TopTenREVIEWS Bronze Award winner New Millennium Bank offers secured MasterCard and Visa credit cards for customers who need to establish or repair a damaged credit rating. Applying is simple and acceptance is guaranteed with a savings account as low as $300.
The interest rate, or APR (Annual Percentage Rate), charged for use of a credit card is among the primary considerations when choosing among several options. The cards from New Millennium Bank charge 19.5% for both purchase and cash advance transactions. That’s among the highest rates charged by the cards in our survey of credit cards for bad credit. It’s exacerbated by the fact that the cards don’t offer a grace period even for purchases. While it’s not uncommon for interest charges to accrue from the beginning on cash advances, most other cards offer a period of 20-25 days on purchases that allows consumer who pay the entire card balance monthly to avoid interest charges.
Interest charges can be kept to a minimum by paying balances online almost immediately following the purchase or advance. The main objective of using this sort of credit card is to get positive credit information reflected on the credit report at the minimum cost. Making charges on the card then paying it off online creates the desired borrowing and payback of money that is needed to establish a good credit track record. Complete payment long before the monthly bill is due will nearly eliminate interest costs.
There are lots of tradeoffs when comparing the costs associated with credit cards for bad credit. Though the interest structure for New Millennium Bank credit cards is less advantageous than with some competitors, there are some clear advantages with respect to other charges associated with the cards. First is the $59.00 annual card fee. That’s lower than for most cards in this category but it is offset by a $99.95 processing fee for one card for initial set up of the card. Fortunately, that is a onetime fee. The service fee for taking a cash advance is 2% which is lower than most others charge. That percentage can translate to a charge with a minimum of $1 and a maximum of $20.
We always make a point of discouraging card users from ever encountering over limit or late payment fees. It just doesn’t make sense to be working on building a credit history while undermining the good efforts by allowing these negative conditions; nonetheless, if you believe you may be forced into such a situation, this may be a good card choice because the fees for late payments and exceeding the credit limit are $20.00 per occurrence…pretty expensive but substantially less than the competition.
The flexibility of setting your own credit limit is one of the primary advantages of a secured credit card. Funds placed on deposit with New Millennium Bank become the card’s credit limit and can range from as low as $300 to a maximum of $5,000. A secured credit limit increase can be obtained at any time by placing additional money, in $100 increments, on deposit up to the $5,000 maximum. No more than 50% of the card's credit limit can be taken as cash advance.
Money placed on deposit to secure credit cards offered by New Millennium Bank earns interest. That’s a significant difference between them and competing cards. We applaud this feature. It’s only right that a bank should pay interest on deposited funds.
Another unusual feature of New Millennium cards is the dual offer of a secured MasterCard plus a secured Visa with a single application. Their stated logic is that this increases your total credit line and that paying two cards on time each month will build a good credit history more quickly. We can’t argue with that fact, but it also means paying for two cards. As mentioned above, the processing fee for one card is $99.95 but both are available for a total of $129.95. The trade off could be worthwhile for some consumers.
Other features of these cards that aren’t frequently seen in this category are $100,000 travel accident insurance, auto rental insurance and extended warranty protection.
Online account access is the offered by New Millennium Bank. They can also be contacted by telephone during standard business hours or by form driven email.
New Millennium Bank's secured cards aren't exceptional in their features or costs but represent a viable option for many consumers who have a blemish or two on their credit record.