When it comes to credit cards, they are excellent if you have good credit. However, you may be unable to apply if you have no credit or if your credit is less than stellar. But, you do not need to worry, because you can quickly establish or rebuild your credit with a secured credit card.
When you apply for a secured credit card, you must put money down as collateral. In terms of functioning, secured credit cards are the same as any other credit card. But, secured credit cards frequently have a lower credit line and higher fees because the bank holds them.
A secured credit card is virtually equivalent in terms of credit limit, interest costs, and rewards that may be accrued. To obtain a line of credit, you must first make a deposit, and your credit limit is often determined by the amount you deposit.
When you responsibly use a secured card, your information is relayed to the major credit bureaus, which helps increase your credit score and puts you on the path to qualifying for an unsecured card.
So, read on to see our list of the top five best secured credit cards that we compiled after extensive research.
5 Best Secured No-Credit-Check-Cards for Bad Credit:
- First Progress: Best Overall Secured Credit Card Issuer Company
- OpenSky: Best for No Credit Check
- Discover it: Best for Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Navy Federal nRewards: Best for Navy Federal Members
- Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards: Best for High Potential Credit Limit
#1. First Progress: Best Overall Secured Credit Card Issuer Company
Anyone who needs a secured credit card but does not want to undertake a credit check might look into the First Progress Secured Credit Card. Even if you have never had a credit problem, you can benefit from faster processing from this firm. To begin building your credit history, you have to pay a $200 refundable deposit to the three major credit bureaus.
Because it is one of the highest-rated secured credit cards, the $49 annual fee is lower than others. On the other hand, the variable APR is only 10.24% (V), making it a fantastic value. It is challenging to find a lower APR than this. Furthermore, the fees for extra services are pretty low.
A 3% surcharge is applied to transactions conducted outside of the United States. Cash advance fees are 3% of the total transaction amount, or $10. If you are late with your payment, you could face a fine of up to $40.
Despite the lack of incentives or distinctive advantages, this secured credit card is a good alternative for credit development due to its low APR and lack of fees. However, Arkansas, Iowa, and New York residents cannot benefit from it.
Compared to many other secured credit cards, the First Progress credit card has one of the lowest APRs on the market. However, compared to the $2,000 maximum amount, the $49 yearly fee may not be as helpful.
No Credit History Required
First Progress Platinum Mastercard, like all other First Progress cards, does not require a credit history or score. When you open the card, you must make a deposit in case you fail to make payments.
- Low-interest rate
- Suitable for people with bad or no credit
- Reports to the three major credit bureaus
- Includes purchase protection, roadside and travel assistance, and other benefits
- Credit limit increases will happen over time
- No option for balance transfers
The First Progress Credit Card has an annual fee, but many users are prepared to pay for two reasons. First, there is no credit check. Second, you can also use a money order or Western Union payment to finance your deposit or pay your bill if you do not have a standard banking account. The low APR of the First Progress Mastercard Secured Credit Card makes it an attractive option, but other cards can do the same thing for less money.
#2. OpenSky: Best for No Credit Check
The OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is a great option for bad credit holders, and it claims that 99% of its users with no credit earned a credit score after six months of use, However, it is not
the most competitive option available. If you want to build credit with a credit card but have little or no credit history, you should look into these secured credit cards as a first step.
Its low annual percentage rate (APR) of 17.39% gives it an advantage over other cards that offer automatic credit line upgrades, cashback, and other perks. The OpenSky Secured credit card does not come with a sign-up bonus. Instead of providing additional benefits, this secured card assists you in building your credit. You can always convert to a rewards credit card if you have enough credit to qualify for a new card and receive a sign-up bonus.
No Credit Check Required
When you sign up for an account with OpenSky, the firm does not check your credit history. As a result, you will have to pay a security deposit ranging from $200 to $3,000. You can close the account and get your money back once you have paid everything off. A large pull on your credit is not required because your down payment reduces the lender’s risk.
Traditional Visa Perks
With the Visa network’s base-level cards, all Visa-branded, there is no fraud liability and 24-hour assistance if your card is lost or stolen and you require a replacement. If you are concerned about identity theft, the ID Navigator tools you will receive can monitor the dark web for your personal information and alert you to suspicious activities.
- Lower APR
- Credit limit of up to $3,000 available
- No credit check required
- All overseas transactions are subject to a 3% fee, which is higher than other companies
According to the OpenSky credit card’s website, using their secured credit card can help you improve your credit score in six months. However, numerous online evaluations have revealed that they strongly disagree with this claim. Some users claimed slight improvement in their credit score after months of using the card, while others reported significant gains in just a few months.
Furthermore, reviews appear to agree that contacting customer service may be difficult. Contacting OpenSky’s customer support is problematic because it does not train its personnel to be more helpful and friendly to people.
#3. Discover it: Best for Cash Rewards Credit Card
Discover it Secured Credit Card is a great option for people who frequently spend money on gasoline and eating out, as they can get 2% cashback on both. Even if you are not a frequent driver or diner, the 1% cashback on all other transactions can quickly add up, especially in your first year with the card when these points are matched after the first year of account activation.
Discover it secured credit cards might be a good choice for people who already have a lot of debt on other cards that charge a lot of money. Amount transfers are eligible for a six-month introductory APR of 10.99%, which is likely to be lower than the interest rate on your current credit card balance.
If you fail to make a credit card payment, you will receive a little but welcome bonus. The $40 late payment fee is eliminated on your first late payment, but the interest charges that will accumulate if you do not pay the balance in full by the due date remain.
Reviewed to Convert Into Unsecured Card
With Discover it secured card, you may swiftly transition to an unsecured credit card. Certain secured cards ask you to obtain a card review to transfer from the secured card. But after eight months of being a cardholder, Discover it will automatically examine your account to see if you are eligible for an unsecured card.
If this occurs, the company will refund your security deposit if you follow the right processes to obtain an unsecured card, and you will have access to all of its benefits moving forward, with no additional applications or account closures required.
Discover it’s cashback is offered to new Discover Secured Credit Card customers. You will receive double the rewards you earned in your first year of membership as a Discover cardholder. Cashback rates are already very high, and as a result, a secured card has a significant benefit.
- Substantial perks
- New cardholders are given a significant bonus
- Convert secured credit card to an unsecured one automatically
- Interest rates are higher
- Maximum credit limit is relatively low
The Discover it card has monthly reviews to see if you can get your deposit back, which lets you earn rewards while building credit. As a result, this card is more transparent than many competitors. You can start developing your credit history right away with the Discover it Secured Credit Card, whether you have bad credit or are new to borrowing money from banks.
#4. Navy Federal nRewards: Best for Navy Federal Members
The Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card is an excellent option for military-affiliated customers. Military members, Delayed Entry Program employees, Department of Defense (DoD) workers, and contractors assigned to DoD installations, as well as their families, are eligible to join.
If you qualify for this secured credit card, you will not have to pay an annual fee, balance transfer fee, international transaction fee, or cash advance fee. As an added benefit, you will receive one reward point for every dollar spent.
If you decide to apply, you must pay a $200 security deposit. Navy Federal Credit Union even promises to check to see if you can switch to unsecured cards after three months and every month after six months. The perks of this card include rental car and cell phone coverage.
Less Initial Deposit Requirement and Refund
The Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Credit Card requires a $200 security deposit, and Navy Federal Credit Union judges your creditworthiness and income adequately to support the credit limit you have requested. Your deposit will always be equal to your credit line in this instance.
Suppose the credit union deems that you have used credit responsibly and have paid your bills on time after six billing cycles. In that case, you will be upgraded to a non-secured Navy Federal Credit Union Cash Rewards Credit Card. Your security deposit will be returned to you once the update is completed.
Ability to Earn Rewards
Navy Federal Credit Union cards provide perks to clients with less-than-perfect credit, which is unusual for such cards. Each net purchase earns you one point, and there is no limit to the number of rewards you can win. You may redeem your points for cashback, products, or gift cards worth a penny each.
- Qualify with bad credit
- No annual or hidden fees
- Reports to the three major credit bureaus
- Transferring a balance is free of charge
- No fees for conducting international transactions
- Strict rules and regulations to qualify for the credit card
The Navy Federal secured credit card is a generous secured credit card with low fees, a rich rewards program, and advantageous interest rates. Let us say you can get your hands on it. Well, most Americans will not use this card unless Navy Federal Credit Union loosens its eligibility requirements, allowing more people to open accounts.
#5. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards: Best for High Potential Credit Limit
Cardholders of the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card can choose a 3% reward category and update it monthly. Cardholders who spend up to $2,500 each quarter will receive bonus points and 2% cashback at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
You would get 1% cashback on every transaction. If you have Preferred Rewards, you can earn 25-75% more cashback on every transaction. Cardholders receive a $200 online cash rewards incentive after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening.
Purchases and balance transfers within the first 60 days qualify for a 0% introductory annual percentage rate for 15 billing cycles. If you need to pay down a high-interest credit card balance, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card can help you save money on interest rates. There is a limit on the percentage of prizes received in the 3% and 2% reward categories. Cardholders are charged a 3% balance transfer fee, with a $10 minimum.
Generous Cashback Rewards
You can earn 3% cashback on your chosen bonus category when using this card for gas, online shopping, restaurants, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. It is entirely up to you whether or not to alter the category, but you must do so for at least one month. The card provides 2% cashback in grocery stores and wholesale clubs and 1% cashback on all other purchases.
Introductory 0% APR Offer
This card is a great way to transfer debt from another card or make significant purchases without incurring interest. New purchases and balance transfers made within the first 60 days after account opening are eligible for a 0% introductory rate for the first 15 billing cycles; however, a balance transfer fee of 3% of the transferred amount, or $10, applies. The APR ranges between 13.99% to 23.99% following the introductory period.
Multiple Rewards Redemptions Options
Bank of America offers all of the cash back incentives through statement credit, direct transfers into a Bank of America bank or savings account, credit to an eligible Cash Management Account or qualifying Merrill 529, and checks delivered directly to you.
There is no minimum rewards redemption requirement for statement credit, Merrill Cash Management Account credits, or electronic deposits into a Bank of America checking or savings account. The minimum for all other options is $25.
- Easy-to-use reward scheme
- Unsecured credit card available
- Preferred Rewards members can earn even more rewards
- Fee for overseas transactions
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card may be an excellent alternative if you choose your bonus categories for your rewards credit card. You can select a new bonus category each month with this card to optimize your rewards.
Facts to Consider When Picking the Best Secured Credit Cards
Ability to Upgrade
Upgrading from a secured card program to an unsecured card is available in various circumstances. On the other hand, issuers’ upgrade procedures for cardholders differ significantly. Furthermore, not all issuers provide a mechanism to graduate. You may be able to obtain an unsecured credit card from a different issuer as your credit improves.
Secured credit cards frequently have lower credit limits (or credit lines). You may be eligible for a higher credit line if you have a positive credit history and a substantial deposit. Only a few credit card providers will give you a credit line between 125% and 150% of the amount you deposit.
The best credit-building credit card providers will review your account within 6 to 12 months. Once you have made all of your payments on time, you can request a credit limit increase or switch to an unsecured credit card.
It is difficult for people with poor credit to avoid credit card fees, and some of the best secured credit cards charge annual fees of up to $90. This, however, does not apply to all cards. Many people find it difficult to justify owning a credit card due to the yearly fee they must pay regardless of whether or not they use the card. However, if a secured card follows a model that includes several credit-building elements and additional perks, it may be worth the cost. You can receive credit-building goods, such as a credit-building account that requires you to repay a small installment loan to qualify for future credit and loans.
The annual membership fee is usually deducted from your amount when you open a secured credit card account. But, you should consider that these cards allow you to spread out the fee over some time.
You must pay a security deposit before you may get a credit card. Your credit history will determine the actual fee, but you could anticipate spending somewhere between $200 and $2,500. The higher credit limit on most debit cards is equal to the deposit. To receive your money back, you must close the account or upgrade to an unencumbered credit card. Choose a deposit amount that you can live without for at least a year or more.
Several secured credit card issuers allow you to pre-qualify if you wish to avoid a rigorous credit investigation. However, federal law requires that issuers verify who you say you are. When applying for a secured credit card, be prepared for a hard inquiry as a precaution. It makes no difference how many points you lose in the grand scheme of things.
When getting a secured credit card, you should ensure the company reports your activity to all three major credit bureaus, as that will increase your credit score.
FAQs: Secured Credit Cards
Q1. How Are Secured Credit Credit Cards Different from Prepaid Debit Cards?
Your debit card has the same amount of money on it that is in your bank account. It is important to note that a secured debit card is not like a traditional credit card in that you do not have to pay off the entire debt while making a transaction. If you have $500 on a prepaid debit card and spend $250 of it, you still have $250 remaining on the card. Unless you add more cash, no money is left on the card.
Secured credit cards for bad credit can help you repair your credit, whereas prepaid and debit cards do not. Keeping your debt under control and paying your bills on time and in full sends a favorable message to the credit reporting agencies.
Q2. How Do You Use a Secured Credit Card?
If you want to enhance your credit rating, you should get a secured credit card. You will want to make sure you are ready to handle the card responsibly in light of this. Small purchases should be your first foray into using a secured credit card. To maintain your credit utilization as low as possible, pay your secured credit card account in full each month. Use your credit card regularly and pay it off on time each month to build credit scores. If your card issuer offers an autopay capability, you can think about charging a small recurring sum to your card and enabling autopay on your card.
Additionally, you may want to keep an eye on your credit rating during this period. If you are using a secured credit card, you will be able to see your credit score each month. Eventually, your credit score will rise as you pay your credit card bills on time.
Q3. How Do Secured Credit Cards Work?
It is just like any other credit card when it comes to secured credit cards. What makes the difference between a credit card and a debit card is that you will need to put a refundable deposit into your account to receive a credit card.
Depending on the size of your security deposit, you may have a lower credit line on your account. If you do not repay your credit card bill, the credit card issuer may hold some or all of your deposit to settle the outstanding debt. However, if you close your account after paying all of your expenses, it will return the total amount.
Q4. Can I Only Get a Secured Card if I Am from the U.S.?
Historically, most arrivals to the United States have had to start again to establish a credit history. You can now utilize Nova Credit to translate your overseas credit history into an equivalent report for U.S. lenders through our partner companies if you are from nations like Mexico, India, or Canada and have a record of on-time payments at home.
The ability to share your worldwide credit history with companies like American Express through a partnership with Nova Credit is becoming increasingly common. To begin building your local credit scores in the United States, you need to use credit you have already earned in other countries. We have put together a list of unsecured credit cards that we recommend for newcomers to the United States.
Q5. What Role Do Secured Cards Play in Credit Score Building?
A credit card that needs a security deposit is a secured credit card. As long as you pay on time and do not exceed your credit limit, your credit card issuer will report your excellent conduct to the credit agencies that determine your score. If you are considering a secured line of credit, make sure it reports to the major credit bureaus.
Q6. How Fast Can You Rebuild a Credit Line with a Secured Card?
This depends on how low your credit rating is at the moment. Adding a recent bankruptcy, foreclosure, or another significant negative item to your credit report can take up to a year before you see any improvement. There is a good chance that your credit will improve after a few months of late payments.
Every wrong item that appears on your credit record for a specific time must be removed from your credit report. To keep your credit score from suffering, you must replace outdated and harmful things with newer and more favorable ones.
Q7. What Is the Minimum Credit Score Needed to Get the Best Secured Credit Cards?
Having a security deposit is enough to compensate for any lack of credit history or previous credit blunders you may have had. Secured credit cards may not be available to those recently freed from bankruptcy, having an unverifiable income, or not having enough money to make the security deposit. If you have just gone through a foreclosure or have outstanding debts, you may not be able to get a loan.
You can call the card’s issuer and explain your situation to a representative if you are denied. The bank may be more likely to evaluate your request for credit if they have some background information to go on, so this is not a guarantee.
Q8. What Is the Difference Between Unsecured and Secured Credit Cards?
Loans based on the borrower’s credit history, character, and repayment ability are known as unsecured credit loans. There is a degree of trust involved in lending money even though a borrower legally owns it. The borrower must put up a kind of collateral to guarantee the loan to obtain secured credit. Defaulting on a secured loan gives the lender the right to keep the collateral.
Final Thoughts – Where to Get Secured Credit Cards?
We have examined over 300 secured credit cards to find the best solution for our users. Each piece of information we collect is given a star rating depending on how it compares to similar features on other cards.
They were then weighted based on the value of these traits in various card categories. The above mentioned best secured credit cards are based on APR and minimum deposit requirements. Credit card issuer data is regularly checked, and our ratings and rankings are updated. And after all of that research, we chose First Progress Secured Credit Card as our #1 best secured credit card among all.