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The 3 best secured credit cards with no annual fees

Build or rebuild credit without worrying about a yearly charge.

Updated

Fact checked

If you’re using a secured credit card, you’re probably interested in building or rebuilding your credit. That’s why having to pay an annual fee for a secured card can be a bitter pill to swallow. Fortunately, there are a few secured cards with no annual fees that even come with some rewards and perks.

When choosing our secured credit card with no annual fee picks, we looked at a few features, including annual fee, security deposit and any other perks that a consumer might find appealing in a secured card. Those cards that outperformed the others in a given category were chosen for our list.

Here are our favorite picks for secured credit cards with no annual fees.

Secured credit cards with no annual fees

We’ve scoured the market looking for the best secured credit cards without annual fees. Among these $0 annual fee cards, we’ve also highlighted factors that make these cards stand out.

Best secured card for lowest deposit
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (580-669)
Read review
Rates & fees

580
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
26.99% variable
Purchase APR
From $49
Min. deposit
With a secured card, your credit limit will typically equal your security deposit. Not so with the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. Depending on your credit, you may be able to deposit only $49 or $99 and still get a credit line of $200.
  • Various minimum deposits. Depending on your credit, you'll make a cash deposit of $49, $99 or $200 to activate your card.
  • Get an upgrade with timely payments. After you make your first five monthly payments on time, you'll get a higher credit line.
  • Platinum Mastercard perks. Get purchase benefits, travel insurance, roadside assistance and more.
Annual fee $0
Minimum deposit required $49, $99 or $200
Purchase APR 26.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 26.99% variable
Recommended minimum credit score 580

Best secured card for no credit
Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard® logo
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (580-739)
Read review
580
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
22.49% variable
Purchase APR
From $200
Min. deposit
If you're not rebuilding your credit score from past mistakes and you need to start fresh, the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a great, straightforward secured credit card to get the ball rolling. Fees are minimal, you won't need to concern yourself with rewards and your security deposit starts as low as $200.
  • Standard interest rate. You'll enjoy a fairly standard 22.49% variable APR for purchases and balance transfers.
  • Mastercard perks. Get purchase benefits, travel insurance, roadside assistance and more.
  • Online account features. Autopay, flexible pay dates and alerts to help you stay on track.
  • Minimum deposit. Deposit of $200.
Annual fee $0
Minimum deposit required Starting at $200
Purchase APR 22.49% variable
Balance transfer APR 22.49% variable
Recommended minimum credit score 580
The information about Citi® Secured Mastercard® has been collected independently by Finder and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

Honorable mention
DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (300-579)
Read review
300
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
11.5% variable
Purchase APR
From $500
Min. deposit
The DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card offers a relatively low 11.5% variable APR for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.The card doesn't have rewards. But it's still a reliable no-annual-fee choice, as long as you're willing to join the Digital Federal Credit Union.
  • Low interest rate. Enjoy a low 11.5% variable APR for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.
  • Light on the fees. No balance transfer, cash advance or foreign transaction fees.
  • Minimum deposit. None. You borrow against your DCU savings account.
Annual fee $0
Minimum deposit required Starting at $500
Purchase APR 11.5% variable
Balance transfer APR 11.5% variable
Recommended minimum credit score 300

How to choose the best secured credit card

There aren’t as many secured card options to choose from as there are with other types of credit cards. But if you’re new to credit or trying to rebuild your credit — it may seem hard to make the right choice. To make it easy for you, here’s what to consider to choose the best secured card for your situation:

  • Secured deposit amount. Probably the most important aspect of a secured credit card is the amount you can deposit. Most secured cards start with a $200 deposit, which acts as your credit limit, but the Capital One Secured Card may give you the $200 credit limit with a $49 deposit.
  • Credit bureau reporting. To build your credit, a credit card must report your activity to the three major credit bureaus — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Choose a card that does.
  • Interest rates. Secured credit cards often have higher interest rates than unsecured cards. However, there are some secured cards that offer some of the lowest interest rates you can find in a credit card. If you often carry your balance, this type of secured card may be your best choice.

Benefits of getting a secured card with no annual fee

A card with no annual fee offers a few advantages:

  • You can use the card at your own pace. Cards with an annual fee typically require a certain amount of usage to make up for that fee. With a no-annual-fee card, you can use your card as often or little as you like without that added pressure.
  • Save money. The most obvious benefit of a no-annual-fee secured card: you won’t have to factor the annual fee cost into your budgeting. When you’re trying to build credit, every penny counts.

Do I really need a secured credit card?

If you want to build credit without paying high fees and interest rates, a secured card is a solid option. You also need to be able to put down an upfront secured deposit to use the card.

There are unsecured cards for building credit where you don’t need to make a secured deposit. But they may cost you more in the long run because of the high annual fee and host of other fees that could make building credit difficult.

Compare other secured credit cards

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $200
17.39% variable
$35
300
Apply for this card with no credit check if you're new to credit or have bad credit.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
Starting at $200
9.99% fixed
$48
300
No credit check is required for this secured card. Make a deposit of at least $200 to open this card and get a low 9.99% fixed APR on purchases.
Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% variable)
$49
300
A rare secured card with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, followed by 12.99% variable.
Self Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $100
21.74% variable
$25
300
Build your credit with a low minimum security deposit of $100 and no credit score required.
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
13.99% variable
$39
300
No minimum credit score and no credit history required.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Will a secured card with an annual fee help me build credit faster?

No, not necessarily. Many secured cards feature annual fees to offset the possibility of a cardholder default. You might think of an annual fee as a way of “buying in” to the opportunity to build your credit. As such, an annual fee secured credit card won’t offer you a particular advantage over a no annual fee secured card.

Bottom line

Picking a secured card with no annual fee is a great way to make the process of building credit as easy and pain-free as possible. Compare more secured credit cards for even more options for building your credit score.

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