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Best Secured Credit Cards of July 2022

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that pay us a commission. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

Secured credit cards can be a great tool to build credit. You don't need to have good credit or any credit at all to qualify. As you make your monthly payments, your actions will be reported to the major credit bureaus, and this can help to raise your credit score.

The best secured credit cards have low deposit requirements. However, be aware that some secured credit cards may come with hidden fees or high interest rates. Here are our picks for the best secured credit cards in 2021.

Cash back
  • This card is a great place to start when building your credit history. It offers perks rarely found in secured cards, including cash back, no annual fee, and Discover's innovative sign-up bonus. Read Full Review

    • Cash back rewards
    • Great sign-up bonus offer
    • No annual fee
    • Can graduate to an unsecured card
    • Minimum deposit amount
    • 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.

Great for: Low security deposit

  • Comes with a low initial security deposit and no annual fee, making it a top pick if you want to open a secured card account without breaking the bank. Read Full Review

    • No annual fee
    • Low minimum deposit amount
    • Can graduate to an unsecured card
    • No minimum credit score required
    • No rewards
    • No free credit score monitoring
    • 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

Great for: Secured credit card with cash back

  • One of the most competitive secured credit cards we've come across. The rewards program and $0 annual fee are standout features that beat many similar offers.

    • Cash back rewards
    • No minimum credit score required
    • No annual fee
    • Can graduate to an unsecured card
    • Minimum deposit amount
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • A minimum security deposit of $200 (maximum of $5,000) is required to open this account.
    • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
    • No annual fee and no expiration on rewards.
    • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.

Great for: Low security deposit

  • Makes for a great starter card, particularly with no annual fee and the ability to graduate to an unsecured credit card with good credit hygiene.

    • No minimum credit score required
    • No annual fee
    • Can graduate to an unsecured card
    • Free credit score monitoring
    • Flexible credit limit
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • Minimum deposit amount
    • The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a no annual fee credit card that helps you build your credit when used responsibly.
    • Unlike a debit card, it helps build your credit history with monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus. Once available, you will also have free access to your FICO score online.
    • Use your card anywhere Mastercard® is accepted — worldwide.
    • A security deposit is required. Once approved, your credit limit will be equal to your security deposit (minimum of $200).
    • Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts.
    • With Flexible Payment Due Dates, you can choose any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month.
    • Manage your account 24/7 online, by phone, or in our mobile app.
    • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 23.99%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Great for: High secured credit limit

  • With a large credit line range for a secured card, this is a great choice. It also comes with rental car insurance and free access to your credit score.

    • Big potential credit limit
    • No annual fee
    • Free credit score
    • High APR
    • Credit limit ranges from $300-$5,000 based on deposit.
    • The deposit is put in an FDIC-insured savings account that earns interest and won't be touched as long as your account remains open and in good standing.
    • Car rental insurance available at no additional cost if you charge the car rental on your card and decline rental company's collision damage waiver option.
    • Free TransUnion® Credit Score.
    • You are not responsible for unauthorized transactions if your U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card is ever lost or stolen.

Great for: No credit check

  • A good option for new to credit applicants. The fact that there's no credit check could justify the annual fee for some cardholders Read Full Review

    • No credit check
    • Flexible credit limit
    • Reports payments to all three credit bureaus
    • Annual fee
    • No graduation to an unsecured card
    • No rewards
    • Minimum deposit amount
    • No credit check is great for building credit
    • $35 annual fee
    • $200 minimum security deposit

Great for: Low ongoing APR

  • The standout perk is the low ongoing APR. This pick is also available for people with no credit history and there is no minimum credit score required for approval.

    • No minimum credit score required
    • No credit history required
    • No credit inquiry
    • Low variable APR
    • Reasonable minimum security deposit
    • Reports to all three credit bureaus
    • Annual fee
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • Not available in all states
    • No rewards
    • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
    • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
    • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
    • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
    • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account; Try our new Mobile App for Android Users!
    • Includes Free Real-Time Access to Your Credit Score and Ongoing Credit Monitoring powered by Experian
    • Quick and Complete Online Application; No credit inquiry required!
    • Get a fresh start!  A discharged bankruptcy

How to choose the best secured credit card

Not all of the best secured credit cards are the same. You'll want to spend some time comparing credit cards to find the right one for you. Take a look at various features of each card and consider your own situation and financial goals.

Here's what to look for when searching for the best secured credit card:

  • Low security deposit. Secured credit cards with a low deposit amount are the easiest and often best option, because they require less money up front.
  • No annual fee. A secured card with no annual fee will help you minimize costs. Building or rebuilding credit shouldn't cost you money.
  • Free credit score. You'll want to check your credit score regularly as you work on improving it. While some services charge you to do this, many secured credit cards provide your credit score for free.
  • Ability to upgrade. Ideally, you want a secured credit card that you can eventually upgrade to an unsecured version once you've completed enough on-time payments.
  • Rewards. While a rewards program shouldn't be a top priority while building your credit, earning some cash back on your spending doesn't hurt.

Overview of the best secured credit cards

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Great for: Cash back rewards match

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a good secured credit card with no annual fee. It offers cash back match on all rewards earned in the first year. Cardmembers can also earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Read the full Discover it® Secured Credit Card review

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Great for: Low security deposit

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is a good option for those looking for a secured credit card with a low security deposit. There's no annual fee to use this card, and the minimum security deposit is either $49, $99, or $200 depending on your financial situation.

Read the full Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card review

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Great for: Low security deposit

The Citi® Secured Mastercard® has no annual fee and a low security deposit starting at $200.

Read the full Citi® Secured Mastercard® review

U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card

Great for: High secured credit line

There's no annual fee to use this card, though it does require a minimum deposit of $300. However, the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card also has a higher credit limit than other secured cards and allows a limit of up to $5,000 depending on the deposit made.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Great for: No credit

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card has an annual fee of $35 and a minimum deposit of $200. While it does charge an annual fee, this card doesn't require a credit check, and that can be a great option for people with limited credit history.

Read the full OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card review

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card

Great for: High cash back rewards

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card is a no annual fee card with the ability to earn higher rewards than most secured cards. It does have a minimum deposit fee of $300, but card users can earn 3% cash back with additional earnings of 2% and 1% cash back depending on the category. The bonus cash back is capped at $2,500 of bonus-category spending each quarter.

Read the full Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured credit card review

First Progress Platinum Prestige Secured Card

Great for: Low ongoing APR

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Secured Card's standout features are the low ongoing APR, no credit history required, and no credit check. But consider that accessing these perks does come at the expense of an annual fee.

What is a secured credit card?

A secured credit card is a credit card that requires a refundable security deposit. It's designed to help consumers build or rebuild credit. These cards typically come with very low credit limits. As a result, it's easy to gain approval for them -- even with bad or no credit.

Using a secured credit card is an excellent way to build credit because your card issuer reports your monthly payments to the major credit bureaus. However, you have to be wary of secured credit cards with hidden fees and unreasonably high interest rates.The best secured credit cards have low deposit requirements and free credit scores. It's also a good idea to look for a secured card with no annual fee.

Instead of taking out personal loans for bad credit, some people choose to use a secured credit card to build their credit and improve their money management habits.

When is a secured credit card a good idea?

Secured credit cards are a good idea when you're looking to build or rebuild credit. They're especially helpful if you can't qualify for a regular credit card. After first understanding how credit cards work, the following will help you decide if a secured credit card is right for you.

  1. You want to build credit from scratch. If you're new to credit, one of the best things you can do for your credit score is to build a solid history of on-time payments. You can do this by using a secured credit card regularly and paying it off in full every month. Just make sure you never miss a monthly payment. If you do, your credit card issuer will report that missed payment to the credit bureaus, and you'll be hit with a late fee.
  2. You have bad credit and want to rebuild. Want to know how to rebuild your credit? Secured cards might be the answer. If you have late payments on your credit history or you've filed for bankruptcy, secured credit cards are often the best -- and sometimes only -- option for establishing a positive monthly payment history.
  3. You want to improve your credit score without falling into debt. If you're looking to increase credit score, but you're worried about overspending, a secured credit card is a good option. Secured cards come with low credit limits. If you've already racked up a balance in the past, understanding how to pay off debt will help you get that number back to zero.

Watch the video below to learn more about secured credit cards:

Using a secured credit card to build credit

Secured credit cards are an excellent tool for building credit, as long as you use them properly. Make sure you understand how to increase your credit score before diving into the world of secured credit cards.

Pros and cons of secured credit cards

Before opening a secured credit card, you'll want to be aware of the pros and cons. Understanding these points can help you better choose the best secured credit card for you.

Pros

  • The approval odds are higher than unsecured cards. If you've struggled to get approved for an unsecured card, or if you know that you won't qualify for one, a secured card may be a better option. The approval odds are higher, even for individuals with low scores or limited credit history.
  • They can be used to build credit. If you need to improve your credit or build credit from scratch, you'll be able to do so with a secured credit card. Make sure that you use your card responsibly and make at least the minimum payment each month, though paying your balance in full is ideal.
  • Deposits are refundable. While you will need to make a deposit to get a secured card, this deposit will be refunded in the future. In most cases, your deposit will be paid back to you once your account is paid in full and closed.
  • You may be able to upgrade to an unsecured card. Once you open a secured credit card and prove that you're responsible, the card issuer may allow you to upgrade the card to an unsecured card.

Cons

  • These cards require a security deposit. If you're already struggling with your finances or are having trouble paying off debt, coming up with a security deposit may feel challenging. If this feels like a struggle for you, take a look at secured credit cards that have a low deposit requirement. Each card will have a minimum required security deposit in place.
  • The card may come with fees. Some secured credit cards charge an annual fee. There are also secured cards with more hidden fees, like application or processing fees. Look for cards with no fees.
  • The card may have a high interest rate. Secured credit cards are not known for their competitive interest rates, which is why you'll want to make more than just the minimum payment. Avoid paying interest by paying your card balance in full every month.
  • You may not be able to earn rewards. While there are some secured credit cards out there that allow you to earn rewards, not all do. You may have to settle for a card with no rewards program or one with minimal rewards while you work to build your credit.

Alternatives to consider

If a secured credit card doesn't feel right for you, there are other card options available. Here are some alternatives to consider:

Credit cards for bad credit

Credit cards for bad credit are also worth considering. Some of the best credit cards for bad credit don't require a security deposit at all. That said, the ones that don't require a security deposit often charge an annual fee instead. Other times, they're harder to get if you have serious negative marks on your credit.

Cosigner for an unsecured credit card

Another option is to apply for an unsecured credit card with a cosigner. Your cosigner functions as a guarantor for you. But if you miss your credit card payments, they can be held liable for repaying your debt. This responsibility is not to be taken lightly. If you find someone who trusts you enough to cosign your credit card application, you might be able to qualify for a regular credit card with better terms and lower fees.

Student credit cards

If you're a student working on building credit from scratch, you should also consider the best credit cards for students. Many of these credit cards don't require a lengthy credit history or a security deposit. Some even come with rewards geared toward a student lifestyle.

Want more credit card options? Check out our guide on the best cash back credit cards.

The Picks
Card Rating Great For
Rating image, 5.00 out of 5 stars.
Great For:

Cash back

Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Great For:

Low security deposit

Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Great For:

Secured credit card with cash back

Rating image, 4.50 out of 5 stars.
Great For:

Low security deposit

U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card
Graphic of U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card
Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Great For:

High secured credit limit

Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Great For:

No credit check

Rating image, 4.00 out of 5 stars.
Great For:

Low ongoing APR

FAQs

  • Secured credit cards are guaranteed with a refundable deposit that acts as collateral. The security deposit that you make will usually be equal to the credit limit that you have. You'll be able to use your card to spend up to your credit limit. As you make payments on your card, it will be reported to the credit bureaus. Secured credit cards can help you build credit and raise your score.

  • There are several situations where getting a secured credit card might be a good idea. If you want to build credit from scratch, you have bad credit that you want to rebuild, you want to improve your score without falling into debt, or if you can't qualify for an unsecured credit card, a secured credit card might be the type of card for you.

  • Be sure to use your secured credit card wisely. Make sure that you use the card regularly, but only buy what you can afford to pay off. Using your card for small, regular purchases like gas is a great idea. Every month, pay off your card in full and on time. Over time, your actions will be reported to the credit bureaus and will be shown on our credit report.

  • Look for a card with no annual fee and low security deposit. If the card also offers free credit score tools, this can be beneficial so that you can monitor your credit progress. The best secured credit cards also offer the ability to earn rewards. While this is a nice added feature, not all secured cards offer rewards.

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