If you have an income and a good credit score, you can apply and potentially be approved for most credit cards with no deposit, including cash back, travel and student credit cards

Can I Get a Credit Card with No Security Deposit if I Have No Credit History?

If you have limited credit history or no credit history at all, there are several ways to get a credit card with no deposit.

1. Become an Authorized User on Someone Else’s Credit Card

Becoming an authorized user on a credit card account allows you to use someone else’s credit card as if it were your own, even if you can’t qualify for a card on your own. As an authorized user, you don’t have all the same account capabilities of a primary account holder, but you can use the card as if it were your own.

One of the main benefits of being an authorized user is that if the primary account holder has a good credit history, the authorized user may reap some of the benefits on their own credit. Many — but not all — issuers report authorized user activity to the credit bureaus, which means that you can essentially piggyback off a primary account holder’s credit history. For example, when you become an Authorized User on a Discover® card account, you can build a credit history, with responsible use.*  On the other hand, if the primary account holder has missed credit card payments or keeps high credit balances — both negative impacts to credit — you risk damaging your credit score by becoming an authorized user on the account.

2. Student Cards May Not Require a Deposit

Most student cards don’t require a security deposit, so this can be a great option to start your credit journey. If you’re a student, you can apply for a Discover student credit card even if you don’t have a credit history.* Student credit cards also offer cash back rewards and can help you build a credit history, among several other benefits.

If you’re interested in applying for a student card, you’ll want to make sure you have the right information to apply and get the right card for you.

3. You May Be Able to Transition to an Unsecured Card

If you don’t find a no-deposit credit card that works for you, another option is to start with a secured card. A secured credit card can help you build your credit, with responsible use, but requires a security deposit that is used as collateral.* The deposit could be as low as a couple hundred dollars, and you may be able to qualify to get the deposit back. The plus side is that you can still earn rewards and build your credit history at the same time. You may want to learn more about how a secured card works before you dismiss it as a viable option.

Improve Your Credit Score So You Don’t Need a Deposit

Educating yourself on what type of behavior leads to a higher credit score should come before completing any applications. With a bit of preparation, and a commitment to good habits, you can find a credit card with no deposit that can help you create a brighter financial future.

Originally published September 25, 2017.

Updated September 14, 2021.

Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.

Authorized User: Primary account holder is responsible for all charges made by the Authorized User(s). Discover reports the account credit history to the three major credit bureaus as to you and the Authorized User. This can help build the Authorized User’s credit history if used responsibly. Late payments, delinquencies or other derogatory activity with your credit card accounts and loans may adversely impact yours and the Authorized User’s ability to build credit.

Builds credit with responsible use:: Discover reports your credit history to the three major credit bureaus so it can help build your credit if used responsibly. Late payments, delinquencies or other derogatory activity with your credit card accounts and loans may adversely impact your ability to build credit.

Minimum Security Deposit: A minimum security deposit of $200 is required to open this account and your security deposit must equal your credit limit. Your maximum credit limit (up to $2500) will be determined by your income and ability to pay.

Discover refunds deposits two ways: 1) automatic monthly reviews starting at eight months to see if your account qualifies to "graduate" after showing responsible use of all your credit over time, or 2) when you close your account and pay in full we will return the security deposit to you, which can take up to two billing cycles plus ten days.

No credit score required to apply: Based on 2020 Discover Student credit card application data. When we evaluate your creditworthiness we consider all the information you provide on your application, your credit report, which includes your credit score if applicable, and other information.