Single mom, Without SSN
Apply now
On Capital One‘s site

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit 2022

So, you have bad credit and need a credit card? You’re probably having a hard time since most credit cards require you to have at least fair credit to qualify for them. But, don’t worry because credit card companies that accept bad credit do exist, and below, you'll find a list of their best offers. Let’s clarify from the start - you won’t find any top cards with lucrative rewards on this list. However, you'll find some decent card options that can help improve credit and, thus, move on to better cards. Eventually, with smart and responsible use, you might even qualify for the best credit cards. That’s why we suggest you don’t skip our resources and advice, which you can find in this article.

By Hanna Volkava
Updated November 30, 2022

Best Credit Cards for For bad credit in November 2022

Hide all
Show all

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card best for Single mom, Without SSN

Secured Mastercard® Capital One
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
28.49% Variable
Our Rating:
2.44
scorer
Credit score
No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    28.49% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One is for people who want to improve their credit scores. The Card has no annual fee. It requires a security deposit when you’re approved.

    The card's APR is 28.49% (Variable).

    You’ll get access to CreditWise® from Capital One, which will automatically alert you to changes on your TransUnion or Experian credit reports.

    The Secured Mastercard from Capital One comes with a surprising number of travel perks, including no foreign transaction fees, travel accident insurance, 24-hour travel assistance services and secondary auto rental coverage.

    Cardholders will also receive extended warranty coverage for items purchased that already come with a manufacturer’s warranty.

  • Pros:
    • Low initial deposit amount of $49, $99, or $200
    • You can increase the credit line up to $1000
    • No annual fee
    • Automatic credit line reviews
    • Credit building
  • Cons:
    • High APR
    • Low credit limit
    • No rewards program
  • Benefits:
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Refundable Deposit;
    • Capital One CreditWise;
    • Eno®, your Capital One assistant;
    • Virtual Card Numbers from Eno;
    • Emergency Card Replacement;
    • ATM Location Services;
    • MasterRental Coverage;
    • 24/7 Customer Service.
View all Platinum Secured Mastercard® details
Apply now
On Capital One‘s site
Card detail

The Bank of Missouri FIT® Platinum Mastercard® best for Unsecured

FIT® Platinum Mastercard® The Bank of Missouri
Annual fee:
$99 annually
Regular APR:
29.99% Variable
Our Rating:
3.9
scorer
Credit score
No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
    • Issuer name:
      The Bank of Missouri
    • Details:

      The FIT® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card helps to rebuild or build your credit.

      The FIT® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card's annual fee is $99 annually. The Monthly Maintenance Fee is $75 annually. The Processing Fee is $89 (one-time fee).

      The FIT® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card with an initial credit limit of $400. Use your FIT card at locations everywhere Mastercard is accepted.

      Continental Finance will report your payments to the three major credit bureaus - TransUnion, Experian, Equifax.

      Read full review

    • Pros:
      • Credit may increase with time
      • Low eligibility requirements
      • Reasonable credit limit
      • No Security deposit
      • Credit Score Access
    • Cons:
      • High extra fees
      • High APR
      • Foreign Transaction Fee
      • No reward program
      • No Sign up Bonus
    • Benefits:
      • $0 Fraud Liability;
      • Initial Credit Limit of $400;
      • Potential Credit Limit Increase After Just 6 Months;
      • Free Monthly Credit Score;
      • Reports to All Three Major Credit Bureaus.
    View all FIT® Platinum Mastercard® details
    Apply now
    On The Bank of Missouri‘s site
    Card detail
    The Mission Lane Visa® Mission Lane LLC
    Annual fee:
    $0 - $59
    Regular APR:
    26.99% - 29.99% Variable
    Our Rating:
    3.05
    scorer
    Credit score
    No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
      • Issuer name:
        Transportation Alliance Bank
      • Details:

        The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card helps to rebuild or build your credit. The card's APR for purchases: 26.99% to 29.99% (Variable). This card reports to the three major credit bureaus and offers educational resources on spending, saving, and best credit practices.

        The annual fee for this card is $0 – $59.

        Read full review

      • Pros:
        • Higher credit lines
        • Reports to the three major credit bureaus
        • Instant credit decision
      • Cons:
        • High variable purchase APR
        • Annual fees up to $59
        • No rewards
        • Foreign transaction fee
        • Not available to everyone
      • Benefits:
        • Clear pricing & no hidden fees;
        • Higher credit lines over time;
        • The tools to help build your credit;
        • Credit-building education;
        • Instant credit decision;
        • All the coverage of Visa®.
      View all The Mission Lane Visa® details
      Apply now
      On Transportation Alliance Bank‘s site
      Card detail

      Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard® best for Walmart purchases

      Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
      Annual fee:
      $75 - $99 annually
      $99 annually
      Regular APR:
      24.99% - 29.99% Variable
      Our Rating:
      3.2
      scorer
      Credit score
      No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
        • Issuer name:
          Celtic Bank
        • Details:

          The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® credit card's APR range from 24.99% to 29.99%, based on creditworthiness.

          The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® has an annual fee of $75 to $99 (after that $99 annually).

          Monthly Maintenance Fee: $0 - $120 annually (billed at $0 - $10.00 per month).

          There’s also an additional one-time card fee of $30, if applicable. The card has a cash advance fee of 5 percent of the cash advance amount or $5, whichever is greater.

          This unsecured credit card can be used as an effective tool to build credit as the issuer reports your monthly payments to the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian, Equifax.

          Read full review

        • Pros:
          • Monthly Credit Reporting
          • Free Monthly Credit Score
          • Potential Credit Limit Increase After 6 Months
          • Prequalification Without a Hard Check
        • Cons:
          • High Annual Fee
          • Relatively Low Credit Limit
          • Foreign Transaction Fee
          • Monthly Maintenance Fee After the 1st year
          • High APR
        • Benefits:
          • $0 Fraud Liability;
          • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus;
          • Possible credit limit increase after just six months;
          • Free Monthly Credit Score.
        View all Surge® Platinum Mastercard® details
        Apply now
        On Celtic Bank‘s site
        Card detail
        Revvi MRV Banks
        Annual fee:
        $75 for the first year
        $48 after *
        Regular APR:
        34.99% *
        Our Rating:
        4.1
        scorer
        Credit score
        Rebuilding Credit to Fair (0-669)
        • Rewards Rate:
          • 1% Cash Back on payments made to your Revvi Credit Card. ^^
        • Issuer name:
          MRV Banks
        • Details:

          The Revvi Card is designed for people with poor credit or no credit.

          The Revvi Card comes with a 1% Cash Back on payments.

          The card has an annual fee of $75 (for the first year), $48 (for the second year). The regular purchase APR is 34.99%.

          Read full review

        • Pros:
          • Cash Back
        • Cons:
          • Annual Fee
          • Extra Fees
        • Benefits:
          • 1% Cash Back Rewards;
          • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus;
          • Fast and easy application.
        View all Revvi details
        Apply now
        On the Revvi secure website
        Card detail
        Merit Platinum
        Annual fee:
        See website for details*
        Regular APR:
        None
        Our Rating:
        3.8
        scorer
        Credit score
        No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
          • Details:

            The Merit Platinum Card is an online shopping card for people with bad credit or no credit.

            The card provides you with a merchandise credit line of $750*.

            Read full review

          • Pros:
            • Fast and Easy Application
          • Cons:
            • Valid at the Horizon Outlet store
          • Benefits:
            • $750 Merchandise Credit Line*;
            • No Employment or Credit Check.
          View all Merit Platinum details
          Apply now
          On Meritplatinum‘s website
          Card detail
          Double Your Line® Mastercard® Merrick Bank
          Annual fee:
          $0 - $72 annually
          Regular APR:
          22.45% - 30.70% *Variable
          Our Rating:
          4.1
          scorer
          Credit score
          No Credit History to Excellent (0-799)
            • Issuer name:
              Merrick Bank
            • Details:

              The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Mastercard® is good for people looking to build or rebuild credit.

              Double your credit line by making at least your minimum payment on time each month for the first 7 months your account is open.

              The APR for purchases is 22.45% - 30.70% (Variable). The card's annual fee: $0 - $72 annually.

              Credit lines range from $550 - $1,350 which double to $1,100 - $2,700 after your account qualifies. No security deposit required.

              Read full review

            • Pros:
              • Double your credit line
              • $0 fraud liability
              • No security deposit is required
              • A free FICO score each month
              • A poor credit score is enough to apply
            • Cons:
              • High variable APR
              • No rewards
              • No balance transfer option
              • Cash advance fee
            • Benefits:
              • $0 Fraud Liability;
              • Double Your Line®;
              • Exclusive Platinum Mastercard® Benefits.
            View all Double Your Line® Mastercard® details
            Apply now
            On Merrick Bank‘s site
            Card detail

            WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® best for Beginner, No history

            Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® WebBank
            Annual fee:
            $0
            Regular APR:
            15.99% - 29.99% Variable
            Our Rating:
            3.8
            scorer
            Credit score
            No Credit History to Excellent (0-799)
            • Rewards Rate:
              • 1% - 1.5%:
              • Cash Back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
              • 2% - 10%:
              • Cash Back from select merchants.
            • Issuer name:
              WebBank
            • Details:

              The Petal 2 Card has no fees of any kind and is designed to help you build credit.

              The credit limit is from $500 - $10,000.

              Grow your credit score with responsible spending and on-time payments.

              Get 1% cash back right away. Earn up to 1.5% when you pay on time. Plus 2% - 10% bonus cash back at select merchants.

              Freeze your card at any time to protect your account. And rest easy knowing your data is safe and encrypted.

              Read full review

            • Pros:
              • No annual fee
              • No returned payment fee
              • No foreign transaction fee
              • You can apply even if you have no credit history
              • No late fees
            • Cons:
              • No signup bonus
              • Cash advances are not permitted
              • Those who filed for bankruptcy may be rejected
              • Balance transfers are not allowed
              • No intro APR offer
            • Benefits:
              • No foreign transaction fee;
              • Petal 2 reports to all 3 major credit bureaus;
              • Qualify with average credit.
            View all Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® details
            Apply now
            On WebBank‘s site
            Card detail
            First Access Visa® The Bank of Missouri
            Annual fee:
            $75 annual fee for first year
            $48 annually
            Regular APR:
            34.99%
            Our Rating:
            4.2
            scorer
            Credit score
            No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
              • Issuer name:
                The Bank of Missouri
              • Details:

                The First Access Card is a true VISA® credit card that does not require perfect credit for approval.

                The First Access Visa Card's APR: 34.99%.

                The First Access Visa Credit Card is not a secured credit card, meaning applicants don’t have to have the amount of their credit limit as a deposit.

                Read full review

              • Pros:
                • Available to those with bad credit
                • Reports to three major credit bureaus
                • Easy application
                • No security deposit
              • Cons:
                • High APR
                • Several fees
                • Low credit limit
                • No rewards
              • Benefits:
                • First Access Visa credit card accepted nationwide;
                • Rebuild your credit;
                • Easy and Secure Online Application.
              View all First Access Visa® details
              Apply now
              On the First Access Visa® Card secure website
              Card detail

              Celtic Bank Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® best for Unsecured

              Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®​ Celtic Bank
              Annual fee:
              $75 - $99 for the first year
              $99 after the first year
              Regular APR:
              24.99% - 29.99% Variable
              Our Rating:
              3.8
              scorer
              Credit score
              No Credit History to Good (0-739)
                • Issuer name:
                  Celtic Bank
                • Details:

                  The Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® can be used as an effective tool to build credit. The card has an APR of 24.99% - 29.99% (Variable).

                  With $0 Fraud Liability you will not be held responsible for unauthorized charges on your Reflex credit card. With zero fraud liability you are only responsible for purchases that you make, so you can shop with confidence and know that your card activity is fully protected.

                  Monthly Maintenance Fee: $0 - $120.00 annually (billed at $0 - $10.00 per month). Monthly Maintenance Fee not billed for the first 12 months your account is opened. Additional Card Fee is $30.00 (one time, if applicable).

                  Read full review

                • Pros:
                  • Chance to get a higher credit limit
                  • All credit scores are welcome to apply
                  • Reports to three bureaus
                  • Check if you prequalify without affecting your credit score
                  • No deposit required
                • Cons:
                  • No rewards
                  • High Regular APR
                  • High annual fee
                  • Monthly maintenance fee
                  • Additional card fee
                  • Foreign transaction fee
                • Benefits:
                  • $0 Fraud Liability;
                  • Potential Credit Limit Increase After Just 6 Months;
                  • Free Monthly Credit Score;
                  • Monthly Reporting to All Three Major Credit Bureaus;
                  • Credit Protection program.
                View all Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® details
                Apply now
                On Celtic Bank‘s site
                Card detail

                Celtic Bank Indigo® Mastercard® best for Unsecured

                Indigo® Mastercard® Celtic Bank
                Annual fee:
                $0 - $99 annually
                Regular APR:
                24.9%
                Our Rating:
                3.7
                scorer
                Credit score
                No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                  • Issuer name:
                    Celtic Bank
                  • Details:

                    The Indigo® Mastercard® credit card provides a good option for those who have bad credit or no credit history.

                    The Indigo® Mastercard® reports to all three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian.

                    The Indigo® Mastercard® has a high APR of 24.9%.

                    During the first year, you can experience a 0% fee on cash advances. After this grace period expires, you will be charged $5 or 5% of each transaction amount.

                    When it comes to foreign transaction fees, you will incur a 1% fee for every transaction, no matter the currency used in the purchase.

                    Unfortunately, the Indigo credit card does not have any sign-up bonus or welcome offer. It also does not offer any rewards or cash back programs.

                    Read full review

                  • Pros:
                    • No security deposit
                    • Quick and easy to apply
                    • Pre-qualification
                    • Fraud protection
                    • Has Mastercard ID Theft Protection
                  • Cons:
                    • Low credit limit
                    • No rewards or one-time offers
                    • Foreign transaction fee
                  • Benefits:
                    • A low foreign transaction fee of 1 percent;
                    • Choice of Card Image;
                    • Fraud Protection;
                    • 24/7 Account Access;
                    • Extended warranty coverage.
                  View all Indigo® Mastercard® details
                  Apply now
                  On Celtic Bank‘s site
                  Card detail
                  Total Visa® The Bank of Missouri
                  Annual fee:
                  $164 for first year (including one-time program fee of $89)
                  $48 annually *
                  Regular APR:
                  34.99% *
                  Our Rating:
                  3.32
                  scorer
                  Credit score
                  Rebuilding Credit to Fair (0-669)
                    • Issuer name:
                      The Bank of Missouri
                    • Details:

                      The Total Visa® сard is a credit card for people with bad credit score or limited credit. It does not require a credit check to apply. But the card doesn’t offer rewards.

                      The Total Visa® сard's Regular APR is 34.99%. There is a one-time $89 program fee.

                      The Total Visa® сard allows you to choose your own card design.

                      Read full review

                    • Pros:
                      • Low Requirements
                    • Cons:
                      • Annual Fee
                      • High Regular APR
                      • No Intro APR period
                      • Extra Fees
                    • Benefits:
                      • $0 fraud liability;
                      • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus;
                      • Manageable monthly payments;
                      • Select your favorite card design for free.
                    View all Total Visa® Unsecured details
                    Apply now
                    On the Total Visa® Card secure website
                    Card detail

                    The Bank of Missouri Milestone Mastercard® best for Unsecured

                    Milestone Mastercard® The Bank of Missouri
                    Annual fee:
                    $35 - $99 Dependent on credit worthiness
                    Regular APR:
                    24.9%
                    Our Rating:
                    3.5
                    scorer
                    Credit score
                    No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                      • Issuer name:
                        The Bank of Missouri
                      • Details:

                        The Milestone Mastercard® is a credit card for people with bad credit.

                        The Milestone Mastercard® card's APR: 24.90% (Regular). Plus, the card has a cash advance APR of 29.90% and a penalty APR of 29.90%.

                        The credit limit for a Milestone Mastercard® is $300.

                        Read full review

                      • Pros:
                        • Low application requirements
                        • No security deposit
                        • Low foreign transaction fee
                        • Reports to three major credit bureaus
                      • Cons:
                        • Annual fee
                        • Additional fees and high APR
                        • Low credit limit
                        • No rewards system
                      • Benefits:
                        • Fraud Protection;
                        • Credit Bureau Reporting;
                        • Extended warranty coverage;
                        • Mastercard Global Service;
                        • Easy Pre-Qualification;
                        • Full Mastercard Perks;
                        • 24/7 Account Management.
                      View all Milestone Mastercard® details
                      Apply now
                      On The Bank of Missouri‘s site
                      Card detail
                      Synovus Bank The First Latitude Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                      Annual fee:
                      $25 for the first year;
                      after that $35.00 annually
                      Regular APR:
                      22.99% Variable
                      Our Rating:
                      1.16
                      scorer
                      Credit score
                      No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
                        • Issuer name:
                          Synovus Bank
                        • Details:

                          The Synovus Bank First Latitude Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a full-feature Platinum Mastercard® with a credit line based on a security deposit rather than on a credit score.

                          The First Latitude Platinum Mastercard® Secured charges an annual fee of $25 for the first year; after that $35 annually. The APR for Purchases is 22.99% (27.99% for cash advances). These APRs will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

                          Read full review

                        • Pros:
                          • Available to people with limited credit history
                        • Cons:
                          • Foreign Transaction Fee
                          • Balance transfers are not available
                        • Benefits:
                          • Choose a Credit Line Secured by Your Fully Refundable Deposit - from $100 to $2,000;
                          • Reports Monthly to All 3 Consumer Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History;
                          • Quick and Easy Online Application.
                        View all First Latitude Platinum Mastercard® Secured details
                        Apply now
                        On Synovus Bank‘s site
                        Card detail

                        Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card best for 18 year old

                        Gold Preferred® Secured Visa® Applied Bank
                        Annual fee:
                        $48 annually
                        Regular APR:
                        9.99% Fixed
                        Our Rating:
                        4.23
                        scorer
                        Credit score
                        No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
                          • Issuer name:
                            Applied Bank®
                          • Details:

                            The Applied Bank® Secured Visa® features a fixed-rate 9.99% APR on purchases.

                            The Applied Bank® Gold Preferred® Secured Visa® Card charges several fees in addition to the $48 annual fee. Fees include an up to $38 late payment fee, an up to $38 returned payment fee, a $30 stop payment fee, a $12.95 fee for each optional payment, a $30 fee for additional or replacement cards a $50 reinstatement fee, and a 3% foreign transaction fee.

                            Read full review

                          • Pros:
                            • Extremely low regular APR
                            • No penalty rate
                            • Guaranteed approval
                            • Increase your credit limit
                          • Cons:
                            • No rewards system
                            • A lot of fees
                            • Can’t upgrade to an unsecured credit card
                            • No grace period
                          • Benefits:
                            • Reports to All Three National Credit Bureaus;
                            • Zero Fraud Liability;
                            • Refundable Security Deposit;
                            • Global acceptance;
                            • Emergency card replacement and cash disbursement.
                          View all Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card details
                          Apply now
                          On Applied Bank®‘s site
                          Card detail
                          Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Mastercard®
                          Annual fee:
                          $36 the first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter
                          Regular APR:
                          20.45% Variable
                          Our Rating:
                          3.98
                          scorer
                          Credit score
                          No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                            • Issuer name:
                              Merrick Bank
                            • Details:

                              The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Mastercard® is a good card for people looking to build or rebuild credit.

                              The card has an annual fee of $36 for the first year (billed $3 per month thereafter).

                              The APR for purchases is 20.45% (Variable).

                              Double your $200 credit line by making at least your minimum payment on time each month for the first 7 months your account is open.

                              Read full review

                            • Pros:
                              • Double your credit limit
                              • Free monthly FICO Score access
                            • Cons:
                              • Annual Fee
                              • Foreign Transaction
                            • Benefits:
                              • $0 Fraud Liability;
                              • Double Your Line®;
                              • Reports to 3 Major Credit Bureaus.
                            View all Double Your Line® Secured Mastercard® details
                            Apply now
                            On Merrick Bank‘s site
                            Card detail
                            First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Synovus Bank
                            Annual fee:
                            $49 annually
                            Regular APR:
                            13.74% Variable
                            Our Rating:
                            3.8
                            scorer
                            Credit score
                            No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                              • Issuer name:
                                Synovus Bank
                              • Details:

                                The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a secured credit card for people with a limited credit history.

                                The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® doesn’t earn a welcome bonus.

                                The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® comes with an annual fee of $49. The card's APR: 13.74% (Variable for purchases), 22.74% (Variable for cash advances).

                                First Progress reports to all three major credit agencies, so even if you have bad credit, you’ll be able to improve on your credit standing provided you use your card responsibly.

                                Read full review

                              • Pros:
                                • Low APR for Purchases
                                • No Minimum Credit Score Required
                                • Reports to Three Major Credit Bureaus
                                • Suitable Range of Credit Limit
                              • Cons:
                                • High Annual Fee
                                • High Transaction Fees on Cash Advance
                                • High Penalty Fees
                                • No Bonuses or Rewards
                                • Foreign Transaction Fees
                                • Unavailability of Card for Certain Geographies in the US
                              • Benefits:
                                • Accepted Nationwide;
                                • No Minimum Credit Score;
                                • No Credit History Required.
                              View all First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured details
                              Apply now
                              On First Progress’s site
                              Card detail
                              First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Synovus Bank
                              Annual fee:
                              $29 annually
                              Regular APR:
                              23.74% Variable
                              Our Rating:
                              3.3
                              scorer
                              Credit score
                              No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                                • Issuer name:
                                  Synovus Bank
                                • Details:

                                  The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is designed to help cardholders build credit with no credit check or minimum credit score required to apply.

                                  As a secured credit card, the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® doesn’t come with any welcome offers, sign-up bonuses or reward rates.

                                  As a Mastercard®-branded credit option, this First Progress card is accepted nationwide.

                                  The initial Credit Limit for your Account will be equal to the amount of the Deposit that you make with us, which must be at least $200 (see “Security Interest” above). However, if you choose to deposit more than $200 your initial deposit and corresponding Credit Limit must be at least $300 and may not exceed $2,000.

                                  Read full review

                                • Pros:
                                  • No credit history required
                                  • No Minimum Credit Score needed
                                  • Low Annual Percentage Rates
                                  • It builds your Credit Score
                                • Cons:
                                  • No option to graduate to an unsecured credit card
                                  • Credit limit is equal to your deposit amount
                                  • There is no Rewards program
                                  • There are some area restrictions
                                • Benefits:
                                  • No Minimum Credit Score;
                                  • No Credit History Required;
                                  • Accepted Nationwide.
                                View all First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured details
                                Apply now
                                On First Progress’s site
                                Card detail

                                Celtic Bank Deserve EDU best for Cash Back, Without SSN, Student

                                Deserve EDU Celtic Bank
                                Annual fee:
                                $0
                                Regular APR:
                                22.49% Variable
                                Our Rating:
                                3.5
                                scorer
                                Credit score
                                No Credit History to Excellent (0-799)
                                • Rewards Rate:
                                  • 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning Cash Back on all purchases.
                                • Issuer name:
                                  Celtic Bank
                                • Details:

                                  The Deserve EDU Card makes it easy for students to start building credit.

                                  The Card's APR is 22.49% (Variable APR). The late payment is up to $25, while the returned payment is up to $37. Balance transfers and cash advances are not available.

                                  Students who make purchases totaling $500 within the first three statement cycles of card membership qualify to have their Amazon Prime Student subscription reimbursed (a $59 value).

                                  Students spend a significant amount on school supplies, textbooks and gear each year, and the Deserve EDU Mastercard can earn Cash Back on all of these purchases.

                                  Read full review

                                • Pros:
                                  • No prior credit history required
                                  • No SSN Required
                                  • No Annual Fee
                                  • No
                                  • Transactions Fees
                                  • No Co-Signer/ Deposit Required
                                • Cons:
                                  • Relatively High APR
                                  • Fairly Low Rewards
                                  • Only for Students
                                • Benefits:
                                  • Cellphone Protection;
                                  • Collision Damage Waiver;
                                  • Concierge Service;
                                  • No International Transaction Fees;
                                  • Priority Pass™ Membership;
                                  • Mastercard Benefits;
                                  • No Social Security Number required for international students to apply.
                                View all Deserve EDU details
                                Apply now
                                On Celtic Bank‘s site
                                Card detail
                                Unique Platinum
                                Annual fee:
                                See website for details*
                                Regular APR:
                                0.00% Regular
                                Our Rating:
                                3.1
                                scorer
                                Credit score
                                No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
                                • Rewards Rate:
                                  • $25 With the Unique Platinum Card you’ll also get $25 in Reward Dollars every month that you can use to save in your choice of over 500,000 ways.
                                • Details:

                                  The Unique Platinum Card is a good option for people with bad credit or no credit.

                                  With the Unique Platinum Card you’ll also get $25 in Reward Dollars every month.

                                  The Unique Platinum Card has an annual fee of $269.35 (in the first year), $239.4 (thereafter).

                                  The card is valid only at My Unique Outlet.

                                  Read full review

                                • Pros:
                                  • Unsecured credit line
                                  • Instant approval
                                • Cons:
                                  • Valid only at My Unique Outlet
                                  • Minimum monthly payment
                                • Benefits:
                                  • $1000 Credit Line;
                                  • $25 in Reward Dollars;
                                  • No Monthly Fee.
                                View all Unique Platinum details
                                Apply now
                                On Uniquecardservices‘s website
                                Card detail
                                Accepted Platinum
                                Annual fee:
                                See website for details*
                                Regular APR:
                                None
                                Our Rating:
                                4
                                scorer
                                Credit score
                                No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
                                • Purchase Intro APR:
                                  0% Introductory APR
                                • Details:

                                  The Accepted Platinum Card is a special card for online shopping. With the Card you’ll get $25 in Reward Dollars every month.

                                  The Card offers fast, trackable and reliable roadside service.

                                  The Initial cost of membership in the Unique Card Services shopping club is $29.95. The continuing cost is $19.95 per months. The card's NSF check fee is $30 (fee for returned checks or debits, second NSF).

                                  The card's minimum monthly payment is 15% (of the account balance owed) or $25.00.

                                  The Accepted Platinum Card has no penalties for prepayment.

                                  Read full review

                                • Pros:
                                  • No APR charged
                                • Cons:
                                  • No rewards
                                  • Limited use
                                • Benefits:
                                  • $1,000.00 Credit Line;
                                  • No Credit Checks;
                                  • 24/7 Roadside Assistance;
                                  • $14.95 Monthly Payments.
                                View all Accepted Platinum details
                                Apply now
                                On Acceptedplatinum‘s website
                                Card detail

                                WebBank Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® best for For bad credit

                                Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® WebBank
                                Annual fee:
                                $0
                                Regular APR:
                                22.99% - 32.49% Variable
                                Our Rating:
                                4.34
                                scorer
                                Credit score
                                No Credit History to Good (0-739)
                                • Rewards Rate:
                                  • 2% - 10%:
                                  • Cash Back at select merchants.
                                • Issuer name:
                                  WebBank
                                • Details:

                                  The Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Card earns 2% - 10% Cash Back from select merchants.

                                  The Petal® 1 Card has no annual fee. The card's APR for purchases: 22.99% to 32.49% (Variable).

                                  The Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Card does not charge an annual fee or fee for foreign transactions.

                                  Read full review

                                • Pros:
                                  • No Annual Fee
                                  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
                                • Cons:
                                  • No welcome bonus
                                  • No intro APR period
                                • Benefits:
                                  • 2 - 10% Cash Back;
                                  • Zero liability fraud protection;
                                  • $300 - $5,000 credit limits.
                                View all Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® details
                                Apply now
                                On WebBank‘s site
                                Card detail
                                Surge® Platinum Secured Mastercard® Celtic Bank
                                Annual fee:
                                $69 annually
                                Regular APR:
                                19.99% Variable
                                Our Rating:
                                3.3
                                scorer
                                Credit score
                                No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
                                • Rewards Rate:
                                  • 1% Cash Back rewards for each $1 spent using your Surge Mastercard.
                                • Issuer name:
                                  Celtic Bank
                                • Details:

                                  The Surge® Platinum Secured Mastercard® is a credit card designed for people with poor credit or none at all. The card earns 1% Cash Back rewards.

                                  The card's APR: 19.99% (Variable).

                                  The Surge® Platinum Secured Mastercard® has an annual fee of $69. There’s also an additional one-time card fee of $30 (if applicable). Plus, the card has a foreign transaction fee of 3%.

                                  Read full review

                                • Pros:
                                  • Cash Back rewards
                                  • Free automatic account reviews for credit limit increases
                                • Cons:
                                  • Annual Fee
                                  • Foreign Transaction Fee
                                  • No welcome bonus
                                  • No Intro APR offer
                                • Benefits:
                                  • 1% Cash Back Rewards;
                                  • Potential Credit Limit Increase;
                                  • Report to All 3 Major Credit Bureaus.
                                View all Surge® Platinum Secured Mastercard® details
                                Apply now
                                On Celtic Bank‘s site
                                Card detail
                                Secured Mastercard® Merrick Bank
                                Annual fee:
                                $36 for first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter
                                Regular APR:
                                20.45% Variable
                                Our Rating:
                                3.2
                                scorer
                                Credit score
                                No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
                                  • Issuer name:
                                    Merrick Bank
                                  • Details:

                                    The Merrick Bank Secured Mastercard® credit card is a card designed for building or rebuilding credit. The cardholder’s initial credit line will be equal to the amount of their security deposit, which can be between $200 and $3,000.

                                    The Annual Fee is $36 the first year. Billed $3 dollars per month thereafter.

                                    The Card's APR: 20.45% Variable for purchases.

                                    The Secured Mastercard® credit card reports to all three major credit bureaus.

                                    Read full review

                                  • Pros:
                                    • Up to $3000 credit limit
                                    • Reports to three major credit bureaus
                                    • You don’t need a bank account to apply
                                    • Access to FICO score
                                    • Low APR
                                  • Cons:
                                    • No rewards or intro offers
                                    • $200 minimum deposit
                                    • Extra fees
                                    • $36 annual fee
                                  • Benefits:
                                    • Monthly Reporting to the 3 Major Credit Bureaus;
                                    • $0 Fraud Liability;
                                    • Low interest;
                                    • FICO® Score for Free Each Month.
                                  View all Secured Mastercard® details
                                  Apply now
                                  On Merrick Bank‘s site
                                  Card detail
                                  First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Synovus Bank
                                  Annual fee:
                                  $39 annually
                                  Regular APR:
                                  17.74% Variable
                                  Our Rating:
                                  3.5
                                  scorer
                                  Credit score
                                  No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                                    • Issuer name:
                                      Synovus Bank
                                    • Details:

                                      The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured is designed to help cardholders build credit with no credit check or minimum credit score required to apply.

                                      The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured doesn’t come with any welcome offers, sign-up bonuses or reward rates.

                                      The card's APR: 17.74% (Variable for Purchases), 23.74% (Variable for Cash Advances).

                                      The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® has an annual fee of $39. Plus, the card has a foreign transaction fee of 3%.

                                      Read full review

                                    • Pros:
                                      • No credit history required
                                      • No Minimum Credit Score needed
                                      • Low Annual Percentage Rates
                                    • Cons:
                                      • Annual Fee
                                      • Foreign Transaction Fee
                                    • Benefits:
                                      • Accepted Nationwide;
                                      • No Minimum Credit Score;
                                      • No Credit History Required.
                                    View all First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured details
                                    Apply now
                                    On First Progress’s site
                                    Card detail

                                    Capital Bank OpenSky® Secured Visa® best for 18 year old

                                    Secured Visa® OpenSky®
                                    Annual fee:
                                    $35 annually
                                    Regular APR:
                                    17.39% Variable
                                    Our Rating:
                                    3.82
                                    scorer
                                    Credit score
                                    No Credit History to Good (0-739)
                                      • Issuer name:
                                        Capital Bank
                                      • Details:

                                        With Secured Visa® Credit Card your credit limit is defined by your refundable deposit, as low as $200 and up to $3000*. You’re the one who decides what’s best for you.

                                        Use your card to make purchases like gas or groceries, or for recurring bills like your phone, without changing your total monthly budget. Equifax®, Experian® and TransUnion® get reports every month — that's important to help you quickly improve your credit score.

                                        Read full review

                                      • Pros:
                                        • No credit check required
                                        • Does not require a bank account
                                        • Reports to three major credit bureaus
                                        • Low minimum cash deposit
                                      • Cons:
                                        • High annual fee
                                        • High Foreign Transaction Fee
                                        • No Rewards
                                        • No Signup Bonus
                                      • Benefits:
                                        • No credit check necessary to apply;
                                        • Reports to three major credit bureaus;
                                        • Build credit quickly;
                                        • Doesn't require a bank account.
                                      Card detail

                                      Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit best for Retired person

                                      Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit Credit One Bank
                                      Annual fee:
                                      $75 for the first year
                                      $99 annually
                                      Regular APR:
                                      25.49% Variable
                                      Our Rating:
                                      1.57
                                      scorer
                                      Credit score
                                      No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                                      • Rewards Rate:
                                        • 1% Cash Back rewards on gas and groceries as well as your monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV services.
                                      • Issuer name:
                                        Credit One® Bank
                                      • Details:

                                        Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit is Perfect For Everyday Purchases. Get 1% cash back rewards on gas and groceries as well as your monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV services.

                                        Minimum Credit Line: $300 and Future credit line increases may be granted based on your overall credit performance.

                                      • Pros:
                                        • Cash Back Rewards
                                        • Chance to get a higher credit limit
                                        • Reports to three major credit bureaus
                                        • Check if you prequalify online without affecting your credit score
                                        • No security deposit
                                      • Cons:
                                        • No guaranteed grace period
                                        • Potentially high annual fee
                                        • Foreign transaction fee
                                        • Low credit limit
                                        • Balance transfers are not available
                                      • Benefits:
                                        • 1% Cash Back Rewards;
                                        • Zero Fraud Liability;
                                        • Free online access to your Experian credit score;
                                        • Choose Your Payment Due Date.
                                      Card detail

                                      Short Review of Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

                                      NameBest forRewards RateAPRApply
                                      Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
                                      2.44
                                      Single mom, Without SSN
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 28.49% VariableApply now
                                      On Capital One‘s site
                                      The Bank of Missouri FIT® Platinum Mastercard®
                                      3.9
                                      Unsecured
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 29.99% VariableApply now
                                      On The Bank of Missouri‘s site
                                      Transportation Alliance Bank The Mission Lane Visa®
                                      3.05
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 26.99% - 29.99% VariableApply now
                                      On Transportation Alliance Bank‘s site
                                      Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
                                      3.2
                                      Walmart purchases
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 24.99% - 29.99% VariableApply now
                                      On Celtic Bank‘s site
                                      MRV Banks Revvi
                                      4.1
                                    • 1% Cash Back on payments made to your Revvi Credit Card. ^^
                                    • 34.99% *Apply now
                                      On the Revvi secure website
                                      Merit Platinum
                                      3.8
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • NoneApply now
                                      On Meritplatinum‘s website
                                      Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Mastercard®
                                      4.1
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 22.45% - 30.70% *VariableApply now
                                      On Merrick Bank‘s site
                                      WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa®
                                      3.8
                                      Beginner, No history
                                    • 1% - 1.5%:
                                    • Cash Back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
                                    • 2% - 10%:
                                    • Cash Back from select merchants.
                                    • 15.99% - 29.99% VariableApply now
                                      On WebBank‘s site
                                      The Bank of Missouri First Access Visa®
                                      4.2
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 34.99%Apply now
                                      On the First Access Visa® Card secure website
                                      Celtic Bank Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®
                                      3.8
                                      Unsecured
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 24.99% - 29.99% VariableApply now
                                      On Celtic Bank‘s site
                                      Celtic Bank Indigo® Mastercard®
                                      3.7
                                      Unsecured
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 24.9%Apply now
                                      On Celtic Bank‘s site
                                      The Bank of Missouri Total Visa® Unsecured
                                      3.32
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 34.99% *Apply now
                                      On the Total Visa® Card secure website
                                      The Bank of Missouri Milestone Mastercard®
                                      3.5
                                      Unsecured
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 24.9%Apply now
                                      On The Bank of Missouri‘s site
                                      First Latitude Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                                      1.16
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 22.99% VariableApply now
                                      On Synovus Bank‘s site
                                      Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card
                                      4.23
                                      18 year old
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 9.99% FixedApply now
                                      On Applied Bank®‘s site
                                      Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card
                                      3.98
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 20.45% VariableApply now
                                      On Merrick Bank‘s site
                                      First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                                      3.8
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 13.74% VariableApply now
                                      On First Progress’s site
                                      First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                                      3.3
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 23.74% VariableApply now
                                      On First Progress’s site
                                      Celtic Bank Deserve EDU
                                      3.5
                                      Cash Back, Without SSN, Student
                                    • 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning Cash Back on all purchases.
                                    • 22.49% VariableApply now
                                      On Celtic Bank‘s site
                                      Unique Platinum
                                      3.1
                                    • $25 With the Unique Platinum Card you’ll also get $25 in Reward Dollars every month that you can use to save in your choice of over 500,000 ways.
                                    • 0.00% RegularApply now
                                      On Uniquecardservices‘s website
                                      Accepted Platinum
                                      4
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • NoneApply now
                                      On Acceptedplatinum‘s website
                                      WebBank Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®
                                      4.34
                                      For bad credit
                                    • 2% - 10%:
                                    • Cash Back at select merchants.
                                    • 22.99% - 32.49% VariableApply now
                                      On WebBank‘s site
                                      Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Secured Mastercard®
                                      3.3
                                    • 1% Cash Back rewards for each $1 spent using your Surge Mastercard.
                                    • 19.99% VariableApply now
                                      On Celtic Bank‘s site
                                      Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card
                                      3.2
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 20.45% VariableApply now
                                      On Merrick Bank‘s site
                                      First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                                      3.5
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 17.74% VariableApply now
                                      On First Progress’s site
                                      Capital Bank OpenSky® Secured Visa®
                                      3.82
                                      18 year old
                                    • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                                    • 17.39% VariableLearn more
                                      Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit
                                      1.57
                                      Retired person
                                    • 1% Cash Back rewards on gas and groceries as well as your monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV services.
                                    • 25.49% VariableLearn more

                                      Card's description:

                                      Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

                                      The Platinum Secured Mastercard® from Capital One allows you to get pre-approved without hurting your credit score. It's a nice card for building credit that has a very low minimum security deposit. Based on your credit score, you can get the card with a deposit of $49, $99, or $200. With the minimum deposit required of $49, you'll get an initial credit limit of $200. Your account will get reviewed automatically every six months, and you might be considered for a higher credit line. As your account is monitored, you may get your security deposit back as a statement credit. Of course, all of this is only possible if you've made timely payments and managed the card responsibly. Capital One offers great benefits with all of its credit cards, so cardholders of the Platinum Secured Mastercard® will enjoy them too. These include valuable features: CreditWise tool (enables you to monitor your credit), Virtual Card Number, Extended Warranty, 24/7 Customer Service, etc. Finally, on the good side, you won’t have to worry about an annual fee. However, you’ll have to be very careful with carrying a balance due to the high APR of 28.49%.

                                      Read more about Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

                                      Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

                                      Those who want to rebuild credit will appreciate the Surge® Platinum Mastercard®, which enables them to stay on top of their credit. You can apply online, and if approved and enrolled in e-statements, you'll get free access to your monthly credit score. The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® also offers cardholders a solid credit limit between $300 - $1,000 with no security deposit. Your account will get automatically reviewed after six months for a potential increase. Unfortunately, the card comes with a high annual fee $99 and a high APR of 29.99%. Don’t forget about the monthly maintenance fee, which kicks in after the first year at $10 per month. If you're reckless with your payments, you might end up paying a late and a returned payment fee too. So be very cautious if you go for this card because if not, you might end up in a worse financial situation than before getting it.

                                      Read more about Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

                                      First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

                                      The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured from Synovus Bank is one of the three secured credit cards they offer. There's no minimum credit score or credit history required, and those who qualify for one of the three cards also qualify for the other two. We decided to review this one because it has the lowest APR out of the three but also the highest annual fee. So, it's basically a trade-off, either a low APR or a low annual fee, whatever is more important to you. This card has one of the lowest APRs overall – 13.74%, which is great for those who struggle with balances. However, the price to pay for such a low APR is a $49 annual fee deducted from your line of credit. When a payment is late or returned, penalty fees will be applied too.

                                      Read more about First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

                                      WebBank Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®

                                      If you’re looking for a high-limit credit card for bad credit, you’ve found it! It’s the Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® credit card. Its credit limit ranges from $500 to $5,000, which is pretty great for a card with no annual fee and no deposit required. In addition, you could get a credit line increase in only six months after account opening, assuming you've made payments on time and have kept your credit score within a specific range. Regarding eligibility criteria, you could qualify with a very poor credit history or even none at all. Petal 1 will create a Cash Score for those without a credit score based on the applicant's banking history. There's also a pre-approval option, so you can check approval odds for the card without impacting your credit. The Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® is also one of the few cards targeting people with bad or no credit that has a rewards program. Cash back rewards rates vary from 2% - 10% at selected merchants. If you think you might carry a balance, be aware of the potentially high APR (between 22.99% - 32.49%). Be cautious about late and returned payment fees if you opt for this card.

                                      Read more about WebBank Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®

                                      Capital Bank OpenSky® Secured Visa®

                                      With a straightforward, 4-step application process and no credit check, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card is an excellent choice for anyone without a credit score or with a bad one. Those who don’t have a checking account can apply too. They'll be able to make the security deposit with a money order or a Western Union payment. The security deposit range is also explicitly listed on the card's website. It can be as low as $200 and up to $3,000 (please note that the amount is subject to approval and is individually determined for each applicant). Your line of credit will be equal to the security deposit's amount. You can also request a credit limit increase whenever you want, and if approved, you'll have to provide an additional security deposit. This card has one of the lowest APRs in the category (17.39%) and among all credit cards, considering the average credit card APR is 14.58%. Its annual fee is only $35, which we think is a low price for such a great card for building credit.

                                      Read more about Capital Bank OpenSky® Secured Visa®

                                      Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit

                                      The Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit from Credit One® Bank is an unsecured credit card with a decent cash back rewards program. Cardholders will earn 1% cash back in several everyday purchase categories (including gas, groceries, monthly mobile bill, internet, etc.). A nice feature is the option to check whether you’re pre-qualified without affecting your credit score. Since Credit One® Bank usually targets people with low scores, their cards come with a few handy features. For instance, cardholders have free access to their Experian credit score, can adjust their payment due date, and get text and email alerts. The minimum credit limit is $300, and you'll get an automatic review for a potential increase. A drawback of this card is the high annual fee, which is $75 in the first year and $99 after. The relatively high APR of 23.99% doesn't go into its favor either.

                                      Read more about Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit

                                      What is bad credit?

                                      Bad credit is usually defined as having a FICO credit score rating below 580 (on a scale between 300 and 850). Lower credit score indicate irresponsible credit behavior in the past, like not paying bills on time, loan defaults, bankruptcy, late payments, maxing out credit lines, etc. That’s why a bad credit might make creditors and lenders reluctant when deciding whether to approve a credit request. There are three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian), and credit scores might differ between all three. That’ll depend on whether your creditor (or lender) reports to one, two, or all of them. Note that creditors might use their scoring models as well, and they will also differ. If approved for a loan or a credit card, those with bad credit will likely get subprime rates. Subprime rates are higher than the average interest rates and are offered to high-risk borrowers.

                                      How to improve your credit using a credit card?

                                      A credit card can be a useful tool on your path to repair credit only if used in a responsible manner. Here's some advice on how to make that happen:

                                      • Make payments on time – this one probably goes without saying, but it doesn't hurt to be reminded. Make sure to pay at least the minimum amount before the due date. Although, note that if you fail to pay the balance in full, you’ll accrue interest (think about the high APRs that come with credit cards!).
                                      icon-thank

                                      Extra tip: Set up AutoPay (if the card offers this option) or set a reminder on your phone. Of course, some creditors also send you a notification ahead of the upcoming payment date.

                                      • Keep in mind the credit utilization ratio – the credit utilization ratio is a significant factor with a great impact on your credit score. It's calculated by dividing the amount of money you owe by your available credit limit. Generally, it's recommended to keep it under 30%. That means that if you have a $1,000 credit line, you should never carry a balance that's more than $300.
                                      icon-thank

                                      Extra tip: Annual fees usually get deducted from the credit line, so don’t forget to factor them in when calculating your credit utilization!

                                      • Monitor your credit score – many of the best credit cards for bad credit listed above (like Capital One Platinum Secured Mastercard®) offer you credit score access. That allows you to always be on top of your credit and see how certain spending habits affect it.
                                      • Avoid closing credit card accounts – closing your accounts might harm your credit score. For example, it might increase your credit utilization ratio, which you don't want to happen if you're trying to improve bad credit. If you want to close it because of an annual fee or to get back your security deposit, if possible, consider changing to a no-annual-fee version of the card or upgrading to an unsecured one. With the Discover it® Secured credit card, you might qualify for an unsecured card in as little as eight months.

                                      Who should get a credit card for bad credit?

                                      In addition to people with bad credit, of course, credit cards for bad credit might also serve well to people with no or little credit history. These two are put in the same basket because people without an established credit history also represent a risk to creditors and lenders. They have yet to prove to be trustworthy borrowers.

                                      For instance, if you’re a student, you probably won’t have it easy to get a credit card (if you haven’t had a regular job or are paying off a student loan). Since cards designed for applicants with bad credit make it easy to qualify, they make for a worthy starter option.

                                      How to choose a credit card for bad credit?

                                      Choosing a credit card for bad credit requires careful consideration. You want to ensure that it’s the right card that’ll help you repair credit. Another important thing to bear in mind when applying is to assess your chances of getting approved for a particular card. A rejection never looks good on a credit report, and it will furtherly decrease your credit score. If you're not sure about your approval odds, first try applying for a card that offers prequalification. Such cards are Capital One Platinum Secured Mastercard®, Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit, and Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®.

                                      The most important thing to look at in a card for building credit is whether it reports to all three major credit bureaus. If your good credit behavior goes unnoticed, it won't do much good to your credit score. Keep in mind that all the best credit cards for bad credit found here report to all three major credit bureaus. It might be helpful if the credit card also provides you with access to your credit score so you can keep track of it. Another important thing is fees. Credit cards for bad credit typically come with all kinds of fees - annual fee, late fee, returned payment fee, foreign transaction fee, and so on. Keep them in mind while using the card.

                                      You also must be honest with yourself about carrying a balance. If you tend to do that, get a card with a low APR. The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured has the lowest APR (13.74% Variable), but it comes with a $49 annual fee. As we already explained, the credit limit has a high impact on the credit utilization ratio; consider the credit line that best fits you and your financial needs. The Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® offers a potentially high credit limit of up to $5,000.

                                      Last but not least - the choice between a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card. Both can be used for rebuilding credit, so for a better understanding, check out the section where we explain the differences between the two.

                                      What to do if your application is denied?

                                      A denied credit card application is not the end of the world. You’ll get an explanation for the denial, and once you know the reason, the next step is to figure out how to work on it. Let’s look at some common reasons for rejection and your options for them:

                                      • High balances – work out a plan for how to pay back your high credit card debt.
                                      • Too many inquiries – too many applications on your credit report within a short period of time might get you denied, no matter if you were approved. Wait until some of them disappear from your credit report, and then apply again.
                                      • Low income – the required income varies among different credit card issuers. Next time you should take your chances with a lower-range card.
                                      • Recent delinquencies – some recent delinquencies, like a late payment, might negatively impact your chances of getting approved. What you can do is wait and try again.
                                      • Thin credit history – if the credit card company cannot determine your creditworthiness, it's likely you won't get approved for a credit card. For a FICO score to be generated, you're required to have at least one account that's been active in the last six months. Or consider cards for which you can apply with no or little credit history like the Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®.
                                      • Not old enough – the legal age for a credit card is 18. Still, there are some exceptions, like if you have your own income or you’ve already been added as an authorized user to a parent’s credit card.

                                      Secured vs. unsecured credit cards for bad credit

                                      Secured credit cards require a security deposit (which usually serves as a credit limit) that will be refunded later on. You can be refunded when you close the account, upgrade to an unsecured card, or if you qualify for a refund. Since these cards are secured with a refundable security deposit, they usually have no (or lower) annual fees.

                                      If you can afford a security deposit, it's always better to get a secured card since you can get the deposit back, but the annual fee is a cost you won’t get back. However, if you cannot afford the security deposit, you can still go for a no-money-down, unsecured credit card. Although, in that case, be prepared that you might have to pay a hefty annual fee. The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® is an unsecured card that'll cost you a $125 annual fee in the first year and $96 after.

                                      The costs of bad credit

                                      Bad credit can hurt you financially in several ways. People with bad credit usually have to deal with the following:

                                      • High APRs on loans and credit cards - probably the most obvious. It’ll be hard even to get approved in the first place, but if you do, the chances are that you’ll end up with high interest rates.
                                      • Limited access to funding – if you need an emergency loan, you’ll likely have to go for an expensive alternative like payday loans.
                                      • Larger minimum payments – several of these will eat away a significant portion of your budget.
                                      • Expensive insurance premiums – it might come as a surprise, but insurance companies run credit checks too! So, get ready to pay more for auto insurance, for example.
                                      • Getting housing – a bad credit score will make it harder to buy a house (affects your mortgage rate) or even rent an apartment (landlords tend to dislike poor credit scorers too).
                                      • Deposit for utilities – If you don’t meet the requirements of a utility company, you might be asked to provide a refundable deposit to use the service.

                                      FAQ

                                      Can you get a credit card after bankruptcy?

                                      Yes, but be prepared to have minimal options and to get high-interest rates. While the bankruptcy process is still in progress, you cannot apply for a credit card. Once it's settled, the time until you can apply for one will depend on the type of bankruptcy. If it was Chapter 7 (debts are wiped out with filing's court approval, which can take up to several months), you'd have to wait for four to six months. A Chapter 13 bankruptcy (payments continue with a court-ordered repayment plan), on the other hand, can take between three to five years.

                                      Can you do a balance transfer with bad credit?

                                      Yes, most of the best credit cards for bad credit allow you to make a balance transfer. However, since every card for bad credit usually has a high APR, it may not make much sense to transfer a balance. You might want to consider a personal loan instead that has more affordable rates. Another good alternative for balance transfers is improving your credit score first and then getting a card with an intro APR offer or a low ongoing APR.

                                      What’s the easiest credit card to get with bad credit?

                                      Out of all the best credit cards for bad credit we mentioned, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® credit card is the easiest one to get since it doesn’t make a credit check. Generally, secured credit cards are available to most people with bad credit who are willing to pay the security deposit. In addition, store cards also fall under the easy-to-qualify-for category.

                                      Which credit cards offer guaranteed approval?

                                      Unfortunately, there’s no such thing as guaranteed approval when it comes to credit cards. However, there are some credit cards with very high approval odds.
                                      Hanna VolkavaHanna Volkava

                                      Financial and product expert

                                      hv@myfin.us