Compare the Best Secured Credit Cards

Finding the best secured credit card may seem like a headache if you have no credit or bad credit. Let BestCards.com help with its comprehensive secured credit card reviews and up-to-date details. Get answers to “What is a secured credit card?” and find the best offer for you today.

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American Savings Bank Secured Visa Card

American Savings Bank Secured Visa Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Repair credit with on-time payments and responsible use
  • Potential for a credit line increase with no additional deposit after 7 months
  • Chance to get your security deposit returned after as little as 11 months
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $15 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $300
Credit Card Deals

SchoolsFirst FCU Share Secured Mastercard® Credit Card

SchoolsFirst FCU Share Secured Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 13.9%
  • Balance Transfer APR 13.9%
  • Cash Advance APR 13.9%
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Establish or re-establish your credit history with this secured credit card
  • Get a credit limit with a deposit between $500 and $5,000
  • Get Mastercard Enhanced ID Theft Protection to monitor your identity
  • Compatible with Apple Pay
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 13.9%
  • Balance Transfer APR: 13.9%
  • Cash Advance APR: 13.9%
  • Penalty APR: 17.9%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: $25
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: $20
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $500
Credit Card Deals

America First Credit Union Visa Share Secured Credit Card

America First Credit Union Visa Share Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 10.5% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 10.5% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 10.5% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Credit limits start from $200
  • Low regular rates for purchases
  • Travel emergency assistance included
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 10.5% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 10.5% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 10.5% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: 1.5% of the amount of each cash advance
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: $10
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals

SDCCU Share Secured Visa Classic

SDCCU Share Secured Visa Classic
  • Regular Purchase APR 15%
  • Balance Transfer APR 15%
  • Cash Advance APR 15%
  • Annual Fee $20
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • One low fixed APR for all transactions
  • Build or repair your credit
  • Security Deposit ensures you won't spiral into debt
  • Use your card just like a regular credit card
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15%
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15%
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $1 or 2% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 15%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $1 or 2% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $20
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $10
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $20
  • Minimum Deposit Required: See terms
Credit Card Deals

BrightStar Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured

BrightStar Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured
  • Regular Purchase APR 8.99% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 8.99% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 8.99% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Same APRs as a regular credit card
  • Reduced introductory balance transfer APR for 6 months on balance transfers
  • Cash advance APR equal to regular purchase APR
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 8.99% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 2.99% for 12 months on transfers made within 60 days from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 8.99% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 8.99% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $1 ATM Cash Advance Fee
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: up to 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $550
Credit Card Deals

National Bank of Arizona AmaZing Launch Secured Credit Card

National Bank of Arizona AmaZing Launch Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 12.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 12.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 12.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $25
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Low interest rate for a secured card - at least 2% lower than the national average APR for a secured card
  • Establish, or rebuild credit
  • Travel Accident Insurance and Auto Rental Insurance
  • Visa Zero Liability
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 12.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 12.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 12.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $25
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $300
Credit Card Deals

PEFCU VISA Secured Card

PEFCU VISA Secured Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 10.90%
  • Balance Transfer APR 10.90%
  • Cash Advance APR 10.90%
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Build credit with financial responsibility
  • Enjoy Visa cardholder protections
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 10.90%
  • Balance Transfer APR: 10.90%
  • Cash Advance APR: 10.90%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See terms
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $20
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See terms
  • Minimum Deposit Required: See terms
Credit Card Deals

Valley Visa® Secured Card

Valley Visa® Secured Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $35
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Flat-rate purchase and balance transfer APR
  • Credit limit up to $5,000
  • Ability to earn interest on the security deposit
  • Visa protections and perks, such as extended warranty coverage
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $300
Credit Card Deals

SBI Visa® Secured Card

SBI Visa® Secured Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $35
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Receive up to a $5,000 credit limit
  • Establish a positive credit history with on-time payments
  • Minimum deposits starting from $300
  • Fixed-rate APR
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $300
Credit Card Deals

Sterling National Bank Visa® Secured Card

Sterling National Bank Visa® Secured Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $35
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • One flat APR for all
  • Credit limit up to $5,000
  • Earn interest on your security deposit
  • Get a free extra card
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 20.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $300
Credit Card Deals

How Does a Secured Credit Card Work?

If you have no credit history or you’ve had some issues with finances in the past, you may struggle to get approved for a credit card. Yet without one, it can be difficult to build or rebuild your credit score to qualify for future offers. 

To break this cycle, many issuers offer secured credit cards for bad credit, which gives consumers a chance to work on their credit with less risk. In exchange for a cash deposit, secured cardholders gain a small credit line and occasionally a few other perks to help them boost their scores. 

Secured Credit Cards Versus Unsecured Cards

Most credit cards offer unsecured lines of credit, meaning they require no deposit for you to borrow against. Unsecured credit is risky for lenders – if you default on your account, they have no collateral to rely on to recoup the losses.  

The most obvious difference between a secured credit card and an unsecured card, then, is the need for a security deposit. Generally, issuers hold onto this deposit for the life of the account and even use it to determine your credit limitWith the deposit lowering the overall risk to lenders, these cards become some of the easiest to apply for. 

Some issuers require a deposit into a new bank account. For issuers you already have a relationship with, they may tie your secured card to an existing bank account. While tying the card to a current savings account may sound a lot like a debit card, this is not the case.

Since most applicants for secured cards have poor or little to no credit, these cards typically have higher interest rates as well. Some unsecured credit cards still market themselves to those with poor creditbut these usually impose high fees to offset the increased risk.   

Who Should Apply? 

While anyone can apply for a secured credit card, they’re best suited to those in need of a credit boost. This includes consumers with previous financial troubles affecting their credit, as well as those with a thin credit historySecured cards can also be useful to students who want to build a credit history, but aren’t ready to apply for an unsecured student credit card.  

Many secured credit cards are also available for people who are either in a bankruptcy, or have a bankruptcy in their past. Cards like the Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard® don’t discriminate based on credit history. Other cards, like the OpenSky Secured Visa, feature no credit check to apply – meaning bankruptcies are no problem at all!

Building Credit with Secured Cards

Building credit with a secured card is the same as with any other card, just with the safety net of a deposit and smaller credit limit. First, you need to understand how a credit score is calculated, with FICO being the most popular model with lenders.

 
credit score factors
Image courtesy of FICO

The FICO Scoring model judges an applicant’s risk based on five criteria:

  • New credit, also known as “hard inquiries.”
  • Length of credit history, also known as the age of the oldest open account
  • Types of credit, or credit mix (loans, mortgages, credit cards)
  • Payment history
  • The amount owed or “credit utilization.”

The first three criteria amount for a little over a third of your credit score and are easily minable. Simply keep credit applications to a minimum, keep older accounts open to increase your credit age, and you should be fine.

Payment History

Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO Score. Because payment history has the biggest impact on your score, its critical to pay your secured card statement on-time every month. Even one missed payment can lower your score. And, since late payments remain on a credit report for seven years, those late payments can still hurt you later in life.

Credit Utilization

Equally crucial to raising a credit score is how much you pay each month. Credit utilization – or the amount of your available credit you use – makes up another 30% of the FICO Score. Keeping your credit utilization below 10%, which is ideal, Will quickly boost a score.

Of course, not everyone can pay their balance in full every month, which is why secured cards like the Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard® is so impressive for those new to credit. Those planning of carrying balances should aim to keep their credit utilization below 30%. Keeping utilization below 30% helps build a credit score while reducing the amount of interest you’ll pay over time.

One of the best ways to keep credit utilization low is to only the carder for small purchases and incidentals. Only using a secured card for paying for things like drinks or snacks can help train you to use the card responsibly until you can move up to an unsecured credit card.

how_do_secured_cards_work
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What Are the Best Secured Credit Cards?

Best for: Low Rate

Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard®

Variable APR Under 10%
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard*
  • No minimum credit score requirements!
  • $49 annual fee
☆ Quick Application
☆ $200 Minimum Deposit
☆ 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
☆ Use Anywhere Mastercard's Accepted!

The Oakstone Platinum is the low rate secured card from Oakstone. The card features an impressive variable APR on purchases that’s a full 4% lower than the very good interest rate that comes from Oakstone’s other credit card, the Oakstone Gold Secured Mastercard®.

The addition of regular reporting to the major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), an inexpensive annual fee, and the global purchasing power of the Mastercard payment network are other impressive perks. It is that great low APR that is the real highlight, however. The average APR for a secured credit card is around 18%, so getting a card with a variable rate below 10% is exceptional.

Best for: No Credit Check

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

opensky_secured_visa
No Credit Check to Apply
  • Build credit with on-time payments
  • Reports to the three leading credit bureaus
  • Zero Fraud Liability
☆ Fast Online Application
☆ Credit Limits Between $200 and $3,000
☆ Access to OpenSky Knowledge Base
☆ 24/7 Online Account Access

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is one of the most popular secured cards on the market – and it’s easy to see why. The card features an annual fee of $35 and the purchasing power and security that comes from a full-fledged Visa credit card.

The real value of the OpenSky Secured, however, comes from the fact that there is no credit check required to apply. No credit check means applying for the card will not hurt your credit score. This feature lets you build credit quickly – and without any initial harm to your credit score.

Best for: 0% APR

Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Card

assent_platinum_mastercard
Purchase APR of 0% for 6 Months!
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard*
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
☆ Quick Application
☆ $200 Minimum Deposit
☆ Build Credit w/ 0% Intro APR
☆ Use Anywhere Mastercard's Accepted!

The Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Card offers a slew of great features not typically found with secured cards. Most secured cards shackle users with a sky-high APR, making it expensive to carry a balance. The Assent Secured Mastercard, on the other hand, rewards cardholders with a competitive interest rate and 0% intro APR for six months on purchases.

Overall, the Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard Secured Credit Card offers robust value and is a secured card that those with bad credit, limited credit, or even no credit, should consider.

Secured Credit Card FAQs

Since secured cards are not what people usually think of when they imagine a credit card, lots of questions are sure to come to mind. Here are the most commonly asked questions about secured credit cards:

Many secured credit cards do not earn rewards. This is partially because secured cards are designed to help teach sound credit fundamentals and boost credit scores through on-time payments. The other major reason why most secured cards lack rewards is that most applicants place small initial deposits, so the credit limit isn’t sufficient for the kind of spending rewards cards require to be worthwhile.

That said, there are a handful of cards that require a security deposit and offer rewards. The most notable of these cards is the Discover It Secured. The card is like the Discover It chrome Card in that it earns 2% back on gas and dining.

It also comes with the same Discover Cashback Match after year one. The only difference with the secured version is that it requires a deposit of at least $200.

Two other secured cards with rewards are the SKYPASS Visa Secured Card and the LATAM Visa Secured Card. Both cards earn airline miles through purchases, with additional discounts on flights with Korean Air and LATAM, respectively.

As with other rewards credit cards, there are no limits to the total amount of points you can earn with a rewards secured credit card.

Getting more than one secured card might seem counterproductive, but it can quickly boost your credit score. More open credit accounts means the chance to add more on-time payments to your credit report. Multiple secured card accounts will also raise your available credit limit, allowing you to reduce your credit utilization rate. Those two factors comprise the majority of what makes up your FICO credit score.

Since these cards require a deposit that also acts as the credit limit, you can always increase your credit line with an additional deposit. Most issuers have rules about how credit limit increases occur. These may include applications, extra checks, or simply transferring more funds.

Banks and lenders usually require a minimum deposit of around $200 to open a secured account. Some credit unions need as little as $50, on the other hand. On the flip side, most secured cards have a maximum initial deposit of between $3,000 and $5,000.

Again, this amount differs based on the bank and type of secured card. Business secured cards, for instance, have much higher maximum despots – sometimes up to $35,000 or more.

The amount you deposit depends entirely on your unique situation. Those new to credit should start with a small deposit. Once they get the hang of paying the balance in full (and on time), they can increase their deposit as they wish.

Those with higher credit scores can use the flexible deposits on secured cards to quickly increase their available credit. This, in turn, can promptly decrease their credit utilization rate, leading to rapid increases in their credit score.

Like rewards, most credit cards that require a deposit do not earn interest on that deposit. Typically, deposits are held in a joint account by a card issuer. There the deposits sit until the cardholder either closes the account, or the bank claims the money due to non-payment.

Some credit union secured cards, however, do earn interest. While any interest cards accumulate will not be enough to retire on, it is still an excellent perk worth looking out for.

Yes. As with any other form of credit card, you can be denied a secured credit card. Despite the looser restrictions, card issuers wills till look at things like your employment, income, your payment history, and other relevant materials when you apply. If your credit history is full of late payments, you might struggle to get a secured card.

In those cases, unsecured cards like the Group One Platinum Card might make sense. These cards offer an unsecured line for credit for use in the Horizon outlet, which provides a wide selection of products, goods, gifts, and more. While not a Visa or Mastercard, they are still credit cards that report to the major credit bureaus. This can help you rebuild your credit with on-time payments.

No. While some secured credit cards from credit unions may offer a credit line increase after a history of on-time payments, there are no credit cards that offer a security deposit that can be paid over time.

There are no secured American Express credit cards. American Express and Chase are two of the largest card issuers that don’t offer secured credit cards.

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