Here are the best secured credit cards:

Best for low deposit

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Learn More
Learn More on Capital One's secure site

Best for rewards and upgrading

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Learn More
Learn More on Discover's secure site

Best for bad credit or no bank accout

OpenSky® Secured Visa®

Learn More
Learn More on Capital Bank's secure site

Best for low interest and fees

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

Learn More
Learn More on Digital Federal Credit Union's secure site


Our pick for

Low deposit

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Apply Now on Capital One's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

N/A

APR

  • APR: 24.99% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

None

  • 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
Annual fee
$0
Ongoing APR
24.99%
APR, Variable
Recommended credit score
350
629
Poor
We like it for
No annual fee Flexible deposit requirement Chance of higher credit line

Benefits

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.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Rewards and upgrading

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Apply Now on Discover's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

APR

  • APR: 23.99% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

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 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! Free Social Security Number alerts, we’ll 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.
Annual fee
$0
Ongoing APR
23.99%
APR, Variable
Recommended credit score
350
629
Poor
We like it for
No annual fee Cash-back rewards Clear upgrade process

Benefits

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.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Bad credit or no bank account

OpenSky® Secured Visa®

OpenSky® Secured Visa®

Apply Now on Capital Bank's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

N/A

APR

  • Purchase: 18.39%
  • Penalty APR: Up to 22.50%
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.39%

Annual Fee

$35

Bonus Offer

None

  • No credit check necessary
  • Low annual fee, no applications fees a highly competitive APR
  • Your credit limit is determined by the security deposit you provide
Annual fee
$35
Ongoing APR
18.39%
APR
Recommended credit score
350
689
Poor - Average
We like it for
Easier approval No credit check Unbanked consumers

Benefits

The bank doesn’t run a credit check on OpenSky® Secured Visa® 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.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Our pick for

Low interest and fees

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

Digital Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

Apply Now on Digital Federal Credit Union's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

N/A

APR

  • Purchase: 12.50%
  • Penalty APR: Up to 18.00%
  • Cash Advance APR: 12.50%

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

None

  • 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
Annual fee
$0
Ongoing APR
12.50%
APR
Recommended credit score
350
850
Poor - Excellent
We like it for
Lower ongoing APR No annual fee No balance transfer fee No cash advance fee High credit limit

Benefits

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.

Drawbacks

Bottom line

Methodology

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: claire@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @ideclaire7.