If your credit rating is less than stellar, finding a credit card can be a tricky business. With no history of borrowing (or a history of missed payments), you’ll probably find most of your credit card applications refused. If you do get accepted, it’s likely the borrower will mitigate the risk by applying crushingly high-interest rates. But take heart, credit is out there if you look hard enough, and there are even some providers that are willing to take the ultimate leap of faith by offering unsecured credit (i.e. credit that doesn’t need to be “secured” with an initial deposit). To help you sort the good from the bad, we’ve put together a list of the best unsecured credit cards for bad credit.
1. Milestone Mastercard – Less Than Perfect Credit Considered
As the name suggests, the Milestone Mastercard - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered is perfectly happy to consider your application even if your credit history is less than desirable. For an unsecured credit card, the interest rate is more than reasonable (expect a regular APR of just 24%) while its 25-day grace period on new purchases gives you some breathing space between payments. Annual fees can vary depending on your credit history, but with added perks such as fraud protection, mobile account access, and free access to your credit score, the $35-99 in running costs is probably more than worth it.
2. Indigo Platinum MasterCard
For anyone looking to improve their credit rating, the Indigo Platinum MasterCard is a great option. For an annual fee of just $59, you’ll have access to an interest that’s one of the best amongst non-premium cards (23.9%). As an added bonus, there are no hidden or additional fees, and a prequalification check will let you know if you’re likely to be accepted (with no impact on your credit score). The issuers are willing to consider most applications, even if you have a bankruptcy in your history.
3. Credit One Bank Platinum Visa with Cash Back Rewards
Sign up to the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa with Cash Back Rewards and not only will you get a very fair variable APR of 20.24%-26.24% (depending on your creditworthiness), you’ll also get unlimited 1% cashback on all eligible purchases, which will simply show up on your account as a statement credit (no longwinded or laborious claims process to consider). Credit limits start at $300, but you stand to increase this (and your credit rating) if you keep up with your regular monthly payments. The one slight drawback is the annual fee, which can go up to $99 (again, depending on your credit rating).
4. Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Specially designed for students, the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is a great option for students looking to build their credit score with a card that rewards them for responsible upkeep. Get a flat 1% cashback on all purchases, plus an extra 0.25% cashback if you pay your monthly bill by the due date. Some of the additional bonuses include a credit limit increase if you make your first 5 payments on time, no foreign transaction fees, free access to your credit score, and a 0% annual fee.
5. Petal Visa Credit Card
The Petal Visa Credit Card is a great option if you don’t have any credit to your name- rather than rely solely on your credit score, the issuers will judge your application by reviewing how you use, make and save money on your bank account. Credit limits vary between a generous $500 to $1000, depending on your creditworthiness. Added benefits include no late fees, overdraft fees or annual fees and a cashback rate of 1% against all purchases made in the 1st year, increasing to 1.5% if you make 12 consecutive payments on time.
6. Capital One Platinum Credit Card
The first attractive quality of the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is the lack of annual fee. The 2nd is the issuer’s willingness to review and increase your credit limit after 5 consecutive months of on-time payments. Final benefits include no foreign transaction fees, free access to your credit rating, fraud coverage and flexible payment dates.
7. Surge Mastercard
The Surge Mastercard is specially designed for anyone with a very poor credit score. While it does come with an easy qualification process, there are a couple of things worth bearing in mind before you commit. At 29.99%, its APR is amongst the highest among unsecured credit cards- as is its annual fee of $125. While the second year does come with a drop in the annual fee to $96, it also comes with a flat monthly charge of $10. That said, for anyone who has been refused credit elsewhere, it’s almost guaranteed acceptance does at least allow you access to credit and the chance to start repairing your credit score.
8. Total Visa
Like the Surge Mastercard, Total Visa offers a very easy to access line of credit for anyone who’s struggled to qualify for other cards. For a one-time, upfront fee of $89, an annual fee of $79 in the first year (reducing to $48 in each subsequent year), a monthly fee of $6.25 after your first year, and an APR of 29.99%, the card doesn’t come cheap. It does, however, offer you the chance to start repairing your credit rating- once you’ve achieved that, you’ll find your chance of securing a card with better rates elsewhere that much higher.
9. Capital One QuicksilverOne Rewards Mastercard
Although other cards offer better interest rates and lower annual fees (this one comes with a variable APR of 26.96% and an annual fee of $39), the Capital One QuicksilverOne Rewards Mastercard has a number of added perks that make it worth a 2nd glance. First up, cardholders enjoy a 1.5% cashback on all their purchases. Secondly, it rewards responsible borrowing by increasing your credit limit after you make your first 5 payments on time. If that wasn’t enough, you’ll also earn a one-time cash bonus of $150 once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
10. First Access Solid Black Visa Credit Card.
Last up, we have the First Access Solid Black Visa Credit Card. As well as reporting to all three credit bureaus monthly (thus offering a great opportunity to build and repair your credit score), it also offers easy acceptance, a $300 credit line, and manageable monthly repayment options.
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Written by Bill Vix
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