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Compare secured credit cards

Use your card responsibly to improve your credit score and graduate to an unsecured card.

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Compare secured credit cards to rebuild credit

Use our table to compare secured credit credits for bad credit. These cards are designed to help you build your credit. Note, you may need to pay the security deposit when you apply for a card. If you don't have enough to fund the deposit, learn how to save up for a deposit.

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Starting at $200
22.49% variable
$0
New to credit
A no annual fee secured card for people who are new to credit or have limited credit history.
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.
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.
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.
PCB Secured Visa®
Starting at $200
18.9% fixed
$39
300
Choose your initial deposit amount and credit limit from $200 to $1000. Rates & fees
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How do secured credit cards work?

A secured credit card is designed to help you build your credit score and works similarly to a traditional credit card. The main difference is you need to put down a security deposit before you can open a secured card.

This deposit helps protect the issuer in the event you fall behind on your payments or default. Because of this, the bank extends you credit when you otherwise wouldn’t qualify for a credit card. This gives you the opportunity to build your credit by showing you can responsibly manage a credit card. To learn how secured credit cards work, read up on our guide.

1. Compare & apply for a card

Avoid predatory cards with high fees or rates. Once you choose a card, you may have to provide your bank credentials during the application to pay the deposit.

2. Raise your credit score

Now that you have a card, use it to raise your credit score by paying your full balance on time each month.

3. Graduate to an unsecured card

Once you raise your credit score, you’re ready for a new card. Contact the bank to see if you can upgrade your card and get your deposit refunded.

Our picks for the best secured cards

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Which banks offer secured credit cards?

BanksDo they offer a secured card?Available secured cards
AmexNN/A
Bank of AmericaYBankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
BarclaycardNN/A
Capital OneYCapital One® Secured Mastercard®
ChaseNN/A
CitiYCiti® Secured Mastercard®
HSBCNN/A
DiscoverYDiscover it® Secured
U.S. bankYU.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card
Wells FargoYWells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

What type of card do you need?

Pros and cons of secured cards

Because secured cards are designed for building credit, there are some trade-offs to consider.

Pros

  • Low credit score requirements. Apply with a poor credit score of 300 or higher and you can still get your card approval.
  • Good for building credit. Use your card responsibly, pay your balance when it’s due and in time, and it will build your credit. Once you’re back on track, you can easily apply for a better card.
  • Rewards. Earn cash back on your purchases with some secured cards. However, the rewards rate is lower compared to their unsecured counterparts.
  • Control over your credit limit. Make a secured deposit that acts as your credit line. That way you can control the size of your credit line. Unfortunately, all card providers impose limits on the amount you can deposit.
  • Upgrade to an unsecured card. You do more than simply build your credit with a secured card. You can also get an upgrade to an unsecured card if your provider finds your card activity worth rewarding.

Cons

  • Upfront costs. Deposit a required sum to use the card. If you decide to close your account, the card issuer often returns this deposit.
  • Annual fee. Pay an annual fee of up to $49 for the card. Luckily, not all secured cards come with an annual fee.
  • Foreign transaction fee. Pay foreign transaction fees of up to 3% for each transaction made abroad or online with foreign merchants. That’s because secured cards aren’t designed for international travel.
  • No intro APR period. It’s hard to find a secured card that offers an intro APR period on purchases, balance transfers or both. Those cards that do offer this perk will likely have 6% or 9% intro APR period instead of 0%.
  • No signup bonus. Often, you won’t get to earn a signup bonus of any kind. However, there are some cards that offer this perk.

Should I get a secured credit card?

A secured card is one of the most effective methods of restoring a poor credit score. But are secured credit cards worth it for your circumstances? To make that call, examine these factors related to secured cards.

  • The security deposit. On average, most secured cards require a security deposit of around $200. You need to determine if you can part with that cash upfront because you won’t see it again until you close your account.
  • Are you actively focused on building credit? Using a secured card can help raise your credit score and teach you effective spending habits. That’s why a secured credit card is often worth it.
  • Your future credit card goals. Secured cards are one of the best starter cards to help you build credit. Once you’ve established your credit history, you can apply for way better cards down the line and earn generous rewards on your purchases.
  • Your credit history. Secured cards are a solid option if you’re new to credit altogether as they let you dip your toes in the water with a feature-light card.
  • A bankruptcy. If you’ve filed for bankruptcy in the past, a secured card might be one of your only available options when it comes to building credit.

You asked, we listened: Top 5 common questions

Secured credit cards function similarly to standard cards, but with some important distinctions. Here are the five most common questions we receive on the subject.

  1. Do secured credit cards really help you build credit? With responsible use, yes. They’re designed to limit your total credit card spending while you work on improving your credit score. They also typically report to all three credit bureaus.
  2. How much will I need to deposit for a secured card? The deposit amount depends on the specific credit card as well as your existing credit score. Typically, the lowest amount you can deposit is either $200 or $300.
  3. Why do I need to place a security deposit? Your security deposit serves as collateral for the card issuer in the event that you fall behind or default on your account.
  4. Can you get denied for a secured card? Yes. Depending on your financial and credit history, an issuer can deny you a secured credit card. Read our guide on what to do if your application is denied.
  5. How many secured cards should I have? If you can manage and use them responsibly, having more than one secured card can increase your total limit and improve your utilization ratio.

Ask the experts

Andrei Simonov profile picture
  • Andrei Simonov
  • Chairperson of the Department of Finance
  • Michigan State University
Travis Davidson profile picture
  • Travis Davidson
  • Associate Professor of Finance
  • Ohio University
Daniel Folkinshteyn profile picture
  • Daniel Folkinshteyn
  • Associate Professor
  • Rowan University
Neel Das
  • Neel Das
  • Associate Professor
  • Appalachian State University
Al Kamienski
  • Al Kamienski
  • PhD Professor of Finance
  • North Park University
Julio Sevilla
  • Julio Sevilla
  • Assistant Professor in the Terry College of Business
  • University of Georgia

Bottom line

Secured cards are a useful tool for building or rebuilding your credit score and moving on to an unsecured card. 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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