2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST GUARANTEED CREDIT CARDS
Intro: Finding the Best Guaranteed Credit Cards
Qualifying for credit cards, particularly if you have less than stellar credit, can be lengthy, stressful, and difficult. Many people looking to build or rebuild their credit score seach for guaranteed credit card approval options. Many companies offer cards with very flexible qualification requirements, but it is important to keep in mind that no company can offer guaranteed credit card approval with absolute certainty.
Award Emblem: Top Guaranteed Credit Cards for Bad & Fair Credit
Secured credit cards are a good option to consider because they require customers to submit security deposits. This protects companies and allows them to offer nearly guaranteed credit card approval.
These cards are often approved for customers with bad credit or no credit and can help customers find guaranteed approval credit cards for bad credit. Each credit card offer is unique, and it is important to carefully compare relevant information as it relates to your needs in order to choose the best card for you.
AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Guaranteed Credit Cards
List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the credit card names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that credit card):
- Capital One Secured MasterCard
- Citi® Secured MasterCard®
- Discover it® Secured Credit Card
- Open Sky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
- USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum®
- Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card
Top 6 Best Guaranteed Credit Cards | Brief Comparison & Ranking
|Capital One Secured MasterCard||24.99%||$49, $99, or $200||None|
|Citi® Secured MasterCard®||22.24%||$200-$2,500||None|
|Discover it® Secured Credit Card||23.24%||$200 and $2,500||None|
|Open Sky® Secured Visa Credit Card||17.64%||$200 and $3,000||$35|
|USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum®||10.15% or 20.15%||$250 to $5,000||$35|
|Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card||19.24%||$300 minimum||$25|
Table: Top 6 Best Guaranteed Credit Cards | Above list is sorted alphabetically
How do Guaranteed Credit Cards Work?
Many people experience credit fluctuations at one point or another. When credit scores are lower than you would like, it is important to do everything possible to build them back up. Guaranteed approval credit cards are a good option to help build credit.
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Many guaranteed approval credit cards for bad credit are secured credit cards. Secured credit cards often require cardholders to make a security deposit equal to their credit limit.
This deposit stays in a separate account and is only drawn upon to cover outstanding charges in the event that a cardholder defaults on their payment.
These cards often provide guaranteed credit card approval because they pose very little risk to the lending company. They function very much like regular credit cards and can help build credit scores as long as customers make each payment on time, make more than the minimum payment, and only charge what they can realistically expect to repay.
What Is APR?
APR stand for Annual Percentage Rate, and it represents the total amount of interest that will be charged to a customer on an annual basis. It includes all fees, charges, and interest. APR is a very important factor to consider when looking for a guaranteed approval credit card because a lower APR will often result in a lower monthly payment.
Options with No Security Deposit
Some customers might prefer to search for guaranteed approval credit cards with no deposit. Finding credit cards of this nature is difficult, particularly from reputable companies. However, that does not mean that no options exist to replace guaranteed approval credit cards with no deposits.
Most guaranteed approval credit cards with no deposit requirements will be prepaid credit cards. A card like this might be a good option, but it does require that customers preload money onto the card before it can be used; however, it does not require a large sum of money to sit in an untouched account for months at a time. If a customer is trying to avoid making a payment before the card can be activated, this might not be a good option.
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 Guaranteed Credit Cards
Detailed reviews providing specific information regarding the benefits of each of the top raking guaranteed approval credit cards for bad credit and fair credit are included below. This list is designed to bring together all of the pertinent information so that each consumer can make the best choice to fit their own finances.
Capital One Secured MasterCard Review
The Capital One Secured MasterCard is an excellent option for customers seeking a guaranteed credit card. Unlike most guaranteed approval credit cards, this security deposit is not required to be equal to the assigned credit limit. Depending on their qualifications, customers can make refundable security deposits of $49, $99, or $200.
Image source: Capital One
This guaranteed card offers customers a relatively high variable APR of 24.99%, but it compensates for this by requiring no annual fee. Customers who make the minimum security deposit can expect an assigned credit limit of $200. However, to achieve a higher credit limit for these guaranteed approval credit cards, customer can:
- Make a security deposit higher than the minimum for a higher line of credit, up to $3,000.
- Make their payments of time for the first 5 months for a higher credit limit with no additional security deposit.
Like traditional cards, even guaranteed approval credit cards for bad credit offer their customers a range of useful features. For these guaranteed approval credit cards, Capital One offers a number of features to increase card security, help customers track their credit, and keep customers informed about their finances. Some of these features include:
- Free access to credit scores
- Not liable for fraudulent charges on a lost or stolen card
- Individual choice for monthly payment dates
- Alerts about suspected fraudulent activity
- Mobile or online banking options
Though there are exceptions, for all intents and purposes, this is a credit card with guaranteed approval. If used responsibly, this card could provide low- or no-credit customers an opportunity to improve their score, along with the useful features expected from a large company like Capital One.
The unique security deposit options make this a good option for customers hoping for guaranteed approval credit cards with no deposit; though, there is a required deposit, it is low and fully refundable.
Citi® Secured MasterCard® Review
The Citi® Secured MasterCard® is an excellent guaranteed approval credit card. This card offers a security deposit and credit limit between $200-$2,500 based on each applicant’s qualifications. The deposit for this guaranteed card is held in a separate account for 18 months.
Image source: Citi
Guaranteed approval credit cards offered through this program have a relatively high variable APR of 22.24%. However, this rate is counteracted by the lack of an annual fee. This card is backed by Citi Bank and also has a number of special features to make it a competitive option for customers looking for credit cards with guaranteed approval.
These guaranteed acceptance credit cards are offered by Citi Bank, allowing customers to enjoy all of the convenience and security that come from being a Citi customer.
This guaranteed card offers customers special insurances, security, and banking options along with the peace of mind that comes from credit cards with guaranteed approval. These features offer customers:
- Travel accident and rental car insurance
- Refunds or repairs to damaged or stolen purchases within the first 120 days
- Assistance filing police reports for fraudulent card activity
- Assistance reestablishing good credit damaged by fraud
- Zero liability for unauthorized charges
Though Citi Bank does review each applicant’s past credit history and debt-to-income ratio, the security deposit associated with a secured card greatly diminishes their monetary risk.
This means that companies like Citi can offer secured accounts as guaranteed acceptance credit cards, or as close to guaranteed as possible. This makes secured cards a solid choice for those seeking guaranteed approval on credit cards for bad credi. This offers competitive rates, credit limits, and features to customers looking for guaranteed credit card approval.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card Review
Because the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is secured, it offers customers as close to guaranteed credit card approval as possible. It offers customers credit limits and security deposits between $200 and $2,500 based on each applicant’s qualifications. This guaranteed card also carries an APR of 23.24% and requires no annual fee.
Image source: Discover
This is a guaranteed credit card that offers customers two avenues for reclaiming their security deposit. Cardholders can repay their entire balance and close their account to receive their security deposit refund at any time. However, after one year, customers who have achieved enough credit score improvement will have their deposits automatically refunded.
Discover guaranteed acceptance credit cards offer customers a feature that is relatively uncommon among credit cards with guaranteed approval: this card offers customers cash back rewards of 1% on every purchase and 2% on purchased made at restaurants and gas stations. Rewards for these guaranteed approval credit cards are limited to $1,000 each quarter, but rewards earned in the first year will be matched by Discover.
The largest selling point for these guaranteed approval credit cards is the rewards program. This is an unusual feature for guaranteed cards and offers customers the chance to earn rewards while they improve their credit score. Since this is also a good option for guaranteed approval credit cards for bad credit, it is also an opportunity for customers with poor credit to reap the benefits of a rewards card.
Open Sky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Review
The Open Sky® Secured Visa® Credit Card offers customers a quick application process perfect for those seeking guaranteed credit cards with instant approval. These guaranteed acceptance credit cards offer a range of credit limits and security deposits between $200 and $3,000. Capital Bank backs this card and offers guaranteed credit card approval with an attractive variable APR of 17.64%. However, this card does have an annual fee of $35.
Image source: Open Sky
These guaranteed approval credit cards offer customers a number of features to make card membership as convenient and beneficial as possible. This includes a fast application process that will appeal to customers seeking guaranteed credit cards with instant approval. These features allow customers to enjoy:
- An introductory period featuring zero interest on purchases made during the first billing cycle
- The Visa Zero Liability policy, which keeps customer from covering fraudulent charges
- An application with no credit history inquiries or credit checks
- No application or processing fees
- A card that is accepted wherever the Visa logo is displayed
- Credit reports to all three major credit bureaus for quick credit score improvement
This guaranteed approval credit card has a very short application process. It does not require a credit check, which makes it a great option for bad credit cards with guaranteed approval. This is also a good choice for customers looking for guaranteed credit cards with instant approval, because the application is so quick and easy. Customers are not required to wait for lengthy credit reviews and can expect to fund their cards shortly after filling out the application.
USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® Review
The USAA Secured Card Visa Platinum® offers customers variable APR between 10.15% and 20.15% based on multiple factors, including customer creditworthiness. This is a secured card that offers practically guaranteed credit card approval. However, it does require an annual fee of $35.
Image source: USAA
These guaranteed approval credit cards have a unique security deposit system, which requires customers to open a 2-year CD. This CD functions as the security deposit and must be funded with between $250 to $5,000, depending on the assigned credit limit. Unlike most guaranteed approval credit cards, this security deposit CD earns a variable APY of 0.54%.
This guaranteed approval credit card offers customers a wide range of competitive features. Features for these guaranteed approval credit cards include:
- No foreign transaction fees
- Collision damage waiver coverage for most rental cars
- Identity theft resolution services
- Extended warranties for up to one year on qualifying purchases
- Chip card technology for security
- Zero liability for unauthorized purchases if fraudulent activity is reported
- Mobile and online banking options
The most competitive aspect of this guaranteed approval credit card is the unique security deposit.
Most guaranteed approval credit cards, for bad credit or good credit, do not offer customers the opportunity to earn interest on their security deposit. Usually, deposits sit in isolated accounts and are only activated if a customer defaults on their card or closes their account.
However, these guaranteed approval credit cards for bad credit offer customers the opportunity to put their money to use, even as it sits as a security deposit. The one downside is that the security deposit is required to remain in the CD until the two-year maturity date.
Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card Review
The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card offers customers nearly guaranteed credit card approval. These guaranteed approval credit cards have a competitive APR of 19.24% and a $25 annual fee. This card also has a minimum credit limit and deposit of $300.
Image source: Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo offers customers credit card guaranteed approval and the option to reclaim their security deposit. If customers use the card responsibly, once their credit builds to a certain point, no matter how much time has passed, their security deposit will be refunded and they will be given the option to upgrade to a different card option.
This a good option for guaranteed approval credit cards for bad credit that customers can use to improve their score.
These guaranteed approval credit cards offer customers with bad credit both cards and guaranteed approval, as well as a variety of attractive features. Wells Fargo offers many services to their customers to make this a good choice for guaranteed approval credit cards for bad credit that are safe and convenient. These features include but are not limited to:
- Emergency card replacement
- Roadside dispatch assistance
- Mobile and online banking
- Email or text alerts
- Warnings of unusual card activity
- Customers are not liable for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
- Budgeting and finance tools
This is a secured card option that offers customers with bad credit cards with guaranteed approval. This program offers guaranteed approval credit cards for bad credit with the option of moving up to an unsecured card as soon as the customer is ready. This is a good option for customers looking for credit card guaranteed approval who do not want to commit to a locked-in term for their security deposit.
Conclusion — Top 6 Best Guaranteed Credit Cards
Many customers, particularly customers with bad credit or no credit, want to find guaranteed approval credit cards.
Companies that can offer guaranteed credit card approval allow customers to stop worrying about their credit score and start building something better. But with so many options for credit card guaranteed approval, it can be difficult to find the best card.
It is important to make an informed choice. Gathering as much information as possible can make choosing the best card for you that much easier. Keep some of our larger points in mind as you search:
- Secured credit cards are a good option for guaranteed approval.
- No credit card approval can be completely guaranteed.
- Guaranteed approval cards are a good option to help rebuild credit.
Your financial needs are unique. The factors that will make one card better than another, for you, will relate directly to your own life and finances.
Our list of top guaranteed credit cards offers a number of cards from well-respected institutions that can benefit customers with a wide range of needs.
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.