What’s a Good Credit Card for Someone with Bad Credit?

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Last updated on January 8th, 2024

If you have bad credit, the best credit card for you is one that helps you improve your financial standing. Though having poor credit is undesirable, it’s not an insurmountable hurdle. Most of the effort to build your credit lies on your part, but the right credit card can help speed up the process. So, what’s a good credit card for someone with bad credit? Here are a few of our top picks to get you started.

How to Choose a Good Credit Card if You Have Bad Credit

With a less-than-perfect credit history, you will notice your options are limited when browsing credit card options. Normally you will find that these cards have higher-than-average purchase APRs, multiple fees, and limited rewards or benefits. Naturally, these terms are laid out as such because you have to prove to card issuers that you are not a risky borrower of their money.

However, these limitations don’t necessarily have to intimidate hopeful applicants. As long as individuals make on-time payments and do not charge more than they can afford to pay back, a high interest rate or late fees should not be a big concern. Ideally, you will want to choose a card that reports your activity to one or more credit reporting bureau. This factor is key towards developing an attractive credit score and polishing one’s credit report.

You will also benefit from considering a card whose application will not perform a hard inquiry on your credit report. Avoiding this full credit check will spare your credit score from getting impacted by a few points. Thirdly, you should look to either secured credit cards or unsecured cards that specifically do not require perfect credit to apply.

The advantage of a secured card is that you set your own credit limit via a security deposit requirement. This process can help you build discipline in knowing how much you can spend on a credit card. An unsecured card will come with a pre-set credit line determined after your application is approved. Don’t expect that credit line to be in the thousands of dollars if your credit score is lacking. However, again, starting small is advantageous in the long run.

Credit Cards for Bad Credit to Consider

If you have poor credit and are looking for payment card solutions, consider the roundup below collected by the BestCards team of experts. Not only do these options give you the purchasing power to cover your financial needs; they may also help improve your credit score – provided that you exercise responsible use. And, with good financial habits you may be eligible for a higher credit limit in as little as six months.

Milestone® Mastercard®

Milestone® Mastercard®

Milestone® Mastercard®
Fair-Poor-Good
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Fair / Poor / Good
Mastercard Processing Network
See terms Annual Fee

Milestone® Mastercard®

  • See terms Regular Purchase APR
  • See terms Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

Designed for folks with less-than-stellar credit (or no credit at all), the Milestone® Mastercard® credit card is issued by the Bank of Missouri. Featuring all the benefits of a Mastercard at no extra cost, it allows customers to access a convenient and valuable tool in their wallet.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Greater access to credit than before - $700 credit limit
  • Get a Mastercard accepted online, in store and in app
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized use
  • Access your account online or from your mobile device 24/7
  • Regular Purchase APR: See terms
  • Cash Advance APR: See terms
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See terms
  • Penalty APR: See terms
  • Annual Fee: See terms
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: See terms
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See terms
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: See terms
  • You have low credit standing or have not yet begun your credit journey
  • You want a credit card that reports to the three major credit bureaus
  • You prefer the freedom of an unsecured credit card over a secured card

The Milestone® Mastercard® is an unsecured credit card issued by The Bank of Missouri. Whether you have poor credit or are just starting on your financial path, Milestone is a worthy candidate. You can use the card at any merchant that accepts Mastercard, and the issuer reports to the major credit bureaus.

The Milestone Mastercard can make a good credit card for someone with bad credit, as it is aimed to work for those with less-than-perfect credit. It may not have a large credit limit compared to other higher-end credit cards like the ones from Chase or American Express but it offers enough to begin rebuilding your credit from the ground up. Additionally, you can use your Milestone card to shop confidently with features like fraud protection for peace of mind. 

Revvi Card

Revvi Card

Revvi Card
Poor-Fair
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Poor / Fair
Visa Processing Network
$75 1st year, $48 after* Annual Fee

Revvi Card

  • 35.99%* Regular Purchase APR
  • 35.99%* Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

Revvi is a full-fledged Visa® credit card that can help you improve your credit score with on-time payments and responsible use. The Revvi Card features a quick and easy application and doesn’t require perfect credit. Not only that, but Revvi also offers 1% Cash Back Rewards^^ with on-time payments. The card also features an initial credit line of $300, with the chance of a credit limit increase after year one.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Earn 1% cash back rewards^^ on payments made to your Revvi Credit Card • Perfect credit not required • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit) • Checking account required • Opportunity to request credit limit increase after twelve months, fee applies • *See Rates, Fees, Costs & Limitations for complete offer details • ^^See Revvi Rewards Programs Terms & Conditions for details
  • Regular Purchase APR: 35.99%*
  • Cash Advance APR: 35.99%*
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10, or 3% of the amount of the Cash Advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $75 1st year, $48 after*
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41*
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41*
  • You want to improve your credit score by making on-time payments and keeping credit use low
  • You want Visa® protections, like Zero Fraud Liability coverage
  • You're seeking manageable monthly payments
  • You want to earn 1% Cash Back Rewards^^, on payments made to the card

You don’t need perfect credit for this credit card, which is why it has made our list. The Revvi Card is a cash back credit card for bad credit. It’s ideal for anyone looking to build up their credit score and earn rewards simultaneously. Revii cardholders get to enjoy 1% cash back rewards for making on-time monthly bill payments. In other words, responsible use of your card can earn you cash back for all your shopping, including groceries, utilities, fuel, and purchases.

Rack up your Revvi points and redeem them for statement credits which then get applied to your outstanding balance. However, points can not be redeemed right away. Your account must be in good standing and open for at least six months before you can make you can redeem your accrued rewards. Although the six-month wait may sound less than ideal, it can be a motivator to ensure good habits with your credit card usage and debt repayment.

Destiny™ Mastercard®

Destiny Mastercard®

Destiny Mastercard®
Fair-Poor-Good
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Fair / Poor / Good
Mastercard Processing Network
See terms Annual Fee

Destiny Mastercard®

  • See terms Regular Purchase APR
  • See terms Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

The Destiny Mastercard is an ideal credit card for those with bad or fair credit who want the purchasing power of Mastercard but without the security deposit requirement of a secured credit card. With a modest annual fee and manageable initial credit limit, the Destiny Card doesn’t care about your credit past – instead, it helps you focus on your everyday expenses.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • All the benefits of a Mastercard, without a security deposit
  • 24/7 access to your account, even on mobile!
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Less than perfect credit is okay, even with a prior bankruptcy!
  • Regular Purchase APR: See terms
  • Cash Advance APR: See terms
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See terms
  • Annual Fee: See terms
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: See terms
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: See terms
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: See terms
  • You have an imperfect credit history, which may include a past bankruptcy
  • You have less-than-perfect credit
  • You want a Mastercard but don’t want to pay a security deposit
  • You want a credit card with the versatility to make foreign purchases
  • You plan to pay your statement in full every month

The Destiny Mastercard doesn’t care about your credit past. Instead, Destiny wants to be your go-to tool on your credit repair journey. Like the Milestone ® Mastercard®, the Destiny Card is an ideal option for those with bad credit – or even a bankruptcy in their past. The card offers a reasonable credit limit, regular reporting to the major credit bureaus, and the perfect platform for quickly raising your credit score.

Even better, the Destiny Mastercard has one of the lowest foreign transaction fees for a bad credit card – making it the perfect companion, both at home – and abroad!

Surge Platinum Mastercard®

Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

Surge® Platinum Mastercard®
Fair-Poor
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Fair / Poor
Mastercard Processing Network
See Terms* Annual Fee

Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

  • 29.99% (Variable) Regular Purchase APR
  • See Terms* Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

The Surge Mastercard® can be an ideal pre-qualification option if you need to repair or continue building your less-than-perfect credit score. Though it bears annual and maintenance fees, it does, however, provide attractive perks for qualified cardholders – including the potential for a double credit limit increase in as little as six months.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Monthly Credit Score – Sign up for electronic statements, and get your Vantage 3.0 Score Credit Score From Experian
  • Initial Credit Limit of $300 – $1,000 (subject to available credit)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
  • Regular Purchase APR: 29.99% (Variable)
  • Cash Advance APR: See Terms*
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Annual Fee: See Terms*
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: See Terms*
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $41
  • You have fair or poor credit and need to build or repair your credit ratings
  • You prefer a pre-qualification card that will immediately inform you whether you would be approved prior to applying
  • You want to double your credit line by up to $1,000 by making your first six monthly minimum payments on time
  • You don’t want a secured credit card or can’t afford a security deposit
  • You want a card that reports activity to the three major credit bureaus
  • You want the security of an optional credit protection program
Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

Terms & Conditions

The Surge Platinum Mastercard® is a credit card that offers rewards – and the ability to build credit – in one package. The card differs from most subprime cards on the market in that it earns 1% cash back rewards on every purchase and can help users build their credit score at most places in the United States where Mastercard is accepted.

That 1% cash back rewards places the card on a similar footing to the Discover It Secured card – a version of the bank’s Discover It Chrome Card. Having rewards and the ability to build credit however, is a great one-two punch towards establishing a positive financial history.

OpenSky® Secured Visa®

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Poor-No Credit Required
BestCards refers to a variation of FICO Score 9, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for a credit card. Please note that the range shown here is our own estimation and not a guarantee of credit needed to be approved for any given card. Recommended Credit: Poor / No Credit Required
Visa Processing Network
$35 Annual Fee

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

  • 25.64% (variable) Regular Purchase APR
  • 25.64% (variable) Cash Advance APR

At a Glance

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® is a secured credit card that offers requires a low minimum deposit and features no credit checks for approval. The card, issued by Capital Bank, provides an easy route to better credit by offering credit limits as low as $200, a moderate fixed-rate APR, and a reasonable $35 annual fee.

  • Best Benefits
  • Rates & Fees
  • Why Should You Apply?
  • No credit check to apply. Zero credit risk to apply!
  • Looking to build or rebuild your credit? 2/3 of cardholders receive a 48+ point improvement after making 3 on-time payments
  • Extend your $200 credit line by getting considered for an unsecured credit line increase after 6 months, no additional deposit required!
  • Get free monthly access to your FICO score in our mobile application
  • Build your credit history across 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and Transunion
  • Add to your mobile wallet and make purchases using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay
  • Fund your card with a low $200 refundable security deposit to get a $200 credit line
  • Apply in less than 5 minutes with our mobile first application
  • Choose the due date that fits your schedule with flexible payment dates
  • Fund your security deposit over 60 days with the option to make partial payments
  • Join over 1.2 million cardholders who've used OpenSky to build their credit
  • Regular Purchase APR: 25.64% (variable)
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.64% (variable)
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $6 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
  • You're struggling to get accepted for other secured credit cards
  • You don’t have a credit history
  • You have bad credit and want to improve your credit score
  • You have a large deposit and want a quick pick-me-up for their credit score
  • You want access to a useful knowledge base of credit information and resources
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Terms & Conditions

There are lots of credit cards on the market for people with bad credit or no credit. One of the more popular options, however, is the OpenSky Secured Visa. Perhaps the best reason to consider adding the OpenSky Visa credit card to your wallet is that it requires no credit check and it harnesses the potential for a credit line increase after only six months. 

The application process with the OpenSky Secured Visa is straightforward and takes just a few minutes. Approval is equally quick, making the entire process as painless as possible. And, getting started without a credit check means there is no impact on your credit score – making it the perfect Visa for rebuilding credit. The odds of approval are in your favor as, according to OpenSky, the card has an 88% average approval rate. 

In addition to helping you take the initiative to build credit, the OpenSky Secured may earn you the pleasure of graduating with an unsecured credit card. In other words, you will no longer need to dish out a deposit to act as your credit limit. Instead, you can continue your credit journey with an unsecured credit line, without the inconvenience of using your savings for a deposit. 

Honorable Mentions

Want some more  credit card options for bad credit scores to consider? Here are a few extra card offers that just missed out on our top spots:

The First Access Visa® Card is an unsecured credit card that does not require perfect credit to apply. You can use it wherever Visa payment cards are accepted within the United States, and its application is also easy and quick to complete.

The First Digital NextGen Mastercard® is a sleek and straightforward credit card for people with bad credit scores. NextGen receives its name from its streamlines – and easy – application process, creating a new way to look at repairing damaged credit. Start with a respectable, $300 credit limit, and work your way towards a credit line increase with on-time payments and financial responsibility.

The Total Visa is another visa product for those with bad credit. The card prioritizes credit building over punishing those with a bad credit score, meaning even the worst credit scores can likely receive the card!

Featured image by mohamed_hassan/ PixaBay

Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on BestCards.com's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, BestCards.com lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.

About: Jeannyn Gomez
Jeannyn Gomez

Jeannyn is the Content Management Assistant for BestCards.com. In addition to serving on all aspects of social media and spreading the word on expert credit and personal finance advice, Jeannyn finds herself on quests for humor, supernatural phenomena, and conspiracy theories for fun.

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