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Secured Credit Cards

4.0 4.0 - 3,994 reviews for top rated card

Secured credit cards are designed for people with bad credit or no credit. They are able to offer essentially guaranteed 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 risk for the issuer and also explains why the fees on secured credit cards are 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 listed…show more

    Capital One® Secured MasterCard®


    capital one secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $49, $99, or $200
    • Annual Fee $29
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 22.9% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    Primor® Secured Visa Gold Credit Card


    primor secured visa gold card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • Annual Fee $49
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 9.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    Primor Blue Visa Credit Card


    primor credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 13.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    Open SkySM Secured Visa® Credit Card


    open sky secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • Annual Fee $29
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 17.5% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    first progress secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 14.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    platinum secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $29
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 19.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    first progress mastercard secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $44
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 11.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    USAA Secured Credit Card


    usaa bank secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $250
    • Annual Fee $35
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 9.9% - 19.9% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    Wells Fargo® Secured Credit Card


    wells fargo secured card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $25
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 18.99% (V)

    Harley-Davidson® Secured Credit Card


    harley davidson secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee None
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 22.99% (V)
    • Earn H-D™ Genuine Rewards points - Get 1 point per $1 net purchase.
    • Redeem 2,500 points for a $25 H-D™ Gift Card.
    • Receive a $10 Harley-Davidson Genuine Rewards Certificate.
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    We work hard to present you with the most accurate credit card information, however, this information does not originate from us and thus, we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information.

    Before you apply for a credit card we recommend that you review and verify the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card company's web site. Please let us know if you find any differences.

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    Ask our Experts
    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.

     
    Nov 24, 2014
    By:
    Nov 24, 2014
    I have been using a secure credit card now for a couple of months and it has raised my credit score by a lot actually. I think a secure credit card is the way to go for people that have bad credit and want so raise there credit score.
    Nov 7, 2014
    By:
    Nov 7, 2014
    A secured business credit card is definitely the way to go if you’re looking to improve your credit score. My first credit card was a secured one, and I was able to put down $500 to get a credit line of $700. I was sure that I did not overspend on the card, and I made monthly payments in full and on time. After 8 months, my credit line with raised to $1,000. I knew I was doing well with this card so I began to seek other unsecured cards as well, which I got approved for. As long as you make qualified monthly payments on time, you will be more
    Nov 21, 2014
    Photo of Bill S.
    Nov 21, 2014
    I think that it is great you were able to find a way to increase your credit and were able to reach your goal of acquiring an unsecured credit card. When I was first establishing credit, I too used a secured credit card to do so. It just takes good self control and creating the habit of paying your credit cards off every month.
    Oct 21, 2014
    By:
    Oct 21, 2014
    I think secured credit cards are good for people trying to establish or re-establish credit. My first credit card was a secured one. I put up $200 and got a credit line of $300. It was later raised to $400. After 2 years of making timely payments, my security deposit was returned. I was then able to acquire another card with a better rate and no security deposit requirements.
    Oct 10, 2014
    By:
    Oct 10, 2014
    A secured credit card is a great way to help someone who has bad credit to increase their credit score over a period of time by making on time payments. There are things to consider such as the annual fees that are charged and the interest rates. When deciding on a prepaid credit card fee and interest charges are things to be concerned about as well as how much the prepaid credit card company requires as a minimum amount of money to get started. People should search wisely and get the best rates. That being said if a person just wants a card to use to pay a bill or more
    Oct 8, 2014
    By:
    Oct 8, 2014
    I have previously filed for bankruptcy, and obtained a Capital One secured card to rebuild my credit. My credit scores averaged 570 when I applied for a card, and I had to put down $500 for the card. For me, putting the money down first really helped me use the card responsibly. After a year, my average credit scores had increased by 90 points and it helped me qualify for a mortgage.

    The important thing to do is to use the card like a debit card or cash. Do not make the same mistakes that led to your initial credit problems, and a secured card can really help rebuild your credit.
    Oct 4, 2014
    By:
    Oct 4, 2014
    Secured credit cards are a good option for those who don’t have any credit and want to get a credit card. I think it also teaches people how to manage money more effectively. If you put in money and that is how much your credit limit is, then you won’t be able to overspend and it would be good for your finances in the long run.
    Sep 22, 2014
    By:
    Sep 22, 2014
    I’ve used the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card and it did help me raise my credit score. Within a few months, my credit score went up by about 80 points. It’s definitely good for those trying to rebuild credit.
    Sep 11, 2014
    By:
    Sep 11, 2014
    When I was in college, I was completely unable to qualify for a non-secured credit card. Finally, I saved enough money, and decided to get a Secured Credit Card. Within the first month, my credit score went up by 60 points, and has only increased since then. The interests rates can be a bit high, but if you make your payments on time they are fine. These cards are good to have in case something comes up, whether it be for school or something in your personal life.
    Sep 1, 2014
    By:
    Sep 1, 2014
    I think that a secured credit card is a good way to help build or rebuild you credit. With a secured card, you put in around $200-$300 or more to the credit card company. You can charge up to that amount, although it is best to only take out a small amount that is easy to pay back at one time. Also try to maintain most of the money for any emergency. Just watch for high annual fees and astronomical interest, and those little hidden fees that can mount up. With a good card and a bit of restraint this could help your credit situation.
    Aug 8, 2014
    By:
    Aug 8, 2014
    Secured credit cards are a great way for College students to begin learning how to manage their money without getting further in debt. First time credit card holders don't usually have a good credit score which dictates their credit card options. With a prepaid credit card the student and or family can put money on the card to help pay for everyday expenses, school etc. The student is also able to watch what their spending habits are, where they can save if they need to tighten their financial parameters, etc.
    Aug 6, 2014
    By:
    Aug 6, 2014
    I think that secured credit cards are a good idea for first-time credit card users, since they often have no credit and cannot obtain a different card. However, I know that when I was looking for my first card, I did not have any money to put down as a security deposit, as it was money I needed to either pay bills or pay off the impending credit card statement, but that really is the only downside.
    Jul 25, 2014
    By:
    Jul 25, 2014
    I have used the first progress secured card. It is a really great card. I have used it a lot and I would recommend it to anyone. One time I used it at a gas station, and the card was declined. I called the company and they said they blocked it because I was out of town and they wanted to make sure that the card was not stolen. It was an amazing feature and I thanked them for being secure!
    Jul 24, 2014
    By:
    Jul 24, 2014
    I think that secured credit cards can help certain people with building up their credit. I think most of the time however we use it and then don't think about it until the bill is due. Then we get ourselves into debt and can't get out. I think that the credit cards can help but most of the time they are only going to hurt people in the end. It's easier to just stay away.
    Jul 15, 2014
    By:
    Jul 15, 2014
    I like the idea of a secured credit card. That way, you can build up your credit while not putting yourself into any financial risk. Most of the time that someone needs a secured credit card is because they have bad or no credit history, and that can be a tough hole to climb out of since you typically can't get any credit in that sort of situation. This solves that problem.
    Jun 23, 2014
    By:
    Jun 23, 2014
    A secured credit card is a good idea for those who have no credit to build up credit. The only killer about this is the annual fee. I support keeping a minimum deposit in the account itself, but an annual fee is just overkill. I know they're just trying to help you, but it's still something that shouldn't be necessary. The Harley-Davidson one is the one card I feel that does it correctly. I'm sure there are other options out there, so keep searching.
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