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What Credit Cards Don’t Have a Credit Check?

Last updated on March 23rd, 2021

Bad credit or no credit can make applying for a credit card difficult – if not almost impossible. A bad credit score disqualifies applicants for many credit cards, as lenders are often afraid of taking a chance on risky applicants. Is there another way, however? Are there credit cards that don’t require good credit? And if so, what credit cards do not have a credit check?

What Does “No Credit Check” Mean?

“No Credit Check” credit cards are something of a misleading term. When a card offer says no credit check is needed, what they mean is no hard inquiry.

Credit checks break down into two categories: hard inquiries and soft inquiries. A hard inquiry is when a lender pulls one of your credit reports to see your entire credit history. These inquiries are what most credit card, mortgage, and other loan applications require. A hard inquiry will show up on your credit report and will remain there for about two years.

A soft inquiry, in comparison, doesn’t require a full pull of your credit. When a lender does a soft pull, they check your basic credit information. These pulls occur when you check your credit score through free apps, or when a potential employer runs a background check. Soft inquiries don’t impact your credit score.

Credit Cards With No Credit Check – Secured Cards

Now that you know what “No Credit Check” really means, what cards don’t conduct a hard pull on your credit report?

Secured credit cards are your best bet if you have a damaged credit score but want a new credit card. These cards require a security deposit that also acts as the credit line. It’s this cash deposit that makes lenders much more willing to extend credit – even to those with poor credit. Many banks also don’t run credit checks for their secured card offers.

Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent secured cards that only require a soft pull of your credit and can help you repair your credit:

OpenSky Secured Visa Card

The most well-known credit card that doesn’t require a credit check is the OpenSky Visa. The OpenSky isn’t unique among the cards on this list, as it’s a secured card. That said, it has the lowest annual fee of all the “no credit check required” cards – at just $35 per year.

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
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Self Visa® Credit Card

The Self Visa® Credit Card approval process is a little different than other secured credit card accounts. Because Self is a credit builder startup, the process involves a potential applicant getting their hands dirty with the company and growing their credit portfolio.

This process begins with opening a Self Credit Builder Account. Self’s Credit Builder Account is a unique loan product where individuals with no credit history or poor credit open a loan account to “pay off” the loan into a certificate of deposit (CD) account.

Once the account holder makes three monthly payments on time – and has more than $100 in their CD account, they can select to open a Self Visa® Credit Card account. They can choose their initial deposit level (at least $100) and order their secured card. There are no credit checks, meaning there is no impact on a person’s credit score to open the account. Because there are no credit checks and no formal application process, no one can be denied the Self Visa Secured Card.

Self Visa® Credit Card

Get the Savings Plan That Helps Build Credit Today!

Self Visa® Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 23.99%
  • Annual Fee $25
  • Credit Needed Fair , Poor , No Credit Required
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Get the savings plan that helps build credit today
  • Start with a Credit Builder Account that reports monthly payments to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Sample product: A $539.00 Credit builder account, paid 12 times over one year would have a monthly payment of $48.00, and an Annual Percentage Rate of 15.97%. Please refer to www.self.inc/pricing for the most recent pricing options
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 23.99%
  • Annual Fee: $25
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $15
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $15
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First Progress

Like the OpenSky, First Progress is another financial institution known for their secured cards for bad credit scores. Their cards also don’t require a credit check.

First Progress secured cards act like a regular credit card. This means that you can use them anywhere Visa is accepted worldwide – currently over 200 million retailers. First Progress features three unique secured cards – all of which require a deposit of at least $200 to open:

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® is the first – and possibly best – of the card issuers secured card offerings. The card has a higher annual fee than other products from the bank($49 per year) but features one of the lowest APRs available on a credit card: 9.99%.

The average APR (interest rate) for a secured card is around 18%, meaning the Platinum Prestige offers an APR almost half of the national average.  This great rate makes the card ideal for anyone planning on carrying a balance from month to month.

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
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First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

The First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard®  is the mid-range card from First Progress, designed for people who want a solid interest rate and a lower annual fee. The purchase APR with the Platinum Select is 13.99%. While this rate is 4% higher than the Prestiged, it’s still 4% lower than the national average. The card also has a lower annual fee of $39, which is comparable to the OpenSky Visa.

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
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First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

Finally, the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® is the entry-level card, offering a competitive APR and low annual fee. The interest rate with this card is 19.99%, which is in line with the national average and is perfect for those who don’t plan on carrying a balance every month.

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
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Conclusion

Getting a credit card doesn’t have to mean having a hard inquiry on your credit report. There are a variety of credit cards with no hard credit check required, including the offers listed above. These cards provide the ability to establish or rebuild your credit, thanks to regular reporting to the major credit bureaus – Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Keep in mind, however, that building credit means paying the statement balance on-time, keeping credit utilization low, and practicing financial responsibility.

Related Article: The Best Secured Credit Cards for 2021

 

About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.