Secured credit cards: Visa vs. Mastercard

Both offer solid secured credit card options.

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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.

Compare two secured cards: Visa vs. Mastercard

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

  • The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a no annual fee credit card that helps you build your credit when used responsibly.
  • Unlike a debit card, it helps build your credit history with monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus. Once available, you will also have free access to your FICO score online.
  • Use your card anywhere Mastercard® is accepted — worldwide.
  • A security deposit is required. Once approved, your credit limit will be equal to your security deposit (minimum of $200).
  • Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts.
  • With Flexible Payment Due Dates, you can choose any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month.
  • Manage your account 24/7 online, by phone, or in our mobile app.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 22.49%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
  • Read Rates & Fees
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OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

  • Build your credit with our monthly reporting to all three credit bureaus
  • Control your finances, start with a security deposit and credit line as low as $200
  • Apply in less than 5 minutes, no credit check necessary
  • Avoid paying interest, no interest charged on new purchases if the balance is paid in full by the due date each month
  • Extra credit when you need it, increase your credit line up to $5000*
  • *subject to approval
  • Easy funding options, with four ways to fund and no checking account needed
  • Read Rates & Fees
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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.
  • Travel insurance. You may be covered for travel emergencies like trip cancellation and medical evacuation.

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

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Starting at $200
18.89% variable
$35
300
A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
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.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
300
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
9.99% fixed
$49
300
Fast, easy application process with no processing or application fees.
Green Dot primor® Visa® Classic Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
13.99% fixed
$39
300
Open a personal savings deposit account to secure a credit line from $200 to $5,000.
UNITY Visa® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $250
17.99% fixed
$39
300
An intro APR on balance transfers is rare for a secured card. Lower fees and interest than similar cards make this a good credit building option.
Green Dot Platinum Visa® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
19.99% fixed
$39
300
The power to build your credit with reporting to the three major credit bureaus.
Merrick Bank Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank
Starting at $200
18.95% variable
$36
300
Build or rebuild your credit with a secured credit card.

Compare up to 4 providers

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
580
A no annual fee secured card for people who are new to credit or have limited credit history with a fair to average credit score.
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
$49, $99 or $200
26.99% variable
$0
580
Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time.
Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Classic Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
13.99% fixed
$39
300
Designed for those with little or poor credit, the Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Classic Secured Credit Card has no minimum credit score requirements and no processing or application fees to worry about.
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
300
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
19.99% variable
$29
300
Build your credit with all three major credit bureaus.
Green Dot primor® Mastercard® Gold Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
9.99% fixed
$49
300
Low fixed interest rates with no penalty rate.
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
13.99% variable
$39
300
No minimum credit score and no credit history required.
First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Starting at $200
9.99% variable
$49
300
Build or rebuild your credit with this secured card.

Compare up to 4 providers

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 13% 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 13.49% variable . Join SDFCU for as little as $10 along with a minimum $5 deposit into a savings account.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
See offer

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®
Apply now

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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