OpenSky Secured Visa Review: No Credit Check Necessary
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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 an alternative with no fee and a better upgrade path.
Qualify with limited/bad credit
Has annual fee
Requires minimum deposit
Compare to Other Cards
21.89% Variable APR
27.74% Variable APR
10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
Recommended Credit Score
300689poor - average
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Detailed review: OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
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 isn't what you'd call extraordinary. Unlike secured cards from most major issuers, the card charges an annual fee. Unlike some other popular secured options, the card offers no rewards that could potentially help offset the fee. There is a path to graduate to a regular "unsecured" card, although that card is similarly lackluster.
If you can qualify for a bank account, it’s worth applying for a low-fee checking account or a second chance checking account. Such an account could open the door to better credit cards and save you money on fees, compared with what you might otherwise spend on money orders, prepaid debit cards or check-cashing. You'll likely need one later if you plan on graduating to an unsecured credit card with another issuer.
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 21.89% 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.
Benefits and perks
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 upgraded or 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. (With the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, you can track your progress toward that better standing, too, since you have access to your FICO score through your account.)
Drawbacks and considerations
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.
Limited upgrade path
For years, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card didn't have an option to upgrade your account to an unsecured credit card — one without a security deposit. That appeared to change in 2021 with the launch of the unsecured OpenSky Visa® Gold Card. According to the issuer, Capital Bank, secured cardholders may be eligible for the Gold card in as little as six months if they demonstrate responsible credit behavior.
The ability to upgrade is good for a couple of reasons. It means you won't have to keep hundreds of dollars tied up in a security deposit indefinitely. And if you can convert your secured card to an unsecured option without having to close your account, that can be good for your credit score, since closing an account can have an impact on the "length of credit history" aspects of scoring formulas, as well as on your .
OpenSky doesn't provide much information about the Gold card, though. Capital Bank says applications are accepted by invitation only. Reports from OpenSky cardholders who have been offered the Gold card suggest that, at least in some cases, it charges an annual fee of $59. It's also not clear whether the offer involved a true account upgrade or simply the opportunity to apply for an unsecured card.
Things are much more straightforward with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. Discover 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.
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.
How to decide if it's 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.