Whether you need to build or rebuild your credit history, a credit card with a high limit can be a big help. Check out our top picks for high-limit, low-cost secured cards, along with some tips on building credit with a secured card.
If you don’t mind tying up a chunk of money in a security deposit, opting for a secured credit card that offers a high limit is a great credit-building strategy. Not only can a high limit make it easier to keep your credit utilization low (potentially boosting your credit score), but it can also be part of your larger savings plan.
Here, we take a look at some of the best high-limit secured credit cards, considering not only these cards’ maximum limits, but also their cost of ownership, long-term value and included credit-building tools.
U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card: Best for high credit limit
Why we picked it: Not only does the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card offer one of the highest credit limits currently available on a secured credit card, but it also comes with no annual fee and perks that can help keep your credit-building efforts on track.
You can put down anywhere from $300 to $5,000 as a refundable deposit and get a matching credit limit. Plus, you can pay your deposit online via a checking or savings account or send in a cashier’s check or money order – making it a great option if you don’t have a bank account or if someone else is taking care of the deposit for you.
- No annual fee or penalty APR
- Free monthly credit score report from TransUnion every month
- Car rental insurance
- High APR (25.99% variable)
- Higher minimum deposit
Who should apply: If you’re looking to build credit and have a little bit of cash to start, this card and its high credit limit should work great. Anyone with no credit or low credit will also like this offering.
Who should skip: If you have a fair credit score, you may not need a secured card. If that minimum deposit is a bit high for your budget, there are others you can apply for.
OpenSky Secured Visa: Best for low APR
Why we picked it: The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is a great credit-building option. You can put down as much as $3,000 and get a matching credit limit, and since this is a soft pull credit card, you won’t have to undergo a credit check to be approved.
Indeed, all cardholders receive the same APR (17.64% variable) and are eligible for the same credit limit range ($200 to $3,000), regardless of their credit history. This makes the OpenSky Secured Visa especially appealing if you have severely damaged credit due to late payments or bankruptcy.
- Low APR (17.64% variable)
- No credit check
- Low minimum security deposit
- No rewards program
- $35 annual fee
Who should apply: If you’re worried about the credit impact of applying for a new card or if you have doubts your odds of approval, you’ll love the lack of credit check on the application. It’s also great for those with bad credit.
Who should skip: Those who cannot fit the $35 annual fee into their budget or would like to establish an early relationship with a major credit issuer should skip.
Discover it Secured: Best for cash back rewards
Why we picked it: The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is easily one of the best all-around secured credit cards on the market, and its potentially high credit limit is just one selling point. While its $2,500 maximum credit limit (with a matching deposit) is not the highest available, it’s more than double that of many secured cards, including the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card ($1,000 maximum).
The card’s most compelling feature, though, is its cash back rewards program – a rare sight among credit-building cards. You’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter (then 1%) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.
- No annual fee or penalty APR
- Free monthly FICO score
- Rewards program
- May be able to graduate to an unsecured card after seven months of responsible use
- High APR (23.24% variable)
Who should apply: Cardholders who want to build credit while also earning rewards on everyday purchases will like this card. Anyone who’d like to establish a history with Discover sooner than later shoulder consider this one, too.
Who should skip: If you’re still establishing good credit habits, you should skip. You don’t want to let the cash back rewards distract and tempt you into overspending.
Self Secured Visa Credit Card: Best for saving money
Why we picked it: The Self - Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa® Credit Card is a bit different from the others – you start with signing up for a Self credit-builder loan. You’re issued a small loan of $500 to $1,700 stored in a locked account. You’ll build credit as you make monthly payments, and your payments will be reported to the three credit bureaus. You’re essentially lending yourself money and paying it back, but this way, you’ll save money and improve your credit score.
After at least three months of full, on-time payments and saving at least $100 in your account, you can ask for a Self Visa Credit Card. Your credit card limit will be your specified deposit amount. Though the max limit is only $1,700, remember the goal is to gradually build your credit score with consistent payments.
- Soft pull credit card
- Automatic approval once you meet requirements
- May break up initial deposit of $100 over three or more months
- $25 annual fee
- Interest charged on credit-builder loan
Who should apply: Those who can’t afford a large deposit or have trouble saving money should go for this card. It’s also great for anyone who wants to avoid a hard pull on their score.
Who should skip: If you want to start building credit quicker and don’t have time to wait three months before approval for your secured card, there are other choices for you.
Citi Secured Mastercard: Best for simplicity
Why we picked it: If all else fails, something simple and straightforward like the Citi® Secured Mastercard® might do the trick. For your deposit, you can start with $200 to $2,500, with your credit limit being equal to your deposit. There’s no annual fee, and the regular APR is reasonable at 22.74% variable. After 18 months of on-time payments, you may upgrade to an unsecured credit card.
- Relatively high credit limit at $2,500
- No annual fee
- Upgrade to unsecured card after 18 months of on-time payments
- Lots of fees – foreign transaction fee, late payment fee, penalty APR – and more
- No rewards program
Who should apply: Someone who wants the most straightforward secured card – with no annual fee and no bells and whistles to distract – should go for this choice. If you also want a sure way to get an unsecured card eventually, this is a solid card.
Who should skip: If you have more than $2,500 to put down for deposit, shoot for a card with an even higher credit limit.
Comparing the best high-limit secured credit cards
To see how these cards stack up against each other side-by-side through this table:
|Card||Credit limit||Regular APR||Annual fee|
|U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card||$300-$5,000||25.99% variable||$29 (membership)|
|OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card||$200-$3,000||17.64% variable||$35|
|Discover it® Secured Credit Card||$200-$2,500||22.99% variable||$0|
|Self - Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa® Credit Card||$100-$1,700||23.99% variable||$25|
|Citi® Secured Mastercard®||$200-$2,500||22.74% variable||$0|
How to choose a high-limit secured credit card
Unlike debit and prepaid cards, secured credit cards function just like traditional credit cards from a credit-building perspective. Your account standing and payment history are reported to the three major credit bureaus, allowing you to prove your creditworthiness through responsible card use. And since secured cards are typically easier to qualify for than unsecured cards, they’re a great option if you have a limited or damaged credit history and want to build good credit.
For those struggling with bad credit, a secured credit card can really save your credit. Secured cards offer a unique advantage when it comes to credit utilization. Since they require you to put down a deposit to secure your line of credit, you have a bit more control over the size of your credit limit.
While unsecured credit cards assign you a credit limit based on your credit history, secured cards generally let you determine your own limit within a specified range based on the size of your deposit.
Of course, before you choose a card, you should consider the following factors when examining your spending habits.
- Why is your credit score low? If you have bad credit because you tend to overspend, steer clear of any cards with attractive rewards programs. Give yourself no reason to get distracted from paying your monthly bills consistently and in full.
- Do you have any credit history? New cardholders with no credit history and a bit of capital may like to start with a secured credit card with a high limit.
- Do you want to earn cash back rewards? If you have good credit habits and pay your credit bills on time, you shouldn’t have a problem with overspending because of rewards.
- Do you have to build your credit quickly? Perhaps you plan to buy a car soon, so you’re in a rush to improve your credit.
Whether you’re brand new to credit cards or looking to rebuild your credit score after a few missteps, a secured credit card is a great place to start.
Choosing a card that lets you put down a large deposit and receive a matching high credit limit may make it easier to keep your credit utilization low but be sure to weigh the benefit of a high limit against more immediate downsides like high fees and APRs.
*All information about the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.