Best Secured Credit Cards

Secured cards are designed to help people with limited or poor credit build their scores, so they eventually qualify for an unsecured line of credit. When you don’t have the right card, you can feel like you’re being punished just for having thin credit. 

For example, many secured cards lack the same perks that come with regular credit cards. Additionally, some charge hefty interest payments and annual fees to make up for the risk of lending to a borrower with thin credit.

Another downside is that many card issuers require an upfront deposit as collateral. This amount usually doubles as the individual card’s credit limit. If you default on your payments, you’ll lose your deposit, which can sometimes cost hundreds of dollars.

Despite the disadvantages, secured credit cards are beneficial — especially if you pick one from Forbe’s list of the top secured credit cards for December 2020. These cards not only report your credit activity to the three major credit agencies, but they also are some of the most affordable cards available. Some even offer rewards, just like unsecured cards.

Whether you’re looking to build your credit or repair it, make sure you check out these recommendations.

No Credit Check

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

  • Welcome Bonus: None
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Regular APR: 17.39% (variable)
  • Credit Score Requirements: None


Card Details:

  • Does not require lenders to check your credit 
  • Refundable deposit doubles as your line of credit
  • Choose your deposit amount starting from $200
  • OpenSky sends your activity to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
  • 99% of OpenSky customers who were new to credit earned a record with all three agencies within six months 
  • Get insights and recommendations from other cardholders when you join the OpenSky Card community on Facebook
  • Receive tips and additional support on OpenSky’s online informational credit page to support your financial literacy while you build your credit


Best Secured Credit Card

Discover it Secured

  • Welcome Bonus: Cashback Match
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 22.99% Variable
  • Credit Requirements: None


Card Details:

  • Suitable for borrowers with no credit history or who are rebuilding
  • Pay no annual fee and get cash back on the things you buy every day, all while building your credit 
  • Discover reports your payment activity to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, allowing you to build your credit with responsible use (unlike debit or prepaid cards)
  • Pay $200 to make a refundable deposit when you open an account. This amount also doubles as your credit limit
  • You must submit your bank account details when you pay your deposit
  • After eight months, Discover will automatically review your account to determine if you qualify for an unsecured credit card and return your deposit
  • You can get 2% cash back on the first $1,000 you spend in combined dining and gas station purchases every quarter
  • When you reach that limit, you can continue earning 1% cash back on everything 
  • Discover is accepted by 99% of merchants
  • Get access to Discover’s helpful, US-based customer service plus a complimentary Credit Scorecard to monitor your FICO credit score
  • New cardholders can qualify for Discover’s Unlimited Cashback Match, which automatically matches your total cash back earned during your first year
  • No limits or restrictions on the introductory offer
  • Discover will notify you if it finds your personal information on the Dark Web (activation required)


Simplest Secured Card + No Annual Fee

Citi Secured Mastercard

  • Welcome Bonus: None
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 22.49% (Variable) APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Suitable for borrowers with Bad or Poor credit (0 – 649)


Card Details:

  • With the Citi Secured Mastercard, you pay no annual fee and build your credit with responsible use
  • Citi reports to Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion once a month
  • Once you earn a credit report, you can check your FICO score for free online
  • Spend with your credit card anywhere in the world 
  • A minimum security deposit of $200 is required, which acts as your credit limit
  • You can set up Auto Pay and account notifications to make it easier to monitor your spending and build your credit
  • Citi offers Flexible Payment Due Dates, which lets you pick a date that’s most convenient for your schedule
  • You can check your account around the clock by calling, going online, or downloading the Citi mobile app


  • Johnson, Holly. “Best Secured Credit Cards of December 2020.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 2 Dec. 2020,





Ian Schindler