Build a credit score to be proud of with secured cards | finder.com

Secured Credit Card Finder

Build your credit to graduate to an unsecured card.

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If you have a poor credit history, or don’t have a credit score at all, a secured card might be your best option for restoring or building financial health. Most secured cards require you put down a security deposit. This serves as your credit limit and collateral for your credit lender in the event you miss payments.

Use your secured card responsibly and pay your balance in full each month to start improving your score and graduate to an unsecured credit card.

Our pick for a secured credit card

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.

  • $35 annual fee
  • 19.64% variable APR
  • $200 minimum deposit
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Compare secured credit cards

While secured cards don’t typically offer the breadth of features and perks that come with unsecured cards, you’ll still find a decent variety of secured cards to suit your needs.

Name Product Filter values Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
26.99% variable
$0
300
Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time.
19.64% variable
$35
300
A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
9.99% fixed
$48
300
This secured card can help you rebuild your credit with an initial deposit of $200 to $1,000.
20.74% variable
$29
300
Build your credit with all three major credit bureaus.
13.99% fixed
$39
300
Open a personal savings deposit account to secure a credit line from $200 to $5,000.

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Best secured credit cards

Best secured card for low deposit: Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Most secured cards require a deposit corresponding to your credit limit. This is not the case with Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. Depending on your credit score, you can pay as little as $49 and still receive a $200 credit limit.

Best secured card for no fees and low APR: DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

The DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card offers one of the lowest variable APRs for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances among secured cards. You also won’t have to worry about a variety of fees, meaning you can concentrate on paying down your balance.

To apply for this secured card however, you’ll need to open a savings account at DCU.

Best secured card for no credit check: OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Though secured cards are designed to help you build credit, applying for one typically requires a credit check nonetheless. This can affect your credit limit or even disqualify you for a card.

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card skips the credit check, meaning you can apply even if you don’t have any credit.

Best secured card for military members: Navy Federal Credit Union® nRewards® Secured Credit Card

nRewards® Secured Credit Card
Military members can experience some unique challenges when it comes to building and using credit, so a secured card such as the Navy Federal Credit Union® nRewards® Secured Credit Card helps mitigate those challenges. This card offers low fees, a low APR, a rewards program and a path to graduating to an unsecured card.

How we selected our top cards

We compared a number of factors shared across secured cards, including minimum security deposits, credit limits, intro and overall APRs, fees, qualification requirements and unusual perks such as rewards programs. Cards that outperformed others, or fulfilled unique niches, were selected for our list.

What’s changed in 2019

Among major providers, Capital One still leads the way in secured cards. You’ll also continue to find great options among lesser-known providers, especially if you’re looking for unique perks like low APR or no credit check.

Secured credit card deposit amounts and payment windows

Credit cardDeposit amountDeposit windowFunding method
AeroMexico Visa® Secured Card$300 – $5,000Fund when you apply

Print an application and mail along with your deposit payment.

Cashier’s check

Money order

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card$200 – $1,000Fund when you applyOpen and fund an account with Applied Bank.
Armed Forces Bank Card$300 – $3,000Fund when you applyOpen and fund a Credit Builder Savings Account with Armed Forces Bank.
BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card$300 – $4,900Fund when you applyBank transfer
Bremer Bank Visa® Secured Card$300 – $5,000Fund when you applyOpen and fund an account with Bremer Bank, cashiers check and money order.
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®$49, $99 or $200, based on your creditworthiness.35 daysBank transfer
Citi® Secured Mastercard®$200 – $2,50014 daysBank transfer
DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card$500 – $1,00045 daysBank transfer
Excent Secured Credit Card$200 – $5,00030 daysBank transfer
Fifth Third Secured Card$300 – $5,000Fund when you applyOpen and fund an account with Fifth Third Bank
First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card$200 – $2,000Fund when you applyOpen and fund an account with Synovus Bank
First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card$200 – $2,000Fund when you applyOpen and fund an account with Synovus Bank
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card$200 – $5,000Fund when you applyOpen and fund an account with Synovus Bank
Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Card$300 – $5,000Fund when you applyBank transfer

Cashier’s check

Money order

Justice Federal Credit Union (JFCU) VISA Classic Secured Card$100 – 110% of pledged shares.Fund when you applyBank transfer
Merrick Bank Secured Visa® Card$200 – $3,00030 daysBank transfer

Cashier’s check

Money order

nRewards® Secured Credit Card$200 – $5,000Fund when you applyBank transfer (Applicant must be an NFCU member)
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card$200 – $3,000Fund when you applyBank transfer, Money Order
Green Dot primor® Visa® Classic Secured Credit Card$200 – $5,00030 daysBank transfer
Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card$200 – $5,00030 daysBank transfer
Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card$200 – $5,00030 daysBank transfer
Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Classic Secured Credit Card$200 – $5,00030 daysBank transfer
Green Dot® Platinum Visa®
  • Please note: All information about Green Dot® Platinum Visa® has been collected independently by Finder.
$200 – $1,00060 daysBank transfer

Check or money order

Pay at a Green Dot partner retail store

SDFCU Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card$250 – $100,00030 daysBank transfer
SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card$300 – $5,000Fund when you applyBank transfer, cashiers check and money order
SunTrust Secured Card$300, maximum deposit depends on your creditworthinessFund when you applyMust open and fund an account with SunTrust Bank
Surge Mastercard® Credit Card®$50 – $50030 daysUndisclosed
TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card$300 – $5,000Fund when you applyBank transfer
Union Bank® Secured Visa® Credit Card$300 – $5,000Fund when you applyUndisclosed
UNITY Visa® Secured Credit Card$250 – $10,000Fund when you applyBank transfer, check or money order
UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card - UGET25 Promotion$300 – $5,000Fund when you applyBank transfer
U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card$300 – $5,000Fund when you applyBank transfer

Cashier’s check

Money order

Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card$300 – $25,00030 daysBank transfer from Wells Fargo account

Check or money order

Cashier’s check

Funding your secured credit card

How to choose a secured credit card

Choosing the right secured credit card is important for making sure you end up with a card that will help you rebuild your credit score. Once you’ve reviewed your options, follow these simple steps to applying for a secured card.

  • Minimum security deposit. If you don’t have a lot of money to put toward a security deposit, you’ll want a secured credit card with a low deposit.
  • Maximum security deposit. Look for a secured credit card that requires a high security deposit if you want a secured credit card with a large credit limit. Many limit the security deposit to $5,000, but there are a few that allow security deposits as high as $10,000.
  • Interest rate. Ideally, you will pay your balance in full each month. This is the best way to build a good credit score and avoid getting into debt. If there’s a chance that you’ll carry a balance rather than pay in full each month, choose a secured credit card with a low interest rate. You’ll pay less in finance charges if you have a low interest rate.
  • Reporting to the major credit bureaus. The goal of having a secured credit card is to build a new credit history or rebuild a bad credit history. Having a card that reports your account details to the major credit bureaus is a must. This way your payment history will be included in your credit report and will help improve your credit score.
  • The credit card issuer. Picking a secured credit card from a major credit card issuer is often a safe choice. Choose a secured credit card from a well-known, reputable credit card issuer to be sure you’re not falling for a scam.

How a secured credit card can help you build credit

Secured credit cards play an integral role in helping you build or rebuild your credit. They’re a useful first step in your credit journey and bolster several of the financial areas lenders will look at when considering your application. Read more about how secured credit cards can help your credit score and compare your options to start restoring your credit score.

Bottom line

Secured cards are a useful tool for building or rebuilding your credit score and moving on to an unsecured card. Don’t get too comfortable while using it however — your main goal is to spend responsibly, pay your balance on time and graduate to more beneficial credit cards as soon as possible.

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