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Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Card review

Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Card review

Published: October 3, 2018
Published: October 3, 2018
Ratings Policy
Credit Building Rating:
3.6 rating
3.6 rating
3.6 / 5
Cost of Membership 4.8
Ease of Building Credit 2.8
APR 1.5
Features 0.0

In a Nutshell:

Chopper enthusiasts stand to benefit the most from the Harley Davidson Secured Visa credit card, which rewards cardholders with one point per dollar and the chance to win a motorcycle with every purchase.

Average cost of membership per year ($3,600 annual spend)
$0 + $36 in rewards

Security deposit required
$300-$5,000

Initial credit limit
$300-$5,000 (match deposit)

Access to higher credit line?
Review at 12 months to move to an unsecured card

APR
24.74% (variable)

Annual fee
$0

Other rates and fees

  • Balance transfer fee: 3% or $5 (whichever is greater)
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2% in U.S. dollars or 3% in a foreign currency
  • Cash advance APR: 25.74% (variable)
  • Cash advance fee: 3% or $10 (whichever is greater)
  • Late payment fee: Up to $38
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $35

Rewards

  • 1 point per dollar on every purchase
  • Chance to win a motorcycle with every purchase

Features: $0 fraud liability, car rental insurance, emergency card services, VantageScore®

Consumers with fair or poor credit scores often turn to secured credit cards as a way to get back in the credit game while they work to qualify for financial products with better terms and rewards. The Harley Davidson Secured Visa credit card is one such option that gives you the opportunity to earn money back each year through its cash back rewards program.

Standard security deposit

Unfortunately, you need to have some funds in the bank to open the Harley Davidson Secured Visa card. The security deposit required for the card ranges from $300 to $5,000. The $300 minimum is on the high side for a secured credit card.

Up to $5,000 credit limit

On the plus side, if you have a lot of extra cash at your disposal, you can start off with a very high limit with the Harley Davidson Secured Visa card. The card allows you to choose a credit limit as high as $5,000, as long as you secure the entirety of that credit line with a deposit. This is a huge advantage if you are trying to improve your credit: Having a larger credit line can help lower your credit utilization ratio, a major factor in your credit score.

Also, you may be able to graduate to the card’s unsecured version if you consistently demonstrate responsible card usage for 12 months with that larger limit (and with your deposit fully refunded). An unsecured card opens up access to higher rewards, a potentially lower interest rate and a wider range of travel and card protection benefits.

Harley Davidson rewards

The Harley Davidson Secured Visa card’s rewards program is essentially a watered-down version of what it offers to customers on the higher end of the credit spectrum. You’ll score one H-D Genuine Rewards point per dollar on every purchase made with the card; plus, you’ll be entered for a chance to win a Harley Davidson motorcycle every time you swipe the card. You’ll also have the chance to win a $500 Harley Davidson gift card at the end of the year. (Note: There’s one drawing every month; the sweepstakes ends Dec. 31, 2018.)

You’ll need a minimum 2,500 H-D Genuine Rewards points to cash out (equal to a $25 rewards certificate or gift card). Rewards, which can be combined with other discounts and promotions, can only be redeemed for gear, accessories, service and more at Harley Davidson stores or at the Harley Davidson website. 

Cost of ownership

With no annual fee, it costs nothing to open a Harley Davidson Secured Visa account – other than the initial security deposit, of course. And, provided you pay your balance in full and on time every month, you won’t be subject to additional interest, fees or penalties (more on that later).

We estimate that a cardholder who spends around $3,600 annually on the card can earn around $36 in rewards per year over three years. For a secured card, ending up in the black at the end of the year isn’t a bad deal.

High APR

Like most secured credit cards, the Harley Davidson Secured Visa comes with a hefty APR of 24.74 percent. Since it can be costly to carry a balance, it’s even more important to refrain from charging more than you can afford to pay off every month.

Typical fees

In addition to no annual fee, the Harley Davidson Secured Visa doesn’t introduce a penalty APR should you fail to make a payment on time. It does, however, charge a $38 late payment fee, along with a returned payment fee of up to $35. In other words, you’ll definitely want to be diligent about staying on top of your payments to avoid eating into any rewards you earn.

Meanwhile, taking a cash advance will subject you to a fee of $10 or 3 percent, whichever is greater. The card also charges foreign transaction fees of 2 percent in U.S. dollars or 3 percent in foreign currencies. You’ll want to leave the card at home when traveling overseas and stick to using your debit card whenever you find yourself in need of cash.

Harley Davidson Secured card benefits

Unfortunately, the Harley Davidson Secured Visa is a little light on benefits, even for a secured card. The card is missing many basic protections that are standard for most credit cards, such as extended warranties and price protection. However, the card does offer a few good benefits:

  • VantageScore – When you enroll in Online Banking, you can obtain your TransUnion credit score for free. VantageScore can help you implement goals to improve your credit score. You’ll also receive alerts anytime there are changes to your TransUnion credit report.
  • $0 fraud liability – You’re never liable for charges made if your card is lost or stolen.
  • Emergency cash and card replacement – If your card is lost or stolen while traveling, you’ll receive an emergency replacement and a cash advance.
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver – This benefit offers insurance coverage for car rentals made with your Harley Davidson Secured Visa card. It entitles you to reimbursement for damage or theft up to the actual cash value of most rental vehicles.

Approval odds

The Harley Davidson Secured Visa card is specifically designed for cardholders with no credit or poor credit histories, so the odds of approval are high for most consumers. That said, you do need to be at least 18 years old to apply, and if you have serious delinquencies on your credit report – such as a non-discharged or very recent bankruptcy – there’s a chance you’ll be declined.

Why get the Harley Davidson Secured card?

  • You already own a Harley Davidson motorcycle (or you really want one).
  • You can afford at least a $300 security deposit.
  • You’re looking for a card to help build or rebuild your credit.
  • You want the opportunity to move to an unsecured card after a year of responsible card usage.
  • You don’t plan to carry a balance from month to month.

How to use the Harley Davidson Secured card:

  • Make all payments on time to avoid incurring penalty fees (not to mention a hit to your credit report). Consider signing up for autopay so you don’t forget. Making timely payments is one of the best ways to establish a healthy credit history.
  • Consider making a security deposit higher than the $300 minimum. Doing so can help improve your credit utilization ratio, another major factor in your overall credit score.
  • Avoid taking cash advances, the fees for which can quickly increase your total amount owed.
  • Pay your regular balance in full every month to avoid accruing higher-than-average interest charges. With an APR of 24.74 percent, carrying a balance could make it more difficult to demonstrate your reliability to card issuers – not to mention it’ll eat into your H-D Genuine Rewards.

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