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The 3 best secured credit cards with no annual fees
Build or rebuild credit without worrying about a yearly charge.
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®
Min. credit score
- 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.
|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®
Min. credit score
- 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.
|Minimum deposit required||Starting at $200|
|Purchase APR||22.49% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||22.49% variable|
|Recommended minimum credit score|
DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card
Min. credit score
- 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.
|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
- 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
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.
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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