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Easiest Unsecured Credit Cards to Get in May 2024

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Updated May 17, 2024

When you have bad credit (a credit score typically around 580 or lower), there are just two types of credit cards that you can qualify for. The first are secured credit cards. These cards act like standard, unsecured credit cards, except that you have to submit a refundable security deposit before your account can be opened.

The other type are unsecured credit cards for those with bad credit. These cards don’t require the payment of a security deposit, but they do have other costs. Because of the higher risk associated with borrowers who have bad credit, most of these cards will have a higher interest rate and higher annual fees compared to cards marketed towards those with higher credit scores.

However, if you have a fair credit score (typically ranging from 580 to 669) or no credit history at all, you may have a wider range of credit cards available to you, with more favorable terms, such as lower interest rates and lower fees.

Our recommendations

Best card for bad credit with no deposit: Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card

Mission Lane

Mission Lane® Visa Credit Card

Mission Lane® Visa Credit Card

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees

Why we picked it: The card_name is available to people with bad credit without having to provide a security deposit. Plus, Mission Lane has a pre-application process which can give you a good idea as to whether you will be approved without having a hard inquiry on your credit report if you end up not applying. Mission Lane reports to all three credit bureaus, which can help rebuild your credit.

If you have bad credit and you’re looking for a credit card that doesn’t require a security deposit, then the Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card could be for you. It offers lines of credit starting at $300, with annual fees ranging of $0. So if your credit isn’t as bad as you might have thought, you could potentially avoid having to pay an annual fee.

But, as an unsecured card, you’ll never be asked to pay a security deposit. Otherwise, this is a pretty basic card that offers no rewards and has a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Pros:

  • No security deposit required.
  • $0 annual fee if you qualify based on your credit.
  • Reports to all three credit bureaus.

Cons:

  • No rewards.
  • 3% foreign transaction fee.
  • 29.24% - 35.99% APR.

Read our full review to learn more.


Best for being prequalified: card_name

card_name

Avant Credit Card

Avant Credit Card

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees

Why we picked it: If you have fair or bad credit, you may be worried about wasting a hard inquiry on your credit report to only get denied for the card. Thankfully, the card_name lets you see if you pre-qualify without affecting your credit. Plus, the card comes with a minimum credit limit of $300 and up to $3,000, without a security deposit.

The card_name is designed for those with bad or fair credit, and you can see if you pre-qualify without it affecting your credit. Being prequalified doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be accepted, but it gives you a good idea if it’s likely. This card has a annual_fees annual fee, and it doesn’t offer any rewards or balance transfers.

Pros:

  • Reports to all three credit bureaus.
  • Proactive credit line increases.
  • $300 - $3,000 credit limit.

Cons:

  • No rewards.
  • No balance transfers.
  • Annual fee.

Read our full review to learn more.


Best for unlimited cash back: card_name

card_name

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees

Why we picked it: The Capital One Quicksilver One Credit Card is one of the few cards that offers competitive cash back, but doesn’t require good or excellent credit. And Capital One doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Which is great for those who travel internationally or make purchases from foreign companies.

The card_name is a great card for those who have already made some progress rebuilding their credit. This card offers you unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, as well as valuable benefits. For example, you receive six months of complimentary Uber One membership, which includes no-fee delivery on eligible food and groceries, and up to 10% off eligible orders with Uber Eats. There’s a annual_fees annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.

Pros:

  • foreign_transaction_fee foreign transaction fees.
  • Reasonable annual fee.
  • Automatic credit line reviews.

Cons:

  • Requires credit_score_needed credit
  • reg_apr,reg_apr_type APR.
  • No bonus cash back categories.

Read our full review to learn more.


Best for low annual fee: card_name

card_name

Prosper® Card

Prosper® Card

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees

Why we picked it: The card_name is a credit card for bad credit that doesn’t require a minimum deposit and also doesn’t charge an annual fee for the first year. Your first year’s annual fee wil be waived as long as you sign up for AutoPay, which is helpful for paying your credit card bill on time anyway. The card also comes with an initial credit limit of between $500 and $3,000, which is on the high side for a card for bad credit.

Prosper offers the card_name for those with bad credit that doesn’t require a security deposit. It has a low, annual_fees annual fee. Other benefits include instant access to 50% of your available credit while waiting for your card to ship to you. Prosper also regularly reviews your credit for potential credit line increases.

Pros:

  • No annual fee for the first year with AutoPay.
  • Initial credit limit of $500 to $3,000.
  • No fees for ATM cash withdrawals.

Cons:

  • No rewards.
  • Foreign transaction fee.
  • No balance transfers.

Read our full review to learn more.


Best for those with a prior bankruptcy: Destiny Mastercard®

card_name

Destiny Unsecured Mastercard®

Destiny Unsecured Mastercard®

Credit score needed
credit_score_needed
Annual fees
annual_fees

Why we picked it: The card_name is available to applicants with bad credit, even those who have had a prior bankruptcy. Plus, it reports to all three credit bureaus, which can help improve your credit score with responsible use.

The Destiny Mastercard® is available to applicants with bad credit, even those who have had a prior bankruptcy. However, the Destiny Mastercard® comes with a high annual fee and other fees. It charges an annual fee of annual_fees, making the total for the second year $199.c

Pros:

  • Reports to all three credit bureaus.
  • Accepts applicants with a prior bankruptcy.
  • Available to applicants with bad credit.

Cons:

  • High APY.
  • High annual fee.
  • Monthly fees.

Best for no annual fee and high credit limit: Tomo Credit Card

Community Federal Savings Bank

Tomo Credit Card

Tomo Credit Card

Credit score needed
No credit, Poor
Annual fees
$2.99 per month

Why we picked it: The Tomo Credit Card is unique but offers a lot of positive features for those who have bad credit or no credit. Since Tomo links to your bank account for autopay and you don’t carry a balance on the card, it is impossible to get into debt trouble. This means that holding this card will have a much higher likelihood of increasing your credit score. Even though Tomo doesn’t perform credit checks, it does report to the three credit bureaus, which will help your credit score. Plus, it is one of the few credit cards on this list that provides additional benefits and credits like $5 off DoorDash each month, free ShopRunner membership and cell phone protection for stolen or damaged phones.

Tomo Credit is another card issuer that approves applicants based on information other than a traditional credit score. That’s one of the reasons it's able to offer a credit card with no annual fee for applicants with bad credit. However, Tomo requires you to link your bank account and set up autopay, and it doesn’t charge interest rates. So it’s not a card for those who need to borrow money. There’s no annual fee for this card.

The Tomo Credit Card can offer limits of up to $10,000 because it approves applicants based on information other than a traditional credit score. Just keep in mind that Tomo requires you to link your bank account and set up autopay and doesn’t charge interest rates. But if you have a high balance in your bank account, then you might receive a high credit limit from this card. There’s no annual fee for this card.

Pros:

  • Available to those with no credit and no Social Security number.
  • Access to benefits and credits.  
  • Cell phone protection.

Cons:

  • You have to pay an annual “participation fee.”
  • You have to link your bank account.
  • No ability to carry a balance.

Learn more on our review.


Best for earning cash back: Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® For Rebuilding Credit

Credit One Bank

Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa®

Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa®

Credit score needed
Bad Credit
Annual fees
$75 for the first year. After that, $99 annually (billed as $8.25 monthly)

Why we picked it: It is difficult to find an unsecured credit card that offers cash back rewards for those who have bad credit, but the Credit One Platinum Visa does. The card earns 1% cash back on qualifying purchases like gas, groceries and phone, internet and cable services.

CreditOne Bank specializes in offering unsecured credit cards to applicants with bad credit, and its Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit offers 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases. Qualifying purchases can include gas, groceries, mobile phone and internet service, as well as cable and satellite TV services. However this card does have a $75 annual fee the first year, which becomes $99 the after that, billed at $8.25 a month. But with on-time payments and little debt, you may qualify for a card for those with fair credit within a year.

Pros:

  • Cash back rewards.
  • Automatic credit line increase reviews.
  • No security deposit required.

Cons:

  • Higher annual fee.
  • 29.24% variable APR.
  • Small credit limit.

Best unsecured credit cards compared

Card nameAnnual feesCredit score neededBonus rewards
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles
annual_fees
credit_score_needed
bonus_miles
$2.99 per month
No credit, Poor
N/A
$75 for the first year. After that, $99 annually (billed as $8.25 monthly)
Bad Credit
N/A

Methodology

To find the best unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit, we looked through all of the credit cards of this type on the market. A review of the top cards was then conducted by one of the nation’s leading credit card experts with more than 15 years of experience. After review, the top cards for each category were selected.

Types of unsecured credit cards

There are several types of unsecured credit cards available, but most will require a fair, good or average credit score. Of those remaining, there are those that are ideal for rebuilding credit and others that offer rewards such as cash back. Others have features and benefits that are suited towards travelers.

A new kind of unsecured credit card for people with bad credit will use alternative sources of credit information. This allows card issuers to extend credit to those with poor credit, without charging as many fees as card issuers that only rely on traditional credit reports and credit scores.

How to select the best unsecured credit card for bad credit

Looking for the best credit card for bad credit is like shopping for many other things. You first have to decide which features and benefits are a priority. For example, you might be seeking a card for travel or a card that offers cash back. Other credit card users might be looking for a card with the lowest possible annual fee, or the highest credit limits.

But regardless of how you plan to use this credit card, you’ll want to look out for the following things when shopping for an unsecured credit card. First, you’ll want to look carefully at the fees. Many of these unsecured credit cards will have high annual fees, and some may even have application fees. Other fees to look out for include foreign transaction fees, additional cardholder fees and balance transfer fees.

Next, make sure this is truly a card for those with bad credit. Some cards are best for those with no credit, or for those with fair credit. However, the best card in the world is of no use to you if you can’t qualify for it.

Finally, look out for the card’s standard interest rate. When you’re trying to rebuild your credit, you should be trying as hard as possible to avoid interest and debt by paying your statement balance in full each month. But if you need to carry a balance, you’ll want a card with a reasonable interest rate. But you shouldn’t expect to qualify for a card with a low interest rate if your credit isn’t good.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can I get an unsecured credit card with a 500 credit score?

Yes, there are several unsecured credit cards that are offered to those with credit scores of 500 or less.

What is an unsecured credit card for bad credit?

These are cards thatare designed for people with bad credit. While many credit cards for those with bad credit, most require the payment of a refundable security deposit. Unsecured cards for people with bad credit may not charge a refundable security deposit, however many have significant annual fees.

Are secured or unsecured credit cards best for rebuilding credit?

Both types of credit cards can help you to rebuild your credit, so long as you use them responsibly. This means paying your bills on-time and carrying very little, if any debt. The difference is that secured credit cards require the payment of a refundable security deposit before your account can be opened, and are less likely to charge an annual fee.

Can a secured credit card become unsecured?

Yes. Some secured credit cards will offer cardholders a refund of their deposit after consistently making their payments on-time, and avoiding debt.

Can you get a credit card after bankruptcy?

Yes. You will have to qualify for a credit card designed for people with bad credit, like the ones mentioned in this article.

How can I get approved for a credit card with bad credit?

It’s important to only apply for credit cards that are designed for applicants with bad credit. While these cards may require a security deposit, or charge a significant annual fee, you can still be approved.

Can I prequalify for credit cards with bad credit?

Some credit cards for people with bad credit offer a prequalification process, which is sometimes called pre-approval. You can typically prequalify for a credit card without it having any effect on your credit.

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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