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The Best Secured Credit Cards, October 2014

This article was written by in Credit. 26 comments.


Even though credit card companies make money on consumers who use them poorly, a consumer with poor credit will have a very hard time getting approved for an unsecured line of credit. One of the few ways someone with a bad credit history can improve their credit score is by signing up for a secured credit card. A secured credit card is similar to an unsecured credit card except for one key fact. Secured cards require an initial deposit. If a cardholder doesn’t make payments, the credit card issuer can simply draw from the deposit.

Unfortunately, many secured credit card include high fees and unfavorable card terms. As a result, finding a quality secured card can be difficult. This is a short list of the best secured credit cards available for consumers today from our list of credit card offers for 2014. Fees, rewards and overall usability were taken into account when organizing this list. All of the cards listed here report to the three major credit bureaus, so if used wisely they will be helpful in building or repairing your credit.

Editor’s choice

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For someone building or fixing their credit — an important factor when you need to acquire a loan or mortgage within a year or two — secured credit cards are good options when unsecured cards are unavailable for any number of reasons. The fees or high interest rates, as listed above, do not make these cards great options for everyday spending. Those who do need a secured credit cards should think about moving to unsecured credit as soon as possible, and as listed above, some of these cards make that transition process simple.

Updated October 3, 2014 and originally published March 18, 2011. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about Luke Landes and follow him on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Ceecee ♦53 (Newbie)

I worked for a credit card company some years ago(I know, sleeping with the enemy) and the secured card was a good option for rebuilding credit. Ya just gotta do it right and show them you can handle credit better….

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avatar Dee

Yeah thanks Flexo – picking cards with a $120 annual fee – you knucklehead

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avatar tbork84 ♦1,867 (Half-Dollar)

The secured credit card market has pretty limited options. They know that they are looking to shoot fish with poor credit scores in a barrel, so they are happy to make it painful.

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avatar James Ross

Whatever you do when considering credit cards DO NOT consider Citibank. Citi’s customer service is rude, arbitrary and inconsistent. DO WHATEVER YOU CAN to get credit from a bank that treats you like a valued customer and not like just another number. After 20 years with Citibank (and EXCELLENT credit) they denied me the credit open on my card, then gave a barrage of BS excuses. I will never do biz w them again. CITIBANK CANNOT BE TRUSTED!

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avatar faithfueledbennetts ♦264 (Nickel)

Unfortunately, this looks like the best bet for my husband who has no credit at the moment. He has tried applying for some credit apps and gets turned down because he has no credit history. Personally, I do not like the sound of these cards and am really turned off by the annual fees. Why should we pay someone a annual fee to give them our money anyway? Still hoping for a better way around this. If we cannot find one, I guess I know where to turn.

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avatar Devontaii

If u have credit cards just add him as an Authorize user and ur credit history will gover to his credit report giving him instant credit history and a score high school add him to bout 3-4 of your cards..

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avatar krantcents

What a deal! I want to start a secured credit card company. I get to charge an annual fee, charge interest of 8% to 24% for the consumer to use their money. There must be a risk to the credit card company, but I don’t see it. So thi sis what it takes to rebuild your credit! Wow!

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avatar t10

risk is the people who need these cards to rebuild credit have bad credit and most don’t know how to keep their payments current. Most, not all, but most will default even on a secured card and to service an account costs the bank money (personnel, accounting, card services). So it does make sense that even though it’s a secured card, that they cover themselves with interest and an annual fee. Think about it, someone maxes their card out and thinks, well it’s my money anyway so why bother paying it. Who pays for those charges? the secured account they had to open to get the card. So what does the bank get out of it? Additional costs to service this account. So that’s where the fees and interest charges come in. Btw, most or all of these cards will refund your money either by converting the card to an unsecured or when you close the account. If the account is a zero balance, some will even pay you back interest it has earned during the time they had it.

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avatar skylog ♦368 (Nickel)

thank you for the list! years ago, i used a secured card to establish credit for myself. i am currently educating a friend on this very topic, hoping that he will use this option to help repair his poor credit. i will be sure to forward a few of these options to him!

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avatar 4hendricks ♦248 (Cent)

This is absolutely crazy! Charging people an annual fee, plus interest to use the credit card and they have to fund the card to begin with!!!!!! I feel very badly for the people whose credit is so bad, this is what they have to do to build up their credit. Seems unfair, and unlawful.

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avatar lynn ♦155 (Cent)

My question would be, “How does one cancel a card like this?” Can you cancel it and get your cash back? I would assume if you just didn’t pay, your credit history would be dinged and fees would be applied.

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avatar catgunhome

As far as Citi secured credit card is concerned, I think you need to wait for 18 months, and then, if your history is good, they would convert your secured card into an unsecured one, and send you the CD cash back. This is based on my personal experience, though I still have another 15 days to make it 18 months, and thus to receive the check. But they have already sent me a letter telling that they are going to make my secured card an unsecured one, and my CD amount with interest will be sent back to me.

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avatar may

I’m looking to improve my credit score now that I have a 0 balance on all my debt. I just applied for a secured card through Bank of America. If I should not make these cards great options for everyday spending, what type of spending should I use it for?

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avatar catgunhome

I opted for a Citi Secured Credit card in February, 2010. This is because I did not have any credit history and wanted to build it.Until now, I paid a total of $58 as annual fees, and got a check for $20 in January, 2011, as interest on my CD amount. By August, 2010, the Credit Union of which I am a member, introduced a new credit card and I applied. I was approved for it with a limit of $1000. I applied in December, 2010 for a discovery credit card; as expected (I am told it is very hard to get a Discovery credit card approved), I was declined. Recently, in July, 2011, I applied for a Chase Visa credit card and got it approved, the limit is $1500. Yesterday (9th August, 2011) I got a letter from Citibank saying that after my 18-month period is over, my secured credit card will be converted into an unsecured/normal credit card and my CD amount with interest will be sent back to me. I called them and the customer service guy told that my new unsecured card will have no annual fees. So I think, Citi secured credit card is not that bad an option. I believer that I got the other two credit cards because I started with a Citi secured card to build my credit history.

P.S. I always pay my bills much before time, and am used to not buying things I cannot afford. I buy only what I can pay for by the end of the month.

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avatar Charles

Public Savings Bank is no longer in business. People who already have secured cards with them can continue to use them (through the bank that purchased their accounts). But you can’t open a new secured card account.

This happened back in August. So, I’m a little skeptical of the accuracy of the rest of your article. Did you research these cards yourself, or just compile information from other (old) online articles?

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avatar Luke Landes ♦127,500 (Platinum)

Charles,

Thanks for the update. I knew the card was no longer being offered to new customers, but left the listing here to benefit existing customers. Based on your recommendation, I removed the card from the list.

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avatar ajus jahworks

People’s card is now handled by capital bank and they offer a secured card that they don’t even pull ur credit to approve. open sky credit card

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avatar Tammy

For years I have been using my Chase Debit card to pay for everything.

I was put into a situation where now I have to rebuild credit. I am currently still paying my bills with automatic withdrawl. I have about $1000 in monthly bills (auto payment, cell phone and school loan).

I am starting with a new employer should I
1. Get a Secured Credit Card and have my paycheck direct deposited into it and then all automatic payments are with Secured Credit Card, OR
2. Keep Chase checking account, still have direct deposit go to checking, transfer bills to be automatically payed with Secured Credit Card, and have the secured card on automatic payment from checking account?

(The other day a Chase representative said in about 5 or so months Chase is coming out with a secured credid card.)

I could use anyone’s help with this issue.

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avatar Bill

The CITY SECURED CREDIT CARD link does not work. :-/

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avatar emily

if you have a secured credit card, is it possible down the line to increase the credit limit (even if it means an additional security deposit)?

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avatar Mark R

After my BF filed for bankrupcy, I got him two different secured credit cards to help rebuild his credit. They really do work.

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avatar Carl Mandelbaum

If the Allied Platinum Secured CC only reports to 2 credit bureaus, will this help me rebuild my credit score? Please help me to understand. Thank you.

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avatar teri blouren

I plan on paying my balance off in full monthly, so APR is not a huge factor, with that being said what secured card has the best advantages, Raises credit? Low fees? ect.. and how do I use it to my advantage?

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avatar IS@Amex

I’m surprised the BankAmericard is not on her. 20% APR and $39 Annual Fee, and it has the ability to be converted into a credit card, which you want, so you can avoid having to close a credit line (lowering you credit score).

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avatar DL

The secured card information on this website is out of date. Applied Bank no longer issues secured credit cards.

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avatar marissa

Harley davidson secured card has no annual fee. the visa is handled by us bank.

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