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Best debit cards that build credit

Explore cards that can help improve your credit score.

Our top secured cards

Secured credit cards can be secured by a cash deposit or a deposit account. Credit cards backed by a deposit account are often called credit-building debit cards or debit-credit cards. When you use a secured card that’s linked to a deposit account, your credit limit is determined by your deposit account’s balance — meaning you can’t spend more than you have, helping you avoid excessive debt while also building a credit history. And to top it all off, these unique secured cards usually don’t have annual fees or interest charges.

Earn up to 4% APY

Current Credit Building Card

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on Current's secure site

  • No credit check required to apply
  • No monthly fees or minimum deposit
  • Build credit plus earn up to 4% APY
  • $50 sign-up bonus
  • FDIC insured

No credit check or annual fees

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card

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on Chime's secure site

  • Apply with a Chime Checking account and $200+ direct deposit
  • Build credit
  • No credit check or security deposit required
  • $0 annual fee
  • FDIC insured

Earn 5% on your savings


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on Step's secure site

  • Earn 5% on your savings
  • Use code FINDER5 to earn 5% without direct deposit for 3 months
  • $0 monthly fee
  • Teens build credit safely
  • Cashback rewards
  • FDIC insured

Top 3 cards that can help build credits

1. Current Build card

Current Credit Building Card

Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

Get a $50 referral bonus by inviting your friends to join Current. Once the person receives the invite link and makes qualifying deposits of at least $200 within 45 days of opening the account, you and the referred friend each earn $50.
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on Current's secure site
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Current is a fintech company with banking services provided by Choice Financial Group and Cross River Bank. The Current Build card is a secured, credit-building charge card. While not an actual debit card, the Current Build card is attached to an all-in-one account that functions similarly to a digital checking account. Plus, there's no credit check to apply, no security deposit, no APR and no annual fee.

The Build card's spending balance is what you decide to add to it from your Current account. As you pay down your outstanding balance, the payments are reported to TransUnion.

To get the Current Build card, you must have a Current account and apply. While there are no fees or interest charges to worry about with the Build card, if you're late on a payment, watch out for a 3% late fee of the total balance due.

2. Chime Credit Builder card

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card

Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

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on Chime's secure site

Chime is a fintech company with banking services through its partners, The Bancorp Bank, N.A. and Stride Bank, N.A. Chime offers many banking products, including its Credit Builder card, which is a secured credit card. While not an actual debit card, it has no credit check, no annual fees or APR. You must move money from your Chime account over to the Credit Builder card to determine the spending limit — similar to a security deposit requirement with other secured cards. When you use the card and pay off the outstanding balance, the payments are reported to all three credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.

The Credit Builder card is designed to link with the Chime Checking Account, so to qualify, you must have a Chime Checking account and make qualifying direct deposits of at least $200.

The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Card is issued by Stride Bank, N.A., Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted.
Direct deposit: To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.
Security deposit: Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.

3. Step Card


Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

Use code FINDER5 on your savings to earn 5% without direct deposit for 3 months.
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on Step's secure site
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Designed for kids, teens and young adults, Step is a mobile-first banking app with a free credit-building secured card. Minors won't start building credit until they turn 18 years old and opt in to it. Once they opt in, the last two years get reported to the three major credit bureaus.

Step helps build credit by automatically paying off balances each month with funds held in the attached deposit account and reporting it to the credit bureaus. There's also no credit check, no APR or monthly fees. Similar to other secured cards, the Step Card only allows you to spend up to the amount in your deposit account.

How do credit-building debit cards work?

Most debit cards come with deposit accounts, like checking accounts. With these, you can typically only spend up to your account’s available balance. Since you’re not borrowing, traditional debit cards aren’t part of your credit history.

Credit-building debit cards are like a debit and credit card hybrid. They’re basically an alternative secured credit card but with a different security deposit.

Credit-building debit cards are usually secured with an existing, linked bank account. The linked bank account balance acts as your security balance and sets your spending limit. When you use the card to make purchases, the balance is typically repaid with the linked bank account. Those payments are then reported to the credit bureaus, which can help you build a positive credit history.

Most secured and unsecured lines of credit charge interest. But most credit-debit cards are free, and most don’t charge annual fees or an APR like a traditional credit card.

Benefits of credit building debit cards

One of the best benefits of credit-building cards is the opportunity to build a better credit history, and usually, that means fewer fees than traditional credit cards.

  • Usually no APR. Most credit-debit cards don’t charge interest.
  • Fewer fees. Unlike credit cards, most credit-building debit cards don’t charge annual fees — and many don’t charge monthly maintenance fees either.
  • The account is secured. Most have some type of security, whether it be a linked bank account or a security deposit, making them a safer way to borrow due to the lower risk of accumulated debt you can’t repay.
  • No credit check. The majority don’t require a hard credit pull, and if they do, the requirements are easier to meet than traditional credit cards or loans.
  • Credit-building loans create a nest egg. These products are like savings accounts that you’re required to contribute to, and once the term is up, you get access to the funds.

What to watch out for

Credit-building products are considered safer than traditional borrowing methods, but with that safety comes some downsides.

  • Low spending limits. Because these credit-building debit cards often require a security or deposit, the spending limits are typically much lower than traditional credit cards.
  • Often requires linked bank accounts. Most require you to link an existing bank account, and most require you to open a specific checking account to qualify.
  • Check where they report. Some credit-building products don’t report to all three credit bureaus. For example, Affirm only reports payments to Experian.
  • Credit building loans take time. Unlike traditional installment loans, credit-building cards with loan installments won’t let you access funds until the term is over.

Who are credit-building cards best for?

Credit-building debit cards are great for anyone who wants to start improving their credit history. And if you have a poor credit history, most don’t require a hard credit pull at all, so your credit history isn’t a factor during the application process.

However, you’ll need a security deposit or a linked bank account that’s funded for credit-building debit cards to actually work. They won’t build credit on their own — you have to use the card so that repayments get reported to the credit bureaus.

Bottom line

Building credit takes time — often years of hard work. But many of these credit-debit cards can help push you in the right direction if you consistently use them and make all your payments on time. But taking on credit-building products isn’t the only way to boost your credit history — see more tips on how to build credit here.

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