Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Review

The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® comes with a low APR and is to qualify for, making it the perfect card to start building credit responsibly.
  • Annual Fee:
    $48
  • Regular APR:
    9.99%
  • Recommended Credit Score:
    300 to 620

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A healthy credit score is a cornerstone of financial stability. Having a good credit score allows you to take out loans and access funds when you need them. This, in turn, provides relief in an unexpected financial crisis and lets you capitalize on investment opportunities when they arise.

Unfortunately, those with little credit history or bad credit often feel stuck. They can’t qualify for many loans or credit cards, and without these, they are unable to build their credit.

If you are in this scenario, you may be wondering what your options are. Enter the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card.

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Overview

The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card is a secured credit card designed to help cardholders build their credit.

A secured credit card is a credit card that requires a deposit. The deposit mitigates risk for the financial institution, against which they offer you a line of credit.

Secured cards are almost always easier to qualify for but come with details you need to know. They also tend to have lower interest rates and better overall terms compared to unsecured cards.

That’s why the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card is worth considering if you’re looking to build your credit.

Let’s look at the card’s pros and cons.

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • APR rate is one of the lowest on the market
  • APR won’t increase if you miss a payment
  • Flexible credit limit
  • No credit check required
  • Can increase credit limit at any time

Cons:

  • Must put down at least a $200 deposit
  • $48 annual fee
  • 3% fee for foreign transactions
  • No rewards
  • Up to $38 late fee

What Is the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card?

The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card is a card designed to help cardholders build their credit scores.

Whether you have bad credit or simply lack credit history, the Gold Preferred card can help boost your credit rating.

This makes the card a great option for those looking for a way to fix their credit to qualify for loans and other cards in the future.

How Does the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Card Work?

The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card works by leveraging a deposit against your credit line like all secured credit cards.

To receive the Gold Preferred card, you must make a minimum deposit of $200. This deposit then becomes your initial line of credit.

While the minimum is set at $200, you are free to deposit up to $1,000 initially. As time passes, you can add further deposits, increasing your credit limit up to $5,000.

There is no credit check because there is less risk involved, making this credit card great for starters and those looking to build credit responsibly.

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Card Features and Benefits

The flexible credit line is another wonderful feature of the card. Cardholders are free to set their credit limit via deposits.

This means that the Gold Preferred card can function however you need it to. Whether you want to keep the limit low to avoid risk while building your credit, or you want to extend your credit so you have funds ready in case of an emergency, the Gold Preferred card has you covered.

The low APR also means you don’t have to stress too much about paying off your balance should funds be a little tight one month. This makes the card a great, low-risk option for credit-building.

No Credit Check Necessary

One of the obvious benefits of the Gold Preferred card is that it is easy to qualify for. Because there is no credit check required, applicants need to apply, fund the card with a direct deposit, and begin using it.

This means that applicants with bad credit can escape the endless cycle of not qualifying for loans or cards, allowing them to increase their credit scores. The Gold Preferred card makes it easy to start building your credit.

The lack of a credit check also means that applying for the card won’t impact your credit score. You won’t have to take a hit just to start building your credit.

Low Annual Fees

While there is an annual fee involved with the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Card, it is relatively low compared to other cards on the market.

The annual fee is $48. While this may initially seem like a bad deal, the fee is minor and accompanies a very low APR, meaning it is often a better deal than other competitors when played out over time.

Low APRs

Speaking of APRs, the Gold Preferred card has one of the lowest on the market.

At only 9.99%, Gold Preferred cardholders enjoy peace of mind knowing their credit card bills won’t suddenly get out of control. If you can’t pay off your bill all at once, it will result in nothing more than a minor financial setback.

Even if you miss a payment, the APR won’t increase. Should you use the card as an emergency fund, you can do so knowing there is little risk involved in doing so.

Reports to All Three Credit Bureaus

If you’re looking into the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card, you’re probably doing so to build your credit. Luckily, the card excels at this.

The Gold Preferred card reports directly to all three credit bureaus. This means that despite being easy to get, using the card is an effective way to boost your credit score so you can qualify for other cards and loans in the future.

Is the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Worth It?

Whether or not the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card is worth it depends on your situation.

The card is very low risk and quite easy to qualify for. Because of this, it is great for almost anyone looking to build their credit.

It’s also great for those looking for a very low-risk credit card, as the card has low APRs that won’t increase even if a payment is missed.

That said, the card might not be a good fit for those who are very tight on cash, as it does require an up-front deposit of $200.

Those who have great credit may also want to go with a different card. While the APR is quite low, well-qualified applicants may be able to get a card with a similar APR, no annual fee, and luxurious rewards.

That said, the card remains a great option for most people with low credit scores.

How Does the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Card Compare to Other Cards?

Now that you have a good grasp on the Gold Preferred card itself let’s look at how it compares to some of its competitors.

#1. Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® vs. First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured credit card is similar to the Gold Preferred card in many ways.

Both cards are secured with a deposit, avoid an initial credit check, have APRs of 9.99%, and report to all three credit bureaus.

That said, the First Progress Platinum Prestige card does vary slightly.

For starters, the First Progress Platinum Prestige card has an initial deposit range of $200 to $2,000, meaning you can access a higher credit line right out of the gate.

However, the Platinum Prestige card doesn’t allow you to increase the credit line beyond that $2,000. Additionally, the Platinum Prestige card has a higher annual fee.

Ultimately the two cards are pretty much the same. If you are trying to build your credit as fast as possible right away, you may like that the First Progress Platinum Prestige card has a higher initial credit line.

>> More: First Progress Platinum Prestige Credit Card Review

#2. Citi® Secured Mastercard® vs. Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred®

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is another option for those looking to build their credit.

There are two major differences between the Citi® Secured Mastercard® and the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred®.

The first is the annual fee. While the Gold Preferred card has a yearly fee of $48, the Citi Secured card has no annual fee at all.

That said, the APR for the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is significantly higher, averaging around 22.49%. This means your credit card bills will be higher if you can’t pay off your balance.

Which card is best for you depends on how you manage your finances. If you know you will always pay off your monthly balance, the Citi card will allow you to avoid annual fees.

If you plan to have your balance rollover consistently, the Gold Preferred card is a much safer choice.

#3. Secured Mastercard® from Capital One vs. Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred®

The Secured Mastercard® from Capital Oneis similar to the Citi® Secured Mastercard®.

The Capital One Secured Mastercard has no annual fee and an APR that comes in at 26.99%.

This card is best for those with bad credit but knows they can pay off their bills each month. Doing so will allow you to benefit from the lack of fees while avoiding the high-interest rates.

The card reports to all three credit bureaus, so you can rest assured you’ll improve your credit score when utilizing this credit card.

#4. Self Visa® Credit Card vs. Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred®

The Self Visa® Credit Cardis another secured credit card to help holders build their credit scores.

Like the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred®, the Self Visa® Credit Card doesn’t do a credit check upon application. Instead, applicants simply secure their credit line with a deposit.

The Self Visa has a minimum deposit of $100, making it a bit more accessible for those who are strapped for cash.

The annual fee is lower than the Gold Preferred card, sitting at just $25 a year; however, the APR is 23.74%.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I Use My Applied Bank Credit Card Anywhere?

The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® works anywhere Visa is accepted. As one of the largest card companies, this means your card will work almost anywhere.

There is no minimum credit score for the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred®. Because it is a secured card, a credit check isn’t necessary.

So long as you can make the deposit, you should be able to qualify for the Gold Preferred card.

What is the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Annual Fee?

The annual fee for the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® is just $48 a year.

Is the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® a Good Credit Card?

The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® is a great credit card for those looking to build their credit. It is easy to qualify for and relatively inexpensive.

That said, applicants with good credit scores should look for a rewards credit card or travel credit card.

Bottom Line: Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Review

Overall, the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® credit card is a fantastic way for those with poor credit to begin to build their scores.

There is no initial credit check, making the card easy to qualify for. The credit line is flexible and based entirely on the deposit used to secure the card.

Annual fees are low, and APRs are below the market average. All of this makes the card a great, low-risk way to begin building your credit so you can go on to qualify for other cards and loans.

Bradon Matthews
Bradon Matthews

Bradon Mathews is a personal finance writer & product analyst with a breadth of experience. He enjoys analyzing market information and trends to help you make sense of the complex and ever-changing world of finance. His passion is providing practical advice so you can feel more confident managing your money. Bradon attended Colorado State University where he studied Philosophy.