If you've struggled to qualify for a secured card because of poor credit or lack of a bank account, this card is a good option. But if you aren't facing such obstacles, you'd be better served by a secured card that upgrades you to a regular unsecured card after months of responsible use and doesn't charge an annual fee.
Pros & Cons
Qualify with limited/bad credit
Has annual fee
Requires minimum deposit
This no-fee card gets a lot of attention for its rewards: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% on all other purchases. But what really makes it special is its clear path to an upgrade, with automatic account reviews starting after seven months.
Compare to Other Cards
17.64% Variable APR
23.24% Variable APR
10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card stands out as one of the few secured credit cards that you can qualify for without a bank account or a credit check. That makes it a good option for a specific type of consumer: someone looking to establish or boost credit using a secured card but struggling to qualify for one because they lack a bank account or have poor credit.
Aside from being relatively easy to get, though, the card is unextraordinary. Unlike most secured cards from major issuers, the card comes with an annual fee. It also doesn't offer an option to upgrade to an unsecured card after months of responsible use, which means you'll have to close the account to get your security deposit returned.
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card: Basics
Card type: Secured.
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 17.64% Variable APR.
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.
Why you might want the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
No credit check required
Bad credit can make it hard to qualify for credit cards — even secured credit cards, in some cases. It won't stop you from qualifying for the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, though, which doesn't run a credit check when you apply.
To be sure, approval isn’t guaranteed. To qualify, you'll still need to meet certain requirements. For example, you’ll need to:
Provide a Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number.
Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
Have a monthly income greater than your monthly expenses.
Pay a security deposit, which will be refunded if the account is closed in good standing.
Overall, though, it's relatively easy to get approved for this card. And if you've racked up rejections already, the lack of a credit check might make this card a compelling choice.
» MORE: Is the OpenSky Card legit?
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 doesn't. 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.
Activity reported to all three 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 and stay well below your credit limit. The three major consumer credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian — gather the information to calculate your credit scores.
A good credit score — one that's 690 or higher — can make life easier and save you money in the long run. For example, such a score could help you get approved for an apartment, get cell phone service without an upfront deposit, qualify for credit cards with richer rewards and perks, and get mortgages and car loans with lower interest rates.
Why you might want another card
Most secured cards from major issuers don't charge an annual fee. In contrast, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card charges an annual fee of $35, making it a more costly option — and much less appealing for those who are able to qualify for other cards. But it's still a much better option than certain unsecured cards for people with bad credit that charge annual fees of $75 or $99.
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 Credit Card, on the other hand, automatically starts reviewing your account after seven 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 Credit Card has a $0 annual fee and even offers a cash-back rewards program. Then, once your credit is in good shape, you could qualify for one of our best credit card offers.
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 Platinum Secured Credit Card, you could qualify for a $200 credit line with a deposit of just $49, $99 or $200. Cardholders can also pay their deposit in installments over time to fully fund the card. Make your payments on time, and you may gain access to a higher credit line in as little as six months with no additional deposit needed.
Is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card right for you?
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card card is great if you can't pass a credit check or don't have a bank account. Otherwise, go with a different secured card.
NerdWallet reviews credit cards with an eye toward both the quantitative and qualitative features of a card. Quantitative features are those that boil down to dollars and cents, such as fees, interest rates, rewards (including earning rates and redemption values) and the cash value of benefits and perks. Qualitative factors are those that affect how easy or difficult it is for a typical cardholder to get good value from the card. They include such things as the ease of application, simplicity of the rewards structure, the likelihood of using certain features, and whether a card is well-suited to everyday use or is best reserved for specific purchases. Our star ratings serve as a general gauge of how each card compares with others in its class, but star ratings are intended to be just one consideration when a consumer is choosing a credit card. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.