Review: Armed Forces Bank Credit Cards

armed-forces-bank-ccArmed Forces Bank, located mainly on military bases or in military-heavy cities, offers two credit cards to its customers, one for those with strong credit and one for those who are building credit for the first time (or rebuilding after past credit problems).

Our review of the Armed Forces Bank options is below:

  • The Armed Forces Bank Visa is a standard no-annual-fee, no-rewards credit card with a reasonable interest rate. Those with excellent credit histories can get an interest rate of 9.99%, while those whose credit is a bit further down the scale might get a rate as high as 15.6%, which is still a good rate in today’s market. You can apply for this card at an Armed Forces Bank branch.

While this card’s interest rate could be good for those who tend to carry a balance, check out our Low Interest Credit Cards page to compare it to other similar cards. Also, if you have a history of always paying off your credit card balances in full, you should check our Cash Rebate Credit Cards page to see options that reward you for your good credit management.

  • The Armed Forces Bank Credit Builder Secured Visa is marketed to those who have never had credit —such as young military personnel— or those who’ve had credit problems. Secured credit cards are different than unsecured credit cards in that you have to make a deposit upfront that serves as collateral in case you should fail to pay off your card in the future. However, you use the card like any other credit card, and at the end of the month you pay off your balance in the same way — the security deposit you made to begin with is NOT used to pay your balance unless you fail to pay. You make payments just like a regular credit card and over time this helps you build up your credit score to a point where (hopefully) you can get a standard credit card that doesn’t require a deposit. (Note that you get your initial deposit back when you no longer want the card.)

The Armed Forces Bank Secured Visa allows you to deposit an amount between $300 and $3000, and the amount you deposit becomes your card’s credit limit. The card has a $25 annual fee (not part of the refundable deposit), and a high 22.99% interest rate. This card is OK, but there are better options on the market. See our Secured Credit Cards page for other cards you might consider.