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5 Best Bad Credit Credit Cards

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We feature the top 5 credit cards for bad credit, poor credit, or no credit history. Credit lines range from $200 to $1000. There’s normally a fast approval process and in some cases no credit check or proof of employment is required.

The list is based on APR rates, annual fees, and expedited card issuance.

Our pick for

Fast Approval Process

Applied Bank® Unsecured Classic Visa® Card

Applied Bank® Unsecured Classic Visa® Card

Annual Fee $75 the first year; after that, $45 annually
Rewards Rate N/A
APR Rate 29.99% Fixed
Recommended Credit Score
300 Poor
670 Average
Why We Like It Pros & Cons Product Details

Applied Bank® Unsecured Classic Visa® Card offers Quick & Easy Approval in Less Than 60 Seconds. They reports to All Three Major Credit Bureaus to ensure that you can build your credit.

 

Our pick for

Flexible Credit Limit

Reflex Mastercard®

Reflex Mastercard®

Annual Fee See Terms
Rewards Rate N/A
APR Rate 24.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
Recommended Credit Score
300 Poor
670 Average
Why We Like It Pros & Cons Product Details

The Reflex Mastercard® offers free access to your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian* (When you sign up for e-statements).

They also enable you to see if you’re Pre-Qualified with zero impact to your credit score.

A flexible initial credit limit of $300 – $1,000* (subject to available credit).

Our pick for

Easy Pre-Qualification Process

Milestone® Mastercard® – Unsecured For Less Than Perfect Credit

Milestone® Mastercard® – Unsecured For Less Than Perfect Credit

Annual Fee $35 – $99*
Rewards Rate N/A
APR Rate 24.9%
Recommended Credit Score
300 Poor
670 Average
Why We Like It Pros & Cons Product Details

Milestone® Mastercard® – Unsecured For Less Than Perfect Credit is a credit card that offers a simplified application process and it won’t impact your credit score to see if you pre-qualify.

Monthly payments are reported to the 3 major credit bureaus to help with building your credit.

Our pick for

Best Card Design

Indigo® Unsecured Mastercard®

Indigo® Unsecured Mastercard®

Annual Fee $0 – $99
Rewards Rate N/A
APR Rate 24.9%
Recommended Credit Score
300 Poor
670 Average
Why We Like It Pros & Cons Product Details

The Indigo® Unsecured Mastercard® is one of the few cards that allows you to choose from multiple designs.

You can Pre-qualify today without an impact on your credit score.

How to know if you need a credit card for Bad Credit?

When you apply for a regular credit card, you are asking a credit card issuer to lend you funds without any type of guarantee.

Unlike with a mortgage there’s no collateral to ensure that the funds are paid back. Often if an application has no credit or poor credit, a credit card issuer will consider the risk too big to justify the potential rewards. For example, the annual fee and interest that is collected. If the risk for the credit card issuer is too high the application will automatically be denied.

Credit cards that specialize in people with bad credit, no credit, or poor credit have features to reduce the risk to credit card issuers, but more importantly they often have reduced credit limits, higher interest rates, higher annual fees, and often processing fees to review and reject your application.

How do I know if I have bad credit?

If the credit is is below 630 you are deemed to have bad, or poor credit. If you have no credit it is considered to be similarly high risk to credit card issuers, and you are likely to get rejected for a regular credit card application.

If you have never checked your credit score, but you are being rejected regularly for credit cards you likely have bad credit.

Secured Credit Cards – A Better Alternative

We still recommend secured credit cards. While this list features some of the best bad credit credit cards for people who have bad, poor, or no credit we actually recommend that you opt for a Secured Credit Card instead.

The reason for this is that with secured credit card can receive higher credit limits, and cards with better terms and conditions. This is due to the fact that when you apply for a secured credit card, you need to send a deposit that is held by the credit card issuer, and this removes the risk for the credit card issuer. For example, a $1000 credit card limit would then require a $1000 security deposit. To learn more visit our guide to the Best Secured Credit Cards.

Frequently asked questions

What is a Processing Fee?

Some credit card issuers charge a processing fee to open your account. This is a fee to cover the cost of reviewing and processing your application. It also covers the fee of sending out your credit card.

Why is monthly reporting to the credit bureaus important?

If you have no credit, bad or poor credit it is beneficial for you to have your regular monthly payments reported to the credit bureaus, this is how you build credit.

How difficult is it to get approved?

These credit cards are designed specifically for people with bad, poor, or no credit. This means that the odds of getting approved are much higher than regular credit cards. That being stated a Secured Credit Card still offers the highest approval rates due to the fact that you are sending a deposit for the credit card issuer to hold. This also enables you to have access to a higher credit line.

 

Why is no credit check important?

Everytime there is a credit check it is is recorded on your credit report and this may reduce your overall credit score. This is why it is beneficial to avoid credit checks when at all possible.

What is an APR?

APR is short for Annual Percentage Rate.  This is the interest applied to your account for the duration of a billing cycle.

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