Founded in 1997, Utah-based online-only Merrick Bank is a subsidiary of the New York-based CardWorks financial institution. It is a modern financial service that doesn’t offer traditional banking services such as money market, savings, and checking accounts. Instead, the bank focuses on certificates of deposit (CDs), loans, and credit cards. Its financial services and products are tailored to people with lower credit scores.
Merrick Bank is best for people with poor credit history looking for an unsecured loan or a credit card. The bank offers 3 credit cards for building credit.
- Double Your Line Mastercard (unsecured credit card with no rewards): The unsecured Platinum Mastercard was designed to help people establish or rebuild their credit. The bank helps them improve their credit score by regularly reviewing their account.
- Secured Mastercard: the Secured Mastercard allows customers with accounts in good standing to add to their deposit over time, up to $3,000, to increase their purchasing power.
- Double Your Line Secured Credit Card: the Double Your Line Secured Credit Card comes with a limited minimum deposit of only $200 and lets you double your credit line after a specific period without making deposits.
The bank’s credit cards and loans will especially appeal to people who:
- Need financial aid to build their credit history;
- Don’t need to combine their regular banking needs with the bank;
- Have no problem with using online-only banking services.
Aside from credit cards, this bank also offers CDs and an online banking experience.
Using a Merrick Bank credit card for building your credit offers quite a few advantages.
- Free monthly FICO score. All cardholders have access to free monthly FICO scores as a complimentary benefit. The score is available online, and you can check it for free anytime. If you need an updated FICO score, the credit bureau provides it directly to the bank.
- Zero liability. Since this bank issues Mastercards, customers have the privilege of Mastercard’s Zero Liability policy that protects them from unauthorized use. You won’t be held responsible for any unauthorized charges with your account information or card.
- Free online and mobile access. Since Merrick Bank is an online-only service, you’ll have 24/7 online and mobile access to your account.
- Flexible payment options. All it takes to build your credit is to pay on time. Choose your preferred payment option to pay your dues online or via phone or check.
- Automatic credit line review. This bank regularly reviews your account for credit line increases. It reports your credit card use monthly to all three major credit bureaus1.
- Account alerts. You can set up an account alerting system to get notifications on the changes to your account.
- Paperless statement option. You can access your online statements whenever you need to.
One of the most significant disadvantages of using Merrick Bank credit cards is difficulty understanding how their credit card fees work. The cards come with annual fees, which is also a downside as many secured credit cards don’t include them.
The secured card offers no introduction bonus, and there are no rewards for using it. Both maintenance and setup fees for the unsecured card are deducted from your credit limit. The bank also charges foreign transaction fees, cash advance fees, late and returned payment fees, and monthly fees for additional cards you add to your main account.
The bank’s personal loan rates aren’t listed online, leaving you with no way to compare their rates with other lenders.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Credit Reports and Scores. USA