Having bad credit can feel incredibly limiting, but there are many credit cards for bad credit that can help you rebuild your credit moving forward. Many of these cards offer low variable APRs, no or low annual fees and other credit-building tools. These cards, combined with smart spending habits, can open up new possibilities and grant you the financial freedom to meet your goals.
Note: There’s no one “best” card for everyone. All cards have their perks and quirks. So, you simply need to choose the card that’s “best” for your needs and spending habits. To help you figure out which one is the right card for you, here are a few of our favorite credit cards for bad credit.
Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit 2020
Here are our picks for the best credit cards for bad credit:
- Citi Secured Mastercard: Unlike most other cards for bad credit, the Citi Secured has no annual fee.
- Green Dot primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card: With a super-low APR of Offer not found, you can’t beat the Green Dot primor’s rates.
- First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard Secured Credit Card: A low APR balances out this card’s $49 annual fee.
- OpenSky Secured Visa: There’s no credit check necessary to access the low rates of this card built to help you rebuild your credit.
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
- The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is a no annual fee credit card that helps you build your credit when used responsibly.
- Unlike a debit card, it helps build your credit history with monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus. Once available, you will also have free access to your FICO score online.
- Use your card anywhere Mastercard® is accepted — worldwide.
- A security deposit is required. Once approved, your credit limit will be equal to your security deposit (minimum of $200).
- Get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts.
- With Flexible Payment Due Dates, you can choose any available due date in the beginning, middle or end of the month.
- Manage your account 24/7 online, by phone, or in our mobile app.
- The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 22.49%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
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Benefits: The Citi Secured Mastercard has no annual fee. With flexible payment due dates, you can choose a payment date that works for your schedule. You can manage your account 24/7. Free access to your FICO score. Auto pay and account alerts. Low security deposit (minimum $200).
Disadvantages: The variable APR is the highest on this list—it’s currently 22.49% (Variable) —but if you pay off your balance regularly, the high APR may balance out with the lack of an annual fee. There are no rewards associated with this card, but that’s not unusual for a card specifically for bad or no credit.
Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card
- Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate!
- No minimum credit score requirements! We invite all credit types to apply! No processing or application fees!
- Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus
- Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
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Benefits: The Green Dot primor has a super-low APR that’s hard to beat: 9.99% (Fixed) . Plus, there is no penalty rate, processing fee or application fee. With this card, you’ll open a personal savings account to secure your credit line, from $200 to $5,000. That savings account will earn interest credited monthly, and the account is closed whenever you decide to close your credit card.
Disadvantages: That super low APR comes with a catch. There’s a $49 annual fee that you need to pay to access that rate. But that fee is really the only downside to this card available to all credit types.
First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
- Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
- No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
- Invest your tax refund to improve your credit by making the refundable deposit for your new secured card today
- Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
- Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
- 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
- Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
- 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
- Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI * See Card Terms.
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Benefits: The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard also offers a super-low 9.99% Variable APR for Purchases . The card is secured by a fully refundable deposit of $200 to $2,000.
Disadvantages: The main disadvantage to this card is its $49 annual fee. Unfortunately, the card is not yet available nationwide, either. If you live in New York, Iowa, Arkansas or Wisconsin, you’ll need to find another credit card for now.
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
- Build Your Credit fast with our monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus.
- Choose your credit line as low as $200 up to $3000, secured by a fully-refundable* security deposit.
- Security deposit needs to be submitted before the credit card can be issued.
- No credit check necessary and no checking account required; apply in less than 5 minutes.
- Extra credit when you need it, increase your credit line up to $5000
- Access to online financial education.
- *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card. Click the Apply Now button to get to the application page.
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Benefits: If you’re trying to rebuild your credit, the OpenSky Secured Visa is a great choice. You determine your credit line—submit a fully refundable security deposit between $200 and $3,000—and increase your credit line up to $5,000. There’s no credit check necessary, so you don’t have to worry about another dip to your credit score.
Disadvantages: There is a $35 annual fee, and the ongoing APR is a little high—it’s currently 18.89% (variable) .
How to Choose the Best Credit Card for Bad Credit
Choosing a credit card for bad credit depends on your financial circumstances. One of the most important reasons to get a card for poor credit is to rebuild your credit, so you’ll want to choose a card that can help you do that.
Pay attention to the fees and APR associated with any card you’re considering. While a security deposit for a secured card may seem like a steep up-front expense, it might be worth it if you can avoid higher fees later and improve your credit health overall.
Choose a card that rewards your spending habits and provides incentives for the types of purchases you tend to make. Before you apply, you should know your credit score so you can have a better idea of what cards are right for you. You can check your credit report for free with Credit.com.
Editorial disclosure: Reviews are as determined solely by Credit.com staff. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the reviewers and aren’t reviewed or approved by any advertiser. Information presented is accurate as of the date of the review, including information on card rates, rewards and fees. Check the issuer’s website for the most current information on each card listed.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.