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If you’re early in your credit journey or need to rebuild your FICO, getting approved for a credit card can be difficult. The problem is, a credit card and responsible use may be just what you need to improve your credit score.
Read more: This Credit Score Mistake Could Cost Americans Millions
Fortunately, some card issuers offer secure credit cards for bad credit. These cards generally skip the credit check since you will provide a refundable deposit which will act as your credit limit.
Best prepaid credit cards
This roundup of the 9 best prepaid credit cards for building credit outlines the best options to get you on the right track.
1. Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
APR: 26.99% variable
The Capital One Quicksilver Card is a great option when you’re looking for a card to build credit with no hidden or annual fees. Plus, it comes with rewards, which most secured cards don’t offer. You can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limit.
To start, a refundable security deposit of $200 is required. This will get you started with a $200 line of credit. If you use the card responsibly and pay it off on time, you could receive a higher no-deposit line of credit after six months and even get your original deposit back. Plus, Capital One reports your history to the credit bureaus so you can start improving your credit score.
2. Visa® Gold Preferred® credit card secured by the applied bank
Annual fee: $48
Most credit cards, especially those that cater to lower credit scores, have extremely high interest rates. Applied Bank’s Secured Card has the lowest rate of all the best prepaid credit cards to create a revised credit at 9.99% fixed APR. This means that your rate will not increase if you make a late payment.
To activate the card, a deposit of $200 to $1,000 is required. However, you can increase your credit limit up to $5,000 by continuing to make deposits.
3. BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
APR: 24.24% variable
Bank of America’s BankAmericard works like a standard credit card. However, you won’t have to wait for a credit application for approval. As long as you pay a refundable security deposit of $200 to $5,000, your line of credit will match the deposit. Over time, Bank of America will review your account. If your use of credit is responsible, you may be entitled to a refund of your security deposit.
4. Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Annual fee: $0
APR: 24.74% variable
Citi’s secure Mastercard will help you get closer to a credit score you can be proud of, as it reports to all three credit bureaus every month. You can track your progress with free online access to your FICO score. A minimum security deposit of $200 will earn you the same amount as your credit limit.
The Flexible Payment Due Dates feature allows you to choose your own due date. To have the best chance of success, be sure to spend responsibly and make your payments on time. Stay on track by setting up account alerts and scheduling automatic payment each month to cover your statement balance.
5. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Annual fee: $35
APR: 18.89% variable
According to OpenSky, one in five cardholders increase their credit score by 70 points or more in six months. This is the main reason why a secured credit card is a great way to rebuild credit.
Since no credit check is performed, you will need to hand over between $200 and $3,000 to serve as security for the credit limit. OpenSky reviews your activity, potentially qualifying you for a credit boost or an unsecured OpenSky Gold credit card in six months – with no deposit required. In the meantime, your activity is reported to the credit bureaus, which helps improve your score.
6. Discover It® Secure Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
APR: 25.24% variable
Discover has a lower credit threshold for most of its cards. If you still don’t think you can be approved, the Discover it Secured card is a good alternative. The best part is that it includes many of the same features Discover’s standard unsecured cards have to offer. All you have to do to get started is apply – without a credit check – and provide a security amount for the credit limit, starting at $200.
As you build your credit, Discover will monitor your activity to possibly offer a credit limit increase without requiring another deposit. In the meantime, you can start earning rewards on your spending, like 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations, on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter. And earn unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.
7. Sable ONE Secured Credit Card
Annual fee: $0
APR: 12.49% variable
If you plan to hold a balance, the Secured Sable One card has one of the lowest interest rates of the best prepaid credit cards to create credit at just 12.49% APR. No credit check or previous US residency is required, making it ideal for foreigners who have recently moved to the country. Plus, you have the ultimate flexibility to choose your deposit amount. This means that your line of credit may be only a few hundred dollars or thousands of dollars, depending on the deposit.
You can also earn 2% cash back on your spend at Amazon, Whole Foods, Uber, Uber Eats, Spotify, Netflix and more. All other expenses earn 1% cashback. You will begin to build a credit history as Sable ONE flags your activity. And if you’re goal-oriented, you’ll appreciate the option to go unsecured as early as four months plus a $25 bonus if you achieve a credit score of 700 or higher within the first twelve months.
8. The First Secured Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Credit Card
Annual fee: $29
APR: 22.24% variable
For a secure card with more perks and benefits, the First Progress Platinum Elite Secure Mastercard could be the answer. You’ll need to provide a $200-$2,000 deposit when you apply, but you’ll be approved for a card that’s accepted almost everywhere. You can use this card for car rental deposits, travel and more. And when you pay your balance, you receive your deposit.
9. Surge Secured Mastercard®
Annual fee: $69
APR: 19.99% variable
The Surge Secured Mastercard reports to all credit bureaus to ensure your responsible activity is rewarded. You can even access your Experian Vantage 3.0 score for free using the mobile app.
To apply, you must have a checking account. You’ll start small with Surge – a $300 refundable deposit is required to act as your credit limit. Your purchases will earn you 1% cash back, putting a portion of the annual fee back in your pocket.
If you’re having trouble getting a credit card approved, one of the best prepaid credit cards to build credit in this review can help improve your credit score. As long as you spend and make payments responsibly, you’re on your way to a better credit future.
Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise specified, prices are updated periodically. All other account information is accurate as of September 13, 2022.
Editorial note: This content is not provided by any entity covered by this article. Any opinions, analyses, criticisms, evaluations, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.