bad credit cards

Top 3 Cards for Bad Credit

If you have bad credit, it can be difficult to qualify for the best credit card deals. “Bad credit” is a VantageScore of 600 or below or a FICO Score of 579 and under. In this range, if your credit application is approved, you may be stuck with high-interest rates and fees.


For a complete, in-depth look at cards for bad credit please check out our Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit Definitive Guide.


However, it’s not always impossible to get a credit card with bad debt. Here are the best three credit cards for people with bad credit.

Credit One Bank Platinum Visa with Cash Back Rewards

Cards from Credit One Bank typically come with high APRs and a number of fees that make them expensive to carry. However, they are often accessible to borrowers with bad credit who have trouble getting approved for an unsecured card anywhere else.

Terms

  • APR on Purchases: 20.24% to 26.24% Variable
  • APR on Cash Advances: 26.24% Variable
  • Annual fee:  $0 to $75 for the first year. After that, $0 to $99. Depending on your account, your annual fee may be divided into 12 equal installments and billed monthly.
  • Cash advance fee: Either $5 or 8% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater, or $10 or 3% of each cash advance, whichever is greater.
  • Foreign transaction fees: Either $1 or 3% of each purchase in U.S. dollars, whichever is greater
  • Late payment fee: Up to $39
  • Authorized user fee: $0

If you qualify for the rewards card, you will receive:

  • 1% cash back on gas, groceries, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable and satellite TV service, or
  • 1% cash back on gas, groceries, dining purchases, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable and satellite TV service, or
  • 1.1% cash back on dining purchases and 1% cashback on other eligible purchases

After you pre-qualify, Credit One will inform you of the rewards you’re eligible to receive.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a good, no-frills option for building credit. It doesn’t offer rewards, but there is no annual fee. Plus, if you make your first five payments on time, Capital One will automatically increase your credit limit.

Terms

  • APR on Purchases: 26.99% Variable
  • APR on Cash Advances: 26.99% Variable
  • Annual fee:  $0 
  • Cash advance fee: Either $10 or 3% of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign transaction fees: $0
  • Late payment fee: Up to $39
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $39
  • Authorized user fee: $19 annually

You can pre-qualify for a card by providing some basic information. Pre-qualification does not count as a “hard inquiry” on your credit report, so it won’t impact your credit score.

Discover it Secured

If your score won’t qualify you for an unsecured card, the Discover it Secured card is a good option for building credit with a secured card because it comes with no annual fee but offers cashback rewards.

Like all secured cards, the Discover it Secured card requires a security deposit and gives you a line of credit equal to your deposit. 

Terms

  • APR on Purchases: 25.24% Variable
  • APR on Cash Advances: 27.24% Variable
  • Annual fee:  $0 
  • Cash advance fee: Either $10 or 5% of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Foreign transaction fees: $0 (however, Discover is not widely accepted outside of the U.S.)
  • Late payment fee: $0 for the first late payment. After that, up to $39
  • Returned payment fee: Up to $39
  • Authorized user fee: $0

Like most Discover cards, the Discover it Secured card offers cash back rewards. You’ll earn 2% on your first $1,000 in combined gas and restaurant purchases each calendar quarter and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, Discover will automatically match 100% of your earnings at the end of your first year. If you demonstrate that you can use your card responsibly, you may be able to qualify to get your deposit back and convert to an unsecured card.

Whichever card you choose, work on handling your credit responsibly by paying your bills on time, paying your balance in full every month, and keeping your balance low. This will improve your credit score over time and possibly help you qualify for cards with lower interest rates and better perks than are available to borrowers with bad credit.

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