Best Unsecured Credit Cards For Bad to Fair Credit
You might not be familiar with the term “unsecured” credit cards — that’s just because it’s another name for a «regular» credit card. This is the most popular kind of cards because there is zero collateral or security deposit required, unlike with secured credit cards.
Credit cards are never a one-size-fits-all type of situation, so it’s important to consider what options will benefit you in the long run. Whether you're looking for your first card or rebuilding credit, applying for a new credit card can seem overwhelming.
There isn't just one step in the process so before you find the right card for you, you need to consider what best fits your needs. It’s difficult to learn how to manage credit cards and personal finances, so it’s equally as challenging to get ahead when you find yourself with less-than-perfect credit.
For an unsecured card, you need creditworthiness to qualify, usually with a credit score of 690 or better, although there are exceptions. And if you look at the selection of cards today there are many unsecured cards to choose from if you’re committed to improving your credit.
Short Review of Best Unsecured Credit Cards For Bad to Fair Credit
|Name||Best for||Rewards Rate||APR||Apply|
Capital One Platinum Credit Card |Without SSN||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||29.99% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card |Fair credit||1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.||29.99% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
The Bank of Missouri FIT® Platinum Mastercard® |Unsecured||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||29.99% Variable||Apply now|
On The Bank of Missouri‘s site
Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® |Low income||3% Cash Back on Home, Auto and Health categories.1% Cash Back on everything else.||14.99% - 29.99% Regular||Apply now|
On Upgrade‘s website
Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard® |Walmart purchases||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||24.99% - 29.99% Variable||Apply now|
On Celtic Bank‘s site
WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® |Beginner, No history||1% - 1.5%:Cash Back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.2% - 10%:Cash Back from select merchants.||17.74% - 31.74% Variable||Apply now|
On WebBank‘s site
The Bank of Missouri First Access Visa® |Low income||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® |Unsecured||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||29.99% Variable||Apply now|
On Celtic Bank‘s site
The Bank of Missouri Total Visa® Unsecured |This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||35.99% *||Apply now|
On the Total Visa® Card secure website
The Bank of Missouri Milestone Mastercard® |Unsecured||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||35.9%||Apply now|
On The Bank of Missouri‘s site
Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit |Retired person||1% Cash Back rewards on gas and groceries as well as your monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV services.||28.49% Variable||Learn more|
First Electronic Bank Destiny® Mastercard® |Unsecured||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||24.9%||Learn more|
Who should apply
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
If you are just beginning your financial journey, the $0 annual fee is a great advantage. The recommended credit score is fair (580 to 669). Plus, after six months, you can be considered for a higher credit limit, especially if you pay your bill on time.
Read more about Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
This card is ideal if you have fair credit and are looking for a card with a high rewards rate. If you like to manage your finances online, this card also lets you monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise app. Overall, it’s easy to manage your account with the Capital One app.
Read more about Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of Missouri FIT® Platinum Mastercard®
This is the best for those building credit for the first time or repairing their current credit history. There are low eligibility requirements for the card so anybody can apply. After six months of timely payments, the maximum credit limit increases up to $800, so you can keep it running for a long time. This is also a good card if you want to be fully protected from fraud, so no need to fret about any unauthorized transactions.
Read more about The Bank of Missouri FIT® Platinum Mastercard®
Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
This unsecured credit card is good for people with limited or poor credit who want to improve their credit score. It has the potential to be an effective tool to build credit as the issuer reports your card acticity to the three major credit bureaus. Users can keep track with electronic statements too.
Read more about Celtic Bank Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
Celtic Bank Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®
This card caters to people with bad credit whose goal is to improve their finances and especially those who are dedicated to paying their bills on time. Although you have to pay high fees and high interest, it may be worth it when your credit limit increases.
Read more about Celtic Bank Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®
The Bank of Missouri Total Visa® Unsecured
The Total Visa® Unsecured is the card for people with a checking account who want a Visa® credit card, but don't have the perfect credit score just yet. This is one of the best options available if you want to start the journey back to a healthy credit with one of the most respected and secure credit card systems.
Read more about The Bank of Missouri Total Visa® Unsecured
The Bank of Missouri Milestone Mastercard®
Are you working hard on your challenging credit history? This is a great card if you want to build your credit in a practical way.
Read more about The Bank of Missouri Milestone Mastercard®
Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit
This is one of the best cards you can get if you are looking to improve your credit. You can get rewards while making regular purchases like groceries, phone bills, and so on. Even with high fees, you have that high reward option that usually only applies to cards for higher credit scores.
Read more about Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit
First Electronic Bank Destiny® Mastercard®
This is perfect for people with bad credit looking to improve their credit scores. If you are looking to instantly and easily apply for a card despite having a low credit score, then this is a great option for you.
Read more about First Electronic Bank Destiny® Mastercard®
Unsecured Credit Cards Basics
What is an unsecured credit card?
All unsecured credit cards do not require a security deposit or collateral. This keeps your money and your assets in your pocket. The most common credit cards are unsecured. There is no single indicator to measure your approval for an unsecured credit card, so each application is evaluated by the issuer.
How does it work?
When you apply for an unsecured credit card, the issuing company will use your personal information along with a number of factors to determine whether to approve your application.
What is the difference between unsecured and secured credit cards?
An “unsecured” credit card does not require you to put down any of your assets as collateral. This means issuers can’t access your funds if there are unpaid debts.
With a “secured” credit card, you provide funds as collateral on your account. This deposit will be used against any unpaid balance that may occur if you can’t make payments. It’s called a «secured» credit card because you have to put down personal guarantees before being approved.
What are the pros and cons of unsecured credit cards
If you’re not sure if an unsecured credit is for you, then this list of the benefits — and the drawbacks — can help you to decide.
- More options - Since unsecured credit cards are the most common, you also have the most options. Some examples are student cards, travel rewards cards, and cash back cards. For either business or personal use, you’re bound to find one that suits your needs perfectly.
- More bonuses - You keep more money by not having to pay a deposit for collateral. Unsecured cards often have lower interest rates and better reward programs. There are generally also fewer or avoidable fees as long as you pay on time.
- Quick processing time - Compared to a traditional bank loan, you can be approved for a line of credit in as little as 24 hours (or even within minutes!).
- Harder to get approval - This is because most credit cards require a good credit score and credit history.
- Easier to spend beyond your budget - When you can withdraw funds as needed, it’s tempting to overspend. Although riskier for lenders, there is also risk for the cardholder who can accrue debt.
Who should get an unsecured credit card
You have to ask yourself, what kind of consumer are you? What are your spending habits?
- The budget manager - An unsecured credit card can help you earn better cash back rewards. Your regular purchases can be an opportunity to earn a fixed percentage on expenses.
- The traveler - There are many opportunities to earn travel rewards on payments for dining and entertainment. Some cards even offer perks like airport lounge access.
- The entrepreneur - If you get a credit card for your business, it can help your enterprise earn back from the expenditures.
- The credit builder - For those with less than appealing credit scores, an unsecured card can be an opportunity to improve credit scores.
What are the Benefits of Fair Credit Unsecured Credit Cards
Unsecured credit cards for fair credit can offer unlimited potential to increase your credit limit. Most of these unsecured cards report card activity monthly to the three major credit bureaus, increasing your chances to improve your credit. Most also offer $0 fraud liability coverage, and make it easy to apply while being especially welcome to users with a history of good credit.
How to choose an unsecured card:
- Determine what kind of consumer you are. Are you looking to run a business? Or support a household? What do your spending habits say about your needs?
- Look at your credit score. How does your credit score match up to the kinds of unsecured credit cards you can apply for?
- Find a card that can benefit you in the long run. To do this, check the terms of each card carefully. Some credit cards carry annual fees which may or may not be worth the reward programs. You should determine if it makes sense to pay annual fees.
- Determine the card that will suit you most depending on your goals in your situation.
How to apply for an unsecured credit card
In case you have bad credit
Search for card issuers that state they will consider applications with damaged or average credit. Myfin.us offers a page that allows you to compare various credit card offers. It’s also best to look for unsecured cards that have minimal late or annual fees.
In case you have fair credit
Look for lists of top credit card picks with unsecured credit cards for fair credit. These will often summarize credit scores similar to yours, as well as annual fees, interest rates, and reward programs. You can also compare offers and read analyses on Myfin.us.
How to make the most of unsecured credit cards
- Pay your bill on time. Paying your bill every month is essential to make the most of your card. This means you do not have to pay interest. Keep a reminder or request automatic payments.
- Pay the entire bill instead of a minimum payment. This looks better on your credit score and to your issuer. Keeping balances below the credit limit allows you to rebuild your credit.
- Keep your balance low. Credit scores are affected by the amount of credit used. You can calculate a credit utilization rate (your balances divided by credit limits). Try to keep it below 30%.
- Don’t apply for multiple cards at once. Applying to multiple credit applications in a short time frame can lower your scores and tell lenders that you are a risky borrower.
What is the minimum credit score needed for an unsecured card?
Although most unsecured cards require credit in the good to excellent
range (670 - 850), you can still apply for an unsecured card for the poor to fair range (300 - 669).
Which unsecured credit cards give you instant approval?
The Total Visa® Unsecured has an application process of only 60 seconds. The Destiny® Mastercard® also offers a great system if you want to get instant approval.
Do unsecured credit cards build credit?
Yes, if the report to the three credit bureaus. The Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit is a card especially geared towards building your credit. The Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® and Surge® Platinum Mastercard® are also products by the leading companies that help build credit. You can review this list if you want to gain a deeper understanding of the specific ways unsecured credit cards can build credit.