Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit are Real - Pick One

unsecured cards for bad credit

With bad credit, it becomes a problem to find a real credit card with no security deposit and that is not prepaid or debit.

Banks are hesitant to extend unsecured lines of credit to those who slipped in the past and have damaged credit history.

Do not worry, we found great cards that are easy to get with bad credit and will help you rebuild your credit rating.

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Let’s have a look at the best options for subprime lenders.

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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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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

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Credit Cards for Subprime Lenders

If your credit score is in 500-650 range

Take a look at is a Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Building Credit – you can easily start rebuilding your credit history with this card.

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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

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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

One of a few issuers playing on that field is a Milestone® MasterCard® - Bad Credit Considered by Mid-America Bank&Trust. The card can be obtained with a minimum score of 600+ and is a real unsecured credit card.

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APR23.9%

$35-$99* annual fee

Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score

Less than perfect credit is okay

Mobile account access at any time

Protection from fraud if your card is stolen

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

*Dependent on credit worthiness

read review

if you have no credit history

If you have no credit, the best option will be Capital One Platinum card. The card is friendly to people with no credit and helps you to build a new credit history and apply for a better card later.

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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
read review

Store and gas cards

One of the most useful advice for rebuilding credit will be to get a store card and a gas card. Cards that you can get from big department stores and gas stations are usually loyal to people with low credit scores and are easy to get.

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

Many of these cards offer instant guaranteed approval and unlike some other subprime cards, they do not charge a processing fee for an application. 

Be aware that a great majority of retail cards is issued by either GE capital retail bank or by Comenity bank. So if you were turned down by one of these banks, the best idea would be to apply for a card that is backed by a different bank.

Do not submit too many applications at once; many applications and credit inquiries in a short period is a threat to your credit score. You can find a short list of retail cards in our article

Back to Secured Cards

if your score is below 500, or you were denied for unsecured credit card

There is nothing bad about having a secured card – some of them offer low fees and modest APR. Consider USAA secured card if you have ties with the military or a DCU secured card (no annual fee, 11.5% APR). Aero Mexico card offers you good travel rewards in exchange for a small annual fee.

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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

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

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read card review Apply Now
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

read review
read card review Apply Now
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

read review

Good secured cards allow you to build a credit history in the same manner as unsecured ones. Take into account that an important factor of your credit score is a debt utilization – how much of your combined credit lines are you using. In that aspect, sometimes having a bigger limit secured card can be more beneficial for your credit score than having a low limit unsecured card.  

After a period of good use of a secured card, you have an option to move to an unsecured card if your credit is sufficient. 

If Denied - no Credit Check Cards

If you were denied for an unsecured and secured credit cards, there are plenty of cards with no credit check to choose from.

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at issuer’s secured site
bad credit
no credit
intro purchase APR N.A.regular APR13.99% (V)

$39 annual fee

reports to major credit bureaus

25 days grace period

read review
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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

Cards to Avoid

Many second chance offers and cards that are marketed for people with bad credit use deceptive tactics and may lead you to more debt and even worse credit rating.   

Many credit cards for bad credit have very high fees - Surge card, Verve card - annual fee and sometimes a one-time application fee (processing fee) can add up to $200 per year, which is extremely high.

I would also not recommend catalog or merchandise cards like Horizon Gold, Net First Platinum, Next Millenium, Gettington credit, Fingerhut credit - these are cards that can be used only for shopping in one online mall.

Many of those cards are frequently changing names and rebranding to get rid of bad online reputation

Your credit situation is not so desperate that you need to be stuck on one overpriced online mall to do your shopping.

How to use a secured card to rebuild credit

If your credit is poor, your main credit goal is to rebuild your score. Only after your credit rating gets into a fair or average category you will be able to apply for cards with rewards, cash back or miles.

The road to a good credit starts with your first secured card, then you add additional unsecured credit cards and manage them responsibly. A credit builder loan will be a good supplement to credit cards to get different types of credit on your file.

Quick credit building guide

1. Apply for a secured card. The bigger the limit you can get (it depends on the amount you can but to the bank as a security deposit) the better - it will help you to maintain low balance to available credit ratio. Best suggestions here are Capital One Secured card and SDFCU Secured card - both cards has no annual fee and offer good terms.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR7.24 - 7.24% (V)
intro BT APR 7.24% no BT fee

no annual fee

7.24% APR

no BT fee

no credit check

read review

2. Use your first card extremely cautiously. That means never use more than 30% of your credit available (I know it is hard when your limit is just a couple of hundreds). Never forget that this card is only a tool for building your credit history and nothing else.

3. Get a one-year credit builder loan from a bank. Many banks offer this type of loans - it works very similarly to a secured card. Having a loan on your credit file, helps you to improve a 'credit mix' factor in your credit score - you will have two different types of credit in your credit history.

4. Always keep track of our credit score. Many banks offer free FICO score monitoring, you can also subscribe to one of the commercial credit monitoring services. Knowing your actual score helps to understand the direction where you are heading.

5. After 6 months of keeping your account in good standing, you can apply for an unsecured credit card. I would recommend getting a Credit One Card - it is the most loyal to poor credit card today. Another option is a Milestone® MasterCard® - Bad Credit Considered.

6. After several months of responsibly using your secured credit card, unsecured credit card, and a credit builder loan, your credit rating should be in low 600's. Now you are ready to apply for Capital One credit card. 

7. After a year from the beginning, you will be able to close your credit builder loan. If you did everything right, your credit score by that time will be already in 650+ range, which is fair credit.  

Unsecured card after bankruptcy

It is surprising, but many people see a flow of new credit card offers in their mailbox after filing Chapter 7 bankruptcy.  A person can file a Chapter 7 only once in every eight years, and a great majority of people file only once in a lifetime.

Many unsecured credit cards and 'second chance' offers are available in that situation. Our recommendation is a Milestone® MasterCard® - Bad Credit Considered - this card is marketed for people after bk and offers decent terms.

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

$35-$99* annual fee

Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score

Less than perfect credit is okay

Mobile account access at any time

Protection from fraud if your card is stolen

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

*Dependent on credit worthiness

read review

Here's another card that can approve you after Chapter 7.

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

Summary

Here are best 2016's secured and unsecured credit cards for bad credit ranked by our editor

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

 



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