Harley-Davidson Visa Secured Card Review

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Designed for Harley fans who are new to credit or bouncing back from past credit mistakes, the low commitment Harley-Davidson Visa Secured card, issued by U.S. Bank, offers a unique alternative to no frills cards for credit builders. Unlike most secured cards, it offers modest rewards you can use to help outfit your motorcycle or lower maintenance and service costs.

U.S. Bank Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured card

overall rating
3.9
U.S. Bank Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured card
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1 point on all purchases
Ratings Breakdown
for Interest
2.1
for Fees
1.9
for Rewards
4.8
for Credit
3.7

Who Is This Credit Card Best For?

  • Avatar for Savvy Saver Persona
    Prioritizes sticking to their budget while buying what they want and need See more cards
    Savvy Saver
  • Avatar for Credit Builder Persona
    Takes improving their finances seriously and wants recognition for using credit responsibly See more cards
    Credit Builder

The Harley-Davidson Visa Secured card is best for members of the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) and other motorcycle enthusiasts who don’t qualify for the unsecured version of this rewards card, but who want to show off their fandom and earn Harley-Davidson gift cards good toward gear or repairs. You’re an especially good match if you enjoy participating in sweepstakes: Every time you use your card you’ll be entered in a drawing for a brand new Harley (anyone, even non-cardholders, can enter).

Like any secured credit card, this is an option for first-time cardholders and borrowers with bad credit who are unable to get approved for mainstream, unsecured cards. If approved, U.S. Bank will typically offer you a credit line in the same amount as your one-time refundable deposit.

Pros
  • No annual fee

  • Relatively high credit limit

  • Rewards on purchases

  • A chance to win free prizes

  • Above-average benefits

Cons
  • High interest rate

  • Expensive security deposit

  • Rewards restricted to Harley-Davidson purchases

Pros Explained

  • No annual fee: Unlike many secured credit cards, this low commitment card doesn’t charge an annual fee, saving you anywhere from $25 to $49 (or maybe more) in unnecessary charges. 
  • Relatively high credit limit: If you’ve got the cash available, you could fund a credit limit as high as $5,000—which could be helpful to your developing credit score. A low credit utilization ratio, in which you only use a small portion of your total available credit, is a key component of a healthy credit score. 
  • Rewards on purchases: Not many secured cards offer a rewards program. Even fewer offer rewards that are simple to use. Rather than force cardholders to navigate complicated rules or a confusing array of options, this card keeps it simple with gift cards you can use to buy Harley-Davidson gear or help pay for your bike’s maintenance. 
  • A chance to win free prizes: More fun than practical, this unusual card benefit will add a unique twist to every purchase: each time you use your card, your name will be entered into a drawing to win a brand-new bike or a $500 Harley-Davidson gift card. (Of course, you don't need to make purchases, nor even be a cardholder, to enter the sweepstakes.)  
  • Above-average benefits: While credit-builder cards don’t typically offer many benefits, this one isn’t as bare bones as some. You’ll at least get secondary rental car insurance—which is no longer the ubiquitous credit card perk it used to be—and free access to your VantageScore credit score. 

Cons Explained

  • High interest rate: Like other secured cards without an annual fee, the Harley-Davidson Visa Secured card charges a hefty interest rate that can wind up costing you a lot more than the typical secured card annual fee. If you plan to carry a balance, you may be better off paying an annual fee on a card with a lower interest rate.
  • Expensive security deposit: While deposits on secured cards are refundable, you still need to have that money to spare. Some secured cards require as little as $49 to $200 down, but the Harley-Davidson Visa Secured card requires you to commit at least $300.
  • Rewards restricted to Harley-Davidson purchases: Even if you’re a committed Harley fan, you may still wish you had more flexibility in how you use your rewards. Harley- Davidson credit cards don’t give you any choice in how to use your points. You’re out of luck if you decide you’d like cash back or a credit on your statement.

A secured credit card is one that requires a security deposit to open the account. The deposit acts as a kind of insurance for the bank in case the cardholder defaults. With unsecured cards, which are far more commonplace, lenders rely on credit score and other factors to determine how likely the applicant will be to repay their loan. 

Earning Points & Rewards

Compared to most big-bank rewards cards, the rewards rate on the Harley-Davidson Visa Secured card—1 point per $1 spent—is pretty modest. But it’s not bad for a credit builder card and is a big improvement over secured cards that don’t offer any rewards at all. 

There are a few secured cards that offer a more generous return, but their rewards programs may not be nearly as attractive to motorcycle enthusiasts.

Redeeming Rewards

Unlike many credit card rewards programs, the Harley-Davidson Visa Secured card keeps things fairly simple: Points can only be redeemed for Harley-Davidson gift cards at a rate of 1 cent per point. You’ll have to wait until you’ve saved up at least 2,500 points (worth $25) before you can get anything back, and you’ll be restricted to $25 increments. So, for example, if you have 6,000 points saved up, you’ll get a $50 gift card and will have 1,000 points left over. 

Redemption isn’t automatic; you’ll need to request your gift card online, through a mobile app, or over the phone.

Once you have your gift card, you can use it for a wide variety of Harley-Davidson purchases, including motor parts and accessories, gifts and apparel, Harley-Davidson museum and factory tours, and motorcycle maintenance and repairs. You can even put your gift card toward the down payment on your next Harley. You don’t have to wait for a physical gift card either. If you’re in a rush, you can opt for an immediate e-gift card. 

Harley-Davidson points don’t last forever, so don’t wait too long before redeeming them for a gift card. If you don’t, they’ll expire three years after you earn them (on Dec. 31 of that third year). Gift cards, on the other hand, never expire.  

How to Get the Most Out of This Card

Your credit limit will typically be equal to the refundable deposit you use to fund and secure your new credit card. So if you plan to use this card regularly (which is a good idea if you want to earn a significant amount back), set aside as large a down payment as you can afford. That way, your everyday purchases don’t cause you to bump up against your credit limit and negatively affect your credit score.

For example, if your credit limit is $350 and you’ve charged $200 in groceries, your credit utilization ratio—which is an important credit scoring metric—will be over 57%. 

A commonly recommended rule of thumb is to keep your credit usage to below 30% of your total available credit. But you’re better off using even less. Set up a text alert that notifies you when your balance has reached a certain amount. For example, if you have $1,000 in credit available and you’re trying to keep your utilization rate below 20%, ask U.S. Bank to alert you when your balance reaches $200.  

Other Features

  • Rental car collision insurance (secondary to your own policy)

Customer Experience

U.S. Bank doesn’t have the best reputation for customer service. According to J.D. Power’s latest credit card satisfaction survey, for example, it ranked near the bottom among the biggest issuers and garnered especially mediocre marks for customer communication and interaction. However, it does offer a mobile app you can use to pay bills and keep track of your secured card. It also offers custom payment tools to help turbocharge your debt payments, revise your payment due date, or get free customizable alerts about your credit card. You can also review your VantageScore credit score—but only via your account online. 

Security Features 

The Harley-Davidson Visa Secured card offers standard security features, including zero liability for fraudulent purchases.

Fees to Watch Out For

The fees for this card are fairly standard, including the late payment fee of up to $40. Unlike some competitors, however, U.S. Bank doesn’t forgive your first late payment. The card’s minimum interest charge of $2 is also fairly high compared to similar cards.

For U.S. Bank Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured card
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CURRENT CARD
U.S. Bank Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured card
overall rating
3.9
Recommended Credit Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Poor - Excellent
Regular APR (%) 22.99% variable
Annual Fee $0
Rewards Earning Rate Earn 1 point on all purchases
Our Methodology
At The Balance, we are dedicated to giving you unbiased, comprehensive credit card reviews. To do this, we collect data on hundreds of cards and score more than 55 features that affect your finances.
  • Our Reviews Are Always Impartial: No one can influence which cards we review, the way we present them to you, or the ratings they receive. The scores and reviews come directly from the data we collect and our editorial expertise, and we focus on three areas:
  • How Much Does It Cost? With credit card debt at an all-time high, we believe you should know the cost of carrying a balance. Because of that, we give regular purchase APRs significant weight in overall scores, and cards receive low marks if they have an array of pricey fees.
  • What Are the Rewards Worth? Cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely. To simplify the problem, we built a system that fairly compares rewards and gives them a dollar value. We do this by looking at the ways you can earn and use rewards, which includes evaluating Americans’ typical spending habits and analyzing common travel patterns.
  • Does It Make Your Life Easier? Our scoring system favors cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting customer service. Finally, we give preference to credit cards that have several tools for dealing with fraudulent charges.
  • For every review on The Balance, we hold the credit cards to these standards, and we set the bar high. While we recognize the appeal of splashy features like six-digit sign-up bonuses, our approach ensures that credit cards with the best combination of value, affordability, and accessibility receive the highest scores. See our full methodology for more details.

Article Sources

The Balance requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. FICO. "Amounts Owed." Accessed Feb. 21.

  2. J.D. Power. "2019 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study." Accessed Feb. 21, 2020.