Military Credit Building and Secured Credit Cards

Military members and their families have particular banking and financial needs. For many military members, it’s not surprising for military members to relocate or travel frequently, work uncommon or irregular hours, live overseas for long periods of time or maintain multiple addresses during a short time period. All of this can make banking difficult, especially at many traditional banking institutions. This can improve by using a military financial institution. Military and federal credit unions and banks are better at preparing for and accommodating the needs of military families.

If you are a member of the military or a qualifying federal employee or have access to membership via a qualified sponsor, you have some additional options that are not available to the general public. For example, you qualify for USAA membership, one of the leading financial institutions in the country. You also qualify for membership with Pentagon Federal Credit Union or Navy Federal Credit Union, two of the country's largest credit unions. These institutions offer great rates and financial products that are typically competitive to top offers elsewhere, if not better, in many areas. Take a look at some of our top military credit building cards below. For those who qualify, these are some great secured cards that can help you build or rebuild your credit!

If you have “Good” or “Excellent” credit, please check out our Credit Card Deals page or our Low Rate / Balance Transfer Cards page. For a list of our other credit building cards, click here. What’s Your Credit Score? If you don’t know, click here.

USAA SECURED CARD® PLATINUM VISA® CARD

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USAA SECURED CARD® PLATINUM VISA® CARDNote: A military affiliation or existing family relationship to USAA is required to be eligible for this card.

    • USAA Eligibility Requirement: Today, USAA membership is only open to U.S. military service members, veterans who have received a discharge type of Honorable, and their eligible family members.
    • It's a real credit card – not a prepaid or debit card, that helps you build or improve your credit score.
    • When you apply – you'll also be opening a USAA 2-year Certificate of Deposit (CD), an interest-earning deposit account that has a two-year term and a $250-minimum initial deposit.
    • Your CD is a security deposit – the money you put in upfront, from $250 to $5,000, is the card's credit limit.
    • Earn interest on your CD – your deposit is guaranteed to grow. Plus the money is yours to keep as long as you don't default on your payments.
    • Start building your credit – opening a CD lets you get a credit card even if you don't have a credit history or have bad credit.
    • Chip technology has added security when used at a chip-enabled terminal and greater acceptance worldwide.
    • Before starting your application, USAA will ask you a few questions to establish your online access and eligibility with USAA.
    • If you are not eligible, USAA credit cards and other products may still be available.
    • Click here for full review.

Editor's Rating

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At USAA’s secure site
Credit Needed: Poor

Annual FeeAPRCredit NeededGrace Period
$3510.15%Bad Credit25 Days

USAA SECURED CARD® AMERICAN EXPRESS® Card

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Note: A military affiliation or existing family relationship to USAA is required to be eligible for this card.

    • USAA Eligibility Requirement: Today, USAA membership is only open to U.S. military service members, veterans who have received a discharge type of Honorable, and their eligible family members.
    • It's a real credit card – not a prepaid or debit card, that helps you build or improve your credit score.
    • When you apply – you'll also be opening a USAA 2-year Certificate of Deposit (CD), an interest-earning deposit account that has a two-year term and a $250-minimum initial deposit.
    • Your CD is a security deposit – the money you put in upfront, from $250 to $5,000, is the card's credit limit.
    • Earn interest on your CD – your deposit is guaranteed to grow. Plus the money is yours to keep as long as you don't default on your payments.
    • Start building your credit – opening a CD lets you get a credit card even if you don't have a credit history or have bad credit.
    • Chip technology has added security when used at a chip-enabled terminal and greater acceptance worldwide.
    • Before starting your application, USAA will ask you a few questions to establish your online access and eligibility with USAA.
    • If you are not eligible, USAA credit cards and other products may still be available.
    • Click here for full review.

Editor's Rating

Featured

At USAA’s secure site
Credit Needed: Poor

Annual FeeAPRCredit NeededGrace Period
$3510.15%Bad Credit25 Days

NAVY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION nREWARDS VISA or MASTERCARD SECURED CREDIT CARD

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  • Earn rewards while building or repairing credit
  • A military affiliation or existing family relationship to Navy Federal is required to be eligible for this card.
  • No annual fee1
  • Earn one point per $1 spent
  • Start redeeming at 1,000 points
  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) coverage
  • MasterCard Standard MasterRental® Insurance Coverage available
  • Click here for full review.

Editor's Rating

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Credit Needed: Poor

Annual FeeAPRCredit NeededGrace Period
$08.99%Bad Credit24-30 Days

ARKANSAS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION VISA SECURED CARD

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Secured credit card reviews

    • $0 – $10 Annual Fee
    • A military affiliation or existing family relationship to AFCU is required to be eligible for this card.
    • $0 Liability Fraud Protection
    • Falcon Alert Helps Prevent Debit and Credit Card Fraud

Editor's Rating

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Star Ratings

Secured credit card
Credit Needed: Poor

Annual FeeAPRCredit NeededGrace Period
$014-18%Bad Credit25 Days