3 secured cards, which to cut, which to keep.

Discuss the Visa & MasterCard payment networks as well as cards that operate through them.
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3 secured cards, which to cut, which to keep.

Postby shoptalk01 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 11:36 pm

This is what we have so far, I recently applied for 3 secured cards, but they are all on the chopping block. After a huge argument which turned into a yelling match, all parties involved have agreed to let the fate of each of these cards be decided here. The cards in question are:

1. Capital One Secured Mastercard
2. US Bank Secured Visa Card
3. Merrick Bank Secured Visa Card

Several months ago I applied for a card that had an application fee, annual fee, monthly maintenance fee and no grace period on purchases with a high interest rate. The idea was to rebuild some credit since I was in the dumpster. My mom had a fit when she found out, sent someone over to help cancel my mistake and helped me apply for the Capital One card. I only had this card for about a month but the $200 credit limit was getting on my nerves so I sent them an extra $600 to bring my limit to $800. I just got this card so my first bill came last week.

Next on the list is the US Bank card, I applied for this card through a local bank branch and I thought the people there were very helpful. It had been a couple of weeks and I hadn't heard anything so I called and it was my understanding I was denied. The other night I went to the ATM and noticed my balance was a bit lower than it should be so I checked my online account when I got home and sure enough, US Bank took the $300 out of my account for the security deposit. Normally this means you've been approved and the card will be sent out soon, but I guess we'll see.

Because I thought I was denied at US Bank I applied for the Merrick Bank Secured Visa card. I've been approved for this card as well.

According to Credit Karma, I took 16 hard pulls in the previous 6 months from gas and department store as well as several major cards that I was denied for. In the last month I took a hard pull from Capital One and Merrick Bank, but it didn't appear US Bank did a hard pull.

The question now comes, should I keep all three cards? Cut one? Cut two? Cut all three? and why? The whole mess started when someone did some searching online and found a whole slug of complaints on Merrick Bank. They went and told my mom who started freeking out and now she thinks I'm incapable of managing my finances so someone needs to come in, take over for me and fix my mistakes for me like I'm 2 years old. I was going to keep the US Bank one a secret, but someone ratted on me and now it all hit the fan. At first she said one credit card and one card only! Now she is saying because of the way I've handled this, they all have to go. I had someone come over and we did some research finding tons of complaints on US Bank and Capital One.

I have until the last 2 cards arrive to decide what to do. I'm going to be using your answers to defend my decisions. If someone here thinks a card needs to go and nobody defends it, it goes, no questions asked. Majority rules.

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Postby SignHere » Mon Sep 17, 2012 7:50 am

Well, after all the inquiries taken you should definitely at least keep one to build credit with.. that was the initial reasoning for the app's so it would be silly to throw them all out and start again with nothing and a lot of inquiries. It seems that you had difficulties getting approved for anything else, so I think it would be best to keep one of them for a year and then try to get a unsecured card after that. The Merrick Bank looks the worst with the highest AF at $36/year. That is the first one I would cut up first, and the US Bank isn't far behind either at $35/yr. It seems silly to throw $71 out the door for these two extra cards. I think if you handle the Cap1 secured card responsibly, your scores will improve and next year you should be able to get something that is unsecured. Also, if the CL on the Cap1 is still too low for you, apply the extra $300 from US Bank toward the Cap1 and that would give you 1,100 a month to work with.

Next time, be a little bit more patient with the app's until you start doing app sprees for "prime" cards.
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Postby CC Deville » Mon Sep 17, 2012 5:54 pm

For sure drop that Merrick Bank card like it's hot. SignHere has a valid point regarding Capital One in that you can make your limit larger by adding to your deposit. Use Capital One for a few years to build up your score and then once you get approved for better cards you can close them. But do not expect your Capital One to ever become unsecured.

I have heard nothing bad about US Bank but I have also not heard much about their secured cards ie when they become unsecured. Was there a reason you did not look into Citibank and Bank of America? The Bank of America secured card is one of the best because they almost always unsecure after 12 months and you can add the 3-2-1 Cash Rewards to their secured card. Might as well earn free money whilst rebuilding. Citibank almost always unsecures at 18 months like clockwork. Also Citibank pays interest on the security deposit. Not a lot of interest, but its better than letting the other banks earn interest off your money.

Now, I am not suggesting going for Citibank or BofA now, just curious why you chose Merrick and US Bank. Kind of random. Merrick Bank very random. I didn't even know they had a secured card.

I would keep both Capital One and US Bank for now. Hopefully in a year, to year and-a-half, US Bank will unsecure and by that time your score will allow you to be approved for unsecured cards. When that happens you would be wise to close the Capital One.

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