Best Secured Credit Cards of 2018
Building credit takes time. Start with a secured card, use it wisely, and you're on your way up.
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
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
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.
Low interest and fees
on Digital Federal Credit Union's secure website
The ongoing APR is 12.50% Variable APR. 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 Feb. 18, 2018.
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 2018
- 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