The catch 22 of bad credit is that if your credit is less than perfect, you may have trouble qualifying for new credit, but it can be difficult to improve your credit history if you are not actively trying. Some credit cards can help this problem by enabling you to rebuild your credit history and improve your credit score over time.
The best credit cards for bad credit come in two different varieties: secured credit cards and unsecured credit cards. Secured cards require you to put down a cash deposit that you can borrow against, whereas unsecured cards do not. Both types of cards have certain limitations, but either can put you on the path toward an overall improvement in your credit score.
Visa Credit Card
The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® Credit Card is the best of all the credit cards for bad credit. There are three main reasons why I recommend this card for people with subpar credit:
- Since it isn’t a secured credit card, you won’t have to put down a deposit.
- You have the ability to earn rewards for gas purchases — many secured cards don’t offer any rewards at all.
- After making several payments on time, you may be able to secure a credit line increase.
Milestone Gold MasterCard
Another unsecured card for bad credit that should be at the top of anyone’s list is the Milestone® Gold MasterCard®. Not only does this card offer a quick pre-qualification process that won’t result in a hard inquiry on your credit report, but it also offers custom design options and easy online account access. Adding to the card’s value is the fact that past bankruptcies on your report are usually okay, provided you are using credit responsibly today.
Indigo Platinum MasterCard
The Indigo® Platinum MasterCard® is yet another unsecured credit card we recently started featuring. With this card option, previous bankruptcies are okay and you can get pre-qualification without any impact to your credit score. Once you qualify, you’ll get free access to online account management tools, zero liability on fraudulent purchases made with your card, and the prestige that comes with carrying a MasterCard®.
Total VISA Unsecured Credit Card
A final option for those trying to build their credit is the Total VISA® Unsecured Credit Card issued by Mid America Bank & Trust Company pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Mid America Bank & Trust Company; Member FDIC. We no longer feature this card as one of our top offers for bad credit, but we thought it was worth mentioning nonetheless. Although it doesn’t offer a rewards program, it does offer fast or instant approval in certain cases, which is an excellent perk for anyone needing a card that reports to the major bureaus.