2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST CREDIT CARDS TO BUILD CREDIT


Finding the Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

Credit-building credit cards are an essential aspect for people looking to create their credit for the first time or improve their already established FICO credit score.

Relying on credit cards to help build credit is a great way to start, as your FICO score only becomes active after your credit card account has been open for six months or more.

Although there are many ways that you can establish credit, credit-building credit cards are often the easiest and most convenient option.

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Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Credit Cards To Build Credit

For consumers who have no previous credit history, the best credit card to build credit with is a secured card. Secured cards are good credit cards to build credit, as a cash deposit that you make backs them.

There are many credit builder credit cards to choose from; however, some will provide you with better benefits than others. 


Why Credit-Building Credit Cards Are Important

Establishing your credit with credit building credit cards is important in today’s financial system.

If you ever plan on taking out a mortgage, renting out an apartment, or even paying low insurance rates on your car, then you’re going to need good credit. Credit-building credit cards can help you reach that goal.

Improving your credit score with credit cards that build credit will also help qualify you for unsecured credit cards in the future. While secured credit cards to build credit are great as a starter, unsecured credit cards offer far better terms and rewards program.

Overall, whether you’re looking for credit cards to build bad credit or are simply looking for credit cards to build credit from scratch, choosing the best one for your needs will go a long way.

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AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 6 Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the credit card names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that credit card):


Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Building Credit | Brief Comparison

Credit Card
Names

Annual Fee

APR % (min) – APR % (max)

To Build/
Rebuild Credit?

Type of
Credit
Needed?

BankAmericard® Secured Credit

$39

20.49% – 20.49%

Yes

No Credit, Poor, Bad, Average

Citi® Secured MasterCard®

None

22.24% – 22.24%

Yes

No Credit, Poor, Bad, Average

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

None

23.24% – 23.24%

 Yes

 No Credit, Poor, Bad, Average

U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card

$29

19.24% – 19.24%

Yes

No Credit, Poor, Bad, Average

Wells Fargo Platinum Card

None

15.40% – 25.24%

Yes

 Average

Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card

 $25

19.24% – 19.24%

Yes

No Credit, Poor, Bad, Average

Table: Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Building Credit | Above list is sorted alphabetically



Detailed Overview of Secured Credit Cards for Building Credit

Using a secured credit card to build credit is an easy way to establish or improve your current FICO credit score.

For consumers with no previous credit or even bad credit, employing the use of a secured credit card to build credit is a smart move. Secured cards are the best credit cards to build credit as lenders risk much less by approving you for the card.

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With a secured card, you are being approved for a line of credit dependent on an initial deposit that you put down and your income.

Secured credit cards to help build credit should be seen as a temporary solution as you work toward being approved for unsecured credit cards.

The best credit card to build credit is one with a small credit line so that you are able to pay off all of your monthly payments and low penalty interest rates and late fees.


FAQ Section

  • What information is required to apply for credit cards that build credit?

For most credit builder credit cards, you’ll be required to provide personal information such as your full name, Social Security number, date of birth, and estimated gross income.

  • What level of credit do I need to be approved for the best credit cards for building credit?

Generally speaking, credit-building credit cards require no credit to begin with.

  • How can I make the best out of my credit cards to help build credit?

With credit-building credit cards, making small purchases and paying them off on time each month is the best way to slowly build up your credit score.

  • How much money will I have to initially deposit for the best credit cards to build credit?

The amounts will vary with good credit cards to build credit; however, many allow a minimum deposit of $300 or $500.



AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.


Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Credit Cards for Building Credit

Below, please find the detailed review of each card on our list of best credit cards to build credit. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these credit-building credit cards to score so highly in our selection ranking.

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BankAmericard® Secured Credit Review


The BankAmericard® Secured credit card is a great credit card to build credit with. In terms of credit-building credit cards, the BankAmericard® Secured is relatively upfront about what it has to offer consumers.

This specific credit card to build credit charges consumers a $39 annual fee. The card also features a 25-day grace period before your late payments begin to collect interest.

Some of the Most Notable Features of the BankAmericard® Secured Include:

  • Credit line between $300 – $4,900
  • After 12 months, you may qualify for a security deposit return
  • Contact with the three major credit bureaus
  • $0 liability guarantee
  • Shopsafe

Why BankAmericard® Secured Is One of the Best Credit Cards for Building Credit

Primarily speaking, good credit cards to build credit with are ones that share your payment history with the three major credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.

With BankAmericard® Secured, you can rest assured that this is one of the best credit cards to build credit as they report with the major credit bureaus.

While utilizing credit cards to build credit, it is incredibly important for them to share your payment history; otherwise, you will be making purchases in vain.

A Brief Overview of the Other Main Features That Make This One of the Greatest Credit Cards to Help Build Credit

  • Interest Rates

The interest rates that you pay on your credit cards for building credit depends on how high-risk you are. With no credit or bad credit to your name, your interest rates can tend to be on the higher side.

With the BankAmericard Secured, the annual percentage rate (APR) is 20.49%.

  • Rewards and Benefits

Most credit cards to help build credit don’t offer a rewards system, and BankAmericard® Secured doesn’t stray from that.

Although you won’t be able to gain points, there are several advantages to this credit card to build credit.

One of the aspects that make this one of the best credit cards for building credit is the ShopSafe protection that keeps your credit card information safe during online purchases. 

There is also $0 liability protection in the event that your card gets lost or stolen.



Citi® Secured MasterCard® Review


The Citi® Secured MasterCard® is one of the best credit cards to build credit. Cards like these were designed to be credit cards that build credit up.

Standout Features of the Citi® Secured Include:

  • Available to those with little or no credit
  • Reports monthly to major credit bureaus
  • $0 annual fee
  • $200 minimum security deposit
  • Purchase protection
  • Travel protection

Overview of What Makes This the Best Credit Card to Build Credit

  • No Annual Fee

With the Citi® Secured, there is a $0 annual fee. You will save the extra cost of paying for an annual fee on credit builder credit cards, making it even easier for you to fix up your credit.

  • Perks and Benefits

Although good credit cards to build credit often lack a rewards system, the Citi® Secured comes with some amazing perks.

You can enjoy worldwide travel accident insurance, trip cancellation protection, car rental insurance, worldwide card acceptance, and even roadside assistance dispatch service.

  • Guaranteed Reporting to 3 Major Credit Bureaus

Quite often, you’ll find that credit-building credit cards offered by smaller financial institutions will only report to one credit bureau or none at all.

With Citi® Secured, you can be sure that your purchase history will be reported to all three major credit bureaus.

Related: Top Best 0 Interest Credit Cards | Ranking | Top No-Interest, 0% Purchase, 0 Percent Credit Cards (Reviews)



Discover it® Secured Card Review


For consumers looking for one of the best credit cards for building credit, look no further than the game-changing Discover it® card.

Although relatively new to the credit cards to build credit scene, the Discover it® has become a consumer favorite amongst first time credit builders and those with bad credit.

Top Features of this Credit Card to Build Credit

  • No Annual Fee

Often, the best credit cards to build credit will offer applicants a $0 annual fee.

Since credit builder credit cards are known as a temporary option, it is convenient and wise to apply for one with no fee.

  • Earn Cash Back Rewards

Unlike many of the top credit cards to help build credit, Discover it® actually features a cash back rewards system.

You can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 worth of spending and earn 1% unlimited cash back on every other type of purchases.

  • Pull Up Your FICO Score for Free

If you are using credit cards to build back bad credit or just to start your credit, Discover will pull up your FICO credit score for free.

This option will allow you to keep tabs on the improvements of your score as you continue to make use of the credit-building credit cards.



U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card Review


The U.S. Bank Secured Visa® is certainly one of the best credit cards to build credit. This card offers consumers some pretty great benefits in terms of APR rates and grace periods.

The card requires a minimum $300 initial deposit, but you may add more if you wish to have a higher credit line.

Some of the downsides, however, include an annual fee of $29 and no rewards system in place.

One of the Lowest APR Rates of Credit Cards to Build Credit

The U.S. Bank Secured Visa® is the best credit card to build credit in terms of its APR. Currently, the credit card offers a 19.24% variable APR, one of the lowest on the market.

Incredibly Long Grace Period

When compared to many other credit cards for building credit, the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® offers the longest extended grace period.

Many credit cards offer a grace period of 20 to 25 days, but the U.S. Bank card offers consumers an unheard of 24 to 30 day grace period. This gives you more time to pay off your bill and avoid late payments.



Wells Fargo Platinum Card Review


For consumers looking for a card with extremely low APR rates but no annual fee, the Wells Fargo Platinum is the best credit card to build credit.

The Wells Fargo Platinum Card Comes with:

  • $0 annual fee
  • 0.00% introductory APR for 15 months
  • After the intro period, APR will be 15.40% – 25.24% based on credit
  • Free access to FICO credit score

Additional Features

The Wells Fargo Platinum card is also one of the best credit cards to build credit with as they offer some amazing additional features.

You can enjoy emergency card replacement, Zero Liability, travel accident insurance, overdraft protection, and chip technology.

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Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card Review


Consumers looking for credit cards to build bad credit will find a safe haven in the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card.

Wells Fargo Secured is perfect for consumers who are looking for credit cards to help build credit that may not be stellar. With this secured card, you can make a larger initial deposit than with other credit building credit cards.

Main Assets of the Wells Fargo Secured

  • Collateral Account

What makes this one of the best credit cards for building credit is the deposit amount that you can make. You can deposit anywhere from $300 – $10,000 into your collateral account.

This means that your credit card limit can be higher with this card as opposed to many of the other credit cards that build credit.

  • Relatively Low APR

While the card doesn’t offer the lowest APR on the market, in comparison to many of the best credit cards for building credit, the APR is on the lower side.

Wells Fargo Secured offers an ongoing APR of 19.49% variable.

  • Easily Keep Track of Your Spending

With the My Spending Report and Budget Watch, both offered by Wells Fargo, you can easily keep tabs on what you’re spending your money on.

This will help you manage your budget and avoid coming close to late payment due dates.

Read More: Top Best Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit | Ranking & Reviews | Best Cards for Rebuilding Credit


Conclusion—Top 6 Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

This concludes our detailed overview of the best credit cards for building credit. We hope that this guide can steer you in the right direction of improving your bad credit or establishing your credit from scratch.

As you can see, there are many credit cards that build credit to choose from. However, the best credit cards to build credit will be the ones that are straightforward about what terms they offer.

Outside of the terms of the card, the best credit card to build credit for you will be one that gives you benefits that you can make great use of and that fits within your financial budget.

With this guide as your reference, you can now begin applying for credit-building credit cards that you believe will suit you best.



AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

Note: Firms and products, including the one(s) reviewed above, may be AdvisoryHQ's affiliates. Click to view AdvisoryHQ's advertiser disclosures.