U.S. Bank has launched two new secured credit cards with surprisingly good rewards programs. A secured credit card offering points or cash back isn't unique, but the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Secured Card and the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Secured Card offer the same rewards rates as their unsecured counterparts.

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. Bank has launched two new secured credit cards designed for people who are looking to build or rebuild their credit history.
  • The two new secured credit cards offer outsized rewards that are usually reserved for good-credit borrowers with traditional, unsecured credit cards.
  • Cardholders can "graduate" to an unsecured card if they demonstrate good credit habits with their secured card.

Secured Credit Cards With Rewards Are Becoming More Common

Historically, secured credit cards have been used by cardholders to build or rebuild their credit, after which they might qualify for a regular, unsecured credit card. Many of the best secured cards didn't charge an annual fee, but you couldn't expect much else in terms of rewards or other benefits.

Recently, though, major card issuers have begun adding rewards to their secured cards. Bank of America, Capital One, Discover, Navy Federal Credit Union, and others all offer secured rewards cards, and now U.S. Bank has joined the list.

How the New U.S. Bank Secured Cards Work

U.S. Bank's two new secured cards, the Altitude Go Visa Secured Card and the Cash+ Visa Secured Card, mimic the rewards structure and benefits of their unsecured counterparts, albeit with a few changes. Those include no sign-up bonus and higher APRs.

With either card, users can get a credit limit ranging from $300 to $5,000, equal to their upfront security deposit. In both cases, responsible card use over time could result in graduating to the unsecured version of the card, at which point the deposit will be returned. Also, neither card charges an annual fee.

Altitude Go Visa Secured Card, cardholders will get the following:

  • 4 points per dollar on dining and takeout
  • 2 points per dollar at grocery stores and gas stations, and also on streaming services
  • 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
  • An annual $15 streaming credit for select streaming services

The Cash+ Visa Secured Card offerst:

  • 5% cash back on the first $2,000 spent quarterly in two categories the cardholder can choose from a list of 12 options.
  • 2% cash back on purchases in one category of the cardholder's choice from a list of everyday options like grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

If you're looking to establish a credit history or rebuild your credit score after some missteps, you have more options than ever, particularly for cards that don't charge exorbitant interest rates and fees. But take your time to consider both secured and unsecured options to determine the right fit for you. If you need some help, Investopedia publishes a list of the Best Secured Credit Cards, which is updated each month.