7 Best Secured Credit Cards To Build Credit (February 2024 Update)

A secured credit card is designed for those with less-than-perfect credit. A security deposit is required, but the card can be used just like a traditional credit card. Your payments are reported to the credit bureaus, helping you build your credit. Here are some of the best secured credits available today.

Secured Credit Cards

If you have poor (or nonexistent) credit, a secured card may be the best method for you to get a new credit card and begin to build a good credit history. Secured cards require a deposit, usually in the same amount as the line of credit — so a card with a $200 limit typically would require a $200 deposit.

Most secured cards also charge an annual fee. The best secured credit cards offer low or no fees. We begin our list of the top secured card offers with a no-fee option.

The Best Secured Credit Cards

Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card—Editor's Pick

The Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is our first Editor's Pick for several reasons. It charges no annual fee. It's linked to the Chime Checking Account which is also free and comes with a free Visa® debit card.

The card reports to all three major credit bureaus.

  • Annual Fee: No annual fee or interest charges
  • Security Deposit: No minimum security deposit1
  • Credit Check: No credit check is required to apply

A Chime Checking Account and a qualifying $200 direct deposit is required.

The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by Stride Bank, N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A.

1Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.

2To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits


Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card—Editor's Pick

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is our Editor's Pick for several reasons. First, it doesn't charge an annual fee. That alone sets it apart from many other secured cards. Second, the refundable security deposit can be as low as $49. Capital One requires a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200 based on a review of your credit history. In return, you'll get an initial line of credit of $200. You can choose to deposit more than $200 to increase your credit limit.

Capital One offers another excellent feature. Once you've had the card for as little as six months, Capital One will automatically consider your account for a higher credit limit. In addition, Capital One monitors how you are handling the account. As you make on-time payments, you may be able to earn back your refundable deposit as a statement credit.

The card reports payments and balances to all three major credit bureaus. It also offers features such as email and text alerts, automatic bill pay, a balance transfer, autopay, and 24/7 customer support.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 30.74% variable
  • Security Deposit: $49, $99, or $200, based on creditworthiness
  • Starting Credit Limit: $200 and automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months.
  • Credit Reporting: Payments reported to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Credit Check: Yes
  • Cash Back: None
  • Upgrade Opportunity: With responsible card use, you may upgrade to an unsecured Platinum card.

Approval Odds:

The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved10/11/2022
568
Experian
$49


Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card has no annual fee and you can get a credit limit as high as $3,000 based on your security deposit and creditworthiness. You can also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Plus, you can upgrade to an unsecured Quicksilver card with responsible use.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 30.74% variable
  • Security Deposit: $200 minimum deposit
  • Starting Credit Limit: Equal to your security deposit with a maximum limit of $1,000 to $3,000 based on your creditworthiness. You can also be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months.
  • Credit Reporting: Payments reported to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Credit Check: Yes
  • Cash Back: Unlimited 1.5%
  • Upgrade Opportunity: With responsible card use, you could earn your deposit back and upgrade to an unsecured Quicksilver card.

Approval Odds:

The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved01/13/2022
640
TransUnion
$200


Discover It® Secured Credit Card

Discover It® Secured Credit Card charges no annual fee. It also offers cash back on purchases. You earn 2% back at restaurants and gas stations, up to $1,000 spent each quarter. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. At the end of the first year, Discover will match all the cash back you've earned in the past year.

After 7 months, you are automatically considered for a traditional credit card.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 28.24% variable
  • Security Deposit: $200 minimum
  • Starting Credit Limit: Equal to your security deposit
  • Credit Reporting: Payments reported to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Credit Check: Yes
  • Cash Back: Up to 2%
  • Upgrade Opportunity: Automatically considered for a traditional credit card after 7 months

Approval Odds:

The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved12/01/2022
636
TransUnion
$500
Approved12/10/2023
527
Experian
---
Approved08/22/2023
610
Experian
$200
Approved08/22/2023
619
Equifax
$200
Approved08/22/2023
697
TransUnion
$200


DCU Platinum Secured Visa 

If you’re someone who rolls over a credit card balance, the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card is a must-own. The selling point is that the variable APR is as low as 16.75%. That’s significantly lower than other secured cards and can save you a boatload of interest every month if you’re carrying a balance.

There is no minimum monthly interest charge (which is also unique) and no annual fee. The credit line you receive will match your deposit, a minimum of $500. The money is held in a DCU savings account.

The catch, however, is that to own the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card, you must be a member of Digital Federal Credit Union. The easiest way this can be done if you’re not directly eligible is to join and donate to an organization.


OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is designed to help build credit. It doesn't require a credit check and you cannot be declined for having bad credit. There is an annual fee, but it's just $35. The card is accepted worldwide and the minimum security deposit is $200.

The online application takes just 5 minutes. The security deposit is, of course, refundable. The card reports to all 3 major credit bureaus, so making on-time payments will improve your credit score. It also comes with a mobile app to track your account.

View the Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card.

  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Regular APR: 25.64%+ variable
  • Security Deposit: Choose it yourself, from as low as $200
  • Starting Credit Limit: The refundable deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card.
  • Credit Reporting: Payments reported to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Credit Check: No credit check necessary to apply
  • Cash Back: None
  • Upgrade Opportunity: Upgrade to an unsecured card in six months with a positive payment history

Approval Odds:

The following credit score data are based on publicly available information we have collected from various forums. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of this data. In addition, keep in mind that credit card issuers use a number of factors in their underwriting process, and these factors can change at any time.

App StatusDateCredit ScoreBureauCredit Limit
Approved03/04/2020
651
TransUnion
$500
Approved04/27/2022
497
TransUnion
$3,000
Approved04/27/2022
531
Experian
$3,000
Approved04/27/2022
571
Equifax
$3,000


Self Secured Visa Credit Card

We've included the Self Secured Visa Credit Card because it combines a secured card with a credit builder loan. First, however, a warning–the fees are high. With a credit builder loan, you take out a loan for the sole purpose of building your credit. The lender puts the loan proceeds in a savings account that you do not have access to until you've paid the loan in full. In the case of Self, the APR is around 16%. Then you can apply for the secured card once you've made three monthly payments on time.

Of course, most secured cards have high interest rates as well. The difference is that you can avoid the finance charges by paying your balance in full each month. With a credit builder loan, you cannot. Still, it does force you to “save” by requiring the monthly payment. So it can be a good option for those who are having a hard time staying on track.

  • Annual Fee: $25, plus an admin fee of $9
  • Regular APR: 26.99% variable
  • Security Deposit: Start with a Credit Builder Account that reports to all 3 credit bureaus
  • Starting Credit Limit: Your savings progress from your Credit Builder Account acts as your refundable security deposit.
  • Credit Reporting: Payments reported to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Credit Check: No credit check. Make at least 3 monthly payments on time, have $100 or more in savings progress in your Credit Builder Account, and be in good standing. You’ll automatically be eligible for the Self Visa® Credit Card, without a credit check.
  • Cash Back: None
  • Upgrade Opportunity: None

How a Secured Credit Card Works

To the outside world, secured credit cards work just like any other credit card. Most are either on the Visa or Mastercard network and are accepted anywhere traditional credit cards are accepted. One cannot tell from the face of a credit card whether it's a secured card.

A secured credit card is different than an unsecured credit card. Unsecured credit cards provide cardholders credit without having to put anything up for collateral. With a secured card, the amount of the deposit usually is equal to the amount of the credit limit. Security deposits and credit limits typically range from about $200 to $2,000, although a few cards offer lower options. If the cardholder defaults, the issuer can simply draw from the deposited funds to cover the default.

The credit card company typically holds the security deposit in an FDIC-insured bank account. While the account is active, the card is used just like a traditional card. Charges are made to the card. If they are paid in full each month, no interest is charged. If the balance is not paid in full, the credit card company will charge interest on the unpaid balance.

Here it's important to understand that the security deposit is not used to pay the monthly credit card bill. When the account is closed, the security deposit is refunded.

Credit card issuers report monthly payments on the card to one or more of the major credit bureaus. Continuing to make on-time monthly payments, avoid charging too close to your credit limit, and pay the card in full each month, will allow you to establish a solid credit history, bump up your FICO® score, and, eventually, move to an unsecured card.

Important: This is the biggest difference between secured cards and prepaid debit cards — secured cards if managed responsibly, can allow you to build your credit, whereas prepaid cards cannot improve your credit score.

Secured Credit Card Alternatives

There are several cards designed to improve your credit that do not require a security deposit. The most interesting option is the Extra Card. While secured cards work like a debit card, typically, debit cards do not help you improve your credit. Extra Card is different. It's the only debit card we know of that can help you build your credit. Read our Extra Card review for more details.

FAQs

Can I get a secured card with bad credit?

Yes. Secured credit cards are designed for those with bad credit or no credit history at all. They typically don't even check your credit report.

Must I pay a security deposit to get a secured credit card?

Yes. Secured credit cards, as the name suggests, are secured by a refundable security deposit you must make to get the card.

What credit limit will I get on a secured card?

Typically, the credit limit is equal to the amount of your security deposit. It's common for secured cards to require at least a $200 security deposit.

Will a secured credit card improve my credit?

Yes, assuming you make your payments on time, don't go over the card's credit limit, and avoid maxing out the card.

Final Thoughts

A secured credit card can be a reasonable way to repair or build your credit. Look for a card that charges no annual fee or at least a reasonable fee. Also avoid secured cards with high interest rates, unless you plan to pay off your card in full each month.