Advertiser Disclosure Editorial Disclosure

What Credit Cards Can I Get with Bad Credit?

Having bad credit disqualifies many people from such significant events as getting a mortgage or even finding their dream apartment. Fortunately, having bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t qualify for loans or credit cards to repair your damaged credit score. So, what credit cards can you get with bad credit?

Secured Credit Cards for Bad Credit Scores

Credit cards for bad credit break down into two distinct categories: unsecured cards and secured cards. Secured credit cards are the most accessible type of credit card to get because they require a security deposit and often do not require a credit check.

This security deposit requirement is what makes these cards “secure.” Applicants apply with a cash deposit (usually a minimum of $200 to $300), and the lender then opens the card account. The security deposit acts as both collateral and the credit limit. This means the more money you deposit, the higher your credit limit.

Why Use a Secured Card?

Secured cards are great for repairing credit. Since they are easy to obtain, they offer a simple way to increase the amount of available credit you have. Most secured cards also don’t conduct a hard inquiry when you apply. These two factors can help you quickly raise your credit score by several points.

What Are the Best Secured Credit Cards for Bad Credit?

The OpenSky® Secured Visa®  is one of the most popular secured cards due to its easy application process. Besides no credit check, the card features a low, $35 annual fee, a wealth of credit repair information through its Knowledge Center, and an adjustable credit line.

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
  • 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
  • Save an extra 5% on The London Explorer Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 5% when you purchase your Go Barcelona Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 5% when you purchase your Go Bangkok Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

Add cards to start comparing.

  

First Progress is another popular issuer that specializes in secured cards. The lender offers three cards aimed at different types of credit card users. These cards offer different APRs and annual fees. The First Progress Platinum Prestige, for example, offers a low 9.99% APR and $49 annual fee. The low rate makes it perfect for anyone planning to carry a balance.

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

The Platinum Elite is geared towards those new to credit, featuring a 19.99% APR and a low $19 annual fee.  The Platinum Select is the mid-range card, with a 13.99% APR and a $39 annual fee. This middle card is perfect for those who want the versatility to carry a balance, but not the higher yearly fee.

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 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

Other popular secured cards include the Discover It Secured, the Secured Mastercard from Capital One, and the Citi Secured Mastercard.

Related Article: What are the best secured cards of 2020?

Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit Scores

The other type of credit card for bad credit is an unsecured card. Unsecured credit cards differ from secured cards in that they don’t require a security deposit. An unsecured card is what people most associate with a traditional credit card. You apply, and if approved, your bank grants you a credit line you can use to make purchases.

Because these cards don’t require a deposit, they will result in a hard inquiry when you apply. This means applying for a card like this can impact your credit score – albeit not significantly. Additionally, these cards are typically more challenging to get than secured cards, meaning the bank might reject your application if you do not meet their requirements.

Why Choose an Unsecured Card?

While unsecured credit cards pose a higher risk of rejection, they still offer many practical benefits compared to secured cards. These include no security deposit and the chance of a credit line increase after demonstrating financial responsibility over time.

What Are the Best Unsecured Cards for Bad Credit?

Unsecured cards for bad credit break down into two distinct categories themselves: “guaranteed approval” credit cards and credit repair cards.

Guaranteed Approval Credit Cards

While “guaranteed approval” isn’t 100% accurate, these cards are much easier to get than many other credit repair credit cards on the market. The two best examples of these easy-to-get cards are the Horizon Gold Card and the Group One Platinum Card. Both cards offer a $500 unsecured line of credit cardholders can use at the Horizon Outlet. The outlet is an online marketplace that features thousands of products, like Amazon.

The benefit of cards like the Horizon Card is that they regularly report to one of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Make your payments on time each month, and your bad credit score can quickly climb.

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

Credit Repair Credit Cards

The other type of credit card for bad credit is credit repair credit cards. These cards are specially designed for people with bad credit, fair credit, or even no credit history. These cards offer the chance at a credit limit increase after several months of on-time payments.

The Reflex Mastercard and Total Visa are two quality examples of these types of cards. While both feature an annual fee, this charge is offset by the lack of a security deposit.

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*

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
  • 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
  • Save an extra 5% on The London Explorer Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 5% when you purchase your Go Barcelona Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • Save an extra 5% when you purchase your Go Bangkok Pass - Offer Expires on December 31, 2020 - See Details
  • View All Deals -

The Milestone Gold Mastercard and Indigo Platinum Mastercard are two other examples of credit cards for bad credit. Both cards offer a fixed-rate APR, meaning cardholders won’t have to worry about the interest rate changing multiple times. Other popular options come from lenders like Credit One and the Mercury Mastercard.

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®

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

Conclusion

Bad credit doesn’t mean you can’t get credit. A subprime credit score means you need to work on repairing your credit with the right credit cards. Using the options above can help you quickly repair your credit if you follow the correct advice. This advice includes:

  • Always paying your bills on time
  • Keeping your credit usage below 30%
  • Using your credit cards to make small purchases

Once your credit improves, you’ll qualify for better credit card offers, better loan rates, and even mortgages.

Related article: Best Cards for Repairing Credit Mercury Mastercard vs. Total Visa

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.