If your credit is poor, or you have little or no credit, a secured card or a card designed for those with less than stellar credit could be a good choice. These cards often come with annual fees, higher interest rates, and low credit limits but if managed responsibly over time, they could be nice stepping-stones to better credit and better credit card options.
In the case of a secured card, the credit card issuer will request that you make a security deposit in an account held by the credit card company in order to issue the card. That’s where the name comes from. The credit line is “secured” with your deposit. Secured cards are an option for those looking to build or rebuild credit so use these cards responsibly, make your payments on-time and keep your balance low in relation to your credit limit.
As your credit profile improves, you’ll hopefully be able to upgrade to a card with lower interest rates and higher credit limits – cards traditionally reserved for those with great credit.
If you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit and bounce back from past credit problems, here are some of our credit card picks. We listed both secured and unsecured cards.
We updated these offers for 2017.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®
The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® offers cardmembers a way to earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases including when you buy gas or groceries or if you use your card to pay for services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV (terms apply). They report your account activity monthly to all three major credit bureaus. This card offers a variable APR of 16.99% – 24.99% for purchases depending on creditworthiness and an annual fee of $0–$99. What’s great about this card is that consumers can get pre-qualified without harming your credit score and this is an unsecured credit card – not a debit, prepaid, or secured card.
Learn more about Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®
Capital One® Secured MasterCard®
The Capital One® Secured MasterCard® is another great option for those trying to build or rebuild credit, and reports to all three major credit reporting agencies. You can get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness. You may qualify for a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed. The variable purchase APR is currently 24.99%, and there is no annual fee.
Learn more about Capital One® Secured MasterCard®
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
As the name suggests, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® requires a security deposit to “secure” and open the account, which is refundable providing you have met all your financial obligations made with the Card. Credit limits range from $200 to $3,000 based on the initial security deposit you make. This card has a $35 annual fee and a 18.39% variable purchase APR. No credit check is required to apply. This card also reports to all three credit reporting agencies so it’s an option for those that need to build or rebuild credit and are unable to qualify for an unsecured credit card.
Learn more about OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
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