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Best Credit Cards to Help Build Credit
9 May 2018

What Are the Best Credit Cards to Help Build Credit?

Nearly a third of Americans have credit scores below 601, making them considered “bad credit” by Experian.

With a low credit score, you might only be able to take out bad credit loans or secured loans. While these types of loans might work for a short period, it will be very difficult for you to qualify for a mortgage or car loan without a higher credit score.

So, which credit cards can help you build your credit score? Keep reading to find out:

  • First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

    First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
    Issuer Synovus Bank
    • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option.
    • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval.
    • Quick and Complete Online Application.
    • Full-Feature Platinum MasterCard(R) Secured Credit Card.
    • Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards are Accepted!
    • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History.
    • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application.
    • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time.
    • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account.
    • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI.
    *See Card Terms. Show more
    Issuer Synovus Bank
    Regular APRAnnual FeeCredit LineCredit Recommended
    Regular APR14.74%
    Annual Fee$39
    Credit Line$2,000
    Credit RecommendedDamaged/Fair

Capital One Secured Mastercard

For this credit card, you will need to make a security deposit based on how they classify you as “creditworthy”. But after paying you’ll have a credit line of $200. Then when you make your payments on time for 5 months then they will increase your credit line.

The items that you buy with this credit card are protected by a warranty that Capital One Secured Card ensures without any extra payment. If your card is lost or stolen they will also send over a new one and give you a cash advance. They also offer benefits when you use your card to rent a car.

This card does not require an annual fee. The APR is variable and is 24.99%.

Indigo Mastercard for Less than Perfect Credit

This credit card is great if you have bad credit and are trying to build it up. There is a high chance you will get approved after bankruptcy as well. If you want to pre-qualify for the card it will also not affect your current score.

Indigo also offers fraud protection in case you lose it or it gets stolen. The annual fee for this card can be anywhere from 0$-99$. And the APR is 23.9%. One of the only downsides is that the card doesn’t allow you rewards for your purchases.

Discover It Secured Card

The Discover It Secured Card is one of the credit cards to help build credit that does not have an annual fee. Advertised as a “real” credit card, your credit history will be reported to the three large credit bureaus.

You will need to pay a security deposit for the card, the minimum is 200$. And they will give you a credit score report for free. This can be accessed on monthly statements or you can see them on their mobile app. They’ll even monitor your social security number online too.

This card also offers a cash back system. And for the entire first year of having the card, they will match any cash back that you earn. The APR rate is 24.49%.

Chase Freedom Credit Card

The Chase Freedom credit card also does not have an annual fee. They also advertise that you get to decide how to earn cash back and an opportunity for you to earn a 150$ bonus. The amount of cash back you can earn is up to 5% for a $1,500 limit.

There are two different versions of the Chase Freedom Credit Card, there is the standard one and then the unlimited version. Both have no annual fee. For the first 15 months of having the card, your APR is 0%.

After the 15 months, the APR is variable from 16.24%-24.99%. The card also offers extensive protection for fraud, damages or theft, and even warranties.

Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Building Credit

You can see if you pre-qualify for this card without affecting your current credit score. Credit One offers free credit score checks online so you can watch your credit be built. The company will also report your information to credit bureaus monthly.

You will also be able to choose your own payment date as well as receive alerts about your account to your email or text message. They also give you the option to increase your credit line.

There is an annual fee required ranging from 0$-99$. And the APR rate ranges from 19.15% – 25.24%.

  • Bonsai Finance

    Our take: Online marketplace that searches through lenders to find the best offer for your personal situation Show more
    Credit ScoreLoan Size/AmountLoan TermAPROrigination Fee
    All can apply$100 - $15,0001 - 604.99% - 1,386%Varies by lender
    Credit ScoreAll can apply
    Loan Size/Amount$100 - $15,000
    Loan Term1 - 60
    APR4.99% - 1,386%
    Origination FeeVaries by lender

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

OpenSky offers credit cards to help build credit that you don’t even need a credit check for! The Secured Visa Credit Card is one of them. You don’t even need a bank account to get this card.

You must pay a security deposit. But the nice thing is that same deposit is the credit line for your card. The minimum deposit necessary is 200$.

OpenSky also offers credit education to its cardholders to help support smart spending. They also report to the major credit bureaus and most of their cardholders develop a record with them in as little as 6 months.

The annual fee for this card is 35$ and the APR is 18.64%.

Journey(R) Student Rewards from Capital One(R)

If you’re a student looking for credit cards to help build credit check out Capital One’s Student Credit Card. With this card, you’ll be able to get a higher credit line after 5 months of responsible payments on time. It also allows you to access your credit score as much as you want, you’ll also get tools to help you monitor it.

If your card ever gets stolen or lost you will not be responsible for the payments made. Going to study abroad? Capital One will ensure that you are not charged a fee for making transactions outside of the United States.

You will also be able to monitor your account through their mobile app as well. You’ll also get the chance to earn cash back. The standard is 1% for all purchases but if you make your monthly payment on time it increases to 1.25%.

There is no annual fee and APR is 24.99%.

USAA Secured Card(R) Platinum Visa(R)

The USAA offers credit cards to help build credit or improve credit you already have. The Secured Card Platinum Visa is a credit card where you determine your own credit line by making a deposit for it. This deposit can range from $250 to $5,000.

This card also offers benefits regarding travel and retail. You will never get a transaction fee for payments made outside of the U.S. There is also an opportunity to get coverage that pays for damage and theft to a rental vehicle. There are also identity theft resources.

They also offer special benefits to those who serve in our military. The annual fee is 35$ and the APR rates are variable from 11.15% to 21.15%.

More Tips for Credit Cards to Help Build Credit

When you are looking for a credit card your search can seem endless. There are so many out there how will you know which one is the right one for you? This is why doing your research is so important.

Bonsai Finance is built to give you the best independent advice we can, whether it’s to find an installment loan, payday loan, or no credit check loan.

For more information on what credit cards are best for you, check out this page.