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Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit: Build Positive Credit With Timely Payments


It’s a catch-22, you can’t build your credit score unless you have access to a credit card, but getting a credit card when you have bad credit can be difficult – unless you find credit cards for bad credit.

Credit cards for bad credit aren’t the only credit-building tool but they are the most expedient. The best credit cards for bad credit have low-interest rates and no annual fees. But when your credit is shaky it’s going to be rare to find credit card issuers that don’t charge an annual fee.

Having said that, let me start with the first credit card for bad credit with no deposit, no interest rate, and no annual fee.

Credit Cards for Bad Credit

1. Indigo® Mastercard® – Unsecured Credit Card

While most people can get approved for a secured card for bad credit, unsecured cards for bad credit are available too. Get the security and convenience of a full-feature, unsecured MasterCard® Credit Card – accepted at millions of merchant and ATM locations worldwide and online with the Indigo Mastercard built for people with bad credit.


Indigo® Mastercard® Features

  • Pre-qualify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score.
  • Less than perfect credit is okay.
  • Mobile account access at any time.
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards.
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.

2. Milestone® Mastercard® – Unsecured Credit Card

Credit cards for people with bad credit like the Milestone® Mastercard® consider applicants that even have prior bankruptcies. Building or repairing your credit, especially after bankruptcy, can make it easier to open doors with lenders, landlords, and even potential employers.


Milestone® Mastercard® Features

  • Pre-qualify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score.
  • Less than perfect credit is okay.
  • Mobile account access at any time.
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards.
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • Disclaimers: *Dependent on credit worthiness.

3. Destiny Mastercard® – Unsecured Credit Card

The Destiny Mastercard® is one of the few credit cards for bad credit with no deposit required. The Destiny Mastercard® can help people with bad credit improve their credit score as long as payments are made on time and credit card balances are kept low. It has been proven that using less of your available credit can help improve credit scores.

Destiny Mastercard® Features

  • All the benefits of a Mastercard, without a security deposit.
  • Keeping your account in good standing may help establish and/or improve your credit history.
  • Less than perfect credit is okay, even with a prior bankruptcy!
  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score.
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus.

4. Surge Mastercard® – Unsecured credit card

The Surge Mastercard® Credit Card is designed for people with bad credit that reports to the three major credit bureaus each month. Get free monthly access to your credit score with the Surge Mastercard®. Checking your credit scores regularly gives you a good idea of what influences your credit score.

Surge Mastercard® Features

  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From Experian* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Initial Credit Limit of $300 – $1,000* (subject to available credit)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required

5. Self Visa® Credit Card – Secured Credit Card

Open a Self account and pay the $9 administrative fee. Self’s bank partner will lend you funds to put into a certificate of deposit (CD), and you can’t access the money until the CD matures. Make your next three monthly payments on time.

Once you’ve accumulated at least $100 in savings and your account is in good standing, you’re eligible to open the Self Visa® Credit Card.

Self Visa® Credit Card Features

  • Use your savings progress to secure your Self Visa® Credit Card.
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit).
  • When you pay off your credit-builder loan, you’ll receive your principal back minus fees and interest.
  • You don’t need a credit score.
  • No hard inquiry.
  • Fund your secured-card deposit with your credit-builder loan.

6. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

No credit check is necessary to apply. OpenSky believes in giving an opportunity to everyone.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Features

  • Build credit quickly. OpenSky reports to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • 99% of our customers who started without a credit score earned a credit score record with the credit bureaus in as little as 6 months.
  • OpenSky provides credit tips and a dedicated credit education page on our website to support you along the way.
  • The refundable* deposit you provide becomes your credit line limit on your Visa card. Choose it yourself, from as low as $200.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card

7. Sable ONE Secured Card

The Sable ONE Secured Credit Card is a no credit check secured card with unlimited 2% cash back rewards on brands like Amazon, Uber, Netflix, and Spotify. Cardholders have an opportunity to graduate an unsecured credit card in as fast as four months once you hit clear milestones with transparent coaching along the way.

Sable ONE Secured Card Features

  • No credit check or US credit history required.
  • Apply with no impact to FICO score.
  • No SSN required for non-US citizens.
  • Up to $10,000 credit limit.
  • $0 set-up, annual, or monthly fee.
  • Build your US credit history fast with Sable’s enhanced reporting to the major credit bureaus.
  • Graduates to unsecured credit card after certain requirements are achieved.
  • Perks like car rental insurance and Cell Phone Protection.
  • Please see terms and conditions for additional details.

How can I build my credit fast with a credit card?

To build a credit history fast you need to have at least one account open and recorded on your file for six months. Here is what you need to do for a good credit score:

Set up automatic monthly bill payments. Late payments destroy credit scores. If a payment is more than 30 days overdue, the credit card issuer may report it to the credit bureaus. Plus, late payments come with late fees which can be up to $28. Avoid negative side effects of forgetting to pay on time with automatic monthly payments from a bank account.

Nourish your payment history. Always pay on time, even if it’s just the minimum payment. A good payment history is essential for future approvals and credit limit increases. Ideally, you should pay the full balance by the due date (to save on interest, too).

Use between 1% to 10% of your available credit limit. Using less of your available credit limit demonstrates good credit management and helps your utilization rate. How much of your available credit you’re using accounts for 30 percent of your credit score. Never max out your credit limit.

Step to take after credit cards for bad credit are opened

Credit cards for bad credit help people with low credit scores add positive information to credit reports but there are steps that will help keep you on track.

  • Review your credit reports
    Regularly review your credit reports, at least 3 to 4 times a year for unauthorized activity, errors and unpaid bills. You may request a free copy of your credit report annually at annualcreditreport.com.
  • Dispute errors
    Credit bureaus maintain tons of information on consumers. Mistakes are bound to happen. Dispute those mistakes as soon as possible.
  • Don’t close old accounts
    Lowering your available credit will lower your credit score.
  • Use your accounts
    Make purchases and pay the full balance each month.
  • Maintain a low balance-to-limit ratio
    Using less of your available credit will help raise your credit score.
  • Pay bills on time
    Lenders consider payment records to help determine your reliability.
  • Start early
    The length of your credit history is a key factor in determining your credit scores. Don’t wait to build or rebuild credit.

1 Security Deposit Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.

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