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Guides

10 Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit (No Deposit / Unsecured)

Brittney Mayer 6/5/18

Despite how you get there, being stuck trying to rebuild bad credit can be a difficult situation. Unfortunately, even if you have made the decision to turn over a new financial leaf, the credit card companies are generally unwilling to take your word for it.

On the plus side, a number of credit card issuers are happy to offer credit to the credit-challenged. On the negative side, those offers typically come with strings that make them less desirable. For instance, secured credit cards are the easiest to obtain with poor credit, but require an upfront cash deposit to open.

At the same time, those looking to avoid an initial deposit will face other complications. Primarily, the choice will likely come down to a store card with limited usability, or a universal unsecured card with high interest rates and fees. For those who can’t afford to — or simply do not wish to — make an initial cash deposit, the limitations and/or increased fees of an unsecured credit card may be worth the trade.

Store Cards (1) | Visa (4) | Mastercard (5)

The Best Store Cards for Bad Credit with No Deposit

Although the ideal way to increase your credit card approval odds is to improve your credit, thus reducing your apparent credit risk, you may find success approaching the problem from the other end. Specifically, you can reduce your potential credit risk by choosing a credit card that is inherently less risky.

For instance, store credit cards, such as Fingerhut’s unsecured credit account, can be much easier to obtain than other types of credit cards. This is due to the fact that you can only use them with the issuing store, which limits your apparent ability to accrue so much debt that you’d be unable to repay it, thus making it less risky for the issuer.

4.8 /5.0 Stars
  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See issuer website
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 5 Minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10

That said, in the case of a Fingerhut credit account, the limitations are likely less noticeable than with other store cards. Originally a mail-order catalog company, the modern digital version of Fingerhut has literally thousands of popular items from which to make purchases, including categories ranging from bath and bedding to tires and tools.

Of course, as with most other credit accounts, a Fingerhut account or other store credit card will report your payment behavior to the three major credit bureaus, helping you rebuild your credit with responsible credit behavior. Also like many other credit accounts, your Fingerhut account will charge you interest on balances carried from month to month, so be sure to pay your balance in full to avoid interest fees. (See complete WebBank/Fingerhut Advantage Credit Account Terms and Conditions.)

The Best Visa Cards for Bad Credit with No Deposit

The original credit card network, Visa today has more than 323 million credit cards in the pockets of cardholders across the globe, meaning that Visa is, by far, the largest credit card network in the world. Accepted by over 8 million merchants around the world, Visa is also the most widely used card, making it perfect for those who shop in a variety of locations, either at home or on the go.

In addition to being widely accepted, Visa credit cards are widely issued, offered by a wide range of banks and credit unions for people of all credit types, including a variety of issuers specializing in subprime consumers. When comparing these cards, look for the lowest interest rates and fees in addition to available credit limits.

4.6 /5.0 Stars
  • Checking account required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • If approved, simply pay a Processing Fee to open your account and access your available credit
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See terms
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 9 Minutes
Reputation Score 8.5/10

The Total VISA® Credit Card has an easy online application that offers a decision in minutes. Once approved applicants pay the one-time processing fee, Total VISA cardholders will receive an initial credit limit of up to $300 (based on individual creditworthiness). You’ll also be charged an annual fee each year you own the card.

4.6 /5.0 Stars
  • Reporting monthly to all three major credit reporting agencies
  • You may be eligible for a Credit Line Increase after six months
  • Easy and secure online application
  • Receive your card more quickly with optional Expedited Processing (additional fee applies)
  • Get a result in as little as 60 seconds upon completion of the online application
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See Terms
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 10 Minutes
Reputation Score 8.0/10

The First Access Visa Card has the same processing and annual fees as the Total VISA® Credit Card. Keep in mind that the annual fee will be charged before you begin using your card, lowering your initial available credit. Both cards will also charge a monthly service fee after the first year.

4.3 /5.0 Stars
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • See if you Pre-Qualify in less than 60 seconds
  • Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • Enjoy more buying power with credit line increase opportunities, a fee may apply
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience, terms apply
  • View updates to your Experian credit score with free online access, terms apply
  • Access your account on-the-go with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate 17.49% - 25.49% Variable
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 8 Minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10

A rarity in the subprime credit world, the Credit One Bank® Platinum Credit Card with Rewards issued by Credit One Bank offers cash back rewards on all qualifying purchases made with your card. Your annual fee will vary based on your credit and will be charged before you start using your card, lowering your initial available credit. This card offers a minimum credit line of $300, with exact limits dependent upon your credit.

4.3 /5.0 Stars
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Track your progress with free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • Receive opportunities for credit line increases, a fee may apply
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
  • Stay in-the-know with customizable account alerts via email and text
  • Receive 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate 17.49% - 25.49% Variable
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 8 minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10

The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® is also from Credit One Bank and comes with the same cash back rewards as the Credit One Bank® Platinum Credit Card with Rewards — but also the same rates and fees. One thing to note is that the purchases that qualify for Credit One Bank cash back rewards cards will vary with your credit, and may be limited to particular categories. Check your cardholder agreement for details.

The Best Mastercard Cards for Bad Credit with No Deposit

The Mastercard credit card network was established more than 50 years ago in a response to the success of Visa. Processing credit card transactions in more than 210 countries and boasting over 191 million cardholders, Mastercard is the second largest credit card network in the world.

Similar to Visa cards, Mastercard credit cards are issued by hundreds of organizations, from large institutions to independent banks and credit unions, providing cards for every consumer type and credit range.

4.8 /5.0 Stars
  • Checking account required
  • We may approve those currently building their credit history
  • No security deposit required
  • Application response in 30 seconds
  • Know the score! Quarterly FICO score on your monthly billing statement
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Your First PREMIER Bank credit card activity is reported to the Consumer Reporting Agencies each month. Making your payment on time and keeping your balances low relative to the credit limit will result in positive marks on your credit report
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See issuer website
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 6 minutes
Reputation Score 9.5/10

Offered by First PREMIER® Bank, the unsecured First PREMIER® Bank MasterCard® Credit Card allows you to track your credit score with a free FICO score on each statement. As with other subprime cards, the First PREMIER® Bank MasterCard® Credit Card will charge both an annual fee and monthly maintenance fees. Be prepared to pay a one-time processing fee — called a program fee in this case — to open your account, as well. Deposit may be dependent upon credit profile.

4.6 /5.0 Stars
  • Checking account required
  • A manageable credit limit can help you stay in control
  • This is a credit card - not a debit or prepaid card
  • No security deposit required
  • Apply today and if approved, pay a Processing Fee and to begin enjoying your available credit (additional fees and charges apply)
  • Make your payments on time each month, and keep your balance low relative to the credit limit, for positive marks on your credit report
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See issuer website
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 9 minutes
Reputation Score 9.5/10

The 12th largest issuer of Mastercard credit cards, First PREMIER® Bank’s stable of cards includes a variety of different options for those looking to rebuild credit. The First PREMIER® Bank Gold Credit Card will charge many of the same fees as the First PREMIER® Bank MasterCard® Credit Card, including an annual fee and monthly maintenance fees. Deposit may be dependent upon credit profile.

4.6 /5.0 Stars
  • Checking account required
  • Monthly reporting to the major Consumer Reporting Agencies
  • No security deposit required
  • We provide a response in 60 seconds or less
  • No security deposit required
  • Apply today, and if approved, pay a Program Fee to access your available credit (additional fees and charges apply)
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See issuer website
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 9 minutes
Reputation Score 9.5/10

As with the other cards from First PREMIER® Bank, the First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card is designed for those with poor credit, and will have the associated high interest rate and fees. First PREMIER® Bank credit cards offer an initial credit line of up to $500, depending on your individual creditworthiness, and your exact annual and monthly fees will depend on your credit limit. Deposit may be dependent upon credit profile.

4.4 /5.0 Stars
  • Must have checking account to qualify
  • A good choice for those with less than perfect credit
  • No security deposit required
  • Credit card responses in 60 seconds or less
  • First PREMIER Bank may approve you when other issuers will not
  • Apply today, and if approved, pay a Processing Fee and you could begin enjoying a manageable credit limit (subject to available credit, additional fees and charges)
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate See issuer website
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 9 minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10

Another offering from First PREMIER® Bank, the PREMIER Forward® MasterCard® Credit Card has the same rate and fee structure as its brethren. While all of First PREMIER® Bank’s subprime credit cards have an initial credit limit up to $500, cardholders become eligible for a credit limit increase after 13 months. These increases can be requested by the cardholder or granted unsolicited by First PREMIER® Bank. Either way, expect to pay a 25% increase fee. Deposit may be dependent upon credit profile.

4.5 /5.0 Stars
  • Applying is quick and easy with a fast decision process
  • 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.
  • See official site, terms, and details »
Interest Rate 23.90%
Reports Monthly Yes
Application Length 8 minutes
Reputation Score 9.0/10

The Milestone® Mastercard® has a fair interest rate (for someone with poor credit) and reports to all three credit bureaus, making it a solid choice for rebuilding credit. Annual fees range from $35 to $99, depending on creditworthiness, and you get to choose a custom card design for free.

Rebuild Your Credit, No Deposit Required

No matter what circumstances led to your damaged credit, rebuilding it can be a long process, one requiring significant dedication. Luckily, consumers have a few options for getting back on track, even ones that won’t require a form of security or collateral.

One popular way to begin the process of rebuilding credit is to obtain a credit card you can use — responsibly — to establish a positive payment history, while also enjoying the perks and convenience afforded by purchasing with plastic. Make sure you research the associated costs, of course, and know all the potential fees ahead of time.

Brittney is a Contributing Editor for Digital Brands, Inc., where she uses her extensive research background to develop comprehensive guides and in-depth company profiles for BadCredit.org and CardRates.com. Brittney specializes in translating complex ideas into readable, engaging content for B2C and B2B audiences.
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