|Credit Building Rating:||3.0 / 5|
|Cost of Membership||2.5|
|Ease of Building Credit||2.9|
In a Nutshell:
With a relatively low APR and annual fee, the OpenSky Secured Visa credit card is a great card for those with bad to fair credit. You won’t earn any rewards, but you’ll keep additional charges to a minimum, and you can qualify for the card without a credit check.
Average cost of membership per year ($3,600 annual spend)
Security deposit required
Initial credit limit
Access to higher credit line?
Other rates and fees
Features: $0 fraud liability, auto rental insurance
While the OpenSky Secured Visa is far from the best secured credit card on the market, it carries a handful of compelling advantages for credit-builders, including a relatively low annual fee (at least compared to many unsecured credit-building options) and the ability to put down a large deposit and get a matching high credit limit, which could make it a bit easier to keep your credit utilization in check and fast-track your credit-building efforts. The card also stands out as a starter card with an especially low entry barrier, with no credit check required for approval.
On the downside, though, the card features next to nothing in the way of perks and doesn’t offer the sort of upgrade or “graduation” options you can find with secured cards from more popular issuers. While the OpenSky Secured card can certainly get the job done if you have bad credit or no credit history and are looking for a stopgap credit solution while you work on your score, there are definitely more rewarding, less expensive secured card options out there.
See related: How a secured credit card helps your credit score
Why you might want the OpenSky Secured Visa
Whether you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit, the OpenSky Secured Visa should be a decent option thanks to its relatively low cost and ease of approval, as well as its generous maximum credit limit. While you can certainly find cheaper secured card options, the OpenSky Secured Visa should give you plenty of room to demonstrate your creditworthiness while keeping costs in check.
No credit check required
If a middling credit score has left you struggling to get approved for a credit card or you’re wary of the credit checks that come with each new card application, then perhaps the most appealing feature of the OpenSky Secured card is its exceptionally simple approvals process. Not only is the card available to people with poor credit or no credit score, but you also won’t have to face any sort of credit check when you apply – not even a “soft pull” of your credit report. Indeed, you don’t even need a bank account of your own to be approved for the card, as you can make your initial deposit via money order or have someone else send in a check on your behalf. This makes the OpenSky Visa uniquely accessible for people with limited credit and other financial tools and history.
See related: Best soft pull credit cards
Initial credit limit up to $3,000
Like most secured cards, the OpenSky Secured Visa requires a refundable security deposit upfront to determine your initial credit limit. At $200, the low-end of the range is about average for a secured card, and should make it fairly accessible even if you’re short on cash. However, the card stands out for its maximum deposit (and, as a result, its maximum credit limit). You can deposit as much as $3,000 and get a matching credit limit – quite high for a secured card.
If you have the money for a larger deposit, a high limit secured card like the OpenSky Visa can make a huge difference when it comes to improving your credit score. That’s because credit utilization – the amount of money you’ve borrowed relative to your total available credit – is the second-biggest credit scoring factor, accounting for 30% of your FICO credit score, second only to payment history at 35%. The lower you keep your credit utilization, the better it is for your score, so if you start with a high credit limit, you should have an easier time keeping that ratio in check.
You can also request a credit limit increase on the OpenSky Secured Visa even after you’ve opened your account. While you’ll need to add more money to your deposit to fund the credit limit increase, this is a welcome feature if you don’t have a ton of cash to set aside as a deposit when you first apply for the OpenSky Secured card, since you always have the option of boosting credit limit with a future deposit.
The lower-than-average APR definitely sets the OpenSky Secured Visa apart from other secured cards. While many cards that are designed for those with bad to fair credit charge upward of 20% or even 25%, the OpenSky Secured Visa only charges 17.64% (variable). In fact, 17.64% is only a bit higher than the national average credit card APR, making it a great choice if you suspect you may struggle to pay off your balance in full each month. Best of all, everyone who is approved for this card gets this same APR, so you don’t have to worry about falling toward the high end of a range to get a decent rate.
Relatively low annual fee
While there are a number of secured cards out there that charge no annual fee, the OpenSky Secured Visa card’s annual fee of $35 is still relatively low. Plenty of secured cards – especially those targeted to people with poor credit – will charge $50 or even $75 per year. That’s not to mention unsecured credit-building cards, which often charge as much as $90 in annual fees, with some charging even more in the second year. If you’re looking to keep costs low but are willing to trade a modest annual fee for a chance at a higher credit limit, a lower-than-average APR and the ability to completely avoid a credit check, the OpenSky Secured card may be a good option.
Why another card might be a better fit
While the OpenSky Secured Visa beats out plenty of unsecured credit-building cards when it comes to cost, credit limit potential and ease of approval, it’s unlikely to be your best credit-building option. That’s because you can easily find secured cards that charge no annual fee, including some that offer rewards on some or all of your purchases, allowing you to not only avoid fees but even earn money with the card while you work on your credit. And since the OpenSky Secured card offers no path to an unsecured card, you’ll need to put in fresh applications for new cards should you want to level up your card portfolio in the future.
No rewards program and few perks
The OpenSky Secured Visa doesn’t have any sort of rewards program and only includes basic benefits. You’ll enjoy $0 fraud liability and auto rental insurance, but not much else. If earning rewards or scoring extra perks is important to you, this is probably not your best choice. While these benefits are far from common among credit-building cards, they’re not unheard of either. Some of the best secured cards – including the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, not only charge no annual fee, but also earn at least 1% cash back on everyday purchases.
You can completely avoid an annual fee with other secured cards
Though the OpenSky Secured Visa card’s annual fee is reasonable and beats out the cost of many credit-building cards – both secured and unsecured – it’s still a cost you can easily avoid. Plenty of secured cards charge no annual fee, including many of the best high limit cards out there, such as the Discover it Secured, U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card*, Citi® Secured Mastercard®, Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card and more. Plus, if you don’t have any activity on your OpenSky Secured Visa account for a year, you’ll be charged $10 per month as an inactive account fee. To avoid this charge, you’ll need to continue to make payments using this card – even small ones – until you are ready to close the account.
No “graduation” path
Unlike several popular secured cards from issuers like Discover, Citi and Bank of America, the OpenSky Secured Visa does not offer any path to “graduate” to an unsecured card. If you’re eager to build credit with a secured card and move on to a more lucrative cash back, rewards or travel credit card, opting for a secured card that offers a clear way forward with an issuer that offers a variety of card types is a smart approach that could save you the trouble of a new round of applications when you’re ready to upgrade.
How does the OpenSky Secured Visa compare to other credit-building cards?
Though the OpenSky Secured Visa is a decent low-cost credit-building option, it’s certainly not the cheapest or most rewarding. Even if you value features like a high maximum credit limit, these alternatives can fit the bill:
|Rewards rate||Rewards rate|
|Other things to know||Other things to know||Other things to know|
OpenSky Secured Visa card vs. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
If you’d rather not put up the $200 deposit required by the OpenSky Secured Visa, Capital One offers a card with a lower initial deposit requirement. With the Capital One Platinum Secured card, you can put down as little as $49 and still get a starting credit limit of $200, all while paying no annual fee. The downside is, as with the OpenSky Secured Visa, you won’t be earning any rewards.
OpenSky Secured Visa card vs. Discover it® Secured Credit Card
The Discover it Secured Credit Card earns 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, 1% thereafter) and 1% on all other purchases, making it a great fit if you spend more in those categories. Plus, Discover will match all your cash back at the end of your first year, which is a nice reward to look forward to and definitely gives the card an edge over the OpenSky Secured Visa, which offers no rewards.
OpenSky Secured Visa card vs. Petal 1 card
The Petal 1 card is a terrific option for credit-builders since it’s available even with bad credit, charges no annual fee, does not require a security deposit and offers a minimum starting credit limit of $300 (up to $5,000). The card is also notable for its flexible approvals process: The issuer can consider more than just your credit score when you apply and may take into account other financial data like your bill payment history. This will be a big help if you’ve had some credit missteps in the past but are otherwise on solid financial ground.
How to use the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card:
- Make as large of a security deposit as possible to boost your credit limit and improve your credit score.
- Make payments regularly to avoid an inactive account fee.
- Pay off your balance in full whenever possible to avoid racking up interest charges.
Is the OpenSky Secured Visa right for you?
If you’re looking for a relatively low-cost credit-building card that offers a chance at a higher-than-average credit limit and allows you to apply with no credit check, the OpenSky Secured Visa will get the job done, allowing you to work on your credit score and keep your credit utilization in check without drowning in fees. But if you’re willing to face the temporary credit score drop that comes from the hard credit pull required by most credit card applications, several competing secured cards carry a lower cost, better perks and a more promising path forward.
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