Best Secured Credit Cards 2019: Apply With Bad or Build Credit
Secured credit cards are a great way to establish or rebuild your credit history. However, there are a lot of secured credit cards on the market today. That’s why we put together this helpful guide to help you pick the best secured credit card for your needs. Use this information to build or rebuild your credit and find the right card for you!
What is a Secured Credit Card?
A secured credit card is a special type of line of credit. You place a deposit that secures your credit line. Your credit line will usually be equal to your deposit. However, it’s different than a pre-paid card. You pay the card every month. The payment doesn’t come out of your deposit.
The credit card issuer then reports your payments to the major credit reporting agencies. This allows you to build or rebuild your credit history. As a result, your credit score will improve, opening up access to better credit products. We compared the best credit cards to build credit here.
Capital One® Secured MasterCard®
Credit Score Required:
Poor, Limited, No Credit
A secured credit card can be a powerful financial tool. It can help you establish a credit history when you don’t have one or it can help you rebuild a damaged credit history. The Capital One® Secured MasterCard® does all of this and more. Your security deposit is determined by your credit and you’ll get an initial credit line of $200.
What We Like
Can be upgraded with on-time payments
Easy to qualify for
Flexible credit limit determined by deposit amount
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Credit Score Required:
No Credit Check Required
There’s a lot of reasons why OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is one of the most popular secured credit card providers. You can get a credit line ranging from $200 to $3,000 depending on your security deposit. You can also use this card to build your credit history, as it reports to all three major credit monitoring agencies. There’s no credit check or checking account required.
What We Like
Easy verification process, no credit check or checking account needed
Interest Free Grace Period for First Billing Cycle
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What are the Advantages of a Secured Credit Card?
There are several advantages to secured credit cards. This is especially true when you compare them to pre-paid cards and other types of credit products.
The first advantage is that a secured credit card lets you rebuild your credit history. This is important for people that have had problems in the past. Once your score reaches a certain point it becomes difficult to get approved for new credit products. This makes a tricky situation. Without access to new credit products you can’t improve your damaged credit. Compare credit cards for rebuilding credit.
A secured card gets around this. You make a savings deposit that secures your credit limit. This protects the lender because if you default on your payments they can take your deposit.
Low Credit Score Requirements
Because of the way that secured credit cards work, they have lower credit score requirements than regular credit cards. In fact, there are plenty of secured credit cards that don’t require any kind of deposit at all. As a result, they’re one of the best and most accessible tools for establishing or rebuilding your credit history.
Credit Card Perks and Bonuses
Another advantage of secured credit cards is that you get access to all of the perks and benefits of credit cards. Many of the cards have cash back features. That means you can save money on the purchases that you’d be making anyway. Therefore, you can rebuild your credit while cutting down on your day-to-day expenses. Take a look at secured credit card bonus offers.
How to Get a Secured Credit Card
It’s fairly easy to get a secured credit card. The biggest challenge is coming up with the deposit that you need to make to qualify for the card. Thankfully, most secured credit cards can be had for a deposit as little as $200. As a result, they’re widely accessible to most consumers. There are plenty of credit cards for fair credit to take a look at and compare.
In order to get the card, you simply apply as you would any other credit product. Each bank and card company has their own application process. We’ll mention any unique features of the application process in our credit card reviews, so be sure to look for those when you’re reading about the best secured credit cards.
Best Secured Credit Card Companies
- Capital One Secured Credit Card
- Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card
- Bank of America Secured Credit Card
- Discover Secured Credit Card
- Open Sky Secured Credit Card
- Citi Secured Credit Card
- USAA Secured Credit Card
- First Premier Secured Credit Card
- US Bank Secured Credit Card
- Green Dot Secured Credit Card
- TD Bank Secured Credit Card
Best Secured Credit Cards
Now that you understand what a secured credit card is, what the benefits of a secured credit card are, and how to get one, you’ll want to know what the best secured credit card is. We’ve made this list of some of the best secured cards on the market today. You should look through each entry on the list to see what kind of advantages and disadvantages each card offers.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you never want to leave a balance on a secured credit card. That’s because you’ll be charged interest. Effectively, that means you’re paying extra to use your own money. Therefore, unlike most credit products, the interest rate isn’t the most important thing when it comes to secured credit cards.
Capital One Secured Credit Card
The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a great secured credit card for rebuilding your credit. First, the car doesn’t have any kind of annual fee. That means it’s incredibly cost effective. Additionally, it comes with an initial $200 credit line. You’ll pay a deposit of $49, $99, or $200, depending on your credit score and credit history.
Another great thing about this card is that it has upward mobility. You can get a higher credit line if you make your first 5 monthly payments on time. There’s no foreign transaction fee, so you can use it while traveling overseas. We talk about this and other no foreign transaction fee credit card offers more in depth here.
Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card
The Wells Fargo Secured Visa is another good card for rebuilding your credit history. The card isn’t quite as good as the Capital One Secured Mastercard. There’s a $25 annual fee.
However, you get to control how much your credit limit is. The limit is equal to the deposit you make on the card. That means it’s an excellent card for those who want a higher credit limit, but don’t have the credit score to qualify for an unsecured credit card.
The Wells Fargo Secured Visa does have a lower APR than the Capital One card. The APR is variable based on the prime rate at 20.99%. You’ll get the same APR for purchases and for balance transfers. See more credit card balance transfer offers here.
The Wells Fargo card can also be upgraded after you’ve made consistent monthly payments on time. If you get your card upgraded, then the security deposit is returned to you. That acts as a nice reward as you build your credit.
Bank of America Secured Credit Card
Bank of America offers a secured Mastercard. You can use it wherever Mastercard is accepted. It comes with a $39 annual fee. The standard APR is 22.24% variable based on the US Prime Rate.
Bank of America requires a minimum of $300 to start a secured credit account. You can start a secured credit card account with them up to a maximum of $4,900. One nice thing is that Bank of America will calculate your maximum payment ability. If you try to open a card for more than they think you’ll be able to repay, then they return the difference to you.
Like the Wells Fargo card, the Bank of America card offers the ability to get your deposit returned. They’ll review your account periodically. They base the decision to return your deposit on your payment status with them as well as your overall credit history.
Discover Secured Credit Card
The Discover Secured Credit Card, Discover It Secured, is one of the best secured cards we’ve reviewed. There’s no annual fee. There’s also no monthly fee.
There are two things that make this card stand apart from other secured credit card. First, Discover It Secured offers a 23-day grace period. That means you don’t have to worry about your credit taking a hit if you can’t make the payment on your card right away. Therefore, it’s great for rebuilding credit.
Another excellent thing about this card is that you get cashback rewards. Discover It Secured offers 2% cash back at gas stations, and restaurants. You get 1% cash back on all other purchases. Finally, as an intro offer, discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. There’s no limit on the intro offer cash back. There is a limit of $1,000 in cash back on combined purchases each quarter.
Open Sky Secured Credit Card
Open Sky is also an excellent card for rebuilding credit. That’s because there’s no credit check required. They do report your payments to the credit reporting agencies though, so on-time payments will boost your credit score.
The Open Sky card is accepted everywhere that takes Visa. The limit you get on your card is set by the deposit you make. The smallest limit and deposit available is $200. You can also earn your deposit back with a history of on-time payments and an improved credit score.
The card does have a $35 annual fee. However, its APR is lower than most of the other secured credit cards we’ve looked at. The APR is 19.14%. That goes for purchases and cash advance. There is a foreign transaction fee of 3%, so it’s not the best card to use for overseas travel. Compare travel credit cards on our other article.
Citi Secured Credit Card
Citi offers a secured Mastercard for people with limited or no credit history. Compare the best credit cards for no credit.
There are more fees with this card than some of the other cards we’ve looked at. There’s a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. There’s also a $10 or 5% cash advance fee, whichever is greater. Citi charges 3% of each purchase for foreign transactions on this card.
Citi requires a minimum deposit of $200 to sign up for this card. However, your credit limit is determined by your deposit, so you have some freedom in determining where to set your limit.
USAA Secured Credit Card
USAA actually offers two different secured credit cards. You can get either a Visa card or an American Express. Consumers can determine their own credit limit based on their deposit, ranging from $200 – $5,000.
USAA offers a grace period of 25 days to pay your bill. That can help you avoid late payments and further damage to your credit history. There is an annual fee of $35 with this card. The APR is variable set against the Prime Rate at 11.65% to 21.65%, depending on your credit history.
One of the best things about this card is that individuals on active duty can get a special APR discount. That can bring your APR down to as low as 4%.
Another benefit of this card is that, unlike most of the other secured cards on the market, your deposit earns interest. The rate is only 0.54%. However, that’s still extra money. It does take 2 years for the CD to mature though, so you won’t be getting your deposit back without a fee before that.
First Premier Secured Credit Card
First Premier offers a secured Mastercard. Like the Open Sky card, First Premier doesn’t require any kind of credit check for this card. It’s also incredibly fast to apply for. Applicants can get a response in as little as 30 seconds.
Your security deposit determines your credit limit. It can go as high as $5,000. They also let you add to your credit limit over time by adding to your security deposit. They require a minimum of $200 to start out.
One drawback to this card is that, if you get an unsecured credit limit increase, there’s a fee of 25% of the increase charged to your account. That means it’s not a card where you’ll want to accept a lot of unsecured increases, as the cost of doing so can build up quickly. Also, at the point where you’re approved for unsecured increases you can consider getting a new credit card account.
US Bank Secured Credit Card
US Bank offers a secured Visa card. The limit is based on your deposit, which can range from $300 to $5,000. One perk you get with US Bank is that your deposit goes into a secured savings account. It earns interest while the bank has it. When you get your deposit back you’ll also get the interest you earned.
Another perk of this card is that you get Auto rental insurance at no additional cost. In order to qualify you need to charge your whole car rental to the card. You also need to decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver option.
The US Bank Secured Visa has a 25.99% variable APR against the Prime Rate. There’s a 4% cash advance fee and a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Green Dot Secured Credit Card
Green Dot actually offers two secured credit cards, the primor Visa Classic and the primor Visa Gold. The gold card has a lower APR, but it also has a higher annual fee. That means you’ll want to tend towards the classic. The reason is that you don’t want to carry any balance on a secured credit card, because you’re charging yourself for using your own money.
Green Dot has a $200 minimum deposit. You can deposit as much as $600. That means it has a much lower credit limit available than many of the other secured credit cards we’ve looked at.
The interest rate for the Green Dot primor Visa Classic is 13.99% APR. There’s also an annual fee of $39. Unlike many other secured credit cards, the interest rate for the Green Dot card is fixed. That means it stays the same no matter what happens on the market.
TD Bank Secured Credit Card
TD Bank has a secured Visa card, the TD Cash Secured Credit Card. It has more features than many of the other secured credit cards we’ve looked at. First, you’re given 15 days to deposit funds into the savings account that secures the card. That gives you some time to put extra money into the account to boost your credit limit anywhere between $500 and $5,000
Also, unlike most secured credit cards, TD Bank offers cash back on purchases. You’ll get 3% cash back on dining, 2% cash back on groceries, and 1% cash back on other purchases.
The card has an APR of 24.99% for purchases and balance transfers. There is a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater. You’ll also incur a minimum interest charge of $1. The APR for cash advances is 27.24%. Cash advances also have a $10 or 5% fee, whichever is greater.
Any credit product can be hard to understand. And secured credit cards are no different. They’re a great way to boost your credit score and get approved for a card if you have bad credit. We put together this handy guide to help answer all the questions you have about secured credit cards. Use this information to get a better understanding of secured credit cards and find the right card for you!
Understanding Secured Credit Cards
This section has all the answers you’re looking for when it comes to secured credit cards. We’ll cover the basics here and deal with more specific and detailed questions in the other sections. Use this section to get a good foundation to understand secured credit cards.
What Is a Secured Credit Card?
A secured credit card is a type of credit card that you get by placing a security deposit with the card issuer. Your credit limit is equal to your deposit. That makes it less risky for the card issuer and makes it easier to get the card.
What Is the Difference Between Secured and Unsecured Credit Cards?
A secured credit card requires a deposit equal to your credit limit. An unsecured card doesn’t require a deposit. It’s much easier to get a secured credit card than an unsecured credit card. There is even an unsecured credit card for bad credit.
Where Can I Get a Secured Credit Card?
You can get a secured credit card from any number of different banks and card issuers. Check out reviews to ensure you’re getting the best card for you. Apply online too to see if you can pre qualify credit cards.
How Does a Secured Credit Card Work?
A secured credit card works just like a regular credit card. You can use it wherever your type of card, like Visa or Mastercard, is accepted. The only difference is that you need to make a security deposit equal to your credit limit to get a secured credit card.
Can You get Turned Down for a Secured Credit Card?
Yes, different banks and card issuers may have different standards and qualifications for a secured credit card. If you don’t meet these qualifications, then you can be turned down for a secured card.
How to Get a Secured Credit Card?
You can get a secured credit card just like you get a regular credit card. You need to apply with a card issuer. The only difference is that once you’re approved you need to make a security deposit equal to your credit limit.
What Banks have Secured Credit Cards?
Most banks have a secured credit card. These cards are a very low risk for banks because they’re backed by a security deposit. Check with your local bank to see if they offer a secured credit card product. Also, take a look at a credit card with low interest rate.
Can You be Denied for a Secured Credit Card?
Yes, you can be denied for a secured credit card. Each card issuer has its own standards for qualification, so you’ll have to look into the specific card issuer you’re interested in to find out the requirements.
How to Apply for a Secured Credit Card?
You can apply for a secured credit card just like you would an unsecured credit card. However, there’s one difference. You need to be prepared to make a security deposit equal to your credit limit with a secured card. If this is for your business then apply for business credit card instead.
Is a Credit Card a Secured or Unsecured Loan?
Neither, a credit card can be secured or unsecured, but it isn’t a loan. A loan is a type of installment debt. That means you get a lump sum upfront. Credit Cards are revolving debt, which you can pay off and use repeatedly.
How do You Get Denied for a Secured Credit Card?
It depends on the card issuer. Each card issuer can set their own requirements to issue a secured credit card. If you’ve been denied for a secured credit card, then you’ll need to ask the specific issuer you applied with.
Which Secured Credit Card Is Best?
That depends on what you’re looking for. Some cards offer cash back on purchases. Others allow you to more quickly advance to an unsecured credit card. Check out reviews of different secured credit cards to find the one that’s right for your needs.
What Is a Security Deposit for a Credit Card?
A security deposit is an amount of money that you deposit with the card issuer when you get a secured credit card. The deposit protects the bank giving you the card because they can take it if you default on your payments.
Is Credit Card Debt Secured or Unsecured?
It can be either. It depends on the type of credit card you’re looking at. Many credit cards are unsecured, while others are secured. If you paid a deposit on the card up front, then it’s secured debt.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Secured Credit Card?
It depends on the card issuer. Many secured credit card issuers will give you your credit card information immediately upon approval. That means you can use it online right away.
Secured Credit Cards and Credit Scores
One of the primary reasons people get a secured credit card is to build or rebuild their credit history. This section answers all of your questions about how secured credit cards relate to credit scores. Use this information to make smart financial decisions to raise your credit score and improve your credit history.
Do Secured Credit Cards Hurt Your Credit Score?
Only if you don’t make your payments on time. You may also see a slight dip when you first apply for the card. However, secured credit cards are a great way to build your credit score by making consistent on-time payments.
Do Secured Credit Cards Help Build Credit?
Secured credit cards are great to have as your first time credit card and a great way to build credit if you make your monthly payments on time. This shows that you can be trusted to manage credit and loan products, boosting your score.
What Is the Best Credit Card for Bad Credit?
Secured credit cards are the best cards for bad credit. They’re much easier to get than unsecured credit cards. They’re also a good way to build credit back up.
How Can I Raise My Credit Score in 30 days?
The fastest way to raise your credit score is to pay down revolving debt. That means making extra payments on your credit cards. This type of debt makes up 30% of your credit score. You can also look at instant approval credit cards average credit options.
How Can I Build Credit Fast?
Paying down revolving debt is the fastest way to build your credit. If you don’t have a credit card, then applying for a credit card and making on-time payments will help increase your score. Once you do have better credit then you can look at applying for 0 percent credit card offers.
How Can I Raise My Credit Score by Paying Off Credit Cards?
Paying off credit cards will raise your score by itself. That’s because 30% of your credit score comes from how much of your credit limit you’re using. If you pay down your credit cards, you’ll be using less of your limit, causing your score to go up.
What Is the Best Secured Credit Card to Build Credit?
Any secured credit card can help you build credit. All of them work to build credit the same way. You pay down the card, which keeps your credit utilization low. You also make on time payments which builds your credit score. If you’re in college then check out the best credit card for students with no credit requirements.
How Long Does It Take to Build Credit?
It depends. Credit scores are complex numbers generated from several factors. The fastest way to rebuild credit is by paying down credit card debt. Other than that, you need to show a consistent record of on-time payments on your credit card.
How Much Will a Secured Credit Card Raise My Score?
It depends. Credit scores are extremely complex, so each person’s credit score changes in different ways. It will boost your score by reducing the amount of your credit limit you’re using and by showing a record of on-time payments.
Which Secured Credit Card Reports the Fastest?
All secured cards report at the same rate. That’s because they report at the end of each monthly billing cycle. As long as you pay your whole balance and pay on time you’ll get the same results no matter the card.
Does Closing a Secured Credit Card Hurt Your Credit Score?
It can. Closing a credit account reduces the average age of your accounts. That accounts for about 10% of your credit score. That means it’s better to leave the account with a zero balance than to close it.
Using a Secured Credit Card
This section answers all of your questions about how you can use a secured credit card. Sometimes people think that a secured credit card works differently from an unsecured credit card. However, this section will show you that simply isn’t the case. You can use a secured credit card anywhere you could use an unsecured version of that same card.
Can You Rent a Car with a Secured Credit Card?
Yes, you can use a secured credit card just like an unsecured credit card. As long as the cost doesn’t exceed your available limit, you’ll be fine. Also, some of the best business rewards credit card offers have rental car perks.
How Much to Spend on Secured Credit Card?
You should spend the amount that you think you could afford to pay off each month. That way, even if you max out your card, you’ll still be able to reduce your balance to zero. You shouldn’t put extra money into the card if you don’t think you can afford to pay it off.
How to Use a Secured Credit Card?
You use a secured credit card just like an unsecured credit card. You can use it anywhere that accepts your card’s brand, like Visa or Mastercard.
Does Hertz Accept Secured Credit Cards?
Yes, stores don’t discriminate between secured and unsecured credit cards. They work the same for purchases.
How to Get Money Back from Secured Credit Card?
Each card issuer has different standards for getting your security deposit back. You’ll need to check with your individual bank to see how you can get your deposit returned.
How Long Should I Keep a Secured Credit Card?
You should keep your secured credit card as long as you can. Closing the account will reduce the average age of your credit accounts and lower your score.
Can I Have More Than One Secured Credit Card?
Yes, you can. However, it might not be advantageous to do so. Remember, the card is secured with your own money, so using more than one secured card means you’re paying to use your own cash.
Who Is a Secured Credit Card Good For?
A secured credit card is an excellent way to build or rebuild your credit score. They’re easy to get and paying off the balance, along with a record of on-time payments, will boost your score.
How to Close a Secured Credit Card?
You can close a secured credit card by talking to the bank that issued your card. Before you close the account you should be aware the closing an account can lower your credit score.
Specific Secured Credit Cards
People have lots of questions about specific types of secured credit cards. We’ve answered some of the most common questions people have about specific secured credit cards here. Keep in mind that card companies can change their procedures and standards. That means you’ll want to double check this information with the actual company that you’re asking about.
This section also includes the answers to many of the questions concerning which secured credit card someone should get. Use the answers to the questions to make a sound decision on what the best secured credit card is for you and your unique situation.
What are the Easiest Credit Cards to Get Approved For?
Secured credit cards are the easiest cards to get approved for. There are several different banks that offer secured credit cards with no credit check. You just need a deposit equal to your credit limit. You can also take a look at credit cards for poor credit instant approval.
What Is the Best Secured Credit Card to Rebuild Credit?
Any secured credit card can help you boost your credit score. The best card depends on what you want out of your secured credit card. Check out reviews of different cards to find the best one for you.
What Is Fingerhut Credit?
Fingerhut is an online retailer that offers you credit for purchases and lets you make monthly payments. However, the monthly payments an interest charges mean that you’ll be paying more for your purchases. Take a look at more of the best store credit cards.
Will Fingerhut Build Credit?
If you pay your balance on time then Fingerhut can be used to increase your credit score. However, if you are late with payments or carry a balance, then your score will be hurt.
What Is Fingerhut FreshStart?
FreshStart is a program from Fingerhut to help people shop and boost their credit score. You make a purchase and then pay down the balance. If you follow the rules you’ll get a traditional credit card account from Fingerhut/WebBank.
Does Fingerhut report to all three Credit Bureaus?
Yes, Fingerhut reports to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. That means you can use it to boost your credit score with all three major credit reporting agencies.
Does Chase have Secured Cards?
No, Chase does not offer secured credit cards. They only offer unsecured credit cards. You’ll need to look for another bank to get a secured credit card.
Does Bank of America have Secured Credit Cards?
Yes, Bank of America offers secured credit cards. You can make a deposit from $200 to $5000 with your card to set your credit limit.
What Is 3D Secure Credit Card?
A 3D Secure credit card is a type of standard that Mastercard developed to help protect people from online identity theft. It protects buyers from unauthorized purchases online.
How to Apply for Secured Credit Card Bank of America?
It’s easy to apply for credit card offers with Bank of America. You simply go to their site and select the Bank of America Secured Card from their different credit card options, then fill out the application.
How to Increase Credit Limit on Capital One Secured Card?
Capital One requires you to make on-time payments for 5 months before you can increase your credit limit. Once you do that, you can apply for an increase through their website or app.
Does TD Bank Have Secured Credit Cards?
Yes, TD Bank offers secured credit cards. You can get a card with a limit from $200- $5,000. You can’t deposit more than the credit limit you’re approved for.
How to Apply for a Capital One Secured Credit Card?
Simply go to Capital One’s site or one of their branches. Select the Capital One secured card from their options and fill out the application form.
Financial Advisor - Best.CreditCard
Michelle is part of our expert team of financial advisors with a proven track record in the credit card industry. After graduating with an Economics Degree focusing on Personal Finance, she got involved with several credit and debt counseling startups.