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8 Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit – Reviews & Comparison


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Millions of Americans have imperfect credit due to bankruptcy, foreclosure, crushing medical or student loan debts, and other financial black marks. A bad credit score can affect your ability to secure an affordable home loan, rent an apartment, get a cell phone, and even find a job.

While credit counseling and debt management plans can help you repair your credit over time, and a debt consolidation loan (a common type of unsecured personal loan) can streamline your ongoing debt service, there’s no magic cure.

For other folks, the problem isn’t bad credit so much as no credit. Consumers who haven’t previously used credit are ciphers to lenders and credit card companies, which are understandably wary about lending to people without a track record of timely repayments.

Whether you’re dealing with the negative effects of bad credit, or simply don’t have much of a credit history to speak of, applying for a secured credit card could end up being a critical first step on your path out of the credit wilderness.

What Are Secured Credit Cards?

Most credit cards are unsecured. Unsecured cardholders aren’t required to put up any collateral before using their cards.

Secured credit cards are different. They require cardholders to make cash deposits, usually equal to (and sometimes greater than) their initial credit limits, before making charges. These deposits, and the corresponding credit limits, are often low compared to unsecured credit cards’ spending limits — rarely more than $500 at the outset.

Over time, issuers reward cardholders for timely payments by increasing their spending limits, in many cases without asking for an additional deposit.

Secured card issuers scrupulously report cardholders’ spending and payment patterns to consumer credit bureaus. For cardholders who use their cards judiciously and make timely payments, this builds and improves credit over time. For cardholders who pay their balances late or not at all, or max out their cards’ spending limits, this ongoing reporting can have negative consequences.

Many cardholders use secured cards temporarily, for credit-building or -improvement purposes. Once their credit is on better footing, they close their accounts and receive their deposits back.

Many secured credit card issuers allow cardholders in good standing to graduate to unsecured credit cards after a year or two, eliminating the hassle of closing accounts and applying for new cards.

With these basics in mind, let’s take a look at the best secured credit cards on the market today.

Pro tip: In addition to using a secured credit card to help improve your credit, we also recommend signing up for Experian Boost. Typically bills such as cable and utilities do not affect your credit – positively or negatively. However, with this free program, you can use the on-time payment for these bills to help boost your credit score.


Best Secured Credit Cards

These are the best secured credit cards on the market right now. Which one is the best fit for your spending and credit-building needs?


1. Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card

Innovative Underwriting Procedures; Up to 10% Cash Back From Select Merchants

Petal 1 Card Art

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The Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card is not a secured credit card. But it does use innovative cashflow underwriting to empower those looking to build and rebuild their credit scores.

The result: eligible applicants with lower credit scores may be approved for a Petal 1 card with a high limit credit card and no annual fee. Purchases with select merchants may earn up to 10% cash back, too.

Other Petal 1 features worth mentioning include:

  • No annual fee
  • $300 to $5,000 credit limits
  • Variable APRs ranging from 19.99% – 29.49%
  • 2% to 10% cash back from select merchants
  • No international fees

Intrigued? Here’s what else you need to know about this card.

  • Sign-up Bonus: There’s presently no sign-up bonus. Check with Petal for up-to-date information about limited-time promotions.
  • Earning Rewards: Purchases with select Petal partner merchants may earn 2% to 10% cash back.
  • Redeeming Rewards: Cash back doesn’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. You can redeem in any amount for a statement credit and for paper checks once your cash back balance hits $20 (the minimum redemption check size is $20).
  • Key Fees: Petal 1 does not charge an annual fee or international transaction fee.
  • Introductory APR: None.
  • APR: The variable regular purchase APR ranges from 19.99% to 29.49%.
  • Other Perks: Take advantage of Petal’s powerful mobile app to manage your money, track your spending, and automate payments.

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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2. Secured Sable ONE Credit Card

Earn Cash Back on All Eligible Purchases

Sable One Secured Card Art 8 25 21

The Secured Sable ONE Credit Card has an unusually generous rewards program that pays at least 1% cash back on eligible purchases and 2% cash back on everyday purchases with Amazon, Whole Foods, Uber, Uber Eats, Spotify, Netflix, and more. That’s a far better rate of return than most secured credit cards.

There’s more. With no SSN required during the application process and no U.S. credit history required as a condition of approval for noncitizens, the Secured Sable ONE card is ideal for new arrivals to the U.S. Boost your credit score to 700 or higher within 12 months to earn a $25 bonus, and make timely payments with responsible utilization to qualify for unsecured status in as little as 4 months.

  • Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
  • APR: The purchase APR is the Prime rate plus 6.99%.
  • Other Perks: Enjoy premium perks like cell phone protection and car rental insurance coverage at no additional out of pocket cost.

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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3. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

Minimal Fees; Possibility of Credit Limit Greater Than Initial Deposit; Credit Limit Increases Without Additional Deposits

capital one secured mastercard

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is one of the few secured credit cards that entitles some cardholders to a credit limit greater than their initial deposit. It’s also noteworthy for comparatively low fees and a smooth process for qualifying for credit limit increases. Said increases don’t necessarily require additional cash deposits, further reducing the card’s cost.

This card reports payments and credit utilization to all three major consumer credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion.

Deposit Requirements, Benefits, and Restrictions

This card requires a minimum refundable security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, depending on your credit profile. You need to make the deposit within 80 days of applying for the card. Regardless of your deposit size, your initial credit limit is at least $200. It can range up to $1,000, depending on your creditworthiness.

To raise your credit limit, you can make additional deposits in $20 increments, up to the $1,000 maximum. If you demonstrate a pattern of reliable payments over several consecutive billing cycles, you can access a higher credit line without an additional deposit. Capital One has sole discretion over amount and frequency of these “free” credit limit increases.

  • Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost $10 or 3% of the total amount, whichever is greater.
  • APR: The purchase APR is variable, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. Notably, there’s no penalty APR.
  • Other Perks: You get free, unlimited access to your credit score. You also get full access to Capital One CreditWise, which also includes a “what-if simulator” that lets you run different scenarios to predict changes in your credit score and debt load.

See our Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card Review for more information. Find out how you can apply for this card here.

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4. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Low APR and Reasonable Fees; No Credit Check Necessary With Application

opensky secured visa card

Although it comes with a moderate annual fee, the OpenSky Secured Visa credit card boasts one of the lower secured credit card APRs around. It also doesn’t require a credit check with your application, meaning it’s a great choice for folks with poor or spotty credit. Negatives include a maximum credit limit lower than some competing cards and no balance transfers.

Deposit Requirements and Benefits

To get started with the OpenSky Secured Visa, you need to make an upfront refundable deposit of at least $200. Your deposit can be as high as $3,000, depending on your creditworthiness. Your credit limit is always equal to your deposited amount.

OpenSky reports to all three credit reporting bureaus. One significant drawback is that unlike some other issuers, the OpenSky Secured Visa doesn’t allow for a transition from secured to unsecured. You can keep your account open as long as you like, but you don’t receive your security deposit back until you request to cancel the card and pay your balance in full.

  • Fees: There’s a $35 annual fee. Cash advances cost the greater of $6 or 5% of the advanced amount. Foreign transactions run 3% of total transaction amount.
  • APR: The regular purchase and cash advance APR is 17.39% (variable), depending on prevailing interest rates.
  • Other Perks: OpenSky has lots of credit education material for inexperienced credit users. It also has other financial products, including home loans and consumer bank accounts, through Capital Bank, its parent company.

Find out how you can apply for this card here.

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5. First Progress Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

No Credit History or Minimum Score Required for Approval; Low Regular APR

First Progress Platinum Card Art

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The First Progress Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a fantastic first credit card for applicants with limited credit (or no credit at all) and a great “first credit card in a while” for consumers looking to rebuild impaired credit.

Deposit Requirements and Benefits

As a condition of card use, you’ll need to make an upfront refundable deposit of at least $200 and as much as $2,000. Your credit limit is always equal to the amount deposited and you can recover your deposit at any time after paying off your balance in full.

Like OpenSky and other competitors, First Progress reports to all three credit reporting bureaus. One benefit that’s not particularly common elsewhere is the “no credit history” requirement. You don’t need to have had a credit card previously to qualify here. The biggest drawbacks are the unavoidable $49 annual fee and state-level gaps in availability. See terms for a complete picture of present account availability.

  • Fees: The annual fee is $49. See terms and conditions for a complete accounting of additional fees.
  • APR: See current terms and conditions for details.
  • Other Perks: Enjoy a comprehensive lineup of Platinum Mastercard benefits, a super-easy application process, and monthly reporting to all three major credit reporting bureaus.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

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6. Applied Bank® Gold Preferred Secured Visa® Credit Card

No Credit History or Credit Check Required for Approval; Low Regular APR

Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Card Art

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The Applied Bank® Gold Preferred Secured Visa® Credit Card is another great secured card for first-time cardholders. With no credit check or credit history required and opening deposit requirements as low as $200, it’s great for folks looking to gain  a toehold in the wide world of credit.

Deposit Requirements and Benefits

After your account is approved, you’ll need to make a deposit of at least $200 and as much as $1,000. Subsequently, you can increase your credit limit by making additional deposits, up to $5,000 total. Your credit limit is always a function of the amount deposited and you can recover your deposit at any time after paying off your balance in full.

Applied Bank reports credit utilization and payment history to all three credit reporting bureaus, meaning your credit score could increase over time with responsible use. Just mind the $48 annual fee.

  • Fees: The annual fee is $48. Other fees may apply; see terms and conditions.
  • APR: See current terms and conditions for interest rate information.
  • Other Perks: No credit check or credit history is required to secure approval. Applied Bank reports to all three major credit reporting bureaus.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

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7. Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

Introductory Offer: 0% APR for 6 Months on Purchases

Assent Platinum Secured Card Art

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With a generous 0% APR introductory offer on purchases, the Assent Platinum 0% Intro Rate Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a rarity among secured credit cards. Eligible purchases made within the offer period accrue no interest for 6 months from account opening, providing a nice financial cushion as you work to build your credit. Do mind the $49, though.

Deposit Requirements and Benefits

Once your account is approved for use, make an opening deposit of deposit of at least $200 and as much as $2,000 into your card’s security account. Your credit limit is equal to your deposit amount. Subsequently, Assent may consider you for a credit line increase, which may necessitate another deposit.

Assent reports credit utilization and payment history to all three major consumer credit reporting bureaus. This card comes with a full lineup of Platinum Mastercard benefits; see terms for more details. Note that this card may not be available in all areas. See offer page for more information about availability.

  • Fees: The annual fee is $49. Other fees may apply. See terms and conditions for more information.
  • Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on purchases for 6 months from account opening. Thereafter, regular APR applies.
  • APR: Once the introductory period ends, regular APR applies. See terms and conditions for current interest rate information.
  • Other Perks: Enjoy a full lineup of Platinum Mastercard credit card perks and benefits. Plus, Assent reports payment information and credit utilization on a monthly basis to all three major credit reporting bureaus.

Learn more about this card and find out how you can apply here.

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8. Citi® Secured Mastercard®

No Annual Fee

Citi Secured Mastercard 12 4 19

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The Citi Secured Mastercard’s selling point is its nonexistent annual fee. Otherwise, it’s fairly average, and like most credit cards, its credit limit is always identical to the deposited amount. There’s no way to increase your credit limit without making an additional deposit.

Also, Citi denies card applicants who’ve discharged a bankruptcy in the very recent past, making this card inappropriate for cardholders just emerging from serious debt.

Deposit Requirements and Benefits

Once you’re approved for the Citi Secured Mastercard, you have 30 days to deposit as little as $200 or as much as $2,500. Subject to approval, you can make additional deposits to raise your credit limit, but your funds are tied up for at least 18 months and don’t earn interest during that time.

If you make timely payments for the duration, Citi may elect to return your deposit and allow you to continue using your card. Your payment and credit utilization patterns are automatically reported to all three consumer credit bureaus.

  • Fees: There’s no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 3%. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%, and balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3%.
  • APR: See current terms and conditions for details.
  • Other Perks: This card’s perks include identity theft protection and $0 liability on unauthorized charges.

See our Citi Secured Mastercard Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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Final Word

Each secured credit card on this list is designed to boost folks with poor credit or spotty credit histories. However, they can’t single-handedly dig their users out of financial holes or accelerate them painlessly down the road to the promised land of easy, low-cost credit.

Building and improving credit takes time and discipline. In addition to applying for a secured credit card and making timely, in-full payments, follow these straightforward tips:

  • Pay all bills, including utility bills and rent payments, on time
  • Keep your debt utilization ratio – the sum of your credit balances divided by the sum of your credit limits – below 30%, if possible
  • Don’t open multiple accounts at once
  • Avoid closing too many accounts at once
  • Check your credit score regularly and remember to order your free annual credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com

If you play your cards right, you could find your credit situation significantly improved in less time than you ever thought possible.

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