Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Let's get started rebuilding your credit history. Making on-time minimum payments with all your creditors and keeping account balances low relative to the credit limit are key to receiving positive marks on your credit history. Not everyone can qualify for our best credit cards, so if you have bad credit, choose from the top secured and unsecured credit card offers below to find the right card that can help you begin the rebuilding process. Take note - some of them are fee-based offers, so read carefully before you apply.

See offers from our partners below.

 APPLY ONLINE

at Capital One's
secure site

Credit Needed
Limited, Bad
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time with no additional deposit needed
  • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone or using our mobile app
  • It's a credit card accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • See additional Capital One® Secured Mastercard® details
 APPLY NOW

at Capital One's
secure site

Credit Needed
Limited, Bad
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    24.99% (Variable)
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Limited, Bad
 APPLY ONLINE

at Credit One Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • No deposit requirements and opportunities to build your credit
  • Enjoy the flexibility to choose your payment due date. Terms apply.
  • Receive opportunities for credit line increases, a fee may apply
  • See additional Credit One Bank® Cash Back Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Credit One Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    16.99% - 24.99% Variable
    Annual Fee
    $0 - $99
    Credit Needed
    Bad Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Must have a checking account to qualify
  • A credit card offer for those currently building credit history
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statement.
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals
  • Make your payments on time each month, and keep your balance low relative to the credit limit, for positive marks on your credit report.
  • The next First PREMIER Bank credit card customer could be you!
  • See additional First PREMIER® Bank MasterCard® Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    See Issuer Website
    Annual Fee
    See Issuer Website
    Credit Needed
    Fair/Bad Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at Mid America Bank & Trust's
secure site

Credit Needed
Bad/Fair
  • Checking Account Required
  • 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
  • If approved, simply pay a Processing Fee to open your account and access your available credit
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Select your favorite card design from our gallery, for free!
  • No-Fee credit line increase opportunities!
  • See additional Total VISA® Unsecured Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Mid America Bank & Trust's
secure site

Credit Needed
Bad/Fair
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    See Terms*
    Annual Fee
    See Terms*
    Credit Needed
    Bad/Fair
 APPLY ONLINE

at Fingerhut's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Holiday gifts they'll like, payments you'll love! Use your line of credit to shop over 550,000 items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt.
  • Take advantage of low monthly payments if you apply and are accepted for a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank, who determines eligibility and qualifications for the terms of credit
 APPLY NOW

at Fingerhut's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    See Issuer Website
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Fair/Bad Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at Credit One Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score.
  • This fully unsecured credit card with no deposit requirement can be helpful in growing or building credit. Your account activity will be reported monthly to all three major credit bureaus.
  • All the features you want in a credit card are included. Get 1% cash back on eligible purchases, take advantage of free online credit score tracking, and enjoy credit line increase opportunities. Terms apply.
  • See additional Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Credit One Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    16.99% - 24.99% Variable
    Annual Fee
    $0 - $99
    Credit Needed
    Bad Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Must have checking account to qualify.
  • Unlike some other issuers, we may approve those currently building their credit history.
  • Monthly reporting to the major Consumer Reporting Agencies.
  • Issued by FDIC-insured First PREMIER® Bank.
  • Only you can build a good credit history. Make your payments on time each month, and keep your balance low relative to the credit limit, for positive marks on your credit report each month.
  • Top 20 Issuer of MasterCard Credit Cards
  • See additional First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    See Issuer Website
    Annual Fee
    See Issuer Website
    Credit Needed
    Fair/Bad Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair/New to Credit
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • Your Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line.
  • You will need to provide your bank information when submitting your security deposit.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • New! Receive Free Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • See additional Discover it® Secured Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair/New to Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    10.99% for 6 months
    Regular APR
    23.99% Variable
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Fair/New to Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at Capital Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • No credit check necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • We have a Facebook community of people just like you; there is a forum for shared experiences, and insights from others on our Facebook Fan page. (Search "OpenSky Card" in Facebook.)
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card.
  • See additional OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card details
 APPLY NOW

at Capital Bank's
secure site

Credit Needed
No Credit Check
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    18.39% (Variable)
    Annual Fee
    $35
    Credit Needed
    No Credit Check
 APPLY ONLINE

at Genesis Bankcard Services's
secure site

Credit Needed
Bad/Poor
  • Quick pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
  • Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
  • Choose your custom card design - Free
  • Free online account access
  • Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
  • Accepted at over 35 Million Locations Worldwide!
  • Previous bankruptcy OK
  • See additional Milestone® Gold Mastercard® details
 APPLY NOW

at Genesis Bankcard Services's
secure site

Credit Needed
Bad/Poor
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    23.90%
    Annual Fee
    $35-$99 (varies by credit level)
    Credit Needed
    Bad/Poor
Show More Results


Compare Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Updated: December 1, 2017

Maybe you don’t have much experience with paying bills, or perhaps you’ve had a couple of late payments. Well, we’ve got your back.

The result of bad credit habits is that you can have a poor credit score, which lenders track to assess what loans and interest rates to give you. That’s why you want to shoot for a FICO score or VantageScore of at least a 700.

It may seem counterintuitive, but the best and fastest way to firm up that sagging credit is with a credit card. That’s right. Believe it or not, with the right credit card, you can improve your credit in a few short months. The trick is to know how.

Here’s what we look at:

  • How can you build your bad credit?
  • Do secured cards help your credit score?
  • Tips to improve your credit score
  • Tips for getting a credit card if you have bad credit

We’ll tell you how to build your credit so there aren’t any surprises along the way.

Our Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit: December 2017

How can you build your bad credit?

The easiest and fastest way to build your credit is with a credit card. It has to do with how the scoring models are set up. Does that strike fear into your heart? It’s actually pretty simple. You’ll need to pull your credit reports with the 3 major credit bureaus (check for errors); check your credit score (so you don’t apply for a card that requires a score above what you have); and create a workable budget (with room for saving and fun). Now, pick a secured card (make sure the bank reports to the credit bureaus), and pay on time and in full each month. Within months, your good credit habits will be reflected in your score.

Do secured cards help your credit score?

Secured cards are almost entirely for credit building. Here’s how they work: They require a refundable deposit, and your credit limit is typically that amount. They can have a few other features – some have no annual fee, and one gives you access to a higher credit limit after 5 months of good credit habits. Another doesn’t require a credit check. Secured credit cards are an excellent way to build your credit score when it’s not at its best. That said, beware of fees and make sure the card issuer will report your credit habits to all three major credit bureaus. Otherwise, all those good credit habits will go to waste.

6 tips to improve your credit score

  1. Pull your credit reports. Don’t stick your head in the sand. Scour your reports for errors, and request that the credit bureaus correct them.
  2. Check your credit score. You’ll need to know your score when choosing a credit card and to gauge how you’re doing.
  3. Take out a credit card. The easiest and fastest way to building credit is by taking out a credit card and using it every month.
  4. Don't apply for multiple cards. Every time you apply for a card, your credit takes a small, temporary hit. That’s why you want to make sure you apply for a card that you are likely to get.
  5. Pay on time and in full. This is the single most important thing you can do with your card to ensure your score keeps climbing. In fact, these two habits make up 65% of your FICO score, the dominant scoring model. They are also two of the most important factors with VantageScore, which you can access for free at creditcards.com
  6. Consider an installment loan. If you want to give your credit an extra boost, consider taking out an installment loan, such as a credit builder loan. A mix of credit makes up 10% of your FICO score, while it’s highly influential on VantageScore.

7 tips for getting a credit card if you have bad credit

  • What's on your credit report? It’s best to know what’s there so you can correct any problems.
  • What's your credit score? You’ll need this to know which card you will likely get approved for. Anything below 580 out of a scale of 300-850, and you’ll want to look at credit cards for bad or no credit.
  • Have you looked at secured cards? Secured cards are primarily designed for building credit when your credit isn’t great. You put down a refundable deposit of, say $200, and then you get a credit limit for that amount. Double-check with the bank to make sure it reports credit behavior to the credit bureaus. Also, check for any fees.
  • What does the card offer? Compare secured and unsecured cards (no required refundable deposit), looking at annual fees and other fees. Also, see if there are any rewards, such as 1% cash back on all purchases.
  • Applying for multiple cards? Don’t do it. It leaves the impression you are desperate for credit and it can impact your credit score.
  • Have you checked your credit union? Your credit union might have a credit-builder card for loyal customers.
  • Got the card? Pay in full and on time each month, and your credit score will rise in a few short months.

·         checked your credit union? Your credit union might have a credit-builder card for loyal customers.