Secured Credit Cards

Build your credit history with a secured credit card. Secured credit cards require a deposit, and help build credit by reporting your activity to major credit bureaus. Browse the best secured credit card offers from our partners, apply to the card that suits you, make payments on time, and keep a low balance to improve your credit score.

See offers from our partners below.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Apply Now Credit Needed
New to Credit
  • No Annual Fee, and unlike a prepaid card, it helps build credit history with monthly notifications to the credit bureaus
  • A security deposit is required for this product (minimum $200)
  • Pay your bill on time every month to avoid damaging your credit. Citi can help keep you on track with Auto Pay, online Bill Pay and alerts.
  • Use the card anywhere Mastercard® is accepted — worldwide
Apply Now at Citi's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
23.74%* (Variable)
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
New to Credit

primor® Secured Mastercard® Classic Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit/No Credit
  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Low fixed 13.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
Apply Now at primor's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
13.99% (Fixed)
Annual Fee
$39
Credit Needed
Bad Credit/No Credit

USAA Secured Card® American Express®

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • Best for members rebuilding or establishing credit.
  • Determine your own credit limit ($250 to $5,000) with an interest-earning CD.
  • No foreign transaction fees when you travel outside the United States.
  • USAA membership is available to active and former military and their eligible family members
Apply Now at USAA's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
11.15%-21.15% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$35
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • Unlike your Prepaid Card, UNITY Visa secured card can help you build your credit. Apply online in less than 5 minutes, and you could be approved today!
  • No Minimum Credit Score required; low fixed interest rate of 17.99%; Fully refundable FDIC security deposit* required at time of application; if you have a min of $250 to deposit immediately, you can start now!
  • No application fee or penalty rate
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • 24/7 online access to your account
  • *See the Cardholder Agreement for more details.
Apply Now at OneUnited's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
9.95% for 6 months
Regular APR
17.99% (Fixed)
Annual Fee
$39
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

Self Lender — Credit Builder Account

Apply Now Credit Needed
See Terms
  • The first nationwide savings plan that builds credit
  • Savings plans start at $25/month and includes credit monitoring
  • Reports to all 3 credit bureaus. No hard credit pull and no credit history required
  • Self Lender helps you get a small loan that you save in a CD for 12 or 24 months (FDIC-insured certificate of deposit bank account)
  • At the end of account term you've built credit history and your CD savings unlocks
Apply Now at Self Lender Credit Builder's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
See Terms
Balance Transfers Intro APR
See Terms
Regular APR
See Terms
Annual Fee
See Terms
Credit Needed
See Terms

First PREMIER® Bank Secured Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • No credit history required to apply for this credit card
  • Application response in as little as 30 seconds.
  • This is a genuine secured credit card - not a debit or prepaid card.
  • If approved, fund your Security Deposit to open your account. Once open, you will have the opportunity to build your credit limit up to $5,000.
  • Opportunity to build your credit card limit over time by adding funds to your Security Deposit.
  • Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statement.
  • Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges. Restrictions apply.
  • Your First PREMIER Bank credit card account is reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies each month.
Apply Now at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
See Issuer Website
Annual Fee
See Issuer Website
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

The Secured Visa® from Merrick Bank

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • Unsecured credit line increases - After the first year, your account will be regularly reviewed for credit line increases with no additional security deposit required.
  • Monthly FICO® Score for free - get your updated FICO® Score each month when it is provided to us from the credit bureau.
  • Build your credit - performance is reported to all three major credit bureaus, unlike a prepaid card.
  • Flexible credit line - the amount of your deposit determines your initial credit line - up to $3,000 and increase your credit line anytime with additional deposits.
  • Easy funding options – several convenient options to easily fund your security deposit.
  • Worldwide acceptance - use it anywhere Visa is accepted.
  • Quick, easy application - apply online today!
Apply Now at Merrick Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
18.70% (Variable)
Annual Fee
$36
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

Green Dot® Platinum Visa® Secured Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
N/A
  • Credit card (not prepaid or debit) designed to help you build credit with responsible use
  • Pre-qualify fast without impacting your credit score
  • Most people will qualify for a card
  • Good credit or a bank account is not required
  • Make security deposits and payments with cash at retail stores nationwide
  • No late fee on your first late payment.
  • Track your spending with 24/7 online account access
  • Use everywhere Visa is accepted
Apply Now at Green Dot's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
19.99%
Annual Fee
$39
Credit Needed
N/A

Comparing Secured Credit Card Offers

Updated: February 19, 2018

CreditCards.com's Best Secured Credit Cards of 2018:

If your credit isn’t its best or you are new to credit, your options can be limited. But with a secured card, you can build your credit in a few months so that you can apply for a more rewarding unsecured card.

Secured cards require a refundable deposit that you are borrowing off of for your available credit limit. In many cases, they may be your only option. But they are a great way to build credit and to develop good payment habits. Here, we look at:

  • How much is a typical deposit on a secured credit card?
  • How to use your secured credit card wisely
  • How to get a secured card
  • How to improve to an unsecured card
  • Secured card vs. unsecured card

Wondering how to get a secured card? Or not sure how to use one? We explain:

How much is a typical deposit on a secured credit card?

Typically deposits on secured credit cards start at $200. You pay a refundable deposit in exchange for a credit limit of the same amount. Sometimes, you can get a credit limit above the amount for the deposit, or the card issuer will allow you to increase your limit after several months of on-time payments.

How to use your secured credit card wisely

  • Pay on time. The single most important thing you can do with your secured card is to pay on time each and every month. Not only is it good for your credit, it keeps you from having to pay late fees and higher interest charges, and even losing your card.
  • Pay in full. In fact, pay multiple times a month to keep your utilization ratio low – because you don’t know when your issuer will send your account information to the 3 major credit bureaus.
  • Use for credit building. Don’t use the card to carry a balance – that will come later when you qualify for an unsecured rewards card.
  • Place a small charge on the card. Don’t forget to use the card each month. The second worst thing you can do (after paying late) is to put your card in your sock drawer and forget about it. If you lose your card to inactivity, you can’t build credit month by month.

How to get a secured card

  1. Check your credit report. Review your credit reports for inaccuracies and get them corrected. Also, fix any unpaid charges so that they don’t continue to build bad habits on your reports each month. Go to AnnualCreditReport.com for free reports from the 3 credit bureaus or get your free TransUnion report on CreditCards.com.
  2. Check your credit score. Before you apply for a credit card, check your credit score so you know what you qualify for. You can get your score for about $20 each through MyFICO.com or you can get your VantageScore for free through CreditCards.com.
  3. Check application and other fees. You can quickly incur add-on fees through a starter card, so read the fine print carefully.
  4. Be honest. Don’t lie on your application, because if caught, that’s a sure-fire way to lose your account.
  5. Make sure the issuer reports to the credit bureaus. If the issuer doesn’t report to the credit bureaus, you won’t benefit from all those good credit habits.
  6. Apply for one card at a time. Avoid applying for multiple cards at once. Each time you apply, your score takes a little hit, whether you get the card or not.
  7. Pay in full and on time. Once you have the card, congratulations! Now, pay on time and in full each and every month to ensure you are building your credit.

How to improve to an unsecured card

  • Pay on time and in full each month. Paying on time and having a low utilization ratio make up 65% of your FICO credit score. Pay in full multiple times a month to ensure your ratio stays low.
  • Use your card. Don’t forget to use your card so you are building those good credit habits on your credit reports.
  • Check your credit score and report. Stay on top of your credit reports from the 3 major credit bureaus, checking each one once a year and spacing them out so that you are checking one every 4 months. Also, check your score periodically.
  • Apply for one card at a time. When your score is in a place where you want it to be, research the kind of card you want, ensuring that you have a high likelihood of getting it. Just apply for one at a time, because each time you apply, your score takes a hit, even if you are denied.

Secured card vs. unsecured card

Secured Credit CardsUnsecured Credit Cards
Refundable deposit requiredNo deposit required
Build creditBuilg credit
Lower credit limitMore robust credit limit
Some rewards possibleRicher rewards
Can have tacked-on feesTypically fewer fees
Often annual feeMore likely to have no annual fee

Recap: Our Best Secured Credit Cards to Build Credit

CardMinimum Deposit RequiredAnnual FeeAPR
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®$49, $99, or $200$024.99% Variable
Discover it® Secured Card$200$024.24% Variable
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card$200$3518.64% Variable
First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card$200 - $2,000$499.99% Variable
primor® Secured Visa® Gold Card$200$499.99% Fixed
USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa®$250$3511.15%-21.15% Variable

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, we ask that you do not disclose confidential or personal information such as your bank account number, phone number, or email address. Keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by the card issuers or advertisers. Additionally, the card issuer or advertiser does not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

See the online credit card applications for details about the terms and conditions of an offer. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's web site.

* For additional rates, fees and costs see issuer's website for detailed pricing and terms.