Getting a real credit card with limited or bad credit

How do I go about getting approved for a real credit card I can charge stuff to if I have limited to bad credit?
Expert answer by Alex Gerard,
9 years experience in banking consulting

For limited credit (or no credit) there are plenty of options, for example Capital One Platinum card 


intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR24.99 - 24.99% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer no BT fee
no credit required
  • no annual fee
  • for average or no credit
  • high 24.99% APR
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or Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®


intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR25.24% Variable
intro BT APR no intro offer BT fee 3% min $5
rewards 1-2 points/$1 
  • 2x points on groceries, gas, utilities (excluding Target and Walmart®)
  • 1 point on all other purchases
  • redeem points towards your statement balance to offset purchases
fair credit required

2X points on gas, utilities and grocery store (excluding Target® and Walmart®) purchases. 1x points on all other purchases

No annual fee

Points don't expire as long as account is open, active and in good standing

Redeem points for deposits to a U.S. checking or savings account, statement credits or gift cards, starting at 1,000 points for $10

No limit on the number of points you can earn or redeem

Free online access to FICO® Credit Score lets you keep an eye on your credit and get alerts when we learn that your score has changed

Use your card with confidence, $0 Fraud Liability protection means you're not responsible for unauthorized charges you report to us

Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad

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If your credit is bad (below 600), we can recommend you the following unsecured credit cards


intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR19.99 - 25.99% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 19.99-25.99%
rewards 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply 
bad credit / no credit required

See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score. Find the card that's right for you in less than 60 seconds. and the Credit One Bank mobile app makes it easy to access and manage all your account information and make payments whether you’re at home or on-the-go.

Know you’re protected from unauthorized charges with Zero Fraud Liability—included with every Credit One Bank account  

Eligible purchases such as gas, groceries, mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV will automatically earn 1% cash back rewards. Terms apply.

$0-$99 annual fee
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intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR23.9%
good credit / fair credit required

Applying is quick and easy with our fast decision process

Less than perfect credit is okay

24/7 access to your account information, even on mobile

Card designs to fit your personality at no extra charge

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

$35-$99* annual fee
*Dependent on credit worthiness
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or a secured credit card from Capital One Bank

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


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