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Opensky Secured Visa vs Self Credit Builder + Secured Visa

Annual Fee
Security Deposit (Credit Limit)
$200 - $3,000
Min $100
Credit Limit Increase
Will be evaluated for a credit limit increase without additional security deposit after 6 months.
No credit limit increase. Cannot add to initial security deposit.
Graduates To Unsecured
Yes - evaluated for graduation after 6 months.
No graduation to unsecured credit card.

Secured Card vs Credit Builder + Secured Card

While a traditional secured credit card is a great tool to rebuild your credit, there are some of you who are really stretched to come up with with the initial security deposit. This is where getting a credit builder may help you save up money for the security deposit and build your credit at the same time. The Self Credit Builder and Secured Visa is both a credit builder and becomes a secured credit card once you have "saved up" enough for a security deposit. In contrast, the Opensky is a traditional secured credit card that is packed with great features like potentially increasing your credit limit without any additional security deposits and the ability to graduate to an unsecurd credit card as well.

In a way, comparing both the Opensky and Self is like comparing apples and pears. They are kind of the same thing but not exactly the same. But we will do our best in this comparison and figure out which is better and for whom?

The Basics

Before we can compare these two cards, let's dive a little into the basics of both.

Opensky Basics

The Opensky Secured Visa is a traditional credit card that does not check your credit when you apply. That means you will definitely be approved and as long as you fund your security deposit, you will get your card. The card comes with a $35 annual fee and you can fund your security deposit between $200 and $3,000 (which becomes your credit limit). After six months, Opensky will consider your account for a credit limit increase without additional security deposit and also to potentially graduate to their unsecured credit card.

Self Credit Builder + Secured Visa Basics

Self is for folks who want a secured credit card but need to save up enough for their security deposit. This is how Self works. You first set up a "credit builder account". You can choose a "monthly payment amount" starting from $25. The corresponding loan amount will be calculated from there. Without a traditional loan, cash is deposited into your checking account account and you may use the cash as you please. With a credit builder loan, you actually do not get the cash and instead pay back the principal and interest, which will be reported to the credit bureaus. There are no credit checks when you open a "credit builder account".

Once you have $100 in your credit builder account and have made at least 3 payments, you can open a Self account and transfer $100 (the minimum security deposit requirements) or you can wait and transfer more to your "secured visa". Self only allows you to transfer money from your "credit builder account" to your "Self secured account" once as a security deposit. You cannot transfer more later to increase your credit limit so you have to make sure you figure out what you want the credit limit on your Self secured card to be. Once again, getting the Self Secured Visa involves no credit checks. Also, the Self Secured Visa has no annual fee.


  • No Credit Checks - Both cards do not check your credit so you will definitely be approved for both if you decide to apply.


  • Credit Builder in addition to secured credit card - The key difference between Opensky and Self is that Opensky is a traditional secured credit card whereas Self is both a credit builder account and a secured credit card.
  • Annual Fee - The Opensky Secured Visa has a $35 annual fee whereas Self Secured Visa does not.

  • Credit Limit Increase - Opensky will consider your account for a credit limit increase without additional security deposits after six months. The Self Secured Visa does not give you any credit line increases and also does not allow you to add additional security deposit to your secured account from your spending account.

  • Graduate to Unsecured - Opensky will consider you for a graduation to their unsecured credit card after six months. Self does not offer that opportunity.

Which is better?

As a secured credit card, the Opensky Secured Visa offers more features than Self Secured. Though it has a $35 annual fee (versus $0 for Self), Opensky offers you the opportunity to have your credit limit increased with no additional deposit needed and also to graduate to their unsecured credit card. And all this could happen in as little as 6 months. Self does not offer any of these features.

However, it would be unfair to say that Opensky is better than Self. In fact, in contrast to Opensky, the Self Secured Visa has no annual fee. But Self really is for folks who do not have enough (or feel it is a stretch) to fund their security deposit. But utilizing their credit builder account, you can "save" and "build your credit" at the same time because payments for your credit builder loan is reported to the three major credit bureaus.

To sum up, if you have enough to fund a security deposit, I would go for the Opensky credit card as getting the card is really a simple process. If however, funding a security deposit for a secured credit card appears to be a stretch at the moment and you really want to start your rebuilding process now, then I would get a credit builder account with Self and then progress to their secured credit card.