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The Best Secured Credit Cards

Barret WilliamsJanuary 7, 2022

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The Best Secured Credit Cards


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. 


Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

4.9 / 5 Stars

Best-in-class Secured Card Rewards
- 4.9 / 5 Stars - Best-in-class Secured Card Rewards

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.

Apply Now
at Captial One's Website

  • APR: 26.99% variable
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Welcome Bonus: None
  • Recommended Credit Score: Building
  • Rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Earn 1.5% cash back
  • See if you're preapproved before applying
  • No annual fee
  • Security deposits as low as $200

When it comes to cards for those with bad credit, good rewards options tend to be a rarity. That's not the case with the Quicksilver Secured card. With an earning rate of 1.5% cash back on everyday purchases and no annual fee, it competes with some of the more popular cards offered to those with good credit. While the card doesn't have an annual fee, be mindful of the  pay your balance off in full each month or your interest charges will quickly outpace your payments thanks to the high APR. 

Read our  Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card Review.



Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

4.8 / 5 Stars

Best Security Deposit
- 4.8 / 5 Stars - Best Security Deposit

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 Now
at Capital One's Website

  • APR: 26.99% variable
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Welcome Bonus: None
  • Recommended Credit: Rebuilding
  • No annual fee
  • In as little as 6 months, you could be automatically considered for a higher credit line
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Help build your credit through responsible use of a card that reports to all three major credit bureaus

This card isn't fancy, but it's effective at what it does. Recently named a top bank for customer service, Capital One is looking to build a relationship with new customers using the Capital One Platinum Credit Card.  While the card doesn't have an annual fee, you'll want to be sure to pay your balance off in full each month or your interest charges will quickly outpace your payments thanks to the high APR. 

Read our Platinum Secured Credit Card Review.



OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

4.9 / 5 Stars

Best Secured Card with No Hard Credit Check
- 4.9 / 5 Stars - Best Secured Card with No Hard Credit Check

Apply without a hard credit pull. This helps safeguard your credit profile against declined applications.

Apply Now
at OpenSky's Website

  • APR: 17.39% variable
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Welcome Bonus: None
  • Recommended Credit Score: None
  • No credit check necessary to apply. 

  • The security deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your new card. 

  • OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.

  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.

OpenSky provides a path for credit building to those with damaged or no credit.  You'll need to prove an ability to repay your bill, however, the approval process doesn't require that OpenSky look at your credit report. Your line of credit can be secured by a refundable security deposit, with credit lines starting as low as $200.  When you close your account, your security deposit will be returned as long as you close your account in good standing.

Read our OpenSky Secured Credit Card Review



Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

4.8 / 5 Stars

Best Secured Card with No Minimum Deposit
- 4.8 / 5 Stars - Best Secured Card with No Minimum Deposit

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.

Apply Now
at Chime's Website

  • APR: None
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Welcome Bonus: None
  • Recommended Credit Score: None
  • No annual fee or interest
  • No credit check to apply
  • No minimum security deposit required - simply deposit funds into a Credit Builder to act as collateral
  • Start building credit for free
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

After standing by and watch big banks fleece people with high interest rates, annual fees and ongoing charges if they were building credit, a number of fintech startups decided to flip the narrative. One of the best of the bunch is Chime. Chime's products (offered through their banking partners) offer low-cost opportunities to manage your finances, all while building credit. 

Read our Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa Review.



Self - Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa® Credit Card

5 / 5 Stars

Best Product for Establishing Savings & Credit
- 5 / 5 Stars - Best Product for Establishing Savings & Credit

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.

Apply Now
at Self's Website

  • Combine a credit builder account and secured card to help you build credit and savings at the same time
  • Build $100 or more in savings, plus make at least 3 monthly payments on time to automatically be eligible for the Self Visa Credit Card as long as your account is in good standing.
  • The credit builder account does charge fees.
  • Combined credit builder account and secured card products to help you build credit and save money (minus interest and fees)
  • No credit check. No credit history required.
  • Start with a credit builder account that reports to all 3 credit bureaus. Each on-time monthly payment builds credit history and savings. Choose the plan that works for you.
  • Make at least 3 monthly payments on time, have $100 or more in savings progress in your account, and be in good standing. You’ll automatically be eligible for the Self Visa Credit Card, without a credit check.
  • Your savings progress from your Credit Builder Account acts as your refundable security deposit.
  • The Self Visa Credit Card is accepted at millions of locations in the U.S.
  • Stay on track with credit utilization monitoring, auto pay, account reminders, a mobile app, and dedicated customer support.
  • *Sample product: $48 monthly payment, 12 month term with a $9 admin fee at a 15.65% Annual Percentage Rate. 
  • See Self.inc for terms and pricing information

Self offers a unique product that might be tricky for some to understand. If your main focus is building credit, though, it can provide a suitable option. First, you'll open a credit builder account. This is an installment loan, but rather than getting the funds from your loan, they are placed into a CD. You then make monthly payments to unlock the value of the CD. You'll pay interest on the loan as you make monthly payments. Think of it as a forced way to save.

Then, once you have made at least 3 monthly payments on time AND have at least $100 unlocked in your CD, you'll be eligible for the Self Visa as long as your account is in good standing. There's no hard credit check or security deposit required. The value of your CD serves as collateral, meaning you'll have a starting credit line of $100. 

Read our Self Credit Builder Account Review.




Summary of The Best Secured Credit Cards

Top 5 Best Secured Credit Cards

(Swipe table to see more)
ProductRatingWhy?
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

How to Pick the Best Secured Credit Card


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. 


Methodology


When searching for the best secured credit cards, we looked at the following features:

  • Security Deposit Hurdles: We considered the ease of depositing a security deposit, security deposit building features and the ease of getting your security deposit back.
  • Fees: Fees can become a problem with secured cards, so we focused on any ongoing monthly or annual fees, fees to receive a paper bill, interest rate and other ancillary fees like cash advance fees.
  • Rewards: Rewards played a minor role in our methodology, since they are a nice to have while building credit. 
  • Credit Protection: We gave bonus points to products that offered credit monitoring or prequalifcation. 


FAQs


What is a security deposit?

A security deposit is an amount of money you give to a bank in exchange for a line of credit. The bank will hold on to the funds, and in the event that you're unable to pay your bill, the funds will be used to settle your account. 

As an example, you may get approved for a secured credit card and put down a $300 deposit. Your card's credit line will be $300. Each month, you will pay your bill on time and your credit limit will continue to be $300. If you default on a $200 bill and your account is closed, the bank will return $100 to you, minus any late fees. 

Will I get my credit card security deposit back?

You should. As long as you pay your bill on time each month and close your account in good standing, the bank is required to return your security deposit.

Some banks will even review your account from time to time to see if you can be upgraded to an unsecured card. If you meet eligibility requirements, your security deposit may be returned while your account remains open. Credit building success!

How much is a credit card security deposit?

Credit card security deposits can start as low as $49 on a traditional secured card. Some fintech products, like the Chime Secured Card, don't require a deposit at all. Many secured cards have a security deposit limit of $3,000, but some offer limits as high as $10,000. 



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