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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.

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Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card

Reports Monthly to All Three Major Credit Bureaus

Total Visa® Unsecured 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
  • 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
  • $300 credit limit (Subject to available credit)
  • Select your favorite card design from our gallery, for free!
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
Credit Card Deals
  • Spoil your pup with a FREE upgrade to BarkBox. - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 10% on all Afternoon Tea orders - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 10% on The Berlin Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Complimentary EZ Mini Crunchies (60g) when you spend S$120 - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • 10% off museum entry - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save up to 55% on London theater tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 10% on Tower of London access tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 5% with Alamo® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 5% with Enterprise Rent-A-Car® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 5% on The Paris Explorer Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

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

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

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
Credit Card Deals
  • Spoil your pup with a FREE upgrade to BarkBox. - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 10% on all Afternoon Tea orders - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 10% on The Berlin Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Complimentary EZ Mini Crunchies (60g) when you spend S$120 - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • 10% off museum entry - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save up to 55% on London theater tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 10% on Tower of London access tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 5% with Alamo® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 5% with Enterprise Rent-A-Car® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 5% on The Paris Explorer Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Surge Mastercard® Credit Card

All Credit Types Welcome to Apply

Surge Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See Terms*
  • Cash Advance APR See Terms*
  • Annual Fee See Terms*
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor
  • Processing Network Mastercard
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
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • 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*

Applied Bank Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Card

No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required

Applied Bank Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 9.99%
  • Cash Advance APR 9.99%
  • Annual Fee $48
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Better than Prepaid...Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time - Keep On Using
  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • 9.99% Low Fixed APR – Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit – Maximum $1,000. Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 9.99%
  • Cash Advance APR: 9.99%
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $48
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $38
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $38
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals
  • Spoil your pup with a FREE upgrade to BarkBox. - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 10% on all Afternoon Tea orders - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 10% on The Berlin Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Complimentary EZ Mini Crunchies (60g) when you spend S$120 - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • 10% off museum entry - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save up to 55% on London theater tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 10% on Tower of London access tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 5% with Alamo® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 5% with Enterprise Rent-A-Car® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 5% on The Paris Explorer Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 19.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $29
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 19.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $29
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 9.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 18.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $49
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 9.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 18.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $49
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200

First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required

First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 13.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 19.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $39
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 13.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 19.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Annual Fee: $39
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the transaction amount
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200

Horizon Gold Card

No Credit Required

Horizon Gold Card
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed No Credit Required
  • Processing Network N/A
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

Group One Platinum Card

No Credit Required

Group One Platinum Card
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network N/A
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 Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card

Online Customer Center Available 24 x 7

First Digital NextGen Mastercard® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR See terms*
  • Cash Advance APR See terms*
  • Annual Fee See terms*
  • Credit Needed Fair
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Build up your Credit with a card that reports to all three major credit bureaus every month
  • Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
  • Easy and secure online application – it just takes moments to apply
  • You may be eligible for a Credit Line Increase after six months
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*

OpenSky® Secured Visa®

No Credit Check to Apply

OpenSky® Secured Visa®
  • Regular Purchase APR 17.39% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 17.39% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee $35
  • Credit Needed Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Build credit with on-time payments
  • Reports to the three leading credit bureaus
  • Credit limist between $200 and $3,000
  • Visa benefits and protections
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 17.39% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR: 17.39% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • 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 $38
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Minimum Deposit Required: $200
Credit Card Deals
  • Spoil your pup with a FREE upgrade to BarkBox. - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 10% on all Afternoon Tea orders - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 10% on The Berlin Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Complimentary EZ Mini Crunchies (60g) when you spend S$120 - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • 10% off museum entry - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save up to 55% on London theater tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 10% on Tower of London access tickets - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 5% with Alamo® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save 5% with Enterprise Rent-A-Car® at participating locations - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 5% on The Paris Explorer Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

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
  • Processing Network Mastercard
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*
#

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 an application because of a bad or poor 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.

Credit Score Range

Before fixing a damaged credit score, it is crucial to understand what a credit score is, and what is considered good, bad, or ugly by different credit reporting bureaus. The two main credit scoring models that banks use to gauge creditworthiness are FICO and VantageScore.

FICO Score

FICO is the oldest of the credit scoring systems, and the most popular credit bureau for banks. A FICO score ranges from 300 to 850, with ratings ranging from Very Poor (bad) to Exceptional.

The FICO scoring model breaks down as follows:

VantageScore

VantageScore is a newer scoring model created by the three leading credit agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Like FICO, VantageScore ranges from 300 to 850, but places more scoring weight on newer credit histories than FICO.

The VantageScore model breaks down as follows:

What Factors Influence Your Credit Score?

As you can see from both models, there are plenty of Americans currently struggling with a sub-prime or bad credit score. But what are the items and factors that influence credit scores?

FICO places significant weight on payment history, as this is the biggest indicator of a person’s ability to repay any new credit they may receive. Nearly as important is the amount of available credit that individual is currently utilizing, which makes up 30% of the score.

Of less significance, but still important) are the types of credit a person has, the number of hard inquiries they have in the past 12 months, and the length of their overall credit history. VantageScore places a much greater emphasis on types of credit (or credit mix) than FICO. Equally important, however, is payment history.

what impacts your credit score

How A Bad Credit Score Can Hurt You Financially

What impact can a bad credit score have on your financial life? Or even your everyday life, for that matter?

Tougher to Receive Credit

The most obvious impact of bad credit is a more difficult time getting approved for new lines of credit. Those with poor credit will struggle to get most credit cards with a few notable exceptions. Banks are much less willing to extend credit to those with bad credit, and only credit cards for bad credit or secured credit cards will be an option. People with bad credit will also struggle with getting personal loans, car loans, and mortgages.

Related Article: What is the easiest credit card to get with bad credit?

Significantly Higher Loan Terms

Poor credit will not eliminate any chances at getting cards or loans, but those lines of credit will come with less favorable terms. Loans and credit cards for poor credit feature very high-interest rates, higher annual fees, and potentially monthly service fees.

More Difficulty When Renting Apartments

Poor credit directly impacts your ability to find housing. Landlords may be less willing to take a risk with someone with bad credit, viewing them as a potential liability.

Loss of Employment Opportunities

Bad credit can even impact your professional life. Many employers access the credit reports of potential hires to see if they are a trustworthy, reliable individual. While companies can’t access your credit score, the information on your report may make you seem like a liability. Some government agencies won’t hire people with poor credit, viewing them as a security risk due to their financial situation.

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

What to Look For When Choosing a New Credit Card

Just because you have bad credit doesn’t mean you have no options to help you start rebuilding it. In fact, more and more issuers are starting to offer 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 these types of cards. Their issues typically 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

Expect to see higher-than-average interest rates on these types of cards. The national average APR for this category is typically between 20% and 24%. However, it may rise as high as 30% for some retail cards.

These products 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 Picks for Bad Credit for 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® Gold is ideal for those with an imperfect 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 card, but Horizon’s offering is the next best thing. For those in the rebuilding phase, the Horizon Gold is one of the easiest unsecured 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®

Secured Cards

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 Cards

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 cards for damaged credit, there are plenty of excellent secured business credit cards on the market.

bestcards

Find the Best Credit Card for Bad or Poor Credit Today

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