Select Page

Best Secured Credit Cards (and how to get one)

Best Secured Credit Cards (and how to get one)

A secured credit card can really be helpful when you have bad credit, or if you are building your credit score for the first time.

A secured credit card can really speed up the process when it comes to building your credit score or repairing bad credit because making timely payments (and not carrying a balance) shows good credit behavior on your part, which is counted on your credit history.

It is important to ensure you choose a quality secured credit card to really benefit from what they offer. Many banks and credit unions offer credit cards, and you can usually apply for a secured credit card through that bank’s secure website.

However, it’s possible to find a dedicated company that offers secured credit cards that are not part of a major bank. These often have extra fees, but are easier to get if you have bad credit as you simply fill in a form online to apply.

Major banks may require you to walk into the branch or apply online, but require a great deal of information from you on the applicationl

How Does A Secured Credit Card Work?

These cards work by placing a security deposit to the card issuer, and in return, you get a credit card.

The amount of the deposit usually has to be close or equal to the credit limit of the card. The credit limits are usually very low, and can range from $250-$1000 dollars. After making payments regularly on the card, your credit limit increases and you will no longer need a secured card.

After making payments regularly on the card, your credit limit increases and you will no longer need a secured card. This policy varies from banking institution to institution so it’s best to check on this rather than assume.

The card issuer regularly reports your payments to the credit bureaus, and you can see your credit score improve dramatically in a short period of time.

The secured card is used just like a regular credit card when you are making purchases and making payments on those purchases. It is important to note that with most secured credit cards, you can only get one if your monthly income exceeds your monthly expenses. Some applications will require that you provide a copy of 1 or 2 weeks of pay stubs from your employer.

In short, if you have bad credit and can’t get approval for a regular unsecured credit card, then a secured credit card is your best bet to get a credit card.

How To Pick The Best Secured Credit Card

There are a few important areas that need to be considered when choosing a secured card.

  1. The most important thing is to make sure that the card reports to all 3 major credit bureaus. This is essential so your credit can be assessed properly, and to allow your rating to improve.
  2. Next is to look at how to qualify for the cards you are interested in. Some cards look at your past credit while a few do not. Pick the one that is designed for your situation. While secured credit cards are designed for people with credit problems, you may find some credit cards are easier to get with bad credit than others.
  3. Finally, look at the interest rates. Some secured cards tend to have higher rates which is to be expected, however, you can find some low interest rates, especially if you do not have a poor credit score.
  4. Check out any bonuses offerd. You usually don’t get huge signup bonuses when applying for a secured credit card, but it doesn’t hurt to check. If you find two cards that offer the same, but one gives a few extras, the choice is easy.

 

Best Secured Credit Cards by Category

To make things easier, we’ve given you a few category best picks before we get to our general best list.

 

Best Secured Card For Bad Credit

 

Open Sky Secured Visa Credit Card

It can sometimes be difficult getting approved even for a secured card, so if this is the case for you then this is the card for you.

This card is easily the best-secured card for bad credit, as the bank does not even look at any of your past credit information at all.

To qualify, your monthly income has to exceed your monthly expenses. You can place the security deposit without even having a checking or savings account which is rare for a secured credit card.

You can fund the card via a wire transfer, money order, or by writing a check.  Also, the annual fee is affordable at $35, the only downside is you cannot upgrade this card to a non-secured card.

 

Best Lowest Deposit for No Credit Established Card

 

Capital One Secured MasterCard

This card has the lowest deposit amount for people who have no credit, who are looking to start building their credit, as it was designed for this very reason. A great feature this card offers is you do not have to put down the full $200 to get a $200 credit limit. You can put increments of either $49,$99 or $200. It is required to have a checking or savings account which you should already have. This is easily the most affordable secured credit card on the market.

 

Best High Limit Secured Card

 

Wells Fargo Secured Visa Card

If you need a high limit secured card to meet your needs then this is the right card for you. The limit is as high as $10 000, however your limit is based on your initial security deposit so you must have the money in the first place. You can use this high buying power to improve your credit score by a considerable amount by making all the payments before the due date. If you use this card efficiently you can upgrade to a non secured credit card although it will take some time.

 

The Best Secured Credit Cards (2017)

 

Open Sky Secured Visa Credit Card

 

Why we recommend as one of the best: the Open Sky Secured Visa Credit Card does not run a credit check, making it easy for people with bad credit.

Features:

  • this card does not run any sort of credit check, and does not require a checking or savings account to qualify
  • card has an affordable fee of $35
  • regularly reports to 3 major credit bureaus
  • your credit limit is the amount of your deposit
  • variable A.P.R. at 17.99%

Pros

  • very easy to qualify(often in same day you apply)
  • great for someone with damaged credit

Cons

  • has an annual fee
  • usually you cannot upgrade to a non secured credit card

Is this card right for me?

  • This card is ideal if you have damaged credit, or recovering from a bankruptcy, as your credit score is not reviewed when applying, and it does not require you to have a checking or savings account like most other secured credit cards.
  • You could also use this card if you are building credit for the first time, although it does not let you upgrade to a secured card so there are other secured cards that are a better for fit.

 

Apply for the Open Sky Secured Visa Card Here

 


Primor Secured Visa Gold Credit Card

 

Why we recommend as one of the best: this card has one of the lowest interest rates of any secured card

Features:

  • credit ranges from $200 to $5000
  • annual fee of $49
  • low ongoing A.P.R. at 9.99%
  • guaranteed approval if your monthly income exceeds your monthly expenses by $100 or more
  • reports to all 3 major credit bureaus

Pros

  • low interest rate
  • very easy to be approved
  • can start with a deposit as low as $200

Cons

  • has an annual fee

Is this card right for me?

  • This card is ideal if you have a very bad credit history or bankruptcy, as none of that is considered when applying.
  • this card is ideal for anyone seeking a secured credit card, although if you are building your credit for the first time it might take longer then most secured cards to be able to move on to a non-secured credit card.

Apply for the Primor Secured Visa Gold Credit Card

 


Capital One Secured MasterCard

 

Why we recommend as one of the best: it has a very low deposit limit, also, you do not have to put the full deposit amount right away.

Features:

  • small credit limit of $200
  • allows you to put down a deposit of $49, $99 or the full $200
  • allows 80 days to put down the full deposit of $200
  • no penalty A.P.R.
  • reports regularly to 3 major credit bureaus
  • regular variable A.P.R. at 24.99%

Pros

  • very low limit starting of $200
  • great feature allows you to place deposit as low as $49 which is rare for secured cards
  • you can track your credit score with the Capital One Credit Tracker

Cons

  • can be really difficult to qualify if you do not have a checking or savings account
  • can also be difficult to qualify if you have high amount of monthly expenses
  • has a very high A.P.R. at 24.99%

Is this card right for me?

  • This card is ideal for someone who is trying to build their credit for the first time, as it has a very low limit and can build your credit quickly if you are responsible with your payments. This card was designed for people who have no credit established.
  • This card is not ideal for someone who may have damaged credit, or is recovering from a bankruptcy, as it would be hard to qualify. If you did qualify there are better-secured credit card options for someone with damaged credit.


 

Wells Fargo Secured Visa Credit Card

 

Why we recommend as one of the best: it allows you to have a large credit limit of up to $10 000

Features:

  • your credit limit is based on the amount that you deposit, and can range anywhere from $300 to $10 000
  • does not charge any penalty A.P.R.
  • regularly reports to 3 major credit bureaus
  • regular A.P.R. is 18.99%

Pros

  • this card allows you to move onto a non secured credit card if payments are made regularly
  • no penalty A.P.R.
  • high credit limit based on deposit

Cons

  • at times it can be difficult to qualify if you have a variety of reasons for bad credit
  • has an annual fee although it is only $25

Is this card right for me?

  • This card is ideal if you have a lot of cash but a poor credit rating, as it can increase your credit score by a wide margin if used responsibly. Also it also provides the opportunity to upgrade to a non secured credit card.
  • This card is not ideal if you are beginning to build a credit score as there are better options such as the Capital One Secured MasterCard.

 

U.S. Bank Secured Visa

 

Why we recommend as one of the best: this card allows you to to move up to a non secured card rather quickly

Features:

  • credit limit ranges from $300 to $5000, and is based on the amount of your initial deposit
  • reports regularly to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • allows you to quickly move to a non secured credit card within 12 months if used efficiently
  • has an annual fee of $35
  • earn interest on your deposit as the deposit is put into a savings account
  • regular variable A.P.R. is 18.99%

Pros

  • can move up to a non secured credit card quickly
  • earn interest on your deposit
  • no penalty A.P.R.

Cons

  • may be difficult to qualify for this card if you have a very high debt to income ratio or high amount of unpaid debt

Is this card right for me?

  • This card is ideal if you are building your credit for the first time, as you can quickly increase your credit score while earning interest at the same time.
  • This card is not ideal for anyone that might have a very bad credit history such as bankruptcy, high unpaid debt, or a very high debt to income ratio.

 

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

 

Why we recommend as one of the best: this card has a very low interest rate of 11.5%

Features:

  • requires a minimum deposit of $500
  • reports to 3 major credit bureaus
  • has a variable A.P.R. of 11.5%
  • no annual fee

Pros

  • has a low variable A.P.R. of 11.5% which is lower then most cards
  • no annual fee

Cons

  • has a high minimum deposit of $500
  • can require a deposit higher then your credit limit if your credit score is low

Is this card right for me?

  • This card is ideal if you have want to build your credit for the first time, as it has a very low interest rate. Responsible use of the card can result in a higher credit limit. It is also ideal for students looking to begin their credit history.
  • This card is not ideal if you have a very bad credit history, you might still be accepted however, you will be required to place a deposit that is larger then your credit limit.

 

 

Unity Visa Secured Credit Card

 

Need a Bank Account but have ChexSystems problems or Bad Credit?


Try opening a BBVA Compass Free Checking Account! BBVA is one of the more forgiving banks and may give you a full-fledged REGULAR bank account when you apply online...even with bad banking and credit history.

And if you don't qualify for the regular BBVA checking account for some reason, you'll then be given the option of opening the special BBVA Compass Easy Checking Account, an account designed specifically for those with banking problems.

...learn more about BBVA Second Chance Banking here


Why we recommend as one of the best: this card has a low interest rate, along with an introductory offer, which is rate for secured cards

Features:

  • credit limit ranges from $250 to $10 000 based on the amount of your deposit
  • has an annual fee of $39
  • has an introductory A.P.R. of 9.95% for the first 6 months, then it reverts to 17.99%
  • reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • includes a how to rebuild credit program

Pros

  • allows for a high credit limit up to $10 000
  • no penalty fee for late payments
  • allows you to access account online

Cons

  • interest rate after the 9.95% introductory period is rather high at 17.99%
  • has an annual fee $39

Is this card right for me?

  • this card is ideal if you need a high credit limit to meet your needs
  • this card is also ideal if you have damaged credit, as it is easy to qualify and provides an informative program to help guide you into rebuilding your credit
  • this card is not ideal if you are looking for a secured credit card with a low interest rate. You can find other secured cards with a lower interest rate, such as the Primor Secured Visa Gold Credit Card.

About The Author

Ben Todd

Ben was a seriously broke graduate student with bad credit who after finding himself rejected for any sort of credit card or loan for most of his adult life, finally decided to get his financial life in order. 'He spent several years reading as many financial advice books and blogs as he could.And suprisingly, Ben found he actually LIKED the topic of personal finance; after fixing his own finances, starting his own successful work at home website business, and using his earnings to get out of debt, created echeck.org to help others do likewise!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Posts