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Compare credit cards for no credit

There are plenty of secured and student cards to choose from.

If you want a credit card but have no credit history, there are plenty of options — as long as you limit your search mostly to secured and student cards. Use our table to compare your options and narrow your search by clicking "Show filters" to see products that fit your credit range and have features that will benefit you most.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Annual fee Purchase APR
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5: ★★★★★
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
N/A
$0
26.99% variable
A no-annual-fee secured card that separates itself from the pack with a $200 credit limit after making a more affordable than average deposit of $49, $99 or $200.
Cleo Credit Builder card
Cleo Credit Builder card
The Cleo Plus service is included with the Cleo Builder service and allows you to earn cash back with select retailers offered through Button as well as click-through offers and daily cash challenges.
$180
A card made with your credit score in mind
Deserve® Edu Card
Deserve® Edu Card
1% cash back on all purchases
$0
18.74% variable
Designed for college students to build credit history and earn rewards.
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
1.5% cashback on all purchases
$0
26.99% variable
A student credit card with a solid 1.5% unlimited cashback rate.
Tomo Credit Card
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5: ★★★★★
Tomo Credit Card
1% cashback on all purchases
$0
N/A
A credit-building card with no fees, no APR, and no credit check.
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Compare up to 4 providers

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Apply now
on Capital Bank N.A.'s secure site
A rare secured card for no credit that lets you apply with no credit check.

Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Finder rating 3.1 / 5 ★★★★★

Apply now
on WebBank's secure site
Terms apply, see rates & fees
Build your credit with rewards and no fees: Apply if you're new to credit or have a fair to good score.

Self Visa® Credit Card

Finder rating 4 / 5 ★★★★★

Apply now
on Self Financial, Inc.'s secure site
The Self Visa® Credit Card is unique in that it just requires you open a credit building account with Self to qualify.

Tomo Credit Card

Finder rating 4.3 / 5 ★★★★★

Apply now
on Community Federal Saving Bank's secure site
The Tomo Credit Card is a straightforward credit building card that earns 1% back on all purchases and doesn't require a credit score. What gives this card an extra nudge to our list however is that you can apply even if you're not a US citizen provided you have an ITIN.

How do I get a credit card if I’m an immigrant in the US?

If you’re just moving to the US, you’ll want to look at credit cards that cater to those without prior credit history and a Social Security number. Though your choices are more limited than traditional credit cards, you do have several strong no-credit options for immigrants.

3 steps to get a credit card with no credit

To get a credit card with no credit:

  1. Look for a card that’s open to those in your financial circumstances. These typically include secured and student cards, but may include unsecured and store products. Avoid cards that are stacked with features, as they usually require strong credit.
  2. Check the requirements. Depending on the type of card, you may need to supply a security deposit.
  3. Apply for the card. Have information such as your contact details, Social Security number and total annual income on hand. If you’re applying for a secured card, you’ll need to provide the bank info from which you’re supplying your security deposit.

Here are a few tips to increase your odds of approval:

  • Check reviews to see if a card is open to applicants new to credit. We include this information with every review at Finder.
  • Read the issuer’s requirements to see if you qualify. Issuers often include details on their card pages on guidelines for getting approval.
  • Apply for cards one at a time. Take your time and research cards you have a high likelihood of qualifying for. Then, narrow your choice to one card and apply for that one.

4 steps to start building credit

If you have no credit history, follow these steps to start building it:

  1. Decide on a credit account. Compare different types of credit accounts that can help you start accumulating data on your credit report. You can open a credit card, for example, or get a credit-builder loan.
  2. Compare lenders or issuers. Make sure your lender reports your activity to the three major US credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. Over time, this gets you a credit score derived from the information from these bureaus. This is important because lenders often pull credit reports from just one bureau when making approval decisions.
  3. Make payments consistently. Once you’re approved for a credit account, make your payments on time and keep your account in good standing. This will ensure your lender reports positive activity to the credit bureaus. After at least six months of credit activity, you’ll get a credit score.

In addition to these things, you can also help your score by keeping your card balance low, retaining your cards for a long time, opening other types of credit accounts and opening new accounts sparingly. The aim is to eventually build a good credit score — at least 670 for your FICO score. This gives you the opportunity to apply for more valuable credit cards and get better interest rates on loans. There are four types of credit-building credit cards that are especially useful if you’re just starting out.

4 types of credit cards for no credit

You’ll want to apply for credit cards you have a good chance of being approved for. These include:

  1. Secured credit cards. A secured card requires an upfront deposit — typically at least $200. While the deposit is a bummer, you’ll have many secured cards to choose from. Most of these cards require no prior credit history.
  2. Student credit cards. These can be great options if you’re enrolled in a college or university. Most student credit cards don’t require security deposits, unlike secured cards.
  3. Business credit cards for no credit. If you’re a business owner, you might want this type of card to separate your personal and business expenses. While you’re mostly limited to secured cards, you might also want to consider a line of credit such as the The Kabbage Card.
  4. Unsecured cards for no credit. If you don’t want to put down a deposit for a secured card, look for providers that welcome applicants new to credit. Consider products such as the Deserve® Classic Card and Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card.

How to choose a credit card for no credit

When you’re looking for the right credit card for no credit, you’ll want to ask yourself a few questions to narrow down your choices:

  • Do you have a Social Security number? If you’re an immigrant to the US, you’ll want to see if the card requires an SSN to apply.
  • Are you still in school? There are a variety of credit cards designed for students. These are often preferable options if you qualify for them.
  • Do you need a business card? You’ll find a few no-credit options designed specifically for businesses.
  • Do you intend on carrying a balance? If so, you’ll want to choose a card with a low APR. It’s also wise to look for a card with low fees just in case you’re worried about missing payments in the early months.

What is considered no credit?

If you have no credit, it means you have no history on your credit report.

Your credit report is a record that shows information such as your debt, payment history and how long you’ve had credit accounts. If you haven’t borrowed money — for example, through a loan or credit card — you won’t have a credit history.

A credit history is important because it’s similar to a report card. It’s something lenders can use to judge how reliable of a borrower you are. If you have no credit, you’re a question mark to lenders, and they’ll be more hesitant to accept you as a customer.

Why it’s important to build credit?

Your credit score plays an important role in whether providers are willing to lend to you when it comes to making big purchases. Personal loans, mortgages, and auto loans are just a few of the big-ticket items you’ll need to consider as you make life’s big purchases. Depending on your credit score, the amount a provider is willing to loan you can increase or decrease.

You can check your credit score through one of the three major credit bureaus.

How credit cards can help you build credit

One of the best ways to beef up your credit report is by opening a credit card.

Look for a product that’s available to someone new to credit — such as a secured card. Unlike an unsecured card, a secured card requires you to put down a deposit which serves as your credit limit. As you spend with your card and pay your card bill on time, your provider will report your positive payment activity to the credit bureaus. Eventually, you’ll get a credit score. And as you continue being a responsible cardholder, you’ll steadily see your score rise.

Scott Nelson, CEO of MoneyNerd Ltd, tells Finder that building credit is important for a several reasons.

“In today’s society, it is very rare for an individual to be able to go through life without the need for credit, a mortgage or any other financial product,”

“For this reason, in order to qualify for the best financial products and, more importantly, the lowest interest rates granted to prime
borrowers, one must have a strong credit history.

“Without a strong credit history, you may be declined loans, receive extremely high interest rates and end up in greater debt through being forced into taking out poor financial products like payday loans.”

Bottom line

If you have no credit, there are plenty of good credit cards to start with. As you make card payments on time, you’ll steadily build your credit score. With a strong score, you can apply for better credit cards, including cashback and travel products.

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