Q: Does Chase have a secured credit card? The website doesn’t show the application.
A: Chase has long favored those consumers with very good to excellent credit scores, ostensibly to control their downside risk. Even though they’ve experienced record profits in recent years there seems to be no change to their strategy.
With the exception of their Slate card (for average credit) these days the credit score requirements for their credit cards are basically on par with American Express; you need to have excellent credit to be approved.
The Chase secured Visa and MasterCard was discontinued several years ago. I asked my local branch if Chase plans on bringing it back, and they said there are no plans for a secured credit card. The last time they offered it was in 2005, so I think it was probably somewhat of an unsuccessful (or at least unprofitable) experiment and can safely conclude that it won’t make an appearance in the market again.
My recommendation? Capital One and some credit unions offer secured cards with low fees and security deposits. Go here to see my favorite secured card for 2016. With this card, a deposit of $49, $99 or $200 could get you a credit line of between $200 and $3,000 (depending on your creditworthiness). Also, Discover has recently begun offering a secured card product, so that is another option to explore. Even though there are a number of small players in the secured card space, it usually makes more sense to go with one of the big issuers in my opinion. Why? The main reason is that you don’t want to keep a secured card forever (since the credit lines are low and you have your own money tied up). Big issuers will typically “graduate” you to an unsecured product over time, which usually won’t happen if you are with a small card issuer.
But, back to chase – is there any chance we will see a secured credit card from Chase bank again? Highly unlikely and here’s why I say that:
- With the Fed keeping interest rates low, deposit accounts are no longer money makers for the banks. Why would they want to pay you interest when instead, they can borrow from the Fed for next to nothing? For this reason, having a secured card with a deposit of say, $500 to $2,000, is no longer enticing for banks. Simply put, there’s more money to be made elsewhere… such as with premium credit cards.
- When it comes to premium cards, in many regards Chase is tied with American Express nowadays. Because of the heavy advertising I’m sure you already know about their Sapphire, but they also issue cards for luxury hotels Hyatt and Ritz-Carlton and a high-status card called the Palladium. In short, the Chase brand = premium cards, so I doubt they would issue secured credit cards because that might dilute the perception of their brand.
Written or last updated April 11, 2016