7 Best Secured Credit Cards in Canada (Sep 2022)

It can be hard to qualify for a standard credit card if you have a low credit score or simply don’t have much of credit history in Canada as a teen or newcomer.

If you have been considering secured credit cards as an alternative, you are at the right place.

With so many options ranging from no annual fee to low-interest and fantastic cash-back rewards, today’s post will cover the best secured credit cards in Canada.

Let’s get started!

Best Overall
Neo Mastercard
Neo Mastercard
  • Guaranteed approval 
  • Unlimited cash-back 
  • No hard credit check 
  • Amazing user experience 
    No annual fees
Best For Low-Interest
Home Trust Secured Visa
Home Trust Secured Visa
  • 14.9% interest rate 
  • Min. $500/max. $10,000 credit limit 
  • Visa zero liability 
    $59 per year (No fee option available with standard 20% interest rate) 
Best for Rewards
Plastk Secured Credit Card
Plastk Secured Credit Card
  • Get points on your everyday purchases to redeem for cash-back, merch, gift cards and more
  • 25-day interest-free grace period
  • 17.99% interest
  • Referral program for more points

Features To Look For Before Choosing A Secured Credit Card

Not all secured credit cards are created equal or will be able to meet your needs. Before deciding which one may be best suited for you, you should consider the following questions and features.

1.  Are you planning on paying your monthly statements in full or simply paying the minimum and carrying a balance?

If you plan to do the latter, I recommend choosing a lower-interest credit card. Do also read the fine print regarding penalties for missed payments and interest for cash advances. If you miss several payments, some cards may increase their interest rate.

2.  Do you have the financial bandwidth to provide the minimum security amount?

Some companies that provide secured credit cards are inclusive and have set the minimum credit limit (i.e. required security funds) as low as $50. On the other hand, some offer secured credit cards with a minimum limit of $500. Make sure you look into this before applying for a card to ensure no surprises.

3.  Does the bank/lender do a hard credit check?

Although, in a small way, hard credit checks can negatively affect our credit scores. If you are already worried about your low credit score, go with a lender that only conducts soft credit checks during their secured card approval process, which won’t affect your credit score as much.

4.  Annual or monthly fees

Again, some secured card providers charge no monthly or annual fees, while others charge both. That is, they charge an upfront annual fee and then a monthly “maintenance fee.”

This is extremely rare, even for regular credit cards, so make sure you figure out how much the card is going to cost you per year before applying.

5.  Rewards or points

Are you interested in reaping additional benefits such as rewards while building your credit score? If so, you may consider a card offering rewards points.

6.  Insurance and other perks

In most cases, you have to forgo good perks, such as insurance, with secured credit cards. But that might not have to be the case with all of them. Make sure you weigh out your options beforehand, as some cards offer features that others do not.

7 Best Secured Credit Cards In Canada

Now that we’ve covered some of the crucial features to consider before choosing a secured credit card, here are some of the best ones in the country.

1. Neo Secured Credit Card: Best Overall

Neo logo

Standout Features:

  • No annual fees
  • Guaranteed approval
  • Unlimited cash-back (average 5% at Neo partners, minimum 0.5%)
  • No hard credit check
  • Amazing tech/user experience

This Neo Financial secured card is by far one of the best secured credit cards on the Canadian market.

Not only is it backed by fantastic technology (its founders also founded and grew the popular Canadian application SkipTheDishes), it is easy to get, has no annual fees, and gives its users cash-back.

Here is how the Neo Secured Card cash-back program works (the same as their regular, unsecured credit card.)

  • Loyalty programs at more than 7,000 retailers, including Earls kitchen, Boston Pizza, Herschel, Marble Slab and many, many more
  • Unlimited cash-back
  • 15% welcome bonus rewards on your first purchase at participating partners
  • 5% average cash-back at Neo partners
  • 1% minimum cash-back

This card also offers Mastercard’s zero liability protection, gives you the ability to freeze the card directly in the app in case of emergencies, and gives you instant notifications regarding your purchases.

You can get guaranteed approval as long as you:

  • Are the age of majority in your province/territory of residence,
  • Are a Canadian resident
  • Can provide the security funds

The minimum amount for security funds is only $50, which breaks down the barrier to access.

Sign up for the Neo Secured card here.

If you’re interested, you can also check out this review on the Neo Money Account.

2. Plastk Secured Credit Card: Great for Rewards

Plastk logo

Standout Features:

  • Get points on your everyday purchases to redeem for cash-back, merch, gift cards and more
  • 25-day interest-free grace period (usually 20)
  • 17.99% interest
  • Referral program for more points
  • Report to Equifax, which could help users build their credit score
  • 5,000 reward points ($20) for new customers, redeemable after three months

This Plastk product is a great option if you are looking for a secured card equipped with great rewards to use on travel, merch, gift cards, charitable donations or even cash-back.

The card has an annual fee of $48, along with a monthly maintenance fee of $6, bringing the annual total cost to $120.

This card offers a 17.99% interest on purchases and a 25-day interest-free period, which is fantastic. Please note that this rate will increase dramatically to 29.99% after two missed payments.

If you haven’t always been the best at making payments on time, please watch out for this or go with another secured card on this list.

The grace period on cash advances is three days.

You can sign up for Plastk here.

3. Home Trust Secured Visa: Best For Low-Interest

Home Trust Logo

Standout Features:

  • 14.9% interest rate
  • Minimum $500 and maximum $10,000 deposit/credit limit
  • Visa zero liability
  • No annual fee secured visa available with standard 19.99% IR

This card may cost you $59 per year, but the low-interest rate can be worth it if you plan to carry over a balance after your grace period.

If you are not concerned with carrying over a balance and are planning on not paying any interest on your purchases anyway, you can also consider Home Trust’s no annual fee secured card that is equipped with a standard 19.99% interest rate.

Other than their differences in interest rates and annual fees, these two cards come with the same features, including visa zero liability, online account services and digital wallet compatibility (such as Apple and Google Pay). As a result, they are both fantastic options for building your credit history.

Find out more about these Home Trust Secured Visa cards here.

4. Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard: Best for Insurance

Capital One logo

Standout Features:

  • Incredible everyday and travel insurance benefits
  • Guaranteed approval
  • Mastercard zero liability and Mastercard Global Service
  • Minimum $75 and maximum $300 secured funds/credit limit

One of the best features of this card is the amazing insurance it is equipped with, which includes:

  • Price protection service, purchase assurance, and extended warranty
  • Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
  • Baggage Delay Insurance
  • Car Rental Collision or Loss Damage Waiver
  • Travel Assistance

This card also offers guaranteed approval as long as:

  • You’ve met the age of majority,
  • Do not already have an existing Capital One account,
  • Have not applied for a Capital One account more than once in the last 30 days
  • Have not had a Capital One account that was not in good standing in the previous year

If you meet these criteria, all you have to do is provide the $75 or $300 in security funds, and you are good to go.

This card charges 19.8% interest on purchases and 21.9% on cash advances, which are relatively standard.

You can learn more about the Capital One Secured Card here.

5. Refresh Secured Card: A Good Low-Fee Option

Refresh Logo

Standout Features:

  • $12.95 annual fee with a $3 monthly maintenance fee
  • 17.99% interest
  • No hard credit check
  • $200 to $10,000 credit limit/deposit

You may have noticed that some of these secured cards charge somewhere between $50 to $100+ per year. That’s not the case with Refresh’s secured card. With a $12.95 annual fee and $3 monthly maintenance, the annual total comes to below $50 per year.

This card also has a great interest rate (17.99%) along with a high credit limit as long as you have the funds to secure the card (up to $10,000.) Refresh does not require a hard credit check for qualification, which is also fantastic.

6. Vancity Secured enviro Visa card: A Great Option for BC Residents

Standout Features:

  • Deposit earns interest
  • Vancity rewards to redeem on Vancity financial products, travel, gift cards, donations, and more
  • Various card options (no annual fee available)
  • Minimum $500 deposit

If you are a resident of BC, I’d definitely recommend the secured enviroVisa options from Vancity. Some of the best features of these cards are that your deposit earns interest in a term deposit and that you can earn great rewards through the Vancity rewards program.

You can apply for a Vancity secured credit card at one of their community branches. The minimum deposit is $500.

A portion of Vancity’s enviroVisa profits also goes back to the community for environmental initiatives per year, which is awesome.

7. Koho Mastercard: Honourable Mention

KOHO Logo

Standout Features:

  • Prepaid
  • Credit building feature is available
  • Cash-back on all purchases
  • No annual or monthly account fees

Although the Koho Mastercard is not a traditional credit card in the sense that you do not take out credit, it is still a fantastic option, especially if you want to avoid the risk of overspending, going into debt, or dishing out money for interest over time.

This prepaid card by Koho is accepted everywhere Mastercard is, has no annual or monthly fees and gives you cash-back on all of your purchases. And the best part? You can still build your credit with Koho even without taking out credit if you sign up for their credit-building feature.

The credit building feature by Koho costs $7 per month but is completely worth it if you’re trying to build or rebuild your credit score in Canada.

Sign up for Koho here.

What Exactly Is A Secured Credit Card?

What Exactly Is A Secured Credit Card?

A secured credit card requires an initial deposit (also known as security or collateral) equal to or close to the card’s credit limit.

This means that, in the case that you default on your credit card payments, the bank does not lose any money. When you apply for a secured credit card, the bank is much more likely to approve your application, even if your credit score is low or nonexistent, because their risk is dissipated.

The security for your credit card will usually sit in a savings or GIC account and be “locked.” If you ever cancel your secured credit card and you have made all of your payments, you get your deposit back.

Beyond this initial securing of funds, a secured credit card works just the same as an unsecured, regular credit card.

It affects your credit score (hopefully for the better as you make your payments), works everywhere a credit card would and sometimes collects points and rewards on your purchases that you can redeem at a later date.

Can I Be Denied For A Secured Credit Card?

It is much harder to be denied a secured credit card than a regular one. However, it is still possible to be denied a secured card.

This may simply be because you do not meet the lender’s eligibility requirements (perhaps if you have to have not reached the age of majority in your region or are not a Canadian resident) or because your credit history proves too risky for the bank to want to engage with you.

For instance, if you are currently in the midst of bankruptcy or have been denied financial products with a specific lender in the past, they may not give you a secured credit card even if you provide the security funds.

However, you should be approved for a secured card in most cases as long as you meet the basic age and residence criteria and provide the required amount of security funds.

Conclusion

Best Secured Credit Cards in Canada

Secured credit cards can be a fantastic option for those who may have trouble meeting the eligibility criteria for regular credit cards.

This may specifically be the case if you are a teen, a newcomer to Canada, or have had financial troubles in the past that affected your credit score in a negative way.

Luckily, at least one of the secured card options in today’s list should be able to meet your needs. If you are interested in trying your luck for a regular credit card, however, I highly recommend that you check out my recent post on the easiest credit cards to get in Canada.

Photo of author
Selin is a seasoned personal finance and sustainable banking expert with several years of experience working in Canadian credit unions, both in the branch networks as well as the head office. A graduate of the University of British Columbia, she's also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers youth community and is either working with kids or travelling when she is away from her computer.

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