Secured credit cards can give you purchasing power while helping you build credit. As a condition of approval, you will usually be required to offer a security deposit which may also be your credit limit. The credit card issuer may require you to link a bank account in order to transfer funds for your deposit.
And this is where you might run into a problem. If you are part of 5.4% of US households unbanked, you may be wondering if it is possible to get a secure card without a bank account.
The good news is that there are secure cards that allow you to pay your security deposit using methods other than a bank account. For example, you might be able to send a money order or use a prepaid debit card to fund your account. Here is an overview of the secure cards you could get, with no bank account required.
7 secure credit cards you can get without a bank account
When comparing secured credit cards, it helps to be aware of your credit history and how much you can afford to put down as security. Some secured cards are suitable for people with bad credit; others are designed for people starting from scratch with no credit history.
In terms of minimum deposit, you can find cards that start from $49, while others may require $200 or more. Rewards are rare with secured credit cards, but some offer cash back on purchases, which is something else to consider. Also, don’t forget to weigh fees and interest rates.
1. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
The OpenSky Secure Visa Card is a secure card designed for people who need to build or rebuild their credit. The minimum deposit for this card is $200, which you can pay by sending a check or money order or by transferring funds via Western Union. Your credit limit can be as low as $200 or as high as $3,000 depending on the amount you submit as a security deposit. Security deposits are refundable if you decide to close your account. This card charges an annual fee of $35.
Read our full OpenSky Secured Visa review
2. Auto — Credit Creation Account + Secure Visa® Credit Card
The Self Visa credit card is a secure credit card with a unique touch. 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 does not provide upfront money like a traditional loan would. Instead, you make payments and when the loan is paid off, you receive that money with interest. You can use a minimum of $100 of your Credit Builder savings to fund the Self Visa credit card deposit, as long as you’ve made at least three on-time payments for your loan.
Read our full review of Self Credit Builder Account + Self Visa Credit Card
3. First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® secured credit card
The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard secured credit card is available for people with bad credit or no credit history and charges an annual fee of $49. There is no minimum credit score or credit history required to apply, and it is even possible to be accepted with a discharged bankruptcy. You can make a minimum deposit of $200 or up to $2,000 if your application is approved. Security deposits can be submitted using a prepaid debit card if you do not have a bank account. This card is not currently available in New York, Arkansas, Iowa or Wisconsin.
Read our full review of the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card
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 initial deposit requirements and prepaid debit card payment option. You don’t need a credit history to apply for this card and your deposit is fully refundable. The biggest difference is what you will pay for interest. This card has a higher APR than the Platinum Prestige Mastercard, although it has a lower annual fee ($29). And like the Prestige card, it’s not available to residents of New York, Arkansas, Iowa, or Wisconsin.
Read our full review of the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card
5. First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard secured credit card
First Progress also offers the Platinum Select Mastercard, which is a secure credit card that can be funded using a prepaid debit card. There’s not much difference between this card and the other two First Progress cards included here – the features, benefits and the $200 minimum deposit required are all identical. And again, you won’t be able to get this card if you live in New York, Arkansas, Iowa, or Wisconsin. There is a difference in APR and fees, however. This card falls squarely in the middle between the two when it comes to what you’ll pay for the annual fee ($39) and APR.
Read our full review of the First Progress Select Mastercard Secured Credit Card
6. Associated Bank Secured Visa®
Associated Bank is a regional bank headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The bank offers a number of credit cards, including a secure Visa credit card for people with limited credit. You can make an initial deposit of $300 to $5,000 and your line of credit is equal to the amount of your deposit. If you don’t have a bank account, you can make your deposit by sending a money order. You might consider this card if you’re interested in rewards, as it pays out up to 5% cash back on purchases. Plus, there are no annual fees.
7. Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard®
The Oakstone Platinum Secured Mastercard offers lines of credit from $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 required to apply, but there is a $49 annual fee. 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 has a regular low variable APR.
The bottom line
Getting a secured card without a bank account is possible and could be a good first step in getting your credit on the right 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 are interested in more secure card options, you may consider opening a bank account. A checking account could make it easier to get a secure credit card, and it can also provide convenience in managing your money. For example, you can set up direct deposit for your paychecks, pay your 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 to find the right one.