Top 4 Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

When you have a low credit score, it can be difficult to find a credit card that you can be approved for. Furthermore, if you apply for a credit card and are denied, this can have a negative impact on your credit score because each credit inquiry is recorded on your credit report. Here’s our guide to the best credit cards for bad credit based on your specific needs. Remember that what works for others may not work for you, so before choosing a credit card for bad credit, consider your own spending habits and credit profile.

Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Everyone can benefit from opening and using a new credit card, even if you have bad credit. In fact, if you’ve struggled with your credit score in the past, responsible credit card usage is one of the most powerful steps you can take towards improving your credit. 

Your credit score changes every month, so you can start to build and repair your credit immediately. When you open a new credit card account and use it with care, the credit card company reports on your good habits to the credit bureaus. Keep building your new habits and your credit score will start to improve.

Learn about our four favorite credit cards for people with bad credit. We’ll break down what makes each card special, plus examine the benefits each card can give you. Explore some of the best credit cards for bad credit and start repairing your credit with a new account today.

OpenSky Credit Card

The OpenSky credit card is a Visa card that can help you build or repair your credit. Like all Visa cards, an OpenSky card is universally accepted. Mobile use and fraud prevention are both included with your account. The OpenSky secured visa credit card is unique in that you don’t need a credit check to start using your card. This card is a great option if your low credit score is preventing you from opening new accounts with other companies.

Highlights

  • OpenSky offers secured accounts. To start using your account, you’ll make a one-time deposit between $200 to $3,000. This secured deposit funds the account.
  • You set your own credit limit of up to $3,000.
  • Enjoy Visa’s secure access, name recognition, and fraud protection services.
  • You can set automatic payments and payment reminders to stay on top of your account.

Best Benefits

  • No credit check is necessary.
  • No hard credit pull shows up on your credit record.
  • There is no annual fee.
  • Your monthly payments are reported to credit bureaus each month, boosting your credit score with regular payments.
  • Build credit without the risk of unsecured credit card debt.

First Progress Credit Card

First Progress offers the Platinum Elite Mastercard, which provides many benefits if you’re just starting to repair your credit. This card does not require a minimum credit score to open an account, making this a perfect choice for consumers who need to rebuild credit. The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard  Secured Credit Card is accepted nationwide as well as online, and charges an annual fee that is low compared to many cards. If other companies have denied your credit card application because of a low credit score, give First Progress a shot.

Highlights

  • The Platinum Elite Mastercard is available with a low annual fee of only $29.
  • You can open an account with any credit score.
  • This card is a secured account and does require a security deposit.

Best Benefits

  • This card has the lowest annual fee offered by First Progress
  • Your Mastercard is accepted nationwide.
  • This account is perfect for consumers with low scores.
  • You can continue to build your credit score with monthly activity that is reported to credit bureaus.

Horizon Gold Credit Card

The Horizon Gold Credit Card is a store credit card offered by Horizon Gold Outlet, an online store that sells many different discounted goods. The Horizon Gold card is only accepted at Horizon Gold Outlet, but your responsible use of this card can still help boost your credit score. Your Horizon Gold card features a 0% interest rate so this account has little risk compared to high-interest accounts.

Highlights

  • Horizon Gold cards are available without a credit check or hard credit pull.
  • Instantly receive a $500 credit limit which can be spent on clothing, home goods, pet supplies, and more.
  • The Horizon Gold membership costs $24.95 a month.
  • Your account includes other benefits such as legal guidance, privacy protection, prescription medication discounts, roadside assistance, and much more.

Best Benefits

  • There is a 0% APR on purchases.
  • This account features low minimum monthly payments, which start at $25 or 10% of the account balance
  • Keep building your credit with monthly reports to credit bureaus
  • This unsecured account does not require a security deposit. 

Surge Mastercard® Credit Card

The Surge Mastercard® is a widely accepted credit card that’s perfect for improving credit. You can feel confident when shopping with this card thanks to the included 0% liability guarantee, which promises that you’re never responsible for any unauthorized purchases. You’ll also enjoy the benefit of an initial credit line of up to $1,000 dollars, with the potential to increase this limit after just six months.

Key Benefits

  • You’re likely to be approved with no credit check, making prequalification a breeze.
  • Increase your limit in as little as six months with proven responsible usage.
  • All accounts are reviewed for a credit limit increase after 12 months, which can help you reduce your credit utilization ratio, and in turn raise your credit score.
  • 0% fraud liability, meaning you’re protection from any unapproved purchases made on your account is guaranteed.

Best Benefits

  • Fast and easy approval process. If you’re approved, you can quickly start using your account.
  • An initial credit limit of up to $1000. Every account is approved for at least $300 in credit.
  • Free monthly credit score check. You can keep track of your financial progress by regularly monitoring your credit score. Save money with free monitoring by Surge Mastercard®.

How To Apply For a Credit Card With Bad Credit

Check your credit score before applying so you know where you stand. If your credit score is in the 500s, for example, you are unlikely to be approved for a premium travel card loaded with perks and extras. Next, find a credit card that is appropriate for your credit situation. You can look at our recommendations for best cards for fair credit or best cards for bad credit to see what might be best for you. When deciding which card is best for you, consider the fees, the rewards you can earn, and other card benefits.

When you’ve decided, click the “Apply Now” button to go to the card’s application page. You will be required to provide basic information such as your name, address, phone number, and Social Security number. Some applications may also request employment information, such as your salary, in order to determine what credit line you might be eligible for. If you apply for a secured card, you will also be required to fund your deposit before the issuer will open your account. Secured cards frequently require a minimum deposit of $250 to $450. Your credit line will be determined by the amount you deposit.

Is it bad to apply for multiple credit cards?

Nothing prevents you from applying for two or more credit cards in a short period of time, or even simultaneously. Multiple credit card inquiries, on the other hand, can harm your credit score and raise a red flag for future creditors. There is no magic number for how long you should wait before applying for another credit card, and it can vary depending on your credit history. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of having multiple inquiries on your credit reports in the short term as you consider your situation.

Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Unsecured credit cards for bad credit do not necessitate a security deposit in order to be approved. However, this does not make them superior to secured credit cards. In the absence of a deposit, approval requirements are more stringent, fees are higher, and you have very little spending power beyond what you can already afford in cash. After all, unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit typically have low spending limits. And you can’t simply increase your credit limit by paying more, as you can with a secured card’s deposit.

Keep Using Your Account to Repair Your Credit

Opening a new credit account is an important step in rebuilding your credit. Your new account shows that you are working to repair your financial situation. Whether you choose a secured credit account, a store credit card, or a points-driven card, you are actively improving your financial situation.

Make sure to use your account in a reasonable, responsible manner to get the most benefit from your new card. Your credit card company reports on your usage habits each month to the major credit bureaus, so be sure to check your credit score regularly for improvements. Build a habit of making small purchases and paying them off each month to establish a meaningful credit history. You can look forward to a higher credit score and improved financial options as you keep safely using your new account.

Searching for more of the best credit cards for bad credit?

Principal Platinum Merchandise® Credit Card
Surge Mastercard® Credit Card
Reflex Mastercard® Credit Card
Total Visa® Credit Card
Upgrade Visa® Credit Card
Milestone Gold Mastercard®