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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Greylock Federal Credit Union Elevate Secured Card

Greylock Federal Credit Union Elevate Secured Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Establish or improve your credit
  • Earn interest on your secured share account
  • No annual fee
  • Travel and accident insurance
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 7.25% to 18% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 2% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater (maximum $25)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $27
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $27
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $250
Credit Card Deals

Y-12 Visa Secured Credit Card

Y-12 Visa 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 None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • Visa Credit Card benefits and protections
  • Make payments with online or mobile banking
Rates & Fees
  • 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
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $32
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $500
Credit Card Deals

Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card

Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 18% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 18% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 20% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1x points for every dollar spent
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 18% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 18% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: None
  • Cash Advance APR: 20% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: None if performed at a Navy Federal branch or ATM. Otherwise, up to $1
  • Penalty APR: 18%
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $20
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $20
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals

Ocean Bank Platinum Card

Ocean Bank Platinum Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 11.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 11.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 21.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Intro Purchase APR 0% for 12 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months
  • Mastercard® Airport Concierge - 15% savings on airport meet and greet services
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 11.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months on transfers made within 12 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 11.74% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 2% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 21.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $37
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $37
Credit Card Deals

University Credit Union Secured Mastercard

University Credit Union Secured Mastercard
  • Regular Purchase APR 9%
  • Balance Transfer APR 9%
  • Cash Advance APR 9%
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Build credit without any hidden fees
  • Low fixed APR
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 9%
  • Balance Transfer APR: 9%
  • Cash Advance APR: 9%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $20
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $500
Credit Card Deals

Golden 1 Platinum Secured Visa® Card

Golden 1 Platinum Secured Visa® Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 13.79% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 13.79% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 13.79% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Funds used for deposit will earn dividends
  • Credit limit: $250 to $3,000
  • Low APR
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 13.79% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 13.79% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 13.79% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 2.5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $15
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $250
Credit Card Deals

SunTrust Secured Credit Card

SunTrust Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 19.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 19.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate%
  • Annual Fee $32
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Earn 2% cash back on up to $6,000 spent annually on gas and groceries
  • Earn 1% unlimited cash back on all other qualifying purchases
  • Earn interest on your security deposit while you build your credit
  • Get set up with SunTrust Loyalty Cash Bonuses
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 19.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 19.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% 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: $32
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $300
Credit Card Deals

Bank of the West Secured Credit Card

Bank of the West Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 21.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 21.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $25
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No credit history or minimum credit score needed to qualify
  • Credit limit is set by the amount deposited into an interest-earning savings account
  • $25 annual fee
  • Ability to help build credit with on-time payments
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 21.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 21.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% 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: $25
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $38
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $38
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $300
Credit Card Deals

BBVA Optimizer Credit Card®

BBVA Optimizer Credit Card®
  • Regular Purchase APR 22.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 22.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 31.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $40
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Designed for people who need to build or improve their credit history
  • Credit line can be increased anytime with deposits to savings account
  • Acceptance at over 28 million locations worldwide that accept Visa®
  • Competitive APR on purchases
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 22.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 22.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 31.24% 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: $40
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $37
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $27
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $500
Credit Card Deals

Key Secured Credit Card

Key Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 22.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • This card reports your history to credit bureaus
  • Account is reviewed twice a year to determine if you're eligible for an unsecured credit card
  • Temporary lock feature allows you to freeze card activity if you misplace it
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 22.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • 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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