The 4 Best Credit Cards for People with Bad Credit

The 4 Best Credit Cards for People with Bad Credit
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Linsey Knerl
By: Linsey Knerl
Posted: May 11, 2015
Experts share their tips and advice daily on BadCredit.org, helping subprime consumers navigate the world of personal finance.

Are you dealing with the consequences of bad credit decisions? While it may seem that your days of great credit card offers and easy applications are over, you still have options.

In fact, we’ve identified four better than the rest credit cards designed to reward good behavior and encourage a rebuilding of your credit profile. To sign up for any of these cards, simply visit our credit cards reviews page.

Check out our best bets for consumers with less-than-stellar credit histories:

1. Credit One® Bank Credit Card with Gas Rewards

Credit One® Bank Credit Card with Gas Rewards

Credit One® Bank Credit Card with Gas Rewards

Fuel is such a common purchase for most Americans that rewarding its purchase only makes sense. Use your card responsibly and you’ll see 1 percent cash back with no limits when you buy gas. The application process is friendly, promising no hard credit queries for pre-approvals.

Credit One® has been around since 1984, offering credit solutions for those with sub-par credit with the benefits of VISA. Users can enjoy fraud protection, competitive rates and automatic reviews for credit line increases with responsible use.

2. TOTAL VISA® Credit Card

TOTAL VISA® Credit Card

TOTAL VISA® Credit Card

This card boasts a super streamlined application process and promises approval within seconds. The rate on this card is fixed (29.99 percent at the time of this article) and offers the benefit of having your payment history reported to all three credit bureaus. This can speed up repair of your credit history and FICO score.

This card is issued by Mid America Bank & Trust Company out of South Dakota and provides all the benefits of a VISA card. Cardholders simply pay a $89 application fee to obtain a $300 initial credit limit, which is subject to an annual fee.

3. First PREMIER Bank® MasterCard Credit Card

First PREMIER Bank® MasterCard Credit Card

First PREMIER Bank® MasterCard Credit Card

For times when MasterCard will suit you better, this card gives you an approval response in about a minute. A checking account is required to be approved.

First PREMIER Bank® has been around since 1929 and is a four-time recipient of MasterCard’s Performance Excellence Award. It is one of the top 20 issuers of MasterCard accounts in the country.

4. Milestone Gold MasterCard® 

Milestone Gold MasterCard®

Milestone Gold MasterCard®

Get pre-approved with no hit to your credit score with this card that offers a free custom design of your choice! Accepted where MasterCard is welcome, even those with previous bankruptcies have been approved. This card also offers easy online account access which can aid in monitoring and care of your new credit line.

The Milestone Gold® card is issued by Mid America Bank & Trust Company out of Missouri. Their MasterCard card benefits include fraud protection, extended warranties, and purchase protection.


All of these cards are typical of subprime cards in that they require a money upfront, which may include application fees, annual fees or processing fees. Limits may be lower than traditional cards, and interest rates are usually at the high end.

In return, however, you are given the opportunity to start again with the convenience and benefits of an actual credit card, instead of just a debit or pre-paid gift card.

Now that you’ve chosen and been approved for your new card, there are some important but simple steps you can take to keep your credit health moving in the right direction.

Some things you can do regularly to ensure proper care of your new account include:

  • Review your recent transactions to be aware of any fraudulent charges and to stay on top of your balance. Setting up online access is the easiest way to get real-time updates to your account.
  • Pay your balance a minimum of every 21 days to keep interest from accruing.
  • Avoid missed payments by setting up automatic payment plans with your bank. Try to pay a bit more than the minimum amount due, if you cannot afford to pay the balance in full.
  • Communicate with your card issuer if you have questions about charges, issues with making payment or would like to change your due date or method of payment. They want to keep your business and will work with you to keep your account in good standing.

Opening your first credit card after bouncing back from some bad money decisions is an important first step in reclaiming your financial freedom. What are you looking for in a new card?

Photo credit: consumerscu.org