What are the Easy and Instant Cards for a Bad Credit?

Instant credit cardsfor bad credit

If you are looking for an instant approval card offers, usually you want to skip a credit check and prefer easy options without a credit pull. This leaves you with a choice of many so called after bankruptcy prepaid cards that are specifically targeted on high-risk borrowers with damaged credit. Be aware that often these products can be a dangerous combination of very high costs and hidden fees and are not helping you in building a credit at all.

Another quick option is a store card that is easy to get and issued instantly. The major drawback of store cards is that they are also not very useful in building a credit.

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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.

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There is a more meaningful way to address your financial needs and fix your credit score along the way. If you lack patience, you can just skip to the section with the list of cards needed.

How bad is your credit?

First, it is always good to know where are you standing. Everyone has a right to get a free credit report once a year. Just go to https://www.annualcreditreport.com and order a free credit report from all three major credit agencies.

No errors in the report?

It is important to check if your report is accurate. You should clean up everything that is outdated and incorrect. It requires patience, but it will pay off later.

Removing all errors from a credit report is a multi-step process that will take up to 30-60 days:

  1. Print your report and run through it with a pen. Check everything that is not accurate.
  2. If you recently went through a bankruptcy, check specifically all accounts that were included in a bankruptcy; they should be noted as having zero balance, should have 'included in bankruptcy' status and should not be in default/derogatory status.
  3. For every account that is not correct in your credit report, file a dispute with all 3 credit agencies
    • Send the information about inaccuracies by certified mail, return receipt requested. If you include several issues in one letter, then follow the list format to make sure that the reader of your mail will see all the issues clearly.
    • Wait for 30 days and check your report again. If anything was not updated, get the creditor info from the report and mail them a letter about the issue.
    • After getting an answer from the creditor, send the info to the credit agencies.
  4. After another 30 days, everything should be correct in your report or at least all major issues will be fixed.

After your report is finally fixed, it is time to start working on rebuilding a credit.

Best cards to rebuild your credit

That is one of the fastest routes to improve your credit score in a short time.You can skip several first steps depending on your credit situation.

Credit score <500

If your credit score is less than 500, your first option is a secured card.  It will help you to establish a basis of your credit, and give you a usable card in hand.

Main considerations when choosing a secured card are:

  • the card should report to major credit agencies (it is even better if it reports as an unsecured card)
  • annual fee usually go from $0 to more than $100, find yourself a card with zero or a small annual fee
  • find a card that let you graduate to an unsecured credit card in 6-12 months

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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

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR23.24% (V)
intro BT APR 23.24% 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1x-2x miles per dollar +5,000 bonus
  • 2x miles on gas and groceries
  • 1x miles on all other purchases
  • get 5,000 bonus on first card use

 

$25 annual fee

$0 first-year fee

reports to credit agencies

24 days grace period

unsecured card offer after 12 months

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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

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR N.A.regular APR19.24% (V)
intro BT APR 19.24% 5% BT fee min $5

$25 annual fee

25 days grace period

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR24.99 - 24.99% (V)
intro BT APR 24.99% no BT fee

no annual fee

bad credit or no credit 

25 days grace period

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After a 6 month of proper use (read about that below) of your secured card you may check your credit score and see if you are ready for a 'real' unsecured credit card (and proceed to the next step)

Credit score 500-530

If your credit is at least in a 500-530 range (a typical credit score after personal bankruptcy) you can apply for one of the high-risk credit cards. It is a good starter product that will help you to get a your credit score off the ground, start reporting your credit and build a good basis.

After 6 month of responsible use of the card, check your credit score again, it should be ready for a second credit card (and proceed to the next step). 

Credit score 600-650

With a credit in a 600-650 range you are ready to apply for a Capital One Platinum card. This product is a first real credit card from a major bank that you can afford with bad to average credit.

Same applies to people with no previous credit history – Capital One Platinum is a good started card for newcomers and people with no credit.

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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
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In a 6-12 month timeframe, you are usually ready to apply to one of the following credit cards as your second card. You can close your secured or Credit One card at that point if you like.

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at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 14 monthsregular APR10.99 - 22.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 14 months 3% BT fee
rewards 1 or 5% 
  • earn 5% on quarterly changing category up to $1,000 quarterly maximum in purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases

 

no annual fee

5% cash back on selected quarterly category

high limits

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at issuer’s secured site
excellent
good credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APR15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% variable
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 2x on NFL purchases +10,000 points
  • 2x points on NFL and Team purchases - tickets, on-stadium purchases, etc.
  • 1 point/$1 on all other purchases
  • earn 10,000 points after spending $500 in the first 90 days 

 

 

All 32 team cards are available, customized with your favorite team's colors and logo

Earn 10,000 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days, enough to redeem for $100 cash back

20% off purchases at NFLShop.com - that's $20 off every $100 you spend

0% Promotional APR for 6 months on eligible NFL ticket purchases. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness

Earn 2 points per $1 on NFL or Team purchases - eligible game tickets, in-stadium and team pro shop purchases - and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

Redeem points for NFL game tickets, VIP experiences, or 1% cash back beginning at 2,500 points for $25

0% Introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers.

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

2X points on gas, utility 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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Now you are on a good track to a good to excellent credit score if you keep following the rules of a proper card use.

How to use a card properly to boost credit

Remember that your credit card is a tool hat helps you building a better credit and it requires good timing and a discipline.

First, you should never carry a balance on any of your cards. You should get a rule to pay your bill before the deadline, it is better to pay the same day when you got a statement.

Your credit card utilization ratio is one of the most important metric in your credit score formula. You should be using only 7-10% of your available credit limit. For example, if your credit limit is $300 (a typical limit for a low credit score products), you should never be using more than $20-$30 of your credit limit every month.

How can you achieve this? Just refill your credit card before the day of the report on the card. You should refill it with the full sum of your credit limit minus 7-10% of it. In our example, if in the current month you have spent $200 on a card with a $300 limit, you should refill your card with $170-$180 before the card report strikes.

Instant prepaid credit cards

If the above course of action to boost your credit doesn’t not suit your needs, you can still go for a prepaid card.

These offers do not require a credit check, so your credit situation is not an issue. On the other side, these cards do not help you to improve a credit because they are not reported as credit.

When shopping for a prepaid card, you should watch out for fees. The fee structure of prepaid cards is usually more complicated than for credit cards making the average prepaid card cost $170-$300/year in fees.

A CARD Act of 2009 was a major change that turned the industry towards the consumer and eliminated some of the most predatory tactics implemented by banks. Unfortunately, the Act didn’t make a huge difference for prepaid cards. 

Despite the fact that prepaid cards are focused more on unbanked lower income population, the rules that appliy to prepaid cards segment are much less strict.

One of the most important areas where prepaid are way behind credit cards is the disclosure requirements. All credit cards have a Rates and Fee information (a Schumer Box) that helps in understanding the total cost of owning a card. Prepaid cards lack that simple yet effective tool, which results in an extremely complicated fee structure for most prepaid cards.

Another problem is that it is not made clear enough by the issuers that prepaid and debit cards do not help to improve your credit because they are not reported as a credit.

Prepaid cards also lack some of the important security and protection features that credit cards have – fraud losses protection in particular.

However, recent Federal Reserve study shows that prepaid are intensively used by Millennials and ‘power users’, thus making it more important to fix the issues with prepaid and debit cards when more and more people use them every day.

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit

$4.95 monthly fee

connected to your Paypal account

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit

$9.95 monthly fee

$15 bonus on direct deposit

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit

$4.95 activation fee

$1 per transaction

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$49.95 account setup fee

$7.50/month per employee card

prepaid business card with spending control

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit

prepaid card

fees from $5 per month to $1 per transaction

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

$5-$9.5 monthly fee

or $1 per transaction

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Why don’t you get a store card?

Another option for an instant credit is to obtain a store card.  You can go and apply for a credit card in one of your favorite stores – Target, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, Wal-Mart and many others.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR24.50% Variable
intro BT APR not allowed not allowed
rewards 10% off at Macy's

no annual fee

20% off for two first days at Macy's

up to 10% off at Macy's if you participate for $25 per year

store card - not accepted anywhere except Macy's

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

These cards are really instant and easy to get. The approval process is very fast and loyal to your credit.

There is a well known “Shopping cart trick”- you start shopping in one of the shops online, put something in a shopping cart and start going through a checkout process filling out all your details and mailing info. Most of the times you will get an offer for the store credit card before the final page of the checkout. It helps that it doesn't make a hard pull from your credit report, thus not damaging your credit score.

The drawback of store cards is that they are not as helpful in building your credit as a regular credit card – credit agencies often consider these cards as consumer credit, not a credit card.

 



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