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Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit 2024 | Cards for Credit Scores Below 690

  • Three of our top picks for the best credit cards for bad credit are the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card, the OpenSky? Secured Visa? Credit Card, and the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card.
  • There are credit cards made specifically for people with poor credit that can help you rebuild your credit score. Some credit cards for bad credit don’t even require credit checks.
  • It may seem counterintuitive if a credit card contributed to giving you a bad credit score, but signing up for a credit card for bad credit and using it properly can help rebuild your credit score.
  • Some credit cards for bad credit are considered predatory cards and can leave you in more debt than when you started. So, it’s important to read the fine print and compare cards carefully before signing up.

Having bad credit typically means your options are limited. It can be harrowing trying to apply for a credit line when you have bad credit, especially if you don’t meet pre-qualification standards that credit lenders have in place. The good news is that there are many credit card options for people with bad credit that can help you start to rebuild your credit score – both secured credit cards and unsecured credit cards for bad credit.

To help you find a card to meet your needs, we created a list of our picks for the best credit cards for bad credit of 2024. Whether you are looking for an unsecured credit card or a secured credit card, the below options are a great place to start your search.

Our top picks for the best credit cards for bad credit

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Best for Rewards

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 5% Reward Rate

Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel platform.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
It can be difficult to find a good rewards credit card when you don’t qualify for many options. The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the few cards that caters to those with less-than-stellar credit and even offers a high rewards rate, all for no annual fee.
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Card Details

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  • Put down a refundable $200 security deposit to get a $200 initial credit line
  • Building your credit? Using a card like this responsibly could help
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free for everyone
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
Pros
  • Can qualify with limited credit
  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Cons
  • High APR
  • Limited cash back bonus categories
  • Requires a security deposit
Bottom Line

Especially for a secured card, this card offers a decent cash-back rate, so you can earn rewards while building your credit.

Best for Low Security Deposit

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

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No Rewards

This card doesn’t earn any rewards.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
If you’re looking to improve your credit score, the Capital One Platinum Secured card may be worth considering. Although it won’t earn rewards, it can be a useful tool for building credit. Unlike most secured credit cards that require a large deposit, with the Platinum Secured you can secure a credit line of $200 by making a deposit as low as $49 (depending on your credit history).
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Card Details

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  • See if you’re approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free for everyone
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking to access your account from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One’s mobile app
Pros
  • Easy approval
  • $49, $99 or $200 flexible security deposit opportunities
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • High variable APR
  • No rewards structure
  • Requires a security deposit
Bottom Line

For a secured card, the flexible deposit options and lack of an annual fee make this an attractive option for people with bad credit.

Best for No Credit Check

OpenSky? Secured Visa? Credit Card

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Up to 10% Reward Rate

Earn up to 10% cash back on everyday purchases. OpenSky Rewards links offers from merchants directly to your card, allowing you to automatically earn cash back.

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Annual Fee
$35
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
25.64% variable
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
If you’ve had a hard time qualifying for cards because of your credit score, the OpenSky Credit Card could help you rebuild. This card boasts a high approval rating and doesn’t require a credit check or bank account, so it could be a good option for your credit-rebuilding endeavors.
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Card Details

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  • New feature! Earn up to 10% cash back on everyday purchases
  • No credit check to apply. Zero credit risk to apply!
  • Looking to build or rebuild your credit? 2 out of 3 OpenSky cardholders increase their credit score by an average of 41 points in just 3 months
  • Get free monthly access to your FICO score in our mobile application Build your credit history across 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
  • Add to your mobile wallet and make purchases using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay
  • Fund your card with a low $200 refundable security deposit to get a $200 credit line
  • Apply in less than 5 minutes with our mobile first application
  • Choose the due date that fits your schedule with flexible payment dates
  • Fund your security deposit over 60 days with the option to make partial payments
  • Over 1.4 Million Cardholders Have Used OpenSky Secured Credit Card To Improve Their Credit
Pros
  • High approval rating
  • Doesn’t require a credit check
  • No bank account required
Cons
  • Has an annual fee
  • Minimum $200 security deposit required

Best for a Low APR Unsecured Card

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard? Secured Credit Card

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1% Reward Rate

Earn 1% cash back on payments.

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Annual Fee
$49
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
15.24% variable
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
When you’re rebuilding your credit, the last thing you want to do is pay sky-high interest rates. The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard? Secured Credit Card has a variable APR as low as 15.24%, a rate even lower than many unsecured options.
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Card Details

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  • Choose your own credit line – $200 to $2000 – based on your security deposit
  • Build your credit score. Reports to all 3 credit bureaus
  • No minimum credit score required for approval!
  • Cardholders who keep their balance low and pay their credit card bill on time every month typically do see an increase in their credit score.
Pros
  • Earns cash back
  • Lower APR than many cards
Cons
  • Has an annual fee
  • No intro APR offer

Best for No Fees

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa? Credit Card

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No Rewards

This card doesn’t earn any rewards.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
For individuals with bad credit, the Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa? Credit Card is a decent option to help rebuild. Unlike most secured cards, Chime doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement and it doesn’t charge an annual fee or interest. It’s also easy to qualify for, as it doesn’t require a credit check.
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Card Details

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The Chime credit card works like other secured credit cards in the sense that it requires a security deposit. However, it offers several features that put it in a league of its own. Chime essentially works like a prepaid card. You simply add money to your Chime Builder secured account from your checking account and can spend until your card balance reaches $0.00. This is great for people trying to build or rebuild credit**, as it works similarly to a debit card (It’s not a debit card, but Chime does offer a debit card— use code SAVE10 to get $10 when you activate your Chime Debit Card within 30 days of enrollment).

However, unlike a debit card, Chime reports to all 3 credit bureaus, so you build credit while you spend. Other noteworthy features of the Chime Credit Builder card include not requiring a credit check at sign-up or a minimum security deposit (Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.)

To qualify for the Chime Credit Builder card, all you need is to open a Chime Checking Account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more. After receiving that direct deposit you can apply for a secured Chime Credit Builder Visa? Credit Card!

*No Interest: Out of network ATM withdrawal fees and over the counter advance fees may apply. See here for details.

**No Minimum Security Deposit: Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.

The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa? Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.

To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

**Safer Credit Building - On-time payment history may have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion?, Experian?, and Equifax?. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • No credit check required to apply
  • No annual interest charges
Cons
  • No credit limit greater than your deposit
  • Need direct deposit account with Chime
  • No option to upgrade
Bottom Line

This card offers a good alternative for people to build or rebuild their credit but doesn’t earn rewards and may be confusing to use.

Best for No Upfront Deposit

Self - Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa? Credit Card

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No Rewards

This card doesn’t earn any rewards.

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Annual Fee
$25
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
28.74% variable
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
We like how the Self-Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa? Credit Card offers a unique chance for users to skip an upfront deposit, and it contributes to a stronger credit mix than traditional credit cards.
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Card Details

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  • Start with a Credit Builder Account, make at least 3 monthly payments on time, have $100 or more in savings progress in your Credit Builder Account, and be in good standing. Then, you’ll be eligible for the Self Visa? Credit Card, without a hard credit check.
  • Your savings progress from your Credit Builder Account acts as your security deposit for your secured Credit Card.
  • No credit score or hard credit check is needed to get started.
  • Can pay as little as $25/month
  • Reports to all 3 credit bureaus.

Credit Builder Accounts & Certificates of Deposit made/held by Lead Bank, Sunrise Banks, N.A., SouthState Bank, N.A., First Century Bank, N.A., each Member FDIC. Subject to credit approval.

Self Visa? Credit Card issued by Lead Bank or SouthState Bank, N.A., each Member FDIC. See self.inc for details.

*Sample loans: $25/mo, 24 mos, $9 admin fee, 15.92% APR; $35/mo, 24 mos, $9 admin fee, 15.97% APR; $48/mo, 24 mos, $9 admin fee, 15.72% APR; $150/mo, 24 mos, $9 admin fee, 15.88% APR. See self.com/pricing

Pros
  • No upfront deposit
  • No credit score requirement
  • Contributes to credit mix
Cons
  • Can’t use the card immediately
  • Have to commit to 2 years of payments
  • Doesn’t earn rewards

Best for an Unsecured Card for Bad Credit

Milestone? Mastercard? – $700 Credit Limit

No Rewards

This card doesn’t earn any rewards.

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Annual Fee
variable
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
Up to 35.9% variable
Recommended Credit
Bad/Fair (500 - 670)
Why we like it
The Milestone? Mastercard? is a decent option for people with bad credit looking for an unsecured credit card. Like other unsecured cards, this doesn’t require a security deposit to open and has a credit line of $700.
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Card Details

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  • Reports to all three credit bureaus, helping you build a payment history
  • Use wherever Mastercard is accepted in the U.S.
  • Fraud protection in case your card happens to be lost or stolen
  • No security deposit required.
  • 24/7 account access through your mobile device.
  • Monthly fee of up to $12.50 each month ($0 the first year)
Pros
  • Available to people with any credit type
  • No security deposit needed
  • Free VantageScore to help monitor credit score
Cons
  • Annual fee
  • No rewards or cash back
  • Low credit limit

Best for Cash Back

U.S. Bank Cash+? Secured Visa? Card

U.S. Bank Cash+? Secured Visa? Card
Up to 5% Reward Rate

Earn 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter in two categories you choose and on eligible travel. Earn 2% cash back on eligible purchases in one everyday category you choose, and earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Bad/Poor (300 - 580)
Why we like it
The U.S. Bank Cash+? Secured Visa? Card is a pretty solid secured U.S. Bank credit card to consider, and this card offers generous cash back rewards on all your spending.
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Card Details

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  • Security deposit of $300 - $5,000 required
  • Choose your payment due date: Everyone’s schedule is different. So it’s handy to be able to pick when your payment is due.
  • 0% Fraud Liability: You are not responsible for unauthorized transactions if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Contactless payments: Pay with a tap. Your contactless card makes payments with a simple, single tap. Just look for the Contactless Symbol when checking out.
  • Mobile Wallet: Add the Cash+ Secured Visa card to your Mobile Wallet. Convenient and secure, you can pay with just a tap.
  • Autopay: Pay on time and avoid late fees by selecting an automatic payment option that best suits your budget.
  • ID Navigator Powered by NortonLifeLock?: Get tools that help keep you informed of threats that may affect your identity
Pros
  • Earn cash back on spending
  • No annual fee
  • Easy to get approved
Cons
  • High regular APR
  • Security deposit required
  • Charges 3% in foreign transaction fees

Best credit cards for bad credit of 2024: Editorial reviews

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Best for Rewards
The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card’s 1.5% cash back parallels the unsecured version; a really good reward rate, especially for a credit card for bad credit. It also has no annual fee and comes with a few other features, making this our favorite option on this list. It does require a minimum $200 security deposit but that’s pretty standard for secured cards.

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

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Best for Low Security Deposit
If you’re not set on earning rewards and don’t want to fund hundreds of dollars worth of a security deposit, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card should be a consideration. It still requires a security deposit, but as little as $49 can secure a $200 initial credit line. It also doesn’t have an annual fee and you’ll be automatically considered for a higher credit line after as little as 6 months of responsible use.

OpenSky? Secured Visa? Credit Card

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Best for No Credit Check
If you’re a bit hesitant about a credit check keeping you from qualifying for a card, the OpenSky? Secured Visa? Credit Card may be just what you need. It has an extremely high approval rating and doesn’t require a credit check, so even if your credit is really damaged, you may still qualify.

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard? Secured Credit Card

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Best for Low APR
Although we never advise carrying a balance, sometimes it’s difficult to avoid. With the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard? Secured Credit Card, you can breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that it won’t break the bank if you occasionally can’t manage to pay off your balance. It also earns 1% cash back on payments, not something many secured cards can claim.

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa? Credit Card

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Best for No Fees
The Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa? Credit Card is a little bit different than some credit cards, working similarly to a debit card. It’s a little bit confusing at first but it can provide a good alternative for people looking to build their credit. It doesn’t require a credit check, doesn’t have a minimum deposit requirement, has no annual fee, and no interest rates either.

Self - Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa? Credit Card

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Best for No Upfront Deposit
Security deposits can get expensive; finding $200+ to fund your credit line may not be doable for everyone. The Self - Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa? Credit Card does things differently, allowing users to pay in small monthly installments, rather than forking it over all at once. If you need a card quickly, this might not be the answer, but if you’re willing to wait it out, it could provide a good alternative to traditional secured cards.

Milestone? Mastercard? – $700 Credit Limit

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Best for an Unsecured Card for Bad Credit
We’ll admit, the Milestone Mastercard? – $700 Credit Limit isn’t the greatest card out there, but if you’re looking for an unsecured card for bad credit, it’s still an option. It has a moderate credit limit of $700 and a high annual fee, along with high interest rates, and it doesn’t earn rewards. We’d recommend almost any secured card over this one, but if you’re dead-set on getting an unsecured card, this one fits the bill.

U.S. Bank Cash+? Secured Visa? Card

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Best for Cash Back
It’s almost unheard of to have a credit card for bad credit that offers as lucrative of rewards as the U.S. Bank Cash+? Secured Visa? Card. It does require a minimum $300 security deposit but doesn’t have an annual fee and it offers between 1% and 5% cash back on eligible purchases, so it may be worth considering.

What is considered bad credit?

A?bad credit score?is anything below 579 on the FICO Score scale and anything under 600 on the VantageScore scale, but bad credit is not just a score. It also refers to bad money management habits such as a history of late payments, defaults, bankruptcy, and extensive reliance on credit.

What causes bad credit?

These are seven of the most common reasons people get a bad FICO rating:

  1. Late payments, missing payments, or not paying the minimum
    Your payment history makes up the majority of your credit score. Missing a payment or making a payment late can cause a major decrease in your credit score.
  2. High credit utilization
    If you’re using a large percentage of your available credit (aka your credit utilization ratio), lenders may not view you as reliable. This can easily affect your credit score negatively.
  3. Carrying a balance
    When you carry a balance from one month to the next, you begin accruing interest on that debt. Interest costs can add up quickly, making it more difficult to pay off your bill. Best practice: pay off your credit card bill in full every month.
  4. Limited credit history
    If you don’t have any credit history, credit agencies have no information on you and whether or not you are able to repay your debt. Not to worry, many cards are designed for people with no credit to start establishing it over time.
  5. Filing for bankruptcy
    If you’re currently under a repayment agreement or Individual Voluntary Arrangement, you may also see a negative dip in your score.
  6. Identity theft
    If someone opens a card in your name, they can rack up giant bills and damage your credit reputation. Protect yourself from identity theft by setting up an alert that lets you know anytime your credit is used or when someone makes a transaction.
  7. Applying for too many credit cards
    Any time you apply for a credit card, you go through a “hard inquiry,” which can temporarily lower your credit score. If you apply for too many cards in a short time, this can significantly decrease your score.

How bad credit can impact you

Credit scores exist to tell lenders how much of a risk it is to lend someone money. If your score is higher, they don’t view you as much of a risk and are more likely to approve you. If you have bad credit, they perceive you as quite risky, so even if you manage to get approved, you may need to make a security deposit and will have a high interest rate.

Not only credit card issuers and lenders use your credit score as a measure of reliability. Landlords, employers, utility companies, and others may check your credit score to see how reliable you are with money.

The importance of good credit

Maintaining a?good credit score?can be useful when an emergency comes up. For example, if your car needs a last-minute repair and you don’t have accessible cash, a credit card can pay for the necessary repairs.

Having a bad credit score can mean you don’t qualify for loans or higher lines of credit, like car loans, mortgages, personal loans, student loans, and more.?

The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for?zero APR credit cards?or cards with low interest rates.?

If you’ve been turned down for a credit card, loan, or mortgage because of a bad credit score it isn’t the end of the world. It’s possible to turn things around! Knowing why your credit score dropped is half the battle.

Who should get a credit card for bad credit?

When you have bad credit, your credit card options are limited, but we all have to start?building credit?from somewhere.

Choosing the right credit cards for bad credit is the first step in your credit journey. You can further expand your financial strategy by considering how a high-yield savings account, such as a?Barclays savings account?or?Marcus savings account, can enhance your credit-building efforts and contribute to long-term financial stability.

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Types of credit cards for bad credit

Credit cards for poor credit are designed to have fewer frills and more opportunities to start building or improving your credit history.

Typically people with bad credit have a choice between 2 different types of credit cards:

  1. Secured credit cards
  2. Unsecured credit cards

The primary difference between a secured and unsecured credit card lies with the security deposit.

Secured cards

Secured cards require a refundable security deposit that determines your card’s credit limit. Many secured cards require a minimum or maximum security deposit, often ranging from around $200 all the way to $3,000. Since you are essentially borrowing from yourself, you remove the risk of loss to the card issuer, so it’s typically easier to qualify for a secured card.

Unsecured credit cards

Unsecured cards don’t require a security deposit, and as a result, have a more flexible credit limit which can vary based on your credit score and spending habits.

? Secured Credit Cards Unsecured Credit Cards
Requires security deposit Yes No
Requires annual fee Rarely Frequently
Reports to credit bureaus Yes Yes
Can help rebuild credit Yes Yes

Both secured and unsecured cards can help you rebuild your credit. When it comes to credit cards for bad credit, we’d typically recommend getting a?secured credit card, as the fees tend to be lower and they’re easier to qualify for.?

How to choose a credit card when you have bad credit

When choosing a credit card, it’s important to look at cards made for bad credit borrowers. This will give you the best chance of being approved. Consider the following when choosing a credit card for bad credit.

  1. Secured vs unsecured:
    Decide whether a secured or unsecured credit card is better for you. Keep in mind that if you have a very low credit score, secured cards may be your only option. However, secured cards require a security deposit, which could be challenging if you don’t have the funds. Most deposits start at $200 and get higher from there.
  2. Rewards:
    Typically,?rewards credit cards?or cards with a sign-up bonus require a good credit history. However, some credit cards for poor credit do offer rewards like cash back. If you plan on using your card regularly, this could be worth looking into.
  3. Fees:
    Both secured and unsecured cards can come with different types of fees, including monthly maintenance, annual fees, late fees, foreign transaction fees, etc. If you don’t want to get locked into regular fees, take a look at the fine print. If you don’t use your card regularly, we suggest looking at?credit cards with no annual fee.
  4. Credit limit increase & ability to upgrade:?
    If you’re good about paying your balance off every month and not being late, your credit card issuer may?increase your credit limit?or allow you to upgrade from a secured to an unsecured card.

What is the easiest card to get approved for?

The easiest cards to get approved for are credit cards that don’t require a credit check, like the OpenSky? Secured Visa? Credit Card.

In general, secured credit cards are easier to get approved for than unsecured cards. While you’ll have fewer options overall, you may qualify for a variety of secured cards and a few unsecured credit cards, even if you have bad credit. Choosing the cards listed in this article is a good place to start.

How to apply for a credit card for bad credit

1

Check your credit score

Check ahead of time to know which cards you may qualify for. Using a tool like CardMatch won’t hurt your credit score and can help give you realistic options.

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2

Learn more

When you decide on a card you’re interested in, hit the “Learn More” button next to the cards at the top of this page to read all of the necessary details about the card.

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3

Apply

If you’re certain about your card choice, click “Apply Now” to go through the credit card application process. You’ll likely need to give your name, address, phone number, email, income info, and social security number.

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4

Wait to see if you’ve been approved

You may receive approval immediately or you may have to wait for the issuer to get back to you.

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5

Provide a security deposit, if applicable

If you choose a secured credit card, you won’t be able to use it until you successfully fund your security deposit. Typically, the amount you deposit will become your credit line, so if you deposit $200, your credit limit will be $200. Some cards, like the Capital One Platinum Secured, allow you to pay a lower amount for a higher credit line.

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6

If you’ve been approved, congrats!

You may be able to use your new card instantly through a virtual wallet or you may have to wait for the physical card in the mail.

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How to raise your credit score with a credit card

Credit cards are some of the easiest, most effective, and most well-known tools to raise your credit score. Once you’ve been approved for a card, follow these tips to start improving your score.

See more tips in our helpful guide on?how to improve your credit score.?

How we selected our top cards

First, we analyzed a huge range of cards that were designed to help people rebuild their credit or start their credit journey for the first time. Every credit card has its benefits and drawbacks, depending on what your particular lifestyle and financial needs are. We focused on cards that help you build strong credit by reporting to the three major credit bureaus. We looked for cards that were specific to those with bad credit and even tried to find cards that offered rewards, zero annual fees, or low APR rates.

More resources for bad credit

Credit cards for bad credit FAQ

Can I get a credit card if I have really bad credit?

Absolutely. There are credit cards designed specifically to help those with bad credit rebuild their score. If your credit score is really bad, you may only qualify for a secured credit card, a card that requires a security deposit as collateral.

Do all cards for bad credit require a security deposit?

Nope. Only secured credit cards for bad credit require a security deposit. Unsecured cards do not need a deposit.

However, unsecured cards can be harder to qualify for and they may have high fees. Applicants are almost always pre-qualified for a secured card as long as they can put up the funds for a deposit. Unsecured cards have lower spending limits and you can’t increase your limit in the same way as with a secured card. Depending on your needs and financial situation, you may prefer a secured card.

Can I get a credit card after bankruptcy?

Yes! While bankruptcy can disrupt your FICO score, you can still qualify for a credit card after bankruptcy.

Since your qualification options are limited, you might be interested in secured credit cards that require a security deposit so you can start rebuilding your credit report as soon as you can. Though not all secured credit cards will approve applicants with a recent bankruptcy, there are many issuers who will. The type of bankruptcy you filed for may determine which kind of secured card you qualify for. Plus, some issuers may not approve you while the bankruptcy is still in process. You may have to wait for it to discharge before you apply for a credit card.

Can I do a balance transfer with bad credit?

Balance transfer credit cards for bad credit can actually help you save money. It’s best to go over the pros and cons before you make a commitment. There are many top-of-the-line cards that offer balance transfers for card carriers with less than perfect credit.

If you have a truly poor FICO rating, it’s highly possible that you will only be able to qualify for a secured card. These cards require a refundable security deposit as collateral, so there’s less risk to the card issuer. Therefore, it’s very easy to qualify for a secured card. However, even if you do qualify for a card that offers balance transfers, the interest rates for cards for poor credit are typically hefty, and few allow you to transfer the debt. Pay attention to balance transfer fees that tack on to your debt amount. Balance transfers as a way to pay down debt should be approached with caution and may not be your best option if you have poor credit.

Are there guaranteed approval cards for bad credit?

Few cards can offer 100 percent approval. Many often have some form of pre-approval or requirement, whether it’s having a minimum credit history, spending a certain amount each month, or even just having an open bank account.

Most card applicants can get guaranteed approval for secured cards as long as they can afford the refundable deposit. The deposit you put down is also your spending limit, so you can’t spend more than you can afford. Since the credit card company isn’t at great risk, they can afford to approve applicants with poor credit.

The OpenSky Secured Visa Card is a great secured card with almost guaranteed approval since it does not require a credit check when you apply. All you need is to be over 18, have a valid social security number, a mailing address in the U.S., and the funds to afford a minimum of $200. While the OpenSky Card has an annual fee, it is fairly low at $35. As long as you pay your monthly payments on time and don’t go over the spending limit, you can improve your FICO credit report.

What's the easiest credit card to get with bad credit?

The easiest credit cards to get when you have bad credit are secured cards like the Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card, the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, and the OpenSky? Secured Visa? Credit Card.

Can I get a credit card with a 500 credit score?

You can still qualify for a credit card with a 500 credit score. Many credit cards for bad credit don’t even require a credit check and can help you effectively improve your credit score.

What's the lowest credit score to get a credit card?

To qualify for an unsecured card for bad credit, you’ll still likely need a credit score of around 550 or higher. However, you can still qualify for a secured card with a score far lower than 550, as some secured cards don’t even require credit checks!

The comparison team is a proud partner of the LA Times and is a combination of expert writers, editors, and contributors specially selected for their extensive experience writing and working in the financial industry. Every article written is thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed, and then fact-checked by a member of The LA Times staff before publication to ensure you receive accurate information.

More info from Chime

  • *No Interest: Out of network ATM withdrawal fees and over the counter advance fees may apply. See?here?for details.
  • **No Minimum Security Deposit: Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.
  • The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa? Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.
  • To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.
  • **Safer Credit Building - On-time payment history may have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion?, Experian?, and Equifax?. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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