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What Are the Best Unsecured Cards for Rebuilding Credit?

Finding the perfect credit card is tough at the best of time, so when your credit is damaged, it can seem almost impossible. One of the best ways to fix your credit is through an unsecured credit card. Unsecured cards are what people usually think of when imagining a credit card.  These types of cards don’t need a security deposit, instead offering a line of credit with no initial cost to the applicant. But what are the best unsecured credit cards for bad credit, and how do they help you rebuild your credit score?

The Best Unsecured Cards for Repairing You Credit Score

When investigating credit cards for building credit, the first consideration should be just how low is your credit score? Knowing whether you have a bad credit score or a fair credit score can significantly alter the credit cards available to you.

“Guaranteed Approval” Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Those with badly impacted credit will struggle to get a credit card without needing a deposit. Fortunately, there are a few “second chance” credit cards that offer the ability to rebuild credit and don’t require a deposit, meaning they are not secured cards.

Group One Platinum Card

No Credit Required

Group One Platinum Card
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
Best Benefits
  • $500 credit limit
  • No employment or credit check to apply
  • Reports activity to major credit bureau
  • Fast and easy application
Rates & Fees
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: $20
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: $25

Add cards to start comparing.

  

Horizon Gold Card

No Credit Required

Horizon Gold Card
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed No Credit Required
Best Benefits
  • 0% purchase APR
  • No credit check required
  • Fast online application
  • Includes access to My Privacy Protection, My Universal RX, My Roadside Protect and My Legal Assistance benefits
Rates & Fees
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: $20
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: $25

While there is no such thing as a “guaranteed approval” unsecured credit card, both the Horizon Gold Card and Group One Platinum Card are as close as they come to it. These cards both offer a $300 unsecured line of credit to the Horizon Outlet – an online shopping portal. The shop provides an impressive list of products, meaning the cards provide excellent value.

What makes these cards so useful, however, is that they regularly report activity to the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, ad TransUnion. With on-time payments, cardholders can quickly build a positive credit history and raise their score. This, in turn, can lead to better credit card options in the future.

Get a Pre-Approval and the Chance to Increase Your Credit Line

Part of boosting a credit score is increasing the amount of available credit. Many unsecured credit cards for rebuilding credit offer smaller credit limits with the chance to receive an increase with demonstrated financial responsibility. This requires paying on time and not receiving any penalty fees.

One of the most popular credit card offers in this category is the Reflex Mastercard® from Celtic Bank. The card comes with an initial credit limit that ranges from $300 to $750, which Celtic Bank might increase should you make your payments on time for the first six months. Plus, new Reflex cardholders enjoy no monthly maintenance fees for the first year.

Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card

All Credit Types Welcome to Apply

Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR See Terms*
  • Annual Fee See Terms*
  • Credit Needed Good , Fair , Poor
Best Benefits
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified with no impact to your credit score
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score from TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Annual Fee: See Terms*
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*

Another popular option in unsecured credit cards for rebuilding credit category is the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®. The card features a fixed APR on purchases, a low foreign transaction fee, and regular reporting to the major credit bureaus. In time, using the card responsibly can even result in a credit line increase.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Choose Your Own Card Design

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR 29.9%
  • Annual Fee $0 to $99 depending on the card issued
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Great for demonstrating responsible use of credit
  • Short and easy-to-complete pre-qualification form
  • 24/7 mobile account access
  • Choose your card design free of charge
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.9%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $0 during the first year; after first year, either $5 or 5% of the amount of transaction
  • Penalty APR: 29.9%
  • Annual Fee: $0 to $99 depending on the card issued
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: Up to $40

Other Options Like Indigo and Reflex

The First Access Solid Black VISA® Credit Card offers similar features to both the Reflex and Indigo Mastercard. One key difference is that the former has the purchasing power of Visa – the world’s largest payment network. It also offers the chance at a credit limit raise with responsible use, no monthly maintenance fees for the first year, and a very cool design that is certain to turn heads.

First Access Solid Black VISA® Credit Card

Raise Credit with Monthly Activity Reporting

First Access Solid Black VISA® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR See Terms*
  • Annual Fee See Terms*
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Reporting monthly to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • All credit histories considered for this no security deposit credit card
  • Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won't
  • Easy and secure online application
  • Get the security and convenience of a full-featured, unsecured Visa® credit card - accepted at millions of merchant and ATM locations nationwide and online
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Annual Fee: See Terms*
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See Terms*
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Similarly, the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® will not impact your credit score thanks to its pre-qualification process. It also provides a variety of card designs to choose from and Mastercard Gold benefits and protections.

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

No Credit Score Impact When You Apply

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR 29.9%
  • Annual Fee $35 to $99
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Choose your custom card design
  • Free 24/7 online account access
  • Quick pre-qualification with no impact to credit score
  • Mastercard® Gold Benefits
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 24.9%
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.9%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: $0 during the first year; after first year, either $5 or 5% of the amount of transaction
  • Penalty APR: 29.9%
  • Annual Fee: $35 to $99
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: Up to $40

Summing It Up

Finding an unsecured credit card to rebuild your credit can be tough, but there are plenty of great options available. By making on-time payments and focusing on your goal to rebuild your credit score, you can quickly boost your score – and get a credit limit increase.

Related Article: What Are the Easiest Credit Cards for Bad Credit to Get?

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident rewards expert, covering all facets of the points game – especially travel, hotels, and airlines. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.