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Compare the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Looking for the best credit card for bad credit? You’ve come to the right place. BestCards.com has an extensive selection of credit cards for poor credit. Browse reviews and offers below.

FEATURED CARD

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

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FEATURED CARD

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 each transaction
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Over Limit Penalty Fee: Up to $40

FEATURED CARD

First Access Solid Black VISA® Credit Card

Raise Credit Score 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*

FEATURED CARD

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

FEATURED CARD

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

First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card

Free FICO Score Reported Quarterly

First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 36%
  • Cash Advance APR 36%
  • Annual Fee $75-$125 the first year, depending on credit limit. After that, $45 to $49 depending on credit limit
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Quarterly FICO® score is provided free of charge with monthly billing statement
  • Ideal for consumers with less than perfect credit
  • Free online account access
  • Forget about late fees by enrolling in PREMIER Auto Pay
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 36%
  • Cash Advance APR: 36%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $8 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $75-$125 the first year, depending on credit limit. After that, $45 to $49 depending on credit limit
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

Refundable Security Deposit, $300 Minimum

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 22.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 22.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Requires minimum $300 deposit (refundable)
  • Free access to monthly updated FICO® Score
  • Digital wallet compatible
  • No annual fee
  • Overdraft protection
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 22.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 22.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $300

BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students

0% APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for the First 15 Months

BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students
  • Regular Purchase APR 14.49% to 24.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 14.49% to 24.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 17.49% to 26.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Fair , No Credit Required
  • Intro Purchase APR 0% for the first 15 months from the date of account opening
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Introductory 0% purchase APR for 15 months
  • Introductory 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening
  • No fee on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening
  • Access to credit and budgeting education and free monthly FICO Score reports
  • No annual fee
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for the first 15 months from the date of account opening
  • Regular Purchase APR: 14.49% to 24.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for the first 15 months for transfers made within 60 days from the date of account opening
  • Balance Transfer APR: 14.49% to 24.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 17.49% to 26.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $28

Surge Mastercard

Maintenance Fee Waived for the First 12 Months

Surge Mastercard
  • Regular Purchase APR 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $125 for the first 12 months. After that, $96
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Okay to apply with no credit or bad credit
  • No guessing your APR with flat-rate interest
  • Maintenance fee waived for the first 12 months
  • Get quick approval online
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 29.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $125 for the first 12 months. After that, $96
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39

First Tech® Federal Credit Union Platinum Secured Mastercard®

Earn Rewards Points on This Secured Card with no Annual Fee

First Tech® Federal Credit Union Platinum Secured Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 17.50%
  • Cash Advance APR 18%
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • No fees on foreign transactions or cash advances
  • Earn 1 rewards point for every $1 spent
  • Low APR
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.50%
  • Cash Advance APR: 18%
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $500

Credit One Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit

Ideal for Boosting Your Credit

Credit One Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit
  • Regular Purchase APR 17.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $0 to $95 for the first year. After that, $0 to $99
  • Credit Needed Good , Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Earn 1% back on eligible everyday purchases
  • Receive credit line increases with responsible use
  • Set your own payment date
  • Receive Visa cardholder protections
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 8% of the amount of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater, or $10 or 3% of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater or $10 or 5% of each Cash Advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $0 to $95 for the first year. After that, $0 to $99
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Either $1 or 3% of each purchase in U.S. dollars, whichever is greater
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39

Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card

Unsecured Card Option for Bad Credit

Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 22.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Balance Transfer APR 25.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Cash Advance APR 25.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Annual Fee $49 to $175 the first year; up to $49 thereafter
  • Credit Needed Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Free VantageScore 3.0 (provided by Equifax)
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Mobile app available in Apple Store and Google Play
  • $0 fraud liability
  • Must receive mail offer in order to apply
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 22.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Balance Transfer APR: 25.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: 3% of the amount of each transfer after the first year
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.74% to 36% variable based on creditworthiness
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $49 to $175 the first year; up to $49 thereafter
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars.
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40

Avant Credit Card

Check Whether You Qualify Before Applying - Won't Affect Your Credit Score

Avant Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 22.99% to 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 22.99% to 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $0 to $49
  • Credit Needed Fair , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Check eligibility with no hard pull
  • Elegant mobile interface for monitoring purchases
  • Zero fraud liability
  • No foreign transaction fee
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 22.99% to 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 22.99% to 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of the cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $0 to $49
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35

Mercury™ Mastercard®

Build Credit with No Annual Fee

Mercury™ Mastercard®
  • Regular Purchase APR 25.15% to 28.15% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 25.15% to 28.15% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.15% to 28.15% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Fair
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Free access to FICO score
  • Reports to the three main credit bureaus
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 25.15% to 28.15% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 25.15% to 28.15% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.15% to 28.15% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40

Liberty Bank Secured Visa® Card

Qualify for a Credit Line of Up to $5,000

Liberty Bank Secured Visa® Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 22.49% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 22.49% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 22.49% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $35
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Establish or rebuild your credit
  • Earn interest on your secured deposit
  • Receive a credit limit of up to $5,000
  • Access Visa benefits, such as zero fraud liability, extended warranty coverage and auto rental insurance
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 22.49% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 22.49% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 22.49% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 2% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $300

 

What Is a Bad Credit Score?

A bad credit score is nothing to be ashamed of. According to a recent study conducted by YouGov, 53% of Americans have experience with being rejected for a credit card because of a bad or poor credit score.

So, what is a “bad credit score?” According to our helpful Credit Score Explained guide, a FICO Score below 579 is considered “bad” or “poor.” For VantageScore, an alternative scoring model created by Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion, a bad score is any credit score below 600.

what impacts your credit score

What Causes Poor Credit Scores?

One of the leading causes of a poor credit score is a lack of understanding of what models like VantageScore and FICO look for. The two most significant factors are credit utilization and payment history.

  • Credit Utilization: Credit utilization is the amount of available credit you are actually suing. This amount is calculated using what is known as a credit utilization ratio. Ideally, a consumer should use less than 30% of their available credit. Many people, however, find themselves stretched financially. This can result in carrying larger balances than are recommended, leading to damage to their credit report. Credit utilization accounts for a massive 305% of a FICO Score and a still imposing 23% of VantageScore Scores.
  • Payment History: Payment history is the most important reason for a bad credit score in the United States. Payment history accounts for 35% of a FICO Score and 32% of a VantageScore Score. When people are late paying credit cards, mortgages, auto loans, or other types of loans, their credit score is directly impacted. Late or missed payments are reported to all credit bureaus and can quickly destroy your credit score.

Beyond credit utilization and payment history, several other factors contribute to credit:

  • Average Age of Credit: How old is your credit history? How long have your accounts been open?
  • Hard Inquiries: How much new credit are you applying for? Too many inquiries in a short period can make you seem desperate for a new credit card. This is a major red flag for credit card issuers.
  • Credit Mix: What types of credit do you have? Lenders like to see a variety of credit types (car loans, credit cards, student loans, mortgages) so they can see what type of borrower you are and how you handle your accounts.

 The good news, however, is that you can still get approved for a credit card if you have bad credit!

What to Look for in a Credit Card for Poor Credit

Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t get a card to help you start rebuilding your credit. In fact, more and more credit card issuers are starting to offer credit cards for those with less-than-perfect credit. These credit cards are known as “sub-prime” because they are for borrowers with credit scores in need of work. These cards typically feature several features you should carefully compare:

Annual Fee

Credit cards for poor credit usually come with an annual fee. That, however, doesn’t apply to all offers. Some, such as the Indigo Platinum Mastercard®, can charge no annual fee. The Platinum Card for Capital One is another example of a card that might not charge a yearly fee.

However, you should anticipate a fee of anywhere up to around $100 for a credit card for bad credit. These cards charge a yearly fee because the cardholder is a bigger risk as a borrower. Fortunately, you may be able to have the fee reduced – or waived – with on-time payments.

Interest Rates

Credit cards for those with bad credit feature higher-than-average interest rates. The national average APR for a bad credit card is typically between 20% and 24%. However, it may rise as high as 30% for some retail credit cards.

These cards feature such high-interest rates because of the risk lenders take when providing credit lines. For those determined to rebuild their credit, however, a high APR shouldn’t cause much trouble. Paying your statement balance in full every month negates the high-interest rates – and helps you raise your credit score quickly.

The Best Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit 2020

Best Card for Rebuilding Credit:  Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

The Milestone® Gold Mastercard® offers an excellent route to quickly repairing credit. Issued by the Bank of Missouri, the Milestone® Card is ideal for those with a low credit score. The card features a fixed-rate APR, meaning cardholders never have to worry about rate changes. There’s also a variable annual fee, which allows those with better credit scores to pay a lower amount each year. The card also benefits for the global payment power of the Mastercard® network and a selection of Mastercard® protections and services.

Best “Guaranteed Approval” Credit Card: Horizon Gold Card

There’s no such thing as a guaranteed approval credit card, but the Horizon Card is the next best thing. For those rebuilding their credit, the Horizon Card is one of the easiest unsecured credit cards to get. This is because it requires no employment check and no credit check. The card offers a credit line of $500 towards purchases at the Horizon Outlet. It also comes with no interest charges and several unique benefits.

Best Bad Credit Card for Personalization:  Indigo Platinum Mastercard®

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard® has long been recognized as one of the premier credit cards for those with less than perfect credit and offers a demonstrated path to credit repair for thousands of Americans. The Indigo credit card offers manageable spending limits and 24/7 account management. Plus, cardholders can select from five cool cards, meaning they can make their card a visual extension of their own personality!

Secured Credit Cards for Bad Credit

For those who struggle to get an unsecured credit card, a secured credit card is an excellent option to consider. Secured cards operate like unsecured credit cards but are “secured” with a deposit. This security deposit, which is placed into an account linked with the card, also acts as the credit limit. If you make your payments on time, your deposit is safe, but if you miss payments, your lender may take your deposit to recoup their losses.

Business Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Consumers aren’t the only ones that struggle with bad credit in the United States. Thousands of businesses struggle with bad credit scores, making it challenging to finance their operations. While there are no unsecured business credit cards for poor credit, there are plenty of excellent secured business credit cards on the market.

Find the Best Credit Card for Bad or Poor Credit Today

Trying to find a credit card with a bad credit score? You’ve come to the right place! BestCards has comprehensive and impartial reviews of the top credit cards on the market today. This includes credit cards for people with bad credit. Browse our hundreds of reviews, use our comparison tool, and take advantage of our extensive credit card resources and advice. Ready to get started? Let’s find your best card today!