Editorial Review

OpenSky Secured Visa Review: No Credit Check Necessary

This card doesn't offer much in the way of rewards or perks, and it charges an annual fee, but it's a good option for those who have been frustrated in their attempts to build credit.

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Our Take

3.8

NerdWallet rating

The Bottom Line: You don't have to undergo a credit check to apply, and you don't need a bank account to qualify. If these are areas of concern for you, it's definitely worth a look. If not, there are better (and cheaper) alternatives.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

on Capital Bank's secure website

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Annual Fee
$35
Regular APR
19.39% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Quick Facts

Annual Fee
$35
Regular APR
19.39% Variable APR
Intro APR
N/A

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • No credit check required
  • Doesn't require a bank account
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus
Cons
  • Has annual fee
  • High ongoing APR
  • Requires $200 mininum deposit

recommended credit score

Alternate Pick: upgradable secured card

Discover it® Secured

Get automatic account reviews

After you've had this card for eight months, Discover begins automatically reviewing your account for a possible upgrade to an unsecured card (one without a deposit). This card has a $0 annual fee and even offers rewards.

Read our review

Full Review

It’s rare to find a credit card that doesn’t run a credit check when you apply and doesn’t require you to have a bank account to be approved. That’s why the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card stands out. By requiring neither a credit check nor a bank account, it offers a chance to build or restore credit for those who have found themselves shut down by other issuers.

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card card doesn’t come with much in the way of perks. Few secured credit cards do. But used responsibly, it can help you improve your credit, setting you up to get approved for a better card down the road. It also doesn’t pile on the fees like some cards for bad credit. If you’re struggling to get approved for a card, it’s worth considering.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card: Basics

  • Annual fee: $35.
  • Security deposit: $200 minimum, $3,000 maximum. Secured credit cards require you to provide a refundable security deposit, which determines your credit limit. The issuer holds this deposit as collateral in case you don’t pay your bill.
  • Interest rate: The ongoing APR is 19.39% Variable APR.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%.
  • Cash advance fee: 5% of the amount of the advance (minimum fee $6).
  • Credit bureau reporting: This card reports payment information to all three major credit bureaus, so good payment habits can help you build credit.

» MORE: Understanding how credit cards work

Why you might want the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

With secured cards, your top priority is building your credit enough that you can move on to a card that doesn’t require a deposit. Some secured cards offer more than just the basics — but many people haven’t even been able to get the basics. The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card card will be attractive to them.

NO CREDIT CHECK REQUIRED

People with bad credit or no credit often get tripped up by credit checks when applying for cards. The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn’t run a credit check. That doesn’t mean approval is automatic, though. You’ll still need income and a security deposit.

NO BANK ACCOUNT REQUIRED

Most cards require you to have a bank account, putting them out of reach for the unbanked. The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card does not. You can pay the security deposit with a money order or a Western Union payment. Credit card bills can also be paid by money order. However, if you already use these services, you know that they cost money, which adds up over time.

If you can qualify for a bank account, it’s worth applying for a low-fee checking account or a second chance checking account, not only because it could open the door to better credit cards, but also because it would save you money on fees in the long run. Getting a bank account is inevitable if you want to build credit. You’ll likely need one later if you plan on graduating to an unsecured credit card with another issuer.

ACTIVITY REPORTED TO CREDIT BUREAUS

A card that reports your activity to all three major credit bureaus, as this one does, is a good thing when you make your payments on time. The credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian — gather the information to calculate your credit score. A higher score can lead to better terms on credit cards, mortgages, car loans and other financial products.

Why you might want another card

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card credit card is a good option for those who have tried and failed to get other cards. But it’s not the best secured card hands-down. Among the potential drawbacks:

Annual fee

The $35 annual fee on the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is not outrageous, especially when some unsecured cards for people with bad credit charge fees of $75 or $99 a year. But there are numerous secured cards that charge no fee, including those below.

NO path to UPGRADE

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn’t have an option to upgrade your account to an unsecured credit card — one without a security deposit. So once your credit improves enough to qualify for a better card, you’ll have to either close your account (which could hurt your credit score by increasing your utilization ratio) or keep it open (which is costly since you’ll still be paying the annual fee and your deposit will remain tied up).

The Discover it® Secured, on the other hand, automatically starts reviewing your account after eight months to see whether you’re eligible for an upgrade. You’ll need a bank account, however, and the issuer runs a credit check. The Discover it® Secured has a $0 annual fee and even offers a cash-back rewards program.

LOWER DEPOSIT may be available

The minimum deposit on the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is $200, which gets you a credit line of $200. With the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, you could qualify for a $200 credit line with a deposit of just $49 or $99, depending on your creditworthiness. Cardholders can also pay their deposit in installments and have 80 days to fully fund the card. Make your first five payments on time, and you may gain access to a higher credit line with no additional deposit needed. The annual fee is $0. You’ll need a bank account to qualify for this card, and it, too, involves a credit check.

Is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card right for you?

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card card is great for a specific kind of consumer: One who couldn’t pass a credit check or doesn’t have a bank account. If you fall into either category, give this card a good look. Otherwise, check out other secured cards before pulling the trigger.