Secured Credit Cards: The Ultimate Guide

Secured Credit Cards: The Ultimate Guide

In this short post, we’ll show you the top 8 secured credit cards available. We’ll compare each of the cards to see which one is the best.

*Notice: On mobile devices, scroll right to see entire table.

Our Recommendation

By the end of the review, you’ll know which card is the best at improving your credit score.

Discover Cash Credit Card

Technical Specs​

  • No Annual Fees
  • 5% Cash Back
  • Cash Back Rewards Never Expire
  • Redeem your Rewards for Cash
Discover Cash Credit Card

source: discover.com

Our Rating

Starting off our list is the Discover Cash Credit Card. It's a simple secured credit card that's mainly used by college students. For people who have little credit, this card might be a good choice for you.

It's Cash Back feature is one of the main things consumers love about this card. At select stores (Amazon, gas stations, restaurants, etc.) you gain up to 5% cash back after making a purchase. The card helps users save their money while creating good credit.

In fact, Discover has created an additional 1% cash back feature for other purchases. This ensures that you're saving money on every transaction that you make. Consumers trying to receive the most cash should look into this credit card.

Another feature worth mentioning is the CashBack Match. At the end of each year, Discover will match the total amount of cash back you received this year. This means that if you gained over $200, they'll pay you an extra $200 for using their service.

However, some consumers found slight issues with the CashBack Match feature. They complained that it the CashBack Match process is excruciating and difficult. To receive extra cash back, you'll have to send them paperwork of each transaction for it to work.

We believe that the Discover Cash Credit Card is an excellent choice for college students looking to build their credit history. It's CashBack features are liked by all customers and should be considered if you're looking for a useful and financially secure credit card.


American Express Cash Back Card

Technical Specs​

  • 0% APR
  • No Annual Fees
  • Identity Theft Protection
  • 5% Cash Back
  • Chip Card Technology
American Express Cash Back Card

source: americanexpress.com

Our Rating

Next up is the American Express Cash Back Card. With this card, you get 5% cash back on gas station and military base purchases. In fact, you'll get an additional 2% cash back at supermarkets. Look into this card if you want a useful credit card for everyday usage.

International users like this credit card. The card has no transactional fees when you're outside of the U.S. This saves you money and reduces the amount of taxes you'll have to pay for currency exchange. This is a great credit card for those wanting to travel without spending extra money on international fees.

For your convenience, the card comes with an additional mobile app. You can find your account balance and transaction history via sending a voice message. The mobile app is another reason why users like this card because it's easy to access and helps them make sound financial decisions.

One thing that makes this card better than its competitors is its identity theft resolution. This ensures that you'll keep your credit score in good standing if you're a victim of identity theft. Get this card if you want something to protect you financially when an emergency occurs.

But consumers complained about the card's high-interest rate. We suggest paying off your entire balance to prevent being charged interest on your purchases.

The American Express Cash Back Card is one of the best low credit score credit cards available. It has no international fees and protects you from identity theft. Consider getting this card if you want to stay financially secure while abroad.


Capital One Secured Credit Card

Technical Specs

  • No Annual Fee
  • Qualify with Limited/Bad Credit
  • Accepted Worldwide
  • Higher Credit Line After 5 Months
  • 5% Cash Back
Capital One Secured Credit Card

source: capitalone.com

Our Rating

Third on our list is the Capital One Secured Credit Card. The card is accepted in most financial institutions worldwide and gives the user 5% back. You should consider getting this card if you're planning on rebuilding your credit.

Unlike prepaid cards, this card reports to the 3 major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax). Each of the bureaus gives the user an accurate reading of their credit history and is good for users getting their credit back to a satisfactory rating.

It's most defining feature is how far it stretches your minimum deposit. Competing brands tend to require a security deposit when applying for a card. The Capital One has a security deposit that's less than the card's limit. Get this card if you want a useful secured credit card to increase your credit score.

You should apply for this card if you want to fix your credit rating. After 5 months, you're eligible to apply for a higher credit line. Make sure to pay your monthly payments on time to ensure that you'll bring your score back to normal.

Credit card owners disliked the card's high APR%. It's at a %24.99 APR which is a higher annual percentage rating to start off with. Because of this, the card can be costly for the long-term.

The Capital One Secured Credit Card is one of the best fair credit score credit cards. It's reliable and allows the user to increase their score in a manner of 5 months. This is the perfect card if you have a fair credit score and would like to establish a solid financial history.


DCU Secured Credit Card

Technical Specs​

  • Overdraft Protection
  • Compatible with Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay
  • Buy online via Visa Checkout
  • EMV chip that protects your card's information
  • No Fees or Annual Rates
DCU Secured Credit Card

source: dcu.org

Our Rating

The DCU secured credit card is ranked fifth on our list. It's a card that's best for people starting to build credit or those trying to repair their low credit score. The card is great for users because it's easy to apply for and doesn't charge the users extra for their minimum payment.

Most secured credit cards have higher fees than unsecured credit cards. However, the DCU card has the lowest fees on the market and won't cost too annually. You'll like this credit card if you want one that has a $0 annual fee and is useful for people on a budget.

One feature that places the DCU Credit Card above the competition is its low APR rating. Most cards have a rating of 24.99%. This can get quite expensive and can result in some costly fees by the end of the year. The DCU has an APR of 12.25% which helps the user rebuild credit without paying extra fees.

Users like this card because their security deposit accumulates interest. When you receive the card, your security deposit is in a savings account that earns interest as long as the account is open. Apply for this card if you want something that rewards you with extra interest for using its service.

Consumers were not satisfied with the card's international fee. While the card has a lower foreign transaction fee than other financial institutions (3% average), it can be quite costly.

We think that the DCU secured credit card is great for those trying to establish credit. The card has no annual fees, a low APR percentage, and gives the user interest on their security deposit. It's a good credit card that's guaranteed to improve a user's credit rating.


Open Sky Secured Credit Card

Technical Specs​

  • 18.39% APR
  • $35 Annual Fee
  • 25 Day Grace Period
  • Reports to Major Credit Bureaus
  • No Credit Check Necessary
Open Sky Secured Credit Card

source: openskycc.com

Our Rating

Don't worry if you have limited or bad credit history. The Open Sky Secured Credit Card is one of the easiest credit cards to apply for. It has a minimum security deposit of $200 and doesn't take long to obtain. If you want a reliable entry-level card, then the Open Sky is the one for you.

For people with limited credit, there's no credit check necessary. Your credit limit will be determined by your security deposit. Because of this, people with no credit history can have a card that helps them establish or restore their credit score.

Another feature we like is easy application system. Users can create an application online and receive results in 5 minutes. If approved, DCU will send a card within 14 days. If you want a credit card with a no-hassle application process, then this is the right choice.

The only catch is that your monthly income must be higher than your monthly expenses. If you fulfill this requirement, then your application will be accepted. The Open Sky Credit Card is useful because it accepts almost anyone and allows them to create a good credit history.

Most people had an issue with the card's annual fees. While the fee is only $35, it can be an issue for some users. Keep your income higher than your expenses to ensure that you can pay for the extra fees associated with this card.

The DCU Secured Credit Card is one of the best no credit score credit cards in the market. It's easy to apply for and only requires $200 to receive a card. You'll like this credit card if you need something to help you increase your score.


Citi Bank Credit Card

Technical Specs​

  • 22.99% APR
  • 3% Foreign Transaction Fees
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • $200 Minimum Security
  • Qualify with Limited/No Credit
Citi Bank Credit Card

source: citi.com

Our Rating

When it comes to secured credit cards, Citi Bank has one of the best ones available. For instance, it has a low-security deposit and no annual fees. People attempting to increase their credit rating should give this credit card a look.

To be approved for the card you must not have any reports of bankruptcy in over 2 years. After that, you set your security deposit from a minimum of $200 up to $2,500. Your credit limit will match that deposit, and you can use it as desired.

After obtaining the card, it comes with a few added perks. For instance, users have travel accident insurance, rental car insurance, and purchase protection. These extra perks help the user protect themselves financially and is another reason why you should consider this card.

Plus, it gives the user the chance to apply for an unsecured card. When you pay your balance each month, your credit score will improve. This allows users to apply for an unsecured card and increases their credit score even faster.

Consumers across the board had one issue with the card. The application is complicated, and Citi Bank accepts a small percentage of people.

The Citibank Secured Credit Card is perfect if you're planning on rebuilding credit. It's safe, reliable, and can increase your score faster than competing cards. Apply for this card if you have an average credit card history.


First Progress Credit Card

Technical Specs

  • Annual Fee: $39
  • No Credit History Required
  • 13.99% APR
  • 25 Day Grace Period
  • Expedited Processing Option
First Progress Credit Card

source: firstprogress.com

Our Rating

Placed in seventh is the First Progress Credit Card. The card has an application process that approves people with limited to bad credit. Look into this card if you're trying to get your credit history back in good standing.

This card's main feature is the Expedited Processing Option. On average, you'll receive your card within 7 days. Compare this to competing cards that take at least 14 days to send out a credit card. Because of this, first-time card users love to use this credit card.

When applying for the card, you'll have to pay $200-$2,000 to get approved. Once approved, you'll have a new credit limit based on how much you paid for your security deposit. You'll receive your security deposit once you pay off your complete balance.

Another thing we like about this card is its grace period. Most credit card companies only give you a 10 day grace period to pay off your monthly bill. But, the First Progress Credit Card gives users 25 days to fully pay your monthly credit bill.

But, there are a few complaints regarding the card's high-interest rates. Make sure you pay your balance sufficiently to prevent paying extra interest each month.

We think that the First Progress Credit Card is one of the best average credit score credit cards. The application process is easy, and its Expedited Processing Option lets users build credit early. If you want a fast, and useful secured credit card then this is the right one for you.


US Bank Credit Card

Technical Specs

US Bank Credit Card

source: usbank.com

Our Rating

Last on our list is the US Bank Credit Card. The card was designed for people trying to rebuild or establish credit. Due to its features, this card helps users make their credit payments on time and create a good credit history.

You can apply for the card via online and fund the deposit account via your savings or checking account. The company will ask for a proof of ID (driver's license, passport, etc.) before completing the application. Once you're approved, you can begin to access and use the card in almost anywhere.

Flex Control is US Bank's main feature. This online tool creates automatic payments to prevent you from paying late fees and interest. Also, this feature helps you quickly pay off your balance on time. Apply for this card if you want to protect yourself from paying extra fees on your credit card.

Sometimes, we become the victims of credit fraud. With US Bank, it has a Zero Fraud Liability feature that protects users from fraud. If your US Bank card is lost or stolen, you're not responsible for the unauthorized transactions.

There is one issue associated with this card. Users have to pay 2% extra on each foreign transaction. This can be a problem if you're planning on using your credit card abroad.

You need a credit card that will help you on your financial journey. That's where the US Bank Credit Card comes in. The card allows users to pay their bills automatically and protects them from fraud. You should look into the US Bank Credit Card you want one of the safest secured cards on the market.


Conclusion

Capital One's credit card is the clear winner of this review. The card not only gives you 5% cash back on your purchases. Also, the card helps users rebuild their history by transferring them to an unsecured card after 5 months. Ultimately, get the Capital One's Credit Card if you want to increase your score and credit history immediately.

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