Credit Cards for Bad Credit With No Annual Fee

Are there credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee?
Expert answer by Christina Majaski,
More than 10 years experience covering credit cards and personal finance

Having bad credit is no picnic and can make going about your everyday life extra-difficult. You may run into problems trying to rent, get a mortgage for a new home, or even lease a car. Bad credit can even prevent you from taking out utility accounts in some states, so it pays to work on improving your credit as soon as you can.

Main financial goal with bad credit should be rebuilding your credit rating and do it as effectively as possible. Bad credit credit cards with no annual fee are a great option, but they have advantages and disadvantages just like any other type of credit card.

Second Chance Credit Cards

Second chance credit cards offer users a “second chance” to prove that they can use credit responsibly. They’re ideal for those who have damaged credit due to situations beyond their control (like unexpected healthcare expenses). The main advantage of this type of card is the higher propensity for acceptance even with a lower FICO score. Increased interest rates and additional fees are often the primary disadvantages. You will hardly find a second chance credit card with no annual fee, however you can check out sore credit cards, like the Emporium card – which is unsecured store credit card with a high (up to $5,000) credit limit.

intro purchase APR n/aregular APRSee website for Details*
bad credit required

no fees

Up to $5,000 Spending Limit in Less than 60 Seconds! Shop from over 100,000 brand name products such as Apple, Samsung, Sony, Gucci, Prada and much more with low easy payments.

Less than Perfect Credit Accepted. Approval is quick and easy. Must be 18 years or older, have a valid checking account and a verifiable source of income.

read review

Cards for Rebuilding Credit

It is possible to find cards for rebuilding credit with no annual fee. However, the majority of cards that fall within this spectrum are secured cards that require a deposit before you open the account. That said, secured credit cards are an excellent way to rebuild or build your credit from scratch. If you use them responsibly for one to two years, you will not only improve your credit, but you will also gain access to higher limits and lower interest rates over time.

One of the best no annual fee secured cards is the Capital One Secured card

intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR24.99 - 24.99% (V)
intro BT APR 24.99% no BT fee
bad credit / no credit required

no annual fee

bad credit or no credit 

25 days grace period

$49-$200 security deposit

read review

Another option is a Credit One Bank card – if you are lucky enough to have a credit slightly better than typical bad credit, you might get a no annual fee version of the card.

intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.15 - 24.65% (V)
rewards 1% on eligible purchases, terms apply 
bad credit required

Credit One Bank automatically monitors every account for credit line increase opportunities each month. We'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line. A fee may apply.

See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score. Find the card that's right for you in less than 60 seconds.

Eligible purchases will automatically get you 1% cash back, terms apply.

read review

What to Look For

If you have bad credit, there are a couple of things you should look at for before you decide on a credit card. Some of the features that you might want to consider include the following:

  1. Annual Fee
  2. Interest Rate
  3. Security Deposit
  4. Other Fees
  5. Credit Bureau Reporting

Whether there is an annual fee or not, it’s important to make sure the card issuer reports your activity to the credit bureaus. If not, the card account won’t help you build or rebuild your credit.

7 + 1 =
Solve this simple math problem and enter the result. E.g. for 1+3, enter 4.

Vertical Tabs

SIGN UP TO GET FREE
CREDIT SCORE UPDATES
and
exclusive members-only deals
Follow us
Facebook Twitter Google+