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Published April 4, 2024
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Best Secured Credit Cards in Canada of 2024

Canada’s best secured credit cards are easier to qualify for than traditional credit cards, helping build credit history and repair bad credit.

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Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

A secured credit card is a great tool for building credit history or rebuilding after a bad setback. Use it wisely and keep your account in good standing, and one of Canada’s best credit cards can help strengthen your credit.

The best secured credit cards

Best overall secured credit card

Neo Secured Credit


$0

19.99%-29.99% / 22.99%-31.99%

$50

$10,000
Our take
Neo Secured Credit is a no-fee card that earns cash back rewards and offers access to high-interest savings.

Pros
  • A small $50 minimum deposit makes this card accessible to consumers of all budgets.
  • Earn up to 15% cash back on purchases with select Neo partners.


Cons
  • Interest rates could be as high as 29.99% for some users.
Card details
  • Build credit history with on-time payments.
  • Set your credit limit and get started with as little as $50.
  • Guaranteed approval with no credit score needed to apply.
  • Earn 1% cashback on all gas and grocery purchases.
  • 0.5% guaranteed monthly minimum cashback.
  • No monthly or annual fees.
  • Upgrade to Premium and earn exclusive benefits and boosted rewards, like 3% cashback on all gas and grocery and free credit monitoring.
  • Personalized Insights AI generates tailored information and recommendations designed specifically for you.

Best low-interest secured credit card

Home Trust Secured Visa Card


$0 / $59

14.90% / 19.99%

$500

$10,000
Our take
Why we like it

The Home Trust Secured Visa offers a straightforward, no-frills experience for credit builders. Plus, there are two secured credit card options to fit a variety of needs: a no-fee card, and a low-interest card with a $59 annual fee.

Pros
  • Low interest rate.
  • Payments are reported to both credit bureaus.


Cons
  • You’ll need to budget for the annual fee.
  • No ability to earn rewards on purchases.
Card details
  • $59 annual fee.
  • No fee option available with a higher interest rate.
  • $500 minimum security fund deposit required.
  • $10,000 maximum security fund deposit.
  • Hard credit checks are made on Home Trust Secured Visa applications.
  • Credit activity, including every payment, is reported to TransUnion and Equifax, the two major consumer credit bureaus in Canada.
  • Ability to upgrade to an unsecured credit card.
  • Manage your account and billing with online banking.
  • Cardholders can choose between a card with no annual fee and 19.99% interest or an annual fee of $59 and 14.90% interest.
  • Protection against fraud through Visa’s Zero Liability Policy.
  • Preferred rates: 14.90% for purchases, 19.80% for cash advances.
  • To be eligible, you must have a source of income and cannot currently be in bankruptcy. You must be able to provide security funds and be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live. The Home Trust Secured Visa Card is not available to Québec residents.

Best no-fee secured credit card

Home Trust Secured Visa (No annual fee)


$0

19.99%

$500

$10,000
Our take
Why we like it

The Home Trust Secured Visa offers a straightforward, no-frills experience for credit builders. Plus, there are two secured credit card options to fit a variety of needs: a no-fee card, and a low-interest card with a $59 annual fee.

Pros
  • No annual fee.
  • Payments are reported to both credit bureaus.


Cons
  • You’ll need to budget for the $500 minimum deposit.
  • No ability to earn rewards on purchases.
Card details
  • No annual fee.
  • Lower interest rate available for a $59 annual fee.
  • $500 minimum security fund deposit required.
  • $10,000 maximum security fund deposit.
  • Hard credit checks are made on Home Trust Secured Visa applications.
  • Credit activity, including every payment, is reported to TransUnion and Equifax, the two major consumer credit bureaus in Canada.
  • Ability to upgrade to an unsecured credit card.
  • Manage your account and billing online.
  • Cardholders can choose between a card with no annual fee and 19.99% interest or an annual fee of $59 and 14.90% interest.
  • Protection against fraud through Visa’s Zero Liability Policy.
  • Preferred rates: 19.99% for purchases and cash advances.
  • To be eligible, you must have a source of income and cannot currently be in bankruptcy. You must also be a Canadian resident of the age of majority in the province or territory where you live. The Home Trust Secured Visa Card is not available to Québec residents.
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Methodology to identify the best secured credit cards

NerdWallet Canada selects the best secured credit cards based on overall consumer value as well as their suitability for specific kinds of consumers.

Our evaluation is weighted by factors: 50% features specific to secured credit cards, 30% fees and interest,12% rewards and 8% intro offer.

  • Features specific to secured credit cards include minimum and maximum deposit, ability to upgrade to an unsecured credit card, credit checks and credit reporting.
  • Fees and interest consider the annual fee, interest rates, over-the-limit fees, and other costs.
  • Rewards value considers earning rates, rewards structure, promotional rates and spending categories.
  • The intro offer considers the welcome bonus value, promotional interest rates, and any waived fees.

Other noteworthy features, such as insurance, educational resources, ease of account management, and other special perks and benefits, earn unofficial bonus points. Only secured credit cards with online applications were considered for this list.

    Summary of the best secured credit cards

    Best Credit Cards in Canada

    Compare all different credit cards side-by-side and find out the best card that will meet your need with special perks and benefits

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    What to know about secured credit cards

    A secured credit card works like a regular credit card but requires a security deposit, which reduces the risk to the lender. 

    What is a secured credit card?

    A secured credit card requires the cardholder to provide a cash security deposit to open an account. The card’s credit limit is typically the same as the security deposit. So, for example, if your deposit is $500, you’ll have a $500 credit limit.

    The deposit acts as a form of collateral, reducing the risk for the credit card provider. If the secured credit cardholder doesn’t make their payments, the issuer can use the deposit to pay off the debt. This is why secured credit cards tend to be easier to qualify for than unsecured, regular credit cards — making them ideal for people with poor credit or no credit history.

    When used responsibly and paid on time and in full, a secured credit card can build your credit. If your score is high enough, you’ll likely qualify for a traditional unsecured credit card that does not require a deposit.

    If you use the card responsibly, and build up a healthy credit history with a higher score, you may then be eligible for a standard, unsecured credit card. The issuer will pay back the security deposit in full (as long as there are no outstanding payments) when the account is closed.

    Each secured credit card provider may have different minimum and maximum deposit requirements. Minimum deposits can be as low as $50, and maximum deposits do not typically exceed $10,000.

    Secured vs. unsecured credit cards

    For the most part, secured credit cards work very similarly to unsecured ones. You use the card to purchase items, up to the credit limit, and ideally pay back the balance at the end of the billing cycle. 

    The biggest difference between the two is that a secured credit card requires a cash deposit, which typically sets the credit limit. The deposit acts as collateral in case you fail to pay your debt. While you can’t use the deposit to pay your balance each month, the issuer will return it when you close the account in good standing.

    Another difference between the two is the perks. Unsecured credit cards often come with benefits, perks and rewards not typically offered by secured cards.

    Whether a secured or unsecured credit card is the best fit for you will essentially come down to your credit report and score. Generally, you can expect to need a score of at least 660 to qualify for an unsecured credit card.

    If you have a history of bad credit, it will be challenging to find an issuer willing to give you an unsecured credit card that doesn’t come with steep fees and charge high rates of interest..

    Check your credit score to see what option is best for you.

    How does a secured credit card work?

    A secured credit card works like a regular, unsecured credit card once you’ve been approved and provided the required security deposit. You can use a secured credit card to make in-person and online purchases and then pay off your balance in full, or make the minimum payment each month.

    As with a traditional credit card, unpaid balances typically accrue interest, so it’s a good idea to pay off the bill in full when it’s due. 

    The issuer usually reports your payments to Canada’s credit bureaus, just like standard credit cards. As long as you use your card responsibly and make your payments on time, your credit score will rise. If boosting your credit score is your goal, make sure your payments are being reported — not all issuers report to the credit bureaus.

    What is the security deposit for a secured credit card?

    The security deposit for a secured credit card can vary widely depending on the issuer. With few exceptions, most secured credit cards in Canada require a deposit of at least $50.

    What is the credit limit for a secured credit card?

    Typical credit limits

    Credit limits vary with each provider, but you can start with as little as a $50 security deposit and can go up to as much as $10,000.

    How to increase credit limits

    Each provider may have a different method for increasing your credit limit. As long as it falls within the maximum allowable amount, you should be able to increase your limit if you can provide the security funds.

    Making payments

    As you would with a regular, unsecured credit card, you will want to pay your bill in full and on time. To keep your account in good standing, you’ll need to pay at least the required minimum payment each billing cycle.

    Remember, the security deposit acts as collateral, and won’t pay off charges to the card. The deposit is only used if the cardholder defaults on payments.

    Typical secured credit card rates

    Secured credit card interest rates vary, from as low as 14.90%, as with Home Trust’s low-interest option, to as high as 29.99%.

    Nerdy tip

    Use our credit card interest calculator to see how much you’ll owe if you don’t pay off your balance.

      How to get a secured credit card

      The process for getting a secured card is similar to getting any credit card.

      Secured cards are typically aimed at people who are just entering adulthood or are new to Canada and need to build up a credit history. They are also intended for people who would have a hard time getting an unsecured card, like those with bad credit. For that reason, secured credit cards are easier to get than unsecured credit cards.

      Eligibility

      Credit card issuers tend to be much more flexible with their eligibility requirements for a secured card.

      Credit score needed for a secured card

      Because secured cards are designed for people with no or bad credit, an issuer may not even consider an applicant’s credit score. Many secured credit card issuers will approve applicants regardless of their credit scores.

      Income requirements

      Secured credit cards do not tend to have strict or clearly stated income requirements

      Usually, you just need to be able to provide the security deposit and can’t be in bankruptcy.

      Other requirements

      Aside from providing a minimum amount for a security deposit, you generally need to be a Canadian resident who is the age of majority in your territory or province.

      How to choose the right secured credit card

      Briefly, here are some things to consider when choosing a credit card..

      Credit bureau reporting

      The main point of having a secured credit card for most users is to build a credit history and improve their credit score, so it’s important to ensure that the issuer is reporting payments to a credit bureau.

      Affordable deposit

      Carefully consider your budget and how much money you can afford to tie up indefinitely as a security deposit. Do you have enough savings in your emergency fund to cover both the security deposit and an unexpected expense, for example?

      Low or no fees

      Annual fees can vary significantly among issuers, so be sure to check the cost of each card when making your selection. 

      Ability to switch to unsecured

      One reason to consider going with a credit card issuer that also has unsecured credit card options is that it can be easier to switch to another type of credit card after you’ve built up your credit.

      Application process for a secured credit card

      Some major banks in Canada don’t advertise secured credit cards on their websites. They may offer secured cards to some applicants, but you must generally contact the bank to apply.

      Some smaller banks and alternative financial institutions that issue dedicated secured credit cards allow prospective cardholders to apply online, and many offer instant or guaranteed approval.

      The process is the same as applying for an unsecured credit card. You simply hit the “apply” icon on the website and follow the steps listed, which will go something like this:

      1. Review the terms and conditions and accept them.
      2. Provide personal information like your name and social insurance number (SIN).
      3. Employment details.
      4. Indicate whether you want to include an authorized user.
      5. Submit your application. 
      6. If approved, pay your deposit. The method by which you pay the deposit varies among banks, but may include mailing a cheque or completing a bank transfer. .

      If you aren’t approved, make sure to wait about six months before applying for another card as credit card issuers view multiple card applications in quick succession as a sign of financial distress.

      Where to get a secured credit card in Canada

      Most major banks in Canada don’t offer dedicated secured credit cards – or at least, they don’t advertise that they do. You can contact them to ask about secured card options that might fit your needs, but you’ll generally have more luck with smaller banks or alternative financial institutions that carry dedicated secured credit cards.

      Who offers secured credit cards?

      Financial InstitutionSecured Credit Card
      TD Canada TrustYou can arrange for an in-branch appointment to discuss potential secured card options.
      Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)No secured credit cards advertised online. You may need to contact the bank directly to discuss your options.
      Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)No secured credit card advertised online. You may need to contact the bank directly to discuss your options.
      Bank of Montreal (BMO)BMO Boost Secured Credit Card.
      ScotiabankNo secured credit card advertised online. You may need to contact the bank directly to discuss your options.
      National Bank of CanadaNo secured credit card.
      Home TrustHome Trust Secured Visa card.

      Home Trust Secured Visa card (no annual fee).
      Capital OneCapital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard.
      Neo FinancialNeo Secured Credit card.

      Credit union secured credit cards

      Some credit unions in Canada offer secured credit cards, such as Vancity. If you live within an area they operate, you can contact them for more details.

      Advantages and disadvantages of secured credit cards

      Advantages

      Disadvantages

      What to ask before using a secured credit card

      How do I add money to a secured credit card?

      The method to add money to a secured card varies among providers. It may just be a matter of contacting your credit card issuer and telling them you want an increase, then providing the funds. Or you may be able to increase your limit online with an e-transfer.

      Should I pay my secured credit card early?

      A secured credit card can be a helpful tool to build your credit history and score, but only if used wisely. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make payments in full and on time each month to avoid interest charges and improve your score.

      While you don’t have to make payments early, it may be a good habit to adopt if you tend to be late or forget to make payments. You may also consider setting up automatic payments or alerts when your balance is due.

      How long should I keep a secured credit card?

      It’s advisable to keep a secured credit card until you start to see an improvement in your score and feel confident that you can successfully apply for an unsecured credit card. It’s a good idea to aim for a score of at least 660 before applying for an unsecured card for the greatest chance of qualifying and to get the best terms. 

      What happens if I close my secured credit card?

      If you cancel your secured card, you’ll get your full security deposit back as long as you don’t have any pending charges or a balance remaining on the card. 

      What are the alternatives to secured credit cards?

      FAQs about secured credit cards in Canada

      What is an unsecured credit card?

      An unsecured credit card, more commonly known as a traditional or regular credit card, is a card that does not require a security deposit for approval. The credit card issuer “trusts” that the cardholder will make regular payments and therefore does not require a security deposit. 

      Because no collateral is needed, unsecured cards tend to require applicants to have good credit scores and may also require proof of a minimum annual income.

      Are credit cards secured debt?

      Secured debt is a type of debt in which the borrower provides some form of collateral (such as cash or a car) to guarantee repayment of the debt. Secured credit cards are a form of secured debt because you pay a cash security deposit as collateral.

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