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Best Credit Cards for Poor Credit

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by Elizabeth Smith & Heather Swick | Updated Aug. 14, 2017
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Overview

If you've had some bad luck with credit, you may find that a lot of credit cards require good or excellent credit for approval, making it difficult to qualify for new credit cards. This not only makes it challenging to get access to a line of credit but build credit as well. Luckily, a number of issuers have introduced high-quality credit cards for consumers with fair credit. Today, poor credit offers range from cards with cash back to those with low interest rates. Keep reading to see our picks for the best credit card offers for poor credit. See More

Best Rewards Credit Card for Poor Credit

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  • New! We'll monitor your Social Security Number. Get an alert if we find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites.* Activate for Free.
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • Your Secured Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% APR for 6 Months

Regular APR

23.99% Variable

Benefits

Need to build or rebuild your credit score but don't want to miss out on rewards? Look no further than the Discover it® Secured Credit Card. You earn 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back on anything else. All for no annual fee. Discover it® Secured Credit Card also comes with an introductory 10.99% APR deal on balance transfers for the first 6 months. And in the first year, Discover matches whatever cash back you earn. Discover reports your activity to three major credit bureaus and reviews your account every seven months to see if you can transition to a new card. Discover it® Secured Credit Card also provides tools to help you spend responsibly. You receive free monthly access to your FICO® credit score, email alerts, text reminders and 24/7 customer service.

Things to consider

As a secured card, you’ll have to put down the security deposit before opening an account. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card also comes with high APR on balances and cash advances. There’s no sign-up bonus, but it’s one of the only secured cards with cash back rewards.

Our verdict

Very few cards available to those with poor credit offer so much. We think Discover it® Secured Credit Card card is the best card out there for building credit while earning rewards.

Best Low Interest Credit Card for Poor Credit

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  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000! Low fixed 13.99% 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!
  • Perfect card for establishing or re-establishing credit. Reports monthly to all three national credit bureaus
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
  • See additional primor® Secured Mastercard Classic Card details

Annual Fee

$39

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

13.99%

Benefits

primor® Secured MasterCard Classic Card is a great tool for improving your credit score. Applicants with limited or no history can get approved. It’s guaranteed as long your monthly income exceeds monthly expenses by $100 or more. There isn’t even a credit check! You can easily establish a credit limit between $200 and $5,000. Berkshire Bank issues your card and the application process is fast, easy and free. Since your activity is reported to all three nationwide credit bureaus, it’s easy to establish or re-establish your credit with responsible use. The best part of primor® Secured MasterCard Classic Card is its low 13.99% interest rate. Even unsecured cards charge more. There’s also no penalty rate and a generous 25-day grace period. Since it’s a MasterCard, it’s accepted almost anywhere.

Things to consider

You’ll have to put down the security deposit equal to your desired credit line when you open up a new account. Plus, there’s a $39 annual fee and additional fees for most card activity, from cash advance to foreign transaction. There are no balance transfer options.

Our verdict

As long as you pay the balance in full every month, primor® Secured MasterCard Classic Card is one of the best options for building or rebuilding credit. We think it’s a solid option for people with limited credit history looking for a low fixed-interest rate.

Best Military Credit Card for Poor Credit

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  • Best for members rebuilding or establishing credit.
  • Determine your own credit limit ($250 to $5,000) with an interest-earning CD.
  • No foreign transaction fees when you travel outside the United States.

Annual Fee

$35

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

10.90% - 20.90% Variable

Benefits

The USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa® offers a unique chance to build or rebuild credit. You determine your own credit limit between $250 and $5,000. While most secured cards come with high APR, depending on your creditworthiness you can qualify for 10.90% - 20.90% Variable with this card. You'll even earn interest on your deposit with a two-year USAA Bank CD. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees. The USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa® also offers benefits most secured cards don’t, like identity theft resolution. And no other secured card can compete with military-specific benefits. You pay 4% on balance transfers for 12 months before and during deployment or permanent station changes. You also pay 4% APR on balances during and one year after active duty. The USAA's deployment team also guides you through the deployment process.

Things to consider

As a secured card, you’ll have to put down the security deposit as you open the new USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa® account. There's also a $35 annual fee, but low interest rates and fees make up the difference.

Our verdict

The USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa® provides unbeatable benefits and savings for members of the military. It’s also one of the few secured cards you can use abroad without fees. We think it's perfect for active-duty members who are looking to rebuild credit and save up on fees normally associated with secured credit cards.

Methodology SmartAsset has developed a quantitative and independent system for evaluating the relative value of a credit card offer versus other offers in the marketplace. Our system evaluates cards based exclusively on their features, such as their rewards earning rate (if applicable), fees, perks, and rewards program redemption options. The annual rewards values on this page are calculated using annual spending assumptions in various categories such as, but not limited to, gas, restaurants, airfare, and US supermarkets. These spending assumptions are built on research that SmartAsset has conducted on existing balance transfer credit cardholders. Our promise with our credit card recommendations is that we will always strive to have the most comprehensive, accurate, and objective method of evaluating credit card offers. Any recommendations are solely determined by the result of this research and model, and is never influenced by any fees, commissions, or other forms of compensation that SmartAsset may receive from credit card issuers for leads generated on our website.

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