$1,000 Credit Limit Credit Cards for Bad Credit in 2020

1000 Credit Limit Credit Cards For Bad Credit
GUIDE
Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Posted: September 15, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

Plenty of $1,000 credit limit credit cards for bad credit offer guaranteed approval — though each card may have other requirements you must meet before you can add them to your wallet.

To find the card that’s right for you, you’ll need to decide if you’re looking for a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card. Once you figure that out — and we’ll give you the road map to reach your decision below — you can start whittling down your choices.

Even if you have poor credit, you can still likely find a credit limit that can provide the $1,000 you need for an emergency or to pay for an immediate expense. The beauty in this type of credit is that you can spend it however you choose.

Secured Cards | Unsecured Cards | Personal Loans | FAQs

Secured Credit Cards with $1,000+ Limits

A secured credit card will require a refundable security deposit for approval. The amount of your deposit will typically match your credit limit, so if you need a $1,000 limit, you’ll need to deposit $1,000 as collateral to obtain the card.

The credit card company will refund the entire amount of your deposit when you close your account — as long as you’re in good standing with no outstanding balance or debt owed to the bank.

Some secured cards won’t check your credit since you’re backing your account with a cash deposit. This is as close to guaranteed approval as you can get in the financial world. And if you need a higher credit limit, you can typically add more to your deposit later.

Keep in mind that a secured credit card is not a prepaid credit card. With a prepaid card, you pay for your charges ahead of time and spend that money on any purchase you make. With a secured credit card, your security deposit doesn’t count as payment but rather serves as collateral in case you default on your account.

  • Invest your tax refund to improve your credit by making the refundable deposit for your new secured card today
  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI *See Card Terms.
  • Apply in just a few moments with no negative impact to your credit score; no credit inquiry will be recorded in your credit bureau file
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★

3.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 minutes 19.99% (V) Yes 7.5/10

Whether you have bad credit, good credit, or no credit at all, you can leverage The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card to access a revolving credit line with a low annual fee that can improve your credit score with responsible use.

The amount of your upfront deposit will match your overall credit limit with this card. The maximum deposit for a new cardholder is $2,000.

  • Invest your tax refund to improve your credit by making the refundable deposit for your new secured card today
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI *See Card Terms.
  • Apply in just a few moments with no negative impact to your credit score; no credit inquiry will be recorded in your credit bureau file
  • Click for for official site, terms, and details.
★★★

3.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 9.99% (V) Yes 7.5/10

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® has a low interest rate for a secured credit card and allows you to place a security deposit of up to $2,000 to set your credit line with a $200 minimum deposit to open an account.

And if you’re in a hurry to get your card, you can request expedited processing for an extra fee that can put your card in your wallet in a week or less.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One® is one of the best credit-building secured credit cards on the market. That’s because the card does not charge an annual fee. Plus, depending on your credit history, your required security deposit may be less than your initial credit limit.

And since Capital One offers so many cards within its portfolio, you can use this secured card to work toward an upgrade to an unsecured offering. If that happens, you’ll get your new card in the mail, and the bank will refund your security deposit upon closing the secured account in good standing.

Discover it® Secured

Discover it® SecuredThe Discover it® Secured credit card is one of the few offerings in this space to offer cash back rewards. Not only can you earn a percentage of your purchases as cash back, but Discover’s popular Cashback Match™ Program will match the amount of cash back you earn during your first year with the card.

This card earns added kudos since it doesn’t charge many of the fees that other secured cards pass on to cardholders. The combination of cash rewards, no fees (or low fees), with an almost guaranteed approval makes this card a home run.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard®Citi® is one of the most trusted credit card issuing banks in the space — and the Citi® Secured Mastercard® is part of the reason why. With this card, you can use a security deposit of up to $2,500 to access a revolving credit line that can help you build credit.

Citi reports your payment history to each major credit reporting bureau. With responsible use, you may find yourself on the path to good credit — and possibly adding one of the many Citi unsecured credit card options to your wallet.

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

BankAmericard® Secured Credit CardThe BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card makes this list because it offers a perk that few other cards in these rankings can. Not only does it allow a larger security deposit than the other cards on this list (maxing out at $4,900), but you can also convert this card to an unsecured option pretty quickly.

If you manage your account responsibly for the first year — including keeping a low balance and making all of your payments on time — Bank of America may elect to return your security deposit and allow continued use of your account as an unsecured credit card.

Unsecured Credit Cards with Sub $1,000 Limits

Most unsecured credit cards for bad credit start off new cardholders with an initial limit of anywhere between $200 and $500. That doesn’t mean that you can’t eventually get to a $1,000 limit after a credit limit increase, but it will take some time.

If you need a $1,000 limit right away, consider visiting your local bank or credit union and meeting face-to-face with a loan officer who may listen to your request and consider your application for a higher-than-average starting credit line.

But if you’re willing to start small and work your way toward that $1,000 goal, here are some great options to get you going.

  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you're Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
  • Checking Account Required
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See website for Details* Yes 8.5/10

The Surge Mastercard® offers one of the largest possible initial credit limits on this list. You may receive an initial credit line of between $300 and $750, depending on your credit history.

Just keep in mind that this card will charge its first year’s annual fee as soon as you activate your account, which will be deducted from your available credit before you ever swipe the card.

You can prequalify for the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® without harming your credit through the issuer’s website. But even if you do get the card, you can’t expect to get near your goal of a $1,000 credit limit.

That’s because every cardholder — whether you have poor credit or good credit — starts off with a $300 credit limit. The card issuer may offer a credit limit increase over time, but such a gesture isn’t guaranteed.

  • Checking Account Required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine Visa credit card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.5

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
9 Minutes See terms Yes 8.5/10

You can access a maximum initial credit limit of $300 if you qualify for the Total Visa® Card. But plan for the hefty one-time fee, as well as your annual fee, that will cut your available credit by more than half as soon as you activate your card.

While such upfront fees aren’t rare when you’re talking about unsecured credit cards for bad credit, this offering has slightly higher-than-average charges that can put new cardholders in debt before they ever swipe their plastic.

  • Find out if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Eligible purchases earn 1% cash back rewards automatically, terms apply
  • Get a credit line between $300 and $3,000 based on your credit history
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Manage your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • View your Experian credit score online for free, terms apply
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 17.99% - 23.99% Variable Yes 9.0/10

You may qualify for a credit limit of up to $3,000 with the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuild Credit. However, applicants with credit scores in the very poor range won’t qualify for the maximum initial limit, and will likely be approved for the minimum limit of $750.

What’s great about this card is its cash back rewards, a rare feature for an unsecured card for bad credit. This card can help you build credit with responsible use, and offers the highest potential starting limit of the unsecured cards on this list.

  • Checking Account Required
  • Reporting monthly to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • Perfect credit not required for approval; we may approve you when others won’t
  • Easy and secure online application
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • The First Access Visa Card is issued by The Bank of Missouri pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
10 Minutes See Terms Yes 8.0/10

Like others on this list, the First Access Visa® Card only offers an initial credit line of $300 to new cardholders. But this card ranks lower on this list because of its never-ending fees.

Start with a one-time set-up fee for your account, then add your first year’s annual fee on top of that. You’re also on the hook for a monthly service fee that makes this card even more expensive. If it has one redeeming quality, it’s that the annual fee decreases after the first year.

  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • 24/7 access to your account information, even on mobile
  • Card designs to fit your personality at no extra charge
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.2

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 24.9% Yes 9.0/10

The Milestone® Mastercard® is one of several cards in the Milestone portfolio. That works in your favor if you have poor credit. After you complete a short prequalifying form on the issuer’s website, the bank may match you with the card that best suits your needs and financial situation.

This card offers a $300 credit line for new cardholders. While your initial fees and charges aren’t as high with this card as they would be with other cards on the list, you need to plan for the increase in annual fees that start with year two. That said, this is a great card to hold for a year as a tool for improving your credit score.

You May Have Better Luck Applying for a $1,000 Loan

Many people turn to credit cards because they offer a revolving line of credit you can reuse after you pay off your debt. But if you’re looking for $1,000 now — and aren’t worried about needing access to credit down the road — you may want to consider a personal loan.

With the lending networks listed below, you may qualify for a $1,000 loan for bad credit and have the money in your linked checking account within 24 hours. And while these loans will come with interest charges, you may not find all of the setup fees and the annual fee that come with most unsecured credit cards for bad credit.

With these networks, you’ll submit one form to each website. The network will then submit your loan request to every lender it partners with. If you qualify, you can receive multiple loan offers via email within minutes of submitting the form.

  • Short-term loans up to $2,500
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2,000,000 customers
  • Not available in NY or CT
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
Up to $2,500 Varies Varies

See representative example

The MoneyMutual network of lenders offer short-term personal loans of up to $2,500 to qualified borrowers. The key is that you’re receiving a personal loan — so you can use the funds in any way that you choose.

Most lenders expedite application processing. If you qualify and can provide all of the necessary paperwork, you can receive the proceeds of your loan by the next business day.

   
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$500 to $10,000 5.99% - 35.99% 3 to 72 Months

See representative example

CashUSA.com offers one of the largest maximum loan amounts on this list, with lenders that will consider applications of up to $10,000 from bad credit borrowers.

And, unlike a credit card, you can maintain a set monthly payment for the life of your loan. To qualify for a loan, you must submit to a credit check, be at least 18 years old, and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. You must also earn an income of at least $1,000 after taxes, have a checking account in your name, and provide work and home phone numbers as well as a valid email address.

CreditLoan.com has a network of lenders that offer bad credit loan options of up to $5,000 — and loans of up to $40,000 if you have good credit or better. The network has a dedicated team of lenders that work with bad credit borrowers, so this may be a good option if your credit score is subpar.

You must have a checking account in your name to qualify, and CreditLoan.com only allows borrowers to have one active loan through the network at a time. If you’re in need of a second loan and want to apply through the network, you must satisfy your first debt before you proceed.

BadCreditLoans.com offers loans of between $500 and $5,000 — so qualified applicants should have no problem finding the $1,000 loan they need.

Borrowers also won’t pay any fees for using the service, since BadCreditLoans.com, as with the other networks on this list, receive referral fees from lenders that close loans with consumers who find them through the website.

You may qualify for a loan of up to $35,000 on PersonalLoans.com, though not every applicant will qualify for a loan that large. But if you do qualify, you will receive loan offers via email in a matter of minutes.

To qualify, you must submit to a credit check, be 18 years or older, meet the lender’s income requirements (through employment, disability, or Social Security benefits), and have a valid checking account in your name.

  • Short-term loan of $100 to $1,000
  • Bad credit is welcomed
  • Large network of lenders
  • Loan decision as fast as a few minutes; funding as soon as next business day
  • Required: Income of $1000+/month and at least 90 days on job
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
             
★★★★

3.9

Overall Rating

Loan Amount Interest Rate Loan Term Loan Example
$100 to $1,000 200% - 2,290% Varies

See representative example

You can receive a same-day loan with a cash advance from CashAdvance.com. These loans typically feature very high interest rates that make them a last-resort option if you’re in a jam and have no other way to borrow the money.

A cash advance doesn’t have a monthly payment. Instead, you’ll pay back the entire loan — including interest — in one lump sum in a loan term of between two weeks and 30 days. If you can’t pay the loan off in that time, you will be subjected to very high fees that make these loans incredibly expensive.

Can I Get a Card with a $1,000 Limit if I Have Bad Credit?

Yes, but you may have to collateralize the card with a deposit. That’s because there are different types of credit cards. The two most common types are secured and unsecured.

A secured credit card, which is about as close to “guaranteed approval” as you can get, may not require a credit check for approval. Instead, every cardholder must back their account with a refundable security deposit that, in most cases, matches their card limit.

So, if you want a credit card with a $1,000 credit limit, you’ll need to place a $1,000 security deposit at the time you sign up for your account. The bank holds your deposit until you close your card’s account in good standing. At that point, you’ll receive a check for the full amount of your deposit.

Remember that your deposit does not qualify as payment. Even after you submit the deposit, you’ll still need to pay for every charge you place on the card. The amount of your monthly payment will depend on your current balance.

Unsecured vs. Secured Credit Cards

Although these cards may not sound traditional, they have all of the benefits that you’d expect from a credit card — you can use them wherever credit cards are accepted, you can rollover balances from month to month, and you can also improve your credit history because the card issuers report your payment history to the three major credit reporting bureaus each month.

An unsecured credit card has no collateral — meaning there’s no security deposit required for approval. When working with applicants who have bad credit, banks tend to prefer having a backup plan in case the consumer defaults on his or her card account. As a result, you may have more trouble finding an unsecured card with a $1,000 credit limit.

Just about every bank or issuer who offers unsecured credit cards for bad credit wants to start a new client off small. Most cards in this category feature an initial credit limit of approximately $300. Some cards, such as the Surge Mastercard®, will start qualified applicants off with a $750 credit limit.

These cards often feature a higher-than-average interest rate, as well as an annual fee, potential setup fees, and other charges. That’s how the bank offsets its risk of extending credit to a consumer who has bad credit.

You may qualify for a credit limit increase over time that will bring your available credit closer to $1,000. Banks won’t guarantee such an increase, and going from $300 to $1,000 can take more than a year.

If you’re absolutely in need of $1,000 and you don’t have a security deposit to open a secured credit card, you may want to consider taking out a personal loan to cover your current expenses. While a loan won’t provide the revolving credit that you get from a credit card, you can still build credit without paying as many fees for the privilege.

Which Credit Card for Bad Credit has the Highest Limit?

While the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® offers the highest potential credit limit for bad credit on this list — with a maximum credit line of $3,000 — not every approved applicant will receive that limit.

The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit was created for consumers who have bad credit. But the credit line will still depend on the results of a credit check. Approved applicants for this card will receive a credit line of between $300 and $3,000.

Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa

The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® offers the highest potential credit limit — $3,000 — of the unsecured cards reviewed in this article.

Remember that the issuer will also charge you the first year’s annual fee to the card as soon as you activate your account. That fee will be deducted from your available credit until you pay it off.

Aside from the Credit One Bank® card, you’re likely to find that most bad credit unsecured credit cards will offer an initial credit line of around $300. That’s because the bank wants you to prove that you’re a responsible borrower before it extends any more credit to you.

If you’re willing to pay a refundable security deposit, you can find a secured credit card with much higher spending limits and near-guaranteed approval.

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card offers the highest potential credit limit — $4,900 — of the secured cards reviewed in this article.

The BankAmericard Secured Credit Card, for example, will provide a credit line of up to $4,900. The amount of your deposit will match your credit line, so be prepared to spend a nice chunk of change if you’re looking for a credit line that large.

Quite often, consumers only look at the potential credit line when researching which credit card they want to apply for. While your available credit is quite important, it shouldn’t be the deciding factor in your research.

When a bank or card issuer creates a new card for bad credit applicants, it has to judge the risk it’s taking and create enough of a reward to make the card worth it to them. That means added fees and charges, and an interest rate that’s much higher than the rate offered to someone who has good credit.

A bank takes on a larger risk when it extends a large unsecured credit line. That means it must charge more to offset the risk. You’re going to find that cards with larger credit limits often cost you more in the end.

So, while you’re checking out the credit limit on a specific card, also look at the interest rate, annual fee, setup fee, and monthly service charges. It may make that larger limit look a lot less attractive.

What is the Easiest Credit Card to Get with Bad Credit?

We’ve already talked about secured and unsecured credit cards, but there’s a third type of card that falls in a somewhat gray area between the two. Depending on your credit needs, it may just be the card for you.

In most cases, a store credit card will only work at the store associated with the card. At times, the company that owns the store will have sister franchises that also accept the card. For example, you can use the Gap Visa® Credit Card at The Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Hill City.

These stores understand that competition from other brands makes it harder to build brand loyalty. One way to make certain a customer returns is to make it easy for shoppers to acquire a store credit card.

You’ve likely had a cashier ask if you want to sign up for the store’s credit card. In most cases, the process can take place at the register, and you can use your new credit line that day. But what the cashier doesn’t tell you is that these cards often feature sky-high interest rates and other charges to pay for their easy availability.

And while some cards may offer basic in-store rewards — such as coupons on your birthday or points that you can redeem for future discounts — you won’t find many cash rewards or other perks that really set these cards apart.

And, most importantly, you can’t use many store cards outside of the store. So, if you’re looking for credit cards with a $1,000 limit that you can use anywhere, you shouldn’t look here. Still, these cards are typically easy to qualify for and can help you build credit if you spend responsibly and make on-time payments.

Aside from a store card, your easiest bet to add plastic to your wallet is with a secured credit card. The card’s issuer may not require a credit check for approval, and some will even accept your application if you’re in bankruptcy proceedings.

You’ll need a larger upfront investment for these cards, as they require a refundable security deposit that matches your credit limit, but they rarely have the high fees that you’ll find with store cards or other unsecured credit cards. Some secured credit cards even offer cash rewards that will pay you back a percentage of every charge you place on the card.

In short, a secured card is the most affordable way to build credit if you currently have poor credit. Alternatively, you can check out a credit builder account from a company like Self, but this is a loan you pay to yourself and won’t help you get the cash you’re looking for today.

How Do I Get a Credit Limit Increase?

This depends on the type of credit card you have. Different types of cards treat credit limit increases differently.

If you have an unsecured credit card, you can choose one of multiple methods to request a credit line increase. Many card issuers have a link on their website or mobile application that allows you to answer a few questions and get a near-instant response to your request.

These questions typically revolve around your annual income and mortgage or rent payment. Essentially, the card issuer wants to determine how much of your income is currently going to bills, known as your debt-to-income ratio. If you’re approved, the new credit line takes effect immediately.

Most issuers will also consider credit limit increase requests over the phone. To find the best contact phone number for your card issuer, check out the 800 or 888 number printed on the back of your card.

Credit Limit Increase Graphic

Capital One automatically monitors accounts and will check your account every six months to see if you’re eligible for a credit line increase. If you qualify, you’ll automatically get a boost to your credit line.

Some secured credit cards will also give you a higher credit limit if you add to your security deposit. A few will consider increasing your credit line without an added deposit if you show that you use your account responsibly, such as always making on-time payments and keeping your balance low.

The key to getting a higher limit is choosing the right time to ask. Most credit cards will only increase your credit limit once every six months. If you have a new account, or you’ve received a higher credit limit within that time frame, you may receive a rejection.

You likely won’t find success if you have recent late payments or overdrafts as well. A credit limit increase is a reward for responsible financial behavior. As such, the issuer won’t consider rewarding you if you have recent mistakes.

You can also consider requesting a higher credit limit if you receive a raise at work. Since you have to input your annual income when making the request, a higher salary may qualify you for an improved credit line.

You should also hold off on asking for a higher credit limit if you currently have a large balance on your card. An issuer will see this as a desperate attempt to add more credit because you’ve exhausted your other options.

Not only will a credit limit increase give you access to more available credit, but it will also improve your credit utilization — which plays a major part in determining your overall credit score.

You can calculate your credit utilization by dividing your current credit card balance by the card’s overall available credit. For example, a card with a $1,000 limit and a $250 balance has a 25% utilization ratio.

The lower your credit utilization rate, the better your credit score. When you aren’t using a majority of your available credit, you look more responsible to lenders.

A general rule of thumb is the lower your utilization, the better your credit score. Utilization of less than 10% is very good and less than 5% is excellent.

A credit limit increase gives you access to more available credit. If you don’t make any new charges, that improves your credit utilization instantly. Let’s take, for example, a $1,000 card with a 25% credit utilization. If the issuer approves a credit limit increase to $2,000, that card now has a 12.5% utilization rate — a big improvement.

You may think that a 0% credit utilization is the best thing for your credit, but that may not be the case. In fact, FICO reports that “having a low revolving balance is actually less risky compared to having no balances at all. Having a low balance indicates you are using credit in a responsible manner.”

Do I Need a Bank Account for Approval?

Every credit card company has different rules, but most prefer you to have a bank account for approval. This allows you to make online recurring payments in a timely manner. Otherwise, the bank will depend on you to make timely payments each month.

In fact, many credit cards for bad credit require recurring payments on a specific date each month. You can only do this if you link an active checking account or savings account to your credit card account.

In fact, if you’re leaning toward a secured credit card because of their lenient approval requirements and lower fees, you’ll need a checking account to wire your security deposit and payments to the credit card company.

When you apply online for a secured card, the issuer will provide a way to link your bank account so you can transfer your deposit to the issuer. This typically takes anywhere between one and three business days to complete.

Some card issuers will even consider your bank account history before approving you for a new card. If you can responsibly handle your checking account — meaning no recent overdrafts, bounced checks, or insufficient funds — you’re more likely to successfully manage your new credit card. Without an active account, the issuer can’t view that information and may hold it against you.

People choose not to have bank accounts for many reasons. The rapid growth of online banking makes it easier than ever for just about anyone to open an account.

With an online bank, you can directly deposit paychecks or benefits checks, while earning interest on your savings and adding a debit card to your wallet. And since these banks exist predominantly online, they don’t have the overhead costs of a larger bank and can pass those savings on to you in the form of better interest rates and other affordable financial products.

Traditional Banks vs Online-Only Banks

Another key advantage of online banking is that your location doesn’t matter. All you need is online access to manage your account. You don’t have to live by a branch office to conduct your transactions.

You can sign up for an online bank account in a matter of minutes. Most banks don’t have minimum deposit requirements and those that do typically only require $5 to open an account. That’s a small investment to make if it’s going to mean the difference between credit card approval and rejection.

How Can I Build Credit Using a Credit Card for Bad Credit?

The best way to build credit is to use credit. But if you use your available credit irresponsibly, such as by racking up debt and making late payments, it can have the opposite effect.

If you have poor credit, it’s likely because you have made some financial mistakes in the past. You can put them further in the past if you replace the negative items on your credit report with positive items.

If you qualify for a credit card for bad credit, you can use your on-time payments, low balance, and responsible use to push your negatives further down your credit report.

Each negative mark on your credit history loses emphasis over time. A single 30-day late payment can drop your credit score by as much as 100 points. But if you continue to make on-time payments after that error, the effect will lessen over time and your score will continue to rise.

But if you don’t have a credit account to replace that negative item, it will sit there atop your credit file for up to seven years.

Chart Showing Time Items Take to Age Off a Credit Report

Any information — positive or negative — only goes on to your credit file if your credit card issuer or lender reports your payment history to one (or all) of the three major credit reporting bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.

Some lenders only report to one or two of the bureaus. That’s why you can have a different credit score with each of the three services.

Most credit card issuers for bad credit — both secured and unsecured — will report to all three bureaus. Some will not, though. A prepaid card, for example, does not impact your credit score at all.

That’s because these cards technically aren’t credit cards. They’re closer to debit cards in that they allow you to use the money that you’ve already deposited into the account. They don’t include any associated credit line and don’t affect your credit score.

But other forms of credit, including personal loans, credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, and other lending products, will give you the chance to prove yourself to lenders as a responsible consumer who pays your bills on time.

That will not only improve your credit score, but it will help you qualify for more affordable and lucrative financial products in the future. That can include a good rewards credit card, such as the Chase Freedom®, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, or Chase Sapphire cards.

A new credit card will also improve your credit utilization, which accounts for 30% of your overall FICO credit score. Check out the answer above for more on that topic.

Will I Qualify for a Rewards Credit Card if I Have Poor Credit?

The Discover it® Secured card and Bank of America Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card are two options if you’re looking for a secured credit card that offers cash rewards or rewards points in the form of a percentage of each transaction credited back to your account.

Your rewards rate will depend on the card you choose and your credit history.

But since these are secured credit cards, you’ll need to place a refundable security deposit before getting access to your new account. That deposit backs your account and makes it easier for you to qualify for a new card — but it can also make the card harder to obtain if you don’t have the money to use for a deposit.

If an unsecured card is more your speed, you can consider the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®. This card not only provides all cardholders with free access to their monthly credit report (which is great if you’re tracking your credit-building progress), but you can also earn 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases, including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV.

  • Find out if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Eligible purchases earn 1% cash back rewards automatically, terms apply
  • Get a credit line between $300 and $3,000 based on your credit history
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Manage your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • View your Experian credit score online for free, terms apply
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 17.99% - 23.99% Variable Yes 9.0/10

This card considers applications from consumers who have bad credit and features an initial credit limit of between $300 and $3,000 for all approved applicants.

But don’t get blinded by the potential of rewards and sign up for this card only for that feature. If you factor in the card’s potential annual fee (some applicants will qualify for a $0 annual fee) and high interest rate, you’ll have to charge thousands of dollars to this card each year just to break even.

And that’s if you pay your balance off each month. Just about every rewards credit card tacks on a higher-than-average interest rate to help pay for the rewards the card pays out to every cardholder.

Some applicants may only qualify for this card with an APR of 20% or higher. That interest rate can devour any money you make from the cash rewards, so tread lightly.

$1,000 Limit Credit Cards for Bad Credit Exist if You’re Willing to Make a Deposit

Whoever said the best things in life are free must have had an excellent credit score. For others, finding a credit card with bad credit takes patience, research, and money.

That’s because just about every unsecured credit card for bad credit charges high interest rates and fees. Secured cards may have lower fees, but you’ll need to pony up a refundable security deposit to achieve that guaranteed approval.

Whichever option you choose, just know that, with patience and discipline, you can eventually get to your goal of finding $1,000 limit credit cards for bad credit — and, in time, you’ll find yourself with good credit, a higher credit limit, and more financial peace of mind.

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