unsecured credit card

Compare unsecured credit cards for bad or poor credit

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These unsecured credit cards can help you rebuild credit.

Having a low credit score can make it difficult to rebuild your credit, as many of the more coveted cards will be out of reach. But just because you have a low credit score doesn’t mean you can’t get a credit card that works for you.

Certain unsecured credit cards are targeted at those with credit scores under 650 or with no credit score at all. These cards generally have lower credit lines and fewer benefits than more premium credit cards but are good stepping stones to building your credit.

This guide takes a look at the top unsecured credit cards for bad or no credit and what to do if you’re denied.

Our top picks for unsecured credit cards for bad or no credit

These cards offer some excellent perks considering they’re designed for people with no or poor credit.

Petal Cash Back Visa® Card

The Petal Cash Back Visa® Card is specifically designed for those who have no prior experience with credit cards and no credit history. While Petal will perform a credit check during your initial application, they can also connect to your bank account and other financials to determine your eligibility and credit line if you have no prior credit score. From there, a phone app helps you keep track of your finances, monitor your interest and make your payments on time. And of course, this credit card sports no fees.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®

The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® is a basic starter credit card that’s aimed at helping those with bad credit recover. This card earns 1% cash back on all purchases and offers flexible payment due dates, helping you to consistently make payments on time. Note that the card has an annual fee that ranges from $0 to $99.

What if you’re not approved?

If you’re rejected for an unsecured credit card, try calling the credit card company’s reconsideration line. This number is usually printed on the rejection letter the bank sends you 7 to 10 days after it makes its lending decision. Ask the customer service representative why you were denied and if you can work with them to reconsider the bank’s decision.

Consider applying for a secured credit card if you don’t have one already. Secured credit cards require a cash deposit upfront that acts as the credit line for the card. While these tend to have smaller credit limits or unfavorable fees, lenders are more likely to approve someone with bad or no credit for a secured card because they can apply the collateral to the card’s balance if you miss a payment.

Secured credit cards act similarly to an unsecured card on your credit report, as long as the lender reports to all three credit bureaus, so make sure to keep up on your payments. Keep in mind that late payments will still hurt your score even if your cash collateral is used to cover a missed payment. Check out our guide to secured credit cards for more information.

When you apply for a credit card and are rejected, this can show up on your credit report as a hard pull. Wait a few months to apply for another card, then apply for a card that offers guaranteed approval if you meet the requirements or does a soft pull on your credit report. That way you’ll avoid damaging your credit score even further.
Build your credit without a credit card

Moving from a secured to unsecured credit card

After a year of making on-time payments to your secured credit card, give your bank a call. If your credit score is over 650, there’s a chance the lender will offer to convert your secured card to an unsecured card.

Once your card’s converted, you should receive your deposit from your secured card. If your bank doesn’t offer to convert your secured card, check your credit score. A score over 700 should qualify you for an unsecured credit card. Consider switching to a secured card with a more lenient or transparent process for converting to an unsecured card.

Further improving your credit

If you’re approved for an unsecured or secured credit card, you’re already on track to improving your credit score. Make sure to manage your credit card properly by making regular, on-time payments. Keep your balances low and make sure to pay off any accounts in collections. Check out our guide to improving your credit score for more information.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on your credit score. Most credit card issuers give you free access to your FICO score. If you don’t yet have a credit card, free credit monitoring software like Credit Sesame will give you free access to your credit score and history.

Unsecured credit cards for no credit

Updated October 20th, 2019
Name Product Filter values Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
24.9% fixed
$0 to $99
580
The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card is specifically designed for those with less than perfect credit.
26.46% variable
$0
580
A no-annual-fee card for average credit. Earn a higher credit line after five on-time payments.
24.9% fixed
$35 to $99
580
All the benefits of Mastercard Gold for those with less than perfect credit.
34.99% fixed
$75 intro annual fee for the first year ($48 thereafter)
300
Build or rebuild your credit with this Visa credit card.
19.99% to 25.99% variable
$0 to $99
300
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
29.99% variable
$125 intro annual fee for the first year ($96 thereafter)
580
Designed for people with less than perfect credit. If you make on-time minimum payments and maintain your balances under the credit limits, you may be able to build, rebuild, or reestablish your credit.
29.99% variable
$125 intro annual fee for the first year ($96 thereafter)
580
The Surge credit card is designed for people with less than perfect credit who want to get back on track.
24.74% variable
$0
650
Designed to help build credit history with no deposit required. Apply if you're new to credit or have a fair to good score over 650.
34.99% fixed
$75 intro annual fee for the first year ($48 thereafter)
300
Enjoy manageable monthly payments with monthly reporting to all three major credit bureaus.
19.99% to 25.99% variable
$0 to $99
580
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
19.99% to 25.99% variable
$0 to $99
300
Get up to 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases determined by Credit One and double cash back rewards at the NASCAR Shop.
29.99% variable
From $99
580
Build or rebuild your credit with an unsecured card that reports to all three major credit bureaus.
N/A
Up to $239.40
300
Shop the items you need at myuniqueoutlet.com with up to a $1,000 credit.
N/A
Up to $299.40
300
Get a $500 credit limit to make purchases on the Horizon Outlet website.
N/A
Up to $239.40
300
An easy-to-qualify-for card for use at My Unique Outlet.

Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

Even if you have no credit at all, you can still find unsecured credit cards out there that may be a good fit for your financial situation. While these credit cards typically don’t offer high credit lines or many perks, using them responsibly and paying off your balance each month will help you qualify for better credit cards.

If you’re still having a hard time getting approved for one of these unsecured credit cards, you might want to look at our top picks for secured credit cards. Once you’ve had the card for at least a year and have proven you’re capable of making on-time repayments each month, you may be able to upgrade to the unsecured version of the card. If not, try reapplying for one of these other unsecured cards once your credit score has improved.

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