DCU Secured Credit Card Review 2023

DCU Secured Credit Card Review TL;DR: Digital Federal Credit Union, known as DCU, offers a solid secured credit card that can help you establish credit and/or improve your credit score. It’s a nice option if you’re already a DCU member and need a card of this type, but with other good secured credit cards on the market, there’s no need to become a DCU member just to get this card.

How the DCU Secured Credit Card Works

Secured credit cards are meant for two types of people:

  1. People with bad credit who want to improve their credit profile but may be having a hard time being approved for a “regular” (unsecured) credit card because of past credit problems.
  2. People who have no credit history and want to establish credit for the first time, but have been turned down for standard credit cards. (This may happen if your income is low or you are new to the United States.)

Unlike “regular” unsecured credit cards, secured credit cards require some sort of collateral in order to get the card. In the case of the DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card, you must have a DCU Primary Savings account, with the funds in that savings account acting as a security deposit for the card. (A security deposit protects the credit union in case you fail to make your card payments in the future).

The credit limit on your secured credit card will usually be equal to the amount in your DCU Primary Savings Account. For example, if your savings account has $500 in it, you would get a $500 credit limit on the card.

Otherwise, though, the secured card works just like any other credit card. You make purchases with the card, and pay them off when your bill comes due. (The money in your DCU savings account is not used to pay your card bill; that money is only a backup. You must pay your credit card bill from other funds.)

If you pay your DCU secured credit card bill on time each month, it should help you improve your credit score, especially if you are correctly paying any other credit cards or loans you have.

Fees and Interest

  • No annual fee. (Some secured credit cards charge you a yearly fee just to have the card; this one does not.)
  • Interest Rate: 16.00%. While this is a fairly low rate for a credit card, you still don’t want to pay an extra 16% on your card purchases. Pay your card balance in full each time a payment is due, so you won’t have to pay interest.
  • No foreign transaction fees. You won’t pay extra if you use the card outside of the United States. Some credit cards charge an extra 3% on “foreign transactions”, but this card doesn’t.

No Rewards

Some secured credit cards allow you to earn cash back or other rewards on the purchases you make with the card. This one does not.

While that is not ideal, your first priority with a secured credit card is improving your credit. You’d be unlikely to earn very much in rewards with other secured cards anyway. Why? Because secured cards have low credit limits, which means you can’t spend very much with them and thus won’t earn much in rewards.

DCU Requires Membership – Are You Eligible?

Because DCU is a credit union, you must be a member in order to get the DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card. While DCU branches are in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, you can become a member no matter where you live. If you are a relative of a DCU member or work for a participating employer or live in certain Massachusetts communities, you are eligible. But even if you don’t qualify in one of these ways, you can easily join one of the “participating” non-profit organizations for a small fee to gain access to DCU.

Bottom Line

If you need to build or rebuild credit, the DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card is a nice option, especially with the fact that it has no annual fee and a very low interest rate for a secured card. If you’re a DCU member, it compares favorably to other secured credit cards on the market.

Author: Adam Jusko Last Updated: March 15, 2023.