Applied Bank currently only deals in secured credit cards, intended to help establish or rebuild credit. Before consumers consider applying for one of the two available secured cards it is important to review the terms and conditions and become acquainted with the benefits and drawbacks of each card, and thus assess their suitability to meet individual needs. Applicants who only give consideration to the advertised headlines could be unpleasantly surprised at the costs involved.
The first card to consider is the Applied Bank Visa card which requires a minimum security deposit of $200. Applied Bank levies an annual fee of $50 for the first year, after which card holders are charged a monthly maintenance fee of $9.95, equating to a very expensive $119.40 per annum. The initial fee is applied to the first statement, thus reducing available credit by $50.
The Applied Bank Visa has a fixed low interest rate of 12.99% for purchases and cash advances. Uniquely it has no penalty interest rate for late or missed payments. However the drawback is the card offers no grace period whatsoever, thus every transaction is charged interest at 12.99% immediately. Other fees include a cash advance fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater, and a foreign transaction fee of 3%.
In comparison the second secured card on offer is the Applied Bank Platinum Zero. Requiring a minimum security deposit of $500 the card offers 0% APR on purchases and a low 9.99% on cash advances. Additionally there is no penalty interest rate. The cash advance fee is 5% of $5, whichever is greater, and the foreign transaction fee is a very low 1%. However the zero percent interest rate needs to be balanced alongside the monthly fee of $9.95, which again equates to $119.40 per annum. There is no immediate annual fee but the total fees are higher than those levied on the Visa card for the first year.
Whilst it is rare for any bank to offer credit cards without any penalty rates cardholders should be aware that Applied Bank reserves the right to terminate credit privileges on both cards at any time, for any reason. Those who then choose to have their credit privileges reinstated must pay a $50 fee. Additionally a credit limit increase fee of $100 is levied if cardholders want to increase their credit limit without increasing their security deposit. Unusually cardholders are allowed to withdraw part of their security deposit but will have their credit limit reduced accordingly. The maximum credit limit allowed at any time is $5,000.
Compared to some other secured credit cards on offer the annual fees on Applied Bank credit cards are high. However the interest rates are highly competitive, with a zero percent rate on a secured card unheard of. Cardholders who plan to carry a balance can certainly benefit from the Platinum Zero card despite the annual fee, but cardholders should be wary of the Applied Bank Visa due to its lack of grace period. The card would make no sense for any cardholder who intends to clear their balance in full as all transactions which should effectively be interest free will carry an interest rate of 12.99%.