Having credit cards can be an advantage and a means of increasing convenience and comfort in your daily life. But if used incorrectly, or if you have the wrong kind of credit card, this can get you in a lot of trouble (financial or otherwise).
Choosing the best credit card for your lifestyle and getting approved can be the most challenging part. Each card is different and has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It is especially hard to find a credit card that can help you improve your bad credit.
Let’s take a look at 17 of the best credit cards specifically designed for people with bad credit. The list below is broken down by unsecured, secured and prepaid cards (note: unlike secured and unsecured credit cards, prepaid debit cards cannot help you build your credit history)
8 Best Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Capital One’s Platinum Credit Card
Capital One’s Platinum Credit Card allows people with a poor credit score to access an unsecured credit card without paying a large annual fee, but the interest rates are high. The card includes many benefits of a typical credit card such as access to your credit score and fraud protection. If you make your monthly payments on time, you can qualify for a higher credit line. There is no annual fee for this card. This card is best for credit scores of 560 to 750.
Deserve Classic MasterCard
The Deserve Classic MasterCard is designed for people with bad credit. It provides a lot of benefits that you rarely see for this kind of credit card such as price protection, auto rental collision waivers, and travel assistance. You don’t need a SSN to get this card, making it easier for more people to qualify. The card is not a secured card so there’s no requirement for you to deposit your own money and it has an annual fee of $39. It is best for a credit score range of 680 to 850.
Milestone Gold MasterCard
The Milestone Gold MasterCard is a great card because it allows applicants to check if they qualify for the unsecured credit card. This means that you won’t take a hit on your credit if you don’t qualify. There is an annual fee of as much as $99, but the fee depends on your credit score. The lower your credit score, the higher the annual fee will be. This card is best for a credit score range of 550 to 650.
Wal-Mart Credit Card
The Wal-Mart Credit card is surprisingly a great unsecured credit card for people with bad credit. It is easy to qualify for the card, and there are great rates tied to it. The card features $0 fraud liability and free access to your FICO score. The card even offers 3% discounts for Wal-Mart purchases. The Wal-Mart credit card has no annual fee and it is best for a credit score range of 550 to 850.
Indigo Platinum MasterCard
The Indigo Platinum MasterCard is another unsecured card for you to build up your credit. You can quality for this card if your score is bad and you are having a hard time qualifying for an unsecured card. The card offers benefits such as travel insurance, car rental insurance, and an extended warranty on purchases. But the card does not offer any rewards program. The card has an annual fee of $99 ($75 for the first year) and it is best for credit scores that range from 550 to 650.
Credit One Bank Visa Platinum Credit Card
The Credit One Bank Visa Platinum credit card is one of the best cards for building your credit score because of its interest rates and a relatively low annual fee for the first year. The credit line for this card starts at $300, but you can qualify for an increase if you make your first monthly payments on time. You can also ask if you qualify for the card, so you won’t be penalized if you don’t qualify. The card has an annual fee of $75 and it is best for a credit score that ranges from 560 to 850.
Discover It Chrome Unsecured Card for Students
The Discover It Chrome credit card is a great credit card for students who want to improve their bad credit. The qualifications for this card are being enrolled in a 4-year college, and you can get accepted if you are a student, even with a low credit score. The card does not have an annual fee, no penalty APR, no late fees, no over the limit fees, and you can even get cash back if you treat the card well.
Marathon Visa Credit Card
The Marathon Visa credit card is another unsecured credit card that is great for rebuilding your credit score. The card is easy to apply for even with scores in the low 600s. The interest rates depend on your credit score, but the range is very wide. The credit line for the card is low at first, but it can be increased with regular payments. It is also a great card for gas price rebates. The card has no annual fee and the rebates are great for rebuilding your credit. The card is best for a credit score range of 700 to 850.
7 Best Secured Credit Cards for Bad Credit
Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred
The Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred card is one of the best options for a secured card. Aside from being a secured card, it also has a very low interest rate. There is no minimum credit score and the annual fee is only $48. While there is no minimum credit score, it still works best for scores that range from 300 to 640.
OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
The OpenSky Visa Credit Card is one of the best options because it is among the most affordable. Card holders can pick their credit lines that range from as high as $3,000 to as low as just $20. Your credit line will be secured with a refundable security deposit. There are no credit checks and there is no checking account required. The card has an annual fee of $35 and it is best for credit scores from 300-700.
DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card
The DCU Visa Platinum card is another great secured card out there. The card is a great option for people with bad credit because of its low APR. The only downside is that your credit limit is tied to your security deposit, which is a minimum of $500. But the card has no annual fee and there are several benefits such as travel bonuses and free auto rental collision damage waiver. The card is best for a credit score of 300 to 640.
State Department Federal Credit Union EMV Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card
The SDFCU EMV Savings Secured Visa Card has one of the best rates out there. There are no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees, and very low interest rates. The card does not require proof of income or a credit check so you won’t take a hit with your application. Anyone can join the SDFCU by choosing the American Consumer Council when filling out an application. The card has a low security deposit minimum of only $250. The card is best for a credit score range of 700 to 850.
America First Credit Union Secured Visa
America First Secured Visa is another great card with credit unions. The card has low rates and a credit limit that ranges from $200 to $15,000. The card is great for people who are rebuilding their credit scores because you can qualify for a large credit limit. The card has no annual fee and is best for credit score ranges from 300 to 640.
First Progress Platinum Elite Secured MasterCard
The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard is another great secured card because of its low rates and very low annual fee. The card requires no credit history or a minimum credit score, but the penalties and cash advance rates are very high. The card also has a maximum credit limit of $2,000. The card has an annual fee of just $29, and it is best for a score range of 300 to 640.
Harley-Davidson Visa Secured Card
If you own a Harley Davidson then this card is for you. But actually, even if you don’t, the Harley-Davidson Visa secured card is one of the best secured cards out there. The card has a rewards points system that you can redeem for Harley Davidson gift cards. The card also features fraud protection and an auto rental collision damage waiver. The secured deposit is still required to get an initial credit limit, but there is no annual fee. The card is best for a credit score range of 300 to 700.
Two Best Prepaid Credit Cards for Bad Credit
American Express Serve
The American Express Serve card is a prepaid debit card for bad credit with a low monthly fee. It also provides free mobile check deposits, bank transfers, and direct deposits. The card has a maximum monthly service fee of only $1 and it has a maximum balance of $100,000. The card has no benefits for increasing your credit score, but it can certainly help someone who simply wants to be able to pay for transactions or learn how to be more responsible with credit.
American Express Bluebird
The American Express Bluebird is one of the best prepaid cards out there in terms of fees. There is no monthly fee, regardless of how much you reload or if you have a direct deposit in your account. The money can be transferred from any Wal-Mart cash register or through purchasing reloads. Withdrawals do cost around $2 each in fees.