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The promises a path to building credit, whether you have a history of bad credit or you’re just new to using it. After you put down a deposit for collateral and make regular payments, the bank — Plains Commerce Bank, based in Hoven, South Dakota — will report your activity to all .
There are some downsides to the card, including an annual fee, lack of rewards, and no path to eventually upgrading to a better product. So it’s worth exploring all of your options, including other — some of which solve for all of those issues.
Here are five things to know about the .
To get the , you must have a Collateral Deposit Account with PCB Bank.
No other relationship with the bank is required, Cindy Jager, credit card manager for the bank, said in an email. But you must have a U.S. address to apply for the card, and it’s not available in Wisconsin because of state regulations.
In addition, Jager says applicants must have of $5,000 a year or higher to get approved for the card.
After opening the with a minimum deposit of $200, you can add to that amount over time.
During the first year, you can increase your deposit, which equals your credit limit, up to $1,000. Then, after the first year, you can increase it up to $5,000.
Some secured cards — such as the and the — promise automatic reviews of your account after a steady period of on-time payments, to see if it's possible to upgrade you to an unsecured card that may also earn rewards. (In such a case, your security deposit would be returned to you.)
Other cards may allow such upgrades upon request.
But the doesn’t have that option. Jager says there is no upgrade path, nor a PCB-issued credit card that offers rewards.
The card charges an annual fee of , which will be deducted from your deposit and impact your available credit limit.
That means if you begin with a $200 deposit, your credit limit will be $161, unless you increase it by adding to your deposit.
The is $0 during the first year, then it’s $5 or 5% of the transaction (whichever is greater). It's ideal to avoid the expense of a cash advance if you can, because interest will start accruing immediately on them. But in terms of the fee, which is separate from the interest, this is a more generous cash advance policy than you'll find with other cards.
The international transaction fee is also waived the first year, then it’s up to 1% of the transaction amount. The lack of that fee in the first year could be useful to anyone with bad credit ( of 629 or lower) or no credit who plans to travel or live overseas for a period of time, such as a college student studying abroad.