If you have poor credit, you might run into challenges when you apply for credit cards or other financial products. In order to build or rebuild your credit, you will need to find a credit card that you qualify for so that you can build a credit history and improve your credit. If you have had credit problems or have no credit, credit cards for poor credit can help you on the way to a better credit score. The card options available for fair credit, poor credit, or no credit, include a variety of unsecured and secured credit cards. Here are a few of our best credit cards for poor or bad credit.
Consumers with poor credit often have to resort to secured credit cards which usually require a security deposit of at least $200. While the card issuer holds your deposit, you get a credit card with a credit limit in the amount of your deposit. If, however, you don’t want a secured credit card, or you don’t have the extra couple hundred dollars for the security deposit, there are unsecured cards that you might qualify for. The credit cards with Credit One are designed for poor credit with no deposit.
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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
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Building Credit offers a minimum credit line of $300, without requiring a security deposit. The annual fee is based on your creditworthiness and is $0 to $75 the first year and $0 to $99 each year thereafter. The APR for purchases is a variable rate of 15.65% to 24.15%. Some of the options with this card also include a rewards program that awards 1% cash back for every purchase you make with the credit card.
Most credit cards designed for poor credit ratings will carry higher fees and higher APRs. If you prefer the opportunity to use an unsecured credit card, this is one of the few options you have until your credit improves. You can avoid paying the high APR if you pay your balance in full each month. However, because the annual fee is based on your credit worthiness, there is a chance you could end up paying an annual fee of nearly $100 every year that you are a cardholder. You also get a chance to earn 1% cash back, which isn’t an option with all cards for poor credit, but the fees and the APR could end up costing you more than the cash back is worth.
Another card designed for poor credit scores that doesn't require a security deposit is the Milestone® MasterCard® - Bad Credit Considered. This card allows you to see if you prequalify before they pull your credit score, which can prevent having an extra inquiry on your report in the event you don’t qualify. The APR on purchases is 23.9%, and the annual fee is $75 the first year and then $99 each year afterward. The foreign transaction fee is 1%.
Although it’s typical for credit cards designed for poor or bad credit to carry high APRs and annual fees, this card comes with some of the highest. It is still a solid choice, however, if you have your eyes set on an unsecured card, and you want to see if you prequalify before your credit is checked. Plus, it carries one of the lowest foreign transaction fees of any card for poor credit. If you are working on improving your credit and will also need to use the card for foreign transactions, this card can end up saving you in foreign transaction fees.
On the other hand, although secured credit cards require a security deposit, if you have poor credit, you could end up getting a better deal. With most secured cards, you get a card that looks just like any other credit card, that you can use in the same way. The only difference is that the card issuer or bank holds your security deposit in case you default. While you use your card, you can build or rebuild your credit into a better credit score. Here are the best secured credit cards for poor credit.
Capital One Secured MasterCard require a deposit of $49, $99, or $200, depending on your creditworthiness. You then receive a credit card with a limit of at least $200. You can increase your limit by adding to your deposit, but you can also receive credit line increases from Capital One without making additional deposits later on as your credit improves. This card has no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no foreign transaction fee, making it one of the best no-fee secured credit cards available. The APR on purchases and balance transfers is 24.99%.
This card is one of the best secured credit cards available because it is one of the rare cards without an annual fee, balance transfer fee, or foreign transaction fee. Plus, after you manage the account responsibly, you can qualify for credit limit increases on the card without adding more money to your deposit. As is typical with credit cards for poor credit, the APR is high. However, you can avoid paying interest when you use the card if you are diligent in paying your balance in full every month. There are also no rewards if you would rather get a little back while you build your credit.
primor Secured Visa Gold offers a few different secured cards, but the Secured Visa Gold charges one of the lowest APRs you’ll find with any card for poor credit. This card requires a deposit of at least $200, which is held in an interest bearing savings account while your card account is open. The annual fee is $49, and the APR is a fixed rate of 9.99%, which means you don’t have to worry about the rate increasing or changing. There are also no credit checks with this card.
This card is great for building credit without any credit checks for approval. It comes with a low fixed interest rate that can help you save money, and your security deposit earns interest. Once you have built your credit rating and close the account, you will get a little bit more out of your deposit than what you started with. In exchange for these benefits, however, this card has an annual fee that you will pay every year as a cardholder.