PCB Secured Visa® Card Review 

PCB Secured Visa® Card Review 

November 10, 2020         Written By Bill Hardekopf

The PCB Secured Visa® has a modest annual fee, high credit limit potential, and extensive grace period. It is a solid card for building credit or learning smart credit habits. To find out if this is the right card for you, check out the details and review of the PCB Secured Visa® Card.

Key Features for the PCB Secured Visa® Card 

Thinking about applying for a PCB Secured Visa®? Here are some of the highlights:

  • Credit limit equal to your security deposit, between $200 and $1,000
  • Credit limit may be extended to up to $5,000 after the first year
  • $39 annual fee
  • A fixed APR of 18.90%, which is avoidable if you pay off your balance within the 25-day grace period

For a complete list of PCB Secured Card features, please review the Terms and Conditions.

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Pros about the PCB Secured Visa® Card 

The 25-day grace period is a big perk for the PCB Secured Visa®. This means that you have 25 days to pay your balance off without incurring interest. There are some secured cards that do not have a grace period, which means you’re constantly paying extra money to use your own money. With this grace period, you can enjoy the benefits of a secured card without the extra interest charges if you pay off your entire balance on time and in full each month.

Another upside to the PCB Secured Visa® Card is the straightforward annual fee. It’s a flat charge of $39 per year. Some cards charge an annual fee for the first year, then a reduced annual fee for the second year. However, they then add a monthly fee to the card, bringing the total charges higher than they were with the first year’s annual fee.

The PCB Secured Visa® is easy to qualify for, and you can complete an application online. Get an answer in as little as 60 seconds, and immediately arrange for your security deposit. You’ll have a fully-functioning credit card in the mail within days. It’s that simple!

Cons about the PCB Secured Visa® Card 

The interest rate for the PCB Secured Visa® is somewhat high for a secured credit card. For example, the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card has an APR of just 9.99% (Fixed), compared to 18.90% with the PCB card. But the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card has an interest rate of 19.99% (V).

The annual fee is fairly standard when compared to other secured cards—not too high and not too low. As with most cards though, the annual fee is charged right away. That means will have to pay $39 as soon as your account is open. You may prefer a lower annual fee so you have less upfront costs.

Another downside to consider is the pure structure of a secured credit card. If you do not have money to fund a line of credit, the PCB Secured Visa® may not be right for you.

Is the PCB Secured Visa® a Good Secured Card? 

As a whole, the PCB Secured Visa® has features that are in line with other cards in the industry. It offers a long grace period, a modest annual fee, and avoidable interest when you pay off your balance each month. It is a good option for someone with bad credit, no credit, or limited credit because of the easy approval process and consistent credit reporting. However, this card does not offer any rewards, and it may not be ideal for someone with good to excellent credit. If you are someone with a much healthier credit score, a better alternative for you might be the Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card, which offers up to 1.5% cash back for most purchases.

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How Do Secured Cards Work? 

Secured credit cards function mostly like traditional credit cards. You spend money from your credit limit and repay the balance. The card issuer reports payments to the credit bureaus, and under the right circumstances, you’ll see an increase in your credit score.

However, there is one key difference in the way secured cards work. You must provide a security deposit to fund the credit limit. In most cases, if you deposit $600 to the card, you have a $600 credit limit. If you deposit $1,500, you have a $1,500 credit limit.

  • You provide a security deposit that acts as your credit limit
  • Use the card every month just like you would a standard credit card
  • Pay off your balance within the grace period to avoid interest and maintain positive credit history
  • The card issuer reports your payments to the credit bureaus which will have an effect on your credit score
  • If you cancel your card, you get back your security deposit within 30 days (minus applicable fees and any charges made to the card)
  • You may also get a chance to upgrade to an unsecured card after persistent on-time payments

Why would you get a credit card that you have to fund? Because it’s something almost anyone can qualify for. If you have bad credit, no credit, past bankruptcies, repossessions, or other credit struggles, you can still qualify for a secured credit card. The card issuer is willing to look past those issues because they have almost no risk involved. If you default on a payment, they are not out any money. If you cancel your account, they refund money that was already yours. It’s a win-win situation.

Another factor to keep in mind is that secured credit cards teach you how to manage a credit card without the fear of debt. If you just can’t keep up with the payments, cancel the card and get your remaining money back. If you make a big purchase that takes a few months to repay, you’re not worried about debt. You’re just paying yourself back through a credit-reporting middleman.

Things to Consider before Getting a Secured Credit Card 

Before you apply for the PCB Secured Visa® or any other secured credit card, examine the fees closely. Most secured cards have annual fees and/or monthly fees that you will have to pay regardless of how often you use your card. If you plan to make cash withdrawals, review the cash advance fees and ATM fees. These may affect which secured card is right for you.

Some secured cards do not have a grace period for payments. This is a stretch of time in which interest is not applied to the account balance, as long as it is paid off in full. If you pay off your card each month and your card has a grace period, you’ll never have to pay interest. Without that grace period though, you’ll pay daily interest on the balance, no matter how big or small it may be.

Yet another factor to consider is the deposit limit on the card. If you want a credit limit of $3,000 and the card only supports $1,000, it may not be a sufficient card for you. Check out other secured credit cards to see if they better align with your needs.

Finally, think about how much money you can realistically spare for your deposit right now. If making a deposit is going to cause you to skip rent this month, now is not the right time to get a secured credit card. Wait until you’re on time with all your bills and still have steady savings in your account. Then you can use the money to get a secured card.

Don’t Have a Security Deposit? Consider a Credit Builder Account 

If you do not have funds to put toward a secured credit card, there is an alternative solution for building credit with no money upfront. It’s called a credit builder account. Two products to consider are the Self Credit Builder and Credit Strong Credit Builder Account. Here’s how they work:

  • You apply for a “loan” that you make monthly payments for, but you do not receive any money/debt upfront.
  • You make monthly payments towards this “loan,” and the bank deposits a corresponding amount of money into a savings account.
  • The bank reports your payments to all three credit bureaus to help build your credit.
  • You can cancel any time, or you can pay off the loan to unlock your savings.
  • In most cases, you do not need good credit to qualify for a credit builder account.

credit builder account gives you a chance to boost your credit score and save money at the same time. When your savings account is unlocked, you could choose to spend the money or save it for future expenses. You could continue to deposit your payments into that account to build up your savings. Yet another option would be to use the savings to open a secure credit card. Continue to build credit from the funds, and watch your opportunities flourish!

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 10, 2020. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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bill-hardekopf

About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of LowCards.com and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.