The Best Secured Credit Cards

These Secured Cards Don't Try to Gouge You

These two credit cards made our best secured credit card list because they're modestly priced secured cards that give you the prospect of relatively quick graduation to unsecured credit cards, if you exhibit responsible credit behavior. As with any credit card, it will be crucial that you always pay at least the minimum payment -- hopefully a lot more -- on time.

Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Card

Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Card

The Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards Secured Card is by far one of the best secured credit card on the market, but there’s one catch: To qualify, you must be a member of the military or related to someone who is to be eligible to join the credit union. 

In addition to the low annual percentage rate (APR), which starts at 9.24 percent, there’s no annual fee and no balance transfer fee. The card also has an attractive rewards program. You earn point-per-dollar on purchases, which works out to 0.5 percent to a full 1 percent depending on your spending levels. Rewards are redeemable for gift cards and certificates. You can start redeeming at 1,000 points.

Here are some sample rewards:

  • 3,500 points for $25 gift card from Applebee's® or Outback Steakhouse®
  • 5,000 points for $50 gift card from Best Buy® or Macy's®
  • 7,500 points for $75 Navy Federal Visa® Awards Card or The Home Depot® gift card

How nRewards Secured Card Works:

  • Make a Deposit and Apply: Make a deposit of at least $500 into a qualifying Navy Federal savings account before submitting your application; this deposit will be held for the duration of your nRewards Secured account.
  • Manage Your Spending: Once approved, you'll be issued your card with a line of credit equal to your deposit. Your card looks like a normal credit card. Use it as you would any other and take care to pay the monthly bill on or before the due date.
  • Earn Rewards, Build Credit: Every purchase you make is eligible for rewards points, and every purchase you pay off helps build your credit. All account activity is reported to the major credit bureaus.
  • Let the Deposit Cover You: When closing your nRewards Secured account, your initial deposit will be returned, provided the account is in good standing and the full balance paid. If you're in default, the deposit will be used to cover those debts.

Wells Fargo Secured Card

Wells Fargo Cards

This secured card from Wells Fargo is one of the better values in the secured card arena. The $18 annual fee is relatively modest, and the 16.49 percent APR isn’t too bad, either. Another positive: Wells says you might be able to qualify for this card if you’ve been out of bankruptcy at least a year. That's a lot less time than other lenders will consider.

The Wells Fargo Secured Card requires a $300 minimum security deposit.

Wells also notes that it periodically reviews the account and, if you exhibit good credit behavior, you could graduate to an unsecured card and have your security deposit refunded.

Wells Fargo has one of the better reputations among the big banks, so if you do well with this card, you’re on your way to improving your credit and getting lower-priced loans in the future. More