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Best Secured Credit Cards for 2021

Edvisors rates credit cards objectively based on credit card features, fees and interest rates, as well as how a credit card compares with similar cards within the same category. "Best" determinations are solely the opinion of Edvisors.

What Is a Secured Credit Card?  

Getting a credit card can be tricky. You need to have acceptable credit to qualify for one, but what if you haven’t established credit yet, or have poor FICO®credit score? Secured credit cards are a great option for those with little or no credit to establish credit or as a tool for those with damaged credit to work toward rebuilding it.

A secured credit card works like a traditional credit card, with one major difference. When you open a secured credit card, you will provide a deposit to the credit card company, often equal to your limit, which reduces risk for the credit card issuer.

Some secured credit cards will allow you to upgrade to an unsecured credit card once you’ve proven you are a responsible borrower by paying your bill on-time.

Secured credit card deposit minimums will vary by lender, but you should be prepared to provide a deposit of at least $200.

Let’s take a look at some of the best secured credit cards available today.

Best Secured Credit Cards for Students

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

This secured credit card has a lower annual fee of $29, which might still seem steep for some students. You must also be a U.S. resident outside of New York, Iowa, Arkansas and Wisconsin to apply. Here are some of the benefits:

  • There is no hard credit check for this credit card.
  • The credit limit ranges from $200 to $2,000.
  • The APR is low for a secured credit card at 19.99% variable.

Applied Bank Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Card

This credit card is an excellent choice for those with bad or no credit. This card offers a low fixed-rate APR that will not go up, even if you are late with your payments. You may also increase your limit up to $5,000 by adding additional deposits at any time. Features include:

  • No credit check or minimum FICO® credit score required
  • Low minimum deposit of $200
  • Automatic reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Good for those with no credit or bad credit

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured

This secured credit card some with an expedited processing option and online application. You credit line will be secured by your fully refundable deposit of $200 to $2,000. Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus will help you build or rebuild your credit with responsible use. Features include:

  • No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval
  • Pay off your balance and receive your deposit back at any time
  • 24/7 online access to your account
  • Apply in minutes with no negative impact to your FICO® credit score

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

This card comes with a $35 annual fee, which is the highest on the list. Aside from this, the card does bring some good strengths to the table:

  • You can deposit money and pay bills even without access to a bank account.
  • OpenSky provides financial literacy tools to help with money management and credit building.
  • The issuer does not complete a credit check.
  • The credit limit ranges from $200 to $3,000.

Merrick Bank Secured Visa®

The Merrick Bank Secured Visa® allows you to set your own credit limit based on the amount of your deposit, from $200 to $3,000. You may also increase your deposit at any time by adding money to your deposit, up to the $3,000 limit. Other features include:

  • Account reviewed after 9 months for a credit line increase without additional deposit
  • 100% U.S.-based customer service and get your FICO® Credit Score free each month
  • Fraud coverage if your card gets lost
  • 24/7 access to your account

Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard®

Open your account with a credit line of $200 to $5,000 depending on your deposit. There is no minimum credit score required to apply making this card great for those with limited or poor credit. Other features include:

  • Reporting to three national credit bureaus
  • Fast and easy application process
  • Open your personal savings deposit account to secure your line

Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit

Secured Mastercard® from Capital One

This secured credit card is a great choice if you’re looking to rebuild your credit. Your usage habits will be reported to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Transunion and Equifax), which will help to improve your credit score with responsible usage. Features include:

  • No annual fee
  • Automatic consideration for a higher credit line in as little as six months with no additional deposit
  • Easily manage your account with 24/7 online access, telephone customer service, or by using their mobile app
  • Good for those with limited or bad credit

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

This credit card comes highly recommended by several personal finance website for students. Approval odds are great even for poor FICO® scores ranging from 300 to 629. These are some of its best features:

  • 2% cash back on restaurant and gas purchases up to $1,000 per quarter
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • $0 annual fee
  • Potential for an upgrade to a regular credit card after 8 months
  • Credit limit of $200 to $2,500.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Build credit with this secured credit card and monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus. Get a credit limit equal to your security deposit, with a minimum deposit of $200. Additional features include:

  • Flexible payment due dates
  • Manage your account 24/7 online, by phone or with their app
  • Get help staying on track with auto-pay and account alerts

Surge Secured Mastercard®

The Surge Secured Mastercard® is opened with an initial deposit of $300, which becomes your credit line. You’ll also get free monthly access to your Vantage 3.0 Score from TransUnion (one of the three major credit reporting bureaus), when you sign up for e-statements. Other features include:

  • 1% cash back rewards on every purchase
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • $0 fraud liability
  • Easy application process; get your results in seconds

PCB Secured Visa®

The PCB Secured Visa® is a great choice for those with bad or no credit. Upon credit approval, your initial deposit (between $200 and $1,000) will become your credit limit. After the first year you may request to increase your credit limit up to a maximum of $5,000 subject to credit approval and additional collateral deposits. Features include:

  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • 24/7 online account center
  • Low fixed purchase APR
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