Portrait of a Hispanic young man dressed casually and holding his favorite credit card against a white background. Concept: Best Credit Cards to Build Credit
Timothy Ronaldson
By: timothy-ronaldson
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The Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

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If you have a lack of credit history or want to improve your credit score, you might be wondering what the best credit cards to build credit are. Getting a credit card can be one of the best ways to build credit, as long as you use it responsibly.

In fact, depending on how you use your credit card―and when and how you pay off your charges―a credit card could be a completely free way to build your credit. 

If you a lack of credit history or lower than desired credit score, you probably won’t be able to qualify for every credit card out there. Luckily, though, there are credit cards that are designed specifically for people like you that you can get approved for, and then use to build your credit over time.

Why is it important to build a strong credit score?

You probably know that it is desirable to have a good credit score, but you may not know exactly why. Your credit score is one of the main pieces of information that financial institutions will use to determine whether they think you are worthy of extending credit to.

Credit doesn’t come just in the form of a credit card, either. Your credit score will be used to determine whether you can rent an apartment, connect utilities to your home and/or business, get good insurance coverage, get a cell phone plan, and obtain a mortgage and/or car loan, for example.

Not only will a better credit score make you more likely to be approved for these lines of credit, but your borrowing interest rates will be lower the better your credit score is. Over the life of a loan, even a small difference in your interest rate can mean hundreds of dollars in savings.

If you have a lack of credit history or a lower credit score, it may be difficult to build your score up. Over time, though, using a credit card is an effective way to build your credit.

Five best credit cards to build credit

If you have a lack of credit history or want to improve your credit score, you may have to turn to a secured credit card to build your credit. 

A secured credit card will require that you make a refundable security deposit to the card before you can begin using it. The financial institution issuing the card will then review your usage of and payment to the card over time and help you improve your credit.

Here’s our list of the best credit cards to build credit:

1. Discover it Secured

Discover it Secured. concept: Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

This is one of the best credit cards to build credit. It requires a refundable security deposit of $200 after you are approved. Every eight months, Discover will review your situation to see if they can transition you to an unsecured credit card―which would then refund you your deposit.

The regular APR on this card is currently 24.74%. There is no annual fee for the card, and one of the best parts is that you can earn cashback rewards while you are building your credit.

The Discover it Secured card offers 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 per year combined. You can also earn 1% cashback on all other purchases, and Discover will match all the cashback you earn in your first year.

2. Citi Secured Mastercard

Citi Secured Mastercard. Conept: Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

This card has no annual fee either and carries a variable 24.24% APR. Citi requires a security deposit of at least $200 to open this account. Your credit limit will be equal to your security deposit, once you’re approved.

The Citi Secured Mastercard can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, and it even offers flexible payment due dates, based on what works best for you and your budget. 

The card doesn’t offer any cashback rewards, points or miles.

3. Capital One Secured Mastercard

Capital One Secured Mastercard. concept: Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

This secured card has no annual fee and a variable 26.99% APR. You will be required to make a security deposit of either $49, $99 or $200, depending on your application, and you’ll be extended an initial credit line of $200 once your card is open. Definitely one of the best credit cards to build credit.

After making your first five monthly payments on time, you’ll be able to get access to a higher credit limit without needing to make an additional security deposit.

The card doesn’t offer any cashback rewards, points or miles.

4. OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card. concept: Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

OpenSky’s card doesn’t do a credit check to approve your application, which is especially nice for people with a complete lack of credit history. The variable APR of 19.14% is also pretty low for a secured credit card. 

You will be required to make a security deposit of at least $200. It is refundable and will become the credit line on your card, so you can choose how much you’d like.

One thing about this card is that there is a $35 annual fee that goes along with it. The card doesn’t offer any cashback rewards, points or miles.

5. First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card. concept: Best Credit Cards to Build Credit

This card doesn’t require a credit history or minimum credit score to be approved. It has a 20.74% variable APR and requires a refundable deposit of $200 to $2,000, depending on the credit line you are seeking. It also comes with an annual fee of $29. It’s one of the best credit cards to build credit.

The card doesn’t offer any cashback rewards, points or miles. 

What about the Amazon Credit Builder Card?

Just keep in mind that these are different than credit cards for bad credit, which are issued to people with low credit scores. 

Today’s the day to start building your credit

If you don’t have a credit history or would like to strengthen your credit score, choose one from this list of the best credit cards to build credit. A secured credit card is a great way to build your credit. The financial institution will just require a refundable security deposit to open your account, and you can get an increase in this credit line―and even switch to an unsecured card―as you make on-time monthly payments.

Another great way to build your credit is through a loan. While it may be difficult to get approved for a loan with some companies, that is not the case at Camino Financial. We are focused on helping our customers get the credit they need, whether they have great credit or no credit at all.

We offer business loans to a variety of customers. We live up to our motto of “No Business Left Behind” by providing great lending options as well as educational and information tools from a like-minded group of business owners like yourself.

Apply for a business loan with Camino Financial today, and you’ll be well on your way to building yourself a good credit score!

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