Capital One Secured MasterCard
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We give kudos to the Capital One Secured MasterCard for not charging an annual fee and being one of the only secured cards that potentially lets you deposit less than your credit limit.
If you can’t afford a $200 security deposit all at once, Capital One Secured is a great option for its installment plan. This makes the Capital One card a solid choice for someone trying build (or rebuild) their credit history.
This feels like a credit card that is trying to help its users achieve more. Besides its fee and security deposit structure, the Capital One Secured MasterCard also includes access to its CreditWise tool, which allows users to monitor changes in credit over time.
You’ll also be allowed to “graduate” to a higher credit line with no additional deposit after making your first five monthly payments on time.
The annual percentage rate is higher than some other secured cards we’ve reviewed, which could prove a problem if you don’t pay on time.
This is a fine starter card, but in the end we find the Discover it Secured card is a superior choice for a secured card because it offers cash-back rewards for your spending.
Who should get this card
If you have bad credit a limited credit history, the Capital One Secured MasterCard is a great first step card to help build up your credit score. If you qualify, you can put down as little as $49 to get a credit limit of $200. Or, if you have to put down $200 to get a limit of $200, this card lets you pay that amount in installments.
If you maintain a good payment history, after five months you can gain access to a higher credit limit. This card also will report regularly to the three major credit bureaus so you can improve your score.
Fees and APR
- You’ll pay no annual fee.
- There is no foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside of the United States.
- Purchase APR is a variable 24.99%, which is high.
Extras and perks
This card comes with Platinum Mastercard benefits, including travel and auto insurances and protections.
You can increase your credit limit up to $3,000 by making additional deposits up to the amount you want.
There are no rewards.
How this card compares
If you have a bank account but limited or poor credit history, the Discover it Secured Card is a terrific choice to help build your credit and earn cash-back rewards, too.
We also like that you can quickly graduate to an unsecured Discover card with just eight months of good payment behavior.
The two reasons you may want to apply for the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is if you don’t own a checking account, but still want access to a credit card, or if you’re looking for a secured card with a decent annual percentage rate.
There’s a very narrow band of consumers this applies to, we imagine.
If you or a loved one will be deployed soon, the USAA Secured Card American Express could prove a real help. Think about applying for this card before you head overseas so you can take advantage of the generous benefit offered active-duty military personnel.
The card has a special low APR for deployed members of the U.S. armed forces — much lower than standard credit card interest rates — and, unlike most other unsecured cards, offers travel and auto protections and extended warranty coverage.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.