Best Secured Visa® Credit Cards of 2019

Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

If your credit isn’t good enough to qualify for a regular credit card, a secured credit card could be an answer to your situation.

A secured card works like any other credit card, you use it to make transactions – purchases, cash advances or balance transfers (balance transfers if allowed). These transactions are billed to you each month as with any credit card. You’re responsible for making at least your minimum payment, or more, by the due date. The difference is that for a secured card, you need to make a cash deposit which the card issuer places into an account for you that you won’t have access to while you have the secured card and which serves as a safeguard against the chance you default on your debt.

Typically for secured cards, your credit limit is equal to the amount of money you deposit. After you use a secured card responsibly for a period of time, and you manage your other credit accounts responsibly you might qualify for a traditional card and the return of your deposit, as long as you have met your secured card financial obligations. If the secured card issuer reports your account details to the 3 major credit reporting agencies you can use this as an opportunity to build a credit history and if you use the card responsibly (for example making sure your payments post on-time, keeping your credit card balance low relative to your credit limit) you can affect your credit score in a positive way.

You may qualify for a secured card even with a low credit score or with limited or no credit history. The secured Visa® credit cards are accepted by merchants that accept other Visa® credit cards, secured cards are considered credit cards, and should not be confused with debit or prepaid cards.

Not all secured credit cards are the same quality and some have set up fees in addition to relatively high annual fees, high interest rates and other considerations that may make you reconsider applying for them. To help you compare some offers and perhaps find a card that is right for you, we’ve reviewed some secured Visa® credit cards and here a a few options.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Strengths we like

  • Lower interest rate than some other secured cards with a current variable Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases of 19.64%
  • Low initial deposit requirement (can start from as low as $200) for your security deposit
  • No credit check necessary to apply

Drawbacks we don’t like

  • $35 annual fee
  • Your security deposit is not placed in an interest bearing account
  • Does not offer the opportunity to convert to a regular credit card

Card details we noticed

Secured credit cards often charge a high interest rate. It’s their way of hedging their bets against consumers who are a higher credit risk. For the individuals who don’t pay their credit card obligations the fees and interest that the credit card companies charge make up for their losses. However, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card carries a respectable 19.64% variable APR for purchases, in line with many regular credit cards. Of course, your goal should be to pay off your purchases and never carry a balance on your card (so for the typical credit card that would mean the interest you pay on your purchases will be zero – be sure to read the terms of the offer as there may be some credit card offers that begin charging interest on your purchases on the transaction date) but if you think you might carry a balance, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is one you may want to consider. Keep in mind that if you get a cash advance the card issuer will begin charging interest starting on the transaction date.

As part of the application process you will be asked how much you want for a credit line (this will be the same as the amount you deposit in the collateral account). You can ask for $200 and up to $3,000, based on the amount you provide for your security deposit. This range will most likely meet the needs of individuals who are newer to credit cards or who are rebuilding credit. On the other hand, if you want more than $3,000 as a credit limit, that’s not possible with the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card. There is no credit check necessary to apply for the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card so providing your personal information and contact information and your security deposit are basically all you have to do to get the card.

This card charges an annual fee of $35. Also, this card will not convert to a regular credit card, even if your credit score improves. Overall, this card makes the most sense if you want a card without a credit check.

U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card

Strengths we like

  • Higher possible credit limit of $5,000 (based on your deposit amount)
  • No penalty APR for late payments
  • Chance to convert to a regular U.S. Bank credit card after 12 months of responsible use
  • Your security deposit is held in a savings account that earns interest

Drawbacks we don’t like

  • $29 annual fee
  • Higher interest rate, currently the variable Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases and Balance Transfers is 21.24% based on the Prime Rate

Card details we noticed

U.S.SecuredVisaCardThe U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card is another solid choice for a secured credit card. While its annual fee and interest rate are not the lowest on the market, they are still quite fair. The U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card charges a $29 annual fee and 21.24% variable APR on purchases. You can fund your secured card with a minimum of $300 and a maximum of $5,000. If your application is approved, U.S. Bank will send you a credit card with a credit line the same amount as your deposit. So it’s an option to consider if you are looking for a card that you can have a higher limit.

Another benefit is that this card does not impose a penalty APR if you miss a payment due date. Many other cards jack up your rate if you are late on even one payment. This is a helpful benefit if you are new to managing credit card payments or had trouble managing payments in the past.

Your security deposit is kept in a U.S. Bank savings account so you will earn a little interest on your deposit. At today’s rates it won’t be much, but something is better than nothing. Finally, if you manage all of your credit obligations responsibly and consistently for a set period of time, generally about 12 months, U.S. Bank may be able to upgrade you to a regular credit card that does not require a security deposit and you’ll get your deposit money back, providing you have met your obligations on the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card.

First National Bank Secured Visa® Card

Strengths we like

  • Higher possible credit limit of $5,000 (based on your deposit amount and subject to credit approval)
  • No annual fee
  • Possible credit limit increase with no extra deposit after 7 months when you use your card and make regular, on-time bill payments (subject to credit approval)
  • Chance to convert to a regular First National Bank credit card after 11 months when you maintain a good payment history (subject to credit approval)

Drawbacks we don’t like

  • Your deposit does not earn interest

Card details we noticed

We think the First National Bank Secured Visa® Card is arguably one of best secured credit cards on the market today. Why is it such a good deal? First, it does not charge an annual fee. That’s a bargain right there as most secured cards charge anywhere between $29 to $50 a year. Also, this card still has a competitive interest rate – the current variable Annual Percentage Rate (APR) for Purchases and for Balance Transfers is 20.24% based on the Prime Rate.

Subject to credit approval, you can deposit and set a credit limit between $300 and $5,000. If you make all your payments on time for at least 7 months, First National Bank may increase your credit limit without requiring an additional deposit, subject to credit approval. After you establish or improve your credit history and score, First National Bank may convert your secured card into a regular credit card after 11 months as long as you meet your financial obligations on this secured card and First National Bank will return your deposit to you.

Finally, this card does not increase your interest rate if you are late on a payment, great for people worried about deadlines.

If you’re interested here are the communities that are served, within more than 100 locations in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas. This card is not available nationwide at this time.

The First National Bank Secured Visa® Card is a solid choice overall.

Check your credit

If you’re not sure where your credit stands or what kind of card you’ll qualify for, check your free credit report card and free credit score on Credit Sesame today. Keep in mind card issuers look at other factors in addition to your credit score to determine if you will qualify for their credit card offer.

Don’t get ripped off by a low-quality secured credit card. It’s your money and your credit, so do the research and find a card that offers a fair deal. Soon enough, with responsible credit management by you, you’ll be able to qualify for one of the more generous reward credit cards and you can checkout some rewards cards from our partners on our site.


Disclaimer: All the information about the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card and First National Bank Secured Visa® Card has been collected independently by CreditSesame.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer’s of these cards. The U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card and First National Bank Secured Visa® Card are not available through CreditSesame.com.

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which this site may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Credit Sesame is an independent comparison service provider. Reasonable efforts have been made to maintain accurate information throughout our website, mobile apps, and communication methods; however, all information is presented without warranty or guarantee. The editorial content on this page (including, but not limited to, Pros and Cons) is not provided by any credit card issuer. Any opinions, analysis, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. All images and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

See the online provider’s application for details about terms and conditions. Offers are subject to change and the terms displayed may not be available to all consumers. Please visit the provider’s site for current information and verify all terms and conditions of any offer prior to applying.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Disclaimer: The article and information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

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Published October 3, 2016
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