The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit in October 2022 (2023)

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If you have bad credit you may have given up on getting a credit card. That’s a mistake. Credit cards are a great way to build credit, but you can’t use them to build credit unless you can get one! Credit cards for bad credit may not be easy to find, but they are out there.

There is a way for even people with bad credit – or no credit score at all – to get a credit card and start building credit. Unfortunately, these cards typically come with high fees, high-interest rates, and little spending power. They are not always an attractive option, but sometimes they may be your only option.

If your credit score is closer to the upper limit of the “bad” credit score range, consider improving your credit score before applying for a credit card. Credit cards for fair credit come with better terms and you can even get cards with no annual fee, cards with rewards, cards for travel, student cards, and more.

Let’s look at some of the best credit cards for people with bad credit.

What Are Your Options

If you have poor credit, your best bet is asecured credit card. Secured credit cards are designed to provide credit card convenience and credit building power for people with poor credit or no credit.

Your second best option is an unsecured credit card for bad credit. Unsecured credit cards for people with subpar credit typically come with high fees, high interest rates, and little spending power.

If you’re struggling to build credit you may be looking for any credit account you can get. Some store credit cards may be able to help, butbe alert for high prices, fees, and other downsides.

The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

When we looked at credit cards for bad credit, we considered these points.

  • Does the card have fees?
  • What is the APR (Annual Percentage Rate)?
  • What is the minimum deposit for a secured card?
  • Can you upgrade from a secured to an unsecured card if you establish a good record?
  • Will you earn rewards?
  • Does the card have a minimum credit score or other requirements?

Here are our top picks for the best credit cards for bad credit.

BEST FOR REWARDS

Discover it Secured Card

The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit in October 2022 (1)

The Discover it Secured Card is a top pick among secured cards. There’s no annual fee and the minimum deposit is $200. The regular APR is 25.99% (variable). You can upgrade to a secured card.

There’s a surprising range of rewards for a secured card. You’ll get 2% back on purchases up to $1000 per quarter at restaurants and gas stations. There’s a 1% cashback reward on all other purchases. With CashBack Match, you’ll get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year,automatically! Just remember to keep your balance down! Don’t buy things you don’t need just to get the reward.

Apply Now

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BEST NO FEE AND LOW APR

nRewards Secured Credit Card

The Navy Federal Credit Union offers the nRewards Secured Credit Card. There’s no annual fee and the regular APR is a variable 18%, unusually low for a no-fee card. The minimum deposit is $200 and upgrades are allowed.

You will have to be a member of the credit union. The card even offers rewards: one point for every dollar spent.

Apply Now

NO CREDIT CHECK OR BANK ACCOUNT NEEDED

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit in October 2022 (3)

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card does not require a credit check, and you can be approved even without a bank account. This is an option for people with no credit score or a score below 350. There’s a $35 annual fee and there’s a variable APR of 19.64%.

There are no rewards.

Apply Now

LOWEST APR

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit in October 2022 (4)

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card has no minimum credit score and you’ll only face a soft credit check with no impact on your credit. The variable APR on purchases is 6.74%. There’s a $49 annual fee, though, so you’ll have to carry significant balances to make the low APR worth the fee. The minimum deposit is $200.

There are no rewards.

Apply Now

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UNSECURED CARDS

Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Unsecured credit cards for bad credit can help yourebuild your credit scorewhile enjoying the convenience of a credit card. And unlikesecured credit cards, they don’t require a security deposit.

Unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit typically come with high fees, high interest rates, and little spending power.

To help you make the best, and the least costly choice, we’ve narrowed down the best unsecured credit cards for bad credit.

Best unsecured credit cards for bad credit

UNSECURED STORE CARD OPTION

Fingerhut

The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit in October 2022 (5)
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Fingerhut is an online store that offers a store credit card aimed at people with bad credit. The application is easy and you’ll have a decision in seconds. There’s no minimum credit score or deposit but you will need to meet an income requirement and have a Social Security Number, among other requirements. They report to all three credit bureaus, so the card can help you build credit. The APR is a fixed 29.99%. Your credit limit will be assigned on approval.

If you use a Fingerhut account, make sure that you are buying items that you need and would have bought anyway. Also, be sure to check the price. Fingerhut offers easy credit, but many items are much cheaper at other stores. If you use it with caution this card could help you build credit, but if you’re not careful it could hurt your finances.

Apply Now

Why We Recommend Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are a great way to build your credit from the ground up or repair a history of bad credit.

You’ll still need to apply for one just like a regular card, but the eligibility criteria are a lot more inclusive in most cases.

With responsible use, a good secured credit card will eventually help you graduate to a regular credit card with much better terms.

How Secured Cards Work

A secured credit card is secured by a deposit. You put down a deposit, and the deposit becomes your credit limit. You can’t charge more than you have on deposit. That means the issuer takes no risk. That’s why issuers will approve secured cards for people with bad credit.

Once you have the card, it works just like any other card. You can make charges up to the credit limit. It doesn’t say “secured” on it and nobody will know it’s a secured card. You’ll get a statement and bill every month. If you pay the bill on time you will pay no interest. If you carry a balance to the next statement period you will pay interest.

Your card issuer will report to the credit bureaus. That will help you build credit, as long as you handle your card well.

Some secured cards have an annual fee. Others do not. The cards that don’t have annual fees often have higher interest rates. But remember that if you pay every bill in full and on time that won’t matter. You won’t be paying interest.

👉 Learn more about how secured credit cards work.

How to Build Credit with a Secured Card

If you have bad credit you will want to improve it. A secured credit card can help you do that.

Remember two key factors.

  • Payment history is the most important part of your credit score. Make your payments on time.
  • Credit utilization is also a critical part of your score. This is the percentage of your credit limit that you actually use. Keep your balance below 30% of your credit limit. Lower is better!

Here are some steps that will help.

  • Use your card. A dormant card will contribute less to your credit than an active card.
  • Pay every bill on time. On-time payments build credit. Late or missed payments kill credit.
  • Pay every bill in full. Any balance carried past the due date incurs interest. That’s money out of your pocket.
  • Watch your balance. Secured cards often have low credit limits. That makes it easy for your credit utilization to rise.

👉 Here’s a proven way to build credit

Find a recurring monthly bill that you pay anyway, like your Netflix subscription. Make sure it’s under 30% of your credit limit. Put it on your card and set up an automatic payment from your bank. Your card will be active, the bills will be paid on time, and your credit utilization will stay low. Put the card away and forget about it.

You can even get a second secured card and do the same thing with another bill. If you use no-fee cards it won’t cost you a dime, except for the money you deposit, and you’ll get that back.

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If your payment record is good some issuers will raise your limit above your deposit. That keeps your credit utilization even lower. Some will even move you to an unsecured card if you keep a good record!

Low Fee or Low APR?

If you look at these cards you’ll notice right away that in most cases the cards with no fees have significantly higher APRs. Most of the low-APR cards have annual fees.

That may seem like a reasonable tradeoff but consider these points.

  • If you pay every bill in full and on time you will never pay interest no matter what the APR is.
  • Most secured cards have low credit limits. If you do carry a balance it will be for a low amount. The interest saving from the lower APR will not justify the fee unless you carry large balances all the time, which you should not do.
  • Cards with fees may provide more rewards, but you’ll have to spend a lot to earn enough rewards to equal the fees. It’s hard to spend that much with a low credit limit!

In most cases, a low-fee card will be your best bet. Worry about rewards when you have better credit, and protect yourself from interest by paying your bills on time and in full. A card with a fee may be an option if it’s the only one you can get.

☝️ Remember that a low minimum credit score does not guarantee approval. Issuers will look at your record and they may turn you down if they don’t like what they see.

What Comes Next?

You can get credit cards for bad credit. Once you have one, you have a new challenge: get that credit score back where you want it to be!

You already have one valuable tool: your new secured card. Make your payments on time and keep your credit utilization low and you’ll be moving in the right direction.

Once you get a good pattern established with your secured card, consider another secured card.

A credit-builder loan from a local bank or credit union or an online lender like Self will give you an installment loan on your record.

In the long run, knowledge is the key to building better credit. Start by understanding how your credit score is calculated. Get your credit reports and learn to read them. Look for errors or signs of identity theft, and dispute any problems. You can do this yourself, and you should be very wary of anyone who promises to fix your credit: debt relief and credit repair scams are rampant.

Our article on rebuilding damaged credit should get you started. It takes time, but you can improve your credit, build your financial knowledge, and take control of your financial life at the same time!

Editorial Note

The editorial content on this page is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution or other entity. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, statements, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities prior to publication.We adhere to strict editorial guidelines to make sure that our content is accurate and unbiased.

The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit in October 2022 (6)

BySteve Rogers

Editor

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Steve Rogers has been a professional writer and editor for over 30 years, specializing in personal finance, investment, and the impact of political trends on financial markets and personal finances. His work has appeared in The International Herald Tribune, Foreign Affairs, and The Journal of Democracy, among many others. On rare occasions he has been known to throw a shield.

Last Updated:

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FAQs

What kind of a credit card can customers with a bad credit history get answers? ›

Secured Cards With Approval Upon Deposit

An advantage to a secured credit card is that even someone with bad credit can usually get one. And because issuers of these cards report to the three major credit bureaus, paying your bill on time and keeping a low balance can help improve your credit score over time.

Which bank give credit card easily? ›

Some of the most popular banks offering credit cards in India are HDFC, SBI Card, ICICI, Amex, Axis, Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank and Kotak Mahindra Bank. However, the best credit card for you would be the one that matches your needs.

Can you get approved with a 500 credit score? ›

It is 200 points away from being a “good” credit score, which many people use as a benchmark, and 140 points from being “fair.” A 500 credit score won't knock any lenders' socks off, but it shouldn't completely prevent you from being approved for a credit card or loan, either.

What is the easiest instant credit card to get? ›

  • Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card. ...
  • Discover it® Cash Back. ...
  • Discover it® Balance Transfer. ...
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. ...
  • Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. ...
  • Capital One Platinum Credit Card. ...
  • Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card.
Oct 13, 2022

Can I get American Express with bad credit? ›

Although American Express doesn't specify any minimum credit score requirements, you'll need good credit (or better) to qualify, which means a FICO score of at least 670. A premium Amex card — say, the American Express Gold Card — likely requires a “very good” FICO score, somewhere in the range of 740 and above.

Can I get credit card without income proof? ›

Apply for a secured Credit Card

If the other two methods of availing of a credit card without income don't suit you, you can apply for a secured variant. Issuers offer a secured credit card against collateral such as a fixed deposit or a mutual fund. In some cases, they also require you to make a security deposit.

How can I get a credit card urgently? ›

Choose the credit card of your choice. Fill in your details and verify with OTP to submit your application. Get instant Approval in Principle* Post successful validation of your KYC and other documents your Virtual credit card will be ready instantly.

What is the easiest way to get a credit card? ›

How To Get Credit Card Easily in 3 Steps?
  1. Step 1: Choose your Credit Card. Each bank offers dozens of Credit Card options. ...
  2. Step 2: Apply for your card. Get all your documents ready – a bank will usually ask for identity, address and income proofs. ...
  3. Step 3: Activate your card.

What store cards can I get with a 560 credit score? ›

Top 10 Store Cards for Bad Credit
  • Amazon Visa Rewards Card. Amazon Visa Rewards Card. ...
  • My Best Buy Visa Card. My Best Buy Visa Card. ...
  • Capital One Walmart Store Card. Capital One Walmart Store Card. ...
  • Target RedCard. Target RedCard. ...
  • Macy's Credit Card. Macy's Credit Card. ...
  • Old Navy Credit Card. ...
  • TJX Rewards Card. ...
  • Kohl's Charge Card.

What kind of credit card can I get with a 570 credit score? ›

The best type of credit card for a 570 credit score is a secured credit card. Secured cards give people with bad credit high approval odds and have low fees because cardholders are required to place a refundable security deposit. The amount you put down usually becomes your credit limit.

Can I get a Walmart credit card with a 520 credit score? ›

The Walmart Credit Card credit score requirement is 640 or higher. That means people with fair credit or better have a shot at getting approved for this card. The Walmart® Store Card also requires at least fair credit for approval.

How do I build credit if I keep getting denied? ›

Improve Your Credit Scores Before Reapplying
  1. Pay Bills on Time. Paying your bills on time is one of the best ways to build a good credit history and improve your credit scores. ...
  2. Apply Only for the Credit You Need. ...
  3. Become an Authorized User. ...
  4. Consider a Credit-Builder Loan.
Apr 19, 2021

How can I build my credit if I can't get accepted? ›

3 things you should do if you have no credit history
  1. Become an authorized user. One of the quickest and easiest ways to build credit is by becoming an authorized user on a family member or friend's credit card. ...
  2. Apply for a secured credit card. ...
  3. Get credit for paying monthly utility and cell phone bills on time.

Which type of credit card is good if you have credit issues? ›

We believe the best credit cards for bad credit are secured cards. With these cards, you provide a security deposit, which protects the issuer in case you don't pay. (When you close or upgrade the account, you can get your deposit back.)

What are 5 things credit card companies don't want you to know? ›

5 Things Credit Card Companies Don't Want You to Know
  • Fixed Rates are not really fixed. ...
  • There is no such as thing as having no limit. ...
  • Late payments can be catastrophic. ...
  • Minimum payments will get you nowhere. ...
  • Everything is negotiable. ...
  • Three Takeaways.

What are some ideas you would give to a friend who was denied credit? ›

Address Credit Concerns

Ideas include: Get caught up on past-due payments or pay off collection or charge-off accounts. Make it a goal to always pay your bills on time going forward. Pay down high credit card balances and avoid replacing them with new credit card debt.

What can prevent me from getting a credit card? ›

Reasons you may be denied for a credit card
  • Insufficient credit history. If you have a short or nonexistent credit history, you may not qualify for a credit card. ...
  • Low income or unemployed. ...
  • Missed payments. ...
  • You're carrying debt. ...
  • Too many credit inquiries. ...
  • Don't meet age requirements. ...
  • There are errors on your credit report.

What does your credit score need to be for a Walmart credit card? ›

Here's what you need to know about the Walmart Credit Card credit score: Both the Walmart Credit Card and the Walmart® Store Card require fair credit for approval. That means a score of 640+. The Walmart Credit Card can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

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