taxing on your finances and thus more accessible. Plus, you can add to your deposit over time, up to a total of $3,000, for added charging power and faster
Online PaymentTo make a One-Time payment, select “Pay Bill” from menu on the top navigation bar, and then select "Make One-Time Payment" from the Online Bill Pay screen. Then, choose the amount you want to pay on your account. You can choose to pay the Minimum Payment Due, the Cur
The Merrick Bank Secured credit card graduation process is not exactly traditional.While many credit card issuers will upgrade a customer's account from a secured card to an unsecured one after using their card responsibly for at least a year, it's a bit more complex here. Merrick Bank will