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Experian and CreditMatch

Best Credit Cards for Bad or Poor Credit

If you have bad credit, there are still some great credit card options for you! And if you use your card wisely, you'll improve your credit and be able to qualify for other cards that offer even better rewards and perks.

The best credit cards for people with bad credit are secured cards and cards with little or no credit score requirements. Secured cards require a security deposit that is typically equal to the credit limit amount. Cards that report payments to all three national credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax)—which all of these do—can help you get your credit back on track. If you’re looking to build or improve your credit, these are the cards to check out!

    Best Overall Secured Credit Card for Bad Credit or No Credit

    This Card Is Right for You If:

    You want to earn cash back on your spending and possibly transition to an unsecured line of credit. Discover it® Secured is one of the best secured cards on the market: There's no annual fee, and you earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter) and 1% back on all other purchases. Discover will also automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year with the card. After as little as eight months, Discover may review your account to determine whether you can transition to an unsecured line of credit (and a refund of your deposit). Note: You need a bank account to get access to this card.

    Best Secured Card With a Possible Limit Increase

    This Card Is Right for You If:

    You want a card that offers an increased limit with no extra deposit required. The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One offers an initial $200 credit line when you make a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200. Capital One will automatically review your account after six months and may increase your credit limit without requiring you to submit an additional deposit—as long as you make all your payments on time. You may even be able to earn your deposit back as a statement credit if you make on-time payments. There is no annual fee for this card.

    Best Secured Card That Doesn't Require a Credit Check

    This Card Is Right for You If:

    You have applied for other cards and haven't been approved. The The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn't require any credit check, and you don't need a bank account to qualify. While it doesn't come with a lot of perks, it will help you build credit if you manage your account responsibly and make all your payments on time. It has a $35 annual fee. The refundable deposit, which starts at $200, serves as your credit limit.

    Best Overall Unsecured Credit Card for Bad Credit

    This Card Is Right for You If:

    You need an unsecured credit card and are trying to rebuild your credit history. The annual fee on the AvantCard is on the lower end at $39, in contrast to some unsecured cards for bad credit that charge high annual fees and tack on extra costs such as a processing fee and monthly maintenance charges. The Avant card doesn't come with a particularly high credit limit, but it also doesn't require a deposit, as a secured card would. The issuer will periodically review your account for credit line increases. The card's APR is high, so you'll want to pay the card off on time and in full every month.