Tag: Secured card

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Building Credit, Credit Cards, Reviews

Discover it® Secured Card Review: Rebuild and Establish Credit

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Secured cards are great if you have little to no credit history or have poor credit history. With proper credit behavior they are a great way to build credit. The Discover it® Secured card is an excellent secured card that lets you build credit while also earning cash back. There is no annual fee associated with this card, making it easier to put your money where it’s needed.

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Annual fee
$0
Minimum Deposit
$200
APR
23.99% APR

Variable

Credit required
bad-credit
Bad

How the card works

The Discover it® Secured card is meant to help you rebuild or establish credit. You need to make a $200 security deposit that will become your credit line. If you want a credit limit that is higher than $200, you will need to put down a larger security deposit.

Discover reviews your account monthly starting at eight months to see if you can be transitioned to an unsecured card. This is a feature that makes the Discover it® Secured card unique. If you have responsible credit management, you may benefit from this feature and be transitioned to an unsecured card. If moved to an unsecured card, you will receive your security deposit back. This is hassle free and another reason the Discover it® Secured card is a great option.

This card offers 2% cash back at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases. This is a great bonus, but the main goal of a secured card is not to earn rewards, but to be responsible and build credit. Don’t let the prospect of cash back lead you to overspending. That will only defeat the purpose of this card.

To get the most benefit from your secured card, keep a low utilization rate and pay your statements in full and on time every month. Utilization is the amount of your total credit limit you use. It is calculated by dividing your statement balance by your available credit. A low utilization is not spending more than 20% of your credit limit. So if you have a credit limit of $200, that means don’t spend more than $40.

By following these two practices, you will begin to see your credit score rise. You can even build credit with $10 a month using a secured card.

How to qualify

To qualify for the Discover it® Secured card, you need to be at least 18 years old, have a Social Security number, U.S address, and U.S bank account and provide all the required information in the online application. Be sure to have your bank routing number and account number ready when you apply as they will be needed for the $200 security deposit. Don’t worry if your credit history is nonexistent or unfavorable — this card is great for people who are new to credit or are looking to rebuild credit.

What we like about the card

Earn cash back

You will earn 2% cash back at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases. This is a great added bonus that most secured cards do not offer. Discover will automatically match all of the cash back you earned at the end of your first year as a cardholder.

Automatic monthly reviews after 8 months

Discover takes the guessing out of wondering when you will qualify for an unsecured card by reviewing your account monthly starting at eight months. If you have responsible credit management across all of your credit cards, you may be transitioned to an unsecured card. This is hassle free and another reason the Discover it® Secured card is a great option.

Free FICO Score

It is important to monitor your credit score and each month you will receive your FICO Score for free. If you practice proper credit behavior, you will see your score increase.

What we don’t like about the card

High APR

This card, like most secured credit cards, has a high APR. If you pay your statement balance in full and on time every month, the APR will not matter (because no interest will be charged). And if you do that every month, your credit score will improve over time — making it cheaper to borrow money (if you need to) in the future.

Who the card is best for

This Discover it® Secured card is best for people looking to rebuild or establish credit. In addition to an easy transition to an unsecured card when the time is right, the Discover it® Secured card provides a cash back program and has no annual fee. By using this card coupled with proper credit behavior you can see a boost in your credit score.

Alternatives

If you want a smaller security deposit

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Annual fee

$0

Minimum Deposit

$49

APR

24.99% APR

Variable

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard is made for people who want to rebuild credit. There are lower security deposit options than the Discover it® Secured card, making it a good alternative if you can’t afford a large security deposit. However, it’s important to note that the lower security deposit is not guaranteed. This card also has no annual fee and offers your free credit score; however, there are no rewards. Just remember: A lower security deposit also means a lower credit limit.

An unsecured card from a credit union

Visa® Classic from Georgia's Own Credit Union

Annual fee

$0 For First Year

$0 Ongoing

Cashback Rate

-

APR

12.99%-17.99%

Fair Variable

The Visa Classic from Georgia’s Own Credit Union offers a competitive APR that is lower than Discover. There is no annual fee associated with this card and no rewards, making this card strictly for rebuilding credit. Keep in mind you will need to join the credit union, and the application process is more complicated compared to Discover. This card is a good alternative if you prefer to have an unsecured card and don’t mind working with a credit union.

FAQ

No, your cash back does not expire as long as your account remains open.

If you pay your balance in full and close your credit card account, your security deposit will be refunded. This can take up to two billing cycles plus 10 days. Also, during Discover’s monthly automatic reviews of your credit card account starting at eight months, they will see if they can return your security deposit while you continue to enjoy your card benefits.

The maximum credit limit is $2,500. This will be determined by your income and ability to pay. Keep in mind your security deposit must equal your credit limit, so you will have to deposit $2,500 if approved for this credit limit.

Alexandria White
Alexandria White |

Alexandria White is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Alexandria at alexandria@magnifymoney.com

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Building Credit, Reviews

Review: Secured Primor Gold Card by First Choice Bank

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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A secured credit card provides people looking to build (or rebuild) their credit a simple and safe way to do so. It’s safe in the sense that you can’t get into too much trouble with the card because the limits tend to be low. It’s also safe for lenders because you have to put down a security deposit that will be forfeited if you don’t pay your bill.

 

As your credit score begins to improve, so does your opportunity to graduate from the secured to a regular, unsecured card.

 

Much like when analyzing an unsecured card, not all secured cards are the same. You need to consider the interest rates, amount of the required deposit, whether there’s an annual fee and if the lender reports to the credit bureaus. You need the lender to report your behavior because that will help increase your credit score (assuming you behave well). Finally, it’s important to analyze all fees and fine print about the card and the issuing institution.

 

The Offer

The Secured Primor Gold card by First Choice Bank is the premier secured credit card offered by First Choice Bank. First Choice Bank was founded in 2007 and only has physical branches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, the card is offered to any U.S. citizen by applying online.

In order to open a Secured Primor Gold Card, you need to open (or already have) a savings deposit with First Choice Bank. Your credit limit will be the amount in your savings account with a $200 minimum and $5,000 maximum. It does come with a $49 annual fee.

Applicants can opt for either the Visa Gold or the MasterCard Gold. MasterCard and Visa are only payment networks so it doesn’t matter which one is chosen and most merchants typically accept both.

The Pros

First off, it’s easy to apply for this card. It can be done online, printed and mailed or printed and turned into a branch. There is no processing or application fee. Furthermore, there is no credit check with this card. If your income is at least $100 more than you expenses, you’re guaranteed approval. Even if you have no credit history or bad credit history, you’ll get approved. A credit check typically results in a ding on a credit score. While this should not stop you from applying for a card (read #4 on this helpful list about credit score myths), it’s nice to keep a score as high as possible.

As discussed earlier, this card does report to all 3 credit bureaus. The interest rate is 9.99% APY which is low for any type of credit card. Pay the card off in full each month and never worry about the interest rate. The due date is always at least 25 days after the close of each billing cycle.

The credit limit can be raised by $50 increments after the initial deposit has been made. The security deposit is placed into a savings account that earns .15% APY. The FDIC insures the money in the savings account.

This card has no monthly fee, but there is an annual fee.

The Cons

The card has a $50 liability policy. Meaning, if the card is lost or stolen and used by someone else, the cardholder is only liable for $50 of the purchases made. This is similar to a debit card or other secured credit cards. Many unsecured cards have a zero liability policy.

The card has an annual fee that’s higher than First Choice Bank’s lower-tier secured credit card. The annual fee for the Primor Gold card is $49. There are options for no annual fee secured cards. The card has a foreign transaction fee of 3%, which is an industry average.

Balance transfer is not an option. Graduating to an unsecured card is what many people wish to do. However, the transition can be cumbersome as this card does not offer an unsecured counterpart. You’ll need to apply for an unsecured card and then close this account.

Fees and Fine Print

Cash advances accrue interest from day one. All fees, except the mandatory annual fee, get charged cash advances. A replacement card is $29. The additional card fee is $29. The expedited payment fee is $10. The credit limit increase fee is $49.

The card must remain open for one year to receive interest on the security deposit. Cardholders must keep at least $200 in the account at all times in order to receive interest.

Pulling money out of the attached savings account can’t happen without the bank’s consent. This makes it tricky if a member has thousands in a security deposit and wants cash for something. It takes time before the withdrawal of funds can be available.

Who Should Consider This Card

This card is a relatively competitive option for those looking to rebuild credit. However, you can find options without the annual fee.

primor® Secured Visa Gold Card

The Competition

Secured Primor Classic Card by First Choice Bank

This is First Choice Bank’s lower tier secured credit card. Despite being the little brother, the annual fee is actually $10 less. However, the interest rate is higher at 13.99% but that doesn’t matter if the balance is paid in full each month. Approval is also guaranteed.

Secured Primor® Classic Card from First Choice Bank

Harley Davidson Visa Secured Card from US Bank

Non-bikers can still apply. This card has no annual fee, a rewards program and you even receive a gift – $10 in HD Genuine Rewards certificates. But rewards shouldn’t be a reason to open a secured card. The interest rate is very high at 23.99% APR (variable) so don’t carry a balance. There is also a $300 minimum deposit, which may be steep.

Harley-Davidson Visa Secured Card from US Bank

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

This card has no annual fee, a security deposit as low as $49 and many neat credit tracking tools via the Capital One website. Such tools include credit score monitoring and a what-if simulator. This card reports to all 3 credit bureaus.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

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on Capital One’s secure website

Find other secured card options here.

Will Lipovsky
Will Lipovsky |

Will Lipovsky is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Will at will@magnifymoney.com

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College Students and Recent Grads, Reviews

Visa Classic Secured Credit Card by Justice FCU Review

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Need to repair your credit history and score? Then a secured card is a good place to start. These secured cards are offered to consumers with no credit or poor credit as a tool to build positive history with limited risk for the lender. You’ll put a deposit into a savings account, which then acts as your credit line. If you fail to repay your debts, then the lender will simply keep your deposit.

If you make consistent, on-time payments the card issuer may bump up your credit limit. Or you can eventually apply for a regular credit card and have a better chance of getting approved. The Visa Classic Secured Credit Card by Justice FCU can help you boost your credit history. It requires a low minimum deposit, but it is a little heavy on fine print details.

Basics of the Credit Card Offer

The Justice FCU Visa Classic Secured Card has 16.90% APR and requires a minimum deposit of $110. The card offers cash advances for a fee, worldwide acceptance, travel assistance and emergency card replacement.

You must be a member of the credit union to apply. Justice FCU provides financial services to people affiliated with the Justice Department, Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies. If you’re a part of that community (or have relatives who are) you can join with a $5 deposit into a Justice FCU share savings account. For a full list of Justice FCU eligibility requirements head over to its membership page.

Don’t worry, if you’re not affiliated with any of the organizations or companies on the list. Anyone can become eligible for membership by joining the National Sheriffs’ Association as an auxiliary or student member for $38. So in this scenario you should expect to pay at least $153 in dues and deposits to open an account.

Fine Print and Fees

You should be aware of a few details in the miscellaneous fees section of the credit card terms especially when it comes to disputing charges.

If you dispute a bill you can be charged $15 per hour for account research if the charges are found to be correct. If you request statement copies that aren’t related to a valid credit card dispute it’ll cost you $1 per page. You may also be held liable for unauthorized charges to the card that occur before you notify the credit union. However your liability won’t exceed $50.

Requested replacement cards cost $10. The late fee is $25 and applies if your payment is over 10 days late. You may be subject to a finance charge if the minimum payment isn’t received within 23 to 26 days of the card closing date. The returned payment fee is $30. The foreign transaction fee is 1%. There are no balance transfer fees or annual fees.

Pros and Cons

This card requires a low minimum deposit, which is a benefit if you don’t want to use up a lot of cash to rebuild your credit. Keep in mind that if you close your account in good standing you’ll get your deposit back. You’re also given a decent grace period before late fees and finance charges kick in. Plus there’s no balance transfer fee or annual fee.

On the flip side, the interest offered is higher than the interest of some other secured card competitors. Of course to rebuild your credit you should avoid interest altogether by paying your card off in full each month. But if you do carry a balance you can find lower interest elsewhere. Lastly, as mentioned this secured card has fine print fees and conditions that you need to consider.

Visa Classic Secured Card from Justice FCU

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on Justice Federal’s secure website

Alternatives to the Visa Classic Secured Credit Card by Justice FCU

The Visa Secured Card by MidSouth Community FCU and the EMV Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card by State Department FCU are two cards that we’ve given a top transparency score here at MagnifyMoney because of the straightforward terms.

First the Visa Secured Card by MidSouth FCU requires a $200 minimum deposit and offers APR at 8.90%. This card has no annual fee and the foreign transaction fee may be up to 1% depending on the transaction. Membership to the MidSouth FCU is limited to people who work, live, worship or go to school in Middle Georgia and you have to be a member to qualify for the card. If you’re not eligible for this offer the EMV Savings Secured Card is another good option that anyone can apply for.

The EMV Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card by State Department FCU requires a $250 minimum deposit and offers 6.99% APR. There’s no annual fee, balance transfer fee or foreign transaction fee. Anyone can gain membership to the credit union by joining the American Consumer Council for $15. You may also qualify if you’re an employee (or family member of an employee) who works at one of the affiliated organizations.

Who Will Benefit from the Visa Classic Secured by Justice FCU?

If you’re looking for a secured card to build credit with a low minimum deposit and no annual fee this one should be on your shopping list. It is a little heavy on the fine print so you should still take care to understand the ins and outs of the terms before committing. But if you plan to carry a balance, which you shouldn’t, you can save yourself some money with the EMV Savings Secured Card because it has a lower interest rate.

[Check our secured credit card table here.]

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at taylor@magnifymoney.com

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Building Credit, Reviews

Community Secured Visa Card by Coastal FCU Review

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Community Secured Visa Card by Coastal FCU Review

The Community Secured Visa Card by Coastal Federal Credit Union is an ideal tool to begin establishing and rebuilding credit.

This card requires you to place a minimum deposit of $100 into a Coastal FCU savings account (which is available to anyone). This serves as your collateral since it’s a secured card. You can deposit up to $10,000.

Why a Secured Card is a Good Idea

If you’re trying to rebuild your credit history, then a secured card can help you.

Secured cards are different from regular credit cards, as you’re required to provide collateral in the form of a cash deposit. Your deposit is the amount of credit you can use on the card.

This insures the creditor against any losses in the event you don’t make a payment. They’ll simply use your deposit to cover the balance on your card.

Secured cards are also different from prepaid cards and debit cards. Debit cards are directly linked to your checking account, and your usage isn’t reported to the major credit bureaus since you’re not making monthly payments.

Similarly, your usage of prepaid cards isn’t reported to the credit bureaus. This is because they function similarly to gift cards – you put a certain amount of money on a prepaid card, and each time you pay with it, the balance goes down. When the balance reaches $0, you can no longer use the card.

In short, if you’re looking to rebuild your credit and establish a positive history, secured credit cards offer one of the best ways to do it.

Fees, Benefits, and Application Process

There’s no balance transfer fee with the Community Secured Visa Card, and there’s also no annual fee.

There’s a 13.50% variable APR across the board – for balance transfers, regular purchases, and cash advances. This makes it simple to keep track of, though the 13.50% APR is just slightly under the 15% average for most credit cards.

The Coastal FCU Community Secured card has regular Visa benefits, such as:

  • FraudBlock – protects you against forms of credit card fraud
  • Accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance

The application process is very straightforward. Once you’re a member of Coastal FCU, you can simply apply online. It takes around one to two business days for an approval to go through. You can apply for a savings account online as well.

Who’s Eligible to Apply?

To be eligible to sign up for this card, you must be a member of the Coastal Federal Credit Union. You qualify for membership depending on where you work, if you have a relative that’s a member, or if you’re a member of the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association or The North Carolina Consumers Council.

If none of those currently apply, you can always join the latter two organizations for $18 – this membership fee is deducted when you open a savings account with Coastal FCU.

The Fine Print

There’s an 18% penalty APR that applies if you make a late payment past 60 days or have a payment returned. If you make six consecutive timely payments, your APR may be reduced, but the penalty APR can apply to new transactions indefinitely.

As you’re focusing on rebuilding your credit, you shouldn’t be taking any chances with late payments, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Late fees and returned payment fees are both $25.

If you need a copy of your statement (you can view your account details online), a $5 fee is charged. A document copy fee is also $15.

If you lose your card at any time, you’ll have to pay $10 to replace it. If you want to expedite the shipping, it’ll cost you $35.

Foreign transaction fees are 1% for multiple currency transaction and 0.80% for single currency transactions.

Rate Advantage Secured Visa by Coastal FCU

APPLY NOW Secured

on Coastal Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Other Cards to Consider

If you don’t want to open another savings account to qualify for this card, we have a few other alternatives you should consider.

If the $100 deposit seems steep, you may be able to qualify for a lower option with the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®.

The security deposit for this card is $49, $99, or $200, depending on your creditworthiness. The variable purchase APR is 24.99%, and there’s no annual fee. The max credit line you can have is $3,000. This is great for those who don’t want the temptation of a larger credit limit, or don’t have as much money to put down for a deposit. A late payment incurs up to a $35 fee.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

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on Capital One’s secure website

You should also check with other credit unions closer to you if you’re not near North Carolina, as they tend to offer some of the best secured card choices with fewer fees. You can view our list of secured cards and compare them here.

What’s Best for Your Personal Situation?

Always consider what card is best suited for your personal situation. It’s important to look at all the factors involved, including fees and benefits, before applying for a credit card.

Some secured cards require a higher minimum deposit. It’s up to you to evaluate whether or not putting more of your money down is worth the higher limit. When trying to rebuild your credit, you don’t want to be tempted to make large purchases, so having a smaller minimum deposit might actually help you keep your spending in check. The best way to build your credit efficiently is to make one small purchase a month and automate your bill being paid. This way you have a low utilization and never miss paying on time and in full.

[Learn more about using a secured card here.]

Do your research and be your own advocate. Always check the fine print to make sure the offer is valid and that you’ll be able to take advantage of it properly.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at erinm@magnifymoney.com

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Visa Secured by Agriculture Federal Credit Union Review

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Doesn’t building credit feel like a Catch-22?

Companies don’t want to offer you a line of credit unless you have a solid credit history. But you can’t build a solid credit history without access to a line of credit. It’s enough to make your head spin.

Well, a secured credit card is the answer to this dilemma. A secured card requires that you put money into a savings account as collateral for the things you charge. If you don’t pay your credit card bill the amount is deducted from your deposit, which takes the risk away from the credit card company. Then when you continually pay your bills on time your credit score improves. It’s a win-win.

The Visa Secured from Agriculture Federal Credit Union (or AgFed Credit Union) is one secured credit card that you can use to re-establish credit and here we’re going through the details of its terms and conditions.

The Credit Card Offer at a Glance

The Visa Secured by AgFed Credit Union is currently offering 14.90% APR and credit lines up to $10,000. You’re required to make a minimum initial deposit of $500. And you must keep an ongoing savings balance equal to the credit line that you receive.

Since this card is offered by a credit union you’ll have to go through a few hoops to qualify and it will cost you a little bit of money. The easiest (and cheapest) way to become a member is being related to another member or being employed by one of its affiliate organizations.

If you don’t meet the criteria above you can join the Friends of CityDance Association to qualify, which requires a $20 non-refundable membership due. When you apply the AgFed Credit Union also requires a $5 deposit into your credit union savings account.

Fine Print and Fees

You won’t run into too much fine print if you decide this card is the right secured card for you. However you should bear in mind the total costs including the ones we discussed above. In addition to membership related fees there’s a $25 annual card fee.

If you add the $20 dues paid to the Friends of CityDance Association, the $5 credit union savings deposit and the annual $25 fee you’re looking at an additional $50 on top of the deposit. So you should expect to pay at least $150 in year one if you’re a non-member and $125 if you’re a member to open an account.

One other aspect to note, the card has no foreign transaction fee. If you’re an avid traveler you can go international without paying extra per swipe.

Pros and Cons

The main benefit of a secured card is the ability to get approved without great credit and it’s a viable solution to improving your history. Another pro of this card is the low minimum deposit requirement.

The drawbacks are the annual fee and APR. Other secured cards don’t charge an annual fee and you should try to find savings wherever you can.

Although the APR offered isn’t super high, a few other cards offer a lower APR that you may want to consider first. Just remember paying off your debt in full each month should be a top priority to rebuild credit and it’s wise to avoid interest entirely.

Alternatives to the Visa Secured Card by Agriculture Federal

The Affinity Secured Visa Credit Card and EMV Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card from the State Department Federal Credit Union are two cards without an annual fee and lower interest rates.

The Affinity Secured Visa Credit Card offers a variable 10.60% APR. The card requires a minimum deposit of $250. It has no application fees or annual fees. Almost anyone can become eligible for credit union membership through employment at a participating business or by joining a participating club or association.

 

 

The EMV Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card from the State Department Federal Credit Union offers 6.99% APR. Your initial deposit must be at least $250. There’s no annual fee, balance transfer fee or foreign transaction fee. You can become eligible for this credit union by joining the American Consumer Council for $15 if you’re not an employee of one of its affiliated organizations.

Who Will Benefit the Most from This Offer?

If rebuilding credit is your main goal this card is for you. If you already have a strong credit history you can qualify for a card without having to put down a deposit.

One easy tip to steadily build credit on your secured card is charging a small recurring bill on it each month like a gym membership or Netflix account and nothing else. Then schedule a recurring payment from your checking account each month to pay it off. Showing that your card utilization is low and you’re paying your debts off in full each month can slowly improve your score.

Compare other secured card offers here.

Taylor Gordon
Taylor Gordon |

Taylor Gordon is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Taylor at taylor@magnifymoney.com

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Capital One® Secured Mastercard Review

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Capital One Secured MasterCard Review

Have you been denied for a credit card due to having little or bad credit? If so, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® could help you get back on the right track. You don’t need a perfect credit score, but you do need to be capable of making payments.

What’s a Secured Credit Card, and How Is It Different from Other Options?

You might be wondering what makes a secured credit card different from a regular credit card or a prepaid card. If you’re familiar with secured loans, secured credit cards work in a similar way: they require collateral. Capital One’s secured card requires that you provide collateral in the form of a cash deposit. This collateral allows creditors to lend to borrowers who don’t have the best credit.

Secured cards are mainly for those who need to rebuild their credit. If you’ve previously been in a lot of credit card debt because of irresponsible usage, or need help establishing credit in the first place, secured cards are a great option.

How does this differ from a prepaid card? Prepaid cards aren’t useful for building credit because the usage isn’t reported to the three major credit bureaus. Prepaid cards function more like a debit card because you’re putting money you already have toward them. No lending is involved.

Details of the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

If you’re looking to rebuild your credit, the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a good choice.

The required security deposit is $49, $99, or $200 (refundable) and must be paid in full within 80 days of your account being approved (you can pay it over time within those 80 days). The amount you need to deposit is based on your creditworthiness, but this is a fairly low deposit compared to other options.

You can’t use the deposit toward minimum monthly payments as it’s used as collateral against your account, and you won’t earn any interest on your deposit while Capital One holds onto it.

Note that the deposit is refundable only if you pay off your balance in full and close the account. You can’t convert the secured card to an unsecured credit card, but once you improve your credit you can apply for an unsecured card and then close the secured one.

The credit line ranges from $200 to $3,000, depending on how much you put down for a your security deposit. If you want to increase your credit line, you just need to make an additional deposit.

However, the variable APR on this secured card is a whopping 24.99% – you definitely don’t want to carry a balance on this card. A lower credit line may actually help you here, as you won’t be able to charge an enormous amount to the card.

You can also request a balance transfer, but you have to wait 10 days after your account has been opened to do so.

Since the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a Mastercard, it comes with all the regular features and benefits of a Platinum MasterCard:

  • 24/7 travel and roadside assistance
  • Reimbursement of the difference in price if you find a lower price for an item you purchased within 60 days
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Travel accident insurance and auto rental insurance
  • Fraud coverage
  • You can pick your due date
  • 24/7 access to customer service

Lastly, and most importantly, your card usage is reported to all three major credit bureaus.

Capital One Credit Tracker

The nice bonus with this card is you’ll have 100% free access to your credit score. Monitoring your score while working to increase it is very useful.

Its credit tracker also has a simulator feature. If you’re thinking about taking a certain action with your card (like making a big purchase), you’ll be able to see how your credit score will be affected.

You’ll also receive free alerts whenever your TransUnion credit report changes.

If you’re unsure of how your credit score works, or what makes for a good credit score, the credit tracker will help. It grades your score and will give you tips on how to improve.

Using Capital One’s credit tracker won’t impact your credit score, either.

Who’s Eligible to Apply?

According to the disclosure on Capital One’s website, you’re eligible to apply if:

  • You’re located within the United States
  • You have a monthly income that’s enough to cover your expenses and debt for which you’re currently responsible
  • You’re at least 18 years old and have a valid Social Security number
  • You have a checking or savings account (doesn’t need to be with Capital One)
  • You haven’t applied for a Capital One credit card more than 3 times within the past 45 days
  • You have two or more open credit card accounts with Capital One (not required, but can make you eligible)
  • You have a Capital One account currently not in good standing (overdue balance, has been charged off, etc.) (not required, but can make you eligible)
  • You don’t have a bankruptcy that’s still unresolved

The Application Process

As with most credit cards, the application process is simple and quick. You can apply online, and you only need to fill out your personal information. You’ll be asked for your physical address (it can’t be a P.O. Box), income, rent/mortgage amount, and employment status.

Remember that a hard inquiry against your credit will result from applying for a credit card, even a secured one.

The Fine Print

There’s no annual fee for this card, and late fees are up to $35. Cash advance fees are either $10, or 3% of the cash advance – whichever is greater. That being said, there used to be a $29 annual fee associated with this card, so if you applied before the change in policy, you would have been charged a fee.

Capital One assures customers “there are no additional penalty fees associated with this card,” and there’s no foreign transaction fee or balance transfer fee to worry about.

It also mentions that a late payment won’t increase your APR, but the APR varies with the market, so it can fluctuate.

Finally, it states, “if your account is 180 days past due, part of a bankruptcy proceeding, or otherwise charges off, the entire balance is due immediately.”

It’s a good idea to read all of Capital One’s disclosure to educate yourself on how the card works.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

Alternative Secured Cards

Not thrilled with what Capital One has to offer? There are other choices when it comes to applying for a secured card.

You can always check with your local credit union or community bank to see if it offers any secured cards. Many of our highly rated secured cards are products of these institutions.

The State Department Federal Credit Union offers the EMV Secured Visa Platinum Card. This simple and transparent card offers low APR (7.99% variable) and no annual fee. There is a minimum deposit of $250. You don’t need to be a member of the State Department nor one of the organizations tied to the credit union in order to join. You can join the American Consumer Council for only $5 to be eligible.

Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card from State Department Federal

Justice Federal Credit Union offers a Visa Secured Card with a $110 minimum deposit, 16.90% non-variable APR and no annual fee. Anyone can join JFCU by first becoming a member of an eligible JFCU association like the National Sheriff’s Association, charges a $38 membership fee. It only costs $5 for eligible individuals to join JFCU, so that would raise the total cost of membership to $43.

Visa Classic Secured Card from Justice FCU

APPLY NOW Secured

on Justice Federal’s secure website

Compare Your Options

You shouldn’t plan on carrying a balance on any credit card – even a secured card. If you can avoid doing so, the high APR of the Capital One® Secured Mastercard isn’t a concern. It’s also a great option if you can pay the $49 or $99 minimum deposit, as opposed to $200. However, it pays to run the numbers when comparing different secured cards. Each has different benefits and fees, so make sure you choose the card that’s best for your situation.

Explore our Secured Card Comparison Table Here.

Erin Millard
Erin Millard |

Erin Millard is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at erinm@magnifymoney.com

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Best of, Building Credit

Best Secured Credit Cards When You Don’t Have Any Credit History

The editorial content on this page is not provided by any financial institution and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Updated: June 1, 2017

There is a difference between “no credit” and “poor credit.” No credit means you’ve never taken out a line of credit. It’s common with recent college graduates who didn’t take out student loans or 18 year olds leaving the nest and entering the workforce. Poor credit is typically the result of a slip up: missing a credit card payment, defaulting on a loan, a medical bill going to collections.

A secured card offers a solution to building credit from scratch. Because you don’t have any credit history, a lender isn’t inclined to trust you. A secured card is a way to prove to a lender you can be responsible while the lender minimizes risk.

[Make sure you understand HOW to use a secured card before you get one.]

In order to open a secured card, you put down a deposit and the lender gives you a line of credit – typically the same as the amount you put down. Not all secured cards operate the same way. Some secured cards charge an annual fee while others require steep deposits.

Before you start applying haphazardly, see if your local bank or credit union offers a competitive secured card. With no credit, you may have an easier time being approved with a financial institution you’ve already established a relationship with. If the fees and deposit required from your local bank or credit union seem to steep, be sure to check out the options below.

Below, we’ve outlined secured cards with a variety of conditions, but all of which tend to approve people with no credit history.

If you’re a current college student looking to build credit, then apply first for a student credit card instead of a secured card.

Discover it® Secured Card – No Annual Fee

Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee
Discover has a market leading secured credit card and even if you don’t have any credit history at all, it is still possible to get approved. This card is best for people with no credit, or scores of 670 or less.

There is no annual fee, but you need to make a security deposit of $200 or more to establish your credit line. Our favorite feature is the automatic review process. Discover offers automatic monthly reviews starting at 8 months to see if you can be transitioned to an account with no security deposit.

You also get to earn earn cash back: 2% at restaurants and gas stations (on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter). Plus, you get 1% cash back on all your other purchases. To avoid paying interest, pay your balance in full and on time every month.

APPLY NOW Secured

on Discover’s secure website

Rates & Fees

State Department Federal Credit Union

Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card from State Department Federal
SDFCU’s EMV Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card sounds elite, but you can be eligible for as little as $5, as long as you have the $250 for the deposit.

You are eligible to join the SDFCU if you’re an employee of the Department of State or one of the extensive organizations with ties to the credit union (all listed here under “who can join”). If you don’t work for the Department of State, you may also be eligible through the American Consumer Council. You can join the ACC for only $5 if you’ve used any major consumer product or service within the past 12 months – and you probably have.

USAA Secured Card

USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa®
The comes with one big catch, you have to be a USAA member or have military affiliation personally or through family in order to become a member.

USAA’s secured card comes with a $35 annual fee and you must put a deposit of $250 – $5,000 into a CD in order to open the secured card. This deposit will be your credit limit. The APR can range from 9.9% to 19.90%, so never carry a balance on the card.

Navy Federal nRewards Secured Card

nRewards Secured Credit Card from Navy FCU
Navy Federal Credit Union also requires military affiliation to be eligible for it’s nRewards Secured Card. It also comes with the hefty deposit of $500. There is no annual fee and a variable APR starting at 8.99%.

While there is a rewards aspect of this card, we recommend ignoring it and focusing on building your credit score above 700 so you’re eligible for a truly competitive rewards credit card.

DCU Visa Platinum Secured Card

DCU Visa Platinum Secured from Digital FCU The Visa Platinum Secured Card comes with a hefty minimum deposit of $500, but doesn’t have an annual fee. However, you will need to pay to join this credit union if you aren’t already a member.

  • Cost to join – $5 to join DCU + membership costs to join eligible organization if you aren’t eligible
  • Minimum deposit – $500

Just like with USAA and Navy Federal, you must be a member to be eligible. Except with the DCU, it’s easy to become a member. You can be eligible to join DCU if a relative is already member, if your employer offers membership or your community is included within field of membership. If none of these apply, you can join an organization with member privileges. Joining these organizations range in membership cost from $25 to $120. Once you join DCU, you have a lifelong membership, so you could cancel a membership with the other organization after joining.

Capital One Secured Mastercard

If you can’t afford a hefty deposit of $110 – $500, consider the Capital One secured card.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Capital One offers a secured card with a $49 minimum deposit for a $200 line of credit.

Unfortunately, the $49 deposit isn’t a guarantee because it’s based on “creditworthiness.” It is possible Capital One will ask for a deposit of $99 or $200, especially if you have no credit history.

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s secure website

 

Harley Davidson Visa Secured Card from U.S. Bank

Harley-Davidson Visa Secured Card from US Bank
We know it seems a little strange, but the Harley Davidson Visa Secured Card from US Bank offers a good option for those not interested in paying to join a credit union and trying to avoid an annual fee (aren’t we all?).

Here are the details:

  • 22.99% APR – so don’t carry a balance
  • Minimum deposit – $300
  • No annual fee

View other options on our Secured Credit Card Comparison Table

Erin Lowry
Erin Lowry |

Erin Lowry is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Erin at erin@magnifymoney.com

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