Credit Cards for Bad Credit

1. Capital One Journey Student Rewards

Capital One Journey Student Rewards card art
Recommended Credit:
630689
Fair Credit

Everyday Rewards

1%

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It:

"Choose your payment date"

If you’re a college student, you may be painfully aware of how important it is to start establishing a solid credit history. Maybe you’ve recently bought your first car or taken out a loan and have realized just how difficult that can be without previous credit. The Capital One Journey Student credit card is a sound choice for students looking to get a better credit score and build good habits that will follow them in life. Here’s why:

With this card, students with average credit can build on their existing FICO score to open the door to more financing options. The Capital One Journey Student card allows students to monitor their FICO score online in the credit card dashboard. It also rewards students with extra point bonuses for making payments on time. If you make your monthly payments for several months straight, without missing a payment deadline, you could be eligible for a higher credit limit.

That’s in addition to cash back rewards on purchases, which isn’t a typical perk of cards for moderate credit. Because Capital One is taking a risk on students who want to build credit, you may find the APR for this card is on the higher side. It will benefit you to pay on time and not carry a balance. However, this is a good choice for students who need to get more access to credit and learn how to use it the correct way.

2. First Latitude Platinum Mastercard Secured Card

The First Latitude Mastercard® Secured Credit Card card art
Recommended Credit:
300629
Bad and No Credit

APR

See terms*

Deposit

See terms*

Why We Like It:

"Build credit no deposit/annual"

If you have "Poor" credit, you know the struggle is real when it comes to finding a credit card. So many of the options just don’t seem that good. The best thing you can hope for is a low-fee, full-featured card that allows you to build credit, either with or without a deposit. It’s with a deposit that you can use the First Latitude Platinum Mastercard Secured credit card to get that credit score up!

First and foremost, to raise your credit score you want to follow these steps:

If you’re ready to take these steps seriously, you could be ready for the benefits of card ownerhip with First Latitude Platinum.

If approved, you’ll benefit from monthly reporting to all three credit bureaus. This is a big draw for this card, geared at people who want to systematically raise their score with the bureaus, little by little. Your credit line will also be secured by your deposit, so there won’t be any questions as to how much your credit limit will be. You will have access to your account online 24/7, and your new Mastercard will be widely accepted.

With First Latitude, people can gain access to much needed credit. This is a useful card to have if you have below average credit and aren’t likely to get approved for a card with more benefits. For those in the middle credit range, it may be worth looking into other cards with a wider range of benefits that meet your needs.

3. Capital One Secured Mastercard Review

Capital One Secured Mastercard card art
Recommended Credit:
300629
Bad Credit

APR

26.99%

Deposit

$49

Why We Like It:

"Refundable deposit build credit"

Responsibly using the Capital One Secured Mastercard can help you build, or rebuild, credit. Secured credit cards, like this one from Capital One, can be a great option for people with low credit scores or no credit history.

If you’re approved for the Capital One Secured Mastercard, you need to pay the minimum security deposit before your account can be opened. The security deposit cannot be applied to your monthly payments but will be refunded as long as you pay your balance in full when you close your account.

Even though you make a security deposit, the Capital One Secured Mastercard is still a credit card, not a prepaid card. It looks like any standard Capital One credit card, and Capital One will report your credit standing to the three major bureaus. Making payments on time can improve your credit, and being late or missing payments could hurt it.

After approval, you’re given an initial credit line which you can increase by depositing more than required for the security deposit or by making your first five monthly payments on time. Thanks to the Capital One Secured Mastercard, a not-so-stellar credit score doesn't mean you have to be locked out of the credit card universe.

4. OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card

OpenSky Secured Visa card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair, Bad, and No Credit

APR

19.64%

Deposit

$200

Why We Like It:

"Build credit no credit check"

If you have bad credit, you may feel like you’re hopeless to take hold of your financial future. It may seem like no card issuer is ever going to approve you because you have a low credit score or no credit at all. However, there are cards out there designed for poor credit and no credit applicants.

Often, if you have no credit or your credit history is not great you can apply for a secured card. While most people who apply for revolving credit want an unsecured card with lots of benefits, a secured card could be the kick starter you need to graduate onto better cards with more options and build a solid credit history. Here’s how.

Generally, a secured card is one where you put down a deposit that you can borrow against. Most often, the deposit will usually equal the initial credit limit you receive. In a lot of cases, this is just a few hundred dollars. A responsible user of secured credit cards will pay their bill in full each month and avoid maxing out their card to build credit in a healthy way.

The OpenSky Secured Visa is no different. If you are approved for this card, it will be contingent upon posting a deposit to spend against. This can pose a challenge for a couple of reasons. Someone with bad credit or no credit who is applying for a secured card may only have a few hundred in savings to begin with. It’s not recommended you drain your savings for any reason. That is your emergency fund. If you don’t have a bank account at all, your options for building credit are even more limited.

That’s where OpenSky can help. Here’s what we think about this card:

What can we say about the OpenSky Secured Visa? It has limited perks with little room to grow into a better card as your credit matures. It also has a higher deposit requirement than other more competitive secured cards. For these reasons, it may not be the best choice for bad credit or no credit applicants.

However, there will be a percentage of people drawn in by the prospect of a no credit check approval and because you don’t need a bank account. This means, for people who are truly starting with the bare minimum and building their financial profile from the ground up, it could be one of the only cards that offers any access to credit at all.

Everyone deserves access to credit, regardless of their financial situation or lot in life. Most Americans have a bank account and aren’t intimidated by the prospect of a credit check for a secured card. That said, for those who are really struggling to build a financial roadmap to success, this card offers a fair shot at building credit.

5. Assent Platinum Mastercard Secured Credit Card

Assent Platinum Mastercard Secured Card card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair, Bad, and No Credit

APR

See terms*

Deposit

See terms*

Why We Like It:

"Build credit refundable deposit"

The Assent Platinum Mastercard is a secured credit card intended to help people get access to credit even if they don’t have a great score. This type of card is not for everyone, but it definitely serves a purpose and has a niche. If you’re struggling to build credit and can afford to pay a deposit, this card may be an option for you.

Few benefits are bestowed upon cardholders, seeing as this is a card with no frills. Among them are no annual fee in the first year, monthly reporting to all three credit bureaus and wide acceptance. The fully-refundable deposit ranges, but starts around $200 and will generally equal your credit limit. If you need a credit card to book a hotel or rent a car, or do any number of things you have to have a credit card to do, having this piece of plastic in your wallet can unlock those opportunities.

This Mastercard doesn’t have its own mobile app at the time of this publication, but the account can be managed relatively easily online. Once established, you can access your online account 24/7 if you have questions about the card or want to check your balance or more. All in all, when used properly, this card could be a road to better credit and sweeter credit card deals in the future.

6. GreenDot Platinum Visa Secure Card

Green Dot Visa® Secured Credit Card card art
Recommended Credit:
300629
Bad and No Credit

APR

See terms*

Deposit

See terms*

Why We Like It:

"No bank account required"

The Green Dot Platinum Visa card is a reasonable choice for people, with a credit score of “Poor”, who have had trouble getting approved otherwise. This card is issued by Green Dot Bank, a consumer-friendly and technology-driven financial institution. If approved for the Green Dot Platinum Visa, you will be expected to make a deposit that will serve as your credit limit.

Because Green Dot doesn’t offer an unsecured option to which consumers can upgrade when their score is healing, in order to get your deposit back, you have to close the account once you get a better offer from another issuer. That’s not great for consumers because, when you leave your account open, it's usually better for your score in the long run.

That said, qualifying for the Green Dot Platinum is relatively easy. So, if you’ve been denied other similar options with more benefits, this card might be a good bet for you. Despite having many fees and no rewards, what this card does offer is a chance at building a good credit score once and for all. There are better options out there though, even for secured cards, so only apply for this one when you’ve exhausted all of those.

7. Milestone Gold MasterCard

Milestone Gold MasterCard card art
Recommended Credit:
630
719
Good and Fair Credit

APR

24.9%

Why We Like It:

"Build credit free custom design"

When it comes to Milestone Gold Mastercard, this card is designed for those seeking to build their credit. It’s a straightforward, what-you-see-is-what-you-get type of card. Users like the ability to raise your credit score, but don’t always appreciate the high fee. Here’s the whole scoop on Milestone Gold Mastercard:

For people with “Poor” credit who are interested in raising their score, the appeal about this card is clear. You can apply without hurting your credit score and it might give you access to credit. Due to Milestone implementing a “soft pull” process, an application for this card never negatively impacts your score. That could be important for people who are trying to build their credit rather than damage it trying to find the right credit card.

Because this is a card designed for people with less than stellar credit, those approved will find that it comes with hefty fees that actually range based on your creditworthiness and the downside there is that you don’t necessarily know what kind of fee you're going to be offered going into the application. The unclear terms and conditions confuse some users. Still, others report raising their credit using this card. At the end of the day, if your options are limited, this basic credit card could be just what you need to open the door to more credit opportunities.

8. Milestone Unsecured Mastercard

Milestone Unsecured MasterCard card art
Recommended Credit:
300629
Bad Credit

APR

24.9%

Deposit

$0

Why We Like It:

"Build credit easy approval"

Thinking about the Milestone Unsecured Mastercard? If you have bad credit, it’s time we had a little chat. The hunt for the best credit card probably seems like a bit of a joke. Very few credit cards for “Poor” credit ratings offer rewards (although there are some). Most of them have higher than average APRs, and few bonuses. It may have you feeling a little discouraged, or thinking, “Why even use credit at all?” You’re not alone.

That said, you do need to use credit. YOU, a person with “Poor” credit, need to use credit more than others. You also need to do it responsibly. This way you can increase your creditworthiness and when it comes to buying your next car or home, or taking out a loan to start a business or fund a personal venture, you can get approved and get the best rates. If you have “Poor” credit and it stays that way, you’re in for a world of hurt.

That’s where the Milestone Unsecured Mastercard comes in. It doesn’t have many perks or much else that's very enticing about it, but it’s an ordinary card for bad credit—likely just what you need, in terms of the basics. The major reward comes in the form of building healthy credit habits that raise your score. Once you’ve done that, not only will your financial health improve but you’ll have access to swankier rewards cards and higher credit limits to put your new positive credit building skills to good use. You don’t even have to have a checking account to apply! Just be sure not to carry a balance because this card, while giving you access to a credit line with no deposit, has a higher than average interest rate.

9. Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card

Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold Preferred Credit Card card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair and Bad Credit

APR

9.99%

Deposit

$200

Why We Like It:

"60 second approvals and no credit check"

The Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold is a good card for people who have to build their credit from scratch, or have “Poor” credit and are looking to rebuild. It’s in the family of secured cards, which means you get access to your credit limit against a deposit you must make once approved. This is different from unsecured credit cards, which make up the majority of traditional credit cards that don’t require a deposit and prepaid or pay-as-you-go cards that you load periodically.

What’s really enticing about this card choice is the very low fixed APR. The APR of this card is fixed at a below average rate which is a great thing for would-be credit users who don’t have the best track record making payments. The bottom line is a lower than average APR saves you money, and that’s particularly useful for people with “Poor” credit who have trouble getting approved for cards with a good rate.

There are some drawbacks, however. Mostly, you should know before you apply for the Applied Bank Secured Visa Gold credit card that it doesn’t come with any perks or rewards other than the opportunity to raise your credit score. There’s also no grace period on payments, so interest starts calculating right at the end of your billing cycle. The fees can hurt, too. Make sure to read the fine print, but otherwise, the low APR is a major boon.

10. Discover It Secured

Discover It Secured card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair and Bad Credit

APR

25.24%

Deposit

$200

Why We Like It:

"Secured but with cash back!"

The Discover It Secured card is a credit card for people with bad credit looking to grow their credit profile and build their score. The minimum FICO score for acceptance is 300. For that reason, it can also be useful for high risk applicants who aren’t interested in the allure of big rewards, like travel and cash back.

Scratch that! Unlike many competitors in the secured card marketplace, Discover It does offer the opportunity to reap cashback rewards. Earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on all other purchases. This perk makes it a standout card for people with bad credit or looking to build their credit for the first time. Here’s a sneak peek at what we love about this card:

At the time of publishing this article, the Discover It Secured card has no annual fee. That’s not likely to change anytime soon, as offering a suite of entirely “no annual fee” cards is a marketing point for Discover. With that said, since this is a secured card, it does require a deposit. For those who think a deposit sounds like a bummer, here’s why it’s actually a good thing: First, unlike an annual fee, positive credit behaviors on this card will lead to getting your deposit back if your account remains in good standing. Secondly, by putting a deposit down as your credit limit, you generally have access to better APR offers. As far as Discover It Secured is concerned it’s still going to be an above-average APR, up to 25.24 %, which is also not uncommon for those with bad credit. Finally, once you have established a relationship with Discover, several months in, they will review your account and you may be eligible to upgrade to an unsecured card. This is a wonderful gateway for those entering the world of credit purchases for the first time.

Because Discover allows you to view your FICO credit score in the card portal (you seriously can’t miss it), savvy credit card users with {fico.displayText} can directly tie their credit behavior to the impact it has on their score! That makes it easier than ever to manage your credit while building positive credit behaviors. We at CardGuru love Discover It cards, but don’t just take it from us. Take it from the hundreds of positive reviews this card gets online. If you are in the market for a credit building card, this is a good choice for a wide range of consumers, and the opportunity to earn cashback rewards doesn’t hurt either.

11. Green Dot primor® Secured Visa®

Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card card art
Recommended Credit:
300629
Bad and No Credit

APR

See terms*

Deposit

See terms*

Why We Like It:

"9.99% fixed interest credit builder"

If you have bad credit, no credit or other limitations that prevent you from accessing revolving credit, you may wonder: what can you do? Not having any credit history, or worse a sub-prime one, can be damaging to you, your family and can have a devastating impact on your lot in life. Don’t feel hopeless, however, there is a solution for you. It may be that the Green Dot primor Secured Visa credit card is an option.

You can use the primor Secured Visa to make purchases anywhere Visa is accepted. Make your payments on time or pay your balance down to zero each month and your credit score is likely to improve, eventually. The card issuer reports your payment and spending behavior to all three credit bureaus, so if you aren’t responsible with the card that could harm your credit as much as good credit habits will help it. Make sure to consider all aspects that go into increasing your credit score, which include not only payments but other things like credit utilization percentage.

The good news is if you’re ready to take the plunge and get a card, this isn’t a tough one to get approved for if your income exceeds your monthly expenses. One key factor of this credit card is that it’s secured. That means you have to pay a deposit, and the deposit equals your credit limit. For some people in a tough financial spot, that may mean the limit starts quite small. However, the Green Dot primor Secured Visa offers opportunities to increase your credit limit based on a solid payment history. This makes it a valuable card for those seeking credit for the first time, or people who need to redeem themselves in the eyes of creditors.

12. Discover it Student Cash Back

Discover it Student Cash Back card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair, Bad, and No Credit

Everyday Rewards

1%

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It:

"Get paid for good grades"

The Discover it Student Cash Back is a credit card with some enticing rewards for students. In fact, parents can be happy that their children are using a smart credit card that even rewards students for good grades! Whether you’re a student looking to venture out into the world of credit, or a parent looking into options for your new college student, we’re giving all the facts on Discover it Student Cash Back!

What’s not to love about this Discover it card geared at students? First, unlike many cards of this caliber, the annual fee on this card is, well, None. That’s amazing for a card that offers access to people with Fair, Bad, and No Credit. The APR, while above average, isn’t extraordinarily high either at a rate of 15.24% - 24.24% Variable. On top of that, it offers these great perks to make any student feel like a VIP:

Whether you're a student who likes dining out or eating in, with the Discover it Student credit card, you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it too. The cherry on top is that you get rewarded for good behavior, and can monitor your credit score like a responsible adult. If you’re a student who wants to build great credit practices and reap awesome rewards, the Discover it Student Cash Back should make a good addition to your wallet.

13. Discover It Student Chrome

Discover It Student Chrome card art
Recommended Credit:
630689
Fair Credit

Everyday Rewards

1%

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It:

"Extra cash back at restaurants and gas stations"

Are you a student? Are you longing for a ${fees.annual.displayText} card for people with ${fico.displayText}? If so, the ${name} card could be the right fit for you. In the following article we are going to look into the ${name} to determine if it’s what’s been missing from your pocketbook.

Let’s talk about APR. With the Student Chrome card, students will benefit from ${aprs.purchaseIntro.displayText} on all purchases. They also get ${aprs.balanceTransferIntro.displayText} on balance transfers. While this isn’t a balance transfer card, that’s still a below average rate. After the introductory period, your APR will bump up to a variable rate of ${"aprs.purchase.minimum}% to ${aprs.purchase.maximum}%.

It’s important to note that you should have a credit score of at least ${fico.minimum} before applying. It’s a student card, but not a card for someone who hasn’t started building their credit profile. Those who qualify will benefit from cashback rewards:

${description} Because this card is geared at students, it's excellent that it rewards good grades. There’s a lot to like about the Student Chrome card. If you’re a student looking to add some A+ plastic to your purchasing resources, this could be the card for you.

14. First Progress Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card card art
Recommended Credit:
300629
Bad and No Credit

APR

See terms*

Deposit

See terms*

Why We Like It:

"Build credit refundable deposit"

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured credit card is one of a few options for people with bad credit, poor credit, limited credit or no credit at all. When it comes to First Progress cards, they offer limited perks and few incentives to new cardholders. On the bright side, however, a card from First Progress can make your financial situation seem less hopeless if you are one of many Americans who needs access to credit but has trouble getting approved for more competitive offers.

The selling point of the First Progress Platinum Prestige card is it provides an easy-to-navigate online path to approval. With no minimum credit score or credit history required, users can quickly and seamlessly complete an online application. If approved, the card issuer offers expedited processing for people who need to get plastic in their hands, quickly.

Of the three platinum cards offered by First Progress, the Platinum Prestige has the highest annual fee but offers the lowest interest rate, essentially allowing consumers to trade APR points for fee dollars. This could be the right card for someone who has a low credit score or no credit. That’s especially true if the consumer needs a card quickly and doesn’t mind making a deposit and paying fees in exchange for lower APR.

15. Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa for Rebuilding Credit

Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa for Rebuilding Credit card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair and Bad Credit

APR

26.24%

Why We Like It:

"Credit builder 1% cashback"

In a world driven by revolving credit, your worth as a consumer is judged by three little numbers. If you want to play in the big leagues, you need to build your credit. After all, your credit will impact whether or not you can qualify for a car loan, home loan or financing for emergency medical bills.

Even if you can qualify right now, a bad credit score will send your APR soaring out of left field on the big purchases you need the most. That kind of expense can cost you tons of money, and prevent you from reaching your goals of financial security. So what can you do?

That’s the million dollar question. In order to build your credit profile, you have to find one credit card you qualify for and use it strategically to raise your score. In all likelihood, if your credit is really bad, the options for the best card to use are probably pretty limited.

That’s where Credit One Bank comes in. With the Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa, you could be eligible for a card that allows you to build credit without a deposit and even offers small cashback incentives. Here’s what you need to know about building your credit with Credit One:

Credit One is clearly a bank that believes in second chances. This is evidenced by their lack of a minimum credit score requirement to apply. That means even if your credit score is in the tank, or maybe you never started building credit, you can apply and possibly get approved!

Even better, the credit approval comes in the form of a soft credit check that doesn’t impact your credit score and can be done online in under a minute. You’ll know instantly if you’re approved for this card and can start planning your pathway to better credit.

The minimum amount Credit One offers is slightly more flexible than some other cards for bad credit, especially secured cards which typically match your deposit. The Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa doesn’t require a deposit to offer you a small amount to start spending right away.

It’s also a good choice for credit users who want to practice building credit on a card with some rewards. While the cashback incentive on purchases is below average, that’s still a lot better than many cards for bad credit which don’t offer any cashback rewards at all.

In addition, Credit One offers credit score monitoring through their custom dashboards. As you make timely payments, you’ll see your credit score improve and you may be allowed credit line increases if you show you can handle it responsibly.

Essentially, what’s great about this card is that it offers a path to redemption. Whether or not that path is clear, however, remains to be seen—and we’ll cover that in detail below.

Since a desperate quest for gold isn’t likely to fix your financial woes, let's keep the focus on raising your credit score—which you can certainly do with Credit One. Still, there are a few things about this card that can seem confusing to consumers, so let's take a deeper look:

In addition to the above concerns, you can also expect to pay a higher than average APR. This occurs simply because your credit score isn’t great. It’s a standard practice across the industry to offer higher APR to consumers with fair credit or below, or no credit at all.

That said, most of the complaints that Credit One receives are about the fine print being so confusing, misunderstood or tricky to navigate. That alone doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad deal. If you understand these potential pitfalls and the limitations bad credit presents for you when applying for a credit card, you can still use this card to rebuild your credit.

So, how do you go about building your credit with Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa? Well, the same way you would with any card. It’s simple, actually:

The first step to building credit is creating a budget and knowing what you can afford to pay off each month. Do everything you can to make sure you aren't spending more than you can afford in a few weeks when it comes time to pay the bill. Consider the amount you put on the card an advance to yourself. When it comes to advances, you need to pay them off within the allotted period. In this case, it’s each month. Once you have a budget and know what you can afford to put on the card and pay each month, you're on the right track.

If you know what you can afford, you can start to give yourself spending categories that make sense for your lifestyle. Perhaps you can afford to fully pay off a $75 balance each month and you want to use it for gas. Or you’re going to use your card to get lunch at work each day. Whatever the case, set boundaries around how you spend money on the card so you don’t end up in a bind thanks to impulsive shopping habits.

It may go without saying that once you’ve created a budget and analyzed your spending habits and the reach of your income, you should set a limit on how much you can spend on your Credit One Bank Visa. But we’re going to say it anyway: Setting up a reasonable spending limit creates yet another boundary to protect you from yourself.

While not a physical step in the process of rebuilding your credit, it’s important to say you should only apply if you’re seriously ready to raise your credit score. If you aren’t responsible enough for credit or are trying to get a card to fund a big, non-essential purchase like new furniture or a vacation, you should really consider if you need this card in the first place.

The Credit One Unsecured Visa may not be the best card, overall, but for consumers with credit that has been devastated by financial peril, it could be the best option right now. Our recommendation is, if you decide to apply for a Credit One card, be aware of the potential drawbacks we've described and be ready to use it to build your credit—and for that purpose only.

It may be the only credit card you carry in your wallet for a few years, so you'll need to be patient. Just keep in mind that building credit is a slow process. Once you’ve used it to create healthy credit card spending habits, you can eventually graduate to a better card with better rates and fee structure—and one that doesn’t have so many blind spots.

When it comes to rebuilding credit, the bottom line is simple: Your options are going to be limited. But with a consumer-friendly choice like Credit One offers, you have the opportunity to build your credit while reaping moderate rewards, provided you read and understand the fine print.

16. First Access Visa® Credit Card

First Access Visa® Solid Black Credit Card card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair and Bad Credit

APR

See terms*

Deposit

See terms*

Why We Like It:

"Credit not required for approval"

When it comes to sub-prime credit cards (or cards for bad credit, if you’re so inclined) they usually come in two forms: secured credit cards and unsecured credit cards. A secured credit card is one that requires a deposit, and an unsecured card does not. An unsecured card functions the way you would expect a credit card to function. It offers you a line of credit in good faith that you’ll make timely payments. If you have “Fair” credit or worse, finding an issuer that extends said “good faith” without strings attached, like a deposit, can be tricky. ${name} offers a solution that’s accepted everywhere Visa is.

If you’re looking for an unsecured card, the ${name} may be the right one for you. How can you know? Here are 4 things to think about before you apply for this card:

If you answered yes to all 4 questions, and you don't mind paying an initial program fee, this could be the card you’ve been waiting for. This card is not recommended for people who need a large credit limit or intend to carry a balance because of limitations with regards to the credit line, high APR and other fees. If you use this card irresponsibly, it can hurt you. The issuer reports to all three credit bureaus, which is a great thing if you plan on being smart about how you use your card and building credit. All in all, ${name} is a good choice for people with limited options for unsecured credit cards, and this is reflected by a high number of positive consumer reviews online.

17. Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card

Total Visa® Unsecured Credit Card card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair and Bad Credit

APR

See terms*

Why We Like It:

"Application response provided in seconds"

The Total Visa credit card can be filed under cards for fair credit, poor credit and bad credit. However, unlike many cards in this category, it offers unsecured credit. That means you don’t have to pay a deposit to qualify for the Total Visa credit card. However, you do have to have a checking account and this card is not without fees. One such, a program fee, must be paid at the time of approval. It should be noted, the program fee is smaller than most deposits on a secured line of credit.

The initial offering for approved applicants is relatively limited, with the opportunity to grow your credit line as you make timely payments. However, the application is fast and approval has relatively low requirements, making this a seamless process for most credit seekers. Many people can get from application to credit decision, online, in under ten minutes.

If approved, applicants will be the proud owner of a Total Visa credit card, which is generally accepted everywhere without restrictions. They will also have manageable monthly payments, allowing disciplined shoppers to build good credit habits by paying their balance in full each month. This issuer reports to all three credit bureaus, so if you play your cards right you will see your score increase. That’s the big benefit of Total Visa ownership.

18. Indigo Platinum Mastercard Review

Indigo Platinum Mastercard card art
Recommended Credit:
630
719
Good and Fair Credit

APR

24.9%

Why We Like It:

"Credit builder no deposit"

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is for people with a credit score that leaves something to be desired. It isn’t your average, everyday card for the basic consumer, but instead, a card geared toward people who have made some credit mistakes and need to re-establish creditworthiness.

It reports to all three credit bureaus, which makes it a good choice for increasing your credit score. Beyond that, it has few perks. Each will be considered here as we examine the Indigo Platinum card for building credit and establishing good credit card shopping habits.

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is issued by Celtic Bank, which promotes its mission to approach financial challenges “with a creative and problem-solving mindset.” With that in mind, this card is best for people who need to get their credit score to match their financial goals. Why is it, then, that most review sites only give it a two-and-a-half out of five stars?

Well, if you think of a five star card as the gold standard, one that springs to mind is the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which has competitive APR offers as well as rewards geared toward people with "Excellent" credit. Access to five star cards like that one could be among the reasons you are trying to build your credit to begin with.

However, if you have a "Fair" or "Poor" credit score, or have yet to establish credit, you can run into a slew of problems. For instance, you might have trouble getting qualified for a loan you need to buy a house or a car, or pay bills. You might lose job opportunities that require a credit check. Getting your house in order when it comes to credit is essential to your personal life and the well-being of your family.

That’s where the Indigo Platinum shines, almost literally, if you take into account the card issuer offers six colorful designs to choose from. Its higher than average APR, annual fee and low credit limit contribute to its negative reviews. That said, for someone who doesn’t have a lot of options, this could be the right card to square up your credit once and for all, if used properly.

In addition to reporting to three credit bureaus, which ensures your timely payments help to increase your score, this card has a few other important perks:

Consumer complaints usually stem from the above average APR, and the annual fee eating into an already small credit limit of just a few hundred dollars. Some customers believed their spending habits and payment history entitled them to credit line increases that they hadn’t received at the time of reviewing. The nature of these complaints is no different than most cards geared at people with bad credit.

Unfortunately, your credit history does follow you around, and a few mistakes in your portfolio can limit your options when it comes to credit building initiatives. Sometimes a credit card like the Indigo Platinum Mastercard is the only way to re-establish your worth in the eyes of creditors and gain access to more benefits and rewards. Other times, to expedite the process of regaining creditworthiness, people can use a credit card in conjunction with other credit-building techniques, including:

If you have "Fair" to "Poor" credit or no established credit history, the Indigo Platinum could be the right card for you. It’s an accessible, no-frills card with a low limit, intended to help consumers start the long journey to better credit. In order for that to work, however, it has to be used responsibly.

Accordingly, consumers should set limits on how they use the card, keeping their utilization at less than 30% of the credit limit. People who use this card should also plan to pay their balance in full each month. These are commitments to consider if you’re thinking about the Indigo Mastercard.

For average consumers with at least "Good" credit and a solid credit history, there are more rewarding cards out there. Also, for people who are looking to make a one-time large purchase, this is not likely the card for you, regardless of where your credit score stands. Most people who apply for this card only have access to a few hundred dollars initially.

Ultimately, the Indigo Mastercard by Celtic Bank could be a good choice for building credit, especially if you don’t want to put down a deposit to get access to revolving credit. With the right expectations and attitude about spending, there’s little in the way of improving your overall credit health with this card.

19. Credit One Bank Unsecured Platinum Visa

Credit One Bank Unsecured Platinum Visa card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair and Bad Credit

APR

26.24%

Why We Like It:

"Credit builder 1% cashback"

This card is an ideal fit for users who have bad credit or are looking to build their credit score for the first time. Credit One Bank also offers credit score monitoring and learning opportunities for those who are new to credit. There is an annual membership fee that starts being assessed in year one, with the amount dependent upon the initial credit line issued. This fee may change each subsequent year.

While easier to access than a traditional credit line, the total amount you will pay in annual fees isn’t the only confusing concern for consumers. Aside from not knowing your fee until the time of approval, you also don’t know what kind of card you’ll be eligible for when you make application, what your rates will be and more. The credit card terms and conditions, online, are generic and all of this makes some consumers uneasy.

That said, the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa is an unsecured card, which means there is likely no deposit required, making it a solid choice for people with “Poor” credit who don’t have a lot of cash on hand. If you need access to credit and don’t have a score that supports better options, this could be a fine choice when used responsibly as a credit building tool, rather than as a line of credit to be treated lavishly.

20. Indigo Unsecured Mastercard

Indigo Unsecured Mastercard card art
Recommended Credit:
300
689
Fair and Bad Credit

APR

24.9%

Deposit

$0

Why We Like It:

"Credit builder no deposit"

What the Indigo Unsecured Mastercard offers consumers is freedom. If you’ve struggled to get a credit card because of your credit score or lack thereof, this could be the card for you. That’s even true if you have a previous bankruptcy, as all credit scores are considered. With a host of things that require you to have a credit card to book or buy, this can open up a lot of possibilities, but hold the phone! Don’t apply until you know all the details about the Indigo Unsecured Mastercard.

First, as the name suggests, this is an unsecured card, which means it's one of a handful of cards that might offer you a credit card with no deposit even though your score isn’t great. If you’re jumping for joy, hold up a second, because that doesn’t mean it comes at no cost. The standard APR of this card is well above average—not unusual for an unsecured card geared at low credit users, but oftentimes secured cards, which require deposits, offer a bit of an APR reprieve. That’s the trade-off.:If you carry a balance for any length of time on this card, you’re likely to pay what you would have for a deposit anyway in APR.

With that said, don’t carry a balance and you're fine. If you are trying to raise your credit score by getting a card intended only for small purchases you can pay off each month, go for it. This could be a great card because it has no deposit. It will likely come with an annual fee, which will be decided on a case by case basis, but that’s also typical. With online account access and credit bureau reporting, this is a fairly good choice for bad credit users, even though it has no bonuses or perks. Don’t be deterred from building your credit, because once you do you may qualify for better credit card offers.

21. Capital One Platinum

Capital One Platinum Credit Card card art
Recommended Credit:
300
719
Good, Fair, and Bad Credit

APR

26.99%

Why We Like It:

"Credit builder no annual fee"

The Capital One Platinum card is a pretty vanilla card. It’s certainly not the worst card you could have in your wallet if you have a less than stellar credit score. For people with a “Fair” score, who don’t have a lot of high reward options, the Capital One Platinum card offers a stepping stone to better credit and a higher credit limit through the “Credit Steps” program. This program allows people with below-average credit to increase their limit by making timely payments.

There’s no balance transfer fee at the time of writing this. However, this is not a balance transfer card. The high APR will make transferring any large balance counterproductive. Instead, people with “Fair” credit should use this card to propel their credit score into the “Good” or “Excellent” territories.

To make the best use of this fundamental card, only charge what you can afford to pay each month. Once the bill comes around, pay it in full prior to your payment due date. In doing so, you will build your credit in a positive light and gain access to a higher spending limit with Capital One “Credit Steps” program.