5 Best Secured Credit Cards for Bad Credit (June 2023)

Secured Credit Cards For Bad Credit

Secured credit cards for bad credit help to protect the card issuer from being burned by an irresponsible cardholder but at the same time, they give consumers who are ready to get back on the right financial track a chance to being rebuilding their credit.

A common sitcom character is the nosy neighbor who frequently borrows things he or she can never seem to remember to return. Part of the reason that character is so popular in comedy is that many of us happen to have a friend or neighbor (or relative) who was cast in a similar mold.

To the average consumer lender, everyone is that forgetful neighbor — until proven otherwise. Without a positive, well-established credit history, most credit card issuers will charge high fees for small credit lines to minimize their financial risk.

For many consumers with poor (or limited) credit histories, secured credit cards are the most sensible credit card solution. Not only do they typically provide access to higher credit lines than unsecured subprime credit cards, but they often have lower annual fees and APRs, as well.

First Progress | Discover | Capital One | OpenSky

Best Secured Credit Cards from First Progress

This duo of secured cards from First Progress give you a choice of APRs — both of which are lower than is charged by your typical subprime card — with the lower-APR card, the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card, charging a higher annual fee than its higher-APR sibling, First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card. Your annual fee will be charged when you open the account.

With both cards, your credit line will be equal to the size of your initial deposit, which can range from a minimum amount of $200, up to a maximum amount of $2,000. As with all secured credit cards, your deposit is fully refundable (unless you default on your credit card debt). You can find out if you’re pre-approved for a First Progress secured card online, often in just 60 seconds.

  • Earn 1% Cash Back Rewards on payments!
  • No minimum credit history or credit score required.
  • Past credit issues shouldn’t prevent you from getting a credit card with great benefits & rewards!
  • Accepted wherever Mastercard® is accepted, online and worldwide!
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • Manage your statements, transactions & rewards on-the-go with the First Progress Card Mobile App!


Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 14.99% (V) Yes 7.5/10
  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application; No credit inquiry required!
  • Includes Free Real-Time Access to Your Credit Score and Ongoing Credit Monitoring powered by Experian
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card; Try our new Mobile App for Android users!
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
  • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
  • Nationwide program; available in all 50 US states *See Card Terms.
  • Get a fresh start! A discharged bankruptcy still in your credit bureau file will not cause you to be declined.
  • ¡Hablamos Español! Nuestros representantes de servicio al cliente hablan Español con fluidez para su conveniencia.
  • Make 6-months of on-time payments & you’ll be invited to apply for an unsecured First Digital Mastercard!


Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 24.99% (V) Yes 7.5/10

Secured credit cards from First Progress have no minimum credit score requirements to qualify, and the length of your credit history won’t prohibit you from acceptance, either. At the same time, you will likely be turned down if you have a pending bankruptcy filing that has not yet been discharged by the court.

Best Secured Credit Card from Discover

While the APR charged by the Discover it® Secured card is higher than other options on the list, it’s still competitive for the credit-builder card market, plus it has no penalty APR charged for late payments and no annual fee. Additionally, approved applicants can enjoy an introductory balance transfer offer providing 10.99% on qualifying transferred balances for six months.

The minimum deposit amount required to open a Discover it® Secured card is $200, and the size of your deposit will determine your credit limit. Your maximum credit limit will be set by Discover based on your income and ability to pay, but will not exceed $2,500.

3. Discover it® Secured

The Discover it® Secured card reports to all three major credit bureaus. You can easily apply online and receive a decision in just a few minutes in most cases.

Discover it® Secured Card

  • Earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined gas and grocery purchases each year
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

Perhaps one of the best reasons to build credit with a Discover it® Secured card — besides the fact that it has rewards and no annual fee, which is kind of a big deal — is that your Discover it® Secured card can be upgraded to an unsecured Discover it® credit card when your credit history improves. Even better, it will likely happen automatically, as Discover periodically reviews your account to see if you qualify.

Best Secured Credit Card from Capital One

Unlike some of the other options on the list, the Capital One Secured Mastercard doesn’t always have a direct, one-to-one relationship between the size of your deposit and the size of your credit line. Instead, all new cardholders will receive an initial $200 credit limit, with the necessary deposit amount varying based on your individual credit profile.

You’re not stuck with a $200 limit forever, though. You’ll receive access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time, no additional deposit needed. Regardless of your limit, however, try to avoid carrying a balance on your Capital One Secured Mastercard, as it has the largest APR on the list.

4. Capital One Secured Mastercard

The Capital One Secured Mastercard reports to all three major credit bureaus. Head online or to your local Capital One branch to apply.

Capital One Secured Mastercard

  • Get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Pay no annual fee

Similar to the Discover it® Secured card, you may be able to upgrade your Capital One Secured Mastercard to an unsecured Capital One card — but, according to reviewers, the key word here is, may. Anecdotal evidence seems to suggest that only newer cardholders are eligible to upgrade their secured Capital One card to an unsecured card.

Best Secured Credit Card from OpenSky

With an APR below 20%, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is easily comparable to other secured credit cards, and downright competitive in the realm of credit-builder cards. Perhaps its most appealing feature to many applicants, however, is the fact that the card goes beyond having flexible credit requirements to simply having none — you won’t even need to undergo a credit check to qualify.

Of course, you will need to put down a fully-refundable security deposit, with a minimum required deposit of $200. Since your deposit size equals the size of your credit limit, you may want to consider putting down a larger deposit to unlock a larger credit limit. The maximum deposit (and, thus, credit limit) for the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is $3,000.

  • No credit check to apply and find out instantly if you are approved
  • OpenSky gives everyone an opportunity to improve their credit with an 85% average approval rate for the past 5 years
  • Get considered for a credit line increase after 6 months, with no additional deposit required
  • You could be eligible for the OpenSky Gold Unsecured Card after as few as 6 months
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus monthly, unlike a prepaid or debit card
  • View your FICO® Score through your OpenSky account, an easy way to stay on top of your credit
  • Nearly half of OpenSky cardholders who make on-time payments improve their FICO score 30+ points in the first 3 months
  • Your refundable* deposit, as low as $200, becomes your OpenSky Visa credit limit
  • Easy application, apply in less than 5 minutes right from your mobile device
  • Offer flexible payment due dates which allow you to choose any available due date that fits your payment schedule
  • *View the cardholder agreement


Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 22.14% (variable) Yes 7.0/10

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card reports to all three major credit bureaus. The online application can be completed online and usually gives a decision in minutes.

Although the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card won’t charge any application or processing fees, it does have an annual fee that will be charged when you open your account. You’ll also be charged fees for cash advances, foreign transactions, late payments, and returned payments.

Build Credit without the High Fees

When we’re stuck with pesky neighbors who won’t return what they borrow, we have three real options: stop lending to them, start charging them fees for it, or simply require some sort of collateral to ensure your property’s return.

Similarly, credit card issuers dealing with potentially unreliable consumers — i.e., those with poor or limited credit histories — have the same three options. While many issuers choose the first option (to stop lending to these consumers), plenty of issuers choose the latter two, either charging high fees through unsecured subprime cards, or by requiring a deposit for a secured credit card.

Despite requiring an initial deposit, however, secured credit cards are often the most economical option, because those deposits are 100% refundable unless you default on your debt. You’ll also often pay lower annual fees, have access to better rewards, or receive a lower APR than available to those with costlier unsecured cards.

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