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Credit Cards for Bad Credit from our Partners

By updated on November 26, 2014

Consumers with bad credit may feel they have no hope for rebuilding their credit or obtaining new credit, but take heart: many credit card companies offer credit cards for customers with below average credit. Find out the best credit cards for people with bad credit by reading expert reviews and checking expert ratings.

What are credit cards for bad credit?

Consumers with a low credit score have several options for credit cards, depending on their credit score. Some customers will need to apply for a secured credit card with a guaranteed approval in order to rebuild their credit. Others can qualify for a subprime credit card that usually will carry a higher-than-normal interest rate, a high annual fee or a low credit line.

Credit Cards for Bad Credit, How do I know whether one is right for me?

You may think you know what your credit score is, but since your score changes frequently, it is always a good idea to check your instant credit report. If you have been turned down for other credit cards or loans, this often means your credit is not good enough for some lenders or credit card companies. But not every company has the same standards, so find out your score and then check out the expert reviews and ratings to see which credit card for bad credit might meet your needs. In general, if your credit score is lower than 675, you may find that you need a credit card designed for borrowers with bad credit.

How can I check my credit to see what kind of card I need?

Every consumer has the right to a free credit report from all three major credit reporting agencies. It is a good idea to check these scores before applying for a credit card based on that you think is bad credit. Check your credit report for mistakes and also check your credit score to see where you stand. Sometimes people assume they have bad credit when they don't; other times people think their credit score is higher than it is. The only way to know for sure what credit card companies see is to get your credit report. If your credit score is low, check out these credit score tips to see if you can make some changes that will improve your credit score ratings.

How do I choose the right credit card for bad credit?

Review expert ratings which may help you see which credit card may meet your needs. Look for a credit card that reports to all three credit reporting agencies monthly so that your on-time payments can be used to boost your score. If you have trouble managing credit, look for a card that offers email and text alerts when you are close to maxing out your card or forgetting to pay the bill. Credit cards for people with bad credit can vary greatly from one product to the next, so be sure to shop around for the card with the lowest rates and fees.

First National Bank Secured Visa® Card

Editor's Rating

  • Your stepping stone to credit that can grow with you.
  • You provide an upfront deposit - from $300 to $5,000 - and that sets your credit limit, subject to our credit approval.
  • How you use your card will reflect on your credit rating with the three major credit bureaus.
Apply Now Credit Needed Bad
X

Purchase APR

20.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$29 

Capital One® Secured MasterCard®

Editor's Rating

  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Get free access to your credit score and learn how everyday decisions can affect your score using Capital One® Credit Tracker
  • Your minimum security deposit gets you a $200 credit line
Apply Now Credit Needed Bad
X

Purchase APR

22.9% (Variable) 

Annual Fee

$29 

Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards

Editor's Rating

  • Unlimited 1% cash back gas rewards
  • No limit to the gas rewards you can earn
  • Get Pre-Qualified without affecting your credit score
Apply Now Credit Needed Poor
X

Purchase APR

17.90% - 23.90% Variable*

Annual Fee

$35-$99 

First Progress Platinum Prestige Secured MasterCard

Editor's Rating

  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Requires $300 Refundable Deposit and Checking Account to Apply
Apply Now Credit Needed Poor
X

Purchase APR

11.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$44 

First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

Editor's Rating

  • Process your card more quickly by choosing our Expedited Processing Option (limitations and fee apply - see First Progress website)
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick, Easy and Complete Online Application
Apply Now Credit Needed Poor
X

Purchase APR

14.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$39 

First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

Editor's Rating

  • Submit Your Refundable Security Deposit of $300 - $2,000 at Time of Application
  • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Get Your Deposit Back at Any Time
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards are Accepted!
Apply Now Credit Needed Poor
X

Purchase APR

19.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$29 

UNITY® Visa Secured Credit Card - The Comeback Card

Editor's Rating

  • A secured credit card to help rebuild your credit
  • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Credit line secured by FDIC insured fully refundable deposit of $250-$10,000 submitted with application
Apply Now Credit Needed Poor
X

Purchase APR

17.99% Fixed

Annual Fee

$39 

primor Secured Visa Gold Card

Editor's Rating

  • Reports to all three nationwide credit bureaus.
  • Low fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases. With no penalty Rate!
  • No processing or application fee.
Apply Now Credit Needed Poor
X

Purchase APR

9.99% Fixed

Annual Fee

$49 

Horizon Gold Card

Editor's Rating

  • 0% APR
  • Guaranteed Approval*
  • Fast Online Application
Apply Now Credit Needed Poor
X

Purchase APR

0% 

Annual Fee

See issuer website 

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Editor's Rating

  • Build Your Credit, with monthly updates to all 3 credit bureaus
  • Control Your Finances, start with a security deposit and credit line as low as $200
  • Apply in less than 5 minutes, NO credit check necessary
Apply Now Credit Needed Poor
X

Purchase APR

17.50% Variable

Annual Fee

$29 

primor Secured Visa Classic Card

Editor's Rating

  • Reports to all three nationwide credit bureaus.
  • Low fixed 13.99% interest rate on purchases. With no penalty Rate!
  • No processing or application fee.
Apply Now Credit Needed Poor
X

Purchase APR

13.99% Fixed

Annual Fee

$39