Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Have bad credit? Consider a card designed to help you rebuild your credit history and improve your score. But heads up - some may have a security deposit or fee. New to credit cards? See offers from our partners for students or those with no credit. Looking for more? Go to CreditCards.com to browse card offers for other categories like 0% APR and cash back, or check out our expert's list of the best credit cards of 2018.

Looking for more? Go to CreditCards.com to browse card offers for other categories like 0% APR and cash back, or check out our expert's list of the best credit cards of 2018.

Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank

Apply Now Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Fingerhut offers more than 500,000 items including the brand names you want 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
  • Fast, easy online application process and a quick decision
  • Not an access card
Apply Now at Fingerhut's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
See Issuer Website
Annual Fee
$0
Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit

Self Lender — Credit Builder Account

Apply Now Credit Needed
See Terms
  • The first nationwide savings plan that builds credit
  • Savings plans start at $25/month and includes credit monitoring
  • Reports to all 3 credit bureaus. No hard credit pull and no credit history required
  • Self Lender helps you get a small loan that you save in a CD for 12 or 24 months (FDIC-insured certificate of deposit bank account)
  • At the end of account term you've built credit history and your CD savings unlocks
Apply Now at Self Lender Credit Builder's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
See Terms
Balance Transfers Intro APR
See Terms
Regular APR
See Terms
Annual Fee
See Terms
Credit Needed
See Terms

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • Find out if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Eligible purchases earn 1% cash back rewards automatically, terms apply
  • Get a credit line between $300 and $3,000 based on your credit history
  • Looking for more credit? Get credit line increase opportunities, a fee may apply
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Manage your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
Apply Now at Credit One Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
19.15% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 - $99
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

Surge Mastercard Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Initial Credit Limit of $500.00!* (subject to available credit)
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere that Mastercard® is accepted
  • Free online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
Apply Now at Celtic Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
See Terms*
Annual Fee
See Terms*
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

First PREMIER® Bank Classic Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Checking Account Required
  • We may approve those currently building their credit history
  • A credit card offer for those currently building credit history
  • A manageable credit limit can help you stay in control.
  • Monitor your account and make payments online
  • Track your progress. Your quarterly FICO Score is provided for free on your monthly billing statement.
  • Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges. Restrictions apply.
Apply Now at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site
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

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards

2,446 customer reviews

Apply Now Credit Needed
Bad Credit
  • See if you Pre-Qualify in less than 60 seconds—without affecting your credit score. It's fast, easy, and secure.
  • Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV. Terms apply.
  • This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card—not a debit card, prepaid card, or secured credit card with deposit requirements.
  • Credit One Bank automatically monitors every account for credit line increase opportunities each month. We'll notify you as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line. A fee may apply.
  • Take advantage of free online access to your Experian credit score and credit report summary so you can track the key factors impacting your credit health. Terms apply.
  • Zero Fraud Liability protects you if your card is ever lost or stolen. Rest easy knowing you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
  • Make payments, see recent transactions, and update your account preferences all from the palm of your hand with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Carry a card that makes you smile by choosing from over 20 unique card designs in Credit One Bank's card gallery. A fee may apply.
Apply Now at Credit One Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
N/A
Balance Transfers Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
19.15% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 - $99
Credit Needed
Bad Credit

First PREMIER® Bank Gold Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Must have checking account to qualify
  • Looking for a second chance at a credit card? We may approve you when others will not.
  • Know the score! Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statements
  • Reports your credit history to the major Consumer Reporting Agencies
  • This is a credit card - not a debit or prepaid card
  • A Gold credit card offer for those with less than perfect credit.
  • Apply for a credit card today - Get a response today!
  • Top 20 Issuer of MasterCard Credit Cards
Apply Now at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site
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

Credit One Bank® Offer Finder Tool

Apply Now Credit Needed
See Terms
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Rewards post to your account automatically each month
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • Free online monthly credit score tracking included
  • Flexible payment date to assist you in making your payments on time
Apply Now at Credit One Bank's
secure site
Purchases Intro APR
See Terms
Balance Transfers Intro APR
See Terms
Regular APR
See Terms
Annual Fee
See Terms
Credit Needed
See Terms

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

Apply Now 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
Apply Now at Genesis FS Card Services's
secure site
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

PREMIER Forward® MasterCard® Credit Card

Apply Now Credit Needed
Fair/Bad Credit
  • Must have checking account to qualify
  • A good choice for those with less than perfect credit.
  • Credit card response in 60 seconds or less
  • Monitor your account and make payments online
  • Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges. Restrictions apply.
  • Featuring Chip Technology, protecting you if your card is used without your permission
  • Track your progress. Your quarterly FICO Score is provided for free on your monthly billing statement.
Apply Now at First PREMIER® Bank's
secure site
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

Comparing Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Updated: February 19, 2018

CreditCards.com's Best Credit Cards for People with Bad Credit:

Here’s the good news about bad credit – it’s a temporary state. No matter how low your credit, with a change in habits and consistency, you can improve your score within months. Here, we look at:

  • What do cards for bad credit offer?
  • How to properly use a credit card for bad credit
  • What happens to me if I miss a card payment?
  • What should I do if I miss a card payment?

Not sure where to start? We can help:

What do cards for bad credit offer?

  • Credit building. The greatest advantage to a card for bad credit is that you can build your credit. That said, make sure your card issuer reports your good credit habits to the 3 major credit bureaus.
  • No annual fee. Cards for bad credit or no credit will sometimes be offered with no annual fee.
  • Unsecured credit. Some secured cards will evaluate your credit after several months to see if you qualify for an unsecured line of credit. In some cases, you can get an unsecured card right away for bad credit, although there may be fees.
  • Rewards. For example, the Discover it Secured Card lets you earn 2% cash back on restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter. It’s 1% back on all other purchases.
  • Choose your payment date. The Credit One Visa Credit Card allows you to pick the date when your payment is due.
  • FICO score. Some cards, such as the First Premier Bank Mastercard, provide your quarterly FICO score on your monthly statement.
  • No processing or application fees. Some cards for bad credit don’t charge processing or application fees.
  • Car rentals and hotels. Many hotels and car rental businesses require a credit card to make reservations or require you to present one when you arrive. A credit card for bad credit can be used for that, although you want to make sure the company doesn’t put a hold on your card that exceeds you credit limit.

How to properly use a credit card for bad credit

  1. Pay on time. The single most important aspect of building credit is on-time payments. It takes months to build good habits (and a good score). It takes one late payment to drop your score as much as 100 points. You can also face late fees and a rise in your interest rate for late payments.
  2. Put a small charge on it. To keep your account active, place a small charge on your card each month. You can’t build credit if your card is canceled for inactivity.
  3. Pay in full. The second most important aspect of building credit is your utilization ratio, which is your balance by your available credit. You want to keep it as low as possible. How? By paying in full each month.
  4. Pay multiple times a month. While you’re at it, pay in full multiple times a month, because you don’t know when the issuer will send your data to the credit bureaus. Also, because you have a low credit limit with a starter card, you have less room for maintaining a low utilization ratio. If you have $500 in available credit, and you have a balance of $250, that means your ratio is at 50%, which is much too high. You want the ratio as close to 0% as possible.
  5. Check your credit. Regularly check your credit with the 3 major credit bureaus for errors. Have the bureaus correct any errors you find.

What happens to me if I miss a card payment?

  • Impact on your credit score. The higher your credit score, the harder a late payment can hit you. FICO data shows that a payment that is 30 days late can cause a 90- to 110-point drop for a consumer with a 780 score who has never missed a payment.
  • Late fee. Even if you are a day late on paying your credit card, you can face a late fee. Some issuers, such as Discover, have cards that don’t charge a late fee your first time.
  • Interest rate hike. If you regularly miss payments, the issuer may raise your interest rate. That means you will pay more each month if you carry a balance.
  • Lose your card. If you violate the card agreement enough, you can lose the card altogether.

What should I do if I miss a card payment?

  • Call your card issuer. Don’t put your head in the sand. As soon as you realize you’ve missed a payment, contact the issuer and make it right.
  • Make a budget. That missed payment is a wakeup call – establish on a spreadsheet or app a realistic budget, with room for fun and saving. Also, set up reminders so that you don’t forget again.
  • Raise the money. Have a balance you’re struggling to pay down? Look at taking on a part-time job or selling unwanted items on Craigslist. Or use your new-found budgeting skills to cut costs and pay off the debt.
  • Stay current on your other accounts. While you work to resolve the late payments, keep paying your other accounts on time.
  • Consider automatic debits. While not a cure-all, automatic payments can help you pay on time. Keep in mind that if you debit the minimum due on a credit card, you are paying interest if there’s a balance carried over.
  • Monitor your credit report. That late payment will stay on your account for 7 years, but newer habits will have greater importance. That said, regularly check your credit reports for errors and have the credit bureaus correct them.

Recap: Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit 2018

CardAnnual FeeDeposit RequirementInstant Approval
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®$0$49, $99, or $200 (Refundable)Yes
Discover it® Secured Card$0$200 (Refundable)Yes
Total VISA® Unsecured Credit CardSee Terms*NoneYes
Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card$0 - $99NoneYes
First PREMIER® Bank Mastercard® Credit CardSee Issuer WebsiteNoneYes
First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card$49$200 or more (Refundable)Yes
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Free Credit Score Tracking$0 - $99NoneYes
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card$29$200 - $2,000 (Refundable)Yes
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card$35$200 or more (Refundable)Yes
First PREMIER® Bank Credit CardSee Issuer WebsiteNoneYes

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, we ask that you do not disclose confidential or personal information such as your bank account number, phone number, or email address. Keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by the card issuers or advertisers. Additionally, the card issuer or advertiser does not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

See the online credit card applications for details about the terms and conditions of an offer. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button, you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the issuer's web site.

* For additional rates, fees and costs see issuer's website for detailed pricing and terms.