Find the best secured credit cards

A secured credit card requires you to put down a deposit to secure a line of credit. Individuals who may not be able to get approved for an unsecured card and are working on building or rebuilding credit may benefit from this type of card. If you manage the card account responsibly, for example, by making on-time payments, you can use this card as a stepping stone to build or rebuild your credit since most secured card issuers report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus. Secured cards often have an annual fee and some may even carry an application fee so be sure to compare offers to find one that is a fit for you. We at Credit Sesame make that part of the search process easier by featuring a variety of secured cards from our partners which you can compare. The secured credit card is an option for those looking to build or rebuild their credit to a good or excellent standing.

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Why choose a secured credit card?
A secured card is the option to take when it comes to building or rebuilding credit. If you fit that criteria and have $200 or more to deposit into an account for the secured line of credit you will most likely be approved for a card once the required deposit has been made and the funds are verified.
What is a secured credit card?
A secured credit card is a type of credit card where your credit limit is based on the amount of money that you deposit into an account. If you deposit $1,000 you will either have $1,000 as an available line of credit or a percentage of that $1,000 will be available as a line of credit, again this depends on the issuer. It is important to keep in mind that this limit is not set in stone and that the bank may raise your credit limit if you manage your account responsibly such as paying your balance on-time every month. A secured card is different then a prepaid card because a secured card is a credit card, a line of credit will be extended to you based on the amount of you deposit into an account held by the card issuer, the deposit is used for collateral and you must pay the credit card balance due each month. While with a prepaid card each time you make a purchase that purchase amount is immediately deducted from the balance on the prepaid card and when the balance is gone you will need to deposit more money in order to continue to use the prepaid card.
What kind of card can I get?
If you currently have bad, poor or fair credit then this card is an option to start building or rebuilding your credit history. Although this card won’t have the best benefits and does require a deposit, it’s still a great option. Make sure to read about the benefits of each card and what they offer and compare any fees that might be charged.
What are the pros & cons?
The benefit of this type of card is that it can help you build or rebuild your credit, even if you have a low credit score right now, you can use the card as a stepping stone to establish your creditworthiness by making on-time payments and managing your account responsibly. The downside is there is a minimum deposit that has to be made in order to get started. Other downsides may include having an annual fee.

Secured Top 2

Capital One® Secured MasterCard®

The Capital One® Secured MasterCard® is an option for those who do not want to pay any annual fees while keeping all the credit building benefits with responsible card use. You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness. You can shop with this credit card at many different locations wherever MasterCard is accepted, so it is convenient and easy to use.

Customer Reviews

So I had very bad credit and got denied a couple months ago for this card. But after applying for a high rate card with a $300 limit “Bank One” and having it for about 3 months paying at least the minimum payment every month, my score was high enough to become pre-qualified for this card. They sent me letter (which they had done before and still got denied after being “pre-approved”) with a code and this time got Approved! I even added my husband to boost up his score (free card). Compared to Bank One, this is much better! But I’m keeping both open to boost my score and possibly after a month or two getting a discover student secure card. My goal is to have 3 different cards for 6 months and boost up my score to buy a Clayton House.

Having various cards from different creditors but Capital One is by far one of the best. This card is a secured card that offers a cheaper annual fee and an interest that is lower compared to other secured cards. If this is paid of on a monthly basis you avoid getting hit with interest. The customer service is great. I have always received phenomenal service. The only negative thing is that no matter how great your payment history is with this credit card, they do not offer credit line increases. You would have to pay additional deposit to increase the available credit. Other than that, great card.


This secured card can help account holders build their credit history because of regularly reporting the account activity to all three major credit bureaus, which is something that typically is not offered with prepaid cards.

Cardmembers can get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness. Cardmembers can get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed. You can manage your account 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by mobile app, online or phone. This credit card is accepted at millions of locations worldwide.

First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card is great for those who are just starting out in the credit world or for those individuals interested in rebuilding their credit. You can be approved at any credit score level, there is no minimum credit score required. There are no processing or application fees required to open this account. Credit line is secured by your fully-refundable deposit of $200 – $2,000 submitted at time of application, only apply when you have a minimum of $200 to deposit immediately from a checking account or debit card.


Account holders must make a fully refundable security deposit of at least $200 in order to open up an account and obtain a card. Your credit card account activity will be reported to the three major credit bureaus, which means it can help you establish a credit history and if you handle the account responsibly, for example, with on-time payments and staying below your limit, using this card can help you build credit. Account holders will have online access to their account activity 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

New applicants will get approved no matter what their credit score is as long as they make the minimum deposit. There is no application or processing fees associated with opening up an account. This Platinum Credit Card is the preferred method of payment with many merchants around the world. This is a nationwide program that is available everywhere except New York, Iowa, Arkansas and Wisconsin.

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Related Credit Card Options

Prepaid Cards

The prepaid card is a great way to start your experience of paying with a card instead of cash. You can use this card generally anywhere a credit card is accepted for example for online purchases or other locations that only accept credit. With a prepaid card you do not have to be concerned with credit limits since you can only spend as much as you deposit on the card and unlike debit cards you will not have overdraft fees since, again, you can only spend as much as you deposited to your card. Each time you make a purchase the purchase amount is deducted from your balance on the card, to keep using the card you will need to deposit more of your money to the card. Be sure to shop around to review any fees that may be may changed by the prepaid card issuer.

Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are your best option if you are building or rebuilding your credit. The chances of being approved for a secured card are relatively high, even with no credit history, since you are depositing your own money into an account held by the card issuer to be used as collateral toward your line of credit.

Business Credit Cards

If you run a small, medium, or even large enterprise you will be in need of a business credit card. These programs for business cards play by different rules then cards for personal use (consumer cards) and are really useful for purchasing business related products and services. In return you may be able to earn great rewards and other incentives and business discounts for example discounts on rental cars.

Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards are a great way to earn more on your every day purchases. You may be able be to also experience other great perks such as a lower interest rate and no annual fee in certain cases.

Low Interest Credit Cards

If you have been paying your balance on-time, and you have good or excellent credit then you are likely eligible for a low interest credit card. If you carry a balance you may be interested in a low interest card card, as this card will save you money on finance charges so you can have more of your monthly payment go towards paying down the principal balance. Credit cards with a low interest rate tend not to have a lot of perks so keep in mind what features and perks are important to you before you apply.

0% Introductory APR Credit Cards

If you are looking to make an expensive purchase then a 0% Introductory APR card may be a fit for you. The introductory rate usually lasts anywhere between 6 months to 21 months depending on the issuer and is a great way to save on finance charges while paying off your purchase balance.

Help: Choosing the best secured credit card

It is virtually impossible to survive as a consumer without a credit card. Too many merchants these days require their customers to use credit cards, even if they have cash available. But for those with a bad credit score, poor credit history or no credit history at all, it is going to be tough to get approved for a credit card. The only thing you can do in this situation is obtain a secured credit card instead. This is a credit card that requires you to make a refundable deposit before any credit is issued on the card. That way if you end up not paying your monthly bill, the credit card company will be able to keep your deposit and use that towards what you owe them. On the other hand, if you are able to make your monthly payments then it will build up your credit score and help increase your chances of obtaining a regular unsecured credit card in the future. That is the whole point of obtaining a secured credit card, so don’t be discouraged if there is a hefty security deposit required. Usually the deposit amount will depend on the amount of credit you want on the card. Don’t expect to get $10,000 in credit if there is only a $200 security deposit. Your initial security deposit will match the amount of credit you start off with. So if you deposit $200 then your credit will be $200 as well. However, the good news is if you keep making your monthly payments on time, the card issuer could eventually extend your credit line as you build up enough trust with them. Then if you ever decide to close your account and obtain an unsecured credit card, your initial security deposit will be refunded to you in full.
There are lots of different secured credit card plans available. Some of the features that differentiate each plan are the application fees, annual fees, minimum security deposit, credit limits, APR and whether or not the issuer reports account activity to the three major credit bureaus. You need to consider all of these features when choosing a secured credit card for yourself. Obviously you will want to choose a secured credit card with the lowest fees possible. These cards tend to have lower credit limits though, but that is okay. The idea is to start out with something simple that you can afford. The last thing you want to do is obtain a secured credit card with a high credit limit and then have fees that are too expensive for you. This will result in you not being able to make your monthly payments, which will destroy your credit score even more on a secured credit card. So choose a credit with low fees and low credit limits. Then as you progress and pay your bill responsibly each month, you can take on more risk with a higher credit limit.
The annual percentage rate, or APR, is the most important factor to consider when choosing a secured credit card because the APR tends to be higher with secured cards than with unsecured cards. If you can find a secured credit card with a 0% introductory APR then go for it, but make sure to check the APR after the introductory period expires. Sometimes they can be as high as 24.99%, which is why you want to be careful when taking on higher credit limits. The good news is that you can avoid paying any interest at all if you are able to pay your balance in full every month. You will want to have a little bit of debt accumulated though because paying off your balance in full won’t substantially improve your credit score. Believe it or not, credit bureaus give you a better credit score when you have more debt accumulated with just the minimum monthly payments made. So if you are trying to build up your credit then consider leaving some debt on your card at all times. Just make that minimum monthly payment.
The final aspect about your secured credit card that you need to consider is if it comes from a reputable bank. There are many scam companies who target people with bad or no credit by offering them secured credit cards with ridiculously high fees and interest rates. It is best to research the reputation of the company offering the credit card before signing up with them. The internet is an easy way to research the feedback and customer reviews of any company by simply typing their name into Google. If you are unable to find any information about the company then it is most likely a scam. A company that has a great reputation with lots of positive reviews is what you want to look for.

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