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Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are designed for people with bad credit or no credit. They’re able to essentially guarantee approval regardless of your credit history or income because they require a refundable security deposit of at least $200 that acts as your credit line and prevents you from overspending. This reduces the issuer’s risk and also explains why the fees on a secured credit card tend to be considerably lower than those charged by unsecured credit cards for bad credit. You may even be able to find a secured card with no annual or monthly fees.

The cards displayed on this…show more

    4 5,179 reviews

    Capital One® Secured MasterCard®


    capital one secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $49, $99 or $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 24.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
    • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
    • Your minimum security deposit gets you a $200 credit line
    • You may qualify for a credit line increase based on your payment history and creditworthiness with no additional deposit required
    • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone, or using our mobile app
    • It’s a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Capital One® Secured MasterCard®
    3 683 reviews

    Primor® Secured Visa Gold Credit Card


    primor secured visa gold card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 9.99%
    • Annual Fee $49
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    3.5 212 reviews

    Primor® Secured Visa Classic Credit Card


    primor credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 13.99%
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    3.5 2,441 reviews

    Open SkySM Secured Visa® Credit Card


    open sky credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 17.64% (V)
    • Annual Fee $35
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • Build Your Credit, with monthly updates to all 3 credit bureaus.
    • Control Your Finances, start with a security deposit and credit line as low as $200.
    • Extra Credit When You Need It, increase your credit line up to $5000.
    • Avoid paying interest, no interest charged on new purchases if the balance is paid in full by the due date each month.
    • Easy funding options, with 4 ways to fund and NO checking account needed.
    • After your Account is open for one year or more Capital Bank will charge you a Credit Limit Increase Fee of $25.00 each time you add Deposit Funds and increase the Credit Limit and a Credit Limit Decrease Request Fee of $25.00 each time you request a reduction in your Credit Limit.
    • Apply in less than 5 minutes.
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Open SkySM Secured Visa® Credit Card
    3 1,570 reviews

    First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    first progress platinum select mastercard
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 14.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • Full-feature Platinum MasterCard secured credit card.
    • No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval.
    • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to help build credit.
    • Set your own credit limit, which is secured by your deposit of $200 - $2,000.
    • Deposit held at FDIC-insured bank.
    • 24/7 access to your account online.
    • The First Progress Platinum MasterCard Secured Card requires no credit history or minimum credit score for approval, but the refundable security deposit must be provided before a card can be issued. The new CARD Act regulations also require all credit card issuers to verify the identity of every applicant before approval. We can usually complete this identity verification using fast, automated methods, but it is sometimes necessary for us to contact an applicant in order to verify his or her identity. Applicants will receive their cards more quickly if they respond promptly to our call or letter relating to this verification process. Virtually every applicant who successfully provides the refundable security deposit and passes the identity verification step will be approved for the card. If you have applied for the card and have a question or want to check the status of your application, please call First Progress toll-free at (888) 403-4783.
    • Receive your card more quickly with new Expedited Processing option.
    • See More Details & Reviews About The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
    3.5 884 reviews

    First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    first progress platinum elite mastercard
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 14.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • Full-feature Platinum MasterCard secured credit card.
    • No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval.
    • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to help build credit.
    • Set your own credit limit, which is secured by your deposit of $200 - $2,000.
    • Deposit held at FDIC-insured bank.
    • 24/7 access to your account online.
    • The First Progress Platinum MasterCard Secured Card requires no credit history or minimum credit score for approval, but the refundable security deposit must be provided before a card can be issued. The new CARD Act regulations also require all credit card issuers to verify the identity of every applicant before approval. We can usually complete this identity verification using fast, automated methods, but it is sometimes necessary for us to contact an applicant in order to verify his or her identity. Applicants will receive their cards more quickly if they respond promptly to our call or letter relating to this verification process. Virtually every applicant who successfully provides the refundable security deposit and passes the identity verification step will be approved for the card. If you have applied for the card and have a question or want to check the status of your application, please call First Progress toll-free at (888) 403-4783.
    • Receive your card more quickly with new Expedited Processing option.
    • See More Details & Reviews About The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
    3 619 reviews

    First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    first progress platinum prestige mastercard secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 11.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $44
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval.
    • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to help build credit.
    • Deposit held at FDIC-insured bank.
    • Set your own credit limit, which is secured by your deposit of $200 - $2,000.
    • The First Progress Platinum MasterCard Secured Card requires no credit history or minimum credit score for approval, but the refundable security deposit must be provided before a card can be issued. The new CARD Act regulations also require all credit card issuers to verify the identity of every applicant before approval. We can usually complete this identity verification using fast, automated methods, but it is sometimes necessary for us to contact an applicant in order to verify his or her identity. Applicants will receive their cards more quickly if they respond promptly to our call or letter relating to this verification process. Virtually every applicant who successfully provides the refundable security deposit and passes the identity verification step will be approved for the card. If you have applied for the card and have a question or want to check the status of your application, please call First Progress toll-free at (888) 403-4783.
    • Receive your card more quickly with new Expedited Processing option.
    • See More Details & Reviews About The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
    3.5 307 reviews

    USAA Secured Cards® American Express® Card


    usaa secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $250
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 10.15% - 20.15% (V)
    • Annual Fee $35
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • Best for members rebuilding or establishing credit. It's a real credit card — not a debit or prepaid card
    • Determine your own credit limit ($250 to $5,000) with an interest-earning CD.
    • Retail and Travel Benefits: Collision damage waiver coverage pays for physical damage and theft to most rental vehicles.Identity theft resolutions services provides assistance should you become the victim of identity theft.Extended warranty extends your manufacturers or U.S. store brand warranties for up to one year.Travel accident insurance provides coverage for you and your family members when your card is used to purchase common carrier travel tickets.
    • Security: Chip card technology has added security when used at a chip-enabled terminal and greater acceptance worldwide.You are not liable for unauthorized purchases. Get account balances and transaction history by sending a text message.Access your account on usaa.com or from a mobile device.
    • Special Benefits for Military: Get 4% APR on all balances for up to 12 months during deployment or PCS. After 12 months, the regular APR of between 10.15% and 20.15% will apply. This rate will vary with the market based on the prime rate. Special 4% SCRA rate: When you have a balance on your account at the time you enter active military duty, get 4% APR on that existing balance until one year after you complete active duty.
    • See More Details & Reviews About The USAA Secured Cards® American Express® Card
    3.5 294 reviews

    Citi® Secured MasterCard®


    citi secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 22.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee $25
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Limited History
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • Start building credit for tomorrow
    • A security deposit is required for this product (minimum $200)
    • Unlike a prepaid card, it helps build credit history, with monthly notifications to the credit bureaus
    • Pay your bill on time every month to avoid damaging your credit. Citi can help keep you on track with Auto Pay, online Bill Pay and alerts
    • Use the card anywhere MasterCard® is accepted — worldwide
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Citi® Secured MasterCard®
    3 16 reviews

    Total Visa Card


    total visa card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • One-Time Fees $89
    • Regular Rate 29.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $75 1st yr, $48 after
    • Monthly Fee None 1st year, $6.25 after
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • Checking Account Required
    • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
    • A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
    • Manageable monthly payments
    • If approved, simply pay a Processing Fee to open your account and access your available credit
    • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Total Visa Card
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    Credit Score
    Excellent Credit 721 – 850
    Good Credit 661 – 720
    Fair Credit 620 – 660
    Bad Credit 300 – 619
    Limited Credit Less than 3 years
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    Expert’s Answers

    What is a secured credit card and why use one?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOAs mentioned above, a secured credit card is exactly like any other credit card, with the sole exception being that you place a security deposit in opening it and, upon closing it in good standing, get that security deposit back. Other than that, there is literally no difference.

    There are three main reasons to open a secured credit card: 1) to build credit no matter how bad your credit standing may be; 2) to ensure you do not spend more than you can afford; and 3) to make certain purchases that require use of a credit card.

    First, if you have damaged or limited credit, a secured credit card offers the ability to build credit cheaply. With that being said, whether or not you actually use a secured card to make purchases is a matter of personal preference. Your credit score will benefit regardless based on the fact that you’ll be reported monthly to the major credit bureaus as having a certain amount of available credit in good standing. Making everyday purchases and paying for them in full will provide slightly higher gains in terms of your credit score, but if you’ve had problems with credit in the past, you may feel more comfortable simply locking your secured credit card away in a drawer.

    Second, if you are concerned that you cannot spend responsibly, a secure card will help you avoid getting in over your head thanks to a security deposit that acts as your spending limit. In this manner, these types of cards “help overleveragers stay in control of their spending,” according to Dr. Irene Sharf, a professor at the University of Massachusetts School of Law.

    Third, secured credit cards provide a means of making purchases that cannot be completed with cash—car rentals, hotel bookings and online shopping, for example—while also giving you $0 fraud liability.

    Secured Credit Cards vs. Unsecured Credit Cards

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorIf you have bad credit, you may be given the choice between a secured credit card and an unsecured credit card for bad credit. Which you should choose depends on why you need a credit card to begin with.

    If you’re seeking a credit card simply to rebuild your credit standing, a secured credit card will be your most accessible and least expensive option.

    On the other hand, if you want a credit card because you need a loan in addition to credit building capabilities, then an unsecured credit card for people with bad credit may offer you the additional line of credit that you’re looking for.

    The drawback here is that the fee structure is generally more expensive. Not only will you have to pay a hefty annual fee that effectively reduces the amount of credit at your disposal, but you may even have to pay an initial processing fee before you are even given a card. That's why many people who use unsecured credit cards for bad credit end up getting very little additional credit to work with at the end of the day, defying the purpose of using such a card to begin with.

    Ultimately, it's therefore usually best to wait until you have enough money to place a security deposit for a secured card. While opening an unsecured credit card for bad credit might be the quicker route for those who don't have enough savings for the deposit, it will likely turn out to be the more expensive one as well.

    Why have a security deposit?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOA security deposit allows credit card companies to offer essentially guaranteed approval and relatively low fees, given that it protects them from consumers who default on their credit cards. While the security deposit required to open a secured credit card often scares off consumers, it’s actually a benefit. First of all, because your monthly spending cannot surpass the amount of your security deposit, you’re far less likely to spend beyond your means with a secured credit card than a traditional unsecured credit card. Second, it’s only because of the security deposit that many consumers are afforded a second chance at credit card use. Finally, don’t forget that the deposit is refundable, so even though you’ll be slightly less liquid after opening a secured card to rebuild credit, you won’t ultimately be out any money as long as you do not have an unpaid balance upon closing the card.

    Are secured credit cards reported to the major credit bureaus?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorYes. The activity on secured cards is reported to the major credit bureaus in the same way the activity on all other credit cards is reported. In fact, when a lender reviews your credit report they can not tell whether you have a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card.

    Do secured cards offer guaranteed approval?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOThe short answer to this question is “yes.” However, if you have recently gone through bankruptcy, there are some banks that may not be willing to approve you for a secured card until your debts have been discharged for at least a year. In the unlikely event that you do not get approved for a secure card, just apply for another bank’s secured credit card because your key priority should be getting a credit card as soon as possible in order to lessen the weight of negative information on your credit reports.

    What’s a good deposit amount for a new secured credit card?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorA minimum security deposit between $200 and $500 is generally required to open a secured credit card. As your credit line will most likely mirror the amount of your deposit, the higher the security deposit, the more available credit you will have. Similarly, the more available credit you have, the more favorably you will be viewed by credit scoring agencies, such as FICO. As you can imagine, using only a portion of your credit gets easier with higher credit lines. As a result, we recommend placing the highest deposit possible when you apply for a secured credit card and adding to it over time. Just keep in mind that most secured credit card issuers won’t allow your total deposit to exceed $5,000.

    How should I use my secured credit card in order to improve my credit?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOFirst and foremost, make sure you don’t miss a single minimum payment. Second, add to your deposit over time, since higher credit limits look better on your credit report. Finally, make sure to only spend up to 50% of your limit each month, as lenders like to see a low utilization ratio (this is the balance on your secure card at the end of the month in relation to your credit line).

    In short, your primary objective and biggest hurdle will be to avoid repeating the past mistakes that have necessitated using a secured card in the first place. "Sadly, many of the folks who get into financial trouble probably tend to be the ones who have the greatest difficulty managing their affairs, and are therefore often the ones most likely to repeat their mistakes," says Michael Floyd, a professor at the Samford University Cumberland School of Law and an expert on banking law. "I fear that buying a product to make yourself more financially responsible is no more effective than buying a health club membership or exercise machine to get yourself in better physical shape. Ultimately, improvements only happen slowly as the result of careful and consistent effort."

    How can I move from a secured credit card to an unsecured card?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOIn general, issuers will approve you for an unsecured card after about a year of responsible secured card use (i.e. making on-time payments to all credit cards and loans.) Switching from a secured card to an unsecured credit card typically occurs in one of the following ways:
    1. You close your secured card after getting approved for an unsecured card – As long as your balance in paid in full, your secured card issuer will send you a check for the amount of your security deposit.
    2. Your issuer offers you a credit limit increase – If the bank that issued your secured credit card reviews your account and concludes that you have proven yourself a responsible credit user, it might offer you a credit limit increase. This would convert your secured credit card to a partially unsecured card, and your deposit will not be returned until you close this account.
    3. Your issuer converts your account to an unsecured credit card account – In this scenario, your existing account will remain open but your deposit will be returned to you via check or as a statement credit.

    Community Discussion

    Ask a question or help others find the best secured credit cards by sharing some tips.

     
    May 1, 2016
    By:
    What card is best for first time applicants?
    Apr 28, 2016
    By:
    Am I able to use a card right away? How long does it take to get a card? Can you pay the deposit with a debit card?
    Apr 30, 2016
    Photo of Card H.
    No, unfortunately you will not be able to use a credit card right away after account approval. It generally takes 7-10 business days to receive your plastic. And yes, you can pay the security deposit with a debit card. Hope this helps!
    Apr 28, 2016
    By:
    After I pay the $200 deposit, then what is my monthly payment?
    Apr 30, 2016
    Photo of Card H.
    After paying the $200 security deposit, your credit limit will be $200. Your monthly payment will depend on your balance. Typically, you will need to pay the full amount in order to avoid interest, but only a specific “minimum” amount by your due date to avoid being classified as late. Most cards charge a minimum payment of around 3% of the outstanding balance (but your payment typically cannot be less than $10 – $25). You will find the specifics for your account in your monthly statement.
    Apr 10, 2016
    By:
    If you have no income and can't afford to put money in the account can you still get one?
    Apr 12, 2016
    Photo of Card H.
    No, unfortunately you will not be able to get a secured credit card without placing a deposit. If you absolutely need an unsecured credit line, this Credit One Visa is a decent option: ( http://www.cardhub.com/d/credit-one-credit-card-676c/ ), but keep in mind that the annual fee varies between $0 to $99.

    However, if you change your mind about secured credit cards, a better option is the Capital One Secured MasterCard: ( http://www.cardhub.com/d/capital-one-secured-credit-card-383c/ ) . It doesn’t charge an annual fee, and it has the potential to be “partially secured,” providing a credit line as as $3,000 for a deposit as low as $49 in some cases.

    We also recommend signing up for a free account with our sister site WalletHub: https://wallethub.com/join/. This will give you access to your free credit score and full credit report, both updated daily, as well as 24/7 credit monitoring and customized credit-improvement advice. Hope this helps!
    Jan 6, 2016
    By:
    The secured card I got from First Progress Platinum is great. I am able to build my credit history quickly and the process of getting the card was smooth. They're easy to obtain, making it ideal for people with bad credit. The interest rate is fine, customer service is good, and fees manageable. Managing my account online is a breeze,and using the card at a store or online is easy. One improvement is the speed in which payment is posted to my account. It is frustrating having to wait for credit to free up.
    Apr 10, 2016
    Photo of Mary A.
    May I get this one?
    Jan 6, 2016
    By:
    The secured credit card I got from Bank of America really helped me to establish my credit at a time that I desperately needed it. I was able to put $300 down and that was my credit limit until I paid it for a year in full and on time. At that point, that made it into a regular credit card and reported my good standing with them to the credit bureaus which helped to establish my credit. It was difficult to apply for as you had to make several trips to the bank branch to set it up, instead of being able to do it online.
    Jan 6, 2016
    By:
    I feel secured cards are an excellent resource for those coming back from making poor choices, and for those who have yet to establish any credit. If you recently filed bankruptcy, its quite unlikely any reputable financial institution is going to trust you with their funds, so a secured card is an excellent way to start. Even for your young child, its a good way to start building their credit. Make sure there is a restricted cap at how much they can spend, and it will truly show them the value of a dollar, how credit cards work, and it will help to build their credit for when they become adults. Having worked in a bank in the past, I have always turned customers towards these cards as they do truly help those in need, get back on their feet. It takes time, I will tell you that, but the longer you have a secured card with a single institution, the more willing they will upgrade you to their full on credit card.
    Jan 6, 2016
    By:
    I think that secured cards very useful for people with poor credit situations.
    It seems easy to be able to take a photo and have it as a security measure with cards. The interest rate is low, and it seems very convenient. People with poor credit may also like the online features that allow them to check balances and statements in minutes. It seems that loading $200 on to your card and not being able to spend more is a great idea. Some of the interest rates could use some improvement but overall these seem like great options!
    Dec 20, 2015
    By:
    Are there any secured credit cards I can get without a bank account?
    Jan 9, 2016
    Photo of Card H.
    Yes, you don’t need a bank account to open any of the following three cards, as all allow you to fund your deposit via money order:

    Harley-Davidson Secured Credit Card: http://www.cardhub.com/d/harley-davidson-secured-credit-card-444c/
    OpenSky Secured Credit Card: http://www.cardhub.com/d/credit-card-503c/
    Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card: http://www.cardhub.com/d/wells-fargo-secured-credit-card-2123c/

    With that being said, a deposit account will be opened on your behalf in all three cases to store your security deposit. They won’t be for your direct use, but in the spirit of answering your question completely, these three cards technically do come with bank accounts. It’s also important to point out that it would probably be cheaper to simply open a bank account in order to fund your deposit and pay your monthly bills without incurring the fees associated with money orders. Hope this helps. Good luck!
    Nov 6, 2015
    By:
    After my bankruptcy I opened a secured card to start rebuilding my credit. I felt that they definitely took advantage of the fact that I had no other real options, as they charged me some fees along with high interest, but the card did allow me to start improving my credit score. There was also some trouble getting my deposit back when I decided I wanted to close the card. Even with those issues I still think it was worth it, however. One year later and my credit score is now back over 700 and I've been able to get approval on cards with much better rates and features. I think that secured card was a valuable tool. If used correctly it can be a fantastic way to get credit rebuilt or established, but I would not rely on it for an extended period of time.
    Nov 5, 2015
    By:
    I have a First Premier card. I had to pay $90.00 to start the card. The interest rate is out of control it is 35% so I do not use it for anything I just keep the balance available in case of emergency. It does help your credit score but be very careful because it is easy to get deeper in debt with these interest rates.
    Oct 28, 2015
    By:
    There are many options available to those who don't have much credit or have bad credit. One of the better options, in my opinion, is a secured card. It can seem like a big expense since you do have to deposit the money up front to cover your initial credit limit but that money will help you so much more in the long run by doing this than if you just blow it on some purchase you don't really need anyway. Plus as long as you make your payments on time and don't go over your limit you can eventually get that money back! Some secured cards will even raise your limit after a certain period of time, if you have made your payments on time and not gone over your limit. If you have a secured card and use it responsibly for a while (usually six months to a year or two) you will find it a lot easier to apply for and receive an unsecured card as well as loans and other financial incentives!
    Oct 27, 2015
    By:
    I had to use a secured credit card when I was trying to rebuild my credit score after a bankruptcy filing. I think that Open Sky Secured Visa Credit Card is a great choice because it has a reasonable minimum deposit of $200. The annual fee is low, and they also give information to all three credit reporting agencies. I also liked that you did not have to have a checking account to fund the card. The application process was pretty simple as well. If you are looking for a secured credit card, then Open Sky is a trustworthy option.
    Oct 22, 2015
    By:
    Do you have to pay interest on a secured card if paid off in full every month?
    Oct 28, 2015
    Photo of Card H.
    Nope! Interest will only be assessed if you do not pay your balance in full. And that applies to all credit cards, not just secured cards. Good job staying up to date on your payments! That’s the best way to build credit and save money while you’re doing it.
    Sep 20, 2015
    By:
    I think that in addition to secured credit cards being useful for people with bad credit, they should also be considered by young people and others who have no credit yet and are just starting out with credit cards. Getting that piece of plastic can make even the best of us go a little spend-crazy, and a secured card can help limit the damage done and help newbies learn to manage the crazy world of credit.
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