Tom Lipkis, WalletHub Credit Card Consultant
A partially secured credit card has a spending limit that is bigger than the refundable security deposit held by the issuer as collateral. For example, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card can be partially secured since your deposit could be either $49, $99 or $200 while your spending limit starts at $200.
With a partially secured credit card, a credit card company only has a partial guarantee that they will be repaid if the cardholder maxes out the card. That’s why it’s rare for a secured card to be partially secured from the start.
What You Should Know about Partially Secured Credit Cards
- The Capital One Platinum Secured is the only partially secured credit card.
- All cardholders start with a $200 credit limit.
- The deposit you’re required to place could be $49, $99 or $200, depending on your credit standing.
- If your credit history, income, and debt situation are all really bad, you’ll probably have to put down the full $200. But if you’re closer to fair credit or have limited experience, it may be partially secured.
- The Capital One Platinum Secured has a $0 annual fee, regardless of what your deposit winds up being.
It’s more common for a secured credit card to become partially secured or unsecured after a while. This happens when the issuer gives the cardholder a credit-limit increase without the need of adding to the card's security deposit. Or, they may give a deposit refund as a reward for consistently paying on time.
The Capital One Platinum Secured might be the only partially secured card available right now but you shouldn’t get too bummed out about the lack of alternatives. As far as credit building goes, there’s no difference between a fully secured credit card, a partially secured credit card, and an unsecured credit card. The amount of your security deposit, if you have one, is not listed on your credit reports.
Benefits of a Partially Secured Credit Card
There are only a couple added benefits that a partially secured credit card provides relative to a fully secured card. For one thing, they offer the ability to borrow. You can’t really get a loan from a fully secured credit card because you have to fully prepay your purchases. And with a partially secured credit card, you get to keep more of your money out of the credit card company’s custody.
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Jeff Nowel, Member
Just as the name implies, it's a hybrid type of card. It's not fully unsecured, and it's not fully secured. You do have to pay a security deposit, but, depending on your report, you'll get a higher limit than that.
It's kind of a gimmick, really. You don't really think of it as a secured card anymore, that deposit is almost like just another fee.
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