Best Secured Credit Cards of 2017
Building credit takes time. Start with a secured card, use it wisely, and you're on your way up.
Here are the best secured credit cards:
Best for low deposit
Best for rewards and upgrading
Best for bad credit or no bank account
Best for low interest and fees
Intro APR Promotions
- APR: 24.99% Variable APR
- Cash Advance APR: 24.99%, Variable
- No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
- Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
- You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
- Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
- Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
- It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
With most secured cards, your deposit must be equal to your credit limit. But with the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, you can get a limit of $200 for a deposit of $49, $99 or $200, depending on your credit. If you can’t come up with your whole deposit upfront, you can pay it in installments before activating your card. If you make your first five payments on time, you may gain access to a higher credit limit.
Rewards and upgrading
Intro APR Promotions
10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months
- APR: 23.99% Variable APR
- Cash Advance APR: 25.99%, Variable
Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
- Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line. You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
- We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
- Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
- Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- New! Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
The Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee rewards — 2% cash back on up to $1,000 worth of spending per quarter on restaurants and gas, 1% on all other spending — would be pretty decent on a regular card. For a secured credit card, they’re unheard of. After eight months, Discover automatically evaluates your account for possible upgrade to an unsecured card. And the annual fee is $0.
Bad credit or no bank account
Intro APR Promotions
- Purchase: 18.39%
- Penalty APR: Up to 22.50%
- Cash Advance APR: 18.39%
- 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.
- 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
- We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search “OpenSky Card” in Facebook.)
- OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
- *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card.
The bank doesn’t run a credit check on OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card applicants, making this an attainable option for people with severely damaged credit. You can make your deposit — minimum $200, maximum $3,000 — and pay your bills with a debit card, wire transfer, check or money order, making it one of the few secured cards that doesn’t require a traditional bank account.
Complete card details
Low interest and fees
Intro APR Promotions
- Purchase: 12.50%
- Penalty APR: Up to 18.00%
- Cash Advance APR: 12.50%
- Secured card rates well below the national average
- Borrow against your DCU savings account
- No Annual Fee*
- No Fees or Higher Rates for Cash Advances and Balance Transfers
- Works with Apple Pay®, Android Pay™, and Samsung Pay
- Insurance, car rental, travel, and warranty benefits
- Optional Overdraft Protection On Your DCU Checking
- Buy online easily and safely with Visa Checkout
- Embedded EMV chip to protect your card information
The ongoing APR is 12.50%. That’s roughly half the rate of many popular secured cards — and better than what you can get on many unsecured cards. The annual fee is $0, and there are no balance transfer or cash advance fees. As with most secured cards, you have to make a security deposit equal to your credit limit, but this one doesn’t put a cap on how much you can deposit, and therefore how high your limit can be.
NerdWallet’s credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.
Updated Jan. 27, 2017.
NerdWallet staff writers Virginia C. McGuire and Paul Soucy contributed to this article. Claire Tsosie is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7.
To recap our selections...
NerdWallet's Best Secured Credit Cards of 2017
- Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: Best for low deposit
- Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee: Best for rewards and upgrading
- OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card: Best for bad credit or no bank account
- Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card: Best for low interest and fees