Credit cards make it easy to rent a car, secure a reservation and make online purchases. In fact, if you don’t have a credit card, it can make some financial transactions more difficult.
For those with a poor credit history — or no credit history at all — getting approved for a credit card can be challenging. Fortunately, there are options for people with less-than-stellar credit, and those options can be easy to get. Review these choices if you need a credit card for bad credit; once you secure one, use it responsibly to build your credit.
Easiest Types of Credit Cards to Get
Here are some of the easiest types of credit cards to get with bad credit. You can even improve your credit score with a couple of these options, provided you make timely payments.
- Store credit cards: Store cards might be the easiest credit cards to get with bad credit because they generally don’t require a high credit score. In addition, you can build your credit with a store card. You are, however, limited to using it at that particular store, typically a department store.
- Prepaid cards: A prepaid credit card works like a debit card; you make a deposit to the card and withdraw the funds as you make purchases. You won’t build your credit with a prepaid credit card because issuers typically don’t report your usage to the credit bureaus.
- Secured credit cards: Like prepaid credit cards, secured credit cards require a deposit. If you fail to make the payments, you’ll lose your deposit. Unlike prepaid cards, secured credit card issuers report your payment history to the credit bureaus so you can repair and build your credit with this type of card. Because credit cards for bad credit with no deposit can be hard to find, secured cards can be a good alternative.
GOBankingRates has identified six credit cards that might be an option if your credit isn’t great. Following are the easiest credit cards to get approved for — and some of these credit cards for bad credit require no deposit.
|Credit Card||Credit Score Requirement||Annual Fee||How to Apply|
|Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students||No minimum credit score||$0||Learn more|
|Capital One Platinum Credit Card||Average credit score||$0||Learn more|
|Capital One Secured Mastercard||Low credit score OK||$0||Learn more|
|First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured||No minimum credit score||$29||Learn more|
|OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card||No minimum credit score||$35||Learn more|
|Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards||Average credit score||$39||Learn more|
If you’re a college student with no credit history, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card might be a good choice. Because it’s geared toward students, the credit requirements are lower than usual. You can build your credit with this card, which features no annual fee and rewards points you can use for goods and services.
Many unsecured credit cards are available to those with average credit and the Capital One Platinum Card is a good option. It doesn’t require a minimum credit score — making it one of the easiest cards to get — and comes with no annual fees. In addition, you’ll get benefits like extended warranty and travel accident protection.
You need a deposit to secure the Capital One Secured MasterCard, but a low credit score is not a problem. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, so you can focus on paying off your credit balance. Benefits include travel protection and 24-hour assistance. If you’re trying to raise your credit score, this card is a good option.
You don’t need a credit history or minimum credit score to get this card, but you will pay an annual fee of $29. You’ll also be required keep a $200 deposit in a non-interest bearing account. You won’t get benefits like travel protection or rewards, but the good news is you can easily apply for it online.
Apply for this card with a quick, four-step online application, accept the terms, make a deposit and you’ll be ready to go. You will have to pay a $35 annual fee, but there’s no minimum credit score to get approved.
Credit cards for fair credit are easier to find than those for bad credit. If your credit score is fair and you want an unsecured credit card, consider the Capital One Quicksilver One Cash Reward card. You’ll pay a $39 annual fee, which comes with benefits like free credit monitoring and unlimited, 1.5 percent cash back with every purchase. In addition, you might be able to access higher credit limits if you make the first five payments on time.
The Bottom Line
Even with poor credit or no credit, you can still get a credit card. A credit card can make paying for things very convenient — but remember you need to be responsible with it; avoid getting into debt if you want to increase your credit score and open up other credit options in the future.
Compare credit cards to see which one works best for your financial situation. Consider looking into prequalified credit cards because a credit card application will appear on your credit report as an inquiry but will not have a negative effect on your credit report or credit score. Do your research and pick a card before applying; if you apply for too many credit cards in a short period of time, it could hurt your credit.
When you’re ready to apply for your card, you might be able to do it online and even get an instant approval credit card.
Methodology: GOBankingRates.com identified the best credit cards by analyzing purchase APRs, credit card fees, rewards and offers. All fees and rates are subject to change at the credit card issuers’ discretion. And, some bonus offers may or may no longer be available on the credit card issuers’ websites, depending on how you access the web page.
GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article.