Building credit for beginners: OpenSky Secured Visa Card review

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card overview
Looking to build credit and don’t mind paying an annual fee? While the card lacks any perks or rewards, the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card can increase your credit rating without needing a credit check. With an easy approval process, this card may provide the key to a better financial path. However, be sure to consider other secured card options. Card Rating*:
*Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG’s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
For those that are new to the world of credit cards, secured cards are a great entry point. The idea is fairly straightforward: Improve your credit score and build your way up to better financial footing. Whether you have a limited credit history or made some credit mistakes in the past, the OpenSky Secured Visa makes for an intriguing option.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the OpenSky Secured Visa to see if this card makes sense for you.

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In This Post Who is this card for?
This is a foundational beginner’s card meant for individuals that are looking to build credit by making on-time payments. In terms of secured cards, the OpenSky Visa is one of the few that you can qualify for without a bank account or credit check.That means if you’re grappling with past financial mistakes, or just have bad to poor credit, this is a card that might be on your radar. Additionally, those without any credit history, like students, can build credit from scratch.

Related reading: How credit scores work

Once approved, your card usage is reported to the three major credit card agencies — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. When you have a solid credit score — “good” or higher is 690 and above — it’ll unlock the door to higher-profile cards with more generous rewards and perks.

Related reading: Your FICO score and which credit cards offer it for free

It’ll also open opportunities for car loans and mortgages with lower interest rates. This makes a secured card, such as the OpenSky Visa, a much better option than using cash or prepaid cards, since those payment methods don’t help in developing credit.
Main perks and benefits (Photo by Westend61/Getty Images)
While there are no “perks” in the traditional sense of cash-back rewards, category bonuses or a welcome offer, the OpenSky Visa offers incredible flexibility for those looking to begin their credit journey.
No bank account or credit check required
There are fairly high approval odds for the OpenSky Secured Visa. As mentioned, there is no hard credit pull and all you have to do is fund the account via a deposit. Everyone who is approved for the card gets the same APR terms and credit limit range.
A credit limit you can set
Like with most secured cards, you have to set up a refundable cash deposit. For the OpenSky Visa, whatever amount you decide to put in becomes your credit limit. This helps the bank with liability, since you’d be on the hook for missed payments. The OpenSky Visa has a reasonably high credit limit (for a secured card) of $3,000, which would help make a difference toward improving your credit score.

Related reading: 6 things to do to improve your credit in 2020

You can choose a limit anywhere from $200 to $3,000. If you decide to close an account, you would get the full deposit amount within 10 weeks’ time. However, if building credit is what you’re after, consider keeping the account open, as it can help build credit over time.

Options for your cash deposit include:
Debit card Money order Mailing a check Fees and disadvantages with this card (Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)There’s an annual fee
A secured credit card with an annual fee is rare. The OpenSky Visa is one of the few cards with an annual fee, at $35 per year. Additionally, note the high 18.89% variable APR. (Of course, we always recommend paying off your cards in full each month not only to save you money but also to help build credit.)

Related reading: 10 commandments for travel rewards credit cards
No path to upgrade
Unlike some other secured cards, the OpenSky does not provide a path to upgrading your credit limit or the card itself. Whatever you put in as the refundable cash deposit you’ll get as your credit limit — up to $3,000. If you want a limit higher than this, you’ll have to apply for another card entirely and decide whether you want to keep this account. Canceling an account is one of many factors that affect your overall credit score.

Related reading: How to recession-proof your cards
Other cards to consider
If you’re looking to build or repair credit, there is a range of other secured cards that should also be on your radar.
Discover it Secured
One option is the Discover it Secured, one of the few secured credit cards that earns rewards. It made our list of the best secured cards since you can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter you enroll and 1% cash back on everything else. Discover will also match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year with the card.The information for the Discover it Secured card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Additionally, Discover will review your account after eight months to see whether you’re eligible for a credit limit upgrade. However, you will need a bank account, and the issuer runs a credit check.
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
Another option is the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, our choice for the best secured card for perks. With no annual fee, this card offers a few notable benefits such as no foreign transaction fees, auto rental collision damage insurance, travel accident insurance and extended warranty protection. The information for the Capital One Secured Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

On top of that, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is one of the few secured cards that may extend you a credit line that’s greater than your security deposit. All you have to do is make your first five monthly payments on time, and you’ll get access to a higher credit line with no additional deposit needed.
FAQs How much is the security deposit for the OpenSky Secured Visa?
The OpenSky Secured Visa has a refundable security deposit with a range between $200 and $3,000. This deposit then becomes your credit limit on the account. Any time you want to increase your limit (up to $3,000), you must add funds to your security deposit.
Is the OpenSky Secured Visa the best for no credit check?
This card is an excellent option if you have damaged or no credit history since there is no credit check required to be approved. However, note that there is an annual fee of $35 per year on the card.
When should I apply for the OpenSky Secured Visa?
According to data points, if you want a quick boost in your credit score, consider applying for the card around the middle of the month. OpenSky reports to the credit bureaus on the last business day of the month, and it typically takes several days for your initial deposit to process and your card to ship out.

Related reading: How to apply for a credit card
Bottom line
The OpenSky Secured Visa credit card helps you rebuild your credit without the need for a credit check. While the annual fee is a negative, using this card (and paying on time) is an effective method to increase your credit rating. If you’re in this situation, the card definitely should be on your list to check out.

Finally, once you get to a point where you have a “good” credit score, consider leveling up to a basic cash-back or rewards card.

Related reading: What is a good credit score?

Featured photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy.
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