328 responses to “The Best (and Worst) Secured Credit Cards”

  1. michaelynn

    Hi Beverly,

    I would like to let you know that I have been a Capital One secured Credit Card holder for 4 years. I was told at signing up that I would get credit limit increases and I would be upgraded (if in good standing which I am) to unsecured after 2 years. 4 years later I call to check on this and they tell me no credit increases for anyone in good standing and also no switch to unsecured ever. Wanted to let you know how disappointed I am as I was lied to when I opened the account.

  2. Jeanette

    Hello Beverly,

    I am trying to raise my Credit Score up. I applied for the Capitol One Secured CC. I got denied.

    I know I have a credit score in the low 500’s. I’m trying to figure out ways to raise it up. Credit Karma stated that I had good approval odds.

    Where do you suggest I start

  3. John Wilson

    Hi Beverly,

    I wanted to let you know that I recently had a Merrick Bank Visa secured card and they reported it to the credit bureaus as a secured card. It doesn’t say one way or the other how they report it in the above list.

  4. Teresa Taylor

    Hi Ms. Beverly,
    I wanted to let you know I opened a opensky credit card after my first payment my score went up 100points thank you BUT after you have the card the only way to make a payment is with a checking or saving account or by mail.

    1. Jabrielle Russell

      I have a Open Sky card too. I’ve had it about month now and I’ve seen my score go up 40 points. I would like to warn people considering this card that it takes 7 days for your payment to process and for your CL to go back up.

      So, for example, if you make a payment of $100 and your CL is $300 your credit line will be $200 for 7 days after they withdraw payment from your account. And that’s after waiting 2 days for them to withdraw payment. It’s not a big deal, but it’s definitely something to keep in mind.

      I’m hoping that they start getting things processed sooner. They’ve changed their website system to something way better earlier this month, here’s hoping there are more improvements to come.

      1. Jennifer

        I just did open sky too but I paid my deposit uploaded documents n haven’t heard a word since n can’t get through

  5. Sabrina

    Beverly I just want to say that you are totally awesome for your blog and all this correct information that you’re putting out here for consumers. keep doing what you do is a big help to people like me who are trying to reestablish their credit.

  6. Henri

    Dear Ms. Harzog,

    I feel an obligation to share the impact your website has had on my credit.

    I was approved for my first credit card as a college freshman in 2001. Making only the minimum payment each month, the balance spiraled out of control. Watching the balance go up in spite of my payments, I stopped making any payments. The account eventually went to a collection agency. The threatening calls and letters were very stressful. I managed to pay it off shortly after graduation. Little did I know all the damage that had been done by my irresponsible behavior with one card.

    My first apartments after college all required cosigners and large upfront payments. One realtor was very candid in telling me that my credit score would frighten most landlords.

    She advised me to start building credit. I further damaged my credit by frequently applying for credit cards and being denied.

    I resigned to living by my debit card.

    In 2015 I learned about secure cards and started doing research. I came across your website and decided to apply for the Capital One secured Master Card based on your detailed review of the card. I received it in October 2015. At that time customers had the option of adding deposits to the card which made it easier to use because of the higher “credit limit.”

    After frequent use and frequent payments I received a pre-approval notice for Capital One Quicksilver and Citi in April 2016. I decided to apply for both the same night. I was approved for both but with low limits ($1,500 and $1,000). I used all three cards frequently and paid of the balances 2-3 times per week.

    By May 2017 both cards had increased my credit limit twice. I had also just been approved for the American Express Gold Delta Skymiles Card ($15,000 limit). Consulting your website once again, I determined it was time to part with my Capital One secured card. I closed the account and received a nice refund check in the mail (my own money, but nice anyway!).

    Long story short, I went from zero credit history except one severely delinquent card and a score in the low 500s in 2015 to 738 today. This never would have happened had I not come across your website. I can’t thank you enough.

  7. Mike

    Thank you for the great information. I think I will apply for the UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card – The Comeback Card™.
    It still looks very solid to me.

  8. Jeffrey

    Hello Beverly. First off thank you for the great article. When I was younger I severely tarnished my credit and now I’m trying to rebuild it so this article helped me greatly in choosing a secured credit card. My question to you is in the article you said some were reported as secured and others were reported as unsecured. Does it hurt your credit score if you have a secured credit card on your credit report? Hope to hear back from you.

  9. Ryan

    Great article, Beverly. I have a credit card through my local credit union which is great. However prior to that, I did try to get a card through SDFCU. Working for a federal contractor and also being a member of ACC, I thought “Great! Should be no problem!”. After applying and receiving no response for about a month, I messaged them through their messaging portal on their website. No response. Message again days later – No response. Called and got put on hold for a while just to be told to call back later when the appropriate people could answer my question as to what was happening with my application. Called back, on hold, woman came on just to say they’d email when they got it figured out. No reason or rhyme as to what was going on. Following that I got an email stating my “identity could not be verified” but if I showed up in person they “may reconsider”. Really? No thanks on driving thousands of miles for a credit card. I got typical auto-reply messages when inquiring about how my identity could not be verified when I work for a federal contractor, which I was subject to government background checks just to be employed. As well as having bank accounts and verifiable credit reports. I was extremely appalled by the lack of professionalism – Nobody sounds like they know what they’re doing. Nothing anyone ever said made any sense whatsoever, no explanations given. Anyway, thought I’d share my experience. I do have a Discover It card as well, love it.

    Great blog, keep up the good work!

    1. Mark

      Hi I had the same experience except I did not meet their “credit requirements “. Hard inquiry and no membership

  10. Jaime Cooper

    Hi Beverly,

    Thank you for your post! I hit the perfect storm of losing a great deal of $$ in the 2008 Shearson Lehman debacle, staggering through a consulting landscape that went dry of all my paying contracts in the ensuring 6 months, and then having to shortsale my house in 2012, my credit went from stellar down to 623. I didn’t have debt, but I didn’t have income and by 2016 I hadn’t used anything but a debit card in over 7 years.

    I found your blog back in August 2016 – which led me to secure a $700 credit line with your #3 option: “Discover it Secured Credit Card”.

    Now, 6 months later my credit score has moved from 623 to 702, and I just got a notice from Discover saying they are returning my $700 Security Deposit in 5-7 business days and as of now, increasing my credit card limit to $2500.

    I had to play with it a bit in the first couple months to understand just what impacted the score. At first I charged most of the $700 credit limit and paid it off within 10 days. I think I just hit the reporting cycle wrong once or twice and it dinged my credit, rather than improving it. Once I understood to charge/pay-off quickly only a small amount (so my debt/credit limit ratio looked better at any moment the reporting folks took a snapshot) the credit score went up reliably each month.

    I know there is still room for improvement, but please know how grateful I am for the direction provided here to address what felt like an insurmountable effort last Fall.

    Credit bureaus: It used to be reported as unsecured, but now it reports as secured. This doesn’t change my opinion of the card. It’s still one of the best secured cards you can get.

  11. Deb

    What a great article – thank you! This has probably been addressed before…but is there a timeline for when these credit card companies begin reporting to the credit bureaus? I opened Discover and Capital One secured cards within a week of each other in early January; while the Discover card has already reported my on-time payments (twice!) I’ve yet to see Capital One do the same. I’m building my credit, and since my scores depend upon the card companies reporting to the three bureaus, I’m anxious to see Capital One at least report the new account is open! I was actually VERY surprised to see the new Discover card account impact my credit scores so quickly; before I opened the account I didn’t generate any score at all (no derogatories on my reports, but no open accounts, either!). After only 30 days my Vantage score is 680 at all three bureaus – and I did nothing but open the Discover and Capital One accounts. When the Cap One starts reporting, along with continued on-time payments, I hope to keep raising my scores. Thanks again for the great article and great advice!

  12. O'Rita Carter

    Hello all,

    I have Navy Federal and Discover It secured cards. How can I find out when the balance is reported to the credit bureau’s? I want to use about 20% of the utilization every month and pay it off, but only leave about a 5% balance to be reported each month to show I am using the cards.

  13. Nicole Davis

    He’ll and thank you for all this helpful and confusing info ( so many too many options) Here is a quick overview of my situation.
    Had identity stolen at age 18 had a fraud alert added It did nothing they used my I’d and social at many many hospital and doctor offices in assuming. I have been disputing everything since I looked at my report for the first time 12 years ago . Between transition and Equifax I owe 1500 which is 2 or 3 medical collection accts. Nothing is open except a 12 year old sycrony Walmart card that Has been paid and I called to get info they can not find a thing on me in there records , But it shows on my report as good. My score is 0 transunon and 540 with Equifax. I can not get approved for anything but with a 200 deposit and that’s my limit. I don’t know where to even begin I need to finally show my amazing money management skills but never have the chance. I do have a bank acct/checking with regions. How can I get my score raised and get some good credit reported because even though all my bills are setup to be paid the day they are due on autopsy Why would they show positive credit payments in my report instead of a trillion hard inquiries as well So this person is still attempting to gain something from me. But they oviesley messed that up for themselves on my behalf lol please help

    1. jCach

      I’d get in touch with lifelock. They have corporate power to help you possibly.

    2. Lori

      Also talk to someone about LegalShield Identify Protection. Lower fees than LifeLock and I’ve heard more effective.

  14. Eric

    3 questions:

    1) Does reporting as unsecured improve FICO score better than reporting as secured (assuming both are paid off every month and no balance is kept)?

    2)Does keeping a small balance of less than 10% improve score better than paying off in full?

    3) I had two unsecured Capital One credit cards that went into default 18 months ago and were written off. Would it be a waste of time applying for a secured credit card with Capital One?

    1. Edgar

      Bump

    2. JM

      No, Cap 1 will probably still give you a secured card. Use their prequalify tool, it does a soft pull on your credit instead of a hard one.

  15. Judy

    Why would you have to apply for a secured card and why is there interest rate? Dont you put money in the bank and they use that money to pay off your card each month? So like if you deposit $500 then that $500 is used to pay whatever amount you use or no?

    1. Ashley

      NO, that is not how it works. They give you a secured (your money) credit card. If approved for their secured credit card, they use your deposit amount as collateral. Meaning you use your deposit (money) as your credit limit, but they still charge you interest like an unsecured credit card. If you dont pay as agreed to the terms, they keep your money to pay off your balance if owed or towards it. Most financial company’s will graduate your secured credit card for an unsecured credit card and may give you back your deposit. They pretty much want to see if you can be responsible enough to handle it.

    2. Kristin

      No, it’s like paying a security deposit on a house when u move in. Apply for the card pay the deposit the deposit is usually what your credit limit is, this deposit sits in an account and doesn’t accrue interest. So let’s say your deposit is $300, it’ll be put into an account, and your secured card limit would be $300, bc that’s what u deposited, ok so you have a $300 credit limit minus any fees when u first open the card, such as annual fees etc. if there are any which usually there is when you first start. but just so I don’t confuse you, let’s just say hypothetically you don’t get charged any fees, so u apply, pay the $300, and now you have the $300 credit limit on this card, bc you deposited $300, if u want more of a credit limit u can deposit more but most start between $200-$300. the $300 that u paid is set aside into most times a non interest bearing account and is not used for fees or anything that you charge to your card.it isn’t used to pay any balances of your charges, or towards the card fees or any purchases, & the $300 cannot be withdrawn from the account the bank has put it into.so basically u gave the card company $300 for $300 worth of credit.
      OK so here’s where it gets tricky, so the rule of thumb is never use more than 30% of your credit limit & never completely max out your card!
      So 30% of the $300 limit you have is $90.00. Only using 30% of your limit shows companies that your responsible & can manage your money well rather than running out & maxing the card out. Ok that’s the advice & how to use it part here’s the example of how it works.

      You got your card, Your credit limitis $300 (bc u deposited $300) & u charge $90.00 (which is 30%) you will then get a bill each month, you should always try to pay the full balance that you used each month when your bill comes in if you used $90 pay $90 on the bill, & ALWAYS pay on time!!
      so in this case $300 limit & you used $90 at Jcpenny. This is leaving your balance on the card $210 of available credit, so the bill comes & you see yes i don’t have to pay all this back at once, it has a minimum amount due of $20.00. & people think well instead of sending them $90 I’ll just send them the $20, & keep the rest in my pocket, NO NO NO, I’m not saying it would ruin you as long a long as it’s paid on time every month, but Its always wise to try to pay the entire balance you’ve used every month, This way your credit limit will go back to $300, when u pay your bill, and you’ll save money from interest charges, OR if you cannot pay the entire balance you use each month, then atleast pay more than the minimum amount due, so if your minimum amount due is $20.00, I would suggest trying to Send ar a minimum of $30-$40 or more if you can, if your unable to pay the entire balanace at once.so this shows the credit card company your wanting to pay it back, your responsible with credit, & your payments are ON TIME!
      If you pay off what you use each month, on time or pay the entire amount or at least more than the minimum amount due each month, and get your balance to 0, & u owe them nothing have a good on time payment history, have been responsible with your payments, then the bank will review your account & they will give you an option to upgrade to an unsecured credit card, usually within 6 months to 1 year, with good on time payment history, & utilization of 30% of your limit, & if you choose to upgrade to the unsecured card & your balance is $0 on the other card, the $300 that you orginially deposited when You first started the secured credit card is refunded back to you, and now you have unsecured credit:) I hope this was helpful!

      1. Dave

        You need to learn responsible use of commas, sheesh

  16. Nette

    Hi Beverly,

    Thanks for all of the useful information. I havent seen a review of the Suntrust secured card. Have you seen/heard anything about it?

    https://www.suntrust.com/personal-banking/credit-cards/secured-card

    Thanks

  17. Kenneth

    Great and informative sight. My question is what is the need for these issuers to credit screen and deny applicants, as the credit lines are secured by your deposit?a) The financial institution makes income off your $ to secure the card’s credit limit b) They make $ off annual fees c) money off high APR’s on carry over balances d) money off various other fees depending on the card..why deny anyone? Sounds as lucrative and secure as it gets for the card issuers ??? What am I missing to decline and credit check applicants? Curious..Thanks and keep up the great information.

  18. Stephen Arthur

    I have had a First Progress secured for two years with a $2000 line of secured funds. It has done the job, and my credit is now very good.
    I’m ready to get my two grand back, but have been reading horror stories about this company and trying to get your money back. I do not have a balance and have not for over one year, so this shouldn’t be a problem.
    Many post on the net say they take between 10 weeks and 3 months to return the money and even that’s a hassle. I have not ask them yet but I need the money and don’t want to wait.
    What is the best way to let the company know I mean business and want my funds back ASAP.

  19. Mike

    Comment

  20. Hank

    First Premier MC is 36%.

  21. Neal

    Q: If I am trying to build my credit, will it be to my advantage to obtain 1 or more than one (say 2 or 3) of these secured cards or isn’t that a consideration I need to weigh?

    Thank you so much

  22. Janice

    I have brought up my credit score from the 400’s up to 603 due to loans, bills and credit cards as a teen and beyond. My 19 year old self was clueless on the proper uses of a credit card. The last two years I ve been putting work into building up my credit. For months I’ve been doing research on secured cards online. I prefer to have a limited of $400 or under and this time I’ll only use 30% of the car. Is it best for me to apply with my bank with PNC ? Also I heard that CitiBank and Discovery having special rewards for Uber user which drew my interest. I use Uber 2-5 a week from work since our bus hours are limited. Would those rewards cards be worth to apply for? Thank you!!

    1. Janice

      Bump

  23. Mike Jay

    Hi all,
    The comments here are pretty old but I’m hoping this will be seen.

    My question

    I buy something with a secured credit card. I walk outside the store and immediately pay the balance (using a banking app). Is that still reported as good credit? It would seem that in a sense it’s no different than using a debit card. So, do I need to carry a balance and spread the payments out to have good credit reported?

    1. Jeff

      Hi Mike,

      What counts is Utilization Rate. The ideal rate is roughly 30%. So if you open a card with $500 you should only spend up to $150 and pay that off at the end of the month. Banks don’t like seeing high Util. rates for customers building credit. It will make your score go down. Never use all the credit even if your going to pay it at the end because it will hurt your file.

      1. Michele Catapano

        , is that true never use all the credit even if you were going to pay It Off on or before 30 days. What about if I have a limit say $500 and I charge $500 the first 10 days if I pay the bill off at that time will my credit go back to 500 or do I have to wait for the next month? Thank you so very much

    2. kevi madden

      no!!!!!!!wait untill the day of the bill pay exact amount or a little more i used to do the same thing now i know better.great question

  24. VP

    Bev, in regards to the Open Sky CC. It may sound like a great card but “what cc company ask you for mailing and/or faxing personal information and verification”?. Never heard of that!. Beware when applying for this card and be prepared to receive an email requesting your personal information in order to complete the application process. No joke!.

  25. Rebecca

    I’m so glad I found this website! I’m going through a divorce and starting all over and my credit is shot! That being said, I’m now a proud member of open sky, citi, and discover! I’m on my way to a better financial future! I wouldn’t have known about any of these cards if it weren’t for this site! Thank you so much, the information here was most helpful in guiding me to making the best card decisions for me!

    1. Maya

      How are you looking the Open Sky card? I’m heavily considering getting one, but a little nervous

  26. SusyQ

    Hi Beverly!!! A distress person in desperate need of credit advice!!!! Been working on my credit for over a year with lexington law and granted some great results but I’m still not where I want to be. I applied for my banks credit card at one of the bankers advice and things are not looking good, SHOCKINGLY! ( Mind you the last time I applied for a card was in 2014), Nice gap? I am shocked and angry that they would not approve me after my score has increased drastically and I have a car loan which I thought would have a major impact in the decision making process. Btw, I have not missed a payment on it. I have one small item showing on experian but it is paid in full and closed, but still remains which sucks!! My score is ranging from 650-670. I am still in shocked my own bank may not approve me and very angry that the ill advised banker suggested I apply for a card that may be to advance for my credit rating. Now I am denied and score may potentially decrease!!

    I am very interested in opening more accounts but carefully. I want my score excellent by next year or sooner. I also want rewards and the potential offer to graduate from a secured card to an unsecured line of credit, if I must take the secured route. Lol I want the whole package. Is that asking for to much? What are my chances of approval with discover secured card? Are there any unsecured cards that will approve with no questions asked? What do you recommend???

    PLEASE HELP!!! Slightly confused and an unhappy camper!!

  27. SusyQ

    Hello

  28. Vernita Cary

    Your site has been very informative. My fiancé and I are trying to rebuild our credit in order to purchase a home. My credit score is 620. I was just approved for an unsecured Capital One card with credit limit of $300. I also want to get the Discover secure card. My fiancé doesn’t have any credit cards. I’m thinking we should both get 2 secured credit cards to start the rebuilding process. Would that be a good starting point?

  29. Hermena

    Hello!!!

    I love your blog…I have 4 credit cards and the utilization is high. My score is 605. What do you suggest I do because I need a 680 to get an account for fix and flips. I wanted to get a secured card but I don’t want to be turned down. Which card is in my best interest. I have a plan to pay down the cards but it will be over year to accomplish it.

  30. Alana

    Hi Beverly –
    I was reading reviews and I’m not sure if you help or give advice about managing credit, but thought I’d ask anyway. I do have a debt currently in collections in the amount of 3500 (original amount 2600) and would like to resolve the debt. How do you suggest going about it?

    Thank you,

    1. Steve

      Collection companies make a sizable profit on your debt, so it’s not uncommon that they work with you in making the debt more manageable. They also usually offer payment plans to help you pay down the debt over time. The most honest way to deal with a collection is to speak with them and negotiate a fair amount to pay and set up a plan to pay it off.

      Sticking to your agreement will help you get into the pattern of paying all your debts on time and moving towards a healthy credit profile. Building an excellent credit score takes time, so don’t be too worried that this collection will remain on your report for years to come. The most important thing to do will be to keep your active accounts in good standing and your credit will improve despite your past problems.

      Moving forward, you can develop a relationship with a lending institution such as a bank or credit union to show them your spending habits. Checking and savings accounts in good standing are a great way to start. Opening a secured credit card is another step forward, and you can find some great choices on this page. Be discriminating, find one that is ideal to you, and above all: make sure to make your payments on time.

      Ideally, it’s best to find a secured card that graduates to unsecured eventually and has no annual fee. The reason for this is to keep your account open and make small purchases, paying off your balance in full monthly. This will improve your credit score over time and the longer an account is open and in good standing the better. It also has the benefit of returning your deposit to you while continuing to improve your credit.

      Hope this helps. Good luck.

  31. Valarie

    Just ran across this article and its very helpful. I am looking for a secured card and am leaning towards Open Sky. However there is another secured card called Unity offered thru OneUnited Bank. One of its perks is that it has a fixed rate of 17.99 and a six month intro rate of 9.99! Is there any other info you can find out for me about this card? Do they run credit checks? Do I have to open an account? How long are the deposits on hold? Anything would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. Ronald Jackson

      Hi Valarie,

      I personally have an OpenSky secured credit card. I’ve had it for 2 years now. It is a no-frills secured card. It doesn’t graduate or give automatic unsecured credit line increases. They didn’t run a hard-pull on my credit.

      I would suggest you googling OneUnitedBank and the Unity VISA card and reading some of the reviews on both. A friend of mine had this secured credit card and seemed to run into a few problems, and also experienced sub-par customer service along the way. I’m not bad talking this bank, but their service doesn’t shine!

      I did sign up for the First National Bank of Omaha secured VISA card and it graduated to an unsecured card in 9 months. Since they’ve given me two automatic unsecured credit line increases (300 to 1000 to 1500).

      Wells Fargo and Bank of America’s secured cards also seem to provide hope that they “could” graduate on to an unsecured credit card and refund your deposit.

      So, I’d recommend you investing in a credit card that you think will graduate to an unsecured card. First National Bank of Omaha is my favorite, and I also have a Bank of America secured card (it graduated after a year to unsecured). I don’t have a Wells Fargo secured card but my friend does and they have a nice benefit. If you charge your entire cell phone bill every month to their credit card, they’ll cover your cell phone against damage or if it gets stolen… up to $600 with a $25 deductible. Just something to consider.

      Good luck to you!
      God Bless!

      1. UnHappy Customer

        Stay Away From OneUnited Bank

        Horrible Bank. They are the worst, it started out because I wanted to be a part of an AA bank, and it’s just downhill after you send your security deposit In. They don’t handle the payments for the card, they won’t apply the collateral account to the balance which they don’t tell you. None of the representatives have any experience, and a lot of the departments are outsourced. Credit limit increases take almost a month, payments take two weeks, and the online capabilities suck. Bottom line stay away they’re unqualified to be considered a bank let alone have a banking charter. I had a sinking feeling in my heart when I started doing research and I found out that the CEO Kevin Cohee had been arrested for cocaine possession and sodomy. He also expensed a 6.4 million dollar mansion along with a jaguar and Porsche to the bank. SERIOUSLY STAY AWAY and Beverly PLEASE POST THIS INFO.
        HERE THE ARTICLE
        http://www.businessinsider.com/kevin-cohee-sodomy-cocaine-drugs-corruption-oneunited-2010-8

  32. Aggie

    Hi Beverly, Thank you so much for the helpful information. I am just confused as to which secured credit credit I should apply for. I am still in college with student loans with a part time job that is looking to build credit. Which secured credit card would you recommend for me ? I was looking into Captial One but their APR is really high. I also saw that you said secured credit cards from a credit union is good as well.

    1. Melissa G

      Hello Angie. I was looking into this one.#21: Open Sky Secured Credit Card

      You get a variable rate of 17.39 percent and the annual fee is $35 per year. Reports to all three major credit bureaus. No credit check.

      The annual fee sucks but its not too bad.17.9 percent is ok too for the kind of card. Its doable. Apparently they have easy approval and no hard pull on your credit which is amazing!!!And….
      Credit bureaus: Reports as unsecured

    2. Melissa G

      Also Angie if you read another ladies post:
      “My credit score is pretty close to yours and I applied for the Capital One Secured Card. I was approved with a $200 deposit. The good thing about the deposit is that you can pay it in multiple transactions as long as it’s done within 120 days. Once I paid my deposit I received my card within 7-10 business days. I was happy that someone took a chance on me. Good luck!”

      1. Aggie

        Thank you ! Do you know of Any other ones you think that’s good that I can apply to that doesn’t have an annual fee and a low APR ?

  33. Nichelle

    Beverly, thank you for writing this article. I am rebuilding after a discharged chapter 13. I added myself as an authorized user on my husband’s unsecured Chase credit card and have seen great improvement on my Transunion credit score (663) but not so much for Equifax (563), not sure about Experian. For whatever reason Chase is not reporting to Equifax on my behalf despite my request.

    I just applied for a CapitalOne secured card and was approved for $200 with a $49 deposit. I also added myself as an authorized user to my husband’s secured CapitalOne card. The only thing that I don’t like about CapitalOne is that their evaluation process for offering an unsecured increase to customers is nebulous. My husband opened the account with the requisite $200 deposit and has made on-time payments for four years (according to their records), never gone over limit, had a payment returned and according to their credit score monitoring system has a 744 FICO and they have NOT offered him an increase. Meanwhile, he was approved for a Chase card at $5,000 to start and shortly after received an increase to $12,500. CapitalOne won’t budge…it’s mind boggling.

    I am planning to apply for another secured card and love the ranking that you have. I want to read what you have to say about secured cards reporting as secured. If it turns out that it’s not as a big a deal as it seems in my mind ;-), I might try the Library of Congress card that another reader mentioned even though you haven’t reviewed it yet. If that doesn’t work out, I’ll choose from one of the ones in your top tier list.

    Thanks again for sharing and any feedback you care to share with me, I’m all ears!

  34. ss

    Not that I’d recommend the ultra-bad cards, but I want to post a correction to your statement: “You get a $300 credit limit, but a $75 annual fee is removed right off the bat, so your real credit limit is only $225.”

    Your LIMIT isn’t $225. That is your available credit upon opening the card. You pay off the annual fee, then you have $300 which you can charge and pay off as you see fit. The card is not permanently set at $225. By stating that your “limit” is $225 you falsely convey that cardholders can only ever spend $225 at a time on the card.

    Also, stating the annual fee is “removed” is not exactly accurate. I would phrase it as “charged” – as in it is “charged” to your account.

  35. Sam

    Question. SO in your opinion, which secure card do you think is better overall between Discover and Capital One? Also, which one do you think I guess helps build your credit more efficiently? Or do they work the same in that field as far as building credit?

  36. gp3

    Some advice needed please:
    I have a bankruptcy from two years ago, current Transunion score of 632. I applied for a secured card from Discover and Capitol One and both were declined. I am concerned at this point about lowering my score more due to these declines. Can anyone recommend a card that has a very high approval rate? I am unconcerned about rates, etc. because I will pay it off monthly. Thank you in advance for any suggestions.

    1. Renee

      Try open sky secured card. There is no credit check. That is very strange you got denied with that score and after 2 years post BK. I applied for discover secured 3 months post Ch 7 and got approved. I am now 1 year 4 months post BK and have discover it secured, capital one qs, and Barclay Apple visa. Before applying to capital one, fill out pre approval form on their site. If they don’t have any recommended offers, you will most likely get declined.

    2. Tarie Nosworthy

      I say, go to your friendly local credit union and get a secured credit card. Sure, it’s not a big box bank, but nearly EVERYONE qualifies through location or company membership for an account SOMEWHERE. Start by getting a listing of credit unions in your area and asking how to join. Then ask HR where you work if you can join a credit union based on being employed by them. If they say the company isn’t part of a credit union, research the credit union with the best rates and get HR to add your company to their field of membership. For example, many secured credit cards from the credit union have APR in the teens

  37. Cheryl B

    I was just approved and funded my Capital One Secured Visa. They said I would receive my card in 5 to 6 WEEKS. Not 5-6 Days.

  38. carla

    I’m not sure what credit card would be good for me to apply to. My credit score is 560 so I don’t know if maybe capital one? Please any advice would be helpful

    1. Kelly

      My credit score is pretty close to yours and I applied for the Capital One Secured Card. I was approved with a $200 deposit. The good thing about the deposit is that you can pay it in multiple transactions as long as it’s done within 120 days. Once I paid my deposit I received my card within 7-10 business days. I was happy that someone took a chance on me. Good luck!!

    2. cj

      stay away from capital one after using the card ans making payments on time they restricted our secured line of credit which means we couldnt make a payment on it and they wouldnt let us use it i will never use capital one again they took our 200 dollars then restricted it…

  39. Xavier Justice

    I recently learned that there are credit thresholds that determine your credit status/cards/benefits. The levels are: under $1000 cards; $1000 to $4999; $5000 to $9999; $10,000 to $19,999; and above and beyond!

    Other than my 3 secured cards, all of my other cards have all been lower than $1000. It took me a year to work my 2 low limit CapOne cards over the $1000 threshold. Since the bump up, they are stuck in inertia within the next bracket.

    I have only had 3 secured cards: The Library of Congress FCU, USAA, and State Department FCU. All 3 were for $5000. I had the Library of Congress card for a year; May 2014 to July 2015. I opened both the USAA and the State department secured cards in July of this year. As mentioned above, in July, I called the branch loan officer and my Library of Congress card was switched from secured to unsecured. I received immediate bumps in my scores as a result of my secured cards.

    Well, in August, my credit scores/status improved dramatically with the 3 cards @ $5 thousand each, reporting in good standing. I was able to close ***ALL*** of my lower tier cards/accounts/limits (except, my Walmart and 2 CapOne cards) for great cards in their places.

    USAA gave me the low APR Visa w/$12,000 credit limit and no annual fee, which allowed me to close the USAA secured card and USAA unsecured card with $1000 limit, high interest, and annual fee. Library of Congress FCU remains unsecured @ $5000.

    My newest unsecured applications results: Penfed Defender @$7000; United Nations FCU @$10,500; Andrews FCU @$3000; CapOne QS Visa @$3000.

    So, please consider credit union cards in your trek to rebuild. They were good to me. Overall, the secured cards have benefited me very well to this point.

    1. William Buchanon

      Hi

  40. Xavier Justice

    Hello. I signed up for the Library of Congress credit union secured “no-frills” visa, which reports as secured and has a flat 9.9% for all of its credit cards. I signed up with $5000 and used the card for one year (1). I did not carry a balance (2) and was never later (3). After the one year mark, I called the branch loan officer and requested that my card be switched to unsecure. The loan guy checked my record with the bank and verbally noted everything I just mentioned (1-3), and then immediately switched me over to unsecured. My $5000 deposit, which was on hold/reserved in the interest-bearing savings account, was immediately released and made available. The Library of Congress federal credit union was one of the better banks that I have dealt with, if you can handle the short branch hours and few actual branches.

    1. Xavier Justice

      Oh, BTW… there was no credit check/income verification on the secured card, BUT they did do a hard pull after they switched my secured visa to unsecured. Still, there was no income verification. When I saw the hard pull, I called the branch again and was told that the hard pull from equifax was routine, but the decision to grant the conversion was based entirely on my history with the card/bank. The branch then told me that they would remove the inquiry, and when I checked my credit a week later- sure enough, the inquiry was gone.

      1. Xavier Justice

        Oh, yeah… one more thing… there was no annual fee. You can set the limit as low as you want and can go up to $5000 max. You can increase the limit from your low deposit – up to the maximum allowed. Does report to all 3 CRAs.

  41. Discouraged

    i find it rather ironic that they have to do a credit check on a secured credit card which is designed to IMPROVE your credit. Why else would you not be approved for a secured card? I am getting ready to call Discover and see if I can qualify for a secured card. I was denied an unsecured card through them, but was not offered a secured card. So I am going to try to apply for the secured IT card over the phone. My credit is a mess from divorce and just plain irresponsibility when I was younger. But a lot has changed since then and it’s time to start rebuilding my credit. It would also be nice to have a secured card that reports as unsecured to the credit bureaus.

  42. Rachel

    Hi-
    I’m looking for a card that has
    1) No or low (<50) annual fee.
    2) Ability to become unsecured after rebuild credit.
    3) Low security deposit (<250).
    4) Ability to increase line of credit without more security deposit.

    1. Denise

      Hi Beverly, I am lost on this whole credit process. I had a 621 score when I first signed up for my 14 Kia Optima in October of 2014, but now my score is 371. I didn’t know that applying for different cards and in store cards could damage me long term until today after reading your blog. I really need help with getting this in order. I’ve recently signed up for credit unlimited trying to restore my credit do you think that was a good thing? I really need help and a clear understanding on how this go… Oh yeah I am about to apply for open sky secured card….. Thanks in advance

  43. Peyton

    Hi, does anyone know about FifthThird’s secured card?

  44. Peyton

    Hi, I just had my Navy Federal card go from secured to unsecured. Now what’s the next best step to building my score? I’m thinking get another secured card. Thought?

    Thanx

  45. Dee Broida

    Hi Beverly,

    I was wondering if you had any information about the UNITY Visa Secured Credit Card. I am looking into it as an option, but I’ve seen some pretty mixed reviews. Also, how do you find out if a secured card reports to the credit bureaus as secured or unsecured?

    Thank you!

    1. David R

      Hi Dee. I actually have a UNITY visa card. Its ok. The only thing I do not like about the card is that when Ebill paying through your bank each month the banks do not recognize it as a main stream credit card and you have to input the information for your bank to send them a check. OneUnited bank (UNITY) has this nasty habit of holding your funds right up to the day your bill is due. So, I have $300 deposit on this card. I tend to spend just about all of that with this card. My bill is due the 26th of each month. But, I pay the total amount of what I spent on the card on the 1st of each month. I have seen that they had not posted payment tell just about the last week that the balance is due. The first time they did this it alarmed me. I am working hard to improve my credit and do not want it late! They are in Florida so I no when my bank sends them a check it only takes 5 days at best to receive my funds. But again they tend to hold it 10 more days past that. I called and complained and even threatened and this month I was shocked that when I sent them an EBill payment through my bank it only took them less then 7 days to post it which is good. So if you can over look the time lines it takes for them to post your payment, they are a reliable card. I have used them in Kauai HI with no issues. They report to all three credit companies and Ive had it now since Feb 2015.

      Note: You might try First Progress platinum which I do have one of those as well. The banks recognize this card as a unsecured card and when I pay my balances in full through Ebill pay (Through my bank) it only takes my payment 18 hours to post and no check is sent by my bank.

      If you pay off your balances whether its $4.00 a month or like me that uses up all but a few dollars of the cards limit, MAKE SURE YOU PAY OFF YOUR BALANCES IN FULL! By doing that, you will avoid any interest rates and it will boost your Fico score high. I went from a 549 on my experian to a fair 610 FICO… I have not seen my scores that high since 2005.

      I also just applied for a Discover It card. Though I am not yet their to get an unsecured credit card they did offer me a Secured card which I snapped on the deal. I deposited $1000.00 and today I just got the card. They report as an unsecured credit card and in 12 months they will refund your deposit and give you a REAL credit card which I think that is cool. We need more card companies out their that are willing to work with someone to help them rebuild your credit and FICO scores….

      Good luck. I hope this helped.

      1. Jay

        May I ask, how long did it take you to improve from 549 to 610?

  46. cc

    first national reports as unsecured?

    1. Jay

      No, First National wrote back to my inquiry and said they report as “secured.”

  47. Jay

    Hi, Beverly. I’ll echo everyone else’s praise for your site, which I just discovered recently. It’s immensely helpful for someone like me, whose knowledge (and use) of consumer credit was so bad that it wasn’t until I was 45 (I mean a few months ago) that I learned that applying for a credit card affected your score. I won’t get into all of the other things I wish I’d known or had not avoided.

    My question is about how you refer to “balances” on a card and its percentage of the credit limit. For example, you responded to one of these posts like this: “With a $500 limit, I recommend keeping a balance less than $50 on the card. This makes your credit utilization ratio 10% and that helps boost that part of your FICO score.”

    So, when you say keep a balance, do you mean at any given time? For instance, I have a Capital One unsecured card with a $300 limit. (I just got it a few months ago, despite having terrible credit, even to the point of a current garnishment. I don’t know how it happened but I was delighted. I applied for another one out of curiosity–see the aforementioned lack of knowledge–and they approved that one as well. They say after five months of making purchases and paying the bill on time, they will raise the limit to $500.) So I’ve been charging a few things and paying them off when they post and not getting anywhere near the due date. So when you mention “balance,” would that include the few days between the purchase and my payment? In other words, if I used the card to buy something that cost $80, but paid it off when it posted 5 or 6 days later, would you consider that to have been my balance for those few days and thus be over the 10% you mention? Do you mean the balance at the end of the month? I’m not sure what you mean by “keeping” a balance. For instance, if I had purchased something for $29 (under the 10%) and paid it off immediately rather than waiting closer to the due date, would that be “keeping” a balance? How long would I have to “keep” it before it became my “balance” and help raised my FICO score?

    Sorry for so many questions, but one more. If I declare bankruptcy (which I will be doing) but have used those cards responsibly for several months and have never carried a balance, is there any chance Cap One might let me keep one or both after the discharge? My understanding is that if you are not in debt, you don’t have to notify them of a bankruptcy but they find out anyhow. If they let me keep one card, I will be wearing a Capital One t-shirt every day.

    I’m sorry for the long list of questions. I would appreciate any help you could lend me. Thanks!

    1. Caroline

      Congrats on turning your credit life around! Better late than never :) And don’t worry, you’re among friends here – we all made mistakes before realizing the error of our ways, and Beverly’s blog helps enlighten us immensely!

      I believe she means that nobody should utilize more than 30% of your card at any given time, and never carry more than 10% balance on your card. So for example, if your total credit limit is $300, you should ideally never make a purchase more than $90 and never have a balance more than $30. For a $500 credit limit, you’d want to keep your spending under $150, and would never want to have a carry-over balance of more than $50.

      Obviously, paying off the balance immediately after making each purchase is the best practice! So that’s good you’re being proactive and not waiting until the end of that month/period is over and interest starts accruing. Because paying off your balance in full each month is always preferable over keeping any balance – even if under 10%.

      However… a separate issue is trying not to utilize (use) your card for any purchase more than 30% of it’s total credit line. Yes it’s a bit tricky to only use 30% when your credit line is so low… this is why it’s always advisable to put as much of a down payment on a secured card as possible. (At least $500 but preferably $1k-$2k.) That’s good to know for future reference, but in the meantime, consider only using your credit cards for small purchases like gas or groceries. Something that makes it easy to pay back quickly.

      I don’t know anything about bankruptcy, so I can’t offer any advice in that department. But I wish you the best of luck! Just be patient… things might look bleak now, but if you stay persistent, eventually the good stuff will build up and make your credit strong – and the bad stuff will eventually fall off too. :)

    2. Melissa G

      This was a very good question. I understood everything you were saying. Im still wanting an answer to your question as well.

    3. Melissa G

      Never mind. I see Carolines response! :)

    4. Basso

      Jay,
      This may be too late, but CapitalOne will close your account once you file BK.

      Happened to a friend of mine.

  48. SriRam

    Hello Beverly, this website is wonderful! I am an international student (with no credit history) and have just started on a summer internship. Assuming that the income from my internship would be a good indication of my ability to repay, I applied for an unsecured cash rewards BoA credit card. My application was rejected. I was wondering if now would be a good time to apply for a secured credit card? If so, is it better to apply with BoA or with another bank? Do you have any suggestions? Given my situation, I do not want another reject to go on my credit history. I am not worried much about the annual fee, as long as I can build credit with a good bank and graduate to an unsecured card. I understand that Wells Fargo does not graduate temporary residents. Your suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks

  49. Sudarto

    I agree with you that the important to have a secured credit card is we can build a credit score so that we get the trust of lenders such as banks.

    If we cannot get a card that we want, another card is no problem. The most important is to get a credit card that provides an opportunity for us to build a credit score and credit history.

    If we can improve the credit history, we gradually can apply for a regular credit card.

    When applying for a regular credit card is the same. We can start from application to the credit card with easy requirements. Only later we apply for a prestigious credit card.

  50. Howard

    Hi Beverly!

    Great information! I was also curious about whether these cards report to all three credit bureaus and whether that is helpful in re-building credit.

    Thanks!

  51. T.M.

    Thank you beverly for this article. Reading it finally gave the the courage to apply for a secured card and get my credit back in good standing. An ex-boyfriend of mine applied for credit cards in my named used em up a d never paid em. So now im paying for it. (We were together at the time and took all my info from the filing cabinet, he had a gambling problem.) I applied for the capital one secured and got approved, im so excited to start rebuilding and one day have an unsecured card and great credit. Thank you again for the confidence!

  52. john farias

    I have been researching the rebuilding credit. I read you have to leave between 5-10 dollars on account so bank will report each month. they say dont pay off all or you wont get reported on that card that month. other people say charge up and pay in full. what is correct answer to get higher scores?

    1. Steve

      John, look at your credit report…..
      I pay mine in full every month and the 3 cards I have all get reported.

  53. Will E.

    Hi Beverly,

    Recently, I saw a short piece on TV that you were speaking about responsible credit. This prompted me to read your secured card reviews since my credit was fairly poor. No active account history, and a couple of old charge offs due to relationship debt.

    Anyway, I tried applying for the Discover Card as mentioned, and did not receive the opportunity to apply for the secured card.

    I wanted to apply for the Citi Secured Card since I have a great banking relationship with them, but since I live in a state with no Citibank branches, I could not apply.

    Bottom line, I applied for the Capital One Secured Mastercard, and was just approved for the $99 deposit for the $200 credit line. I was happy to have been approved for the partially secured option, and I sent them the full deposit immediately.

    I am anxious to rebuild a positive credit history, and hopefully to eventually qualify for the elusive dream house in a few years with responsible use of credit. Thank you so much for all of the information to allow us to make informed decisions!

    1. Delores

      Hi Will, how long did it take for your Cap One card to come? You also had to use you debit card to pay the deposit I would think, Correct? I’m just so Hesitant about using my debit cards on-line for anything?

      1. Kelly

        I received my Capital One card within 7-10 days from making the deposit. They do not let you use a debit card for the deposit though. They require it through your bank using your routing and account number.

  54. E Gray

    There is a 12 month waiting period after bankruptcy to apply for a secured credit card from my credit union. Can you suggest any cards with no waiting period after bankruptcy? I have business travel with 30-60 days of my upcoming BK hearing. I certainly don’t want to turn down out-of-town assignments just because I don’t have a credit card to float travel expenses that will be reimbursed.

    1. K

      Try the State Department FCU. The have a secured card and they do not check your credit. Just need to open a savings account put the money in the account and then apply for their secured visa card. Also they don’t charge any foreign transaction fees and their interest rate was around 7%. It will just take some days for processing and then getting the card.

      I don’t recall them asking me about any BK prior to open the saving account.

      Good Luck.

  55. Kay P

    Hello Beverly I had some questions. I have been using my credit card of 10%-30% utilization each month. And I pay it right back. My question is credit improvement wise, is it ok to use my card and pay it right off before the close date ( almost as if it was never used) or is it just best to wait till my close date and then pay my bill right after but still way before the DUE date . Which option is best to help increase my credit. Of course I understand paying the bill before due date is great. But is it smart credit wise to use the under 30% utilization and then pay it right back before the close date. No one seems to know the answer to my question

  56. Sheila

    Hi Beverly,

    After reading through several of the secured credit card reviews above, it occurred to me that another bit of helpful information would be if the ones that DO NOT DO A CREDIT CHECK were so noted on this page.

    OPEN SKY is already noted above as NO CREDIT CHECK.

    PRIMOR FIRST CHOICE BANK is NO CREDIT CHECK (after clicking the link to that individual review page).

    SDFCU STATE DEPARTMENT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION states on their website there is NO CREDIT CHECK.

    Thank you for the great information on your website!

    1. Sheila

      Update to information on the SDFCU STATE DEPARTMENT FEDERAL CREDIT UNION – there’s NO CREDIT CHECK on any of their secured products.

      They also offer Secured Loans (CD Secured or Savings Secured).

  57. Steve

    I studied this list for a while and decided on the Discover It Secured Credit Card. I applied online and a representative chatted with me while I filled out the application for the regular Discover It card. She confirmed that theres no shortcut to apply for the secured card directly and crossed her fingers for me. After finishing the application it immediately informed me that I was not accepted for the unsecured version and offered me the secured version. I was surprised and excited that I didn’t have to wait for it to come in the mail. After clearing up my address history over the phone with a rep there I was accepted. Thanks for this list, but I’m curious as to why this card isn’t number 1. No annual fee, reports unsecured, rewards, free fico score monthly, upgradable to unsecured, the only downside is that it’s not accepted in as many places as VISA or MasterCard (which shouldn’t matter because we should be using it to make manageable purchases and paying off completely every month to build credit).

    For everone applying to this card see more information about my application on the review for it.

  58. Adrianna

    Hello Bev,

    Im struggling with trying to improve my credi score it was at a 626 i just paid off a conns account n it dropped dramatically -77 points dont know why. I make $4500/ month and have to banks one with chase bout $25,000.00 and security service federal credit union wat can i do to improve my credit score PLEASE HELP!! Thank you in advance..

  59. Miki Smith

    I applied for a MEMBERSHIP with the State Department Federal Credit Union and was denied. They claimed they could not verify me. I filled out the application, including home address, phone numbers, work number, drivers lisence number, kids’ SSN, my SSN, earned income – yet they could not verify me. They told me I would need to come into a branch…I live in California! Seriously?! You would think you could verify a person with the use of computers, the web and hey, maybe the telephone! Needlessly to say, I will not be going with SDFCU for a secured card!

    I wished I would have known this information three days ago so I could have been applying for another card.

    Just wanted people to know about them.

    1. Larry

      I tried applying for a SDFCU secured credit card. I was approved for the share account, but was denied for the actual card. They ended up requiring income proof and they did a credit check. I would stay away from these people as they advertise falsely on their website. Put too much effort to realize that it was a waste.

  60. Ashley

    hey bev thnks for all the help. im 24 with no credit line wht so ever. i can never get an actual score it says no credit history although on the repoorts i have couple of reposessions an medical. amyways i deposit my big refund check n my bank at wells fargo.she wantd me to put like 5000 in a savings an spend 300 to start a wells fargo secured visa. ok do i get my 300 back? is this a good card? she said after a year itll go to unsecured hope shes not jus talking tp get me to sign up . an also how much interest will 1% or it was 0.1% on 5000 n a savings i dont understand im so young an cluueless plz help. an y wis it better to spend undder 20% so if i got it like that an i know for sure ima get my deposit back id put 500 instead.. i jus need my credit up build up real quick i want to start a small photography an decal business next yr with 5000

    1. K. Nicole

      #7: Wells Fargo Secured Card

      You get a variable rate of 18.99 percent. The annual fee is $25 per year. If you use the card responsibly, you’ll be considered for an unsecured credit card.

      Credit bureaus: Reports as secured.

  61. robert

    Mrs. Harzog, I followed your advice and got a secured credit card with Navy Federal Credit Union. It is just as you said I even shared the information with my coworkers. You have help my family and to a new start. Thank you.

  62. Anne

    What would be the best card for us? Discharged from Ch.13 bankruptcy 4 mo. ago. Don’t want too many hard credit pulls for denials. Love your blog. Thanks in advance.

  63. Aimee

    Great article. I was the victim of a very rare and unusual identity fraud situation a few years ago that still has left a few blemishes on my credit report that creditors have refused to remove so I’m going through the hurdles of having to just rebuild it myself 😐

    I tried the First PREMIER bank card right after it happened but was so put off by the fees and assumed that’s how all secured cards were… not to mention I didn’t understand at the time that if you pay the card off too soon it’ll show up as 0% utilization which isn’t good :)

    Just signed up for the Capital One card. A friend of mine used it a couple of years ago and said it made a dramatic difference and within a year he was getting offers for regular, unsecured cards.

    1. Steve

      Aimee,

      I was also put off by the fees for First Premier. But the Capital One unsecured card I have was only raising my score by 1-4 points a month. I sucked it up and got a First Premier card. My score jumped 38 points in the first 2 months. I am now seeing no less than a 8-10 point jump every month. Not saying this card is great, but if you want to raise your score you have to play the game.
      With this being said my score was sub 500, and I know these jumps will stop at some point, but I am close to 600 now and receiving offers from cards without the crazy fees.

  64. Carol

    I have recently obtained the VERVE card, it is the WORST credit card I’ve ever had in my life. Not only are the fees rediculous but the customer service is horrible. It’s bad enough that you have to pay the high fee’s but when your rebuilding your credit you do what you have to do, however, the customer agents treat you like crap. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect and dignity, this you will NOT get from VERVE.
    Take my advice, stay away. Good Luck.

  65. Zach Chervitz

    First, let me begin by saying thank you so much for your tips and detailed reviews of all the types of cards above; extremely helpful to someone like me. But I was wondering about two secured credit cards that weren’t listed above (or maybe they are and I’m blind):

    1. Capital One secure credit card
    2. Citi Bank secure credit card

    I was wondering about these two because they were recommended to me by creditkarma.com, which seems like they’re really trying to help out, but could obviously be recommending those cards due to company ties, commission, advertising payments, etc. I wanted to get an honest opinion and you seem to be one of the only people on the Internet who has come across as being able to do so in a trustful manner. Thanks again for the site and thank you in advance for any help you can send my way

  66. Dee

    Hi Beverly!

    I hope all is well.

    Its been a while since I’ve been on here. Have you heard of Milestone Gold MasterCard and Simmons Bank Visa(R) Platinum? I believe they are secured card, but just wanted to bring it your attention.

    Thank you!

    -Dee

    1. Ms Rebuilding credit

      Dee,

      I just received my Milestone card and so far so good. Too early to leave a big comment on usage, etc. There was once a Milestone credit card issued for bad debt, meaning if you pay off your debt with a particular collector, you could get the card. Mine is the regular old Milestone Gold Card with no debt repayment or anything like that attached. Never heard of Simmons Bank Visa(r) Platinum though.

  67. Jordain

    Academy Bank is great. $25 annual fee and no monthly charges, while my monthly payments are $10. $300 deposit though.

  68. Green

    Hi Beverly

    Thanks for the list

    I wanted to know do you have a list of cards that doesn’t do a hard credit check or no credit check?

    Im aware that Open Sky doesn’t any others

  69. Sean PK

    Hello Beverly.

    Does it make a difference rather they report it as “secured” or “unsecured”

    I just got a Wells Fargo secured credit card to try to build my credit.

  70. Alexandria

    I filed bankruptcy 2/4/15 applied for usaa secured credit card ,received in the mail 2/23, you can be related to someone who is or was in military to get this card, when I called navy fed credit the person has to be active duty or retired, so I was not eligible to apply for this card, I selected $1500 limit to be sure I’m always under the 30%, we will see how it goes, thankyou so much for the info, I do question whether or not to try for the sdfcu card because it reports as secured or should I just keep the one and wait for offers that say guaranteed approved

  71. Shaun

    Beverly… I am debating between secured cards to help restore my credit after a bad business partnership situation which destroyed my credit score. Would I be better off acquiring (2) secured cards for say $2000 each or (1) with a $4000 limit? Thanks!

  72. Artesha

    Thanks Beverly for the thorough expertise and knowledge you are willing to share. Your blog as well as the reviews have saved me from a world of confusion. I will be applying for a secure credit card soon to rebuild my credit and had a question regarding putting a second cardholder on the application. I have a 17 year and I was thinking about putting him on the application to help him build his credit while still in school? What are your thoughts? Any suggestions on other ways I can help him to have a great start financially?

  73. Bre E.

    Hi Beverly!! I love your site and wanted to say thank you and provide some information. First off your the reason why I was approved for a Discover IT secure card I didn’t even knew they exist until I came onto your blog so again thank you. I had just gone through BK last year in November and was looking to re-build my credit I have the discover card but was also looking for another secure care to help with my credit score I have been with PNC Bank for about 10 months now and I love them. Wasn’t sure if they has a secure card or not until I saw your post so I called and asked them and they do!! I have some info for you and anyone else that would like to know!

    1. You have to go inside the branch of a PNC Bank, they do not offer it online.

    2. The Secured Visa credit card requires a $250 minimum security deposit ($2,500 maximum) and has a $36 annual fee which is billed in $3 monthly increments.

    3. The security deposit you make will be equal to the credit limit on your card. If you ever decide to close the card, you would receive your security deposit back minus any balance owed.

    4. Currently, the Secured Visa credit card offers a variable annual percentage rate of 18.99% APR for purchases. The rate is variable and may change based on the Prime lending rate.

    5. PNC rotates between all 3 credit bureaus and it is reported as a secured card.

  74. Sean O'Leary

    I just received the “Verve MasterCard.” They wanted a yearly fee of $125.00 with a 29.99% rate…

    This terms of this card aren’t just bad, they have to be the worst on the entire planet!!! Rocco the loan shark down the street here in Brooklyn took a look at this one and said, “holy sh*t… I thought I was bad!”

    Stay away from these animals!

    If you find this card in your wallet, you must be on receiving Welfare, Section 8, Medicaid, Food Stamps/EBT, disability, and/or live in a homeless shelter – in which case you don’t need a credit card anyway as the gov’t pays your way!

    1. LT

      There are many reasons why people run into credit problems. So I really would not judge anyone on how they got there.

      Verve is a good card for re-establishing credit. The price is high, but it gets your foot in the door.

    2. Tafena

      Sean,
      Your review is appreciated, but to put down & pass judgement a group of people is unnecessary. The people who are on government assistance have every right to establish their credit regardless of how they get their money. I hope that you aren’t judged by the same criteria that you are judging others.

    3. Steve

      Sean,

      While your post is comical, if you also have this card then you are in the same boat as most. The Verve card is the same as First Premier, fees are the same, interest rate is the same, monthly fee is the same. Only difference is Verve has the worst customer service on the planet and they hold payments for up to 10 days before crediting the account back to the actual credit limit. If you want to raise your credit score, you need to play the game.

  75. Yesy Lopez

    I came across your post while I was searching for the best and worst secured credit cards to choose from, Thank you for your information, but I have no idea how to choose from? I have no credit build, I do not know how the credit cards work? but I do want to build credit I am a 20-year old now, and I spent a lot of money, so which secured credit card would be the best one for me, since I have no credit history,but I would be constantly using my secured credit card, once I decide which one to choose from? It would be my first secured credit card. I would really appreciate your feedback please I need assistance!!!!!!!!

    1. billy joel

      Hey Yesy, if you have no credit whatsoever I recommend the Discover it for students card, good rewards, good rates. Secured cards are typically for people with damaged credit, someone with no credit at all can usually qualify for some kind of unsecured card and this kind of card will typically build your score faster than a secured one. Also, try capital one, they are easy approval also. And be careful! Always pay your bills on time! Good luck!

  76. Jhae

    Hello, thank tou for this review, it’s been very helpful to me. I’m trying to rebuild my credit because of past mistakes. Im looking at the capital one secured card. Also, do you know of anything about the fifth third bank secured care? I read it’s tied up to your savings account and im not sure how that works. Thanks so much!

  77. Jessica

    :( I just applied for the verve but now thinking I dont want it. Will it affect my score if I cancel it?

    1. Caroline

      Anytime you apply for a credit card, even if you decide you don’t want it after all, it does affect your score. A one-time hit via hard inquiry isn’t so bad, so don’t beat yourself up! They fall off after two years. Just be sure not to apply to too many and you’ll be fine.

  78. Shawan

    I was wondering if you know anything about the Total Visa credit card.

  79. Emma

    Hi Beverly,

    First, thank you for writing this article – it will be relevant for many years to come! Here’s my story.. my husband and I got in way over our heads with the amount of credit cards we had, and the balances on them, etc. So we got on a debt reducing program with a company called InCharge Debt Solutions.

    We still pay our credit cards every month, but one lump amount goes to InCharge, and then they distribute that (lower, negotiated) amount to each creditor.

    I know that we cannot apply for any new credit cards while on this program. So, my question is, do you think we’d be able to apply for a secured credit card, since it uses your own money and all that?

    I know I just need to call InCharge and find out for myself, but I wanted to see what you thought. I also wanted to see if you had any advice for us as we use this company to get debt free, and/or any advice for after we finish the program.

    We’d really like to buy a house in the next year or so, but I just don’t know if thats possible with what our scores are – they aren’t terrible, but they definitely aren’t great. (Upper 500’s very low 600’s, I think.. I use CreditKarma). So that’s why I thought it would be good to apply for an unsecured credit card.

    Thanks in advance!

  80. Emma

    Hopefully my question to you went through.

  81. Toni Gillespie

    I have the Open Sky Secured Credit Card with a $200 limit. Also have a joint unsecured card that has a balance of less than 30% and could be paid off in two months.

    What is the best strategy to use the Secured Card to increase my credit score the most, ie, how much should be charged each month? I will pay the balance due each month regardless of the amount charged during any month.

    1. Kristyn Rose

      How do you like the open sky card? I’m thinking of applying for one.

  82. Chrischelle Lewis

    I’m grateful to come across blogs like this. I’m really new to this whole credit establishment thing. I heard that secured credit cards weren’t the way to go. Instead, I was told to go for an unsecured credit card to avoid the need to put up collateral for the loan. There is A LOT of great information here, thank you for sharing but I still have trouble making sense of it all. The different tiers and all the cards, I don’t know where to start. I did some research online and found this website FastUnsecured.com. They are an unsecured loan broker that will do all the research and applications for me. I was worried about being scammed, I hear that happens a lot too but they don’t want any money up front. They have this video on the homepage that tells you what to look for in a qualified broker and that really put my mind at ease. I see you have a bunch of posts. Maybe I can go through them as well but I figured, if they will give me a free credit analysis, why not give it a shot? Besides, they posted a bunch of real results from the last year, most people get $25,000-$100,000 in unsecured credit with a 0% interest promotional period. That really sounds like a sweet deal.

  83. Shiva

    Hello,

    I see this as a good forum to know the more about the Secured Credit cards.
    I have applied for a Secured credit card with US bank on Jan 9th and could see that my 300$ has been deducted on the same day.Does it mean,my card is approved and if so,With in how many days I’l be receiving my card?

    Thanks..

  84. Bob

    Hello I was just wondering if you know of any secured cards that a person with no credit can be approved for and our decent? Seems everyone’s yellin me to get a secured card yet the banks want me to have bad credit to approve me

  85. Pat

    Beverly, do you know if the banks care if the consumer applies for more than one secured card at their bank. I would like to apply for 2 more Visa cards at SDFCU. Have you ever heard of that before?

  86. Shawn

    Hi Beverly,

    Can you explain the difference between cards that report as unsecured vs secured? What does that mean for my credit report and score?

    Thanks!

  87. Erin Carruth

    Hi Beverly, thanks for this webpage and the work you’ve put into it. I’m a sponsor for a recent refugee from Afghanistan (interpreter for the US Army) and I’m helping him navigate our complex country. He arrived in July 2014 and is currently working two full time jobs. In terms of establishing credit it seems secured credit cards are the way to go for a new arrival. I found a small credit union in our neighborhood (Salal Credit Union) that offers a rate of 18.74% (which is incidental as he’ll pay it off), a $500 collateral limit, interest bearing on the $500, no annual fee – overall a great deal. I also like it that it’s local and they help you with any problems on site. The only hitch I can find is that they report to Equifax only. How important is it that the banking institution report to all three credit bureaus?

  88. Jeff

    Hello Beverly,

    Great information about Secured credit cards. Thanks for your time in putting the information together.

    Trying to rebuild credit after identity theft in 2009, and to add insult to injury, a few mistakes on my part in credit card delinquencies after being layed off and falling behind on payments.

    Planning to travel to Europe next year. Assuming credit card approval by the lender, if you had your druthers, which card(s) would you choose for European travel, Eastern Europe in particular (Ukraine, Russia) ?

    Noticed the #2 card on the list is an EMV card with a chip, and this might be best for European use ?

    Am a military veteran, but not sure if being active duty is the requirement to get the USAA or Navy card ?

    Thanks very much,

    Jeff in Illinois

    1. Cypress

      Jeff, your military service–past or present–automatically qualifies you to become a member of USAA and/or Navy Federal Credit Union. [*thumbs up*]

  89. Nicole

    Hello there,

    First off thanks for all the wonderful info. I am young and new to this credit world. So I am wondering, how should I transfer from a secured card to an Unsecured card? Should I apply for the unsecured first then close the secured? Would I be better off keeping the secured card open? Any advice is appreciated!!

  90. Demian

    Thanks for the list!

    I’m curious if you have a similar list of unsecured cards for credit re builders?

    1. Demian

      Or do you know which of the top tier cards will convert to unsecured cards after X months of good payments?

  91. Denise

    Hi Beverly- Thanks so much for the information. After reading your list, I opened two accounts, Capital One and First Progress. My credit score increased by 23 points after the first month. I received an application in the mail today for the Verve card and had to see what you thought about it. I won’t be applying for that card. Thanks again for all you do.

  92. MK

    Hi Beverly; I just came across this website — I wish I had known about it sooner! Can you please tell me if PNC Bank reports their secured Visa as “secured” or “unsecured.” Given the other banks you’ve listed who provide secured credit cards, I presume PNC reports as “secured.” By doing so, is this viewed as a negative to a potential lender?

  93. JaCory C

    Does anyone have an information/ratings on the First National Bank of Omaha Secured Visa card? It seems to be a good deal, just would like some insight from anyone who has/had their secured visa!

  94. John

    Hi…thanks for all the info on the secured cards. I applied for the open sky visa and the merrick bank card. The applications went through, so it seems..just now need to send them the despoits..I think I will do western union option..for them both..$225 limit on each. I am trying to rebuild credit..have had a terrible last few years..especially from Captial one..suing me and getting two judgemnts against me on a chargeoff from 1999..the judgment was made in 2012! also since then had two reposeesions..one totally my own doing the other the dealer sold me a car that the engine blew within 2 months..they would not let me do the extended warranty I paid $2000 for! So i had it voultanry repossed. amazingly i kept 3 non-secrue credit cards during all this..and they all report never late/on time…though recently they are close to maxing..due to unemployment. I also just got approved for bill me later..by paypal on a purshase..even witha credit rating of 584. Now I am confused..I just checked my credit report and the credit scores are totally diffrent. One is 576..another 445 and another 556.
    so I am hoping to rebuild credit..at one time (about 7 years ago)..I had over 30,000 in credit, major cards and excellent credit 750 plus.. Do you think I could get to the mid 600’s in 5 years?

  95. Roy Osborn

    Hi, I have the Capitol one secured. I have deposited 500.00 into this card. The limit is 2,000. How high should I(being in desperate need of credit repair)go up with the secured funds? I am concerned with how I would get that money back after I no longer need a secured card. Should I contribute the max of 2,000?

  96. Dana S

    Hi Beverly, Another secured credit card I use is from Georgia’s Own Credit Union. I’m not sure how it reports. Secured or Unsecured but its very easy to get a card. I also know that you have to put 150% into your account for the security deposit. For instance, if you want an $300 credit limit you have to put $450 in my account. But a representative told me it only takes 6-8 months to get the deposit back and graduate to unsecured. I’ve only had the card for 5 months so I’m not sure yet.Check it out and let me know what you think. Thanks

  97. Patricia

    Beverly, I just stumbled onto your page, the information listed is very helpful. I have an unsecured Cap one card, started out with a 300$ limit 5 months later raised to 500$, I also have fingerhut, started at 250 in fresh start program now a year later my limit is 1000$ how long does it take to improve your credit score? I have a couple of negative accounts that will fall off in November. Do companies like Ginnys or home at five report to credit agencies? Any help you can give id appreciate.
    Thanks
    Pat

  98. Kyron Tindal

    Hello Beverly PNC Bank,First Niagara Bank, and TD Bank offer secured credit cards too if you didn’t know but with PNC and TD Bank you have to go in to the branch an request for one

  99. Kelly

    Hello Beverly. First, let me applaud you for the care and thoughtfulness that you provide to every response. It is greatly appreciated.

    I’d like to suggest the State Department Federal Credit Union (SDFCU) secured card. You do need to have a savings account with SDFCU, but it is easy to join (you can join through the American Consumer Council) and it requires only a $300 minimum deposit; there is no maximum. In addition, there is no credit check if you apply with a loan officer by phone. If you apply online, there may be a credit check – I’ve heard mixed reports on this. The card is also low interest (approx. 6.8%, I believe) compared to some of the other cards on this list, and your savings deposit earns interest. A peculiar feature of this card is that you can have some of the funds in the savings account dedicated toward the credit card and have the remaining funds free to access as you wish. You can also add funds by making deposits to the savings account. This does take some time because it takes about 4 days to move funds from your checking account (if it’s an outside account) to the SDFCU savings account, but it comes in handy. I’ve had an account with SDFCU for about a year now and I find their loan officers and customer service staff to be friendly and knowledgeable. Just remember that as a credit union, the staff is small and things do not move as quickly as they might if it were a major bank.

  100. Dave Hildebrand

    I am glad to see First Progress made the list. I found out about them through Credit Karma. It was a rough go at first, but since I’ve had the card, my credit score has increased dramatically.

  101. Nancy Golden

    Most of the top tier cards report as a secured card to the credit agencies. How much would that weigh against you versus the middle tier cards which do not report as such.

  102. Angela

    Thank you for this helpful information. I am rebuilding, and I just received a Verve offer in the mail. I have limited credit now, and thought I might get it, not carry a balance and use it to build more, but after reading this, I can use that “deposit” and “fee” to pay on my two current cards and just not carry balances on those. THANKS!

  103. Glen D

    Hi Beverly, and thanks again for this comprehensive thorough review, it really is the standard as far as secured card reviews!

    I had done a lot of research myself before I came upon your site, and they way I ranked them was a little different, putting more weight on those with no or low annual fees, but I am wondering once having read your reviews if my thinking is skewed…Would you say that having a secured card from a big bank may carry more weight with reviewers of one’s credit report, than say a local or online credit union with no annual fee and a better interest rate?

    After all the goal is to rebuild my credit, so I am wondering if I should change my thinking somewhat. Thanks again for the site!

  104. debra lang-williams

    Hi Beverly,

    Does any of the First Progress cards offer a transfer to a unsecured card at any time?

  105. Shawn

    Hello Beverly,
    I also received a Verve card per-certified offer. Now after reading this page and your other page, I do not think that I should accept this offer. I had originally planned to use it to pay some of my monthly bills (small ones) and pay it off immediately, thus not caring a balance. Now the questions that I have may not be suitable for this page, but I hope that you can help me anyway. I am tying to rebuild my credit. At Present, I have a 610 score. I had to file bankruptcy 10 years ago due to some medical related debt. After filing, I was able to get my credit score moving up…then a few years later, I was hit with more unexpected health issues and due to the type of job I had, I had to quit. My issues…1)It has been more than 10 years and my bankruptcy is still showing up on my credit reports, according to what I see on CreditKarma.I need to know how I can get the three credit bureaus to remove this from my credit history? 2) I have one debt agency reporting two debts as loans, when according to my personal notes, they originally told me 7yrs ago that they were credit cards. I attempted to dispute them with the 3 bureaus,but they never responded to my disputes! Also these 2 debts listed under the same debt company keep getting added as new debts many times each year and according to what I have been told, they cannot do this is the debts are 7 years old. Is this correct? 3)I had bought a sweeper in 2006 from Finger Hut and paid it off. Somehow they have it showing up on my credit report under 3 different debt companies as a bad debt. After I paid this item off, they sent me a paper asking me if I wanted my limit raised $400. I called them and told them that after the problems that I had experienced I would like to close my account… 4) I have a debt for $113 that a collection company owns. It is supposedly from AT&T. I called AT&T and told them that I had not had their service for more than 10 years and that I did not owe them any money. After about an hour or more on the phone, they told me that they did not have any record of me or any accounts under my name. When I asked if they could fax me paperwork explaining this, they told me to hold and after a minute or two, they hung up! Please if you can help me in any way, I would be very appreciative to you!!!
    Thank you for your time and your wealth of knowledge!!! :)
    Regards,
    Shawn

  106. Sandra

    Hey guys I have a question. Does anyone know if after time the Open Sky CC will allow you to graduate ? I can’t find any information on this topic. Thanks in advance ! :)

    1. kdcool

      I have this card and you NEVER graduate. It’s only meant to help rebuild credit, period.

      Hope this helps!

  107. Netta

    Hi,

    I have a Capital One and two Premier Cards. The APR% on the Premier Cards are ridiculous (59% and 36% but all three are unsecured credit cards. I unfortunately had the 59% Premier Card the longest (almost 5yrs) So should I close that account and keep the other one open or close both and just stick with Capital One. My credit score is 520 and Capital One just increased my credit limit by $430 and I’ve only been with them 2 years.

  108. taylor g

    Most websites leave off aero Mexico. When I saw that listed it let me know you are knowledgeable.

  109. Tara Randall

    Hello
    I’m just wondering what is your reviews for union bank?

  110. Jon

    Hi Beverly!
    I wanted to chime in that I have the NFCU secured Rewards Visa, and I agree that it’s one if the best. The interest rate you get does vary based on your credit score, so readers may want to take note of that. Also, it reports as an unsecured card.

  111. Kenneth

    Hi if I have a 529 score at this point which secured card would you suggest I look at so I can start to build my credit? Thank you! Your articles are filled with great information.

    1. Adonica

      Hi, I was researching the best….and worst…secured cards and came across this list…hands down the best reference I’ve read. I just wanted to reply to this particular comment because I have a score similar to Kenneth’s and I was approved for the first progress platinum prestige card and the navy federal card in the top tier. There’s hope!

      By the way: I opened an account and applied for the secured credit card the same day with navy federal. I had absolutely no history with them and was approved. I’m not sure about the other top tier cards and I know navy federal has guidelines to who can join…But the bottom line is, there’s hope!!

  112. Marcos

    Hi Beverly. Thank you for your insight. VERY helpful. My question is for the First Progress secured credit cards is the Platinum Select the only one that reports to the credit bureaus on a monthly basis? Also, with the exception of Open Sky do the other Middle Tier secured credit card run a credit report. I have really bad credit and can not afford anymore hard inquiries on my credit report. Thanks!

  113. Mrs. Confused

    myself and husband had to file bankruptcy,and we are trying to get back right with our credit and buy a house we have capital one and credit one credit cards but we still need help on what to do as far as gettin back on track so that we may buy a house what kind of score do we need to have to buy right now my husband has a score of 609 and mine is 597,suck!!! i know and we just file bankruptcy in july of 2013. any type of help will be greatly do. thanks! Mrs. Confused

  114. ian

    I don’t understand why you rate the cap one so highly. I don’t know of very many people that have gotten more than a 100 dollar increase on the card even after being with them for 5 to 6 years. I was one of those. I finally just got rid of it.

  115. William Charles

    I just thought it’s worth mentioning that with the bank Americard you can call up and get the BoA cash rewards added to it, which is 1-3% cash back.

    I was a bit surprised to see the HD card so low, I guess that’s because of the high APR but people with secured cards shouldn’t be carrying a balance to begin with.

  116. Jake Carlton

    Hi Beverly,

    Are you going to review the new Discover secured card? Thanks.

  117. Walter Urizar

    Hi
    Does it make a difference if you apply for a unsecured credit card in a bank of America branch or online
    Are your chances of approval higher if you go to a branch

  118. Jack

    Hello Beverly- Your blog has been very helpful in trying to build my credit. I was one of those people who always paid cash, so I began with no credit at all, good or bad. I took your advice and picked up a First Progress secured card, after finally getting verified of my identity (Equifax is rough). I seem to be in the high 600’s credit wise, but only have one line of credit. My first payment report should be in early December.

    I guess my question is- Should I apply for a second secured card, with a thin file. or wait. I do not want to risk hard inquiries or rejections this early in my building of credit. Thanks Again

  119. Donna Turner

    Hi Beverly,

    I though you might wanted to know that I got the information below today from my Contintal Finance Discover Card. I applied for one and got a $300 unsecured card and 1 year later they upped my limit to $400 and due to a mistake in their crediting waived my annual fee for the 2nd year.

    RE: Conversion of your Discover credit card account to a new MasterCard credit card account

    As part of our purchase of the SCU Matrix Discover credit card portfolio, we are extremely excited to announce to you that we will be your new credit card issuer. In connection with this change, if your account is less than 60 days delinquent, you will be issued a new Mid-America Bank & Trust replacement MasterCard–branded credit card. If your account is 60 days or greater delinquent or your account is closed with a balance, we will still convert your account to a MasterCard account but we will not issue you a new replacement card until your account is paid current. The conversion from your Matrix Discover credit card account to a new Matrix MasterCard credit card account will occur on 11/21/2013. As of result of our acquisition of your credit card account, there will be NO changes to any of your rates or fees and all terms in your existing cardholder agreement will remain the same.

    Continental Finance will continue to service your MasterCard credit card account and you will receive the same level of service to which you are accustomed.

    Conversion Schedule

    • You should receive your new MasterCard credit card in the mail approximately two – three (2-3) weeks from the date of this letter.
    • Your current Matrix Discover credit card account will convert to MasterCard on 11/21/2013.
    • The last day you can use your Discover credit card for purchases or cash advances is 11/21/2013.
    • We will transfer your Discover account balance to your new MasterCard account on 11/22/2013.
    • You can start using your MasterCard credit card on 11/22/2013
    • Our payment mailing address will not change. Please continue to mail payments to:
    Continental Finance
    P.O. Box 105125
    Atlanta, GA 30348-5125
    During this conversion, you will have to do a few things!!

    Activate your new MasterCard credit card. You can activate your credit card as soon as you receive it, but you will not be able to use it until 11/22/2013. Please ensure you call from a telephone number listed on your account.

    Enroll your new MasterCard credit card at http://www.Matrixcardinfo.com to use on-line Customer Service – just like you did your Discover credit card. You will be able to enroll your new MasterCard on or after 11/15/2013.

    If you have any recurring charges, such as health club memberships, cable bills, etc., that are set up to charge directly to your Discover credit card account, please change them to the new MasterCard account on or after 11/22/2013.

    If you have any Bill-Pay services set up with your Bank or Financial Institution to pay your Discover credit card, please change those to the new MasterCard account on or after 11/22/2013.

    Upon conversion of your account, if you do not want to maintain the new Mid-America Bank and Trust MasterCard, you must call us at 1-866-449-4514 before 12/10/2013. You will be permitted to close your MasterCard account and pay off all existing balances according to the terms set forth in your cardholder agreement. If you exercise this option, no transactions will be authorized on your MasterCard account after the date you inform us that you wish to close the account.

    If you have a cash security deposit associated with your account, this deposit will continue to be subject to the terms of your existing cardholder agreement and will continue to be maintained at an FDIC insured institution. If you have a cash security deposit and you choose to close your new MasterCard account, we will apply the entire balance of the security deposit as a credit to your outstanding MasterCard account balance. We apologize for any inconvenience during this transfer of your account; however, we believe our new relationship with you will provide you with the best products and services in the market. We value you as a customer and appreciate you allowing us to provide your credit card needs now and in the future.

    If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 1-866-449-4514. We are here to assist you and make this transfer to MasterCard as easy as possible.

    Sincerely,

    Mid-America Bank & Trust
    P.O. Box 8099
    Newark, DE 19714-8099

  120. matt

    Hi Beverly- Great site!

    Will a secured credit card look different to future lenders than a non-secured credit card?

    Example- If in a few years I want to apply for a mortgage and I have a Chase unsecured CC and a Merrick secured CC. Both taken out same time with same credit history/line, etc.. Would the mortgage bank look at the 2 cards exactly the same?

  121. Lindsay

    Hi Beverly,

    Thank you for the information above, it’s beyond helpful!

    How long should one wait before applying for another secured credit card?

    Thanks again for all that you do!!

  122. Pablo

    Hi Beverly- I have a capital One secured card with a 200$ limit. I’ve recently received a unsecured limit of 100$,which raised it to 300$ . Do you think I should apply at another bank for a unsecured card or stay with Capital and try to apply for a unsecured with them? This is my first credit card

  123. Julian

    Thank you for you reviews of secured credit cards, they have been invaluable. However, there are so many choices, subtly different, that it’s driving me crazy.
    I’m a student with no credit history, trying to make the best choice.

    The Capital One card seems like a decent option. The downside is you can never get rid of it because they’ll never graduate it (it seems to be a policy). How do you take that into account? It’s nice that it’s reported as unsecured, but I’ll be stuck with an annual fee on a useless card forever.

    I’ve banked with SunTrust literally most of my life. Is loyalty or an existing relationship a factor?

    Based on reviews of the Bank of America card it seems difficult, yet possible, to graduate with some luck/skill. You rate it relatively low, and I’m not sure why, given that it seems to stand out in this regard.

    You rank US Bank highly. There are no branches near me. From what I’ve read, they will graduate you, but the way they do it will hurt your score as much as canceling the card, making the upgradability irrelevant. Should I reconsider this one?

    I’m very confused. Basically, there are so many factors, like ability to graduate and existing business with the bank, that you don’t address in your reviews. For the benefit of everyone here, not just me, how do you evaluate these other factors and how much weight should I give them? Or are these differences too small to worry about, and almost any card will do?

  124. iesha

    Hello Beverly I just got approved for a First Premier Bank card! I see all the negativity about it on so many different reviews. But this is the first card that I have gotten approved for in a couple of years after screwing my credit up. I also have an approval letter for Capital Ones secured card. Should I except them both because I am trying to boost my credit score so in the next 3 years I can buy a house. Please help!!!!

  125. Paige

    hi Beverly, I was just woundering if you could give me some advice i had racked up alot of debt within the past year and recently have paid off the debts on my credit report and everything and my score is still really low what is the best way for me to fix it?

  126. Mary Ann

    Thank you for updating this list, Beverly. It will serve my personal finance students well at the University of Central Arkansas. Excellent work.
    Mary Ann

  127. Earl Stewart Jr

    Great list. Thanks. I was really interested in the Citibank Secured card but I was informed that it’s reported as “secured” on the credit reports.

  128. J

    Bank of America’s Secured Visa offers a Cash Reward version just like their unsecured card but charge 39.00 annually and the interest rate is what you stated; however, if you miss a payment the interest rate jumps and will not be lowered. I had a banking relationship with BofA and at the teller window a notification popped up that said I was eligible for a BofA card so I applied in branch (not sure that that made a difference or not). I was approved for a secured card with a 500.00 limit but had to pay 99.00 to “secure” the card. I have the card and 99.00 was all that I had to deposit with them. You can request a PIN and convenience checks just like an unsecured card.

    Hope this information helps!

  129. Gary

    I would not recommend Citi Secured Card. They will convert you to a regular card after one year if you make payments on time but do not raise your limit or remove the annual fee. It becomes a financial burden after you have build up credit history.

    Bank of America is the way to go. They will waive the annual fee and increase your credit line also, after one year.

    Speaking from personal experience.

  130. Nina

    Beverly, What do you know about the National Express Secured Visa card from Applied Bank and the American Express Secured card? These are relatively new and I was considering applying for them tonight. Can either of these two cards be converted to a non-secure card?

  131. Nina

    Thank you for this comprehensive list! This is very good information for those with bad credit and wanting to build credit. Can you increase your credit limit with the Bank of America secured card and also with the US Bank Secured card? Are you sure the possibility still exist for these two cards to become unsecured after one year of good use? I read on another website that your credit limit can only be the amount of your initial deposit meaning you can not send payment/monies in to increase your limit. If you want a $500 limit, you need to wait until you can send it a full $500 secure deposit before receiving your card?

  132. Carolyn

    That is good to know! Thank you

  133. Carolyn

    The Citi secured card is no longer available.

  134. Dee

    Thank you Beverly for this list.

    I am happy to see comphrensive reviews for all of them!!!!

    Thank you!

    Dee

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