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The best secured credit cards in Canada for 2023

If you’re trying to build (or rebuild) your credit in Canada, a secured credit card is a great way to get on track toward financial stability. See below for our list of the best secured credit cards in Canada for 2023.

Best overall secured credit card’s take

Having the distinction of being the only secured card on the market to offer cash back rewards, the Neo Card (Secured) offers 5% cash back on purchases made with participating Neo partners and 1% on everything else (up to a $5000 limit per month).  

There’s no annual fee to pay, and its minimum security deposit of only $50 makes it quite possibly the most accessible card on this list. Other great features include the ability to increase or decrease your credit limit on demand, an insights dashboard through their app which you can use to track spending, and an auto-pay feature to ensure you never miss a bill while you’re trying to get your credit on track. 

The only visible drawback here is their purchase interest rate. While its low end sits comfortably at a standard 19.99%, it can reach as high as 26.99% depending on your credit application and province, so read the fine print on your contract and make sure you’re getting a rate you can live with.


  • No annual fee
  • Only secured card on the market with cash back rewards - earn 5% on store purchases with Neo retail partners and 1% on everything else
  • Increase or decrease your credit limit on demand
  • Insights dashboard helps you keep track of your spending
  • Auto-pay feature keeps you from missing bills
  • Very low minimum security deposit of $50
  • No hard credit check, excluding Quebec applicants (hard credit inquiries may have a negative impact on your credit score)


  • Purchase interest rate can go as high as 26.99% depending on your application and home province

Best no fee secured credit card’s take

The Home Trust Secured Visa Card is a no-frills card perfect for those looking to build their credit without the added pain of an annual fee. With a minimum deposit of $500, users can activate the card and make purchases virtually anywhere, with Home Trust sending regular reports to both major credit bureaus (Equifax and TransUnion). The card’s interest rate of 19.99% is fairly standard (although there are other secured cards who offer lower rates) and for -those using the card abroad or online, its 2% foreign exchange fee is lower than you’d normally find on a card of this type. 

Those willing to fork out $59 for an annual fee can see their interest rate lowered to a very impressive 14.90%, but that may be a big ask for clients still trying to get on their feet financially. 

While it may not feature any of the perks or rewards of other cards, those who use it responsibly will find it helpful as they build up their credit and graduate to an unsecured credit card in the future. 


  • No annual fee
  • Low foreign exchange fee of 2%
  • Reports to both Equifax and TransUnion


  • Interest rate of 19.99% is standard for most credit cards, but there are cards with lower interest rates on the market right now
  • Interest rate of 14.90% is available, but you’ll have to pay an annual fee of $59 as well
  • Very bare bones - users won’t earn any rewards or cash back and there’s no perks

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How does a secured credit card work?

Once you’ve made your security deposit and completed activation, a secured credit card works just like any other - you can use it to make any in-store or online purchases you wish. And, just like a regular credit card, you’ll get a bill every month that you’ll be expected to pay on time. Whether you pay off the full balance or make the minimum payment is your decision, but it’s important to remember that a secured card’s main purpose is to help you build your credit, so try to ensure your payments are always on time.

The provider of the card should then report your payments to credit bureaus such as Equifax and TransUnion which, if you’re using the card responsibly, will slowly improve your credit score as you continue to use the card. On that note, it’s important to ensure that your issuer does report to credit bureaus, as some don’t.

How to get a secured credit card

Eligibility requirements

The great thing about secured credit cards is that nearly anyone is eligible to get one. Because these cards are geared towards young people with no credit history, newcomers to Canada, or those trying to build back their credit after a bad financial period, they are incredibly easy to be approved for and often don’t require a minimum personal income or hard credit check. That being said, there are a few basic requirements:

  • You must be the age of majority in your home province or territory 
  • You must be a resident of Canada
  • You must be able to pay the minimum security deposit for activation

What to consider in a secured credit card

Credit bureau reporting

Most people want a secured credit card for the same reason: to build or rebuild their credit and eventually graduate to an unsecured credit card. Knowing this, it’s incredibly important to ensure that the card’s provider reports to at least one Canadian credit bureau (but ideally both - Equifax and TransUnion). Your credit score can’t improve if these organizations aren’t seeing and recording your regular payments, so make this your top priority.

Minimum security deposit

Secured credit cards match your credit limit to the amount you’ve put down as a security deposit, but if their minimum deposit (some can be as high as $500) is more than you can afford, you may want to look at other, less-prohibitive secured cards. After all, that money will be tied up until you close the account, so ensure that it’s an amount you can afford to live without for an indefinite amount of time.

Annual and monthly fees

Because you’re using this card to help you get into a better financial situation, high annual and monthly fees aren’t your friend. Ideally, seek out a secured card with either no fees or very low ones. A card like this may not offer rewards or ultra-low interest rates, but if you’re serious about using it to improve your credit, neither of these features will be a factor. 

How to apply for a secured credit card

Depending on your financial institution, you may not see secured credit cards visibly offered on their website. Many larger banks do offer these cards, but you may have to call them or visit a branch in person to apply. Alternately, smaller financial institutions will typically make their secured credit cards available to apply for online. In this case, the process is quite easy.

  • Select the card you wish to apply for
  • Read the card's terms and conditions and accept
  • Submit your personal information (name, address, social insurance number, employment, etc.)
  • Wait to hear if you're approved. If so, you'll need to deliver your security deposit by cheque or bank transfer to active the card.

In the case that you're not approved, don't jump the gun and apply for another card again immediately. Each credit card application involves a hard credit check, and too many at once will hurt your credit score and further reduce your likelihood of being approved for future cards. With this in mind, wait a period of six months before applying again.

Tips for using a secured credit card

Have your deposit ready

You can’t begin using your secured credit card until you deliver your security deposit to the provider, and there’s usually a specific window of time to do that. If the deadline passes you by, you’ll lose your card before you even get a chance to use it. 

That’s why it’s important to have your security deposit together and ready to send before you even apply. If the card you want requires a higher-level minimum deposit ($400 or $500) that you don’t immediately have on-hand, either take the time to save up before applying or consider looking at more accessible cards.


Use the card responsibly

While it may be exciting to have a brand new credit card, it’s important to remember the end goal: improving or building your credit. Because you won’t be able to effectively do that if you spend recklessly or go over your credit limit, using your card responsibly is important.

Use the card for a few small purchases per month. Not only will this keep your account active, it will ensure you’ll be able to pay your monthly bill off in full. Do this enough times, and you’ll slowly see your credit score improve.


Pay bills on time and in full

Providers of secured credit cards report your payments to the credit bureaus who assign you a score, so make sure your payments are never missed and on time.

And, while you can certainly choose to pay the minimum every month (after all, it’s your own money), you’ll be running the risk of accumulating interest the more you do this. If your card has a standard interest rate of 19.99% or thereabouts, this will slowly begin to ruin any progress you’ll be making with your credit, so it’s worth it to pay your bills in full whenever you can. 


Monitor your credit score

Because you most likely own a secured credit card to help build your credit score, it’s worth keeping a regular eye on your progress. Sign up with Equifax or TransUnion and request your credit report monthly to see how you’re doing. Not only can you get the thrill and encouragement of seeing your score rise, you can also quickly identify and diagnose any issues that are preventing it from improving.

Secured credit cards: pros and cons


  • They’re a great way to build or rebuild your credit
  • Your credit limit is matched to the amount of your security deposit, eliminating the risk of overspending and winding up in debt
  • Nearly anyone can be approved for one, even those with bad or nonexistent credit history
  • You can sometimes earn small rewards as you spend


  • Annual or monthly fees can counteract your efforts to get financially stable
  • High purchase interest rates can become a problem if bills aren’t paid on time
  • Minimum security deposits can be prohibitive (sometimes as high as $500 up front) and you won’t be able to get it back until your account is closed

How to choose the best secured credit card - FAQ

What is a secured credit card?

What is the best secured credit card?

How will a secured credit card help me rebuilt my credit?

Why should I get a secured credit card?

What are the disadvantages of secured credit cards?

How much is a security deposit on a secured credit card?

What happens to my security deposit on a secured credit card?

How do I increase my limit on a secured credit card?

How long do you have to use a secured credit card?

How fast will a secured credit card build my credit?

What's the difference between a secured and prepaid credit card?

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