The Bankrate promise
At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for . The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
A secured credit card — which uses a deposit as collateral to secure your credit line — can help improve your credit score, whether you’re rebuilding your credit or starting your credit history from scratch. You should know that these credit cards are notorious for having lower credit limits, which means you’ll need to be mindful of carrying a balance on them.
However, there are some higher-limit secured credit cards that might be better for you. Here are some secured card options to explore if you’d like a little more wiggle room when it comes to carrying a balance on your card.
U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card: Best for a high credit limit
- Credit limit: Up to $5,000
- APR: 26.99 percent variable
- Annual fee: None
We like the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card* because there’s no annual fee, and you’ll get the option to choose your credit limit and payment due date. Your credit limit, in particular, can be between $300 and $5,000 — a solid perk for potential cardholders who have enough funds to secure a higher limit.
You’ll simply call customer service and make the request for an account review. If your request is approved, you’ll get a new account number and your deposit will be returned.
OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card: Best for a low APR
- Credit limit: $3,000
- APR: 22.39 percent variable
- Annual fee: $35
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card offers a comparably lower regular APR of 22.39 percent, whereas other cards on this list charge APRs between 25.49 and 26.99 percent. Further, the OpenSky Secured Visa offers a credit limit that can go up to $3,000, provided you are willing to depart with a larger amount of money, and there’s no credit check required in the application process.
You could be eligible for the OpenSky Gold Unsecured Card after as few as 6 months, but you can also check out whether or not the OpenSky Secured Visa is worth it for you.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card: Best for cash back rewards
- Credit limit: up to $2,500
- APR: 27.49 percent variable
- Annual fee: None
In addition to offering cardholders the opportunity to build credit with a secured card for no annual fee, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card also offers cash back rewards. With this card, you’ll get 2 percent at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1 percent) and 1 percent back on all other purchases. To sweeten the deal, as a welcome bonus, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
We also like this card because there’s a path to upgrade to an unsecured version. After seven months, there’s an automatic account review to see if you qualify.
Citi Secured Mastercard: Best for simplicity
- Credit limit: $2,500
- APR: 27.49 percent variable
- Annual fee: None
The Citi® Secured Mastercard® doesn’t have much in the way of bells and whistles, but it made the list due to the higher credit limit you can get with this account.
You can open your card with as little as $200 or as much as $2,500. And after 18 months of on-time payments, you are eligible to upgrade to an unsecured Citi credit card and get your deposit back.
Should you get a high-limit secured credit card?
If your credit score isn’t good enough for a traditional credit card to improve your credit, these secured cards could get you on the right track to a better credit score. We don’t recommend that you go this route if you can’t make your payments on time and as agreed, as making late payments or missing payments could damage your credit even more.
Also, if you will carry a balance on a secured credit card, not only will you pay interest, but you may also increase your credit utilization ratio. Credit utilization is an important factor in maintaining a good credit score.
Finally, you should be comfortable with a larger deposit to obtain a higher credit limit. If you’re fine with putting down $1,000 or more for a secured card, it could be beneficial to your credit-building journey. If you aren’t in a financial position to part with a large amount of money, then you should consider waiting until your financial situation improves.
How to choose a high-limit secured credit card
Here are some useful features to look for when choosing a secured credit card.
Opportunities to increase your credit limit or upgrade your card
Some secured credit cards will automatically review your credit account and increase your credit limit. It’s not something you have to initiate but is instead built into your credit issuers’ process for credit limit increases.
Even if there’s no automatic review, inquire if there’s an easy way to get an increased credit limit. Some issuers may also offer an upgrade path to an unsecured version of the secured credit card you have.
Some secured credit cards can come with a bevy of fees that include annual fees, foreign transaction fees, late fees or even higher interest rates. Ideally, you’ll choose a card with minimal fees to help you save money on this credit-building strategy.
Not all secured credit cards will report your activity to the credit bureaus. Before getting a secured credit card, ensure that the issuer will report your activity to the credit reporting agencies.
Though not extremely common in the secured credit card space, there are some secured credit cards that offer cash back and other perks, such as a welcome bonus. They won’t be as appealing as the benefits that come with standard rewards credit cards, but they can provide an incentive to use your credit card even while you are repairing your credit score.
The bottom line
Though secured credit cards can be a great credit-building tool, the downfall can be the notoriously-low credit limits — which can make it difficult to keep your credit utilization ratio low. Because of this, we recommend you consider a higher-limit secured credit card. However, make sure that your secured credit card has other desirable features aside from just a higher credit limit, like lower fees, rewards and automatic account reviews.
It can also help to compare your choices to other cards on our list of the best secured credit cards, in case other features catch your eye and prove more valuable.
*The information about the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.