If you're looking to build better credit habits, a secured credit card can be a great place to start. While some may feel shame in having to get a secured credit card, you shouldn't. They function just like their unsecured counter-parts when you swipe at a register. They are also indistinguishable to the naked eye.
Secured credit cards have come a long way. In the past, your only options would be a high annual fee card with no real benefits or rewards. Today, secured cards have many of the same perks and benefits as unsecured credit cards. Here are some of our favorites.
Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, a very competitive flat earning rate for a secured credit card. The card also offers solid additional perks, like extended warranties on eligible purchases.
Depending on your credit profile, you may be able to secure a $200 line of credit with as little as $49 down as a security deposit. You may also be considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months.
Apply without a hard credit pull. This helps safeguard your credit profile against declined applications.
Money added to a Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your card, giving you access to a line of credit. There's no upfront deposit required, but you will need to have a Chime Spending account open with an eligible direct deposit in order to qualify.
Start with a credit builder account and establish savings. Then, in as little as 3 months, use your savings to open a secured credit card with no hard credit inquiry.
|Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card|
4.9 / 5
|Best-in-class Secured Card Rewards|
|Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card|
4.8 / 5
|Best Security Deposit|
|OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card|
4.9 / 5
|Best Secured Card with No Hard Credit Check|
|Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card|
4.8 / 5
|Best Secured Card with No Minimum Deposit|
|Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card|
5 / 5
|Best Product for Establishing Savings & Credit|
We reviewed a number of factors when selecting our top secured credit cards. When deciding what product works best for you, here are some things to consider:
1. Are you new to credit, or trying to build a stronger credit profile?
If you're new to credit, an option like the Quicksilver Secured might be worth a look. Its low fee and solid rewards earnings make for a solid starting card for many. Just be weary of the high APR. On the other hand, if you're looking to build a score that is currently broken, you may opt for a product like Chime or OpenSky that doesn't require a credit inquiry for approval.
2. Is your goal to get an unsecured credit card?
Some cards on this list (the cards from Capital One) allow users to have their security deposit returned while their account remains open. Keeping an account open long term helps protect your average age of accounts, which makes up 10% of your credit score.
Other cards do not allow graduation, but if your goal is to build a solid credit foundation and move on to a better card later, this may not be as important to you.
3. Will you carry a balance?
If you're planning to carry a balance, there are some pitfalls to avoid. APRs over 20% will mean that your balances accrue interest at a very aggressive rate. If you think you'll be carrying a balance, pay attention to the APR.
4. Do you want rewards?
Who doesn't want rewards? Be mindful of this credit card trap, though. Earning 1% rewards but paying 20% interest on purchases is a losing game. Rewards are great, but they shouldn't be a reason to get a credit card if you're going to rack up expensive interest charges.
When searching for the best secured credit cards, we looked at the following features:
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