At Experian, one of our priorities is consumer credit and finance education. This post may contain links and references to one or more of our partners, but we provide an objective view to help you make the best decisions. For more information, see our Editorial Policy.
In this article:
The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card is a no-frills secured card option with a moderate annual fee and limited cardholder benefits. You can use it to build or rebuild credit, but you might be better off with a different secured credit card.
Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card
- Put down $200, which becomes your credit line. Then, if you qualify, double your credit line to $400 without making another deposit.
- Double your $200 credit line by making at least your minimum payment on time each month for the first 7 months your account is open
- Secured Credit Cards are great for people looking to build or rebuild credit and are available to people with all kinds of credit backgrounds
- Unlike a debit card or a pre-paid card, it helps build your credit history. We report your payment history to all three major credit-reporting agencies.
- Get your FICO® Credit Score for free each month
- Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen. Access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts.
- Card issued by Merrick Bank, Member FDIC.
|Customer service contact info for Merrick Bank|
|Reports to all three major credit bureaus||Has an annual fee for the first year, then an ongoing monthly fee|
|Making on-time monthly payments may qualify you to double your credit limit||Foreign transaction fees|
|The annual fee structure could help with budgeting||Few cardholder benefits|
If you're looking for a secured card to help you build or repair your credit, the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card hits a few of the right marks. It'll report your payments to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), ensuring you're building credit across the board. While it's easy to get approved for the card, you'll pay an annual fee and reap few cardholder benefits.
Easily to Qualify With Any Credit History
There's no minimum credit score for the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card, and you can even get approved with bad credit or no credit history at all. You will need to meet a few qualifications, however: You must be at least 18 years old, have a valid Social Security number and U.S. address, and not have a pending bankruptcy filing or outstanding tax obligations.
Once your application gets approved, you'll need to provide a refundable security deposit before Merrick Bank will open your account. The deposit, which will also serve as your credit limit, is set at $200.
Once you start using your card, Merrick Bank will report your account and payment information to all three major credit bureaus. Your on-time payments can help build and improve your credit, while paying late or not at all could hurt it.
The Annual Fee Arrangement Could Work in Your Favor
Some of the best secured cards don't charge an annual fee, while others charge application fees as well as monthly and annual fees. The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card falls somewhere in the middle.
You'll pay a $36 annual fee when you first open your account. After the end of the first year, Merrick Bank will bill you $3 per month to keep the card open and the annual fee will disappear.
Paying a monthly fee rather than a full year's fee could save you money. If, for example, you find that your credit has improved enough to qualify for an unsecured card after 18 months, you could close the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card and stop paying the monthly fee. Still, a secured card without an annual fee would alleviate the expense altogether.
Extra Features and Mobile App Convenience
The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card offers a few beneficial features and security protections, including:
- Possible credit limit increase after the first year without an additional security deposit
- Mobile app that helps you manage your account while on the go
- Zero liability for unauthorized purchases
- Get your FICO® Credit Score for free each month
- Customizable account alerts and notifications
- Your credit limit can be doubled if you responsibly manage your payments
Many credit cards offer similar protections and account management options, but the ability to get a credit limit increase on a secured card without an additional security deposit isn't particularly common. A higher limit can be helpful if you want to regularly use your card while keeping your credit utilization rate low, which can help your credit scores.
In addition to the annual (then monthly) fee, there is a 2% fee on foreign transactions of each transaction in U.S. Dollars and a 4% (or $10 minimum) cash advance fee. While these aren't abnormal nor extraordinarily high, compare them with fees on other cards you're considering.
|Purchase APR: 19.70% (Variable)||Grace period: 25 days|
|Transfer APR: N/A||Annual fee: $36 the first year, then $3 per month|
|Cash advance APR: 24.7% (Variable)||Balance transfer fee: N/A|
|Minimum interest charge: $1||Cash advance fee: 4% ($10 minimum)|
|Foreign transaction fee: 2% of each transaction in U.S. Dollars|
|Late payment fee: Up to $40|
|Returned payment fee: Up to $40|
Merrick Bank doesn't allow you to add an authorized user to the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card. If you have a friend or family member who also wants help building credit, you could recommend they review Experian's list of best secured cards (broken down by different features) to find a card that fits their needs.
Is the Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card Right for You?
The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card can help you build or rebuild your credit. It's easy to qualify for, reports to all three major bureaus, and has an annual fee policy that could save you money. A secured card that doesn't have an annual fee, however, could be a better option if you want to minimize your expenses while building credit.