13 of the Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit (2017)

13 of the Best Secured Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit (2017)
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Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: April 11, 2017
BadCredit.org's popular "How-To" series is for those who seek to improve, rebuild or better understand their subprime credit rating.

If you have poor credit, one good way to rebuild your credit history is to apply for a secured credit card. A secured credit card is different from an unsecured card in that it requires you to agree to keep your bank account funded to a minimum balance equal to or greater than your credit limit. This is because if you miss a payment, the bank will take the money from your account, and might even close the card.

The only way a secured credit card will boost your credit score is for the bank to report your transactions to at least one of the three major credit reporting agencies – Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. Therefore, it is essential to get a secured credit card from a bank or credit union that reports transactions, something that not all banks do. Below are our 13 best secured card recommendations — all of which report to the credit bureaus — to help you rebuild your credit.

1. Primor Secured VISA Gold Card

Primor Secured VISA Gold Card

The Primor Secured Card is a good choice for consumers with thin or no credit history who are looking to build their credit. Your credit line can be secured with a fully-refundable deposit of $200-$5,000, submitted with your application.

  • Low fixed 9.99% APR on purchases
  • Ally credit types welcome to apply — no minimum credit score requirements
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Fast, easy application process
  • No processing or application fees
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

2. First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard

First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard

If you don’t have a long credit history, the First Progress card is an appropriate way to build your credit score. The card requires no minimum credit score for approval, and you can secure your line of credit with a fully-refundable deposit of $200-$2,000, submitted with application.

  • Pay off your balance & get your deposit back any time
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Not available in: NY, IA, AR, or WI
  • No credit history or minimum credit score required
  • See if you are pre-approved in 60 seconds or less
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

3. First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard

First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard

This card offers a good interest rate but charges a steep annual fee of $49. It is a good card for those with no credit history, and your credit line is secured by your fully-refundable deposit of $200-$2,000, submitted with application.

  • Pay off your balance and get your deposit back any time
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Not available in: NY, IA, AR, or WI
  • No credit history or minimum credit score required
  • See if you are pre-approved in 60 seconds or less
  • Click for for official site, terms, and details.

4. Capital One Secured MasterCard

Capital One Secured MasterCard

You can get a $200 credit line for a secured balance as low as $49, which makes this a very good card to build your credit. A higher credit line is available with no additional deposit if you make five monthly payments on time.

  • No annual fees
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • $0 fraud liability coverage for lost or stolen card
  • Travel and auto rental perks
  • 60-day price protection guarantee
  • Requires you have a checking or savings account
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

5. Discover it® Secured Card

Discover it Secured Card

Unlike most other secured cards, the Discover it credit card offers cash back and a sign-up bonus. It also helps you transition to an unsecured card. Receive an initial $200 to $2,500 credit line secured by a refundable deposit.

  • Possible upgrade to unsecured card after 7 months of on-time payments
  • No annual fees
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Cash back rewards of 1 or 2% on up to $1,000 in quarterly purchases, plus dollar-for-dollar match at end of the first year
  • 10.99% APR for 6 months on balance transfers
  • No late fee on first late payment
  • Free reporting of FICO scores
  • Must have a bank account
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

6. OpenSky Secured VISA Credit Card

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

This card does not require you to pass a credit check or own a bank account, setting it apart from most other secured cards. Receive an initial $200 to $3,000 credit line secured by a refundable deposit.

  • Can increase your credit line up to $5,000 with additional deposits
  • $35 annual fee
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Cash back rewards of 1 or 2% on up to $1,000 in quarterly purchases, plus dollar-for-dollar match at end of the first year
  • 17.89% APR
  • Easy approval makes it an excellent choice if you have very poor credit
  • No checking account or credit check required
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

7. Digital Federal Credit Union VISA Platinum Secured Card

Digital Federal Credit Union VISA Platinum Secured Card

This is a top secured card because it has no annual fee, balance transfer fee, nor cash advance fee. It also features a low APR and no cap on a credit line secured by a Digital Federal Credit Union savings account.

  • Low variable APR of 12.25%
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • No annual fee, cash advance, or balance transfer fees
  • Perks for car rentals, insurance, warranties and travel
  • Works with major e-wallets
  • Optional overdraft protection
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

8. Citi Secured MasterCard

Citi Secured MasterCard

The Citi MasterCard is not for folks with a recent bankruptcy, but it is a good choice if you have no credit history. After an initial deposit, you can raise your deposit beyond $2,500. Receive an initial $200 to $2,500 credit line secured by a matching deposit held in no-interest collateral account.

9. BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

BankAmericard Secured Credit Card

The BankAmericard card may refund your deposit after 12 months, making it an unsecured card. The ShopSafe feature, exclusive to BoA customers, protects your online shopping. Receive an initial $300 to $4,900 credit line secured by a refundable deposit.

  • Annual fee is $39
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Possible upgrade to unsecured card after 12 months of on-time payments
  • $0 liability coverage for fraudulent card transactions
  • Provides mobile banking with alerts
  • Overdraft protection
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

10. USAA Secured Card American Express Card

usaa-secured

The American Express variety of the USAA Secured Card is a good choice for military members and veterans, and provides free credit monitoring. Receive an initial $250 to $5,000 credit line secured by an interest-bearing, two-year CD.

  • Annual fee is $35
  • Available to current or former military members and families
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Six months’ free credit monitoring
  • Variable APR as low as 10.40%
  • No penalty APR
  • Identity theft resolution services
  • Collision damage waiver of car rentals
  • One year extended warranty on warrantied purchases
  • Special benefits for military
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

11. USAA Secured Card VISA Platinum

USAA Secured Card VISA PlatinumFor those who prefer VISA, this USAA secured card is also a good choice for military families. The Secured VISA Platinum offers special benefits, including collision damage waiver. Receive an initial $250 to $5,000 credit line, secured by an interest-bearing, two-year CD.

  • Annual fee is $35
  • Available to current or former military members and families
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • Six months’ free credit monitoring
  • Variable APR as low as 10.40%
  • No penalty APR
  • Identity theft resolution services
  • Collision damage waiver of car rentals
  • One year extended warranty on warrantied purchases
  • Special benefits for military
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

12 U.S. Bank Secured VISA

U.S. Bank Secured VISAThis card offers longer grace periods for late payments, up to 30 days. The $29 annual fee is okay, but many secured cards have no fees. Receive an initial $250 to $5,000 credit line, secured by an interest-bearing savings account.

  • Annual fee is $29
  • APR is 18.99%, no penalty APR
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • $0 liability coverage for fraudulent card transactions
  • Free collision damage waiver on rental cars
  • Online banking and automatic bill payment
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

13. State Department Federal Credit Union Savings Secured VISA Platinum Card

State Department Federal Credit Union Savings Secured VISA Platinum Card

The State Department Federal Union Savings Secured VISA Platinum Card is a good choice if you prefer to bank at a credit union, and has low APRs and fees. Receive an initial $250 or higher credit line secured by an interest-bearing savings account.

  • No annual fee, no balance transfer fee
  • APR starts at 7.49%
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to establish credit history
  • $0 liability coverage for fraudulent card transactions
  • Available life and disability insurance
  • No income verification
  • Must be member of State Department Federal Credit Union
  • Earn Flexpoint rewards and travel perks
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.

Rebuilding Your Credit is a Marathon, Not a Race

While this number varies, you should begin to see your credit scores rise within six months after getting your secured credit card, as long as you meet your payment obligations every month. It’s best to repay most of your monthly balance right away, avoiding minimum or late payments.

For any card you choose to apply for, either speak with the bank’s representative or read the online terms and conditions to ascertain reporting procedures, APRs, maximum credit lines, and bank fees. As your credit score improves over time, ask about converting to a regular, non-secured credit card, thereby freeing up your security deposit and moving on to cards with much more flexibility.