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
Updated: February 13, 2019
Experts share their tips and advice on BadCredit.org, with the goal of helping subprime consumers. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines.

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® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

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.

  • 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
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities
  • 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
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 19.74% - 25.74% Variable Yes 9.0/10

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® Card

This card boasts a super streamlined application process and advertises a decision within seconds. The rate on this card is fixed 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.

  • Checking account required
  • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
  • A genuine Visa card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
  • Manageable monthly payments
  • If approved, simply pay a program fee to open your account and access your available credit
  • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

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

This card provides all the benefits of a VISA card. Cardholders simply pay a program fee to obtain a $300 initial credit limit. Keep in mind you’ll also need to pay an annual fee that will likely appear on your first statement.

3. First Access Solid Black Visa Credit Card

This card has flexible credit requirements, making it attainable for a wide range of credit scores. It comes with standard Visa card features and protections, and it can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted (subject to available credit).

  • Get the security and convenience of a full-feature, unsecured Visa® Credit Card – accepted at millions of merchant and ATM locations nationwide and online
  • 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
  • If approved, pay a Program Fee and you can access the $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.7

Overall Rating

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

Approved applicants pay the program fee to open the account, and the annual fee is charged immediately. The initial credit limit is $300, though your initial available credit will be less until the starting fees are paid off.

4. 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.

  • 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 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 or program 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