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Is your credit score not great? You’ll probably have a hard time getting approved for any credit, especially credit cards.

But there’s a category of credit cards designed with you in mind – secured credit cards. They’re very similar to regular credit cards, but with a couple of differences.

Best part? You’re virtually guaranteed to be accepted.

Here’s what you need to know about secured credit cards, and what secured credit cards are available in Canada.

Summary of the best secured credit cards

Credit Card Annual Fee Special Features Apply Now
Home Trust Secured Visa $0 * 2% foreign transaction fee
* Purchase protection insurance
Apply Now
Home Trust Secured Visa (Low Rate) $59 * 2% foreign transaction fee
* Purchase protection insurance
* Low purchase interest rate of 14.9%
Apply Now

What is a secured credit card?

So what exactly is a secured credit card? These are credit cards designed for one set of people in mind, those with poor credit – which means a credit score of less than 560.

Sometimes also called guaranteed credit cards, they work just like regular credit cards, except for one key difference.

You have to supply a security deposit before you get issued a card. This security deposit then becomes your credit limit.

And this security deposit is why these credit cards have almost guaranteed approval. The issuer has your security deposit, and if you don’t pay your credit card bill, they’ve got collateral so that they’re protected and won’t lose any money if you don’t pay your bill.

Once your credit score improves from using a secured credit card and paying your bills on time, when you go to close your account you’ll receive your security deposit back. It’s important to note, however, that you generally won’t receive any interest on the amount they were holding.

Other than this security deposit, secured credit cards work the same way as regular credit cards. You’ve got a credit limit, you can use your card to make purchases, and you’ll get a monthly bill. And just like regular credit cards, these cards also have an interest rate. If you don’t pay your bill in full, you’ll be charged interest on top of your payments.

Want to know more about what credit score you need to be approved for regular credit cards? This article has everything you need to know about credit scores and more.

Study: What Is A Good Credit Score ‒ And Is It Good Enough To Be Approved?

Things secured credit cards don’t include

Since these credit cards are designed for those with poor credit scores, there are a few features these cards don’t include:

These credit cards are solely designed to help people improve their credit scores – which can be the best gift of all. A better credit score will help you get loans, better credit cards, and lower interest rates.

Approval is not guaranteed

Despite everything listed here, approval is not guaranteed. Depending on the issuer, you may still be subjected to a credit check, and depending on what is on your file, you still may not get approved for one of these credit cards.

But you have a much better chance with a secured card than any other credit card on the market.

Overview of secured credit cards

So what secured credit cards are out there? The truth is, there’s a limited supply of them in Canada.

Here’s a listing of what’s available.

Home Trust Secured Visa

The best secured credit card in Canada right now is the .

Why this card? What separates it from the rest?

It has no annual fee, saving you some additional money every year. It actually includes 1 type of insurance – purchase protection coverage. And, it has a slightly lower foreign exchange fee of 2%, compared to the standard 2.5% fee.

These 3 things are what separates it from the rest.

The minimum security deposit required is $500, with a maximum limit of $10,000.

Home Trust also offers one other option – the .

For an annual fee of $59, or $5 per month, you’ll gain access to a lower purchase interest rate of 14.9%, compared to 19.99%.

Otherwise, it has all the same features.

Related: Best Low Interest Credit Cards In Canada

Refresh Secured Credit Card

Refresh Financial also offers a secured credit card – the .

Refresh states that you won’t be subjected to a credit check, and your deposit can be as little as $200 to get your card issued, with a maximum limit of $10,000. Refresh also offers free financial training.

So while that’s good, there are fees involved.

First, the annual fee is $12.95 per year. Plus, there’s also a monthly maintenance fee of $3. If you have this card for a year, you’re paying $48.95 in fees for this card.

Otherwise, there are no other benefits with this card.

Capital One secured credit cards

Capital One offers a secured credit card – the Guaranteed Security Mastercard.

The card has an annual fee of $59. The initial security deposit required is low – between $75 and $300. You can increase your limit up to a maximum of $2,500.

Related: Top Credit Cards for Bad Credit in Canada

The big banks and secured credit cards

The big banks are suspiciously absent from our list. None of them actually offer secured credit cards for all Canadians, but many of them have programs for newcomers to Canada, which includes credit cards.

You’ll have to go into a branch to apply for these credit cards, it can’t be done online.

Here is what each of the 5 big banks have to offer in this regard.

BMO secured credit cards

BMO doesn’t offer a secured credit card, but they do have their own banking program for newcomers, which you can learn about here. It includes the .

CIBC secured credit cards

CIBC has no secured credit cards for all Canadians, but their newcomers to Canada program has credit cards for new Canadians, which you can learn more about here.

RBC secured credit cards

RBC doesn’t offer secured credit cards. They also have a program for newcomers to Canada, with credit cards designed for those who are coming to Canada or recently moved. The details are here.

Scotiabank secured credit cards

Scotiabank doesn’t offer a secured credit card. However, if you’re a newcomer to Canada, they have a program that can help you get a credit card. You can learn more about it here.

TD secured credit cards

Like the others above, TD doesn’t have a secured credit card. There is a program for those who are new to Canada, with a variety of secured credit cards specifically designed with newcomers in mind. Here is what is available.

Help repair your credit

Secured credit cards have one thing in mind – with near automatic approval, they give you the ability to help improve your credit score.

Have you used a secured credit card in the past?

Let us know in the comments below, and share your experience with them.

FAQ

Here are some frequently asked questions about secured credit cards.

What is a secured credit card?

A secured credit card is largely the same as any other credit card, except you have to provide a security deposit before you get a card issued. Your security deposit becomes your credit limit.

What is the best secured credit card?

The Home Trust Secured Visa is the best secured credit card. It has no annual fees, a lower foreign exchange rate of 2%, and purchase protection insurance.

Do the big banks offer secured credit cards?

The big banks do not offer secured credit cards that are available for everyone. However, they do have financial programs for newcomers, and have credit cards as part of these programs.