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Secured credit cards are geared to consumers who have bad credit or no credit history at all. The end goal of signing up for one of the top secured credit cards is improving your credit score so you can qualify for any credit card you want, as well as other types of loans.
You'll have to put down a cash deposit as collateral, but secured cards are considerably easier to get approved for than traditional unsecured credit cards. The APRs and fees tend to be reasonable and when you close your secured credit card account in good standing later on, you’ll get your deposit back.
If you are on the hunt for your best secured credit card on the market today, you’re in the right place. ValuePenguin compared all the top offers in this space to find the secured cards that offer the best value for consumers. The list you’ll find below includes the top secured credit cards based on their fees, their ability to help you build credit and the perks they offer.
Compare the best secured credit cards of 2022
|No credit check||
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
|N/A||0 - 600||$35|
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
|Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.||0 - 600||See terms|
Not available on ValuePenguin
|High credit limit||
U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card
|N/A||See website for details||$0|
Not available on ValuePenguin
View more cards
Best secured credit card with no credit check
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
- No credit check to apply and find out instantly if you are approved.
- OpenSky gives everyone an opportunity to improve their credit with an 85% average approval rate for the past 5 years
- Get considered for a credit line increase after 6 months, with no additional deposit required
- You could be eligible for the OpenSky Gold Unsecured Card after as few as 6 months
- Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus monthly, unlike a prepaid or debit card
- View your FICO® Score through your OpenSky account, an easy way to stay on top of your credit
- Nearly half of OpenSky cardholders who make on-time payments improve their FICO score 30+ points in the first 3 months
- Your refundable* deposit, as low as $200, becomes your OpenSky Visa credit limit
- Easy application, apply in less than 5 minutes right from your mobile device
- Offer flexible payment due dates which allow you to choose any available due date that fits your payment schedule
- *View the cardholder agreement
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is a good option for consumers who have bad credit or a past bankruptcy, since you don’t even have to endure a credit check to get approved. You can apply for the card, put down a cash deposit of from $200 up to $3,000 and secure a line of credit equal to your collateral amount. From there, you can use your card anywhere Visa is accepted, and your credit movements and payments will be reported to the three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion.
Once you’re approved, you can even set up email alerts that notify you when a purchase is made or your payment is due. These alerts help you stay on top of your spending while getting you in the habit of paying your credit card bill early or on time each month.
This card does require a $35 annual fee, but the investment can be well worth it if you need to build credit but you cannot get approved for another credit card.
Best secured credit card with rewards
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
- No credit score required to apply.
- No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
- Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.
- Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
- Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
- Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
- Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is an exceptional secured credit card that offers a better-than-average rewards program. As a cardholder, you'll earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Also note that for new cardholders, there's an Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
You can get the Discover it® Secured Credit Card with a relatively low minimum deposit as well – as little as $200. That makes this card a good option if you need to start building credit but you have limited funds. The deposit is fully refundable once you close the card, minus any fees or outstanding balance. You can deposit up to $2,500 to secure a larger credit line. (Your credit line will equal the amount you deposit.)
You'll also get access to your FICO® Score for free on your monthly credit card statement.
Best high limit secured credit card
When you sign up for the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card, your security deposit is your credit limit. However, this card gives you the option of securing a line of credit of from $300 up to $5,000, which is higher than many competing cards. There's a $0 annual fee.
The U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card reports to all three credit bureaus and it even gives you a free TransUnion credit score on your monthly statement. You also get the option to choose your own payment due date, which can be helpful if you prefer to pay bills on a certain date of the month or on payday.
Best secured credit card with a low APR
Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card
- Earn 1 Flexpoint reward for each dollar you spend
- No foreign transaction fees and no income verification
- 25-day grace period on purchases
- No annual fees or balance transfer fees
- Credit lines starting as low as $250
- Lost luggage reimbursement and travel assistance services
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
The Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card offers a nice combination of benefits for those who can qualify. This card comes with a $0 annual fee, a 0% foreign transaction fee and a 0% balance transfer fee. You'll also qualify for a fixed APR of 11.99% Variable, which is considerably lower than other secured credit cards charge.
Once approved for the Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card, you'll Earn Flexpoints Rewards - 1 point for every $1 spent. You'll get a 25-day grace period on purchases, and you'll qualify for cardholder perks such as lost luggage reimbursement and travel and emergency assistance services.
Just keep in mind that you'll have to join the State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU) to qualify for this card, and that eligibility requirements apply. Specifically, you have to be a Department of the State employee or a family member of one. Some organizational affiliates are also eligible to join, as well as American Consumer Council (ACC) members.
Best secured credit card with a low deposit
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
- No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
- Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
- Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
- You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
- Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
- Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
- Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
- Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking to access your account from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One's mobile app
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is a great all-around credit card for people looking for more financial flexibility. One standout feature of this card is its security deposit: You may be able to secure the card with as little as $49, depending on what amount Capital One sets your minimum deposit at. This low security deposit requirement can be helpful if you need to build credit but you don't have a lot of cash. Just keep in mind that you’ll need an authorized bank account to make this deposit.
Also note that you'll receive a minimum credit limit of $200 with the initial security deposit. This means if you qualify for a $49 or $99 minimum deposit, you can actually carry a larger balance than your security deposit, while building credit along the way.
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card also carries a $0 annual fee, and you can automatically be considered for a higher line of credit after six months of on-time payments. You even get to pick your own payment due date.
Other benefits include a foreign transaction fee of None and a $0 fraud liability waiver
Other good secured credit cards
The DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card is a credit union card, so not everyone is eligible. Generally speaking, you have to be a family member of a DCU member to qualify, but you may be able to join based on the company you work for or retired from, an organization you belong to or based on where you live.
If you meet eligibility requirements, however, this card is definitely worth considering. It offers a $0 annual fee, a balance transfer fee of None and a None cash advance fee. The DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card also comes with an APR as low as 13.75% to 18% (variable), which can help you save money on interest over time.
Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card
- Earn 1 point per dollar spent
- Redeem points for cash back, gift cards and merchandise
- No cash advance fees
- No foreign transaction fees
- No balance transfer fees
- No annual fees
- Rewards expire four years from the month earned
The Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card is a good option for consumers who are affiliated with the military. Membership to this credit union is available to active duty military members, Army and Air National Guard personnel, Delayed Entry Program personnel, Department of Defense (DoD) civilians, U.S. government employees assigned to DoD installations, contractors assigned to DoD installations; and their family members.
If you're eligible, you'll like the fact that this card comes with $0 annual fee, balance transfer fee of 0%, foreign transaction fee of $0 and a $0 cash advance fee. You'll also earn rewards: 1X points per dollar spent.
If you decide to apply, you can get started with an initial security deposit of $200. Navy Federal Credit Union even promises to see if you can upgrade to an unsecured card after three months, and on a monthly basis after six months. This card also comes with rental car coverage and cellphone protection.
What is a secured credit card?
A secured credit card is a type of credit card that requires a cash deposit as collateral. While putting down a cash deposit to secure your own line of credit may not seem ideal, secured credit cards give consumers with bad credit the opportunity to build credit when they cannot get approved for another credit card or loan. Secured credit cards are often one of the first cards consumers can qualify for after bankruptcy.
Once you put down a cash deposit as collateral, you’ll normally secure a line of credit in the amount of your deposit. This means that, if you put down $200 as collateral, your initial line of credit will likely be for $200.
Security deposit aside, a secured credit card functions just like an unsecured card – you can use it to make purchases up to your credit line, and then pay off those purchases by the due date. By using the card and paying your bill on time, you can build your credit score, since your payment history will be reported to the credit bureaus. Once you cancel or upgrade your secured credit card in good standing, you’ll receive your initial security deposit back.
What's the difference between a secured and unsecured credit card?
While secured credit cards require a cash deposit as collateral, unsecured credit cards do not. This means that, when you are approved for an unsecured credit card, you qualify for a traditional line of credit you can borrow against.
Also, for applicants with low credit scores, secured cards tend to offer better terms than their unsecured counterparts. Benefits of secured cards often include reasonable rates and fees and appealing cashback rewards programs.
What is the best secured credit card for you?
The best secured credit card on the market today is the one that helps you build credit with the perks and benefits you want the most. The top secured credit cards report to the three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, which is what makes them helpful for building credit. Other features to look for in a secured credit card include a lack of fees, the ability to earn rewards and the option for a small security deposit.
You should also look closely at each card's ongoing Annual Percentage Rate (APR). APRs on secured credit cards can vary tremendously, sometimes ranging very high. Though you should avoid carrying a balance, you’ll want a card with a reasonable APR in case you can't pay your bill in time.
How to get a secured credit card
If you’re wondering how to get a secured credit card, you can start with this guide. Compare the secured credit cards on this page until you find one that might suit your needs. From there, click on the card to read the full review, and take the steps required to apply.
Secured credit cards require you to fill out an online application with information such as your name, your address, your phone number, your Social Security number and your income. Plan on providing these details as well as your banking information to expedite your security deposit.
Once you fill out the application to apply, you may find out whether you qualify right away, or you may have to wait for a response in your email or via the regular mail. If you’re approved, the security deposit will be taken from your bank account and your new secured credit card will be sent to you in the mail.
How to use a secured credit card
The point of picking up a secured credit card is using it to build your credit score. With that in mind, you'll want to make sure you are prepared to use the card responsibly.
You should start by using your card for small purchases you can afford to pay off right away. From there, pay your secured credit card bill in full each month to keep your credit utilization as low as you can. To build a credit history, you'll need to use the card on a regular basis while paying it off on time each month. Since many issuers offer an autopay feature, you might consider charging a small recurring amount to your card (like a gym membership) while setting your card to autopay.
You may also want to take steps to monitor your credit score during this time. Many secured credit cards make this easy by giving you access to your credit score each month. Ultimately, your credit score should improve over time as you make on-time payments on your credit card.
Secured credit card FAQs
These questions and answers about secured credit cards can help you find the right card option for your needs. Keep reading to learn about the top secured credit card options and how they work.
Secured credit cards help you build credit since they report your credit movements and monthly payments to the three credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. To build credit with a secured credit card, you should make sure you make all of your monthly payments early or on time, and that you keep your balance fairly low. Most experts suggest keeping your credit utilization at 30% or below for the best credit score results.
A variety of banks and credit unions offer secured credit cards. The main credit card issuers that offer secured cards include Capital One, Discover, Citibank, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank.
Secured credit cards work just like traditional credit cards, meaning you can use them for purchases up to your credit limit. A secured credit card can work when you rent a car provided your credit limit is high enough to cover the cost plus the amount the rental agency puts on hold.
A security deposit is an amount of money you put down as collateral when you get a secured credit card. This amount of money effectively secures the line of credit you get with your card, and you can receive your security deposit back when you close your secured card or upgrade in good standing.
How much a secured credit card can raise your credit score depends on a wide range of factors, including how responsibly you use it. Your best bet is making your payments early or on time and keeping your balance as low as possible. Over time, these actions will yield your best results.
Secured credit cards are an excellent tool to build credit when you cannot get approved for an unsecured credit card or a loan. While putting down a security deposit is less than ideal, secured credit cards give you the chance to build credit when other payment options, such as debit cards, will not.
It’s possible to be denied for a secured credit card based on a wide range of circumstances, although denials are rare. If you're worried about being denied, consider a secured credit card that doesn't require a credit check.
You can close a secured credit card whenever you want to. Provided your account is in good standing and your credit card balance is zero, you'll receive your full security deposit back when you do.
Some secured credit cards require a credit check, but a handful of secured credit cards do not. If you're looking for a secured credit card that won't check your credit, consider the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card.
You can put down as little as $49 with some secured credit cards while others require a minimum security deposit of $200 or more. Keep in mind that your security deposit is typically equal to the line of credit you can qualify for.
Both secured and unsecured credit cards are considered revolving credit since they offer a line of credit you can borrow against and pay off over and over. An installment loan, on the other hand, lets you borrow a fixed amount of money and pay a fixed payment over a fixed period of time.
To make choosing the right card easier, we've looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of the best rewards credit cards available right now. Our recommendations are based on the additional value you can earn with the cards — including the rewards value, cost of ownership and value of benefits such as travel and purchase protections, lounge membership and airline companion passes. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.
The information related to OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, Discover it® Secured Credit Card, U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card, Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card, Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card and Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards prior to publication.