Easiest Cards to get Approved for in 2016

Easy to get credit cards

With imperfect credit or without a credit history at all, people try to avoid a hassle of applying for a credit card and look for easier solutions.

Let’s have a look at the most popular options. You can jump to the article section using quick links below or read the full article:

Editor's top picks

If your credit is really bad - below 550 on a FICO scale and you have a checking account, one of the best options for you is the Emporium Card.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APRSee website for Details*

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
 

If you have a Poor or Bad credit rating above 550 - the best unsecured credit cards available are Total Visa® CardIndigo® MasterCard® for Less than Perfect Credit or Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Building Credit

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APRsee terms*

Checking Account Required

Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds

A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online

Manageable monthly payments

If approved, simply pay a Processing Fee to open your account and access your available credit

Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus

read review

If you are in post-bankruptcy or a bad credit situation -  the best 'real credit card' options for you (neither secured nor prepaid) are Indigo® MasterCard® for Less than Perfect Credit or a Milestone® MasterCard® - Bad Credit Considered.

All options are perfect credit building or credit rebuilding solutions.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APR23.9%

Pre-qualify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score

All credit histories considered

Mobile account access at any time

Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards

Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.

read review

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.65 - 24.15% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.65-24.15%
rewards 1% on gas and groceries, terms apply 

See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score

1% cash back on gas & groceries, terms apply

This is a fully unsecured credit card with no deposit requirement

$0-$99 annual fee

read review

 

Store credit cards

There are two types of retail credit cards: private-label cards like a Target card or a Macy’s card, and cobranded cards like Costco True Earnings AmEx (replaced by Costco Anywhere card recently) or Barnes & Noble MasterCard.

Private-label credit cards are not accepted anywhere outside the store chain that issued the card. These cards usually offer good in-store deals, but what matters more is that approval is easier if you have credit problems. Most of these cards in the US are issued by either GE Capital Retail bank or Comenity bank, so if you were declined by one of them you still have a chance with the other bank.

Note: Too many applications within a small period of time can damage your credit score.

Any cards from the list below will be a safe bet in terms of easy application. Many of them are instant approval – that means you can get a card immediately.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APRSee website for Details*

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
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 6-24 months regular APR17.15 - 23.15% (V)
intro BT APR not allowed 
rewards $25 bonus on opening $5 back on $500
  • $5 back on every $500 spent on the card
  • 5¢ per gallon on Murphy USA and Walmart gas

 

no annual fee

$25 bonus

read review

Here’s a short list of our top picks for bad credit or no credit by GE Capital Retail bank:

Comenity bank issued retail credit cards:

  • Express Next credit card
  • Pottery Barn
  • Sports Authority
  • Victoria's Secret
  • and many others

Other retail cards with easy approval:

  • Kohls (Capital One Bank)
  • Target card (TD Bank)

Co-branded cards are simply regular credit cards with maximum rewards on a particular store chain purchase and special in-store perks. These cards are usually not as easy on the approval.

See also: Best store credit cards

Aside from a credit score, there are many other parameters involved with every application. For example, you have lower chances of approval with an annual income lower than $10,000 - $14,000.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR14.24 - 22.24% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 14.24-22.24%
rewards 1% 2% 3% on every $1 +$30 off at Amazon
  • earn 3% back on Amazon purchases
  • 2% on gas, dining out and drugstores
  • 1% on everything else
  • get $30 on your Amazon account upon cards approval

no annual fee

3% back on Amazon

2% back on gas, dining and drugstores

read review

Gas credit cards

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® Credit Card with its 1% cash back on gas and groceries can be a good and easy option for gas purchases. 

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.65 - 24.15% (V)
rewards 1% on gas and groceries, terms apply 

This is a fully unsecured credit card with no deposit requirement

Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities

See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score

$0-$99 annual fee

read review

There are many private label and co-branded gas cards that are similar to store cards and easy to get. Some of our favorites for easy approval are Marathon VISA card (by Comenity bank), BP Gas card (Chase), Chevron and Texaco card (GE bank), and Shell credit card.

See also: Instant credit cards for bad credit

The idea with gas cards is similar to retail cards.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR26.99% (V)
rewards 5c/10c per gallon 

no annual fee

can be used at 76, Conoco or Phillips only

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR26.99% (V)
rewards intro 10c/gallon for 60 days 

no annual fee

not a major card

Chevron and Texaco gas stations use only

read review

See also: Gas cards for bad credit

Prepaid credit cards

Prepaid cards are easiest to get but they are mostly useless for building a credit history. These cards do not extend a line of credit and therefore do not report to credit agencies; similar to using a debit card or checking account.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit

$4.95 activation fee

$1 per transaction

read review

Secured credit cards

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR17.50 - 17.50% (V)
intro BT APR 17.5% 5% BT fee

25 days grace period

reports to credit bureaus as unsecured card

read review

Secured cards are one of the last resorts if you are turned down for a credit card. Secured cards work perfectly fine for building or rebuilding a credit history and they are very easy to get. The only real drawbacks are that you usually do not get any rewards or bonuses with these cards, you will usually pay an annual fee, and they typically charge a high APR. Another inconvenience is that you are not using your bank’s money (even with 20-25 days grace period) because your credit limit generally equals the amount of the security deposit you put in the bank.

A Digital Credit Union Secured credit card is our favorite in this category with its 11.5% APR. You can qualify for membership with DCU if you are eligible through employment, or you can easily make a small $10-$15 to one of nine participating non-profits to become a DCU member.

Another good secured card is a USAA if you are eligible through a military connection.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR11.75% (V)
intro BT APR n/a no BT fee

no annual fee

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR9.90 - 19.90% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 3% BT fee

$35 annual fee

reports to 3 bureaus

no penalty APR

read review

See also: Best unsecured cards for bad credit

Student offers

If you are a student, you may not have enough credit established to qualify for many cards. 

Student cards are offered by almost all major banks and have decent rewards, normal APR’s, and are covered by the CARD Act for your protection. You can find our best picks in the students category.

See also: Credit cards with no credit

Unsecured subprime cards

If your credit score is lower than 550 FICO, your chances of getting an unsecured credit card are low. One of the rare opportunities for you is the Emporium Card.

The card is an unsecured credit card, that works as the store card for the Emporium online store. No fees and an average APR makes this card a great choice if you got denied of credit by major banks. It will also help you building your credit.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APRSee website for Details*

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
 

Several banks offer credit cards designed specifically for people with no credit, bad credit, or bad to fair credit. Our favorites are Total Visa® Card, Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Building Credit and Capital One Platinum.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APRsee terms*

Checking Account Required

Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds

A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online

Manageable monthly payments

If approved, simply pay a Processing Fee to open your account and access your available credit

Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus

read review

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.65 - 24.15% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.65-24.15%
rewards 1% on gas and groceries, terms apply 

See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score

1% cash back on gas & groceries, terms apply

This is a fully unsecured credit card with no deposit requirement

$0-$99 annual fee

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APR23.9%

Pre-qualify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score

All credit histories considered

Mobile account access at any time

Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards

Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR24.99 - 24.99% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer no BT fee
  • no annual fee
  • for average or no credit
  • high 24.99% APR
read review

Pre-qualified options

See also: What is a pre-approved offer?

Most banks will offer to check if you are pre-qualified for a card offer without affecting your credit score. It also helps to see the APR and an annual fee that the bank can offer for your situation (because usually credit card APR will vary widely depending on your creditworthiness). Pre-qualification does not pull your credit score and usually requires no more than your name and four digits of your Social Security Number. Be aware that pre-qualification it is not an application, but rather, checking if you meet certain criteria.

After you are prequalified for an offer, you need to submit an application and still have a chance to be turned down. Experts say that in low credit categories only about 80% of prequalified applications are finally approved. 

Summary

Here are the easiest to get credit cards in 2016 (both secured and unsecured) ranked by our editors

Rank Card Type Pros Cons
1 Emporium Card store/catalog $5,000 limit limited acceptance, not a major credit card
2 Total Visa® Card unsecured card for bad credit real credit card to rebuild bad credit processing fees
3 Indigo® MasterCard® unsecured credit card for bad credit previous bankruptcy or bad credit is ok, good for rebuilding credit, pre-qualification available low limits, high 23.9% APR
4 Milestone® MasterCard® unsecured credit card for bad credit previous bankruptcy or bad credit is ok, good for rebuilding credit, pre-qualification available low limits, high 23.9% APR
5 Credit One Platinum unsecured credit card for bad credit 1% cash back on gas purchases, bad credit is ok, good for rebuilding credit, pre-qualification available low limits, high APR
6 Discover it® Secured Card secured credit card 2% cash back on gas purchases, bad credit is ok, good for building credit limited Worldwide acceptance, security deposit needed

 

Comments

Denied

Nicole, 09/07/16

Maybe I don't know what bad is, but I just got denied for the Emporium Black Card and it's supposed to be for bad credit. Exactly how are people supposed to build their credit when it's getting hit for even being looked at whether soft or hard? How do you fight inquiries when the amount was out of your knowledge and basically consent? Where are the credit cards for people with POOR CREDIT then that are trying to build their credit? I just had a 570 credit score worked up, applied for SECURED...read in full
Maybe I don't know what bad is, but I just got denied for the Emporium Black Card and it's supposed to be for bad credit. Exactly how are people supposed to build their credit when it's getting hit for even being looked at whether soft or hard? How do you fight inquiries when the amount was out of your knowledge and basically consent? Where are the credit cards for people with POOR CREDIT then that are trying to build their credit? I just had a 570 credit score worked up, applied for SECURED credit card and my score is now a 520. How do I compete with that and I all I did was apply; haven't even taken them up on their offer. How do people win all this foolery?
helpful review? Yes / No 9/3
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