If you are looking for a secured credit card to help to improve your credit standing then the visa secured card issued by the Fifth Third bank is worth considering. It actually comes with a number of free benefits which are not commonly associated with secured credit cards, and it isn’t designed to add as many fees as possible as cards associated with sub prime lenders who offer bad credit cards tend to be. The Fifth Third bank is not a sub prime lender but an internet based bank headquartered in Cincinnati Ohio, which offers a secured card to improve credit scores amidst its range of credit cards.
There is no indication from Fifth Third if the card is extended to those with bad credit, but it is targeted to those who want to improve their credit standing through credit card use reported to the three main credit bureaus. To secure a card it is necessary to place a minimum security deposit of $495 in an interest bearing savings account held with Fifth Third. You then service the card by using free internet banking.
The Fifth Third secured card is open to applicants over 21 years of age. Anyone under 21 will need to have their application endorsed by a co-applicant who will serve as guarantor, even though the bank already holds a security deposit. It offers a grace period of 21 days.
The card is subject to an annual fee of $24 which is relatively low in comparison to some secured credit cards, but the APR is rather steep, based on the current variable rate of 23.99%. However the penalty APR is only 1% higher, but will remain in effect indefinitely if it is ever applied. Typically penalty APRs are applied when any payments are made late to the account, or returned, or if the credit limit is breached. Late payment charges are pretty standard at $19 for balances under $250, $39 for balances over $250, and a set returned payment fee of $35.
You won’t earn rewards points with the card but you will be able to obtain discounts whenever you use it for purchases from participating SmartSavings retailers. Also if you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card you will receive free cell phone protection if your card is stolen or accidentally damaged. The card also offers purchase protection for 90 days.
If you find that unsecured credit is not available to you at this time and you need to use secured credit first, then the Fifth Third secured credit card is a viable option to start with as it has none of the associations linked to the cards issued by sub prime lenders, and the annual fee is low. If you intend to pay off your monthly balance in full then the APR is of no matter to you, making this a reputable secured credit card to choose.