The 8 Best Secured Credit Cards of 2019

Work on building your credit the safe way

We are committed to researching and recommending the best financial solutions and products for our readers. The Balance has partnered with CardRatings and may receive commissions from links within our content, but these have no bearing on our reviews or recommendations. The below content has not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any card issuers prior to publishing.

Secured credit cards are a great option for those who have trouble getting approved for a credit card because of previous credit mistakes or lack of a credit history. A secured credit card is easier to be approved for because you make a security deposit to “secure” the credit limit. As long as you’re on time with payments, your security deposit will be refunded to you when you close your account. The best secured credit cards offer a variety of benefits for cardholders from low-security deposits to rewards and even the ability to have a five-figure credit limit. Our list of best secured credit cards includes:

  • Best Rewards: Discover it Secured
  • Lowest Security Deposit: Capital One Secured MasterCard
  • Best No Credit Check: OpenSky Secured Credit Card
  • Best for High Credit Limit: Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card
  • Best for Military: Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card
  • Best for Upgrading: First National Bank Secured Visa Card
  • Best for Small Businesses: Wells Fargo Business Secured
  • Best Interest Rate: State Department Federal Credit Union Savings Secured Visa
  • Best for Limited Credit: Citi Secured Mastercard

When you’re choosing a secured credit card, make sure you pay attention to the pricing, particularly the annual fee since it’s unavoidable. Ideally, you’ll pay your balance in full to avoid interest charges but go for a lower interest rate if you think you’ll end up carrying a balance.

01
Best Rewards: Discover it Secured

Discover it Secured
Courtesy of Discover

What we like: The Discover it Secured Credit Card is a rare breed of ​secured credit card that pays rewards. You’ll earn 2% cash back at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. On top of that, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all your other purchases. As a bonus, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you earn in your first year.

You can make a minimum $200 security deposit to open your credit card. (The maximum security deposit is $2,500). Then, starting at eight months, Discover will review your account history to determine whether you can receive a refund of your security deposit and keep your credit limit.

With the Discover it Secured Credit card you’ll have free access to your FICO score on your monthly billing statements. Discover also offers free Social Security number alerts, notifying you if your Social Security number is found on risky websites across the internet.

What we don't like:

  • Minimum Credit Required: Poor
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 10.99% for six months from the date of transfer on transfers made by August 10, 2019.
  • Ongoing APR: 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the transfer amount that posts to your account by August 10, 2019; 5% of the transfer amount after that.
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: None offered

02
Lowest Security Deposit: Capital One Secured MasterCard

Capital One
Courtesy of Capital One

What we like: With the Capital One Secured MasterCard, you may be able to pay a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 for a refundable $200 security deposit. Your exact security deposit is based on your credit standing.

Your on-time payments matter. After making your first five monthly payments on time, Capital One will automatically consider you for a credit limit increase, without requiring you to make an additional security deposit.

With the Capital One Secured MasterCard you’ll also have access to additional MasterCard benefits such as extended warranty on eligible items, auto rental collision damage waiver, travel accident insurance, and 24-hour roadside assistance.

What we don't like: The APR is fairly high, which makes this card expensive for carrying a credit card balance.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Poor
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 26.99% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.

03
Best No Credit Check: OpenSky Secured Credit Card

Open Sky Secured Credit Card
Courtesy of OpenSky

What we like: Since the OpenSky Secured Credit card doesn’t require a credit check, it’s much easier to be approved if you have recent delinquencies or a bankruptcy that would make it hard to get approved for other secured credit cards.

You can make a security deposit of from $200 to $3,000 for a credit limit of the same amount. OpenSky offers a variety of options for making your security deposit, even if you don’t have a checking account. You can make the deposit via debit card, wire transfer to Capital Bank, Western Union, or by mailing a check or money order.

What we don't like: Unfortunately, OpenSky doesn’t offer the ability to convert your card to an unsecured credit card.

  • Minimum Credit Required: None
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 19.64% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: $6 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the purchase amount in U.S. dollars
  • Signup bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.

04
Best for High Credit Limit: Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card

Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card
Courtesy of Wells Fargo

What we like: If you’re interested in a secured credit card with the opportunity for a high credit limit, the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card is your pick. You can deposit up to $10,000 for a $10,000 credit limit. The minimum security deposit is $300.

Over time, you can become eligible to upgrade to an unsecured credit card if you manage your account well. At a minimum, that means making all your monthly payments on time on all your credit accounts, not just your Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card. Wells Fargo doesn’t specify how long it takes to upgrade your credit card account.

The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card gives you access to other Visa benefits such as auto rental collision damage waiver, travel and emergency assistance services and cell phone protection.

What we don't like: If you're not already a Wells Fargo customer, you'll have to open a checking or savings account with the bank to apply for the secured credit card.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Poor
  • Annual Fee: $25
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 21.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 5% of the transfer amount
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the purchase amount in U.S. dollars
  • Signup bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.

05
Best for Military: Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card

Navy Federal nRewards Secured Visa
Courtesy of Navy Federal

What we like: The Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card is another rare secured credit card that pays rewards - one point for every dollar you spend to be exact. You can redeem your points for gift cards, merchandise, statement credit or cash back.

If you’re a member or veteran of the Armed Forced, a DoD civilian or family member of one of these, you may be able to join Navy Federal Credit Union and apply for the Navy Federal nRewards Secured Credit Card. You must make a deposit of at least $500 into a qualifying Navy Federal account to apply for the nRewards Secured Credit Card.

What we don't like: You must redeem your rewards in increments of 1,000. Plus, your rewards will expire if you don't use them in four years.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Any
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 18% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: None if performed at a Navy Federal branch or ATM, otherwise up to $1.00
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.

06
Best for Upgrading: First National Bank Secured Visa Card

First National Bank Secured Visa Card
Courtesy of First National

What we like: With the First National Bank Secured Visa Card, good credit behavior pays off. You’ll qualify for a credit increase in as little as seven months if you make all your monthly payments on time. Then, you may qualify to receive your security deposit back in as little as 11 months if you maintain a good credit history. You can open your account with a security deposit between $300 and $5,000.

As a First National Bank cardholder, you’ll receive a free FICO score each month with your monthly billing statement. Your FICO gives you an indication of your creditworthiness and shows you how your credit score changes over time.

What we don't like: The card may not be available to you depending on where you live.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Any
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 20.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $10 or 5%
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5%
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Signup Bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.

07
Best for Small Businesses: Wells Fargo Business Secured

Wells Fargo Business Secured

What we like: The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is great for small businesses with employees who have little to no business credit history. New cardholders can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on credit card purchases with no fee thanks to the rewards program. Rewards are paid automatically at the end of each quarter to a Wells Fargo Business Credit Card or to a linked checking or savings account.

Your business can obtain a credit limit between $500 to $25,000 depending on your security deposit. The larger the security deposit your business make, the greater your purchasing power. Plus, you can add up to 10 employee cards to your account — each with an annual fee of just $25 per card.

Wells Fargo will review your account periodically to determine whether to upgrade you to an unsecured credit card.

What we don't like: Some of the fees are not disclosed until you're approved and receive your cardholder agreement.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Any
  • Annual Fee: $25 per card
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: Prime + 11.90% on purchases
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Disclosed on approval
  • Cash Advance Fee: Disclosed on approval
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.

08
Best Interest Rate: State Department Federal Credit Union Savings Secured Visa

State Department Federal Credit Union Savings Secured Visa Platinum

What we like: There’s no income verification and there's no credit check if you're a current member of the State Department Federal Credit Union Savings Secured Platinum Visa.

Upon approval, you’re automatically enrolled in the Flexpoints rewards program which allows you to earn 1 point for every dollar you spend on your credit card. You can redeem your rewards for travel, merchandise, gift cards, event tickets, or donate to charity.

There are a number of options for joining the State Department Federal Credit Union - which is a pre-requisite for this credit card. You can join if you’re an employee of the U.S. Department of State, an affiliate of an eligible organization, or have an immediate family member who is a member. You can become a member by joining the American Credit Union for $8.00.

What we don't like: You'll have to first become a member of the State Department Federal Credit Union and deposit $250 in a savings account to apply.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Any
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 14.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: None
  • Cash Advance Fee: Free at the teller, $3 at the ATM
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.

09
Best for Limited Credit: Citi Secured Mastercard

Citi Secured Mastercard
 Courtesy of Citi

What we like: The Citi Secured MasterCard is issued by Citi – one of the major credit card issuers. If you manage your secured credit card responsibly, you may be in a good position to apply for one of Citi's unsecured credit cards. The card issuer has several great options to choose from.

You can make a security deposit between $200 and $2,500 at the time you make an application. Your deposit is placed in a “Collateral Holding Account” for 18 months.

What we don't like: You don't qualify if you filed bankruptcy within the past 24 months.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Poor
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 24.74% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $5 or 3% of the amount transferred
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the purchase transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Signup bonus: None offered

About Our Reviews

We are committed to researching and recommending the best financial solutions and products for our readers. The Balance has partnered with CardRatings and may receive commissions from links within our content, but these have no bearing on our reviews or recommendations. The above content has not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any card issuers prior to publishing.