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Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured: Good News if You Have Bad Credit

Credit Cards, Credit Cards for Bad Credit
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best bad-credit credit card

If you have bad credit, most of your credit card options include fees and high interest rates. Not so with the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card. As secured credit cards go, this is one of the best.

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card: Benefits and basics

The Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card offers a compelling proposition for people with bad credit. The $0, which is rare among secured cards. The ongoing APR is 12.50% Variable APR — low for any credit card, let alone one designed for someone with bad credit.

Check out this chart for complete card details:

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

Apply Now on Digital Federal Credit Union's secure site

The Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card excels where many secured credit cards fall short. Let’s examine some of the features that make the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card stand out:

No balance transfer or cash advance fee

If you’re struggling with high-interest credit card debt, consolidating your balances with a balance transfer onto a lower-interest card can save you money in the long run. Most cards charge an average of 3% of the transferred balance, which makes the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card’s offer a great alternative.

Cash advances can be another pain point for cardholders because they usually come with extra fees and a higher interest rate than regular purchases. The Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card, however, not only doesn’t charge a cash advance fee, but the interest rate is the same for cash advances as it is for regular purchases.

No limit to your credit line

Like most secured credit cards, the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card requires a collateral deposit equal to your credit line. But unlike most secured credit cards, the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card doesn’t put a cap on how high that credit line can be. As long as you have enough cash held with the credit union to cover it in case you default, you can have all the spending flexibility you need.

Reports to all three credit bureaus

The purpose of a secured credit card is to help you rebuild your credit. That can’t happen if the credit card issuer doesn’t report your card activity to the three major credit reporting bureaus. Some small, local banks may report to only one or two of the bureaus, or none at all. The Nerds have confirmed, however, that the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card does report to all three credit bureaus, making it easier for you to get back on track to building your credit.

Free access to your FICO score

When you’re trying to improve your credit standing, knowing where you stand is essential. The Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card is one of the few secured credit cards that offers its cardholders complimentary access to their FICO credit score. And because it’s updated monthly, you’ll be able to see your progression as you use your card responsibly, and pay it off on time and in full every month.

The Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card: Pitfalls and possibilities

Although the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card is a Nerd favorite, it’s not without drawbacks:

You must be a Digital Federal Credit Union member

With most secured credit cards, you don’t need to have an account with the issuer’s retail bank. Not so with the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card. You may become a member if:

  • Someone you are related to is a current member
  • The company you work for or retired from is a participating employer
  • You belong to a participating organization
  • You live, work, worship or attend school in a community which has been designated as underserved and the credit union has a branch in it

Because membership requirements are relaxed, this may not be a big deal. However, it is another hoop you need to jump through to apply.

No rewards

If you’re struggling with bad credit, rewards aren’t as important as developing good credit habits. Still, it may be disappointing to miss out on the rewards.

In that case, you may want to consider the Nrewards Secured. You’ll earn one point for every dollar spent and you can redeem your rewards for travel, cash back, shopping, gift cards or experiences through the Navy Federal Rewards program. The $0, and it has the potential of having an even lower interest rate than the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card: The ongoing APR is 23.15% - 26.15% Variable.

However, the Nrewards Secured doesn’t readily disclose other rates and fees unless you’re a Navy Federal Credit Union member. Also, Navy Federal Credit Union is more restrictive than Digital Federal Credit Union regarding member eligibility. In order to become a Navy Federal Credit Union member, either you or a family member must be affiliated with the U.S. Armed Forces, Department of Defense, Coast Guard or National Guard.

If you’re looking for more information about credit cards for building or rebuilding credit, check out NerdWallet’s top credit cards page.

The Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card: Is it right for you?

If you have bad credit, hate fees and need spending flexibility, the Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card offers features that you may not get with any other credit card. However, if you’re looking for a secured card that offers rewards or you don’t want to take the extra step of becoming a Digital Federal Credit Union member, you may want to consider one of the other secured credit cards on the market.

» More: NerdWallet’s Best Secured Credit Cards

This article has been updated. It was originally published Jan. 7 2015.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.


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