U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card review: A no-frills tool to help build credit

Young woman with headphones and credit card online shopping at laptop on sofaImage: Young woman with headphones and credit card online shopping at laptop on sofa

In a Nutshell

Building good credit means learning to manage credit wisely. The U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card offers simple features that may help you build healthy habits and help get your credit on the right track.
Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors’ opinions. Our third-party advertisers don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted.

The U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card offers a straightforward path to help you while you’re focused on improving damaged credit or establishing credit.

Considering a credit card that can help you rebuild your credit? Or maybe you’re ready to start establishing your credit history? Secured credit cards are an option for those who want to work on building credit, and the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card is a product meant to help you do just that.

With few frills, standard fees and no complicated rewards, this card offers an easy-to-use and easy-to-understand path to help you while you’re building your credit. As a result of using the card responsibly — making your payments on time and keeping your balance low, for example — you may see positive changes in your credit reports and scores.

What we like

Heads up

  • Designed to help build credit
  • Credit limit is matched by deposit amount
  • Automatic bill pay
  • High variable purchase APR of 25.99%

  1. The rundown: What we like about the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card
  2. Heads up: What you should consider before applying for the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card
  3. Do the math: How to get the most out of the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card
  4. The competition: How the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card stacks up against similar cards
  5. Bottom line: Is the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card right for you?

The rundown: What we like about the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card

Help with building good habits

Like any secured credit card, the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card has the potential to help you build your credit scores. But this card comes with some special tools that can also help you achieve other financial goals and healthy credit habits.

One of those tools is automatic bill pay. Using automatic bill pay can help simplify the task of paying a handful of monthly bills — like your cellphone, cable TV and others — by letting you pay all your bills in one place. And it may help you improve your credit, if you’re using it to build a positive payment history. While bills like cable and internet are not typically reported to the credit bureaus, they can ultimately appear on your credit reports as damaging collections accounts if they go unpaid over a prolonged period of time.

Heads up: What you should consider before applying for the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card

Interest rate

While the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card doesn’t necessarily offer the best interest rate (25.99% variable APR on purchases), you might be able to avoid interest charges by paying your credit card bill during the grace period.

No rewards

Having the opportunity to help build your credit may feel like reward enough, but unlike the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card, some secured cards come with rewards. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card, for example, gives you 1% cash back on all eligible purchases and 2% cash back on eligible purchases at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1% once the quarterly cap is met).

Do the math: Ways to get the most out of the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card

Getting the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card means having a chance to improve your credit. In order to reap the best benefit for both your credit health and your wallet, make sure to practice healthy money habits.

Making your monthly account payment on time and in full is one of the most important habits to maintain, since it can help you build your credit, as well as help you avoid unnecessary interest charges and fees.

Also, make sure to keep your balance low on the card. Keeping a low credit utilization ratio is an important factor for good credit scores, and it can help keep you from overspending as well.

The competition: How the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card stacks up against similar cards

Citi® Secured Mastercard®
  • $0 annual fee
  • 23.99% variable purchase APR
  • $200 minimum security deposit
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
  • $0 annual fee
  • 26.99% (Variable) purchase APR
  • Automatic consideration for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months

Bottom line: Is the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card right for you?

The U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card is an option for someone who values convenience over frills. This card comes with tools that automate a handful of household bills and can set up payments in a way that best suits your goals. That means it could be a little easier for you to stay on the right track while you’re focused on building or establishing your credit.


About the author: Sarah C. Brady is a San Francisco–based financial consultant, workshop facilitator and writer. In addition to writing for Credit Karma, Sarah writes for Experian, LendingTree, Magnify Money, MSN News and more. In her … Read more.