5 Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit

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Building credit is no easy feat. Even if you know all the tips and tricks, it can take time for your new good habits to make a meaningful difference in your credit score.

Using credit cards to build credit is one of the best strategies around because you can do it for free – but only if you pay your bill in full by the due date each month. Unfortunately, most credit cards are only available to people with good credit.

But don’t worry — banks offer secured credit cards for people who are just starting out or who are trying to rebuild their credit. Learn more about how secured cards can help you build credit and the best cards to try out.

What is a secured credit card?

Secured credit cards function similarly to conventional credit cards. The main difference is that secured cards require collateral in the form of a cash deposit. That way, if you fail to make your payments, the bank can use the deposit to cover its losses.

Using credit cards to build credit works if you do it right. The two most important factors in your credit score are your payment history and how much you owe. Part of the second factor is the size of your credit card balance relative to your credit limit.

Using a secured credit card a little each month and paying it completely off on time satisfies both of these factors. The result is that you’re building credit without paying interest like you would with a credit-builder loan.

What to look for in a secured credit card

As you’re researching credit cards to build credit, keep an eye out for certain features. Specifically, take note of fees, interest rates, and confirm that the bank reports your activity to the major credit bureaus.

It’s possible to get a secured card with no annual fee and a relatively low interest rate. Some even offer rewards.

Be wary of banks that offer unsecured credit cards to people with bad credit. These cards usually come with sky-high fees and interest rates that border on predatory.

While secured credit cards can be useful tools, you need to choose wisely. Here are some good options to start with.

Best secured credit cards to build credit

If you’re not sure which card to apply for, consider these options. Check out the details and be sure to compare fees, interest rates, and other perks to choose the best one for you:

1. Discover it Secured Card

  • Earn two percent cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn one percent cash back on everything else.
  • Discover will automatically begin evaluating your account after seven months. If satisfied, they may upgrade you to an unsecured card and return your deposit.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • $200 to $2,500 line of credit, depending on your deposit.
  • 23.74% variable APR.
  • Free access to your FICO credit score.
  • Reports monthly to all three credit bureaus.

Apply for a Discover it Secured Card

2. Capital One Secured MasterCard

  • $49, $99 or $200 refundable deposit based on your creditworthiness (the minimum credit limit is $200).
  • $200 to $1,000 line of credit, depending on your deposit.
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first five payments on time; no additional deposit is required.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • 24.99% variable APR.
  • Reports monthly to all three credit bureaus.

Appy for a Capital One Secured MasterCard

3. Platinum Prestige MasterCard Secured Credit Card

  • Does not require a credit history or minimum credit score.
  • 9.99% variable APR.
  • $49 annual fee.
  • $200 to $2,000 line of credit, depending on your deposit.
  • Reports monthly to all three credit bureaus.

Apply for a Platinum Prestige MasterCard

4. Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card

  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases – with no penalty rate!
  • No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.

Apply for a Green Dot Primor Secured Visa

5. DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

  • 12.25% APR.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • No fees for balance transfers, cash advances, or foreign transactions.
  • $500 to $5,000 line of credit, depending on your deposit.
  • Reports monthly to all three credit bureaus.
  • Must become a member of DCU to apply. Check eligibility requirements before applying.

Apply for a DCU Visa Platinum Card

If you’re looking for the best secured credit cards to rebuild credit, remember to look at more than the standard interest rates.

Consider all the fees, annual charges, and allowable cash deposit before deciding which is the best secured credit card for you.