Credit Cards for Bad Credit

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15 Card Offers

Intro bonus

Dollar-for-dollar match of all cash back earned the first year

Rewards

2% Cash Back on Gas, Dining
1% Cash Back on All Other Purchases

Ongoing APR

24.49% Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Intro bonus

N/A*

Rewards

1% Cash Back on Gas, Groceries, Utilities

Ongoing APR

25.49% Variable

Annual Fee

$39

Intro bonus

N/A*

Rewards

1% Cash Back on All Other Purchases

Ongoing APR

19.49% - 25.49% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 - $99

Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from third party companies ("our partners") from which Experian Consumer Services receives compensation, however the compensation does not impact how or where the products appear on this site. The offers on the site do not represent all available financial services, companies, or products.

Credit scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any offer.

*For complete information, see the terms and conditions on the credit card issuer's website. Once you click apply for this card, you will be directed to the issuer's website where you may review the terms and conditions of the card before applying. We show a summary to help you choose a product, not the full legal terms – and before applying you should understand the full terms of the product as stated by the issuer itself. While Experian Consumer Services uses reasonable efforts to present the most accurate information, all offer information is presented without warranty.

Credit cards for bad credit

What is considered bad credit?

A very poor credit rating based on a FICO Score includes scores ranging from 300 to 579. Generally, applicants with this FICO Score range may be required to pay an additional fee or even a deposit. This score range is also the lowest on the rating scale, and applicants may have trouble getting approval from credit card issuers.

How to work on bad credit

Checking your FICO Score includes the factors that are positively and negatively impacting your credit, and knowing those factors can help you get your credit to where you want it to be. In general, paying all your bills on time and keeping your balances low will help you on the road to good credit.

Secured and unsecured credit cards

There are two types of credit card options for bad credit, secured and unsecured. A secured credit card requires a deposit of a certain amount of money into a savings account, and the credit limit is often based on a percentage of the deposited amount. This deposit for a secured credit card acts as collateral, and funds are not used for regular payments. This is unlike a prepaid card, which draws from the funds you deposit and is not reported to credit bureaus. Most credit cards are unsecured credit cards. An unsecured credit card requires no deposit and is simply a revolving line of credit with a limit that you can borrow against.

Credit card details to look for with bad credit
  • Secured credit cards: These can be a great tool for helping to build credit, but only if the issuer reports the credit history to the credit bureaus. Issuers will generally require a minimum security deposit, and some will even hold your deposit in an interest bearing account, such as a CD. Secured credit card providers may not require any credit history or have a minimum credit score for approval.
  • Fees: Some issuers for both secured and unsecured cards may or may not charge annual fees, and some may even charge monthly service fees on top of an annual fee. Paying attention to all of the different fees can help you understand your total costs. Additional things to look for including any program or maintenance fees, application fees, transaction fees, and penalty fees, There may also be fees for optional services, such as fees for lost cards or credit line increases.
  • Rates: Interest rates can vary significantly and can be either fixed or variable. Paying the full balance each month could help you avoid interest and to help maximize rewards if those are offered. Some issuers offer no penalties for missed payments, while some can increase your interest rates significantly.

Know more before you apply

See your FICO? Score for free

Get your FICO? Score and Experian Credit Report along with the positive and negative factors impacting your credit.

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Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.

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