When it comes to credit cards, there are a few different options that allow cardholders to find the payment schedule that best fits the needs and financial abilities. The US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card is one such option and offers select users the ability to enjoy the freedom associated with a credit card. Who is best served with a secured card? The US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card is ideal for those who:
- Are starting out with a credit history in the United States
- Have experienced past financial difficulty and looking for an efficient way to build credit back up
The US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card is issued through US Bank, which is headquartered in Minnesota and the fifth largest band within the United States. US Bank, which has a history dating back to the late 1890s, is predominately located throughout the West and Midwestern states with thousands of branches and ATMs. With over 15 million customers served each year, US Bank is a reputable financial institution for anyone looking for a secured card.
The US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card provides cardholders with the same level of service and protection as any other Visa card. Aside from the specific benefits of the US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card, cardholders can expect additional protection simply because of the Visa affiliation. Benefits include:
- Zero fraud liability protection
- Easy access to cash with a secure personal identification number. With millions of branches and ATMs around the country and world accepting Visa, access to cash is always available.
- Card replacement and emergency cash within 24 hours of a card being reported stolen or lost.
What is a Secured Credit Card?
One important thing to note is that a secured card, while providing similar benefits and freedom as a credit card, operates a bit differently than the everyday Visa or MasterCard. The US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card is funded with two options:
- A cardholder can submit funds with a Money Order or Cashier’s Check
- Fund an account by connecting it to a savings or checking account
Once the application is filled out and submitted, it waits for approval. Should the application be approved, the credit limit on the US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card is identical to the amount of money provided through the cashier’s check, money order or bank account. This is ideal for those who aren’t able to be approved with traditional credit cards after financial difficulty or those who don’t have an established credit history. Aside from these cardholders, a secured card is also a good idea for members who want to keep spending in check – being able to only spend what you have is an ideal way to manage credit card use to build responsible spending habits.
The amount of money provided during the application process is held in a US Bank savings account – essentially sitting in a savings account with the bank as a form of collateral to ensure that the balance for a credit card can be paid off is minimum payments aren’t met. This is where it’s important to understand the details of how the US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card works, as it may differ from other secured cards.
If the US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card is in good standing – meaning all the minimum payments are being met on time, then the initial deposit sent in with the application stays in the US Bank savings account, working as any savings account does – collecting interest and under the protection of the FDIC. A cardholder will receive monthly statements, just as with a traditional credit card, designating a minimum payment and due date. These minimum payments are not automatically paid with the US Bank savings account – you must pay them just as you would with any other credit card bill. After twelve months of responsible spending and paying the monthly minimum balance, US Bank has the option of moving on to unsecured card options.
Benefits of the US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card
Even for being a secure card, members have a variety of benefits to enjoy while establishing credit. Rewards for the US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card include:
- $0 annual fee for the first year. After the introductory offer, it increases to $25
- $500,000 in travel accident insurance
- 5,000 bonus LifeMiles with the first transaction
- 1 LifeMile for every $1 spent
Miles earned with the US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card can be used toward flight purchases or seat upgrades on Avianca airlines. Avianca is one of the predominant carriers for Latin America, with frequent service to destinations such as Cancun, Bogota, Fort Lauderdale, Mexico City, Nassau and much more.
Terms and Conditions for US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card
Whether the credit card is a secured card or not, it’s still important to compare the terms and conditions before signing up. The US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card features an annual percentage rate of 22.99% — not the lowest in terms of options between other Visa cards, but for those who aren’t approved for other cards, the interest rate is competitive. The APR is also designated for cash advances and balance transfers.
The annual fee is $25 per year – with an introductory rate of $0 for the first twelve months. In terms of annual fees, this is a great rate for the amount of benefits provided with membership. For cards charging annual fees, it’s always a good idea to compare whether the benefits are worth the extra annual cost. For missed or returned payments, the fee is $35.
There are many secured credit cards out on the market, but the US Bank LifeMiles Visa Secured Card is ideal for those interested in having the secured credit option while still enjoying the rewards and benefits associated with an airline reward card. Cardholders who frequently use Avianca will appreciate the benefits of earning airline miles to apply to accommodations and upgrades.