U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card: Why You Can Do Better

U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card: Why You Can Do Better

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card is a poor credit card by most standards. It doesn’t give consumers enough benefits to warrant its $0 fee. There are plenty of better options for consumers with bad credit that don’t charge annual fees and actually provide rewards on everyday purchases.

This card is good for...

  • People with N/A credit who need a credit card
  • Individuals building out their credit history

This card is bad for...

  • Consumers who want rewards on their purchases
  • Those who want to avoid fees

Review: Should You Apply For The U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card?

The U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card is a run-of-the-mill credit card, and most consumers can do better by seeking out other offers. The card is targeted at people with N/A credit, however, that’s no excuse to offer so little to consumers in terms of benefits, especially in today’s card market. There are plenty of secured credit cards, including the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One, that provide you with significantly better perks at a lower cost.

The major problem with the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card is its $0 annual fee. Despite paying that much per year, you don’t get many benefits that justify paying extra. A few years ago, this was the standard for secured credit cards. However, today you can sign up for credit cards with no annual fee that will give you cash back rewards – even if you are someone with bad credit. This is especially key for the type of demographic that needs a secured card. Individuals who find themselves applying for the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card are likely to be in challenging economic circumstances. They don’t need an extra annual charge weighing them down, especially when it can be avoided.

All this is not to say the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card has nothing to offer. The card does provide their user with the standard slew of benefits you’d get with most credit cards in the United States. If, for some reason, none of the no-fee secured credit cards don’t appeal to you, this is still a valid option. Using this card responsibly, over a long period of time, will still improve your credit score. When it comes to secured cards, we often don’t ask for much more than that.

Bottom Line: Even if you have a bad credit score, you can get significantly better credit cards than the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card. The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One comes with $0 Annual Fee, and is an arguably better deal for consumers. Read more in our comparison section below.

U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card Benefits & Features

The U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card provides a line of credit to people with bad credit -- those who have never before had any other credit card or have a FICO score below 600. The card has no rewards and doesn’t offer any promotional interest rates, like you might find with most credit cards these days. Instead, the major benefit of the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card is that it allows you to build or re-establish your credit history.

Before you open this card, you need to put up a minimum deposit of $300. The most you can deposit in an account is $5,000. Your line of credit will be equal to the amount you deposit.

Having a U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card account also affords you other types of credit card benefits, including zero fraud liability, fraud protection and auto rental insurance. These are perks that come standard with most credit cards in the U.S.

  • Zero Fraud Liability: If you lose your U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card or have it stolen, you won’t be responsible for any unauthorized transactions – provided the bank catches them or you report it.
  • Auto Rental insurance: Whenever you rent a car, and charge the full price to the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card, you can automatically receive free collision insurance. However, you need to turn down the collision damage waiver offered by the rental company. Make sure you call U.S. Bank and confirm what types of things are and aren’t covered under your policy. You can check out our guide on credit card rental insurance to learn more.

How Does The U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card Compare To Other Credit Cards?

You can only judge a credit card to be good or bad in the context of other available options. To that end, we compared the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card to some other credit cards for people with bad credit.

U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card vs Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is one of our favorite credit cards for people with bad credit. It does a few things significantly better than the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card. Provided you always pay off your balance in full and on time, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card won’t become an extra financial burden for you. On top of that, the card also provides cash back rewards for its users. With the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, you get 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. This is unusual for secured credit cards. Most other cards, including the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card, don’t offer any rewards. These two factors alone are enough of a reason to recommend the Discover it® Secured Credit Card over the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card.

U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card vs Secured Mastercard® from Capital One

The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is another solid option for anyone looking for a secured credit card with $0 annual fee. While this card doesn’t have any rewards program, it does have a more flexible credit line. The minimum deposit is just $49 – significantly lower than what you have to put down for the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card (you'll be required to make a refundable minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200). Your credit line can also be greater than your deposit. Be aware that to pay your deposit, you’ll need access to an authorized bank account. Lastly, it’s worth noting that the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One comes with all the other bells and whistles of a credit card, including auto rental insurance and fraud coverage, as we discussed above. Therefore, you won't be missing out on anything significant if you go with the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One over the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card.

Joe Resendiz

Joe Resendiz is a former investment banking analyst for Goldman Sachs, where he covered public sector and infrastructure financing. During his time on Wall Street, Joe worked closely with the debt capital markets team, which allowed him to gain unique insights into the credit market. Joe is currently a research analyst who covers credit cards and the payments industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he majored in finance.

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How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).