8 Best Credit Cards for People With Bad Credit in 2021

Have you been thinking about applying for a credit card, but you’re concerned about your low FICO score? Worry not, as you can apply for the best credit cards for people with bad credit and get the right card for your needs.

Though they can facilitate your purchases, credit cards for low credit have another much greater advantage. They can help you improve your credit score and make it easier to qualify for loans or credit cards in the future.

If you’re struggling with bad credit, the credit cards we have reviewed are the fastest way to boost your score and build your credit history. Some will even earn you substantial rewards whenever you make specific purchases.

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Top 8 Credit Cards for People With Bad Credit in 2021

1. First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard®

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card aims to help cardholders build their credit or improve their credit history. As one of the best cards for rebuilding credit, it has no minimum FICO nor credit history requirements. Full Review

  • APR: 19.99%
  • Annual fee: $29
  • Security deposit: $200–$2,000

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card aims to help cardholders build their credit or improve their credit history. As one of the best cards for rebuilding credit, it has no minimum FICO nor credit history requirements. Full Review

2. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards for bad credit scores that enables you to build your credit history without charging annual fees. It also allows you to get a higher credit line after only six months of use. Full Review

  • APR: 26.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Security deposit: $200

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards for bad credit scores that enables you to build your credit history without charging annual fees. It also allows you to get a higher credit line after only six months of use. Full Review

3. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is one of the best secured credit cards for bad credit applicants. It’s also an excellent option for individuals without a bank account. Full Review

  • APR: 17.39%
  • Annual fee: $35
  • Security deposit: $200

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is one of the best secured credit cards for bad credit applicants. It’s also an excellent option for individuals without a bank account. Full Review

4. Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured is among the best credit cards for bad credit as it not only allows its cardholders to reap the rewards but also to (re)build their credit history and boost their FICO. Full Review

  • APR: 22.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Security deposit: $200+

Discover it® Secured is among the best credit cards for bad credit as it not only allows its cardholders to reap the rewards but also to (re)build their credit history and boost their FICO. Full Review

5. Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® is among the best unsecured credit cards for bad credit for cardholders who seek a credit card to rebuild their damaged credit. Full Review

  • APR: 24.90%
  • Annual fee: $0–$99
  • Security deposit: None

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® is among the best unsecured credit cards for bad credit for cardholders who seek a credit card to rebuild their damaged credit. Full Review

6. Milestone Mastercard®

Milestone Mastercard® is meant for applicants with less-than-perfect or damaged credit. As such, it’s one of the best unsecured bad credit credit cards for people who want to fix their credit. Full Review

  • APR: 24.90%
  • Annual fee: $35–$99
  • Security deposit: None

Milestone Mastercard® is meant for applicants with less-than-perfect or damaged credit. As such, it’s one of the best unsecured bad credit credit cards for people who want to fix their credit. Full Review

7. FIT Mastercard®

Issued by Continental Finance Company, FIT Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards to apply for with bad credit since it doesn’t have stringent credit score requirements. Also, as an unsecured card, it doesn’t require a deposit. Full Review

  • APR: 17.99%–23.99%
  • Annual fee: $0–$99
  • Security deposit: None

Issued by Continental Finance Company, FIT Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards to apply for with bad credit since it doesn’t have stringent credit score requirements. Also, as an unsecured card, it doesn’t require a deposit. Full Review

8. Credit One Bank® Visa®

Credit One Bank® Visa® is the best unsecured credit card to rebuild credit that won’t force you to sacrifice cashback. Full Review

  • APR: 17.99%–23.99%
  • Annual fee: $0–$99
  • Security deposit: None

Credit One Bank® Visa® is the best unsecured credit card to rebuild credit that won’t force you to sacrifice cashback. Full Review

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit in 2021

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Best for increasing credit line
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Best for credit building
Discover it® Secured Best for earning cashback
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Best for no credit history
Indigo® Mastercard® Best for high approval odds
Milestone Mastercard® Best for fixing credit
FIT Mastercard® Best for emergencies
Credit One Bank® Visa® Best for the credit protection program

Detailed Reviews

  • APR: 19.99%
  • Annual fee: $29
  • Security deposit: $200–$2,000
  • Cashback: N/A
  • Credit line: $200
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Sign-up bonus: N/A

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card for low credit score is an excellent alternative if you’re seeking to improve or build your credit. Since it doesn’t require credit history, nor does it perform a hard credit pull, you needn’t worry about harming your score as the application won’t affect your credit score.

Keep in mind that First Progress Platinum Elite doesn’t accept residents from all 50 American states. So, if you live in Iowa, New York, Wisconsin, and Arkansas, you won’t be eligible to apply for this no credit check credit card.

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Rewards & Offers

Like the great majority of secured credit cards, First Progress Platinum Elite doesn’t grant any cashback, rewards, or bonuses. However, there are still some perks typical for all Mastercard credit cards included.

First Progress promises high identity protection. Thus, whenever a suspicious activity related to your credit card or personal info is detected, you’ll be immediately alerted. Moreover, if Mastercard discovers any fraud, it will help you resolve the issue. Similarly, the company grants zero liability insurance. So, should you stumble upon unauthorized purchases on your Mastercard for bad credit, you will be completely covered.

Lastly, Mastercard grants you emergency assistance regardless of where you happen to be in the world. You may rest assured that you’ll be supported entirely while using ATMs, reporting a stolen or lost credit card, or getting an urgent card replacement.

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Pricing & Fees

Given that First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® is secured, you’ll need to deposit a minimum of $200 before applying for any of these credit cards for low credit. In case your application is rejected, the deposit will be returned to you. The maximum sum you can initially deposit is $2000.

In addition to the mandatory deposit, First Progress charges an annual fee of $29. While the fee isn’t that high, there are secured credit cards that don’t charge them at all. The standard APR is 19.99%, but you can avoid it by making all your payments on time.

In case you’re late with your payment, you’ll be charged a penalty fee of up to $40. If your payment is returned, First Progress will charge a return payment penalty fee of up to $29.

Unlike other best credit cards for bad credit score, First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® has a cash advance APR of 24.99% in addition to the cash advance transaction fee of 3% or $10, whichever is greater. Furthermore, it is not a great choice to use abroad, or for foreign online purchases, due to its foreign transaction fee of 3%.

What we liked & didn’t like

Since it doesn’t perform a credit pull, nor does it have credit history requirements, First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® bad credit credit cards are suitable for people who are struggling with no or damaged credit. The APR isn’t high, and the annual fee is acceptable. Like the majority of secured cards, it doesn’t offer any rewards or bonuses except the perks typical for all Mastercard credit cards.

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® comes with a range of fees and rates that may not only incur additional costs but also make it a poor option compared to other no credit check credit cards. Besides the standard APR, First Progress charges a cash advance APR, plus a cash advance transaction fee. Furthermore, it charges a foreign transaction fee of 3% of the transaction value, which will surely make you think twice before you use it outside the USA. If you find First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® a good fit because of the lack of credit check, make sure to read the fine print thoroughly and be wary of extra fees.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

BEST FOR

increasing credit line

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  • APR: 26.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Security deposit: $200
  • Cashback: N/A
  • Credit line: $200-$1,000
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0%
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Sign-up bonus: N/A

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is among the best credit cards for bad credit to consider if your goal is to boost your credit score. It accepts clients with a thin or limited credit history and poor FICO — the only requirements are a valid bank account and a security deposit. Capital One reports to the main credit bureaus, thus allowing you to significantly improve your credit history, provided that you make all payments on time and use the card responsibly.

As its name suggests, Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is a credit card for bad credit that requires a minimum deposit that depends on your creditworthiness. The credit line may be increased up to $1,000. Note that, even though Capital One accepts clients with bad FICO, this card isn’t meant for people whose credit is seriously damaged.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Rewards & Offers

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® doesn’t provide any cashback or rewards, as it is a credit card for people with no credit or bad credit whose aim is to build it. Still, it offers some perks to its clients. One of the most useful ones is the opportunity to pay less than the minimum line of credit of $200. Depending on your creditworthiness, you may be asked to deposit $49 or $99 with fair credit, or the entire sum of $200 if your credit is bad.

You can pay the deposit in installments with the minimum amount of $20 within 35 days upon approval. This feature makes Capital One® Secured Mastercard® one of the best secured credit cards for people with bad credit who are trying to stabilize their financial situation.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® also allows you to increase your credit line. To do so, you need to either raise the deposit sum within 35 days upon approval but before your card is activated, or make all your payments in time; the latter option will allow you to be taken into consideration for a higher limit within six months. In both cases, the maximum line of credit is $1,000.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Pricing & Fees

Capital One doesn’t charge an annual fee to users of this card, which makes it one of the most outstanding credit repair credit cards. In fact, the company only charges an APR of 26.99%. Though it might seem a bit high, it can easily be avoided by making timely payments. Additionally, you should avoid late or missing payments as Capital One will charge you a late fee of up to $40.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, so it’s an excellent secured credit card for bad credit to use abroad. Plus, it’s accepted worldwide, so you don’t have to worry about card acceptance issues during your travel.

Mind, however, that Capital One® Secured Mastercard® isn’t quite a good card for withdrawing cash as it charges a cash advance fee of 3% or $10, whichever is greater.

What we liked & didn’t like

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is one of the best credit cards for low credit, as it’s targeted at individuals who want to build their credit. All your payments are reported to major credit bureaus, so this is an excellent opportunity to improve your damaged credit and boost your FICO score. Since it’s secured, it requires a minimum deposit of $40, $99, and $200, which can be paid in installments. Though this credit limit might seem too tight, it can be increased within only six months upon approval.

On the downside, Capital One® Secured doesn’t grant any cashback and bonuses. However, it also doesn’t charge annual or foreign transaction fees, so there aren’t unnecessary costs.

  • APR: 17.39%
  • Annual fee: $35
  • Security deposit: $200
  • Cashback: N/A
  • Credit line: $200–$3,000
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Sign-up bonus: N/A

OpenSky® Secured Visa® is one of the best bad credit credit cards with guaranteed approval odds for new potential cardholders. This means that there will be no hard pull on your credit report when you apply for the card. The absence of a credit history requirement makes OpenSky® Secured Visa® a fantastic option for individuals with no or damaged credit that seek great approval odds.

Another great feature is that OpenSky® Secured Visa® doesn’t require a bank account. The only prerequisite for this secured credit card with no credit check is a deposit that acts as a credit limit. It’s worth knowing that OpenSky reports to all major credit bureaus, enabling you to build or repair your credit. Sadly, there isn’t a possibility of an automatic upgrade to the unsecured credit card.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Rewards & Offers

OpenSky® Secured Visa® doesn’t grant any rewards or bonuses except the basic perks typical for all credit cards. Thus, with OpenSky® Secured Visa®, you’ll only get $0 fraud liability and car rental insurance.

If you’re a cashback or rewards enthusiast, you might want to look for more favorable secured low credit credit cards or consider an upgrade to an unsecured credit card as soon as your credit is repaired.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Pricing & Fees

Unlike the majority of credit cards, OpenSky® Secured Visa® doesn’t require a bank account. However, it does require a deposit of $200 minimum that serves as your credit limit. This amount could be extended to up to $3,000. Besides the deposit, OpenSky charges an annual fee of $35. The APR is quite low, amounting to 17.39%.

OpenSky charges a 3% foreign transaction fee for using these Visa credit cards for bad credit in foreign currencies, so it’s advisable only to use it in the US and avoid incurring charges in currencies other than the US dollar. Additionally, avoid using it for withdrawing cash at ATMs as you’ll be charged a cash advance fee of 5% of the advance sum or $6, whichever is greater.

What we liked & didn’t like

The absence of a bank account requirement and hard credit inquiry makes OpenSky® Secured Visa® probably the easiest credit card to get if you have bad or damaged credit. As OpenSky reports to major credit bureaus, you have the option to improve your credit score by making all your payments on time. Unfortunately, there isn’t a possibility of an upgrade to an unsecured card. The only way to obtain it is to close your OpenSky® Secured Visa® then apply for an unsecured credit card.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card’s APR of 17.39% is possibly the lowest on the market, making it quite an affordable secured credit card for bad credit borrowers. OpenSky charges an annual fee that’s relatively reasonable, though you could still find secured cards without an annual fee. The greatest downside is the absence of bonuses and rewards, particularly if you’re seeking to earn some cashback while making purchases.

  • APR: 22.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Security deposit: $200+
  • Cashback: 1%–2%
  • Credit line: $200–$2500
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0%
  • Intro APR: 10.99% on balance transfers for six months
  • Sign-up bonus: N/A

Discover it® Secured is one of the best credit cards for people with bad credit that will help you boost your FICO and rebuild your credit while earning cashback on seasonal purchases. Once your credit score improves, you’ll be eligible for a transition to an unsecured credit card.

In addition to reporting all your payments to major credit bureaus, Discover performs automatic reviews after eight months to check if you qualify for an unsecured card. In case you are, all the money that you’ve deposited will be returned to you.

Discover it® Secured Rewards & Offers

Discover it® Secured is among the very few best secured cards for bad credit that offer rewards. Every quarter, Discover it® Secured will reward your first $1,000 in purchases at restaurants and gas stations with 2% cashback. What’s more, it grants 1% cashback on other regular purchases, which is far more than you usually get with secured cards.

There’s no sign-up bonus with Discover it® Secured, but there are some outstanding offers for its new cardholders. Namely, all cashback rewards you earn with your credit card for bad credit score will double at the end of your first year. There are minimum spending requirements nor maximum limits to rewards, only a dollar-to-dollar match.

The rewards that you gain will never expire. You can deposit them into your bank account or redeem them as a statement credit.

Discover it® Secured Pricing & Fees

Discover it® Secured is among the rare secured credit cards that offer cashback but charge no annual fee. However, it does require a deposit of at least $200. In the first six months after the approval, it will charge an intro APR of 10.99% on balance transfers. When that period expires, a standard APR of 22.99% will be charged.

Discover doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee to users of this card, which makes it one of the best reward credit cards for people with bad credit who love traveling abroad. However, card acceptance could be a minor issue as it’s not widely accepted outside the US.

However, Discover it® Secured does have an intro balance fee of 3%, whereas the future balance transfers will be charged with a 5% fee. To avoid paying a cash advance fee of 5% or $10 (whichever is greater), you should avoid withdrawing money from your credit card. Similarly, you should avoid being late with your payments; otherwise, you’ll be charged a late payment fee of up to $40.

What we liked & didn’t like

Several factors undoubtedly make Discover it® Secured the best credit card for bad credit. Firstly, it enables its cardholders to build or improve their credit and earn great rewards on rotating quarterly purchases (provided that you don’t find signing up for them every quarter bothersome). Secondly, after only eight months of using the card responsibly, you have a chance to get an unsecured credit card. Thirdly, Discover it® Secured has no annual or foreign transaction fee, which is fantastic for lowering costs.

On the downside, some cardholders might seek cashback and rewards that aren’t limited to quarters and seasons. Also, travelers might experience problems with the acceptance of their credit cards for poor credit as Discover it® Secured isn’t widely used outside of the US.

  • APR: 24.90%
  • Annual fee: $0–$99
  • Security deposit: None
  • Cashback: N/A
  • Credit line: $300
  • Foreign transaction fee: 1%
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Sign-up bonus: N/A

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® is an unsecured credit card for bad credit, as it requires no deposit but has great approval odds. Even people with damaged credit or those who have had a bankruptcy on their record may be accepted. Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® doesn’t have a specific time period after which it reviews your account. Thus, after just a few months, you may be eligible for a higher credit limit.

Since it is one of the best unsecured cards for bad credit, Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® reports all your payments to three major credit bureaus. This way, you have a chance to rebuild and improve your damaged credit and qualify for a credit card that has more favorable offers.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Rewards & Offers

Aside from typical Mastercard benefits, using Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® doesn’t grant any rewards, cashbacks, or sign-up bonuses. Hence, with this unsecured Mastercard, you’ll have travel assistance services, zero liability insurance, and extended warranty coverage.

You’ll also get price protection and emergency assistance regardless of where you are located. You can get help with cash advances, finding ATMs, reporting lost or stolen cards, and card replacement at any time and any place.

Another great perk is a $0 fee on cash advances in the first year. When that period ends, Indigo®  Platinum Mastercard® will start charging a cash advance fee.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Pricing & Fees

Despite the low requirements, Indigo doesn’t actually promise a guaranteed approval for unsecured credit cards for bad credit. Also, they tend to be a bit pricey. Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® charges an annual fee that can reach $99, depending on your creditworthiness; it’s also possible to avoid it completely if your credit score is good enough. The maximum fee for new cardholders is $75 in the first year, only to increase to $99 when that period expires.

The regular APR is 24.90%, which is around the market average when it comes to low credit score credit cards. This interest rate could be easily avoided by making timely payments. Another reason for paying all your debts on time is the late penalty fee of up to $40. Similarly, in case your payment is returned for whatever reason, you’ll be charged a returned payment fee of up to $40.

During their first year, new cardholders will be charged a $0 cash advance fee for withdrawing money from their poor credit credit cards. This fee will increase to 5% or $5 per transaction, whichever is greater, after that first year. In addition, Indigo also charges a cash advance APR of 29.90%.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® has a 1% foreign transaction fee, so using it abroad or for foreign currency purchases won’t increase your expenses too much. Since Mastercard is widely accepted, you won’t have troubles with card acceptance wherever you are.

What we liked & didn’t like

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® is one of the best unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit. It allows you to rebuild your damaged credit and qualify for a card that offers better rewards once your credit is improved. It doesn’t require a deposit but has a credit limit of $300, which is further reduced by the card’s annual fee. You may seek a higher credit limit after a few months, but you will never know when Indigo® Platinum will review your account to see if you qualify for an increase.

The greatest drawbacks of Indigo® Platinum guaranteed unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit are the high fees and the absence of rewards and bonuses. Namely, Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® doesn’t grant any cashback or benefits except for the basic ones provided by Mastercard. In addition, its fees are rather unfavorable, particularly the annual fee, as you can never tell how much (and whether) you’ll be charged. Foreign transaction fees are acceptable, though you could still apply for other no annual fee credit cards for bad credit that don’t charge a foreign transaction fee.

  • APR: 24.90%
  • Annual fee: $35–$99
  • Security deposit: None
  • Cashback: N/A
  • Credit line: $300
  • Foreign transaction fee: 1%
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Sign-up bonus: N/A

Milestone Mastercard® is one of the unsecured credit cards for people with very bad credit who want to recover from damaged credit due to bankruptcy or poor money management. Since the approval odds are quite high, it is an excellent choice for people whose applications have been rejected by other issuers or who have never applied for a credit card due to their poor FICO.

Milestone Mastercard® reports to the three major credit bureaus; therefore, with responsible spending and timely payments, you have the opportunity to boost your credit score in a reasonable time so as to qualify for more favorable unsecured credit cards for fair credit.

Milestone Mastercard® Rewards & Offers

Unfortunately, the Milestone Mastercard® rewards program is rather limited, or better to say non-existing. Apart from the basic benefit that all Mastercard® cardholders receive, there is no cashback or sign-up bonuses.

Milestone Mastercard® grants its cardholders travel assistance services and zero liability, insurance, as well as extended warranty coverage. This unsecured credit card for poor credit also provides price protection and emergency assistance, regardless of where you are. In case you need help locating ATMs, getting cash advances, reporting lost or stolen cards, or card replacement, Mastercard is at your disposal regardless of the place and time.

Yet another excellent perk is a $0 cash advance fee that cardholders have in the first year. At the end of that period, Milestone Mastercard® will charge a regular cash advance fee.

Milestone Mastercard® Pricing & Fees

As Milestone grants almost guaranteed approval for unsecured credit cards for bad credit, Milestone Mastercard® is excellent for applicants who have damaged credit and are willing to rebuild it. Still, it has rather unfavorable fees which you should avoid at all costs.

To begin with, Milestone Mastercard charges an annual fee of $35–$99. What amount you’ll qualify for depends on your credit score — the lower it is, the higher the fee will be. Fortunately, new cardholders with very poor scores will have a somewhat smaller fee in their first year — $75, which will rise to $99 when that period expires.

As a bad credit credit card, Milestone Mastercard® has an initial credit limit of $300. After six months of using the card, you may qualify for the limit increase. However, such a request may result in a hard pull that may impact your credit.

The APR is 24.90%, but it can be avoided by making all payments on time. But, what you should beware of is the cash advance fee, which increases to 5% or 5$ after the first year, as well as cash advance APR of 29.90%.

Like many other best credit cards for people with bad credit, Milestone Mastercard® has a late penalty and a returned payment fee of up to $40, respectively. To avoid incurring extra costs, make sure that all your payments are on time. This will also do good to your credit as Milestone reports your activities to major credit bureaus every month.

There’s also a foreign transaction fee of 1%, which is an acceptable rate for using the card abroad.

What we liked & didn’t like

Milestone Mastercard® is undoubtedly one of the best unsecured credit cards that focus on improving damaged credit. Since it’s an unsecured card, it doesn’t require a deposit, so you needn’t worry if your budget is tight when you’re applying for the credit card. The credit limit of $300 is somewhat limited, given the fact that it will be even lower due to the annual fee of $35–$99. With a low foreign transaction fee and worldwide acceptance, Milestone Mastercard® is one of the good credit cards for bad credit to use abroad.

Milestone Mastercard® has fees that may incur high costs that you should keep in mind but that can easily be avoided. Therefore, to bypass penalties and interest rates, make all your payment in full and on time. This will also help you improve your credit so that you’ll be eligible for a favorable unsecured card in just a few months.

FIT Mastercard®
FIT Mastercard®

BEST FOR

emergencies

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  • APR: 29.99%
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Security deposit: None
  • Cashback: N/A
  • Credit line: $400
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Sign-up bonus: N/A

Since it is one of the best credit cards to apply for with bad credit, FIT Mastercard® is an excellent choice for all cardholders who have damaged or limited credit history.

While getting FIT Mastercard® doesn’t require a deposit, there’s still a substantial processing fee to contend with, making it one of the pricier cards in the long run. However, its credit limit is somewhat higher than that of other unsecured credit cards for people with very bad credit and the processing fee is significantly lower than most security deposits, which is great if you’re in an emergency and need money quickly.

FIT Mastercard® Rewards & Offers

Just like the majority of credit cards for damaged or no credit, FIT Mastercard® doesn’t offer any rewards or bonuses, except for the primary benefits that Mastercard provides to its cardholders. Mastercard provides $0 fraud liability to its cardholders that won’t hold them responsible for unauthorized purchases or charges on their card.

Similar to all other best credit cards for poor credit, the use of FIT Mastercard® is reported to the three major credit bureaus, thus allowing its cardholders to rebuild their credit history and improve their FICO in only a few months.

FIT Mastercard® has a credit limit of $400, $100 more than the standard credit limit granted by other credit cards. This limit might be extended after only six months upon your request.

FIT Mastercard® Pricing and Fees

FIT Mastercard® is somewhat pricier compared to other best cards for bad credit, mainly due to its fees. Namely, CFC charges a one-time administrative fee of $89 for this card. This fee is charged before you open your account and will not be taken from your initial credit.

New cardholders will be charged a fee of $99 in the first twelve months. Afterward, cardholders will be charged a monthly maintenance fee of $6.25, which amounts to $75 on an annual basis. As 12 months is quite enough time to improve your FICO, it’s advisable to apply for a more favorable unsecured card after you’ve used FIT Mastercard® for a year.

APR of 29.99% is similar to that of other best credit cards to rebuild credit. Yet, you could avoid paying it by making all payments on time and in full. Another reason to pay all your dues on time is the late payment fee of up to $40. In case your payment is not accepted, you’ll have to pay a returned payment fee in the same amount.

Cardholders who’d like to withdraw money from ATMs should think twice as this will incur extra costs. There’s a cash advance APR of 29.99% associated with FIT Mastercard®, as well as a fee of 5% or $5 (whichever is greater) per each cash advance. Similarly, this card is not a great choice for use abroad, considering its foreign transaction fee of 3%.

What we liked & didn’t like

FIT Mastercard® is the best credit card to rebuild credit that doesn’t require a deposit, especially considering its credit limit and the opportunity to increase it after six months. Yet, this unsecured credit card is rather expensive. Firstly, CFC charges a one-time administrative fee upon account opening. Next, cardholders have to pay an annual fee in the first twelve months. When that period expires, they’ll have to pay a maintenance fee on a monthly basis.

Unlike some other credit cards for bad credit, FIT Mastercard® has a 3% foreign transaction fee. Similarly, withdrawing cash isn’t sustainable either, as you’ll be charged a cash advance fee.

Credit One Bank® Visa®
Credit One Bank® Visa®

BEST FOR

credit protection program

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  • APR: 17.99%–23.99%
  • Annual fee: $0–$99
  • Security deposit: None
  • Cashback: 1% on eligible purchases
  • Credit line: $300
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Intro APR: N/A
  • Sign-up bonus: N/A

Credit One Bank® Visa® is among the best Visa credit cards for people with bad credit that help cardholders rebuild their credit history while earning rewards on eligible purchases. It is an unsecured credit card, so it doesn’t require any deposit. Its credit line of $300 is typical for all credit cards for low FICO. Yet, Credit One Bank® reviews your account regularly to check whether you apply for a credit line increase.

As the issuer of one of the best cards for rebuilding credit, Credit One Bank will not perform a hard pull upon your pre-qualification check; of course, pre-approval doesn’t guarantee acceptance and an actual application will affect your credit score, but not by much. Furthermore, Credit One Bank reports your activities to the three major credit bureaus every month, so making timely payments can help you improve your FICO.

Credit One Bank® Visa® Rewards & Offers

Credit One Bank® Visa®  is among rare unsecured credit cards for people with very bad credit that enables its cardholders to rebuild their credit while earning rewards on eligible purchases. To activate cashback, you need to select between six categories of cashback programs. Those include gas, automotive purchases, mobile phone and TV services, dining, etc.

What makes Credit One Bank® Visa® stand out from other best cards for people with bad credit is its credit protection program. Namely, Credit One Bank offers protection in the event of a job loss or disability. However, this program isn’t free — it costs $0.96 for each $100 of new balance.

Credit One Bank® Visa® Pricing & Fees

In addition to excellent rewards, Credit One Bank charges high fees. For starters, it charges an annual fee that ranges from $0 to $95 in the first 12 months. When that period expires, it may increase up to a maximum of $99. The amount of your annual fee depends on your creditworthiness. Expectedly, individuals with poor credit will have higher fees. Such an annual fee, together with the variable APR, classifies Credit One Bank® Visa® into pricier credit cards for bad credit.

Similarly to the annual fee, the APR ranges from 17.99% to 23.99% based on your credit score. Again, the lower your credit is, the higher the interest rate will be. In addition to the standard APR, Credit One Bank will charge a cash advance APR of 23.99%, along with a cash advance fee of 8% or $5, whichever is greater.

Credit One Bank® Visa® isn’t one of the best cards for bad credit to use abroad as it charges a foreign transaction fee of 3%. What you should also keep in mind are late or returned payment fees of up to $39. Those fees, as well as the APR, could be easily avoided by making timely payments.

What we liked & didn’t like

Credit One Bank® Visa® is an outstanding credit card for poor credit that offers cashback and rewards on eligible purchases. Additionally, it’s among the best credit cards for no credit or bad credit that can help you build or improve your score. Credit One Bank reports to the major credit bureaus every month, so it’s vital to pay your due payments on time. The credit limit is typical for such cards; however, Credit One Bank reviews your account activity to make sure you’re eligible for an increase.

The major drawback is the fees. Namely, Credit One Bank charges a rather high annual fee for poor credit, and the same applies to the APR. What’s more, both depend on your credit score — the lower it is, the higher the fees and interest rates will be. Lastly, it would be unwise to use Credit One Bank® outside the US due to its foreign transaction fee.

How to Get a Credit Card With Bad Credit

Your credit score represents your financial health. If it is low, it may limit your options when it comes to loans, mortgages, or credit cards. In case your credit is less-than-perfect, but you still want to apply for a credit card, there are a few essential things to take into consideration.

What kind of credit card do you want?

The first question to ask yourself is what sort of credit card you are after. Do you want the ones that offer cashback and rewards on every purchase, or you’re focused on improving your score? If you have a thin history, you might want to consider credit cards to build credit with no credit.

Furthermore, you must know that almost all credit cards for poor credit don’t offer any rewards and bonuses. Hence, it would be wise to use them to boost your score, then apply for an unsecured credit card that earns cashback and rewards.

What do you qualify for?

Sadly, credit cards that have more favorable rates and offers require good to excellent credit score. Almost all card companies clearly show the FICO needed to be approved for a specific card. If you’re aware that your credit is bad, avoid the credit cards you aren’t eligible for because every time you apply for a credit card, the company will perform a check that may trim several points off your FICO. To avoid damaging your credit further, apply only for credit cards for low credit scores. Even though no one can guarantee that you’ll be approved if you apply for these cards, you’ll still have greater approval odds.

Avoid applying for too many cards at the same time.

Although you might want to apply with a number of different card companies at once, avoid doing so at all costs. Firstly, it may send a warning signal to card companies and thus lower your chances to obtain the best credit card for poor credit. Secondly, it may cause a drop in your credit score as the companies will perform a hard check upon your application.

Consider a secured credit card.

Secured credit cards require a deposit that serves as your credit line. If you’re able to pay the deposit of typically $200 or more, it will increase your chances of obtaining a credit card. Thus, secured credit cards grant you instant credit card approval even for bad credit as they are generally designed for building or rebuilding credit history. What’s more, once you’ve improved your credit, you may qualify for an unsecured credit card.

Build your credit.

Before you apply for a credit card, try to boost your credit. Make sure that you’re not late with your payments or that you haven’t missed any. You could even try some of the free services like Experian Boost that may increase your FICO.

Another way to boost your credit instantly is to have a family member, partner, or friend who has good credit to add you as an authorized user to their credit card.

Use your card responsibly.

Once you’ve obtained your unsecured or secured credit card with bad credit, it’s vital that you use it responsibly in order to rebuild your credit. Hence, make sure that you pay bills and make other payments on time every month. Next, don’t overuse your credit card as it may seem that your budget is tight. Avoid applying for a new credit card unless it’s really necessary. Lastly, if you’ve been approved for a new credit card, don’t close your old credit accounts. Keep them open instead, since the longer the accounts have been open, the better the credit score will be.

Wrap Up

The best credit cards for people with bad credit aren’t as unattainable as it may seem at first glance. Even though the great majority of card companies require fair to excellent credit to issue a credit card, there are still those that specialize in providing credit cards to individuals whose credit is less-than-perfect. Most of such credit cards are secured and require a deposit that will serve as a credit limit.

With the great majority of these cards, however, you won’t be able to earn cashback or rewards. They are mainly focused on building or rebuilding credit. If you don’t max out your credit card but use it responsibly, you may improve your FICO in just a few months. Once your credit is improved, you may qualify for an unsecured card that offers lush cashback and bonuses.

FAQ

What is the easiest credit card to get with bad credit?

If you’re troubled with bad credit, it’s essential that you don’t apply for the credit cards you’re not eligible for, i.e., those that require fair to excellent FICO. Every application will initiate a credit check, which may affect your already damaged and poor credit. Instead, focus on credit cards that are designed especially for applicants with bad credit. The majority of them are secured and require a deposit. Those unsecured have an initial credit limit that can be increased after several months of usage.

Some of the easiest cards to get with bad credit are:

  • Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
  • OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
  • First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
What credit cards build credit fast?

To build your credit quickly, you must first apply for a credit card that specializes in building or improving damaged credit. Such cards report your activity and payments to the three major credit bureaus — TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax — on a monthly basis, thus helping your FICO score grow.

Keep in mind that, in order to build your credit, you should make all payments in full and on time. Likewise, you should avoid maxing out your card, as it might signal that you’re on a tight budget.

Credit cards that will help you build credit fast are:

  • Indigo® Mastercard®
  • Milestone Mastercard®
  • FIT Mastercard®
What is the best secured credit card for bad credit?

Secured cards are excellent for applicants with bad credit as will be approved in most cases. What’s more, some will even earn you significant cashback and bonuses while building or improving your credit.

Note that all secured cards require a minimum deposit (typically $200 or more) that serves as your credit line. This can be increased over time up to the maximum amount specified by the card issuer. Most secured credit cards offer an automatic upgrade after six or eight months, provided that you make all your payments on time.

The best secured credit cards are:

  • Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
  • OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
  • Discover it® Secured
What credit cards can I get with bad credit?

It’s vital that you apply only for those credit cards that are targeted at bad credit scores. Whenever you apply for a credit card, your score might be damaged even further by the credit check that the issuer performs upon the application. Hence, aim at the credit cards that focus on poor credit. They will help you boost your credit scores so that you’ll be able to apply for credit cards that have more favorable offers.

The best credit cards for people with bad credit are:

  • Capital One® Secured Mastercard®
  • OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
  • Discover it® Secured
  • Milestone Mastercard®