Secured credit cards are a reliable tool to consider when you’re trying to build credit. These cards require a security deposit, which sets your credit limit, making them a lower-risk option for consumers and lenders. In August 2023, Credello scoured the market to present you with a selection of the top secured credit cards. Whether you’re a savvy rewards seeker or someone focused on responsible credit management, our picks have you covered.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card
One standout option is the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card. You can tailor your rewards to earn the most back in the category of your choice. With options like gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement, you can align your rewards with your spending habits. Earn 3% cash back on your chosen category, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% on all other purchases. A $0 annual fee and the possibility of graduating to an unsecured account over time sweeten the deal.
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card offers customizable rewards as well. Earn 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter in two categories of your choice. Additionally, you can enjoy 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel, and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center. The card provides a generous 2% cash back on an everyday category of your choosing and 1% on all other eligible purchases. U.S. Bank allows security deposits ranging from $300 to $5,000.
First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
For those concerned about APR, the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card might catch your eye. While rewards are modest at 1% cash back on payments, the card offers a competitive low standard APR. However, it’s important to note the $49 annual fee, making it most suitable for those who anticipate carrying a balance occasionally.
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card is a standout when it comes to flexibility and potential for credit line increases. With responsible use, you could see an upgrade to the unsecured version of the card after just six months. Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Plus, the $0 annual fee and the ability to start with a deposit as low as $200 make this card appealing.
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card
Another offering from Bank of America, the Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card, takes a straightforward approach with 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases. While this might not be the highest rewards rate, the absence of an annual fee, coupled with the potential to transition to an unsecured account over time, adds value.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa® Secured Card
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa® Secured Card sets itself apart by allowing you to earn points. Although it offers 4 points per dollar spent on dining and takeout, and 2 points per dollar on groceries, gas stations, and streaming services, the best redemption option is cash back. A $15 streaming credit for annual streaming service purchases is a unique perk. U.S. Bank’s flexible security deposits range from $300 to $5,000.
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Adding to our list is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, which stands out for its high credit limit potential. With a deposit ranging from $200 to $3,000, you can secure a matching credit limit. This provides ample room to keep your credit utilization low, a vital factor in credit scoring. While the card lacks rewards, its reasonable $35 annual fee and lower APR contribute to its appeal. Additionally, you don’t have to do a credit check to apply, which makes it a solid choice for those with damaged credit.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card
Discover it® Secured Credit Card stands out with its Cashback Match feature. This means that at the end of the first year, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned, doubling your rewards. Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% on all other purchases. Additional benefits include free Social Security number alerts, credit monitoring, and monthly credit score insights.
Navy FCU nRewards® Secured Credit Card
The Navy FCU nRewards® Secured Credit Card caters to military members and their families. While it earns a modest 1 point per dollar on eligible net purchases, the true value lies in the opportunity for credit limit increases and the potential transition to an unsecured card. The card is an excellent choice for those eligible and seeking to establish credit.
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Lastly, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is a straightforward option for credit-building. It does not offer rewards but provides an opportunity to increase your credit limit over time with responsible use. Choose your minimum refundable security deposit starting at $49, $99, or $200, and enjoy the perks of automatic credit line reviews every six months.
Secured credit cards offer a valuable pathway to credit improvement. As you weigh each option, take a look at your spending habits, credit goals, and preferences to help you decide. This will also help you choose between a secured and unsecured card. Whether you prioritize rewards, low APRs, or credit limit increases, these cards have something for everyone. Building a solid credit foundation takes time and responsible management, and these secured credit cards are designed to help you on that journey.
Name: Carolina d’Arbelles-Valle
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