State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) is a not-for-profit cooperative that provides numerous financial products and services for its members. The company is a federally insured and state-chartered financial institution founded in 1937 by members and is based in Raleigh, North Carolina. SECU offers a Visa credit card with limited fees, excellent interest rates, and some additional benefits. Members also have access to online account management and mobile banking services as well as free financial information articles, calculators, and other resources on its corporate website.

Rank Chart
APR
Reward Options
Our Score
#1
6.99 - 10.5%
Yes
4.1
#2
0 - 24.99%
Yes
4.0
#3
0 - 23.24%
Yes
3.0
#53
state_employess_credit_union
8.25 - 18.0%
No
1.7

The Good

  • SECU credit card benefits
  • Excellent interest rates
  • Online banking services

SECU Credit Card Benefits

The SECU Card features include Verified by Visa security protection and rental car protection insurance. Verified by Visa services ensure the security of any online purchases made with the credit card. This card can also be used as an overdraft for a cardholder’s checking account with the credit union. Consumers can request credit increases either online or by phone and the company automatically increases credit limits from time to time at their discretion. Prepaid Visa credit card options are also available.

Excellent Interest Rates

The financial services company states on its website that all members get an 8.25 percent variable APR rate for purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers. The highest minimum interest rate is disclosed on the website as an 18 percent maximum variable APR charge. These interest rates are much lower than what is normally charged by some other industry competitors. There is also no annual fees or balance transfer fees, but interest will accrue right away. The lack of additional fees makes the card highly beneficial for individuals looking for cash advances or to consolidate large amounts of debt from other multiple credit cards.

Online Banking Services

SECU offers mobile and online banking services for its members that allows them to review account statements, monitor transaction history, transfer funds, and set up automatic recurring payments. Members have access to cleared check images and up to 120 days of completed transaction information. Online accounts are also able to fully integrate with Quicken financial management software. Members can also use the online services to apply for additional accounts and other lending products available from SECU. Customer service representatives are able to be reached 24/7 to resolve any account issues or to answer any questions that might arise.

The Bad

  • Benefit limitations
  • Potential additional fees
  • Service limitations

Benefit Limitations

The credit card does not offer a zero percent introductory APR rate, which would make it even more attractive for debt consolidation. There is also no extended warranty protection or travel emergency assistance that is typically offered by many other competitors. The financial services company also does not state if the credit cards are protected from fraudulent unauthorized purchase activity. The card is not suitable for frequent travelers as the company has limited access or permanent blocks in several countries outside of the United States. Full disclosure on all travel restrictions is directly available on the corporate website for consumers.

Potential Additional Fees

The financial services company does not disclose information regarding any additional fees that may be charged to consumers. It is unclear if the company charges any foreign transaction fees or penalties on late or returned payments. Since the card can be used as overdraft for member bank accounts, consumers will also want to inquire about any related fees that may be involved when this situation may occur. Cardholders will want to read carefully all terms and conditions listed in the company’s contract agreement.

Service Limitations

In order to access the company’s products and services, a consumer must be eligible for membership. Members must live in a service branch location area and be a state government employee or a family member of one. Service branches are located only in North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. An individual must also open a share account with SECU and deposit $25 minimum. Members must also be over 18 years old to have their credit card application approved.

The Bottom Line

State Employees’ Credit Union offers credit card services best suited for individuals with excellent credit histories who want to consolidate large amounts of debt onto one card. The company offers low APR rates and interest fees with a small number of other additional security benefits. The company also offers a wide variety of financial products and services as well as free informational articles, tools, and resources that may be of interest for consumers.

The financial services company has strict criteria for membership eligibility. Individuals outside of the company’s service areas and who are not state employees or relation will need to seek alternative credit card options from other competitors. Full disclosure is not given regarding all potential fees and available benefits are severely limited when compared to other credit card offers in the marketplace.

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