This article is from the Credit cards and Consumer Credit FAQ, by email@example.com (Steve Adams) with numerous contributions by others.
Use the same criteria as for any other card. Ask the bank some
additional questions: What interest is paid on the deposit? If I
maintain a good credit record, when could I be considered for an
Also ask yourself if you might conceivably have need for the
deposited funds during the required term. If so, find out up front
whether you can withdraw the deposit in case of financial emergency,
and what it costs in interest and penalties to do that.
You will want a secured card if you don't qualify for an unsecured
one but you need credit.
You may want a secured card even if you could get an unsecured card.
Why? Since a secured card represents less risk to the bank,
interest rates may be lower than for unsecured cards. (Two recent
surveys showed an Illinois bank's secured card with a grace period
and no annual fee that had the lowest interest rate in the surveys.)