You are probably sitting there wondering if this is going to help you. Well, if you are in a position where your credit score is not positive, and you want to change that, then this list is for you.
We have gathered the most ideal options for you to opt-in and start building your score back up, so why don’t you continue reading and find out which are the best credit cards for bad credit?
List Of Top 5 Best Credit Cards For Bad Credit In 2022
- OpenSky – Overall Best Credit Card For Students And Young Adults
- Surge Mastercard – Most Trusted Platform For Credit Card For Bad Credit
- First Access Card – Best For Unsecured Credit Card
- FIT Mastercard – Premium Services For Secured Credit Card
- Reflex Mastercard – Most Popular Credit Card For Small Businesses
#1. OpenSky Secured – Overall Best Credit Card For Students And Young Adults
OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is a secured credit card that carries all the benefits of Visa. Secured cards are the best option if you have bad credit and are looking to improve it.
Since OpenSky is a Secured card, there is no process of credit checking at the moment of application. So, instead of pulling the information on your credit, the process of secured cards you need to carry out is to make a deposit for security.
By making this security deposit, you confirm your desire to make the corresponding monthly on time payments. In addition, your ability to completely pay off your credit card is demonstrated by that deposit, as that deposit becomes your warranty.
Since the deposit is refundable, you will be motivated to pay the credit card dues on time because the inability to pay can result in the loss of your deposit altogether.
Another great part of the OpenSky Secured Visa card is that it offers you the chance to choose your own limit. Since the limit is tied up to your refundable security deposit, you can choose a limit from as low as $250 and as high as $3000!
The very best advantage of getting an OpenSky Secured Visa card when you have bad credit comes when you make the payments.
If you use your credit card for manageable purchases and pay according to your monthly schedule, then you will see the benefits. OpenSky reports to all major bureaus of credit. This means that behaving responsibly will reward you with positive credit history over time.
You can rest assured about the validity of this credit card as OpenSky is issued by Capital Bank N.A. In addition, OpenSky reviews online are excellent from previous users and customers—a great sign for you to consider in your decision-making process.
- Secured credit card
- Visa card with all its benefits
- You choose the limit
- No credit checks
- Five-minute registration
- Low APR
- Lowest deposit is $200
#2. Surge MasterCard – Most Trusted Platform For Credit Card For Bad Credit
Surge Mastercard by Continental Finance is a fantastic choice for those with no credit or bad credit. This credit card is tailored specifically to those with less-than-perfect credit reports, so if that’s your case, then you might want to give it a try.
A simple online pre-application process will provide you with a simulation for you to see which credit cards you will be offered.
Surge Mastercard is an authentic Mastercard, which means it is a real card that will be accepted everywhere Mastercard is accepted.
You will receive all the benefits that Mastercard cards offer, and you will be able to purchase both online and in a store with it. In addition, you will also benefit from Mastercard’s zero liability protection, protecting cardholders against unauthorized purchases.
Surge Mastercard comes with an initial limit of up to $1000. Not only this, but you can get this initial limit doubled within six months, up to $2000. You will only need to make timely payments for half a year, and your limit will be doubled.
You can trust Continental Finance as it is an Accredited Business that has a fantastic score of A+ in the BBB, the Better Businessman Bureau. In addition, most reviews in TrustPilot mention excellent customer service and satisfaction with the offered credit card. The Surge Card is issued by the Celtic Bank of Utah.
One of the benefits of choosing Surge Mastercard is transparency. Before applying for the card, you can see and check all fees related to the usage of the card. If you aren’t comfortable with these fees, you will be glad you could see all the offers in advance.
Not only this, but Continental Finance reports to the three major credit bureaus, so you will know for sure your credit will be better after responsible credit card use.
Online reviews rave about how great Surge Mastercard is for users trying to get better statement credit.
Most users mention how great customer support treated them and how fast the registration process was. Some even report their own achievements, such as improving their score in a few months using Surge Mastercard.
- Authentic Mastercard
- Doubles your limit within six months
- Up to $1000 initial limit
- Low requirements
- Not the best APR or lowest fees
#3. First Access Card – Best For Unsecured Credit Card
Are you trying to rebuild credit? Then First Access, the next item on our list, is a fantastic Visa card catered for you. You do not require a perfect score to gain access to a First Access Card. The easy-to-use simulation on their website will give you an idea if you can prequalify to get the card.
If you do qualify, you will only have to pay a one-time program annual fee, and then you will be able to get a full-fledged Visa card. This means the First Access card is accepted nationwide, anywhere, and everywhere.
The starer limit available with the First Access card is $300, making it an excellent choice for people trying to build up their credit. A small limit will mean less chance to get your finances out of control. Good finances and budget control are mandatory in order to be able to rebuild bad credit.
The application is easy and simple. You’ll be able to access this Bank of Missouri-issued card soon after entering your information and going through the process.
Online reviews about First Access cards were mostly unanimous; most clients were very happy with their experience with First Access Cards. They stated that this card is an excellent tool for building credit. In addition, many other reviewers were glad about their superb experience solving issues with customer assistance.
- Visa card
- Nation-wide acceptance
- Easy to meet payments with a low limit
- No fees for cash advance
- Expensive entrance fee, other fees, and APR
#4. FIT MasterCard – Premium Services For Secured Credit Card
The next item on our list is the FIT Mastercard. This card represents a good entrance for those with not much income but are looking to improve or build their credit score. This Mastercard is an authentic card that’ll provide you with all the possibilities of a real Mastercard, like being able to purchase anywhere in the country or online.
This card is the perfect fit for those users who are mainly looking to improve their credit and aren’t concerned with small limits. While yes, this card’s initial top limit is $400, you can get the chance of doubling that limit up to $800 if, after six months, you haven’t fallen behind the payments.
FIT Mastercard will help you build your credit as Continental Finance reports your financial state to all the credit organizations that manage credit scores. Continental Finance is a trustworthy company with only the best review scores in TrustPilot and the BBB.
Reviews online discuss FIT Mastercard as the best option for those with the lowest scores. They claimed their journey with FIT Mastercard succeeded in improving their existent bad scores. Reviewers also commented on the fact that handling issues and solving them were easy through their support lines.
- Great for starting out
- Reduced limit is more manageable
- Can double the limit in 6 months
- Fees and rates can be quite steep
#5. Reflex MasterCard – Most Popular Credit Card For Small Businesses
The last item on our list is the Reflex Mastercard. This Mastercard is an authentic Mastercard with all its benefits. You can trust this card will work on all shops and e-commerce sites that accept Mastercard – which is virtually everywhere.
Mastercard also offers zero-liability protection. This protection is there to prevent you from suffering from credit card fraud.
The Reflex Mastercard offers its users an initial limit of an impressive $1000. However, that limit can be upped two-fold after making the proper payments for around six months. This means that in your first year of using your Reflex Mastercard, you can potentially get $2000 as your limit.
Continental Finance boasts all their fees and rates are available to you even before applying so that you can compare with other services and see if it is in your best interest or not. In addition, you can trust their reviews in Trustpilot and the BBB.
The Reflex Mastercard is made specifically for you to build up your bad credit score, so you needn’t worry about not having a perfect score because you don’t need one. Continental Finance reports to the three credit bureaus, which will result in your score getting mended over time, as long as you use your credit responsibly.
The web has a strong opinion on the matters of credit, and users online stated great experiences with Reflex Mastercard. Customer support was mentioned as very helpful and agreeable, and they also claimed this is a fantastic way of getting credit scores.
- No need for a perfect score
- Great reviews online
- Initial limit of $1000
- It can be doubled in less than a year
- Not the cheapest fees and rates
How We Made This List Of The Best Credit Cards
Our goal was to create a helpful list for those suffering from bad credit. This means taking into account a number of aspects before recommending an option.
The most important characteristics that we considered before adding a credit card to our list were:
- Annual percentage rate
- Other benefits
As it often happens to those in financial distress, deals can be less-than-ideal. The same can be said about credit cards designed for bad credit users.
Sometimes, cards will offer not-so-good deals to clients because they are aware the clients will have no other option but accept them. In the case of credit cards, these are the fees.
Monthly fees, annual fees, purchase fees, if not taken into account within your budget and your expected experience with the different credit cards, then you will have a bad time reading your credit card summary and paying the bill each month.
Our selection of cards strikes a balance between the fees that you are charged and the benefits the cards offer in terms of building credit.
Probably the best thing about the cards in this list is that they all ask for the bare-minimum requirements. Some of these cards are secured credit cards, which means basically all the requirements you need are an application and a security deposit! No background credit check, nothing.
Secured cards can indeed be the best option for you. However, this isn’t always the case. There are unsecured credit cards on our lists, but those will ask for a small credit check that needs to meet certain criteria. Still, this is a viable option for you if you are in a bad credit position.
- Annual Percentage Rate
APR or Annual Percentage Rate is a constant in all of the lending world. This rate states how much you will be paying over the amount you have borrowed in any type of loan. APR is expressed in terms of a year, and it represents an approximation, but it may not actually represent the whole cost of using credit.
However, it is a good rule of thumb to look at APR when comparing different credit options. APR may be fixed, or it may be variable. Some credit cards even offer 0% APR for new customers – at first.
You must pay attention to the fine print to see how long that 0% period will be – it is usually the first year or so. The cards we selected were gathered according to their Annual Percentage Rate and how they balanced out with the rest of their characteristics.
Credit cards usually offer you a lot in order to get you on board. These offers could be special discounts, reduced fees, or access to better rates, amongst others. The items on our list present you with benefits of their own!
It is rare that a secured credit card or a credit card catered specifically for bad credit offers any benefits at all, so we made sure to take that into account when making our list.
Beginner’s Buying Guide For Bad Credit Score Credit Cards
If you have bad credit, it can be challenging for you to get approval and be granted a credit card. Experian, the multinational credit report company, says that around 16% of people in America have bad FICO scores. A very poor or outright bad FICO score is between 300 and 579. This means that you are not the only person with financial problems.
This can be considered a structural problem by some. However, the reality is that there are so many issues people can have that can result in bad credit scores. Some of these reasons include losing your job, going through harsh economic stretches, unexpected medical bills, and divorce.
Sadly, the world of today requires you to own a credit card. If you don’t, you cannot make online purchases or put gas in your tank, for example. And you need to have a fair credit card in order to improve your minimum credit score as much as possible.
It can be a tricky situation to be in, and there are several different options to choose from. This decision can feel a bit overwhelming, we know. However, there are some tips that we can provide so that you know how to make the best decision possible as regards getting a bad-credit credit card.
A credit card, most of all, needs to be reliable. Reliability in terms of a credit card means owning one that was emitted by a trustworthy bank. Most banks can be trusted – security is their business, after all.
However, you might have had a bad experience working with a certain bank, and they could have proven to be unreliable. Customer service plays a significant role in this part of the selection because when you have an issue, they are the ones responsible for fixing it.
There are, of course, credit card emitters that use predatory practices towards their clients, squeezing their every buck for the privilege of using their services. The best way to avoid dealing with nasty experiences is by reading reviews and being aware of the reputation your potential card emitter has.
- Type of Card
There are two categories of cards in regard to bad credit. That is, the cards that are available to customers with a bad or non-existent credit score are divided into two groups: secured cards and unsecured cards.
Secured cards are cards that require a security deposit – hence secured – in order to be granted. Your deposit acts as your credit line limit, and, in general, it is FCID protected and refundable once the credit card is paid in full.
It is generally recommended that people trying to build up their credit go for a secured card because it is low risk and easy to manage. In addition, they require no credit check, and some offer the chance to transition to an unsecured card after the proper evaluations have taken place.
On the other hand, unsecured cards are what you think at first when someone says credit card. Unsecured means that no security deposit is done, but that doesn’t mean these cards are not safe. On the contrary, these cards are definitely secure.
Not only that, but these credit cards count with many benefits and can provide much better rewards than secured cards. Unsecured credit cards usually have a much larger limit, lower fees, and lower rates, so while they can be harder to get access to with bad credit, they could represent a goal to aspire to.
- The Numbers
Everything about credit cards comes down to numbers in the end. Likewise, everything about your finances is a matter of numbers, so looking at the numbers is probably the most important thing to do when deciding on your credit card. One thing is to have the idea of improving your credit, and another, different thing is to have the financial means to do it.
Using a credit card isn’t very cheap. All the costs pile up, one on top of the other. Entry fees, deposits, monthly/yearly fees, interest rates all of those affect the bottom line of your monthly payment. One thing is to be able to save up for a deposit, and a different one is to be able to get that money every month.
The idea of using credit cards for improving your credit score is to show financial responsibility to lenders so that they know they can trust you. One of the least advisable things to do, for example, is paying only the minimum on your card.
Not only will this pile up debt on your card, but it’ll also prevent you from improving your score. The same can be said about using your higher credit limit fully. You should always try to aim towards leaving some limit open to show you don’t rely on credit.
Before choosing your credit card, you have to consider all the costs attached to the card and look out for any advantages, like earning rewards such as miles, points, or cash back.
The whole idea of using credit cards to improve your credit is that the credit card emitters are communicating your progress to the correct organizations that care for credit.
The bureaus of credit in charge of keeping tabs on everyone’s credit status need to have a connection with your lenders for your hard work to have any impact.
You need to make sure the companies you are looking into offer you the service of communicating with these bureaus and improving your score as you keep making your payments when they are due.
FAQs About Credit Cards For Students
Q1. How Do I Know If I Need a Credit Card for Bad Credit?
At the moment that you ask a company to give you a credit card, that is, when you apply to their credit programs, basically what you are saying is that you want to be lent money, but you don’t want to provide proof.
You are saying you can’t guarantee you are going to make the proper payments. There is no guarantee because you have no credit score, so the issuers of the cards don’t know if they can trust you will pay or not.
When you buy a car through a loan or a house through a mortgage, there is a material guarantee that the bank can claim in case of inability to pay. In the case of credit cards, you are basically asking for loans with your credit history.
The one you built through time demonstrates this ability to pay. However, when there isn’t any history, the issuer of the card sees this as too risky, and you get rejected.
This is not the case with credit cards for bad credit, as these have been designed around the idea of reducing risks for the lenders, and as a result, more people can be accepted. In addition, there is more leeway around bad-credit credit cards than common credit cards.
You will benefit from bad credit cards if you happen to have:
- No Credit Score
When there’s no history of you getting credit and paying it off, there’s no way of knowing if you’ll actually be able to pay it. No credit history means bad credit history because no evidence is just as bad as incriminating evidence in the world of credit. If you have little to no credit history, a credit card for bad credit might be a good idea.
- Credit Score < 630
Anything under 630 can be thought of as poor or bad credit. If you aren’t sure what your credit history or score is, there are plenty of online sites that can get you that information at a moment’s notice. If you have a credit score below 630, you will probably find a good use for these cards.
Q2. What Are the Causes for Bad Credit?
Credit scores don’t originate in a vacuum. There are many factors that come to play when it comes to credit scores. An example of points being lost from your credit score would be the simple act of applying to get a credit card, as it can be interpreted as a financial problem.
These are pretty minor issues. Other big names in the career of ruining credit scores are bankruptcy, charge-offs, or have missed payments. Your credit history can take a big toll when some of these things happen.
These are some of the factors that play a role in deciding your credit score:
History of Payment: Perhaps the most crucial aspect that can influence your score. This means paying on time. If a bill is due for over a month, you can get in big trouble. Paying late only for a couple of days is one thing.
Skipping a payment in full might be the largest contributor to a poor credit score. You will see your missed payments in your credit report, and it gets worse with each missing payment.
How Much You Owe: not only how much you owe in terms of money you owe in full, but how you use your credit limit is quite a big deal.
Using too much, or all, of your credit limit might trigger some alarms at the lender’s headquarters as it may indicate to some people that you are under financial distress.
If, on the other hand, you use very little of your credit every month, then you are off to a great start towards a perfect score.
Credit History Time: low scores in credit history might be a symptom of having had credit for very little time. This means that you haven’t proven your ability to sustain a credit card for a long time. One of the best ways of proving credit history time is by having accounts open for a long time.
Even if you are not using your credit card, it is better to let the account open to gather some years of experience and influence your credit score for the better and for the worse.
Different Credits: the bureaus of credit prefer those users who will keep different account types, such as credit cards, mortgages, loans, etc. A single type of credit for a long time might not be the best way to improve your credit score.
Applying Too Much: as mentioned before, just applying for a credit card will reduce your score somewhat. If you happen to be applying to many cards or loans simultaneously, this reduction will be even larger.
The lenders see these actions as the actions of a desperate person. Smartly, you should always wait until you are sure you will get approved.
Q3. Can I Still Get a Credit Card with Bad Credit?
Card issuers are beginning to target specific niches of the market, and so there are many who have started tailoring credit cards for those with the bad luck of having bad credit.
These cards are usually very simple, with few advantages or rewards, with higher interest rates than normal, and higher fees too.
The easiest and best option is for people with bad scores to choose secured cards instead of normal credit cards. Secured cards need a safe deposit of cash that lenders will keep as collateral. This collateral will get used when the bill isn’t paid, but it can be refunded after the whole debt is clean.
Q4. What Do I Need to Get a Credit Card for Bad Credit?
There is an age requirement, which is to be 18 years old and to have your Social Security number. Along with this information, you will have to demonstrate your income and demonstrate you own a bank account – in most cases.
Credit Cards For Students And Young Adults: Conclusion
Credit cards for bad credit are some of the best tools you can use right now that will significantly impact your future. Finances are hard, and getting access to loans, mortgages, and higher credit line is one of the only ways of advancing in life. Thankfully, with these cards, you’ll finally be able to improve your credit score.