Advertiser Disclosure
Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card and banking offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies and banks from which receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. does not include all banks, credit card companies or all available credit card offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation. Advertiser partners include American Express, Chase, U.S. Bank, and Barclaycard, among others.

Union Bank Secured Visa® Card Review

Union Bank Secured Visa Card Art 12 1 22

Our rating



  • thumbs-upChoose your spending limit (up to $5,000)
  • thumbs-upOverdraft protection for Union Bank account holders
  • thumbs-upBuilds credit with responsible use


  • thumbs-downHas an annual fee ($25)
  • thumbs-downNo rewards or sign-up bonus
  • thumbs-downMust apply in branch

Interested in rebuilding your credit? A secured credit card could be in your future. There are dozens to choose from, but the Union Bank Secured Visa® Card is one of the better options if you’re fortunate enough to live in Union Bank’s trade area. If you’re not, well, it’s not much use to you, for reasons we’ll get into momentarily.

Union Bank faithfully reports your payments and credit utilization patterns to the three major credit reporting bureaus each month. If you use your card responsibly and make timely payments, your credit will likely improve over time. Which means, soon enough, you could qualify for an upgrade to an unsecured credit card with a higher spending limit and a rewards program that pays you to spend.

Intrigued? Here’s what you need to know about Union Bank Secured Visa Card’s features, advantages, downsides, and overall suitability.

Union Bank Secured Visa Card Art 12 1 22

What Is the Union Bank Secured Visa Card?

The Union Bank Secured Visa® Card is a secured credit card with a $25 annual fee. Though it didn’t make our list of the best secured credit cards to rebuild credit, it has some user-friendly features that warrant a closer look. In fact, it’s explicitly designed for folks seeking to build or rebuild their credit after financial setbacks such as personal bankruptcy or foreclosure.

Like all secured credit cards, Union Bank Secured Visa requires applicants to deposit funds into a secured, FDIC-insured collateral account. You need to deposit at least $300, and your deposit is always equal to your credit limit. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck and relying on money hacks to survive, know that you won’t see your deposit back until you close your account and pay off any outstanding balance in full.

Union Bank Secured Visa comes with one big caveat: You have to apply for it in person, at a Union Bank branch. Union Bank has plenty of locations in California, Oregon, and Washington State — you can see more than a dozen outposts just in the San Francisco area, below — but its coverage is pretty thin elsewhere. If you don’t live within commuting distance of a Union Bank branch, you may want to look elsewhere.

Union Bank Locations

What Sets the Union Bank Secured Visa Card Apart

The Union Bank Secured Visa Card stands out for three reasons:

  • Relatively High Spending Limit. This card’s spending limit ranges up to $5,000. That’s higher than most secured credit cards and good news for relatively high-income people with “eh” credit.
  • You Can Set Your Own Credit Limit. Most credit cards don’t trust their users to set their own spending limits, for obvious reasons. Union Bank sees things differently — an encouraging sign of respect.
  • Solid Benefits for a Secured Card. This card’s benefits aren’t incredibly generous, but they’re better than most secured credit cards. The cell phone protection plan is especially welcome.

Key Features of the Union Bank Secured Visa Card

These are the most important features of the Union Bank Secured Visa Card. Understand them before you apply.

Initial Deposit Requirement and Refund

Once your application for credit has been conditionally approved, you’ll be asked to make a deposit into your collateral account. Your deposit must be at least $300 and cannot exceed $5,000. Within those constraints, you’re free to deposit as much or as little as you’d like.

Your deposit is always equal to your credit limit: a $1,000 deposit equates to a $1,000 spending limit, regardless of your credit profile.

As noted, you can’t access your deposit account’s balance until your card balance is paid off in full and your account closed. However, if you upgrade to an unsecured Union Bank card, Union Bank may convert your collateral account to a traditional, interest-bearing savings account from which you’re free to make withdrawals.

Credit Limit Increases

To increase your credit limit, you need to make an additional deposit into your collateral account. You don’t have to apply for a limit increase beforehand, but you also can’t exceed the $5,000 cap on collateral account balances under any circumstances.

Credit Bureau Reporting

Every billing cycle, Union Bank reports your payment patterns and credit utilization to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion – the three major American consumer credit reporting bureaus. This will likely increase your credit score over time, provided you pay your bill before the statement due date and utilize credit responsibly.

If you need more help improving your credit, check out our post outlining 7 steps to rebuilding your credit.

Overdraft Protection for Union Bank Deposit Accountholders

If you have a checking account with Union Bank, you can use your Union Bank Secured Visa Card protect against overdrafts.

To get started, opt into Union Bank’s overdraft protection service. Once you’re enrolled, transactions that would result in negative account balances or fail due to insufficient funds instead trigger automatic cash advances from your Union Bank Secured Visa Card’s cash advance credit line. These advances occur at the end of the business day on which the offending transactions take place and allow those transactions to go through as intended. Each transfer costs $10. Only one daily $10 fee is charged on days when multiple transfers occur.

Some caution is in order here: since overdraft protection transfers start accruing interest at the cash advance interest rate (26.49%) as soon as they’re executed, it’s in your best interest to pay them off as quickly as possible. Also, keep in mind that your card’s cash advance credit line is lower than your credit limit for purchases, and you can’t borrow more than your collateral account deposit in any case. As such, the overdraft protection program may not be sufficient for very large purchases.

Important Fees

The Union Bank Secured Visa Card has a $25 annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $10 or 5%, while cash advances cost the greater of $15 or 5%.

Free FICO Score

Your account comes with a free FICO score. You can access it in your only account dashboard. The score refreshes monthly, allowing you to keep track of potential credit issues and look for ways to improve your credit.

Visa-Backed Benefits

This card comes with a slew of useful fringe benefits, most of which cost nothing to invoke. The most noteworthy include:

  • Purchase protection on certain items lost or stolen within 90 days of purchase
  • Complimentary loss and damage coverage on rental cars charged in full to the card
  • Extended warranties on certain purchased items already covered by manufacturers’ warranties
  • Complimentary cell phone protection when you pay your bill in full with your card (subject to claim limits and deductibles)

This card has some other benefits and capabilities worth noting as well, shown below.

Union Bank Secured Visa Additional Benefits

Credit Required

Union Bank Secured Visa Card is designed for people with below average credit. However, a very recent bankruptcy may jeopardize your application.

Advantages of the Union Bank Secured Visa Card

The Union Bank Secured Visa Card is unusually flexible and user-friendly for a secured card. It has a high spending limit that you can choose, provides overdraft protection for your Union Bank checking account, and has a solid slate of Visa-backed benefits to boot.

  • Choose Your Credit Limit. Union Bank lets you set your credit limit by depositing anywhere from $300 to $5,000 (in $50 increments) when you open your account. In other words, you’re not beholden to the bank’s underwriting team. If you can afford a higher credit limit, it’s yours.
  • High Spending Limit. Union Bank Secured Visa Card has a fairly high maximum credit limit of $5,000. If you have ample cash for a security deposit, but your credit isn’t where you’d like it to be, this card can help you maximize your spending power.
  • Overdraft Protection for Union Bank Deposit Accountholders. If you’re a Union Bank deposit account holder, you can take advantage of the company’s optional overdraft protection transfer service for just $10 per transfer. This is a great way to prevent your low checking account balance from impeding your everyday spending and bill-paying activities.
  • Solid Visa-Backed Benefits. Most secured credit cards are light on the fringe benefits, but not Union Bank Secured Visa. This card has a nice lineup of Visa-backed benefits, including complimentary insurance on rental cars paid in full with the card and extended warranties on certain purchased items. With regular use, these benefits can combine to save you hundreds of dollars per year.
  • Builds Credit With Responsible Use. Every month, Union Bank reports your payment patterns (or lack thereof) and credit utilization to the three major credit reporting bureaus. As long as you pay your bills on time and avoid overspending, you’re likely to improve your credit score over time.

Disadvantages of the Union Bank Secured Visa Card

Ready to apply for the Union Bank Secured Visa Card? Before you do, consider these potential downsides.

  • $25 Annual Fee. The Union Bank Secured Visa Card has a $25 annual fee. While that’s not a crushing levy in the grand scheme of things, it’s noteworthy in light of the total lack of a rewards program. Secured cards that charge annual fees often pay rewards on everyday spending.
  • No Rewards. As noted, this card lacks a rewards program. Aside from the SunTrust product referenced here, secured credit cards that offer returns on spending include the nRewards® Secured Credit Card from Navy Federal Credit Union (up to 1% cash back) and the Discover it Secured Card (up to 2% cash back). If earning a return on your spending is important to you, check out our current list of the best cash back credit cards roundup.
  • No Sign-up or Annual Bonus. This card also lacks a sign-up or annual bonus, which some secured cards offer. The Discover it Secured Card doubles all cash back earned in your first year as a cardholder, for example. That’s not a bad welcome gift!
  • No Interest on Deposits. Your deposits don’t earn any interest here. While it’s unusual for collateral accounts to pay out generous interest, something is better than nothing.
  • Relatively High Initial Deposit Requirement. The Union Bank Secured Visa Card requires a $300 minimum initial deposit. That’s higher than some popular alternatives. For instance, Capital One Secured Mastercard requires a measly $49 opening deposit, though you’re of course free to put down far more than that. When every dollar counts, this is an important consideration that could affect your ultimate choice.
  • Charges Penalty Interest. This card charges penalty interest at 29.99% APR. That’s potentially ruinous for cardholders who miss their statement due dates due to liquidity issues or unexpected events. Some competitors, including Capital One Secured Mastercard, forgo penalty interest – a very user-friendly move.
  • Has a 3% Foreign Transaction Fee. Union Bank Secured Visa has a 3% foreign transaction fee. If you routinely travel outside the United States, this can quickly add up, especially since there’s no rewards program to offset some of the losses.
  • Must Apply at a Branch. This card requires you to apply in person — by appointment, using the form shown below — at a Union Bank branch. If you don’t live on the West Coast, this is likely to be difficult or impossible. And even if you do, it’s inconvenient to take time out of your day to show up and apply. Consider signing up instead for one of the many secured cards without in-person application requirements, such as the Citi Secured Mastercard or BankAmericard Secured Credit Card.
  • No Introductory APR Promotion. This card has no introductory APR promotion. That’s a big drawback for applicants looking to finance large purchases (such as home improvement projects) or transfer existing high-interest credit card balances and pay down debt quickly.
Union Bank Request An Appointment

How the Union Bank Secured Visa Card Stacks Up

The Union Bank Secured Visa Card isn’t the only secured credit card on the market, of course. Nor is it the best. So before you apply, consider other options — like the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card, which earns rewards and doesn’t require a Social Security number to apply.

Union Bank Secured VisaSecured Sable ONE Card
Annual Fee$25$0
RewardsNoneUp to 2% cash back
SSN RequiredYesNo
Apply OnlineNoYes
Max Credit Limit$5,000Varies
Choose Limit?YesYes

Final Word

Union Bank is just one of many under-the-radar regional banks operating in the United States. I’d never heard of it before beginning research on its credit cards. But I soon discovered that it’s pretty well-known in on the West Coast, and its commercial banking operations touch every corner of the country.

If you live in California, Oregon, or Washington, and you’re intrigued by Union Bank Secured Visa‘s potential, I’d recommend stopping by a branch. Even if you decide the card isn’t right for you, a checking or savings account with Union Bank could be just what the accountant ordered.

Union Bank Secured Visa Card Art 12 1 22

Our rating



  • thumbs-upChoose your spending limit (up to $5,000)
  • thumbs-upOverdraft protection for Union Bank account holders
  • thumbs-upBuilds credit with responsible use


  • thumbs-downHas an annual fee ($25)
  • thumbs-downNo rewards or sign-up bonus
  • thumbs-downMust apply in branch
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.