Are There Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit?

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Last updated on August 24th, 2023

Rebuilding credit can be challenging. The reason for this difficulty is that there are seemingly no credit cards out there for those with bad credit. Sure, there are secured credit cards – many of which offer exceptional value for money. But what if you don’t have the funds available to put down on a security deposit? Are there any unsecured credit cards for bad credit?

The Best Unsecured Credit Cards for Poor Credit

When the list of the best credit cards for bad credit is read out, two names typically sit towards the top of the list: the Indigo Platinum Mastercard and the Milestone Gold MasterCard. Both of these cards offer the full range of benefits users expect from a credit card, including the global purchasing power of Mastercard – just for those with less-than-stellar credit. Even better, there’s no security deposit to worry about.

Both cards come with the kind of perks and protections you expect from a full-fledged credit card, including:

  • Identity theft resolutions services
  • Extended warranty coverage
  • Price protection
  • Mastercard Global Service
  • Mastercard Airport Concierge
  • Regular reporting to the three main credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion

Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card

The Total Visa credit card is a full, unsecured Visa card product – meaning it doesn’t require a security deposit, and it’s accepted at any merchant in the U.S. and online that takes Visa cards. The application provides a decision in about 60 seconds, and the card issuer reports responsible use to the three major credit bureaus.

Milestone Gold Mastercard

Bank of Missouri issues the Milestone Gold Mastercard. They’re one of the largest issuers of credit cards in the United States, so cardholders don’t have to worry about any issues from unreliable lenders.

Indigo Platinum MasterCard

Like Milestone, Indigo is issued through a reputable bank with a history of offering quality credit-building products. Celtic Bank provides several credit cards, but the Indigo Platinum Mastercard is by far the most popular. The card features a competitive, fixed APR and a variable annual fee.

While the Indigo and Milestone are by far the most popular options for unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit scores, there are still other options available.

Reflex Mastercard

Celtic Bank also issues the Reflex Platinum Mastercard, which offers pre-qualification for potential applicants. This unique feature means those considering the card don’t have to worry about their credit score being impacted until they apply – and when they do so, they’ll have a good idea of the chances. In addition, Celtic Bank regularly reports to the major credit agencies, so paying your balance in full every month is a great way to quickly build credit.

First Access Solid Black Visa Card

The First Access Solid Black Visa is another quality option. Like the other cards on this list, the First Access provides all the privileges and protections that come from a full-service credit card – this time with the Visa purchasing network instead of Mastercard. Visa is the largest payment network worldwide. And although this card can only be used in the United States, it has near-total acceptance within the country. It also has a pretty cool design that’s bound to attract attention, too.

Other Cards to Consider

Group One Platinum Card

The Group One Platinum Card is ideal for those with bad credit and who want to rebuild their score while enjoying some of the benefits of an unsecured credit card. This card offers a $750 credit line that cardholders can use to make purchases at the Horizon Outlet, which provides an impressive selection of products, gifts, and more.

This card can only be used within the Horizon Outlet, meaning cardholders have more limited usage than the other cards on the list. Still, it reports to one major credit bureau. This means that with regular, on-time payments, you can quickly graduate to better credit card offers in the future.

Don’t Count Out Secured Credit Cards

While unsecured credit cards are always preferable, there are still plenty of great secured cards out there that can help build credit quickly. These cards, of course, come with the need for a security deposit. Still, for those who can afford a minimum deposit of $200, they can enjoy a variety of great benefits some unsecured cards lack.

Take the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, for example. That card offers a 0% intro APR offer for the first 6 months after opening an account, which is rare for a secured card.  Plus, there is no hard inquiry on your credit report when you apply, so your credit score won’t be affected. Lastly, as it’s a secured card, you get to choose your spending limit.

Related Content: The Best Secured Credit Cards

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About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

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