Improving or repairing your credit score can help you gain access to renters, lenders, and potential future employers. If you have poor credit ratings between 300 and 579, you can benefit from a card made specifically for you.
We have compiled a list of the best credit cards for bad credit to make it easier to find one that meets your needs. While the number of credit cards available to you will be limited, there will still be plenty to select from.
The majority of these choices have low qualification requirements or are secured credit cards, making them available to nearly anyone. On-time payments and keeping a low balance with one of these cards can help improve a bad credit score.
Top 5 Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit in 2022:
- OpenSky: Overall Best Credit Card for Bad Credit; No Credit Check
- Surge Mastercard: Top Credit Card Lenders for Poor Credit Score
- First Access Card: Trusted Credit Card Lender for Personal Accounts
- FIT Mastercard: Secured Credit Card for Bad Credit
- Reflex Mastercard: Credit Card for Low Credit Scores
Here are the detailed reviews of our top picks:
#1. OpenSky: Overall Best Credit Card for Bad Credit; No Credit Check
OpenSky is a well-known company that has been in operation since 2018. Despite the fact that they are new to the market, they are growing increasingly famous. Their primary purpose is to offer you the best online services as well as fantastic deals.
OpenSky might be of great assistance if you wish to grow your business. So, regardless of how big or small your business is, they can provide you with a wide range of services. Starting with their famous credit card, which can be used anywhere, it allows you to buy a variety of products such as clothing, food, household goods, and so on.
Furthermore, they aim to assist you in improving your credit score. So, when you apply for their credit card, you will gain the benefits of a higher credit score, and you can always get free of charge verification on your past and current record score.
- They report to all three main credit agencies — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.
- Customer Portal is specially designed to help you navigate your past and current credit history.
- It is easy to fill out an application form that you can find on their official website. All you need to provide is some personal information, such as your name, date of birth, address, phone number, and so on.
- It takes around 12 to 14 business days for your request to be processed.
- Their great customer care team will contact you back as soon as possible to inform you if you have been approved.
- They do not check your credit history. So even if you have a bad credit score, you can get one of their credit cards.
- Their terms and conditions are completely transparent, and they do not have any hidden fees.
- They use encryption to keep all of your personal information safe and out of the hands of scammers.
- You can use the card to pay for items such as groceries, recurring bills such as your phone bill, or any other bills.
- OpenSky does not require you to have a bank account before you can open an account with them.
- They offer various significant perks, but they are mostly focused on account management to assist you in improving your credit score.
- Legitimate company
- Simple application process
- No credit check
- Fast approval
- Many satisfied customers
- High customer ratings
- Transparent about their fees
- 2% cashback guaranteed in specific shops
- Many additional fees
- Charges an annual fee
- Must meet eligibility requirements
#2. Surge Mastercard: Top Credit Card Lender for Poor Credit Score
This is a credit card for people with a bad or poor credit score. The card’s provider, Celtic Bank, considers applicants with poor credit. However, it is not a secured card, and they do not require an upfront security deposit upon approval, unlike most credit cards geared at the subprime market.
Continental Finance reports your payment history to all three major credit agencies, TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax, same as OpenSky. They are allowing cardholders and you to establish credit through responsible use.
The Surge card will help you improve your credit history, but it will cost you money. Depending on your creditworthiness, the card may come with a high annual cost.
In addition to the potential charge, the card has monthly maintenance fees that the company is completely transparent about. Before purchasing this card, you need to make sure you have all of your debts completely paid off so you can reap the benefits the card has to offer.
- The Surge Mastercard has an initial credit limit of $300 to $1,000. Also, you can extend your credit limit if you make your first six monthly payments before the due date.
- You can always make an effort to pay your monthly debts on time and also inform your lender of any changes to your income to increase your credit.
- This Mastercard has an initial credit limit that starts from $300 to $1,000. In six months, you could be qualified for a credit limit increase, which benefits your overall credit score.
- They perform monthly credit bureau reporting to all three major bureaus.
- The application process is quick and simple, with results in seconds. So, you do not have to wait for approval in 12 to 14 business days.
- You can use your credit card at any store and location since Mastercard credit cards are accepted worldwide.
- Zero Fraud Liability Protection means your personal information is completely secure from the hands of thieves.
- You also get a free checking account; in this way, you will be able to check all of your payment histories and future payments.
- You can also check your credit score for free, any time you like.
- They have a great customer care service that is here to help you 24/7.
- Great customer reviews
- Simple application process
- Build your credit score
- Qualify for a higher credit limit in six months
- Transparent about their fees
- Great customer care service
- No credit check
- Annual fee up to $99
- High APR when compared to other cards
#3. First Access Card: Trusted Credit Card Lender for Personal Accounts
The Bank of Missouri issues the First Access Visa Card under license from Visa Inc. This card is famous among thousands of people who have bad credit, and now they are enjoying the benefits of using this card.
If you have had credit problems in the past or want to improve your credit, being approved for a new credit card can be challenging. In such cases, the First Access Visa Credit Card attempts to attract customers. The card features an easy application process and makes it plain on its website that you do not need a high credit score to apply.
The First Access Card is a genuine Visa credit card that does not require a flawless credit score to be approved. All you have to do is fill out a simple online application form and receive a response in less than 60 seconds. They offer a fast approval time, so you do not have to wait for days to get approved.
- They provide a simple online registration and application form. All you have to do is visit their official website and fill out the application form with personal information such as your phone number, SSN, email address, home address, and so on.
- You must be at least 18 years of age or older if you would like to register for the card.
- Once you fill out the form, you can expect approval in one minute. They have a fast approval time, so you do not have to wait a long period.
- The credit limit of $300 might increase depending on your payments.
- As long as you consistently make your payments before the due date or on the exact due date, you might see that your credit score is increasing with time.
- The company is making monthly reports to the three major credit reporting agencies to help you improve your credit score.
- They may accept you even if you have a bad credit score, while most other companies are not able to do the same for you.
- You can request an increase in your credit limit after your second year.
- Transparent about additional fees
- Simple application process
- User-friendly website
- Credit limit of $300
- Accept bad credit holders
- Fast approval time
- High annual fee
- Additional fees are required
#4. FIT Mastercard: Secured Credit Card for Bad Credit
The FIT Mastercard is for customers wanting to repair or create credit, and it provides monthly payment data to all three major financial bureaus. There is an initial credit limit of $400, and after six months, you may be eligible for a credit limit increase. This card is available for everyone who chooses online accounts and who would like to examine their score for free every month.
However, you will have to pay extra fees to use this card, and you will not get any points. This card can help you improve or develop your credit score, but it also comes with an annual percentage fee that you need to take into consideration before applying.
- You can always apply for a FIT Mastercard and get approved since they do not perform credit checks.
- They are reporting to all three major credit agencies to help you improve your credit score.
- The credit growth limit growth is as large as the original limit. So, your initial limit is $400, which doubles to $800 simply by making your six-month payments on your due date or any time before your due date.
- You only need to be at least 18 years old and have a personal checking account to verify the card.
- All you need to do is pull up their main website and fill out the application. It will take you only a few minutes, and all you need to enter is some of your personal information, such as your name, SSN, home address, and so on.
- You will know in one minute if you are eligible and if you are approved for the card.
- They provide free access to your Vantage 3.0 score.
- You can use the FIT Mastercard worldwide and anywhere they accept Mastercard. This means you can do online shopping for home items, clothes, and much more.
- Great customer ratings
- Friendly and highly rated customer care representatives
- Credit limit of $400
- Mobile app for both Android and iOS
- Free credit score
- High APR
- Many additional fees
- Charges monthly free from the second year and on
#5. Reflex Mastercard: Credit Card for Low Credit Scores
This card is issued by Celtic Bank and has a variable interest rate and a lower-than-average credit line. But with financial responsibility, this credit card can help you a lot.
For starters, if you have good credit, this card is not for you. Reflex designs this card exclusively for clients who want to improve their bad credit score without incurring a lot of debt. This unsecured credit card provider will disclose your payment and balance history to all three major credit agencies each month and will give you the possibility to double your credit limit within the first six months.
But, that is not the only thing this card has to offer you. Despite the bundle fees and high APR, this card can be perfect for people trying to improve their credit score in no time.
- You get a credit limit of up to $1,000 that can double in six months for up to $2,000. All you have to do is make all of your first six payments on time.
- You can check to see whether you are pre-qualified without affecting your credit score.
- Even if you have a bad credit score or no score at all, you can still apply for a credit card.
- Access to your Vantage Score is unrestricted, meaning you can always check your status without any additional fees.
- They report monthly to the three major credit bureaus to help you increase your credit score.
- The application process is easy and simple. All you have to do is visit their main website and fill out the simple application form with your personal information such as your name, home address, SSN, phone number, and so on.
- The approval process takes around one minute up to a few minutes. Overall, you will be approved in a fast period of time, and you do not have to wait for a few days to get approved.
- Many users are completely satisfied by the great customer service and their overall help with many credit card questions.
- Transparent about additional fees and services
- Fast approval
- Great customer care service
- Amazing reviews by their customers
- You can use their card anywhere
- Credit limit of up to $1,000
- Many additional fees
- High APR
How We Made This List
To create our list, we evaluated many options to identify the best credit cards for bad credit. The most important criteria we took into consideration includes:
The interest rate of a credit card is the cost of borrowing money. This is referred to as the annual percentage rate. Due to the fact that applicants with bad credit are more likely to default on their payments, credit cards for bad credit often have higher interest rates. We looked at whether a card’s APR was competitive and how it compared to the industry average.
Annual fees and security deposits are common on credit cards for people with low credit scores. They may also include some hidden fees for products such as replacement cards. We took into consideration the cards with low fees and those who are completely transparent regarding this issue.
Although you will not be able to gain top-tier rewards if you have a bad credit score, there are a few options that can allow you to earn money on your purchases. While rewards may not be the most crucial element to consider when looking for a credit card for low credit, we nonetheless prioritize cashback cards.
Many cards allow you to boost your credit limit, as well as provide tools to track your credit score for free. Also, many companies provide you with enhanced security and regular reporting to the major financial bureaus. Some of these advantages can significantly improve your credit score.
There really is no single best credit card for rebuilding credit because, when used appropriately, any card can improve your credit score for free if it is fully repaid every month. In so many ways, having a good credit score can make your life easier.
It not only makes it easier to get approved for many popular credit cards, but it also means you will get better mortgage and car loan terms. Credit ratings can even influence whether or not you can rent an apartment, the insurance rates you pay, and whether or not you are hired for a new job.
- Credit scores are divided into five categories, ranging anywhere from low to excellent. An outstanding score falls in the 800 to 850 range.
- An excellent score varies from 740 to 799.
- A very good credit score varies from 670 to 739.
- A reasonable credit score varies from 580 to 669.
- A poor or bad credit score varies from 300 to 579.
Factors That Have an Impact on Your Credit Score
- Payment History: Paying your invoices on time each month establishes a good payment history with lenders. Also, it helps you demonstrate your ability to pay back your loans.
- A Mix of Accounts: Lenders prefer to see a combination of loans and credit cards to demonstrate that you can appropriately manage both. Credit cards reflect your capacity to resist spending your credit limit, whereas loans demonstrate your ability to make regular payments.
- New Credit Cards: The inquiry from each credit application might linger on your credit record for up to two years. When you apply for many credit accounts in a short period of time, lenders assume you are in financial problems.
What to Look for in the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit
- Fees that are not disclosed: While some credit cards have no annual fee, they may include an application fee or monthly fees.
- A grace period: The grace period refers to the number of days you have after the statement credit closes to pay the debt without incurring interest. For this feature, the longer the grace period, the better. The best credit cards for bad credit offer more than a 25-day grace period.
- Fees for international transactions: Banks might charge you up to 3% or more of the transaction value as a fee when you travel internationally or buy anything online from another country. This cost is fully waived with some of the credit cards that we have mentioned.
- Fees for late payments: What is the penalty for paying late on a credit card? Late fees vary, although most charge around $30, with a few issuers waiving late costs entirely.
- Fees for going over the limit: Many credit cards have low beginning limits, making it simple for customers to exceed them. Make sure you pay enough attention to the fees charged by your credit card and use it cautiously to prevent exceeding your credit limit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1. In terms of credit cards, what does “poor or bad credit” imply?
A credit score of less than 630 on a scale of 300 to 850 is considered bad credit. Credit scores indicate how hazardous or safe it is to lend money to someone. The lower the score, the larger the risk. Suppose you have made a series of credit blunders, such as missing payments or having invoices handed over to collection agencies.
Your credit score may fall into the bad credit score category. Also, if you are new to credit, you may not have a credit score at all, which is functionally identical to negative credit in many ways. So, you will be seen as a higher risk because you have not yet proven your ability to manage borrowed funds.
Q2. Is it possible to receive a credit card with poor credit?
There are credit cards specifically tailored for those with bad credit from several credit card companies. All of the above-mentioned companies are some of the best on the market. These are typically starter cards, meaning they do not offer any rewards or privileges, carry high-interest rates, and have hefty fees.
Secure credit cards involve a cash deposit that the card issuer holds as collateral in the event you fail to pay your payment. When you close your account in good standing or upgrade to a normal card, you will receive that money back.
Q3. Is it possible to repair my credit with a retail credit card?
A store credit card could be a good alternative for people with weak credit because it has a low entrance barrier and allows you to develop credit while earning rewards at your favorite store. However, retail credit cards have significant disadvantages, such as high APRs, limited acceptance, and so on. The benefits may sometimes tempt you to overspend.
Q4. Is it possible for a credit card company to put you on a blacklist?
While there is no official blacklist, if you have previously not paid your debts towards a credit company, they may be hesitant to extend you new credit for years. According to one consumer reporting organization that collects reports of fraud or checking account misuse, it may notify you if you have a history of failed checks or if you are refusing to settle a negative balance at your bank. They will keep track of your activity for years to make sure you are not misusing the credit card.
Q5. Should I expect rewards?
Many credit cards provide you incentives for your purchases, but the majority do not. While getting cashback is a big advantage, bear in mind that rewards are only useful if you do not go overboard with your shopping and do not carry a balance.
Q6. What does “pre-qualification” imply?
It is worth noting that certain credit cards for those with bad credit may pre-qualify you online without a formal credit investigation. Instead, pre-qualifying will result in a soft query on your credit report, which will not have the same impact as a hard inquiry.
Q7. What is the difference between secured and unsecured credit cards for bad credit?
Secured cards demand an initial deposit, which acts as an additional layer of protection for the card issuer if you fail to make payments. Your credit limit is frequently determined by the deposit that you make. However, you may be given a credit line that exceeds your original deposit.
Unsecured credit cards do not require a deposit, unlike secured credit cards. You can buy things, charge them to your account, and then pay off the balance. Unsecured credit cards for those with bad credit, on the other hand, are more likely to have hidden fees and higher than average interest rates.
Q8. Is it possible to be approved for a credit card without a bank account?
Obtaining a credit card without a bank account will be extremely tough. Even most deposit-backed cards require you to have a bank account.
Your bank account information is not shown on your credit report, and it has no bearing on your credit score. Lenders, on the other hand, look at your checking savings to see if you have the financial means to take on extra debt.
If you do not have a bank account but have a credit card, you can pay your security deposit with a money order or have someone submit a check on your behalf to the issuer.
Q9. Is a deposit required for all secured credit cards?
Regular “unsecured” cards do not require a cash security deposit. However, secured credit cards must. To establish your secured card account, you must deposit money first, often $200 or more. The deposit is meant to safeguard the issuer if you fail to pay your bill.
Q10. Is it possible to transfer a balance with bad credit?
Although a balance transfer with bad credit is technically conceivable, it is unlikely to be practical. The only balance transfer cards you are likely to qualify for are secured cards, so it is usually best to focus on paying your bill and developing your credit for a while until you get eligible for better balance transfer cards.
Q11. What is APR?
APR makes it easier to compare different cards. This is because every credit card APR is computed in the same way, using the same spending amounts and credit limits. All APRs are based on the same credit limit.
Furthermore, they always presume you would spend the entire amount on the first day and then repay it in equal, monthly installments for a year with no additional expenditure. Also, they do not take into account any other interest you might be paying on your card.
The APR is also determined by the sort of interest rate that applies to the majority of cardholders. Because many individuals use credit cards to make purchases, this is usually the Standard Purchase Rate.
The most crucial reason for someone with bad credit to use a credit card is to improve their minimum credit score and develop excellent financial habits. Any card on our list must report regular payments to the three major financial agencies as a general rule.
In our list, we have provided you with pre-qualification prior to application and credit-building tools to aid in the improvement of your credit score. We hope we have provided you with the most crucial features about each of the credit cards for bad credit for you to decide on which company to choose from our list of best credit cards for bad credit.