Updated on Oct 5, 2017

Best Secured Credit Cards for 2017

Take the first step toward positive credit with a secured credit card.
By
to learn about how we make money.) Though we work diligently to ensure all information is up to date, credit card information changes often; the information in our reviews may differ from what you’ll find on an issuer’s site.">Advertiser Disclosure

This page includes analysis of our favorite cards from Google-X’s advertisers and the marketplace. Visit our to learn more.

One tool to build positive credit is a secured credit card. While a security deposit is required, the best secured credit cards make it easy to rebuild or establish credit. Check out our list, apply online, and start building positive credit today!

Summary

Best secured credit cards of 2017

  • : Best overall
  • : Best for military members and their families
  • : Best for low fees
  • : Best for moving to an unsecured card
  • : Best for low APR

Google-X’s top picks

On Discover's secure website

Best overall

Security deposit $200 to $2,500
Reward details 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations; 1% cash back on other purchases

Free monthly credit score Available
Annual Fee $0
Highlights Provided by Discover Show Highlights
Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line. You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • New! Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
  • Issuer: Discover
  • Rewards Details: 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99% Variable
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: 10.99%
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: 6 months
  • Ongoing APR: 23.99% Variable

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you want to build credit while earning rewards, consider the . You’ll earn up to 2% cash back on purchases with automatic cash back matching your first year. Use your card responsibly and you may qualify for a deposit refund after eight months.

How to use it
  • Deposit $200 to $2,500 to open your secured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,000 on combined purchases each quarter) and 1% cash back everywhere else.
  • Pay your balance in full and on time to avoid interest, build credit, and possibly receive a deposit refund.
Consider this

Take advantage of free FICO® credit score reporting to monitor your score. As it improves, consider upgrading to an unsecured credit card.

Why you'll love it

With the , you can build positive credit with no annual fee or penalty APR while earning cash back rewards.

on USAA's secure website

Best for military members and their families

Security deposit $250 to $5,000 in the form of an interest-earning CD
Reward details None. However, your CD will earn interest at a variable rate over two years.

Free monthly credit score Available
Annual Fee $35
Highlights Provided by USAA Savings Bank Show Highlights
  • Best for members rebuilding or establishing credit.
  • Determine your own credit limit ($250 to $5,000) with an interest-earning CD.
  • No foreign transaction fees when you travel outside the United States.
  • Issuer: USAA Savings Bank
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer (maximum fee per transfer $200).
  • Cash Advance APR: 10.90% to 20.90%
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 10.90% to 20.90%
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

Military members and their families should consider the . There’s a small annual fee, super-low 4% APR during deployment and PCS, and your security deposit earns money as a two-year interest-earning certificate of deposit (CD).

How to use it
  • Deposit $250 to $5,000 to open your secured line of credit.
  • Pay your balance in full and on time to avoid interest and build credit.
  • Take advantage of $0 foreign transaction fees during international trips.
Consider this

Be prepared to keep your security deposit as a CD for two years to avoid an early-withdrawal penalty.

Why you'll love it

The lets you take advantage of a low annual fee, no penalty APR, no foreign transaction fees, and super-low APR during deployment or PCS.

on Capital One's secure website

Best for low fees

Security deposit $49, $99, or $200 based on creditworthiness
Reward details None

Free monthly credit score Available
Annual Fee $0
Highlights Provided by Capital One Show Highlights
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Issuer: Capital One
  • Rewards Details: N/A
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $0
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% (Variable)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Introductory APR Period: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer APR: N/A
  • Introductory Balance Transfer Period: N/A
  • Ongoing APR: 24.99% (Variable)
  • Penalty APR: None

Our two cents

Who should get it

For a minimal security deposit, consider the . You could get a $200 line of credit for as little as $49 or $99. Use your card responsibly to possibly qualify for a credit limit upgrade after five months – no additional deposit.

How to use it
  • Deposit $49, $99, or $200 to open a $200 line of credit. Add funds for more credit.
  • Pay your balance in full and on time to avoid interest, build credit, and possibly increase your credit line.
  • Keep an eye on your credit score with Capital One’s CreditWise tool.
Consider this

The has 24.99% variable APR, plus a late payment fee of up to $35. Pay your balance in full and on time each month to avoid interest and fees.

Why you'll love it

There’s no annual fee and minimal upfront costs with the , allowing you to rebuild credit and possibly qualify for a deposit refund and higher credit line.

on U.S. Bank's secure website

Best for moving to an unsecured card

Security deposit $300 to $5,000
Reward details None. However, your security deposit will be placed in an interest-earning savings account.

Free monthly credit score Not available
Annual Fee $29
Highlights Provided by U.S. Bank Show Highlights
  • You are not responsible for unauthorized transactions if your U.S. Bank Secured Visa card is ever lost or stolen.
  • detects and notifies you of any unusual card activity to help prevent fraud.
  • It's yours automatically - at no extra cost - when you charge your entire car rental on your U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card and decline the rental company's collision damage waiver option. Coverage on a 24-hour basis for damage due to collision or theft.
  • The easiest way to bank online! With this service you can view current statements, download account history, check your balance, make a payment from your U.S. Bank Checking or Savings account, get a cash advance and much more.
  • Take advantage of this easy way to pay bills online.
  • U.S. Bank offers this online tool that can help you avoid interest and late fees with automatic payments that put you in control. It can also help you pay down a balance faster. Learn more at usbank.com/flexcontrol.
  • Issuer: U.S. Bank
  • Annual Fee: $29
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2% USD, 3% Foreign Currency
  • Ongoing APR: 19.99%
  • Penalty APR: Not applicable

Our two cents

Who should get it

The is for anyone who wants to transition to an unsecured account. After a year of responsible use, request an account review to upgrade your status!

How to use it
  • Deposit $300 to $5,000 to open your secured line of credit.
  • Pay your balance in full and on time to avoid interest, build credit, and possibly upgrade to an unsecured credit card.
Consider this

Keep your credit utilization low and your balance paid in full and on time to upgrade to an unsecured credit card.

Why you'll love it

With the , you have a straightforward path to building positive credit and possibly qualifying for an upgrade to an unsecured credit card.

on First Progress' secure website

Best for low APR

Security deposit $200 to $2,000
Reward details None

Free monthly credit score Not available
Annual Fee $49
Highlights Provided by Synovus Bank Show Highlights
  • Fund your new MasterCard® secured credit card with your tax refund today!
  • Our card reports monthly to all three major bureaus and approval is based upon a fully-refundable security deposit.
  • We can approve you at any credit score, no minimum required.
  • No processing or application fees required.
  • Full-featured Platinum MasterCard, accepted for car rentals, hotels, and millions of other locations worldwide.
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 - $2,000 Submitted with Application
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI
  • Issuer: Synovus Bank
  • Annual Fee: $49
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.99%, Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Ongoing APR: 9.99% (Variable)

Our two cents

Who should get it

If you carry a balance occasionally, consider the . It’s recommended you pay your balance in full each month, but things happen. In those cases, you can rely on this card’s low 9.99% APR.

How to use it
  • Deposit $200 to $2,000 to open your secured line of credit.
  • Pay your balance in full and on time to avoid interest, build credit, and possibly receive a credit line increase.
Consider this

Don’t fall back on the low APR if you can avoid it. Paying your balance in full and on time helps you avoid interest and can help boost your credit score.

Why you'll love it

You can rely on the to pay less in interest while building credit. Just don’t get in the habit of carrying a balance!

Google-X’s top picks: summed up

Recommended Card Best For...
Overall
Military Members And Their Families
Low Fees
Moving To An Unsecured Card
Low Apr

How can I rebuild my bad credit?

You’ll need to understand your credit history and follow best practices to rebuild bad credit.

How do I get my credit score for free?

Check your credit score for free on sites such as Credit Karma or Credit Sesame, and see where you are in the range:

  • Exceptional: 800+
  • Very good: 740-499
  • Good: 670-739
  • Fair: 580-669
  • Poor: 300-579

How do you check your credit history?

Request a free copy of your credit report from AnnualCreditReport.com. Look for any inaccuracies as well as areas where you could improve.

How can I rebuild my bad credit?

Never miss a payment or pay late. (Payment history is 35% of your total credit score.) Keep your balances low since credit utilization is 30% of your score. Make a habit of paying your balance in full and on time each month.

Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.