Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser disclosure

10 debit cards that build credit

Explore cards that can help improve your credit score.

Debit cards are extremely useful for making regular purchases, getting direct deposits from your employer and keeping track of your spending, thanks to online banking. But they’re typically not helpful if you want to build a positive credit history.

While most debit cards won’t boost your credit score, there are a few credit-building debit cards and secured cards out there that can help you build a credit history safely.

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.

10 cards that can help build credit

1. Extra debit card


Finder score: 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
on Extra's secure site
Read review

Extra is a fintech company with banking services backed by its partner banks Evolve Bank & Trust and Patriot Bank, N.A. The Extra Card is a credit-building debit card that works by connecting the card to your existing bank account. The Extra Card's spending limit is based on your linked bank account balance, called your Spend Balance. When you use the card, Extra 'spots' you for the purchase, and then it pays itself back the next business day with your linked bank account.

At the end of the month, Extra totals up your transactions and reports the payments to Experian and Equifax, which help build your credit history. But it's not free. You'll choose between two plans: Credit Building and Credit Building + Rewards, costing between $149 to $199 annually.

2. Current Build card

Current Credit Building Card

Finder score: 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.
Go to site
on Current's secure site
Read review

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.

3. Fizz debit card

Fizz debit card

Earn rewards by spending at some merchants. Find an offer in the Fizz app and pay with card to get points deposited in your account. Points are worth 1 cent each. Redeem for cash back and other rewards. You must have at least 500 points before redeeming.
Go to site
on Fizz's secure site

The Fizz debit card can help build your credit score, has no APR and requires no credit check. It's designed with college students in mind, but it's open to everyone. It connects the Fizz debit card to an existing bank account, which determines your spending limit and adjusts daily based on your balance. The card's outstanding balance is repaid automatically with your linked bank account, and Fizz reports payments to all three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion.

And unlike most traditional debit cards, the Fizz debit card comes with cashback rewards — something we typically see with regular credit cards. When you spend with participating merchants and build up at least $5 in rewards, you can transfer the rewards to your linked bank account.

4. Chime Credit Builder card

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card

Finder score: 4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

Go to site
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.

5. Step Card


Finder score: 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

Use code FINDER5 on your savings to earn 5% without direct deposit for 3 months.
Go to site
on Step's secure site
Read review

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.

6. Varo Believe card

Varo Believe

Finder score: 4.8 / 5 ★★★★★

Varo is running a Referral Bonus Promotion through September 1, 2023 that gets both existing and new customers $30 when signing up for a Varo Bank account.
Go to site
on Varo's secure site
Read review

Varo is an online, FDIC-insured bank offering the Visa Varo Believe card that's designed to help you build a better credit score. You can set your own spending limit and enjoy no interest and no monthly fees. Varo states all credit histories are accepted, and there's no hard credit pull or minimum security deposit.

It works like this: If approved, you'll get a Varo Believe Secured Account, which is a deposit account that acts as security for your monthly Varo Believe Card payment. You transfer funds into the Varo Believe Secured Account, and the funds in the account sets your spending limit. Then you use the card, and with Varo SafePay on, Varo automatically covers purchases every month using funds from the Secured Account. The payments are then reported to all three credit bureaus. Any unspent amount in the Varo Believe Secured Account remains available to spend into the next billing cycle.

With no fees and APR, it's a solid way to start safely building your credit history. However, Varo has spending limits, and you can only move money into the Varo Believe Secured Account from your Varo Bank Account — so a Varo Bank Account is required to get the Believe Card.

7. Credit Karma Credit Builder plan

Credit Karma Credit Builder

Credit Karma, another fintech company with banking services through Cross River Bank — has a variety of products, such as its credit-monitoring features, its Credit Karma Money Spend account and a Credit Builder plan. The Credit Builder plan is a credit builder loan, which involves making regular deposits into a savings account to build a credit history. The deposits are reported as 'payments'. The Credit Builder plan has no account fees, no interest charges and doesn't require a hard credit pull.

Credit Karma reports Credit Builder payments to all three credit bureaus, so with timely payments, you can improve your credit history and score. Once you reach a balance of at least $500, you gain access to the funds, which you can deposit into your Credit Karma Money Spend account. But to qualify for the Credit Builder plan, you must have a Credit Karma Money Spend account.

8. Affirm Card

Affirm Debit card

Another fintech company with banking services, Affirm offers a card that may help you build credit and let you get small installment loans for purchases. It works like this: You apply for an Affirm Card payment plan before you make a purchase or up to 24 hours after your purchase. The plan uses loans called 'point-of-sale' loans or 'buy now, pay later' loans. Once you use the card, you'll repay the loan over time, and the payments are reported to Experian. If you don't want a payment plan for a purchase under $100, you also have the option of covering the purchase with your linked bank account.

But Affirm only reports some loans and payments to Experian. Affirm also states you must have a healthy credit profile to qualify, which likely means there's a hard credit pull when you apply. To qualify for the Affirm Card, you must have an Affirm account.

9. Sequin Rewards debit card


Finder score: 3.7 / 5 ★★★★★

While this card won't build credit itself, Sequin offers tools to help you monitor and repair your credit history. Sequin is a women-founded fintech company with banking services provided by Thread Bank. It comes with a high-yield checking account with many perks, such as credit monitoring features, debt payoff plans and more.

10. Sesame Cash prepaid debit card

Sesame Cash

Finder score: 5 / 5 ★★★★★

Credit Sesame is a fintech company offering a prepaid debit card called Sesame Cash, which is backed by Community Federal Savings Bank (CDSB). To start building credit, you must open a Sesame Cash account and sign up for the credit builder product. When you move cash into credit builder, it becomes the security deposit for a virtual Secured Credit Card. Plus, you set the utilization ratio. For example, if you deposit $500 and you want the ratio to be 30%, it's a maximum of $150 with the credit builder account.

Once it's set up and you make purchases with the debit card, Credit Sesame looks for purchases that fit within the credit utilization ratio you set. An amount equal to the outstanding balance is set aside in your Sesame Cash account so you can pay off the balance each month. Sesame also offers automatic pay, so the balance is paid on time and in full each month. Sesame states they report to 'the major credit bureaus' but doesn't say which ones.

Sesame Cash costs $9.99 per month, and there's also a $3 inactivity fee. To waive the monthly fee, you must set up a deposit of at least $500 per month or spend at least $1,000 per month with the Sesame Cash account. To avoid the inactivity fee, there must be monthly movements or purchases at least once within a 30-day rolling period. The inactivity fee and monthly fee are waived for the first month.

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.

Compare debit cards that build credit

Narrow down top credit-building cards by their maintenance fee, minimum deposit to open and more to find the best for your budget and financial goals. Select Compare on up to four products to see their benefits side by side

Name Product Fee Minimum deposit to open Requirements Offer
Current Credit Building Card
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5: ★★★★★
Current Credit Building Card
$0 per month
Subject to approval, with no credit check involved.
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.
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
$0 per month
No age requirements; opt-in available at 18 to report positive credit history to bureaus.
Use code FINDER5 on your savings to earn 5% without direct deposit for 3 months.
Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5: ★★★★★
Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card
$0 per month
Must have a Chime Checking Account with eligible direct deposits to qualify.
Fizz debit card
Not rated yet
Fizz debit card
$0 per month
Earn rewards by spending at some merchants. Find an offer in the Fizz app and pay with card to get points deposited in your account. Points are worth 1 cent each. Redeem for cash back and other rewards. You must have at least 500 points before redeeming.
Finder Rating: 4 / 5: ★★★★★
From $149 per year
Requires an existing bank account

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.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site