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

Compare 7+ secured cards starting at 9.99% APR

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Your guide to secured credit cards

Build your credit to graduate to an unsecured card.

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
19.64% variable
$35
300
A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
26.74% variable
$0
300
No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval.
10.74% variable
$49
300
Build or rebuild your credit with this secured card.
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.

Compare up to 4 providers

What type of secured credit card do you need?

Best secured credit cards?

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

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

Best secured card for rewards and cashback: Discover it® Secured

Discover it® Secured
Secured cards don’t often come with a rewards or cashback structure, but the Discover it® Secured distinguishes itself with a rather generous cashback program. Not only will you earn cashback on purchases but Discover will match the cashback you earn during your first card year.

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.

Methodology

When selecting our picks for best secured credit cards, we compared a number of factors shared across secured cards, including security deposit required, credit limits associated with the card, intro APRs and overall APRs, the presence of fees, qualification requirements and the presence of unusual perks such as a rewards program. Those cards that performed above and beyond the others or fulfilled a unique niche were selected for highlight on our list.

Compare secured cards by…

Secured cards by minimum deposit

Secured cards by APR

Secured credit card deposit amounts and payment windows

Credit card Deposit amount Deposit window Funding method
AeroMexico Visa® Secured Card $300 – $5,000 Fund 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 – $1,000 Fund when you apply Open and fund an account with Applied Bank.
Armed Forces Bank Card $300 – $3,000 Fund when you apply Open and fund a Credit Builder Savings Account with Armed Forces Bank.
BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card $300 – $4,900 Fund when you apply Bank transfer
Bremer Bank Visa® Secured Card $300 – $5,000 Fund when you apply Open and fund an account with Bremer Bank, cashiers check and money order.
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One® $49, $99 or $200, based on your creditworthiness. 35 days Bank transfer
Citi® Secured Mastercard® $200 – $2,500 14 days Bank transfer
Digital Federal Credit $500 – $1,000 45 days Bank transfer
Discover it® Secured $200 – $2,500 Fund when you apply Bank transfer
Excent Secured Credit Card $200 – $5,000 30 days Bank transfer
Fifth Third Secured Card $300 – $5,000 Fund when you apply Open and fund an account with Fifth Third Bank
The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card $200 – $2,000 Fund when you apply Open and fund an account with Synovus Bank
First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card $200 – $2,000 Fund when you apply Open and fund an account with Synovus Bank
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card $200 – $5,000 Fund when you apply Open and fund an account with Synovus Bank
Harley-Davidson® Visa® Secured Card $300 – $5,000 Fund when you apply Bank transfer

Cashier’s check

Money order

Justice Federal Credit Union (JFCU) VISA Classic Secured Card $100 – 110% of pledged shares. Fund when you apply Bank transfer
Merrick Bank Secured Visa® Card $200 – $3,000 30 days Bank transfer

Cashier’s check

Money order

nRewards® Secured Credit Card $200 – $50,000 Fund when you apply Bank transfer (Applicant must be an NFCU member)
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card $200 – $3,000 Fund when you apply Bank transfer, Money Order
Green Dot primor® Visa® Classic Secured Credit Card $200 – $5,000 30 days Bank transfer
Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card $200 – $5,000 30 days Bank transfer
Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card $200 – $5,000 30 days Bank transfer
Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Classic Secured Credit Card $200 – $5,000 30 days Bank transfer
Green Dot® Platinum Visa® $200 – $1,000 60 days Bank transfer

Check or money order

Pay at a Green Dot partner retail store

Reflex Mastercard® $50 – $2000 30 days Bank transfer
SDFCU Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card $250 – $100,000 30 days Bank transfer
SKYPASS Visa® Secured Card $300 – $5,000 Fund when you apply Bank transfer, cashiers check and money order
SunTrust Secured Card $300, maximum deposit depends on your creditworthiness Fund when you apply Must open and fund an account with SunTrust Bank
Surge Mastercard® Credit Card® $50 – $500 30 days Undisclosed
TCF Bank Secured Visa® Card $300 – $5,000 Fund when you apply Bank transfer
Union Bank® Secured Visa® Credit Card $300 – $5,000 Fund when you apply Undisclosed
UNITY Visa® Secured Credit Card $250 – $10,000 Fund when you apply Bank transfer, check or money order
UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card - UGET25 Promotion $300 – $5,000 Fund when you apply Bank transfer
U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card $300 – $5,000 Fund when you apply Bank transfer

Cashier’s check

Money order

Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card $300 – $25,000 30 days Bank 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 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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