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Are There Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit?

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.

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 -

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.

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

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.

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

Reflex Mastercard

Celtic Bank also issues the Reflex 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.

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*

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.

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 -

Other Cards to Consider

Horizon Gold Card & Group One Platinum Card

The Horizon Gold Card and Group One Platinum Card are ideal for those with bad credit and who want to rebuild their score while enjoying some of the benefits of an unsecured credit card. These cards offer a $500 credit line that cardholders can use to make purchases at the Horizon Outlet, which provides an impressive selection of products, gifts, and more.

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

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

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

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.

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 -

Related Content: The Best Secured Credit Cards

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.