Guaranteed Approval Credit Cards: Secured Cards

Andrew Reyes
A pen sits on top of a credit card application that is stamped "approved."
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Secured credit cards are a great option for people looking for credit score recovery and guaranteed approval credit cards. It’s important to understand what guaranteed approval means when it comes to secured credit cards.

Guaranteed approval doesn’t mean zero criteria — all credits cards require some application criteria. For secured cards, it’s a refundable down payment that acts as your credit limit. This down payment is typically determined by your current income, or what the bank believes you can reasonably pay back.

This is beneficial for the bank because it ensures that you can’t spend more than you can pay back, allowing them to approve more applicants. It’s also beneficial for the card user because you have access to a new line of credit.

What makes a secured card a guaranteed approval credit card, also called instant approval cards, is once you pay the down-payment, you’re approved for the card.

Best Secured Credit Cards

Here are some of the best guaranteed approval secured credit cards, based on factors such as approval requirements, monthly fees, standard deposits, and APR.

Secured Mastercard from Capital One

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): 26.99%.
  • Minimum deposit: $49, $99, or $200.
  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: $40.
  • Credit score: Very Poor to Fair (300-670).
  • Compare cards here:


The Secured Mastercard from Capital One is a widely accepted and recognized card. This card has low fees, which is great for a secured card.

However, Capital One will run a credit and employment check for applicants, which may disqualify some. On the bright side, Capital One is fairly flexible with its deposits, and allows users to pay in installments after approval.

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): 17.39% (variable).
  • Minimum deposit: $200.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Annual fee: $35.
  • Late fee: Up to $38.
  • Credit check: None.
  • Compare cards here:


Many cards that don’t require a credit check do have an annual fee, as is the case with the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card. OpenSky does offer some flexibility with their credit limits, as you can submit a deposit between $200 and $3,000, depending on your desired spending limit.

Discover it Secured Credit Card

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): 22.99%.
  • Minimum deposit: $200.
  • Rewards: 1% to 2% cash back.
  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: $39, waived for the first late payment.
  • Credit score: Very Poor or better (300+).
  • Compare cards here:


The Discover it Secured Credit Card offers reward perks that other guaranteed approval cards don’t, which may appeal to applicants. However, Discover does run a credit check on applicants, and will reject applicants with pending bankruptcy cases.

Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): 9.99%.
  • Minimum deposit: $200.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Annual fee: $48.
  • Late fee: Up to $38.
  • Credit check: None.
  • Compare cards here:

The Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Card is another secured card that doesn’t require a credit check, but does come with an annual fee. While the annual fee is higher than others, it comes with a much lower APR, which some users may prefer.

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): Prime rate plus 15.24%.
  • Minimum deposit: $200.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Annual fee: $29.
  • Late fee: $39.
  • Credit check: None.
  • Compare cards here:

This card offers no credit check and a low annual fee, which makes it perfect for users who have been rejected in the past, or are looking for their very first credit card. The biggest drawback for this card is that they don’t offer a mobile app, so tracking payments and spending are less convenient.

Self Credit Builder Account + Secured Visa Credit Card

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): 15.92% (variable).
  • Minimum deposit: $100.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Annual fee: $25.
  • Late fee: $15 (variable).
  • Credit check: None.
  • Compare cards here:


Self offers a credit builder account bundled with their secured Visa card, which means it’s a great option for anyone looking for a more intensive credit makeover. They also don’t require a credit check, however, the annual fee will lower your spending limit. For example, with a Self account, if you put down a $100 deposit, you would have a $75 spending limit. 

Citi Secured Mastercard

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): 22.49% (variable).
  • Minimum deposit: $200.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Annual fee: $0.
  • Late fee: Up to $40.
  • Credit score: No credit or limited history.
  • Compare cards here:

The Citi Secured Mastercard does do a credit check, however, applicants with little to no credit history can still be approved, so you don’t have to worry about it as a qualifying factor.

It should be stated that this is a credit building card, not a credit repair card — it’s specifically designed for individuals with no credit history, not individuals with poor credit.

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): Prime rate plus 5.24%.
  • Minimum deposit: $200.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Annual fee: $49.
  • Late fee: $39.
  • Credit score: Any (300 and up).
  • Compare cards here:


The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard is designed specifically for individuals who have bad credit, or have recently filed bankruptcy. As it is incredibly hard to get approved in both of these situations, this card can be a great credit rehab option.

Oakstone Gold Secured Mastercard

  • Annual percentage rate (APR): 13.99% (variable).
  • Minimum deposit: $200.
  • Rewards: None.
  • Annual fee: $39.
  • Late fee: $40.
  • Credit score: None or any.
  • Compare cards here:


Oakstone encourages all credit types to apply for their secure card, signaling that it is a good choice for those looking for an instant approval card. The Oakstone Gold Secured Mastercard can have a limit of up to $5,000, making it a scalable option for users. It should be noted that this program isn’t currently available in NY, IA, AR, or WI.

How to Get a Secured Card

Requirements for secured cards will vary by lender. Here are some of the general requirements for a secured credit card:

  • Be 18 years of age or older;
  • Have a Social Security number — a passport or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) may work in some cases;
  • Provide a refundable deposit;
  • Provide a U.S. mailing address;
  • Provide income verification for monthly payments.

If you have poor credit, you won’t need to use a secured card forever, but you will want to consider when you close your account, as that will impact your credit score.


Image Source: https://depositphotos.com/

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