Unity Visa Secured Credit Card
Rebuild Your Credit and Make a Comeback
- Regular Purchase APR 17.99% fixed rate through the expiration date of the card.
- Balance Transfer APR 17.99% fixed rate through the expiration date of the card.
- Cash Advance APR 17.99% fixed rate through the expiration date of the card.
- Annual Fee $39
- Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
- Processing Network Visa
- Get a second chance at credit
- Support the nation's largest back-owned bank
- 9.95% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 6 months
- Regular Purchase APR: 17.99% fixed rate through the expiration date of the card.
- Intro Balance Transfer APR: 9.95% for the first 6 months
- Balance Transfer APR: 17.99% fixed rate through the expiration date of the card.
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 17.99% fixed rate through the expiration date of the card.
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Annual Fee: $39
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $10
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $37
- Minimum Deposit Required: $250
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At a Glance
The Unity Visa Secured Card by OneUnited Bank is a secured credit card that is looking to make a difference. Issued by OneUnited, the largest black-owned bank in the United States, the card seeks to help holders “make a comeback” with sound financial use (and without the need for debit cards or prepaid cards). The card features a fixed-rate APR on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances, plus a special introductory rate on balance transfers for the first six months – all for a $39 annual fee.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are looking to rebuild their credit with the major credit bureaus
- Want to empower their community by contributing to OneUnited’s education projects
- Plan to pay their entire statement balance each month
Unity Visa Secured Credit Card Review
The Unity Visa Secured Card from OneUnited Bank is a secured credit card that seeks to empower all who use it.
Who Can Benefit from a Secured Credit Card?
Taking another shot at credit is a frustrating process many Americans go through every year. For those with limited financial knowledge, building – and keeping – good credit can be difficult. Secured credit cards offer an opportunity for those who can’t get approval for unsecured credit cards.
Secured cards operate in the same way as an unsecured card. There isn’t a “scarlet letter” emblazoned on them to make people think less of those who use them. Secured cards are simply a credit card where a security deposit must be made to serve as collateral and the credit limit.
Many banks offer secured cards, including OneUnited Bank. So, what makes their card so unique, and should you consider applying?
Related Article: What Are the Easiest Credit Cards for Bad Credit to Get?
Why Bank with OneUnited?
OneUnited Bank prides itself on working tirelessly to strengthen the financial knowledge base of impoverished and disadvantaged communities. The bank is the largest black-owned bank in the United States and is the combination of four separate banks from Miami, Boston, and Los Angeles.
The bank is very active with its Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Program, which provides educational services to low- and moderate-income communities across the country. These programs are designed to boost financial literacy through a combination of local workshops and events.
It is this commitment to “empowering the lives community” that OneUnited hopes to foster with Unity Visa Secured Cardholders. The bank’s #BankBlack social media campaign is at the heart of their message, seeking to demonstrate the economic buying power of minority groups.
Of course, the #BankBlack campaign doesn’t mean that OneUnited Bank is only open to African Americans. The bank is an all-inclusive collective seeking to help build up underprovided or underrepresented communities across the country, regardless of race or creed.
The “How to Rebuild Credit” Program
OneUnited currently only offers a secured credit card, as they feel it is a significant first step in empowering the communities they serve. Part of this empowerment drive is the bank’s “How to Rebuild Credit” Program.
The program is more a website, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t provide some useful advice for those attempting to repair their credit. While the information available isn’t anything different than you’ll find with most credit information sites, such as our great articles here at BestCards, the info is none-the-less useful and can help those unaware of the merits of a good credit score raise their financial power.
Decent Fixed-Rate APR
The Unity Secured Card comes with a fixed-rate APR on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. This rate is on par with the national average for a credit card, coming in at around 18%. While this rate isn’t the lowest possible rate for a secured card, it is very competitive with other similar products.
A great APR, however, should be the last thing on the mind of anyone when they apply for a secured card. Secured cards are tools for rebuilding credit, and as such, should never carry a balance. Of course, as the Unity comes with a 9.95% APR on balance transfers for the first six months, you might be tempted to pay down existing credit card debt.
If, however, you can’t pay off that balance within the first six months, or if the regular rate with the Unity is higher than your current interest rates, avoid balance transfers on this card altogether. The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® on the other hand, features a 9.99% APR every day.
Paying off your balance in full each month is a great way to put OneUnited’s credit rebuilding program into practice. Only spending what you can afford to repay immediately is a simple-yet-effective practice that can quickly lead to positive credit habits – and a credit score increase. You can also take advantage of OneUnited features, like bill pay and mobile banking to help ensure you make on time payments before your due date.
The Unity Visa comes with an annual fee of $39. While this fee isn’t extortionate, as you may find with secured cards that come across as predatory, no one ever wants to pay an annual fee. Fortunately, the knowledge that the money you pay in through a yearly membership fee is going towards community outreach and education is a great motivation to stick with the bank – and this card.
While the security deposit acts as collateral for the line of credit, there’s more to getting a credit line with cards like the Unity Visa than that. When you apply for the Unity Card, the bank will take into consideration your current debts, your financial situation, and other relevant factors, and then m decide the maximum limit you can add as a security deposit. You may want $1,000. Nut OneUnited may say $500.
Credit lines with the Unity Visa range from a minimum of $250 to a maximum of $10,000. While it’s unlikely that most applicants will seek a credit limit of $10,000, it is nice to know that OneUnited is willing to work with people of all shapes and sizes to make their financial comeback a reality.
Should You Apply for the Unity Visa Secured Card?
The Unity Visa Secured might seem like just another secured credit card, but there is a palpable sense of social change that is associated with the bank – and the card. The ethos of OneUnited Bank is refreshing, and it is part of a larger trend in banking that seeks to empower those communities and individuals that are disadvantaged. Latino Credit Union in North Carolina is another example of community banks coming together to better the places they serve.
The Unity Visa is a basic secured card that offers a few key benefits – both of which come with caveats. First, the card comes with a decent fixed-rate APR and a six-month introductory interest rate on balance transfers. While this intro APR is great, it can quickly become a trap for those unsuspecting and should be avoided by those looking to establish good credit practices (unless they can afford to pay off the entire balance transfer within the first six months).
Second, the card actively helps OneUnited’s educational programs throughout the areas the bank serves, but at a financial cost. The card charges an annual fee of $39, which while higher than some other cards, does give the cardholder a sense of pride that they are doing their part in the financial education and empowerment of their fellow residents.
For more information on secured credit cards, visit our Comprehensive Secured Card Reference Page, featuring the best-secured card offers, detailed advice, and tips to help you build your credit history.