Proper money and credit management and living within your financial means are vital to living a healthy and successful life. Choosing which bank or financial institution is best for your personal or business credit card needs is a choice you have to make on your own. It sounds like you are doing your due diligence research. I recommend a trusted local bank or credit union with outstanding customer service. Stick to the evidence and facts and you will be well on your way to successfully building your credit score.
As for choosing a secured credit card, I would actually recommend starting by putting the $500 in a certificate of deposit (C.D.) and then opening a credit line on the back-side of that C.D. This way, you get the advantage of acquiring the credit card you want while lowering your risk for the long-term. If you came upon hard times and the worst case of you being unable to pay off the card were to happen, you technically would have already paid the credit card off. You will simply forfeit the initial certificate of deposit of $500.
However, assuming all goes well and you are successful at credit card management and building your credit score, you can continue to manually raise your credit limit by opening a new C.D. for another $500, or more. This way, you already have the money put aside to pay off the card if hard times were to hit. And if tough times did hit and your credit card management skills proved worthy, you could even ask the bank to temporarily raise your credit limit without opening a new certificate of deposit. This gives you another solid option and further buying power as you build your credit score.
Credit Cards – Perks, Interest Rates & Management
There are many credit card rewards and perks options out there. I would choose the rewards/perks that will fit your life best. But you may be limited in your choices at the beginning until you build your credit score enough. With the world as it is, coronavirus (COVID-19) and all, a cash-back rewards option may be best.
As for the interest rate, obviously look for the lowest rate you can get. Unfortunately, with an initial secured credit card, you will most likely have to deal with a very high-interest rate. You can successfully circumvent paying that high-interest rate by always paying off the card balance on-time every month, which is actually a key aspect of truly living within your means.
Finally, if possible, I highly recommend placing another $500 in a reserve savings account that you only use in an emergency. If hard times do come, you have a backup to pay off the card. Each time you manually increase your credit card limit via C.D., add the same amount to the reserve savings account.
Please comment below if you have any further questions.