Best secured credit cards for August 2021

A standard credit card enables you to conveniently make purchases and pay for them later. But you probably have minimal or dangerous credit or a troubled monetary historical past, an everyday credit card may not be inside attain. Enter the secured credit card.

In a nutshell, a secured credit card asks for an upfront safety deposit, and your “credit limit” is the same as the quantity you deposit. Kind of like a pay as you go card, you are primarily borrowing in opposition to your self and paying your self again while you make your month-to-month cost. It’s an association that is significantly helpful for somebody who wants a credit builder account to point out they will reliably pay a invoice every month. 

With a secured credit card, in case you promptly pay your assertion stability every month, you’ll watch your credit rating enhance. In truth, fairly than consider it as a credit card, it is likely to be greatest to contemplate a secured credit card as a software that will help you build or repair your credit.     

As such, our suggestions for one of the best secured credit card have two key options: no annual charge and the chance to get well your deposit and transition to a traditional, unsecured card as soon as your credit is in higher form. We’ve additionally included an possibility right here for these with a very dangerous credit rating who is likely to be trying to keep away from a hard credit check. Here are our picks for one of the best secured credit card — adopted by solutions to steadily requested questions on how a secured credit card works. We’ll periodically replace this listing as new choices change into accessible.

Best secured credit card

Capital One

APR: 26.99% variable APR
Annual charge: $0
Credit line limits: $200 to $1,000
Deposit refund: Considered for refundable safety deposit beginning at 6 months
Deposit refund element: “We will monitor your account, and as you use it responsibly by doing things like making on-time payments, you may be able to earn back your deposit as a statement credit.”
Other charges: Late cost: as much as $40
Credit test: Soft test for preapproval, arduous test with utility

The Capital One Secured Mastercard could provide you with as much as $200 in credit while you deposit between $49 and $99 — making it one of many few secured cards to supply precise credit. (Your explicit phrases rely in your particular utility and credit rating.) And this card checks all the containers: $0 annual charge, modest minimal safety deposit of $49 — and the chance to get your minimal deposit again after you promptly pay your assertion for six months. Also good: Capital One will preapprove you with a tender credit test, offering a risk-free peek at eligibility earlier than you submit an official utility to the credit card firm. 

Best secured credit card with a better credit line restrict

Bank of America

APR: 22.99% variable APR
Annual charge: $0
Credit line limits: $300 to $4,900
Deposit refund: Periodic review
Deposit refund element: “We’ll periodically review your account and, based on your overall credit history (including your account with us and other credit cards and loans), you may qualify to have your security deposit returned.”
Other charges: Late cost: as much as $40; returned cost: as much as $29
Credit test: Hard test with utility

The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card provides the desk stakes: a $0 annual charge and a possibility to get your deposit again and transition to a typical Visa credit card account. The solely actual potential disadvantage is the marginally greater minimal credit line: $300, which is $100 greater than our different prime picks. Still, it is a stable providing from a well known nationwide financial institution with stable on-line instruments and loads of retail areas. 

Best secured credit card with rewards


APR: 22.99% variable APR
Annual charge: $0
Credit line limits: $200 to $2,500
Deposit refund: Monthly review beginning at eight months
Deposit refund element: “Automatic monthly reviews at eight months to see if your account qualifies to ‘graduate’ after showing responsible use of all your credit over time.”
Other charges: Late cost: as much as $40 (waived for first late cost); returned cost: as much as $40
Credit test: Hard test with utility

Another glorious selection, the Discover it Secured credit card provides a $0 annual charge and $200 minimal credit line. You could qualify for a deposit refund after eight months of paying your assertion in full and on time.

It’s price noting that this card additionally encompasses a rewards program — although be cautioned that it may tempt you to spend greater than you may afford. And in case you’re accepted for the cardboard with a decrease credit line restrict, the two% money again at gasoline stations and eating places (on as much as $1,000 in mixed quarterly purchases, then 1%) and 1% money again on different purchases will not quantity to a lot, anyway.

Best secured credit card with no credit test required


APR: 17.39% variable APR
Annual charge: $35
Credit line limits: $200 to $3,000
Deposit refund: None
Deposit refund element: N/A
Other charges: Late cost: as much as $38; returned cost: as much as $25
Credit test: None

The OpenSky Secured credit card utility does not require a credit check, making it a very good possibility — and maybe a final resort — for individuals with low credit scores. If you have been declined by one other issuer, this card could also be a very good second selection.

But you will should pay the value: There’s a $35 annual charge. And on condition that a part of the credit rehab course of is leaving credit accounts open for so long as attainable — so as to build back a credit history and work toward lower credit utilization, you might find yourself paying that annual charge for years to come back. Still, if the cardboard helps rebuild your credit, it is nicely price the associated fee. 

Best secured credit cards, in contrast

Card issuer Capital One Secured BankAmericard Secured Discover it Secured OpenSky Secured
Annual charge None None None $35
APR 26.99% variable 22.99% variable 22.99% variable 17.39% variable
Credit line limits $200 to $1,000 $300 to $4,900 $200 to $2,500 $200 to $3,000
Deposit refund Considered for greater credit line and deposit refund beginning at 6 months Periodic review of account for deposit refund Monthly review beginning at 8 months to refund deposit None
Other charges Late cost: as much as $40 Late cost: as much as $40; returned cost: as much as $29 Late cost: as much as $40 (waived for first late cost); returned cost: as much as $40 Late cost: as much as $38; returned cost: as much as $25
Credit test sort Soft for preapproval, arduous with utility Hard Hard None

What is a secured credit card?

This sort of credit card normally requires an upfront deposit equal to the credit restrict. So, for a card with a credit restrict of $500, you’d have to deposit $500. Secured credit cards are nonetheless topic to late and rejected cost charges and generate curiosity on excellent balances. As such, a secured credit card presents decrease threat to card issuers and permits them to increase strains of credit to debtors who do not have good credit or meet the minimal credit rating threshold.

How a lot ought to I deposit once I open an account?

We suggest depositing not more than $300 to $400 for a secured credit card. Given that you simply wish to hold your credit utilization low by paying off the account two or thrice per 30 days, the precise restrict does not matter an excessive amount of. Any further funds ought to be positioned in a checking account (both checking or financial savings) to make sure you’re holding your card stability at $0.

How is my credit rating calculated?

Credit scores are calculated by taking a look at quite a lot of components associated to your private credit, together with size of credit historical past, cost historical past, quantities owed, new credit and credit combine. The actual weight of every issue relies on the rating mannequin (FICO, VantageScore, or different) and your personal credit historical past. If, for instance, you don’t have any credit historical past, the opposite components could also be weighted extra closely. (Check out this article for extra info on credit scores.) 

How lengthy does it take to enhance my credit rating?

After opening a secured credit card account, it would take round one to 2 months for the secured credit card issuer to report it to a serious credit bureau, at which level it would start impacting your credit report and your credit rating. Then it takes a number of further months earlier than the account’s exercise is substantial sufficient to make a distinction. If you preserve a low or $0 stability and handle the remainder of your monetary home responsibly, you can increase your rating a number of hundred factors in a yr or two, nevertheless it’ll rely in your explicit state of affairs. If you might have an extended credit historical past with a lot of points, it would take longer. If you might have a shorter historical past, every month’s exercise will play a a lot bigger function. 

Why do you suggest paying off the account two to 3 occasions a month?

By paying off your account greater than as soon as a month, you tremendously scale back the danger of paying late, lacking a cost or getting charged curiosity for an excellent stability. We suggest selecting set days to make funds, just like the fifteenth and thirtieth of each month, or the tenth, twentieth and thirtieth. 

How usually ought to I take advantage of my secured credit card?

Swipe it two or thrice a month to make sure the account is taken into account lively. There’s simply no motive to make use of it any greater than that, or make it your major approach of paying for issues. A secured credit card is a software for repairing broken credit from an unsecured card or cards or establishing and constructing credit. To simplify your funds, it is best to make different purchases with money or a debit card. Studies show that customers who pay with credit are likely to spend greater than they’d in the event that they paid with money, so in case you’re attempting to proper the ship or begin heading in the right direction, it is best to first set up a finances by means of money or debit card purchases to make sure you do not spend past that finances.

Should I hold a secured credit card as soon as my credit is in higher form?

Yes. Keeping the account open, lively, and with a $0 stability will proceed to enhance your credit rating because the size of the credit historical past grows and also you preserve a low credit utilization.

Is there ever a state of affairs once I would use a secured credit card like a stability switch credit card?

No. We do not ever suggest transferring a stability to a secured credit card. Some web sites could tout explicit secured credit cards for introductory 0% APR provides however we strongly advise in opposition to transferring a stability. If you are trying for a card for stability transfers, take a look at our article on the best balance transfer credit cards or look into different methods of coping with credit card debt.

More credit card suggestions

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