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Best Credit Cards for Bad or Poor Credit

If you have bad credit, there are still some credit card options for you. It's true, you won't find cards with lots of frills or rewards, but if you use your card wisely, you'll improve your credit enough to graduate to better credit card products.

The best credit cards for people with bad credit are secured cards. These credit cards, which require a security deposit that is typically equal to the credit limit amount, are designed to help people with limited or poor credit history build and repair it over time. Find our complete list of the Best Secured Credit Cards here.

    Best 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 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.

    Best Overall Secured Credit Card for Bad Credit

    This Card Is Right for You If:

    You want to earn cash back on your spending and have the opportunity to automatically transition to an unsecured line of credit. This 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. You will get automatic reviews after eight months of having the card to determine whether you can transition to an unsecured line of credit (and a refund of your deposit). Note: You do need a bank account to get access to 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. This secured card doesn't require any credit check, and you don't need a bank account to qualify. It's a basic secured card without a lot of perks, but it will help you build credit if you manage your account responsibly and make all your payments on time. OpenSky reports to all three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax). It does come with a $35 annual fee, and the refundable deposit, which starts at $200, serves as your credit line.

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