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Secured credit cards: Visa vs. Mastercard

Both offer solid secured credit card options.

If you’re looking for a secured credit card, you might be wondering if you should pick Visa over Mastercard. Or vice versa.

Fortunately, you can’t really go wrong with either choice as Mastercard and Visa pretty much offer the same secured card benefits. Instead, compare your options based on the features and perks offered by the issuer.

Look for these secured credit card benefits

Generally, secured cards from Visa and Mastercard offer similar benefits. More important is what you’ll get from your issuer.

When considering a secured card, look at these factors:

Acceptance

Visa and Mastercard are the most widely accepted credit cards in the world. Here’s the bottom line for Visas and Mastercards: If a merchant accepts one, they’ll most likely accept the other. So regardless of which secured card you choose, you can probably use it anywhere credit cards are accepted.

Credit card networks vs. issuers: What’s the difference?

Credit card networks are companies that dictate the usage of credit cards between merchants and card users — think Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express. Networks set fees that allow merchants to accept their product.

Credit card issuers are companies who lend credit out to the consumers. For example, you have a Visa credit card that is issued by Chase bank — in this case, Chase is the issuer and Visa is the network. However, American Express and Discover are both networks and issuers.

Chances of approval

It isn’t easier to get approved for one over the other. Instead, it’s more important to consider your card issuer. For example, some issuers have tight approval standards, while other issuers accept consumers with poor credit.

If you’re worried that you could be denied for a card, look for a secured card that doesn’t require a credit check.

Features

Depending on which product you’re approved for, Visa and Mastercard may offer:

  • Zero liability for unauthorized purchases. If your card is used without your knowledge, you won’t pay anything.
  • Cardholder assistance. Call a 24/7 hotline whenever you have problems with your card.
  • A Visa or Mastercard may come with additional features, especially if it’s a Platinum card:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver. An auto rental collision damage waiver (CDW) will reimburse you if your rental car is damaged or stolen.
  • Roadside assistance. If you have problems with your vehicle while you’re on the road, give a call to the roadside assistance hotline. Services include towing, tire changes, jump-starts, lockout service, fuel delivery and more.
  • Extended warranties. In many cases, your item’s original warranty is doubled if you’ve purchased it with your card.

To see if a card offers these benefits, check with your issuer. Cards may offer different perks depending on issuers’ agreements with the card networks.

Compare Visa and Mastercard secured credit cards

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Annual fee Minimum credit score
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $200
$35
300
Apply for this card with no credit check if you're new to credit or have bad credit.
Self Secured Visa® Credit Card
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Self Secured Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $100
$25
300
Build your credit with a low minimum security deposit of $100 and no credit score required.
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
Starting at $200
$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.
Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card
Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
$36
300
Build or rebuild your credit with a secured credit card.
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1 - 1 of 1
Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Annual fee Minimum credit score
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
$49, $99 or $200
$0
New / limited credit
A no-annual-fee secured card that separates itself from the pack with a $200 credit limit after making a more affordable than average deposit of $49, $99 or $200. See rates & fees
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Consider these Mastercard and Visa secured cards

You’ll find a wide variety of secured options to choose from with Mastercard and Visa. Below, we compared a couple of cards from each issuer to give you an idea of the types of features you might find while searching for the card that fits your needs.

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card
This card has no annual fee and a relatively low APR of 16.5% variable . You can open your account for as little as $15 — $10 to join the credit union and $5 to open a savings account. However, you’ll need to make a deposit of at least $500 to use the card. Visa benefits include auto rental collision damage waivers, travel insurance coverage and extended warranties.

SDFCU Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card

SDFCU Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card
You’ll pay no annual fee and a receive very low APR of 16.99% variable . Join SDFCU for as little as $10 along with a minimum $5 deposit into a savings account.

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
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This card has no annual fee. You may qualify to deposit only $49 or $99 and still get a $200 credit line. After you pay your bill on time for the first five months, you’ll automatically qualify for a higher credit line. Because the card is a Platinum Mastercard, you’ll get benefits such as:
  • Extended warranty.
  • Auto rental insurance.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • 24/7 travel assistance.
  • 24/7 roadside assistance.
  • Price protection.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard®
A solid option with no annual fee. Like the Capital One Secured Card, it includes Mastercard benefits such as extended warranties and auto rental insurance.

Bottom line

Pick a secured credit card based on the features offered by the issuer if you want the best approach to selecting a secured credit card. While Visa and Mastercard occasionally provide additional benefits on their cards, these are typically restricted to their unsecured offerings.

Compare secured credit card options to find the card most suited to your spending and financial needs.

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