Video: Secured credit cards, explained


If your credit score is low, you can build your credit by using a secured credit card

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Please see the bank’s website for the most current version of card offers; and please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Security is typically a good thing. Security guards? Helpful. Security blankets? Cozy. Secured credit cards? Those are a little complicated.

With a normal credit card, you buy now, pay later. That fancy jacket you want? Hand the cashier your credit card, then pay your bill at the end of the month.

But let’s say you don’t have a great credit score. You may be a student or new to the country, or maybe you weren’t able to pay your bills in the past for some reason. Either way, a low credit score makes it hard to get any new credit or rebuild your score.

If that sounds familiar, secured credit cards might be an option. You make a cash deposit upfront – usually between $300 and $500 – and the bank uses this money as collateral.  This means you’ll get a card, but if you don’t pay your bill, the card issuer will withdraw that money from your account.

The point of a secured credit card is to help you build credit, but some of them come with fees and super high interest rates, so you want to make sure to read the fine print and pay your balance in full every month if possible.

And really, that’s always good practice for keeping your finances, well, secure.

See related:Secured card may be best when on a fixed income, New to credit? Build score with car loan, secured card, 9 things to know about secured cards

What’s up next?

In Videos

Video: Restaurants fight card fraud with tableside payments

A pay-at-the-table approach may help stem fraud that can occur when a waiter disappears with your card.

Published: April 25, 2016

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: May 23rd, 2019
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.