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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

    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 24.9% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • No annual fee, with all the credit building benefits
    • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
    • Get free access to your credit score and learn how everyday decisions can affect your score using Capital One® Credit Tracker
    • 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—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 All Reviews & Details About The Capital One® Secured MasterCard®

    Primor® Secured Visa Gold Credit Card


    primor secured gold credit 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

    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

    Open SkySM Secured Visa® Credit Card


    open sky credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 17.5% (V)
    • Annual Fee $29
    • 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 All Reviews & Details About The Open SkySM Secured Visa® Credit Card

    First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    first progress secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • 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 $300 - $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 All Reviews & Details About The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

    First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    platinum secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 19.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $29
    • 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 $300 - $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 All Reviews & Details About The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

    First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    first progress mastercard secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • 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 $300 - $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 All Reviews & Details About The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

    USAA Secured Credit Card


    usaa secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $250
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 9.9% - 19.9% (V)
    • Annual Fee $35
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • When you apply, you'll also be opening a USAA two-year Certificate of Deposit, an interest-earning deposit account that has a two-year term and a $250-minimum initial deposit
    • Your CD is a security deposit — the money you put in upfront, from $250 to $5,000, is the card's credit limit
    • Earn interest on your CD — your deposit is guaranteed to grow. Plus the money is yours to keep as long as you don't default on your payments
    • Collision damage waiver coverage pays for physical damage and theft to most rental vehicles with a MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) of $50.00 or less when the eligible card is used to initiate and pay for the entire rental transaction
    • Zero liability coverage if your card is lost or stolen
    • Travel Accident Insurance
    • See All Reviews & Details About The USAA Secured Credit Card

    Wells Fargo® Secured Credit Card


    wells fargo secured card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 18.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $25
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • Deposit an amount, from $300 to $10,000 into a Collateral Account. Your credit card limit equals the amount of money in your Collateral Account.
    • Your purchases are billed to you each month and you are responsible for making at least the minimum monthly payment. Payments are not deducted from your Collateral Account.
    • As a cardholder, your account performance is reported to major credit bureaus
    • Stay on top of your account activity with free email alerts when you approach your credit limit, a payment is due, and more.
    • Easily track your expenses. My Spending Report with Budget Watch has built-in tools that help you see where your money is going and easily set up a budget.
    • Visa benefits: Auto rental collision damage waiver, Emergency card replacement, Roadside dispatch and Travel and emergency assistance services.
    • Verified by Visa: Protect your Wells Fargo Visa card with a unique password for online shopping.
    • Secured Card accounts are reviewed periodically and may become eligible for an unsecured credit card and have the Collateral Account funds refunded.
    • Zero Liability Program: automatically protects you from liability for unauthorized transactions when you report them promptly
    • Overdraft protection: You may link your credit card to your checking account to help avoid overdrafts
    • All Secured cardholders have access to free online credit education courses and tips to help you manage credit wisely
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Wells Fargo® Secured Credit Card

    Harley-Davidson® Secured Credit Card


    harley davidson secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 22.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Bad
    • Rewards Details
    • 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.
    • Additional Info
    • To fund your Secured Card, you can choose to: Fund online using your Checking or Savings Account and Print an application and mail a Cashier's Check or Money Order.
    • The deposit is used to open a U.S. Bank Savings account to ensure your card can be paid. The savings account is FDIC-insured, earns interest and won't be touched as long as your account remains open and in good standing.
    • When you've managed all of your credit obligations responsibly consistently for 12 months, you'll be well on your way to a strong credit standing, and we may be able to move you to an unsecured credit card product.
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
    • Zero Fraud Liability.
    • Automatic Bill Pay.
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Harley-Davidson® Secured Credit Card
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    Fair Credit 620 – 660
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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.

     
    Apr 19, 2015
    By:
    A few years ago I had some credit problems after coming out of college. I could not get unsecured credit, so I tried for a secured credit card through capital one. Not only did having the secured credit card helped build up my credit, but eventually Capital One converted me to an unsecured credit card. I have heard of this helping many of my friends as well. I still do not have perfect credit, but I definitely am much further along because of the secured credit card option. I highly recommend it to anyone who might be having some credit issues and really want to prove themselves.
    Apr 15, 2015
    By:
    Getting a secured credit card might seem self-defeating since your credit limit is usually however much you're able to scrounge up for a deposit, but I still think that they're helpful. For instance, people with no credit (or bad credit) can have trouble getting "real" credit cards, so getting a secured card is a great way for these people to raise their credit score. A secured card might not help you buy something that you don't have money for, but it's a great way to help you become eligible for a credit card that will allow you to make those large purchases in the future.
    Mar 25, 2015
    By:
    I think required refundable deposits for a secured credit card is an interesting concept. You usually get a credit line equal to the amount that you deposit, providing zero risk for the credit card company, and a chance to improve your credit rating. Despite having to put up a deposit, I think secured cards are the only way to go when you have bad credit.
    Mar 18, 2015
    By:
    I think secured credit cards are great for people who have poor credit or who are trying to improve their credit. They prevent you from spending more than you can pay back, and they give people with bad credit a chance to have a credit card.
    Mar 9, 2015
    By:
    I currently have a secured Mastercard through Fifth Third Bank. This is the second time I have had a secured credit card, and both instances have been incredibly effective for helping me build credit quickly, responsibly, and easily. My current secured card has a $250 limit, which I use to make gasoline and lunch purchases. Paying off the balance each month has greatly increased my credit score.
    Mar 5, 2015
    By:
    A secure card can be a great start to establishing or re-establishing credit. I went to my bank and they offered me a secured card with a $500 limit. I opened another savings account and deposited $500.Two weeks later I got the card in the mail. I only used it as a debit card, paying it off online before it was due. After 5 months, I checked my credit score thru the bank, my score went up 26 points. My banker suggested that I come in and apply for a higher limit. Will do.
    Feb 28, 2015
    By:
    I believe secured credit cards can be beneficial for individuals with poor credit or no credit at all. When an individual does not qualify for an unsecured card, a secured card can form the foundation of successful credit down the road. Unsecured credit cards can be a great alternative choice.
    Feb 18, 2015
    By:
    My personal experience has been yes, that they do help to improve credit scores. When my husband and I were looking to buy a house, I had horrible credit and he had zero. Our broker suggested that we get a secured card through Wells Fargo. We did that and within 6 months (roughly) my credit score had improved a little and he finally had a positive credit score. We were then able to have two different loan companies offer us a home loan with a decent amount of interest. I was hesitant at first, however I have seen the positivity that comes from using them.
    Feb 14, 2015
    By:
    When I first started building my credit I got a secured card. It was a great way for me to build credit without getting into trouble. I like that it was basically a savings account for my money and I could keep adding as much money as I wanted to it. The more money I added, the higher my limit was. This in turn, helped my credit score skyrocket.
    Jan 6, 2015
    By:
    I like the Merrick specific secured credit card, because of the rather large positive effect it has had on my overall credit score. Also I was easily pre-approved for a 3000$ credit line which was extremely easy.
    Jan 1, 2015
    By:
    I have used a secured card though my bank (wells fargo) a few years ago. It did help improve my credit but i did not like the fact that you have to have an initial deposit. I had no problems with the card but once my credit was established i had no use for it anymore.
    Dec 21, 2014
    By:
    I got a secured capital one credit card 4 years ago. Using it properly it definitely helped improved my credit score. I got an initial credit line of 350 and raised it up to 450 with a deposit, I have since gotten another unsecured credit card and my score is in th 650
    Nov 24, 2014
    By:
    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.
    Jan 7, 2015
    Photo of Skye L.
    I have to agree with you. I was afraid of getting a secured card because I thought that many creditors would look down on it, and at the same time, it would not help my score very much. Boy was I wrong. Within 2 months of having the secured card, I was already getting offers for unsecured cards. I think they are the greatest thing ever.
    Oct 21, 2014
    By:
    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:
    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 shop online, etc. and is not interested in raising the credit scores, he/she might want to consider a prepaid debit where you go to a participating store and pay a small fee to add money onto the card. These cards can be used wherever debit cards are accepted. This costs less money but again does not help with increasing your credit scores.
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