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Best Secured Credit Cards of July 2022

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated July 1, 2022 . Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Our top pick for the best secured credit card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card earns cash back at gas stations and restaurants, charges a $0 annual fee and offers a transparent schedule for when you might get the chance to graduate to an unsecured card and get your security deposit refunded.

If you’re looking to build credit because you’ve got a bad credit score or just limited credit history, a secured credit card might be the best option for you.

The reason they’re called “secured” credit cards is because you must submit a security deposit to the issuer, typically in the amount of your desired credit limit. The security deposit required on a secured card protects the issuer if you don’t pay back what you owe on the card. Because of this, secured cards are typically more accessible than “unsecured” cards if you have poor or fair credit.

A secured card can be a good tool to improve your credit score. Some issuers even offer the chance to graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit refunded after showing responsible behavior.

We’ll go over some of the best secured cards and help you choose the one that’s right for your wallet.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 24.49% Variable APR

Credit needed: Poor/Limited

Minimum deposit: $200

Credit limit: $200 to $2,500

Why we picked this card: The Discover it® Secured Credit Card charges a $0 annual fee, comes with a cash back program and offers a transparent schedule for when you’ll be considered for an upgrade to an unsecured card.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Earns cash back
  • High 24.49% Variable APR

If you have poor/limited credit, can put together $200 for a minimum deposit and would like the opportunity to graduate to an unsecured card, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is well worth your consideration. Whereas some issuers offer the chance to graduate but don’t specify when account reviews occur, Discover is clear that you’ll get monthly account reviews after seven months with the card.

Cardholders earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

  • Free access to your FICO® Score
  • Alerts if your Social Security number is found on the dark web (enrollment required)
  • Easily turn your card on and off with Freeze it® in case you misplace it
  • Customer service based 100% in the U.S.

 

Credit needed: Poor/Limited

Minimum deposit: $200

Credit limit: $200 to $2,500

Why we picked this card: The Discover it® Secured Credit Card charges a $0 annual fee, comes with a cash back program and offers a transparent schedule for when you’ll be considered for an upgrade to an unsecured card.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Earns cash back
  • High 24.49% Variable APR

If you have poor/limited credit, can put together $200 for a minimum deposit and would like the opportunity to graduate to an unsecured card, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is well worth your consideration. Whereas some issuers offer the chance to graduate but don’t specify when account reviews occur, Discover is clear that you’ll get monthly account reviews after seven months with the card.

Cardholders earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Plus, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

  • Free access to your FICO® Score
  • Alerts if your Social Security number is found on the dark web (enrollment required)
  • Easily turn your card on and off with Freeze it® in case you misplace it
  • Customer service based 100% in the U.S.

 

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 26.99% (Variable)

Credit needed: Limited/Bad

Minimum deposit: $49, $99 or $200

Credit limit: $200 to $1,000

Why we picked this card: The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is unique compared to most secured cards, which typically require your deposit to match the amount of your desired credit limit. But this card offers the chance to qualify for a lower deposit amount, which can be helpful if you don’t immediately have $200 on hand.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • Opportunity for a $49 or $99 minimum deposit
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • High 26.99% (variable) APR
  • Doesn't earn rewards

If you think you’ll have trouble putting together a $200 deposit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card could be right for you. Capital One offers the chance to qualify for a $49 or $99 minimum deposit instead, and if you qualify, you’ll still get a $200 starting credit limit. Just note it isn’t guaranteed that you’ll get one of the lower deposits, and if you don’t, you’ll have to make the minimum $200 deposit.

  • Free VantageScore with CreditWise
  • Lock your card in the mobile app

Credit needed: Limited/Bad

Minimum deposit: $49, $99 or $200

Credit limit: $200 to $1,000

Why we picked this card: The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is unique compared to most secured cards, which typically require your deposit to match the amount of your desired credit limit. But this card offers the chance to qualify for a lower deposit amount, which can be helpful if you don’t immediately have $200 on hand.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • Opportunity for a $49 or $99 minimum deposit
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • High 26.99% (variable) APR
  • Doesn't earn rewards

If you think you’ll have trouble putting together a $200 deposit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card could be right for you. Capital One offers the chance to qualify for a $49 or $99 minimum deposit instead, and if you qualify, you’ll still get a $200 starting credit limit. Just note it isn’t guaranteed that you’ll get one of the lower deposits, and if you don’t, you’ll have to make the minimum $200 deposit.

  • Free VantageScore with CreditWise
  • Lock your card in the mobile app

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

Highlights
  • APR as low as 12.25%
  • No annual fee
  • No balance transfer fee
  • No cash advance fee
  • No foreign transaction fee

Credit needed: poor

Minimum deposit: $500

Credit limit: $500 minimum, no set maximum

Why we picked this card: The DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card stands out for its low interest rate of 12.25% variable in a world where many secured cards have interest rates well above 20%.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Low 12.25% variable APR
  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • Easy to join DCU
  • High $500 minimum deposit
  • Doesn't earn rewards

If you think you’ll need to roll a balance over from month to month, you’ll want a low interest credit card such as the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card. You do have to join Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), but luckily, there are many ways to qualify for membership.

  • Works with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™ and Samsung® Pay

Credit needed: poor

Minimum deposit: $500

Credit limit: $500 minimum, no set maximum

Why we picked this card: The DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card stands out for its low interest rate of 12.25% variable in a world where many secured cards have interest rates well above 20%.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Low 12.25% variable APR
  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • Easy to join DCU
  • High $500 minimum deposit
  • Doesn't earn rewards

If you think you’ll need to roll a balance over from month to month, you’ll want a low interest credit card such as the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card. You do have to join Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU), but luckily, there are many ways to qualify for membership.

  • Works with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™ and Samsung® Pay
The information related to the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 26.99% (Variable)

Credit needed: Limited/Bad

Minimum deposit: $200

Credit limit: $200 to $3,000

Why we picked this card: The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card earns flat-rate cash back on every purchase, making it ideal if your spending fluctuates between different categories from month to month.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Earns cash back
  • High 26.99% (variable) APR

If you want to earn cash back but don’t have set spending categories, you’ll like the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card‘s rewards program — earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply).

  • Lock your card in the mobile app

Credit needed: Limited/Bad

Minimum deposit: $200

Credit limit: $200 to $3,000

Why we picked this card: The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card earns flat-rate cash back on every purchase, making it ideal if your spending fluctuates between different categories from month to month.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Earns cash back
  • High 26.99% (variable) APR

If you want to earn cash back but don’t have set spending categories, you’ll like the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card‘s rewards program — earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply).

  • Lock your card in the mobile app

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card

Highlights
  • 5% cash back on the first $2,000 of purchases each quarter in two categories of your choosing.
  • 2% cash back on purchases in the category of your choice.
  • 1% back on other purchases.
  • No annual fee.

Credit needed: limited-poor

Minimum deposit: $300

Credit limit: $300 to $5,000

Why we picked this card: The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card allows you to choose two categories that will earn 5% cash back.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earns cash back
  • High 26.24% variable APR
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • $300 minimum deposit

Not too long ago, earning 5% cash back with a secured credit card would have been unheard of. Now, if you want to build credit and earn rewards at a generous rate typically reserved for unsecured cards, you can apply for the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card. Options for the 5% category include:

  • TV, internet and streaming services
  • Fast food
  • Cellphone providers
  • Department stores
  • Home utilities
  • Select clothing stores
  • Electronics stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Movie theaters
  • Gyms/fitness centers
  • Furniture stores
  • Ground transportation
  • Pay with a tap wherever contactless payments are accepted
  • Choose your payment due date

Credit needed: limited-poor

Minimum deposit: $300

Credit limit: $300 to $5,000

Why we picked this card: The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card allows you to choose two categories that will earn 5% cash back.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earns cash back
  • High 26.24% variable APR
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • $300 minimum deposit

Not too long ago, earning 5% cash back with a secured credit card would have been unheard of. Now, if you want to build credit and earn rewards at a generous rate typically reserved for unsecured cards, you can apply for the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card. Options for the 5% category include:

  • TV, internet and streaming services
  • Fast food
  • Cellphone providers
  • Department stores
  • Home utilities
  • Select clothing stores
  • Electronics stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • Movie theaters
  • Gyms/fitness centers
  • Furniture stores
  • Ground transportation

  • Pay with a tap wherever contactless payments are accepted
  • Choose your payment due date
The information related to the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured Card

Highlights
  • 4X points on dining and takeout.
  • 2X points at grocery stores, gas stations and on streaming services.
  • 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • No annual fee.

Credit needed: limited-poor

Minimum deposit: $300

Credit limit: $300 to $5,000

Why we picked this card: The U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured Card offers generous rewards on dining, whether you’re eating in at a restaurant, picking up takeout or getting delivery.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history.
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • $0 foreign transaction fee.
  • Earns cash back.
  • Annual streaming credit.
  • High 26.24% variable APR.
  • $300 minimum deposit.

Cardholders with the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured Card earn 4X points on dining and takeout, 2X at grocery stores, gas stations and on streaming services, 1X on all other purchases.

If you’re a foodie looking to build credit, this card is hard to beat. Plus, there’s a $15 annual streaming credit that can be earned after 11 consecutive months of eligible streaming purchases.

  • Pay with a tap wherever contactless payments are accepted
  • Choose your payment due date

Credit needed: limited-poor

Minimum deposit: $300

Credit limit: $300 to $5,000

Why we picked this card: The U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured Card offers generous rewards on dining, whether you’re eating in at a restaurant, picking up takeout or getting delivery.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history.
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • $0 foreign transaction fee.
  • Earns cash back.
  • Annual streaming credit.
  • High 26.24% variable APR.
  • $300 minimum deposit.

Cardholders with the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured Card earn 4X points on dining and takeout, 2X at grocery stores, gas stations and on streaming services, 1X on all other purchases.

If you’re a foodie looking to build credit, this card is hard to beat. Plus, there’s a $15 annual streaming credit that can be earned after 11 consecutive months of eligible streaming purchases.

  • Pay with a tap wherever contactless payments are accepted
  • Choose your payment due date
The information related to the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card

Highlights
  • Choose your 3% cash back category.
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
  • You'll earn at the 3% and 2% rates on the first $2,500 in combined purchases per quarter.
  • 1% back on other purchases.
  • No annual fee.

Credit needed: limited-poor

Minimum deposit: $300

Credit limit: $300 to $4,900

Why we picked this card: The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card offers uniquely flexible cash back program where you can choose from six different categories to earn 3% cash back on.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earns cash back
  • High 24.74% variable APR
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • $300 minimum deposit

Consumers whose spending patterns fluctuate will appreciate this card’s cash back program. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can change your 3% category as often as once a month. Options for 3% include:

  • Gas
  • Online shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Drugstores
  • Home improvement/furnishings
  • Free access to your FICO® Score when you opt in
  • Use your card with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™ or Samsung Pay digital wallets
  • Pay with a tap wherever contactless payments are accepted

Credit needed: limited-poor

Minimum deposit: $300

Credit limit: $300 to $4,900

Why we picked this card: The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card offers uniquely flexible cash back program where you can choose from six different categories to earn 3% cash back on.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earns cash back
  • High 24.74% variable APR
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • $300 minimum deposit

Consumers whose spending patterns fluctuate will appreciate this card’s cash back program. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can change your 3% category as often as once a month. Options for 3% include:

  • Gas
  • Online shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Drugstores
  • Home improvement/furnishings

  • Free access to your FICO® Score when you opt in
  • Use your card with Apple Pay®, Google Pay™ or Samsung Pay digital wallets
  • Pay with a tap wherever contactless payments are accepted
The information related to the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
OpenSky<sup>®</sup> Secured Visa<sup>®</sup> Credit Card

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Apply Now
on OpenSky's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $35
Regular Purchase APR 18.14% (variable)

Credit needed: Poor/Limited

Minimum deposit: $200

Credit limit: $200 to $3,000

Why we picked this card: The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card requires no credit check to apply and is accessible to consumers with Poor/Limited credit.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • No credit check to apply
  • Reasonable 18.14% (variable) APR
  • Can't graduate to an unsecured card
  • $35 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each Transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Doesn't earn rewards

If you’re worried that damaged credit might prevent you from getting approved for other cards, you might like the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card — you can apply with no credit check. You will, however, have to supply financial information such as annual income and monthly housing payment.

  • Pay your deposit with a debit card, through Western Union or by mailing in a check or money order

Credit needed: Poor/Limited

Minimum deposit: $200

Credit limit: $200 to $3,000

Why we picked this card: The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card requires no credit check to apply and is accessible to consumers with Poor/Limited credit.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • No credit check to apply
  • Reasonable 18.14% (variable) APR
  • Can't graduate to an unsecured card
  • $35 annual fee
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3% of each Transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Doesn't earn rewards

If you’re worried that damaged credit might prevent you from getting approved for other cards, you might like the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card — you can apply with no credit check. You will, however, have to supply financial information such as annual income and monthly housing payment.

  • Pay your deposit with a debit card, through Western Union or by mailing in a check or money order
Secured Sable ONE Credit Card

Secured Sable ONE Credit Card

Apply Now
on Sable's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR Prime + 6.99% (Variable)

Credit needed: new-to-credit,-no-credit,-rebuilding-credit

Minimum deposit: No minimum

Credit limit: No minimum, $10,000 maximum

Why we picked this card: The Secured Sable ONE Credit Card is accessible to non-U.S. citizens living in the U.S., even if you don’t have a Social Security number. Plus, it doesn’t require a credit check to apply.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • No credit check to apply
  • Reasonable Prime + 6.99% (Variable) APR
  • No minimum deposit amount
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earns rewards
  • Accessible even if you don't have an SSN
  • Requires a Sable bank account
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2% fee on all foreign transactions.

Whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not, the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card is a credit-building tool worth considering. You can apply with no credit check, and there’s no minimum deposit. However, be aware that you must open a Sable bank account to make the security deposit for the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card.

Cardholders earn rewards: 2% cash back on everyday purchases at Amazon, Uber, Uber Eats, Whole Foods, Netflix, Spotify, and more! Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Cellphone damage protection
  • Rental car insurance
  • Price protection
  • Purchase assurance

Credit needed: new-to-credit,-no-credit,-rebuilding-credit

Minimum deposit: No minimum

Credit limit: No minimum, $10,000 maximum

Why we picked this card: The Secured Sable ONE Credit Card is accessible to non-U.S. citizens living in the U.S., even if you don’t have a Social Security number. Plus, it doesn’t require a credit check to apply.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • No credit check to apply
  • Reasonable Prime + 6.99% (Variable) APR
  • No minimum deposit amount
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earns rewards
  • Accessible even if you don't have an SSN
  • Requires a Sable bank account
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2% fee on all foreign transactions.

Whether you’re a U.S. citizen or not, the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card is a credit-building tool worth considering. You can apply with no credit check, and there’s no minimum deposit. However, be aware that you must open a Sable bank account to make the security deposit for the Secured Sable ONE Credit Card.

Cardholders earn rewards: 2% cash back on everyday purchases at Amazon, Uber, Uber Eats, Whole Foods, Netflix, Spotify, and more! Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • Cellphone damage protection
  • Rental car insurance
  • Price protection
  • Purchase assurance

Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card

Highlights
  • Earn 1 point per dollar spent
  • Redeem points for cash back, gift cards and merchandise
  • No cash advance fees
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No balance transfer fees
  • No annual fees
  • Rewards expire four years from the month earned

Credit needed: limited-poor

Minimum deposit: $200

Credit limit: $200 minimum, no set maximum

Why we picked this card: If you qualify for membership with Navy Federal Credit Union, the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card offers a chance to build credit with a transparent schedule on when you’ll be considered for an upgrade to an unsecured card.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • Reasonable 18% variable APR
  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • Earns rewards
  • NFCU membership requires a military connection

You must join NFCU to apply for the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card. Membership is open to U.S. military members and veterans, family members and U.S. Department of Defense civilians. If you qualify to join, this card is an excellent choice with which to build credit.

Cardholders earn 1X points per dollar spent. Starting at six months, NFCU will begin monthly reviews to see if you qualify to graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit refunded.

  • Free FICO® Score access (when you opt in)

Credit needed: limited-poor

Minimum deposit: $200

Credit limit: $200 minimum, no set maximum

Why we picked this card: If you qualify for membership with Navy Federal Credit Union, the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card offers a chance to build credit with a transparent schedule on when you’ll be considered for an upgrade to an unsecured card.

ProsCons
  • Builds credit history
  • Chance to graduate to an unsecured card
  • Reasonable 18% variable APR
  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • Earns rewards
  • NFCU membership requires a military connection

You must join NFCU to apply for the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card. Membership is open to U.S. military members and veterans, family members and U.S. Department of Defense civilians. If you qualify to join, this card is an excellent choice with which to build credit.

Cardholders earn 1X points per dollar spent. Starting at six months, NFCU will begin monthly reviews to see if you qualify to graduate to an unsecured card and get your deposit refunded.

  • Free FICO® Score access (when you opt in)
The information related to the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

Highlights
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Credit line: Up to $25,000, depending on the amount you deposit to fund the card
  • Number of cards: Up to 10
  • Optional rewards program: Choose between rewards points or cash back

Credit needed: fair-poor

Minimum deposit: $500

Credit limit: $500 to $25,000

Why we picked this card: The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card gives business owners with fair-poor credit a way to manage cash flow, in contrast with most business cards, which typically require good to excellent credit.

ProsCons
  • More accessible than many other business cards
  • Chance to upgrade to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Up to 10 free employee cards
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • Reasonable APR of Prime + 11.90%
  • Earns rewards
  • $500 minimum deposit

If you need a card with which to manage your business’s cash flow, but are concerned past credit missteps might prevent you from getting an unsecured business credit card, the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card might be right for you. It’s accessible with fair-poor credit.

Plus, cardholders earn rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent OR Earn 1 point on every $1 spent and receive 1,000 bonus points when your company spend is $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period.

Wells Fargo will periodically review your account to see if you’re eligible to upgrade to an unsecured business credit card. However, there is no set time frame for when this might happen.

  • Up to 10 employee cards
  • Spending reports

Credit needed: fair-poor

Minimum deposit: $500

Credit limit: $500 to $25,000

Why we picked this card: The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card gives business owners with fair-poor credit a way to manage cash flow, in contrast with most business cards, which typically require good to excellent credit.

ProsCons
  • More accessible than many other business cards
  • Chance to upgrade to an unsecured card
  • $0 annual fee
  • Up to 10 free employee cards
  • $0 foreign transaction fee
  • Reasonable APR of Prime + 11.90%
  • Earns rewards
  • $500 minimum deposit

If you need a card with which to manage your business’s cash flow, but are concerned past credit missteps might prevent you from getting an unsecured business credit card, the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card might be right for you. It’s accessible with fair-poor credit.

Plus, cardholders earn rewards: Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent OR Earn 1 point on every $1 spent and receive 1,000 bonus points when your company spend is $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period.

Wells Fargo will periodically review your account to see if you’re eligible to upgrade to an unsecured business credit card. However, there is no set time frame for when this might happen.

  • Up to 10 employee cards
  • Spending reports
The information related to the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Side-by-side comparison of the best secured credit cards

Credit cardBest forAnnual fee
Discover it® Secured Credit CardOverall secured credit card$200$0
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit CardA chance for a low deposit$49, $99 or $200$0
DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit CardA low interest rate$500$0
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit CardFlat-rate cash back$200$0
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card5% cash back$300$0
U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured CardDining rewards$300$0
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit CardFlexible rewards$300$0
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit CardNo credit check$200$35
Secured Sable ONE Credit CardNon-U.S. citizensNo minimum deposit$0
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit CardSmall business owners$500$0

The information related to the DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card, U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card, U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured Card, Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card, Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card and the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.

Pros and cons of secured credit cards

  • Accessible with poor or fair credit
  • Many available with no annual fee
  • Security deposit typically refundable
  • Work just like regular credit cards
  • Security deposit required
  • Often have high APRs

Secured credit cards vs. unsecured cards for bad credit

You might wonder if there are unsecured credit cards (cards with no deposit) you can qualify for with a poor credit score. Such cards exist, but we typically recommend avoiding them and getting a secured credit card instead. An unsecured card for bad credit may seem tempting because you don’t have to submit $200 or $300 for a minimum deposit, but you’ll likely pay more in the long run due to fees. For example, you might encounter fees including annual fees, monthly maintenance fees and an additional fee to add an authorized user. A good secured card with no annual fee or a low annual fee — and transparent terms — will be a better tool overall.

Secured vs. unsecured credit cards

Secured Credit CardsUnsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Report activity to credit bureausXX
Can earn rewardsXX
Require a security depositX
Often come with high feesX
Credit limit based on your deposit (usually)X
Credit limit based on your creditworthinessX
Some don't require a credit checkX

How to choose a secured credit card

When deciding what secured credit card is best for you, ask the following questions:

  • Do you need a card with no credit check? Most issuers will pull your credit reports from the bureaus before approving or rejecting your application. If your credit history is so bad you’re concerned that might lead to rejection, a card with no credit check might help. However, be prepared it will likely charge an annual fee.
  • Are you willing to pay an annual fee? There are plenty of secured cards available that charge no annual fee. But sometimes an annual fee may be worth it, such as if you need a card with no credit check when you apply.
  • Do you want an opportunity to graduate to an unsecured card? Getting a secured card that offers a clear path to going unsecured and getting your deposit back gives you a goal to work toward in your financial journey.
  • How much are you able to deposit? A minimum deposit requirement of $200 is fairly typical, but some secured cards will require a minimum deposit as high as $300 or even $500.
  • Do you want a card that earns rewards? Building credit, not earning rewards, should be your main focus with a secured card. Still, it’s nice if you can earn rewards on purchases you needed to make anyway.

How to apply for a secured credit card

As with any credit card application, you’ll have to provide information such as the following:

  • Name, date of birth and Social Security number
  • Status of employment and amount of annual income
  • Whether you rent or own and the monthly cost

If you’re approved for a secured credit card, you’ll have to submit your security deposit to the issuer before actually getting the card. This can typically be done from a bank account, and some issuers may offer other options as well, such as funding the deposit with a money order or via Western Union.

How to build credit with a secured credit card

As long as your credit card issuer reports account and payment activity to the three major consumer credit bureaus — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion — using your card responsibly will help build positive credit history. Here are a few tips for building credit:

Pay on time

The most important factor in improving your credit score is to always pay on time; late and missed payments will hurt your score more than almost anything else. If your due date slips your mind, make the payment as quickly as possible, because many issuers don’t report a late payment to the bureaus until you’re behind 30 days or more.

Keep your credit utilization low

Next, pay attention to your utilization. This essentially means how much of your available credit you’re using. The closer you are to maxing out your credit card, the more your credit score will suffer, because this indicates to lenders there’s more risk you might not pay what you owe. A good rule of thumb is to keep utilization at 30% or less. For example, on a card with a $200 credit limit, aim to never have more than a $60 balance at any time.

Avoid applying for too many cards

In addition to payment history and utilization, avoid applying for new credit too frequently. When you apply for credit, the prospective lender checks your credit report, which generates what’s called a hard inquiry — and each hard inquiry can be expected to knock your credit score down a few points for a year. Plus, opening new cards reduces your average age of accounts, and a longer average age of accounts is better for your score.

How to upgrade to an unsecured credit card

Some issuers provide the opportunity to graduate from a secured credit card to an unsecured one, meaning your deposit will be refunded. Both Discover and NFCU offer clear timelines for when you might get upgraded to an unsecured card.

  • Discover will conduct monthly reviews of your account after you’ve had the Discover it® Secured Credit Card for seven months.
  • NFCU will conduct monthly reviews of your account after you’ve had the Navy Federal nRewards® Secured Credit Card for six months. You aren’t guaranteed an upgrade, but you know how often reviews occur.
  • Capital One is an example of an issuer that allows the opportunity to graduate to an unsecured card, but doesn’t specify a timeline for reviews. Both the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card and the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card note that with responsible use, you can earn your deposit back.

Some issuers don’t offer a chance to move to an unsecured card. In that case, your best bet may be to build credit with the secured card for a year or more, and once you’ve improved your credit score, open an unsecured card. If you pay off your secured card in full and close the account, you should be able to get your deposit back.

If your issuer allows upgrades to an unsecured card, the following tips will improve your chances:

  • Always pay on time. This is the most important factor in demonstrating responsible credit management.
  • Keep utilization low. Avoid maxing out your card. Pay in full every month if possible.
  • Use your card. This may seem like common sense, but issuers like to see you’re using your card, not leaving it inactive months at a time. If you’re concerned about overspending, consider putting a recurring subscription (such as Netflix or Spotify) on your card, setting up autopay and tucking your card away somewhere safe.

Alternatives to a secured credit card

If you don’t have $200 or $300 available for a minimum security deposit or simply don’t want to open a new credit card, there are a couple other ways to improve your credit score worth considering.

  1. Become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. If a parent, spouse or other family member can add you as an authorized user on their credit card, you’ll get the benefit of their credit history and on-time payments. You don’t even need to use the card at all yourself to benefit. Just make sure the primary cardholder has responsible usage and good credit history, otherwise they could end up hurting your credit score.
  2. Apply for a credit builder loan. You may be able to find a credit builder loan through a bank, a credit union or an online lender. Unlike with traditional loans, you don’t get money upfront, but only after finishing your payment plan. Also, know that credit builder loans aren’t free, and you’ll likely have to pay interest and perhaps a fee for opening the account. The benefit, however, is that your on-time payments will be reported to the credit bureaus, so this is a way to build positive credit history without needing a credit card.

FAQs about secured credit cards

A secured card requires you to submit a security deposit, typically in the amount you want for your credit limit. This protects the issuer in the event you don’t pay off what you charge to the card. The deposit is generally refundable if you pay off your card and close the account, or the issuer graduates you to an unsecured card.

“Unsecured” simply means a credit card doesn’t require a security deposit – in other words, a regular credit card.

Like unsecured cards, some secured cards charge annual fees while others don’t. Our top choice, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, has a $0 annual fee.

Yes. As with any credit card application, approval when applying for a secured credit card is not guaranteed.

Generally, yes. Secured cards are designed to help rebuild or establish credit. If you’re turned down for a secured card, you may need to consider other options, such as asking a family member to make you an authorized user on one of their cards.

Many banks and credit unions offer secured cards. A few issuers of secured cards include Bank of America, Capital One, Citi and Discover. However, some issuers don’t – for example, there’s no Chase secured credit card.

As long as your card reports to the credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion), you’ll build a credit history by using your card, paying on time and keeping utilization low.

Methodology

The most obvious criterion for selecting the credit cards on this list is that all are secured cards, meaning you must submit a security deposit to the issuer. This protects the issuer in case you default on what you owe.

We also evaluated rewards programs. Many of the cards on this list earn cash back or points. While building credit should be your primary focus with a secured card, it’s still nice to have the opportunity to earn cash back on your normal spending.

Another factor was annual fees. Most of the secured cards on this list charge no annual fee, and the one that does (the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card) offers enough value to consumers with poor/limited credit that some will find the annual fee worth it.

Finally, if a card has another unique features — such as offering the chance for an unusually low security deposit or requiring no credit check to apply — that also weighed in favor of including the card here.

Glen Luke Flanagan

  • Expertise: Personal finance, credit scoring, credit cards
  • Education: Radford University, East Carolina University

 


 

Glen Luke Flanagan is a senior credit card writer for LendingTree. He joined the team in June 2019, and covers topics including new credit cards, how your credit score works and what you need to know about credit card interest.
 
Before joining LendingTree, Glen worked in journalism and government communications. As a journalist at newspapers in North Carolina and South Carolina, his reporting won awards from the North Carolina Press Association and the South Carolina Press Association, respectively.
 
Glen earned his bachelor’s degree in media studies with a concentration in journalism from Radford University, graduating summa cum laude in May 2014. He also earned a master’s degree in English with a concentration in technical and professional communication, as well as a graduate certificate in marketing, from East Carolina University in May 2022.

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