FinMasters content is free. When you purchase through referral links on our site, we earn a commission. Learn More

No matter if you are looking to start building your credit or need to rebuild your credit, a secured credit card is one of the best tools to use on your journey.

Secured cards require you to pay an initial deposit that will eventually be your credit limit.  These cards are much easier to get approved for if you have little to no credit and the best thing about them is that if you upgrade to a secured card or close the account you get your deposit returned.

You also get the benefit of these cards reporting to all three credit reporting agencies to show proof of good payments and help you build a new credit profile.  As long as you make on time payments and keep your utilization low, you will have a stronger credit profile. 

šŸ†
Our top pick for:
Overall Best Secured Credit

First Progress Platinum Elite MastercardĀ® Secured Credit Card

ā­ļø4.6Read Our Detailed Review

ANNUAL FEE
$29

REGULAR APR
19.99% (Variable)

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
Fair/Poor/No Credit 

Why We Like ItPros & ConsCard DetailsSecurity Deposit
If you have no credit or poor credit then the First Progress Platinum Elite MastercardĀ® Secured Credit Card is a great card to help establish your credit.  Low annual fee of $29 (for secured cards) and lower-than-average interest rate of 19.99%.  You can get started for only a $200 security deposit.

Pros

  • No credit history required to qualify.
  • This card has a $29 annual fee (lower than most secured cards).
  • Minimum deposit of $200.
  • With such low fees this is one of the best options for anyone looking to build credit.

Cons

  • 19.99% Interest rate is not high for secured cards but is for credit cards in general. 
  • It’s not available in NY, IA, AR, or WI.
  • The First Progress Platinum Elite MastercardĀ® Secured Credit Card is a credit card that helps you build your credit when used responsibly.
  • It helps build your credit history with monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • Use your card anywhere MastercardĀ® is accepted ā€” worldwide.
  • Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts.
  • Manage your account 24/7 online, by phone, or in our mobile app
  • With Flexible Payment Due Dates, you can choose any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month.

The refundable deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Mastercard. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200 up to $2,000.

Apply Now

on Synovus Bank’s secure website

Our pick for 
Lowest Security Deposit

Capital OneĀ® Secured MasterCardĀ®

Capital OneĀ® Secured MasterCardĀ®

ā­ļø4.9  – Read Our Detailed Review

ANNUAL FEE
$0

REGULAR APR
26.99% (Variable)

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
350 – 679/ None To Poor 

Why We Like ItPros & ConsCard DetailsSecurity Deposit
When you have bad credit, a secured card can help you increase your score. The Capital OneĀ® Secured MastercardĀ® will report to all three of the major credit reporting agencies, has the lowest security deposit starting at $49.00, and can give you access to a higher credit line without an additional deposit after you make your first five monthly payments on time (via the Credit Steps Program).

Pros

There is no annual fee. Among secured cards, it has one of the lowest possible security deposits starting at $49.00.

Cons

You can’t graduate or upgrade to an unsecured card.  

  • It’s a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you’ll get an initial credit line of $200.
  • Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your refundable security deposit
  • It builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using their mobile app

The refundable deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your MasterCard. Choose it yourself, from as low as $49 up to $2,500.00

Apply Now

on Capital One’s secure website

Our pick for 
No credit check or No bank account

OpenSkyĀ® Secured VisaĀ® Credit Card

OpenSkyĀ® Secured VisaĀ® Credit Card

ā­ļø 3.8  – Read Our Review

ANNUAL FEE
$35

REGULAR APR
17.39% (Variable)

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
350 – 679 / Poor To  Average

Why We Like ItPros & ConsCard Details

You won’t need a credit check when you apply, and you don’t need a bank account to qualify either. If these are areas of concern for you, the OpenSkyĀ® Secured VisaĀ® Credit Card is definitely worth a look.

Pros

There is no credit check for applicants so this is a great option for people with really bad credit. 

Cons

There’s an annual fee of $35 and you aren’t able to graduate or upgrade to an unsecured card.  

  • No credit check necessary to apply.  OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.

Apply Now

Capital Bank N.A.’s secure website

Our pick for 
Lowest interest rate

Applied BankĀ® Secured VisaĀ® Gold PreferredĀ® Credit Card

Applied BankĀ® Secured VisaĀ® Gold PreferredĀ® Credit Card

ā­ļø 3.5Read Our Review

ANNUAL FEE
$48

REGULAR APR
9.99% (Fixed)

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
350 – 679 / Poor To  Average

Why We Like ItPros & ConsCard Details

This card has one of the lowest interest rates for a secured card which means it will cost you less to use this card.  If high interest rates are an area of concern for you, the Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card is definitely worth a look.

Pros

  • One of the lowest interest rates for a secured credit card.
  • Only a $200 minimum deposit to open the card.   

Cons

  • There’s an annual fee of $48.
  • You aren’t able to graduate or upgrade to an unsecured version of the card.  

  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit – Maximum $1,000. * Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime

Apply Now

on Applied Bank’s secure website

Our pick for 
Adjustable credit limit

First Progress Platinum Select MasterCardĀ® Secured Credit Card

ā­ļø 3.2Read Our Review

ANNUAL FEE
$39

REGULAR APR
13.99% (Variable)

RECOMMENDED CREDIT SCORE
350 – 679 / Poor To  Average

Why We Like ItPros & ConsCard Details

You can have up to a $2,000 credit limit if you want to deposit that much when apply for this card.  If a low starting credit limit is of concern for you, the First Progress Platinum Select MasterCardĀ® Secured Credit Card is definitely worth a look.

Pros

  • Adjust your credit limit up to $2,000
  • Only a $200 minimum deposit to open the card.  

Cons

  • There’s an annual fee of $39.
  • You aren’t able to graduate or upgrade to an unsecured card.  
  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 — $2,000 Submitted with Application

Apply Now

on Synovus Bank’s secure website

Compare Secured Credit Cards

Use the table below to quickly compare our picks for the best secure credit card.

Credit CardOur RatingBest ForRegular APRAnnual FeeDepositApply
First Progress Platinum Elite MastercardĀ® Secured Credit Card
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card
ā­ļø 4.6
Read Full Review
Easy to qualify19.99% (Variable)$29$200 - $2,000

Apply Now

on Synovus Bankā€™s secure website

Capital One Secured MasterCard
Capital OneĀ® Secured MasterCardĀ®
ā­ļø 4.9
Read Full Review
Lowest security deposit26.99% (Variable)$0$49 - $2,500

Apply Now

on Capital Oneā€™s secure website

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
OpenSkyĀ® Secured VisaĀ® Credit Card
ā­ļø 3.8
Read Full Review
No credit check or no bank account17.39% (Variable)$35$200 - $3,000

Apply Now

Capital Bank N.A.ā€™s secure website

Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card
Applied BankĀ® Secured VisaĀ® Gold PreferredĀ® Credit Card
ā­ļø 3.5
Read Full Review
Lowest interest rate9.99%$48$200 - $1,000

Apply Now

on Applied Bankā€™s secure website

First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card
First Progress Platinum Select MasterCardĀ® Secured Credit Card
ā­ļø 3.2
Read Full Review
Adjustable credit limit13.99% (Variable)$39$200 - $2,000

Apply Now

on Synovus Bankā€™s secure website

Getting Your Secured Credit Card 

Who Can Get Approved? 

While secured credit cards are for people with no credit history or bad credit, you have to keep in mind that there are still some risks that the lenders aren’t willing to take. 

For instance, if you currently have bankruptcy or an unpaid charge off a credit card. 

Even though you will be sending in a deposit to reduce the risk, creditors still want to feel confident in your current ability to pay your bills on time and they want to use your security deposit as a last-ditch effort.

You will also need to have some form of income so that you have proof of the ability to pay back what you use.  

How Does The Process Work? 

The process to obtaining a secured card will be pretty much the same for each company; however, there might be a few differences but getting your card looks like this:

You apply online – The credit card company looks at your credit report and score to determine if you are eligible for the card, if so, you’re approved. 

Pay your deposit – Once you have been approved, you still need to fund your account with the security deposit and depending on the credit card company, you can pay with direct deposit, debit card, credit card, check, or money order.  Also, be mindful that you don’t wait too long to fund the account or the company could reject your application. 

They send your card – Depending on the company it can take from 7 to 14 days to get your card, once you receive it you want to use the candy bar method (buy 1 candy bar per month) to make sure you are making on-time payments and to keep your credit utilization low. 

Pay your bills on time – It is important to pay your bills on time because your secured card(s) will be reported to all three major credit reporting agencies. 

Upgrade Your Account –  Using the above methods will help improve your credit over time and when that happens you will be able to apply for unsecured cards.  We wouldn’t recommend canceling the secured card for at least 2 to 3 years of usage and even then, if it is your oldest account, still don’t cancel it. 

Alternatives To Secured Credit Cards 

Merchandise / Catalog / Store Cards

These types of accounts might have slipped your mind, but don’t miss out on the opportunity to obtain credit or rebuild your credit with store or catalog cards.  

Even though you can only use these accounts at the store or location that issued you the credit, they will still report to all 3 credit reporting agencies and help you establish a credit history.  

Check out our Fingerhut review where we go over how their credit account works.

Credit-Builder Loans

Credit builder loans are being marketed as the way to build your credit, without a credit card.  These types of loans are for people with little to no credit and they don’t pull your credit to determine your eligibility. 

The way they work is that you take out a loan and the creditor holds onto your funds in a savings account. You then repay the loan over a specific monthly time frame and once all the payments have been made, the money is released back to you.

Your credit will now show positive payment history and a paid-off loan; a win-win situation for you.  

Check out our review of one of the best credit builder loan companies Self Lender

Become An Authorized User

Another option you have (that won’t cost you a thing) is asking a friend or family member, that is great with both their money and credit, to add you as an authorized user to their account

This option gives you the ability to get established credit and grow your credit history without a need for a hard pull on your credit and without having to come up with any type of deposit.

The only drawback to this is that whatever happens to the credit, it will reflect on your report as well so getting a responsible person is very important.

Of course, if you have no one you can think of then this method doesn’t work for you, but it is a great alternative to secured cards.

How We Rated the Best Secured Credit Cards

When selecting the best secured credit cards we do our best to find the ones with the most value. To do so we looked at several factors, including things such as the initial deposit fee required, annual fees, if a credit check is required, if there are any types of rewards programs, and the ability to graduate your card as well as interest rates.