Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

credit cards for bad credit

Best rates and accounts for people with bad credit

If you have a credit score of between 300 and 639, you can get a credit card. However, while the best of these cards have low or no annual fees, offer some rewards and boast reasonable interest rates, they are fairly basic. Yet they get the job of repairing your credit done so you can move onto a more glamorous product.

5 Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

  • Discover it® Secured: Best rewards
  • First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured : Lowest interest rates
  • First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured: No hard credit inquiry
  • Credit One Bank® Visa®: No deposit required
  • Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: Partially secured

Our Top Picks

Discover it® Secured – Rewards and Upgrading

This secured credit card, which requires a $200 refundable deposit to establish a line of credit, is the best overall option for bad credit. The 22.99% APR may be a bit steep, but the card offers considerable opportunities for rewards and upgrades.

This card has a $0 annual fee and offers 2% cash back on up to $1,000 worth of spending at gas stations and restaurants per quarter, and 1% cash back on all other transactions. Use it responsibly and Discover® may upgrade your card to unsecured after eight months.

The rewards are better than what most credit cards for good credit offer.

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured – Lowest Interest Rate

Though it has a $49 annual fee, the low interest rate on this card could save you money if you plan to carry a balance from month to month.

At 9.99%, the interest rate on this card is even lower than those on most cards for good to excellent credit. Making this card even better is the fact that you can apply for it without risking a hard credit inquiry.

The 9.99% APR and soft inquiry upon application make this an attractive and safe option for credit repair.

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured – No Hard Credit Inquiry

This secured credit card comes with a 19.99% variable interest rate and a $29 annual fee. Establish your credit line by paying a refundable $200-$2,000 security deposit.

Applying for this card does not cause a “hard inquiry” to go on your credit report. This means your score will not be affected.

While not the most affordable option for bad credit, the soft inquiry feature may appeal to individuals who cannot afford to lose more points.

Credit One Bank® Visa® – No Deposit

See if you pre-qualify for this unsecured card without harming your score. It has a 17.99%-23.99% APR and a $0-$99 annual fee.

As an unsecured card, a deposit is not necessary to receive a line of credit. Choose your payment due dates, earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases and get free credit monitoring with Experian. Undergo review periodically for a chance at a credit line increase.

The no-deposit requirement is a huge selling point for many already financially strapped individuals.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® – Partially Secured

Accepted at millions of locations worldwide, this card has a regular APR of 26.99% and does not come with any fees.

Being only partially secured, your line of credit may be greater than the amount you deposit. Deposit $49, $99 or $200 to get access to a $200 line of credit. Use your card responsibly for six months for an opportunity to increase your line of credit without paying an additional deposit.

The partially secured aspect may appeal to individuals who need credit but cannot afford a hefty deposit.

The Bottom Line

Each of these products is designed to help individuals repair damaged credit or build credit. They offer unique advantages, perfect for borrowers with differing priorities. As well, all come with reasonable rates, fair or no fees, and the opportunity at a fresh start.

Have no credit? Check our Best Credit Cards for No Credit

Quick Questions

What is the easiest credit card to get approved for?

While approval is never guaranteed, your best bet if you have bad credit is to apply for a secured credit card.

How much is the typical security deposit?

Most card issuers require a deposit of $200-$300, but this could vary. For instance, Capital One® may approve you for a secured card for a deposit as low as $49. First Progress can extend a line of credit up to $2,000 for an equivalent deposit.

What are “must-haves” in a bad credit credit card?

The best credit cards for bad credit have annual fees of less than $50, report to all three major credit bureaus and offer the option to upgrade.

Looking for your first credit card? Here are your best options