Are all secured cards the same?

Last Updated: May 24, 2013 08:44PM UTC

You probably won’t find points and other perks that so many unsecured cards offer, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t shop around to find the best secured credit card.

Look for cards with low annual fees, no hidden fees, and reasonable rates. (The Capital One Secured Mastercard is often recommended by industry insiders for those reasons).

Ask the creditor if activity on the secured card is reported to all three major bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), and whether the account is flagged as a secured card in the reporting process, which can make it tougher to build credit.

Ask how long it will take the issuer to offer you an unsecured credit line, and when the money you use to secure your credit line will be returned once you close the account and move into an unsecured credit card. (Some secured card issuers will keep the money for up to two billing cycles after the account is closed).

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