The bottom line: If you've struggled to qualify for a secured card because of poor credit or lack of a bank account, this card is a good option. But if you aren't facing such obstacles, you'd be better served by a secured card that upgrades you to a regular unsecured card after months of responsible use and doesn't charge an annual fee.
Pros & Cons
- Qualify with limited/bad credit
- Has annual fee
- Requires minimum deposit
- No rewards
Alternate Pick: Rewards and upgrading
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Rare benefits in a secured card
This no-fee card gets a lot of attention for its rewards: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% on all other purchases. But what really makes it special is its clear path to an upgrade, with automatic account reviews starting after eight months.
Compare to Other Cards
17.39% Variable APR
22.99% Variable APR
10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
Recommended Credit Score
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The stands out as one of the few secured credit cards that you can qualify for without a bank account or a credit check. That makes it a good option for a specific type of consumer: someone looking to establish or boost credit using a secured card but struggling to qualify for one because they lack a bank account or have poor credit.
Aside from being relatively easy to get, though, the card is unextraordinary. Unlike most secured cards from major issuers, the card comes with an annual fee. It also doesn't offer an option to upgrade to an unsecured card after months of responsible use, which means you'll have to close the account to get your security deposit returned.
Bad credit can make it hard to qualify for credit cards — even secured credit cards, in some cases. It won't stop you from qualifying for the , though, which doesn't run a credit check when you apply.
To be sure, approval isn’t guaranteed. To qualify, you'll still need to meet certain requirements. For example, you’ll need to:
Overall, though, it's relatively easy to get approved for this card. And if you've racked up rejections already, the lack of a credit check might make this card a compelling choice.
Most cards require you to have a bank account, putting them out of reach for the unbanked. The doesn't. You can pay the security deposit with a money order or a Western Union payment. Credit card bills can also be paid by money order. However, if you already use these services, you know that they cost money, which adds up over time.
A card that reports your activity to all three major credit bureaus, as this one does, is a good thing when you make your payments on time and stay well below your credit limit. The three major consumer credit bureaus — TransUnion, Equifax and Experian — gather the information to calculate your credit scores.
A good credit score — one that's 690 or higher — can make life easier and save you money in the long run. For example, such a score could help you get approved for an apartment, get cell phone service without an upfront deposit, qualify for credit cards with richer rewards and perks, and get mortgages and car loans with lower interest rates.
Most secured cards from major issuers don't charge an annual fee. In contrast, the charges an annual fee of , making it a more costly option — and much less appealing for those who are able to qualify for other cards. But it's still a much better option than certain unsecured cards for people with bad credit that charge annual fees of $75 or $99.
The doesn’t have an option to upgrade your account to an unsecured credit card — one without a security deposit. So once your credit improves enough to qualify for a better card, you'll have to either close your account (which could hurt your credit score by increasing your ) or keep it open (which is costly since you'll still be paying the annual fee and your deposit will remain tied up).
The , on the other hand, automatically starts reviewing your account after eight months to see whether you're eligible for an upgrade. You’ll need a bank account, however, and the issuer runs a credit check. The has a annual fee and even offers a cash-back rewards program. Then, once your credit is in good shape, you could qualify for one of our .
The minimum deposit on the is $200, which gets you a credit line of $200. With the , you could qualify for a $200 credit line with a deposit of just $49, $99 or $200. Cardholders can also pay their deposit in installments over time to fully fund the card. Make your payments on time, and you may gain access to a higher credit line in as little as six months with no additional deposit needed.
The card is great if you can't pass a credit check or don't have a bank account. Otherwise, go with a different secured card.
on Capital Bank's website
Frequently asked questions
The doesn't require a credit check or a bank account, so it can be a great option for people with poor credit or who are unbanked. The card reports account activity to all three major credit bureaus, so responsible use can help you build credit. There's a annual fee, though.
The does not require a credit check, so it's possible to be approved even with bad credit. Approval isn't guaranteed, though. The issuer may look at your income, financial obligations and other factors.
The requires a deposit of at least $200; you can deposit as much as you want, up to a maximum is $3,000. Your deposit will become your card’s credit limit.
Your security deposit will be refunded when you close your account in good standing.
The issuer of the doesn’t offer the option to upgrade to an unsecured credit card. Once your credit improves, you can apply for an unsecured card from another issuer, close your account and get your deposit back.
It depends on the customer, but the issuer says most cardholders who started without a credit history were able to build a credit score record in six months.