Key takeaways

  • If you want to build up your credit and don’t have a bank account, there are secured cards that accept a deposit using a money order or prepaid debit card
  • Some of them even offer rewards, but also consider their fees and APRs
  • If you open a bank account, you would have more options for secured cards and also get more ways to manage your money

Secured credit cards can give you purchasing power while helping you to build credit. As a condition of approval, you’ll typically need to offer up a security deposit which may also be your credit limit. The credit card issuer may ask you to link a bank account in order to transfer the funds for your deposit.

And this is where you might hit a snag. If you’re part of the 4.5 percent of American households that are unbanked, you might be wondering whether it’s possible to get a secured card with no bank account.

The good news is there are some secured cards that allow you to pay your security deposit using methods other than a bank account. For instance, you might be able to mail in a money order or use a prepaid debit card to fund your account. Here’s a closer look at which secured cards you might be able to get, no bank account required.

Seven secured credit cards you can get with no bank account

When comparing secured credit cards, it helps to be conscious of your credit history and how much you can afford to put down as a security deposit. Some secured cards are suited to people with bad credit; others are designed for people who are starting from scratch with no credit history.

In terms of the minimum deposit, you might find cards that start as low as $49, while others might require $200 or more. Rewards are rare with secured credit cards, but there are some that offer cash back on purchases, which is something else to consider. Also, remember to weigh the fees and the interest rates.

1. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

The OpenSky Secured Visa Card is a secured card that’s designed for people who need to build or rebuild credit. The minimum deposit for this card is $200, which you can pay by mailing in a check or money order or by transferring funds through Western Union. Your credit limit can be as little as $200 or up to $3,000 depending on the amount you submit as your security deposit. Security deposits are refundable if you decide to close your account. This card charges a $35 annual fee.

2. Self – Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa® Credit Card

The Self Visa Credit Card is a secured credit card with a unique twist. You don’t need a traditional bank account to open and fund this account, but you do need to have a Self Credit Builder Account. This is a loan account that provides no money upfront, the way a traditional loan would. Instead, it’s held in a certificate of deposit account that you make monthly installment payments on, including interest and fees. And once the loan is paid off, you receive that money back. You can use a minimum of $100 of your Credit Builder savings to fund the deposit for the Self Visa Credit Card, as long as you’ve made at least three on-time payments toward your loan. The card has a $25 annual fee.

3. First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card is available to people with bad credit or no credit history at all and charges a $49 annual fee. There’s no minimum credit score or credit history required to apply. You can make a minimum deposit of $200 or deposit up to $2,000 if approved. Security deposits can be submitted using a prepaid debit card if you don’t have a bank account.

4. First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card is similar to the Prestige version in terms of the initial deposit requirements and the option to pay via prepaid debit card. You don’t need a credit history to apply for this card and your deposit is fully refundable. The biggest difference is in what you’ll pay for interest. This card has a higher APR than the Platinum Prestige Mastercard, though it does have a lower annual fee ($29).

5. First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

First Progress also offers the Platinum Select Mastercard Secured Credit Card, which is a secured credit card that can be funded using a prepaid debit card. There isn’t much difference between this card and the other two First Progress cards mentioned above — the features, benefits and minimum $200 deposit that’s required are all identical. There is a difference in the APR and fees, however. This card sits squarely in the middle between the two when it comes to what you’ll pay for the annual fee ($39) and APR.

6. Associated Bank Secured Visa® Credit Card*

Associated Bank is a regional bank headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The bank offers a number of credit cards, including a Secured Visa credit card for people with limited credit. You can make an initial deposit of $300 to $5,000 and your credit line is equal to the amount of your deposit. If you don’t have a bank account, you can make your deposit by mailing in a money order. You might consider this card if you’re interested in rewards, as it pays up to 5 percent cash back on purchases if you go with the Max Cash Secured Visa option. Plus, there’s no annual fee.

7. Oakstone Card Platinum Secured MasterCard® Credit Card*

The Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard offers credit lines of $200 to $5,000, depending on how much you want to offer as a security deposit. There are no processing or application fees and no minimum credit score needed to apply, but there is an annual fee of $49. Security deposit payments can be made using a prepaid debit card, which is a plus if you don’t have a bank account. This card reports to all three major credit bureaus to help you build credit and it features a low regular variable APR.

The bottom line

Getting a secured card with no bank account is possible and it could be a good first step toward getting your credit on track. The secured cards listed here can be opened and funded without a bank account as long as you have access to money orders and/or prepaid debit cards.

If you’re interested in more secured card options, you may want to consider opening a bank account. A checking account would make it easier to qualify for a secured credit card, and it can also offer convenience for managing your money. For example, you can set up direct deposit for your paychecks, pay bills automatically and link your checking account to a savings account for easy transfers. If you’re ready to open a bank account, it’s easy to compare the best checking accounts online so you can find the right one.

*All information about the Associated Bank Secured Visa® Credit Card and Oakstone Card Platinum Secured MasterCard® Credit Card has been collected independently by Bankrate and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.