Credit cards with no credit check

Want to avoid a hit on your credit score? Good news, it's possible to get a credit cards without credit checks..

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While having a poor credit history limits your choice of options, there are still credit cards available that offer guaranteed approval without doing a credit check. These cards can be a great stepping stone to helping you build up your credit while saving your credit score from taking a hit.

If you have bad credit and are concerned your application for a credit card will be rejected, check out your options below.

Refresh Secured Card

Refresh Secured Card

17.99 % APR

Purchase interest rate

Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply

Refresh Secured Card

Apply today for this low annual fee secured card and get guaranteed approval with no credit check once you secure your card with some funds.

  • Purchase interest rate: 17.99%
  • Annual fee: $12.95
  • Secured required deposit: $200 - $10,000
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Compare credit cards with no credit check

This comparison displays both secured and unsecured credit cards that don’t require a credit check.

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
Scotia Momentum No-Fee Visa Card
7.99% intro APR for the first 6 months, 19.99% thereafter
22.99%
$0
$12,000
Get 1% cash back on all eligible gas station, grocery store and drug store purchases and recurring bill payments, and get 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
Get a 7.99% introductory interest rate on all eligible purchases for the first 6 months. Apply by October 31, 2020.
Refresh Secured Card
17.99%
N/A
$12.95
N/A
The Refresh Secured Card has no credit check, a low annual fee and guaranteed approval once you secure your card with anywhere from $200 - $10,000.
Take advantage of a low annual fee, with no credit check and guaranteed approval once you secure your card with some funds.
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What is bad credit?

Having bad credit usually means that your credit score is lower than average due to a history of missed payments, loan defaults or bankruptcy. Your credit history is stored by credit bureaus like Equifax and TransUnion and is used by lenders to decide whether or not to offer you credit. Your credit score determines your credit rating which could be “poor”, “fair”, “good”, “very good” or “excellent”. Your score is calculated by credit bureaus using the information on your file and is a number between 300 and 900. The higher your credit score, the lower your risk as a borrower.

Credit score meter image

What are the credit score tiers and ranges?

There is no single, definitive credit score for an individual – credit scores differ slightly depending on the bureau, which means your Equifax score will probably be slightly different from your TransUnion credit score.

While not set in stone, the general credit tiers are:

  • Excellent credit score: 760-900
  • Very good credit score: 725-759
  • Good credit score: 660-724
  • Fair credit score: 560-659
  • Poor credit score: 300-559

All you need to know about credit scores

Eligibility check vs application

Before applying for a credit card, it’s important to distinguish between a “soft credit inquiry” and a “hard credit inquiry” search on your credit report.

When you’re considering a particular credit card, most banks and credit card providers offer an eligibility check on their website. This is a simple online form that can tell you your chances of success in obtaining a credit card. This is known as a “soft inquiry” that doesn’t impact your credit report because it isn’t an official application. A “hard inquiry”, on the other hand, happens when you officially apply and involves a credit check and your credit score will be affected. If a potential lender sees a lot of hard inquiries on your report in a small space of time, this could suggest you are struggling to find credit and this makes your application less likely to be approved by the lender.

What are my options?

If you have a bad credit score – or perhaps have no credit history at all – then a credit builder credit card could be a great place to start. While the credit limits are lower and sometimes a deposit is required (as is the case for secured credit cards), you can enjoy some of the benefits of credit card ownership while you build up your score with responsible use and regular payments.

Unlike many mainstream credit cards that offer travel or reward programs, there are usually few benefits or rewards offered by credit builder cards. The interest rate on purchases, however, can be very reasonable and some cards offer guaranteed approval. It’s important to note, however, that not everyone qualifies for “guaranteed approval”.

Tips for applying

While each lender’s criteria is different, there are some general things you can do to increase your chances of approval.

  • If the card issuer offers one, use an eligibility check before applying. Figure out your realistic chances of getting a credit card before making an official application.
  • Check the lender’s advertised eligibility criteria (e.g. minimum income, age of majority, account history with the lender).
  • Find out your credit score. Contact Equifax or TransUnion to see your score.
  • Make sure you have all the correct information and documents on hand before making an application (e.g. bank account details, annual income details).

It usually takes about 10-15 minutes to apply online and you usually know whether you’re approved in moments. Occasionally, some providers may require further information and your application could take up to two weeks to be processed.

Dos and don’ts

Credit card providers have different reasons for accepting or rejecting your application. Here are some important dos and don’ts to help you increase your chances of approval and how to manage your credit card once you have it.

Dos
  • If offered, use the eligibility check first before applying.
  • Pay off your full balance every month to avoid high interest charges.
  • Be aware of annual or monthly fees or any other charges.
Don’ts
  • Don’t make multiple credit card applications at once.
  • Don’t forget to pay on time – you’ll accrue penalty fees as well as high interest.
  • Don’t spend beyond your means. Credit cards are not free money.
  • Don’t withdraw cash from your credit card. This is treated as a cash advance and usually accrues higher interest immediately.

Bottom line

If you don’t want to go through a credit check to protect your credit score, there are credit card options available that don’t require credit checks and even offer guaranteed approval. It’s important to note, however, that approval is not always guaranteed even when it’s advertised. Even if you end up being eligible for a secured credit card which requires a deposit, there are options available that help you avoid taking a hit to your credit score.

Frequently asked questions about applying for credit cards without credit check

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