Q: I am interested in applying for a secured credit card because I’m trying to rebuild my credit. I also need a card with a high limit. What are my options?
A: A secured credit card is a great way to build or rebuild your credit. Secured cards require that you deposit cash – typically in an amount equivalent to your desired credit limit – into an interest-bearing savings account as a refundable security deposit. The card works like a regular credit card: you make purchases and pay them off, either right away or over time.
Secured credit cards typically have higher interest rates than unsecured cards, and charge annual or monthly fees. If you are using the card to build your credit, make a few purchases each month and pay the entire balance each time the bill comes. In many programs, good behavior with a secured card will earn you an unsecured card in a few years.
At the time of this writing, the highest secured credit card limit was at Wells Fargo, who allow up to $10,000 – provided you have the security deposit to equal it. Wells Fargo also offered one of the lowest annual fees and APR rates of the cards we surveyed.
Several cards offer limits between $3,000 and $5,000. These include cards at Capital One, Union Plus Credit Union and Applied Bank. U.S. Bank and CitiBank also offer cards but do not advertise specific limits.
To get the most from your secured credit card, make sure the bank reports to all three credit reporting agencies, and review security deposit interest rates along with all fees prior to filling out an application.