2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING CREDIT CARDS FOR BAD CREDIT


 Are There Credit Cards for People with Bad Credit?  

If you’ve ever faced difficulties with your credit, regardless of whether or not they were within your control, you’ve likely also felt a sense of anxiety. Having a good credit history is necessary to do everything from buying a car to purchasing a home.

One of the best ways to build your credit is through making on-time payments on a credit card. However, you may be wondering if there are credit cards for people with bad credit?

If there are, are there good credit cards for bad credit with low fees and interest rates and perks like cash back? Are there any good credit cards for bad credit that don’t have an annual fee or that have the perks of a traditional Visa or MasterCard?

The answer to these questions is yes, there are bad credit credit cards, and they can be an invaluable tool you use to build your credit. While it is possible to go about getting a credit card with bad credit, it does take time to choose the right option and features.

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Award Emblem: Top 12 Best Credit cards for Bad Credit

One of the most popular types of credit cards for bad credit is called a secured credit card. A secured credit card is like having a personal loan secured by collateral. These top credit cards for bad credit require the cardholder to make a deposit that acts as a line of credit.

The amount of money a consumer puts as a deposit is the amount of credit they have available, and this serves as a protection if the cardholder defaults on what they owe on their card, which is why they’re one of the best credit card offers for bad credit.

Secured credit cards, or bad credit credit cards, work similarly to a debit card but can be extremely beneficial because they help people build and strengthen their credit while they’re using them. For example, with a debit card, there is no reporting to credit agencies, whereas, with credit card offers for bad credit, there is often activity reporting to all three major credit bureaus.

There are also some top credit cards for bad credit that aren’t secured, although they may have significantly higher fees or interest rates that come with their usage.

Finally, this ranking of the best credit cards for bad credit also includes some options that are more aimed at people with limited credit history. These are student credit cards, and the requirements to qualify for them are less stringent than a conventional credit card, which is why they’re included on this list of credit cards for people with bad credit. 

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AdvisoryHQ's List of Top 12 Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the credit card names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that credit card):


Top 12 Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit | Brief Comparison

Credit Card Names

APR % (Min)

Intro
Annual Fee

Annual Fee

% Balance Trans.

BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

20.49%

None Offered

$39

3.00%

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card For College Students

14.24%

$0

None

4.00%

Citi® Secured MasterCard®

22.24%

$0

None

3.00%

Commerce Bank Secured Visa® Credit Card

18.49%

None Offered

$49

None

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

23.24%

$0

None

3.00%

Fifth Third Secured MasterCard

24.24%

None Offered

$24

4.00%

nRewards® Secured Credit Card

9.24%

$0

None

None

Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards

20.24%

None Offered

$32

4.00%

Secured MasterCard From Capital One

24.99%

$0

None

N/A

U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card

19.24%

None Offered

$29

3.00%

Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card

11.40%

$0

None

3% – 5%

Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card

19.24%

None Offered

$25

5.00%

Table: Top 12 Credit Cards for People with Bad Credit | Above list is sorted alphabetically



Selection Methodology

What methodology does AdvisoryHQ use in selecting and finalizing the credit cards, financial products, firms, services, and products that are ranked on its various top-rated lists?

Please click here “AdvisoryHQ's Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

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Detailed Review—Top Ranking Best Bad Credit Credit Cards

Below, please find the detailed review of each card on our list of top credit cards for bad credit. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these credit cards for bad credit to score so high in our selection ranking.



Bank of America Bank AmeriCard® Secured Credit Card Review


As mentioned in the introduction to this ranking and review of the leading bad credit credit cards, many times a secured card is the best option for a consumer, particularly those people who don’t just have no credit history but instead have derogatory marks on their credit report.

The Bank of America BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card looks like any other leading credit card, but it is specifically designed to help consumers establish, strengthen, or rebuild their credit, and that purpose is why it’s included in this ranking of the premier credit cards for bad credit history.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Detailed below are some of the important features of the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card, one of the best credit cards for people with bad credit.

Credit Building

When you have bad credit, it can feel like you’re stuck in that cycle and it’s difficult to pull yourself out of your financial situation. Without good credit, it’s difficult to make any big purchases, or even do smaller daily things such as getting a cell phone contract. Having a good credit history is an essential component of a strong financial future. This is why consumers are often looking for credit cards for people with bad credit.

What’s unique about the BankAmericard Secured card is that it allows the opportunity to not only get a credit card for bad credit, but it’s also a useful tool to establish or build a better credit history.

With this secured credit card for bad credit, consumers do have to put a deposit down on their line of credit, but while they’re spending money on this credit card for bad credit, they’re effortlessly building or rebuilding their credit. This is how a secured credit card is different from a debit or prepaid card, which have no impact on the consumer’s credit history.

Deposit Return

Sometimes consumers are skeptical about using a secured credit card, but along with having the ability to build a positive credit history, users of this credit card for bad credit also get their deposit back after only 12 months if they qualify.

Bank of America will look at cardholders’ account history during a one-year period while they’re using this best credit card for someone with bad credit. Based on their usage of the card and their new credit history, they may qualify to get their security deposit returned, and they can continue to use the card.

The minimum refundable security deposit amount is $300 to open this convenient and flexible account, and the maximum is $4,900. The maximum credit limit of the card is based on the amount of security deposit provided, as well as income and the ability to repay the line of credit, which is often the case with getting a credit card with bad credit.

Digital Wallet Technology

Often for consumers searching for the best credit cards for bad credit, it’s important to find an option that offers all of the innovation and convenience of a traditional card, and this is one of the many ways the BankAmericard Secured Credit Card excels. Among the best credit cards for people with bad credit, this card also features technology and capabilities like Digital Wallet functionality.

Users can shop in-store or in-app using Apple Pay or Android Pay, as well as Samsung Pay and Microsoft Wallet. This makes purchases faster, more streamlined, and more secure.

Also available with this leader among bad credit credit cards is Visa Checkout. Visa Checkout is an online shopping technology that lets consumers take advantage of single sign-in online shopping, and it works across all devices.

Low, Transparent Fees and Rates

For many consumers searching for the best credit cards for bad credit, there is a fear that the fees and interest rates are going to be exorbitantly high. While that can be true for some bad credit credit cards, the BankAmericard Secured credit card features a competitive APR for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Additionally, when the consumer pays off their entire balance by the due date each month, which is at least 25 days after the close of each billing cycle, they’re not charged interest.

Also, as one of the best credit cards for bad credit, the BankAmericard has an annual fee, but it’s relatively low compared to many other similar options and is currently set at $39.

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Capital One Secured MasterCard Review


Capital One, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is one of the world’s leading financial services companies as well as being a provider of one of the best bad credit credit cards. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One offers not only credit cards but also a diverse array of value-creating financial products and services to individual consumers, small business, and commercial entities. Capital One is also one of the largest banks in the country based on deposits.

Capital One is known for an array of outstanding credit card options, including one of the best bad credit credit cards, called the Secured MasterCard from Capital One. This card combines the excellent reputation of Capital One with the features people need when they’re getting a credit card with bad credit.

Image source: Pixabay

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

When comparing the best credit cards for people with bad credit, the following are key reasons the Capital one Secured MasterCard was included on this ranking.

Credit Bureau Reporting

Frequently when people are considering the best credit card for someone with bad credit, they wonder what the advantages of a secured card are. After all, isn’t a secured card the same as a prepaid card?

The simple answer is no, and the primary reason is that the best secured credit cards for bad credit feature the ability to establish or rebuild credit. In particular, the Capital One Secured MasterCard features reporting to the three major credit bureaus. With responsible use, a consumer has the potential to relatively quickly build a better credit history.

On the other hand, debit cards or prepaid cards and their usage have no bearing on the consumer’s credit report.

While the Capital One Secured MasterCard has this advantage, it’s not printed with the word “secured,” so merchants never know that it’s anything different than a conventional credit card.

CreditWise from Capital One

CreditWise from Capital One is a free service secured MasterCard holders can sign up for that helps them gain access to their free credit score and also see details as to how it’s calculated. This can be a great tool to use along with the best credit card for someone with bad credit since you can monitor how your financial history is improving over time as you make payments.

CreditWise can be accessed through a free mobile app, and it also has a simulator tool. This allows card holders to simulate various ways they could improve their credit score and see what the impact might be.

CreditWise also shows in-depth information about how cardholder’s credit score has changed, and people can sign up to receive email alerts when there’s a change on their report.

Platinum MasterCard Benefits

The Capital One Secured MasterCard is unique and was selected as one of the leading credit cards for people with bad credit for many reasons, including the MasterCard Platinum features it includes. While this card may be secured and specifically designed for people looking for credit cards for bad credit history, it does offer many of the perks of being a MasterCard Platinum cardholder.

Some of these features include:

  • Extended warranty: This feature includes warranty protection at no additional charge on items purchased with this best credit card for someone with bad credit.
  • Auto rental insurance: Cardholders can rent a car with their card, and they receive coverage for damage resulting from theft or collision.
  • Travel accident insurance: Cardholders receive automatic insurance for loss of life or limb at no additional charge when their credit card is used to purchase fare.
  • 24/7 travel assistance services: These are applicable if the card is ever lost or stolen, and the cardholder needs an emergency replacement or cash advance.
  • 24/7 roadside assistance: If the cardholder’s car breaks down or they’re locked out, they can call card services for assistance.

Fees and Credit Limits

When consumers are looking for top credit cards for bad credit, they often become discouraged with the available options because any card that would be available to them tends to have a very high annual fee. This is not the case with the Capital One Secured MasterCard, and that’s a significant part of the reason they were included in this ranking of good credit cards for bad credit.

In fact, the annual fee to use this Capital One credit card for bad credit is $0.

Additionally, cardholders have the opportunity to access a higher credit line after just making their first five monthly payments on time. That credit line increase can happen without the need for an additional deposit for qualified cardholders.



Citibank Citi® Secured MasterCard Review


Citibank is a financial institution promoting the concepts of progress and responsible finance. Citi also has a history of being one of the most innovative leaders in the financial services world for more than 200 years, and this bank has a presence around the world through its Citigroup companies.

Additionally, Citi offers a wide variety of credit card options, from rewards cards to options for the best credit cards for people with bad credit. One such option is the Citi Secured MasterCard, which is a convenient way for nearly anyone to build their credit history, even if they have little or no current history.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

When comparing the credit cards for people with bad credit, the following are primary reasons the Citi Secured MasterCard is part of this ranking of the top credit cards for bad credit.

Convenience

A critical consideration during the creation of this ranking of good credit cards for bad credit was a sense of convenience. Credit cards are designed to offer the utmost in convenience, and this shouldn’t be sacrificed just because a consumer is searching for credit cards for bad credit history or a secured card.

The Citi Secured MasterCard offers plenty of conveniences, provided both by Citi as well as MasterCard.

For example, this credit card for bad credit is accepted at millions of merchants around the world, at ATMs, and global financial institutions. It can be used to make purchases and obtain emergency cash wherever MasterCard is accepted.

This card also features a roadside assistance dispatch service if car problems occur, and the account can be managed online. This gives cardholders more control and empowers them in terms of managing their spending because they can log on anytime to check their balance and transactions, and also make a fast payment.

Purchase Protection

Something else that was a primary consideration in ranking this as a leader among credit cards for people with bad credit was security and an overall sense of protection. Again, this is somewhere the Citi Secured MasterCard did well.

There are a variety of purchase protection features including an extended warranty that gives cardholders confidence when they make purchases with their card. There is also a $0 liability protection on unauthorized charges, whether online or otherwise.

The Damage & Theft Protection feature covers repairs or refunds if a purchase made with this Citi card is damaged or stolen within 120 days of buying it.

Identity Theft Solutions

In today’s modern and largely digitally driven marketplace, consumers frequently worry about the threat of identity theft, particularly when making purchases with a credit card. Citi includes Identity Theft Solutions with their cards, and this is extended to Secured MasterCard customers as well.

Citi realizes that identity theft can happen to anyone, so their suite of Identity Theft Solutions are designed to help cardholders come to a solution that will allow them to get their life back to normal and are extended to their bad credit credit cards.

Identity Theft Solutions from Citi include assistance with identifying the accounts that have been accessed, filing police reports, and steps that are taken to help restore the victim’s financial history.

Simple Application Process

During the process to compare credit card offers for bad credit and the best bad credit credit cards, a simple, streamlined application process was important. No one wants to go through a lengthy application or waiting period, and Citi ensures this isn’t the case.

To receive a Citi Secured MasterCard, the applicant must meet very basic qualification criteria that include a review of income and debt. When the applicant is approved (as long as they don’t have bankruptcy history within the past two years), they receive a credit limit equal to the amount of their security deposit.

The deposit is held in a Collateral Holding Account for 18 months while the cardholder builds a positive payment history.

As an additional note, this is also one of the top credit cards for bad credit because it carries no annual fee. 

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Citi Thank You® Preferred for College Students Review


As was mentioned at the start of this review and ranking of the best credit cards for bad credit, not everyone is searching for secured credit cards for bad credit. Instead of having bad credit, there are also consumers who have trouble getting a conventional credit card because they just have limited credit history, and this is particularly true of students and young people.

With that concept in mind, this ranking also includes not only credit cards for people with bad credit but also cards like the Citi Thank You Preferred for College Students, which does have less strict credit requirements and is also geared specifically toward people with a limited credit history.

This card, as compared to many of the other names on this list, is also one of the leading credit cards for bad credit with no deposit, although the credit history requirements may be more rigorous than they are with the secured cards on this ranking.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit with No Deposit

When comparing the top credit cards for bad credit and the leading credit cards for bad credit with no deposit, the following are top reasons the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students was included on this list.

Bonus Points

As mentioned in the intro, this isn’t necessarily an explicit credit card for bad credit, but at the same time, it is designed for people with limited credit history, and more specifically, for college students. While it is a no-deposit credit card for people with little to no credit history, it has many perks including the ability to earn points.

As well as earning points on everyday purchases, this card allows customers to earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 within the first three months of opening the account.

After that, student cardholders receive rewards on all of their purchases, including dining and entertainment.

Reward Programs

Along with being one of the top credit cards for bad credit with no deposit, this card also features a rewards program that lets cardholders simply and easily earn rewards called “Thank You Points.” Two Thank You Points are earned per dollar spent on purchases at restaurants and entertainment. One Thank You point is earned per $1 spent on other purchases, and points don’t expire.

The Thank You Points can be redeemed for nearly anything, including gift cards, electronics, travel rewards, and cash.

Points can be redeemed online, or cardholders can contact Citi by phone. This rewards program is something that’s unique to only a few of the top credit cards for bad credit.

Citi Price Rewind

A unique feature of this credit card for bad credit, average credit or no credit, is called the Citi Price Rewind. This feature is designed to help consumers ensure they got the lowest possible price on their purchases made with their Citi card.

The Price Rewind searches for a lower price on registered items from hundreds of online retailers and merchants. If the same item is found at a lower price within 60 days of the original purchase, the cardholder may be eligible to receive the difference in pricing.

Conveniences

The Citi Thank You Preferred card for college students features amenities that are ideal for the busy lives of cardholders to make it easier for them to manage their finances. For example, cardholders can choose their payment due date, whether that’s at the beginning, middle, or end of the month. Cardholders also have the flexible option to pay their full balance or only the minimum payment every month.

This card also includes personal concierge service, so cardholders can contact a team of experts who can help them with everything from travel plans to dining and entertainment options, reservations, and tickets.

This account can also be managed online and using Citi’s mobile banking tools. The idea is that people don’t have to sacrifice the great features of credit cards just because they’re searching for credit cards for bad credit or no credit.

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Commerce Bank Secured Visa® Credit Card Review


Commerce Bank is part of Commerce Bancshares, Inc., which is a community bank that prides itself on offering excellent financial products paired with personalized customer service in addition to some of the best credit cards for bad credit. There are more than 200 full-service branches of Commerce Bank throughout the U.S., and they also offer options like full-featured online banking.

Commerce Bank offers a lineup of excellent credit card options as well, with advanced technology features and conveniences. Also available is one of the top credit cards for bad credit, called the Commerce Bank Secured Visa.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Among the best credit cards for bad credit, the following are specific reasons the Commerce Bank Secured Visa is part of this list of the top credit cards for bad credit.

Standard Features of Commerce Cards

Before delving into the specifics of why the Commerce Secured Visa is such a valuable option for people who want the best credit cards for people with bad credit, some standard features come with all Commerce credit cards.

The features that are also available with the secured card, one of the leading bad credit credit cards, include:

  • Cardholders can view their free FICO Score every month. This feature can be particularly relevant for consumers searching for credit cards for people with bad credit because it allows them to monitor their progress as they work toward their financial goals and rebuild or establish their credit.
  • Apple Pay is an easy, convenient, and more secure way to pay for things using the Commerce Bank Secured Visa, one of the premier bad credit credit cards.
  • Consumers receive automated activity alerts when there is suspicious activity reported with their card.

Competitive Interest Rate

Among all of the best credit cards for bad credit included on this ranking and review, this card has one of the most competitive interest rates. Currently, the purchase APR is only 18.49%, which is lower than many other options featured in credit card offers for bad credit. Additionally, that competitive interest rate is the same for balance transfers with this best credit card for someone with bad credit.

The annual fee for the use of this leader among bad credit credit cards is only $49, and there are no balance transfer or cash advance fees, which is very unique among even the best credit cards for bad credit.

The Commerce Bank Secured Visa is one of the overall least expensive options for people who are interested in getting a credit card with bad credit.

Toggle

When consumers opt to go with the Commerce Bank Secured Visa, they’re getting a credit card with bad credit that is also packed with valuable features. One such feature that comes with this credit card for bad credit is called Toggle. Toggle is a free, flexible payment tool that lets the user choose Pay Now or Pay Later for any credit card purchase, all on one card.

With Pay Now, consumers can choose the types of credit card purchases they want to be paid from their checking account after the purchases post to their credit card account. Pay Later delivers the level of flexibility a credit card would normally provide.

With Unwind, consumers can move a Pay Now purchase back to their credit card account, so they can Pay Later, as what would usually happen when paying by credit card.

AutoPay

Another exclusive Commerce Bank feature available to credit card holders, including people with bad credit credit cards is AutoPay. AutoPay lets users make payments on their credit card directly from their checking or savings account at any bank or financial institution.

When a cardholder signs up for AutoPay, payments are automatically drafted out of the savings or checking account they choose on the payment due date shown on each monthly statements. Participants can select the Minimum Payment Due or a fixed payment of their choice. They can also opt to make a full payment of the new balance. The amount a cardholder pays can be changed, and AutoPay can be canceled, as long as it’s done at least four business days before the payment due date.

AutoPay is a good way for cardholders who want to use one of the best bad credit credit cards to build their credit history effortlessly, without worrying about missing a payment or being late.



Discover it® Secured Credit Card Review


Discover is a leading credit card and financial services company that was responsible for offering the first cash rewards card in 1986. Since that time, Discover has continued to innovate and lead the way with valuable card products and excellent customer service. Along with Discover Card–branded credit cards, they also offer other financial products like private student loans, personal loans, and checking and savings accounts.

Consistently well-rated by J.D. Power in customer satisfaction among credit card companies, Discover also offers one of the best bad credit credit cards, called the Discover it Secured Credit Card. This leader among bad credit credit cards is designed to offer consumers the flexibility and benefits of a traditional card, with requirements that are well-suited to their needs if their credit is less than perfect.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

The reasons the Discover it card is beneficial in terms of credit cards for people with bad credit are highlighted in the following list.

Credit Reporting Features

The Discover it® Card, is one of the best credit card offers for bad credit, and it includes a refundable security deposit. Additionally, monthly reviews start happening at the one-year mark to determine whether the cardholder can move to an account without a security deposit.

As one of the best credit cards for bad credit, when consumers with the card make on-time payments, it’s reported to all three major credit bureaus, allowing cardholders to easily and relatively quickly build their credit.

Also, consumers that are eligible for the Discover it®, one of the best credit cards for people with bad credit, receive their FICO score updated for free both on their monthly statements and online.

Fees

If you’re searching for good credit cards for bad credit, fees and charges are likely a big concern. While companies may offer credit cards for bad credit history, they tend to have very high fees, but this isn’t the case with the Discover it® Secured Card, and that’s a primary reason it’s included in this list of leading credit cards for bad credit.

For example, making a late payment won’t raise the APR, and there is no late fee on the first late payment. There’s also no over limit fee and no foreign transaction fee.

Finally, this card is one of the very few credit card offers for bad credit that has absolutely no annual fee.

Rewards

Discover is a credit card company that has been known as an innovator in terms of offering rewards to customers, and the Discover it® Secured card, one of the best bad credit credit cards, is no exception. This is one of the primary ways Discover is unique regarding offering the best credit cards for bad credit. Their secured card is eligible for earning rewards, and cardholders earn 2% cash back in popular categories and 1% cash back on other purchases.

Cardholders may also be eligible for dollar-for-dollar matching of the cash back they’ve earned at the end of their first year as a new cardholder automatically.

Rewards can be redeemed for cash at any time, cash back never expires, and rewards can also be instantly used at checkout on Amazon.com.

Security

When selecting good credit cards for bad credit, security is a top priority. In fact, this is the case not only with bad credit credit cards but any card you’re applying for. Discover is excellent at providing high-level security to all cardholders, including those people with the Discover it Secured CC.

One example of this is the option to freeze an account in a matter of seconds if a card has been lost or stolen. This can be managed directly online or in the Discover mobile app to prevent any new transactions from occurring.

This card also includes $0 fraud liability, so cardholders are never responsible for unauthorized purchases made on their card, and if the card is lost, there is free overnight shipping on card replacements.

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Fifth Third Secured MasterCard Review


Fifth Third Bank is a full-service bank and financial services company serving customers in 10 states with more than 1,200 locations. The bank has a presence in states including Ohio, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina, among others. In addition to a community-centric approach to banking, Fifth Third also offers features like online banking and has many valuable credit card options available.

Credit cards include the cash-earning TRIO card, the Truly Simply MasterCard, the branded Stand Up to Cancer Card, and the Fifth Third Secured MasterCard, which is one of the best credit cards for bad credit.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

When comparing credit cards for people with bad credit, the following details some reasons the Fifth Third Secured MasterCard is included in this ranking of top credit cards for bad credit.

Small Deposit Requirement

Most of the options for the best credit card for someone with bad credit are secured cards, and that is true of the Fifth Third MasterCard as well. With a secured credit card, sometimes consumers can be concerned they won’t have enough money to make the initial deposit that’s required as collateral for their line of credit.

With the Fifth Third card, the card can be opened with as little as a $300 initial deposit. Also unique from most of the other credit cards for people with bad credit is the fact that the money earns interest while it’s used as collateral, so consumers are actually making money when they opt for this credit card for bad credit.

Additionally, purchases made on this card are charged to the card, rather than being deducted from the cardholder’s savings account.

Credit Building

All of the names on this list of the best credit cards for bad credit are valuable to the cardholder because not only will they be eligible for these cards, but all these bad credit credit cards are designed to help them rebuild their credit, establish a credit history, or just build a stronger financial future.

The Secured Credit Card from Fifth Third is no exception. This leader among the best bad credit credit cards includes account information shared with the three major credit bureaus.

With a relatively brief history of financial responsibility and on-time payments, cardholders are likely to see a significant improvement in their credit score, which will give them opportunities to get unsecured credit cards in the future rather than only getting a credit card with bad credit.

Purchasing Conveniences

Many of the reasons people like to use credit cards for purchases, along with building their payment and credit history, is because these cards can have technology and convenience features not available with the use of cash. The Fifth Third secured MasterCard, one of the best bad credit credit cards, is no exception.

The Fifth Third credit card for bad credit includes price protection, which means that if the cardholder finds a lower price for something they purchased with their card, they may be eligible to receive a reimbursement for the difference. The card also offers extended warranty protection, which means cardholders receive double the original manufacturers’ warranty of 12 months or less for things purchased with the card.

Finally, this leader among the best credit cards for people with bad credit includes digital wallet options including Fifth Third Masterpass, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Travel Services

Along with being one of the ideal credit cards for bad credit history, the Fifth Third secured card also comes with most of the perks and advantages available to MasterCard account members, including travel benefits and services. These include:

  • MasterCard Airport Concierge is a service that helps cardholders fly faster and easier.
  • MasterAssist Travel Assistance Services can be used for foreign and domestic traveling and can include help with lost or stolen luggage, emergency cash, medical care, and more.
  • MasterCard Global Service provides constant access to assistance if someone is traveling and their card is lost or stolen. This service includes emergency card replacement and cash advances. 
  • Master Road Assist RoadSide Services provide cardholders with one-call emergency roadside assistance billed directly to their credit card.

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Navy Federal Credit Union nRewards® Secured Credit Card Review


Navy Federal Credit Union is a bank that serves armed forces personnel from all branches of the military, as well as their families. Navy Federal has grown from seven members to more than five million since its establishment in 1933, and once someone becomes a member, whether they leave the military, change employers, move, retire, or get married, they’re always a member.

Image source: Pixabay

There are several credit card options available to members of this credit union in addition to the nRewards® Secured Credit Card, one of the top credit cards for bad credit. Some of these cards include the cashRewards Card and the Go Rewards card.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Among the options for people getting a credit card with bad credit, the following are some reasons the nRewards card is a leader among bad credit credit cards.

Low Interest Rates

Among even the best credit cards for bad credit, the nRewards Card from Navy Federal has outstanding low interest rates for purchases and balance transfers. Purchase and balance transfer rates range from 9.24% and 18.0% and are based on creditworthiness. They are variable and based on the Prime Rate.

Additionally, the Cash Advance APR is also variable, and while it may be up to 2% higher than the purchase APR, it won’t exceed 18%.

To take advantage of the great possible interest rates available with this leader among good credit cards for bad credit, members of Navy Federal simply have to make a deposit into a qualifying savings account at the credit union before they submit their application.

Rewards

When people are considering getting a credit card with bad credit, they often believe they won’t be able to find an option that includes participation in a rewards program, but that’s not the case with the Navy Federal nRewards Card. This card includes participation in an excellent rewards program with no limit and only 1,000 points required to start redeeming.

The Navy Federal Rewards program includes one point for every dollar spent, and the points are then automatically added to the cardholder’s account. Then, once cardholders have accrued enough points, they can start redeeming them for merchandise or gift cards.

The nRewards® Secured Card isn’t just one of the overall best credit cards for people with bad credit but is also a good way to build credit and earn merchandise just for making day-to-day purchases. 

Fees

The nRewards® Secured Card is an all-around excellent credit card for bad credit for many reasons. Along with the automatic ability to earn rewards for making purchases and account reporting to the three major credit bureaus, another reason the nRewards card excels among credit cards for bad credit include the fees. There actually are no major fees associated with this card.

For example, this card has no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no foreign transaction fee. There is also no cash advance fee when the transaction is done at an NFCU branch or ATM. This is one of the few credit cards for bad credit history with so few fees.

Collision Damage Waiver

In addition to the features listed above that make this one of the leading bad credit credit cards, the nRewards card also includes the automatic Collison Damage Waiver coverage. What this means is that when a cardholder rents a car for 15 days or less and pays for that rental with their nRewards Card, you’re covered in the event of damage or an accident. This can serve as secondary insurance to any other available coverage.

Coverage includes physical damage, theft of the rental vehicle, reasonable towing charges, and other eligible amounts not covered by the insurance. 


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SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards Review


SunTrust is a national bank that is one of the largest and most financially sound in the country. SunTrust’s products and services meet the needs of both business and consumer clients, as well as corporate and institutional customers. SunTrust has assets of more than $190 billion, and has around 1,400 retail branches throughout the country, as well as digital banking solutions.

As well as featuring the Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards, one of the best credit cards for bad credit, SunTrust also features many other credit cards as well. Some of these include standard cards, other cash reward options, and travel rewards cards.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

When considering credit cards for people with bad credit, the following reasons are why the SunTrust Secured Card with Cash Rewards was included on this list of the best credit cards for people with bad credit.

Cash Back

One of the most compelling things about this leader among good credit cards for bad credit is the cash back earning potential. This card includes a valuable and robust cash back program that cardholders can take advantage of while simultaneously building or rebuilding their credit.

This cash back program includes 2% cash back on up to $6,000 spent annually on gas and grocery qualifying purchases and 1% unlimited cash back on all other qualifying purchases. The bank also advises holders of this credit card for bad credit to maximize how much cash back they receive by setting up recurring bill payments with the card such as cable and Internet. This allows for completely effortless cash back earnings opportunities.

Cash Back Bonus

In addition to being able to earn the basic rewards listed above, with this selection for one of the best credit cards for bad credit, certain cardholders may be eligible for a cash back bonus, which is a client exclusive. This means that customers who have an existing relationship with SunTrust, including having a SunTrust Checking, Savings, or Money Market account, can get a cash back bonus of 10%, 25%, or more.

The percentage of cash back they receive is based on their deposit relationship with SunTrust, and it’s deposited directly back into the SunTrust the account customer chooses.

As well as redeeming these rewards for cash back, cardholders of the Cash Rewards Secured Card, one of the best bad credit credit cards, can redeem them for gift cards, travel, and more.

Free Credit Score Information

As mentioned throughout this review of the best credit cards for people with bad credit, the ability to see your progress as you build or rebuild your credit is an essential component of the best cards, and this is something offered by SunTrust.

Cardholders of this best credit card for someone with bad credit can view their credit score online without it having an impact on their credit. Their FICO score will be updated monthly, and by going online to SunTrust online banking, customers will have up to 12 months of FICO Score history.

There are up to two top factors listed that affect the cardholder’s score listed each month, and FICO Score education and FAQs are also available. This feature is not only free but also easy to use when cardholders select this credit card for bad credit.

Platinum Benefits

The SunTrust Secured Credit Card is unique because it is actually a Platinum MasterCard in addition to being a card specifically designed for people who are looking into getting a credit card with bad credit. That means cardholders get unique Platinum benefits that are exclusive to MasterCard products, as well as the features and benefits of the card provided by SunTrust.

These Platinum MasterCard benefits can be used for safer and more convenient shopping, travel concierge and assistance services, and even protection such as roadside assistance and insurance coverage.

This card is great because it looks and performs mostly like a conventional credit card and is packed with benefits, but at the same time, it’s specifically tailored to the needs of people searching for credit cards for bad credit.

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U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card Review


U.S. Bank is part of the U.S. Bancorp, and they serve the needs of a range of customers including individuals, small businesses, and institutions. In terms of offering credit cards and prepaid cards, U.S. Bank has many options available including the popular U.S. Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards Card and the Cash Rewards Credit Cards.

For people searching for the leading credit cards for bad credit, there is the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card. It’s backed by the strength and stability of U.S. Bank while offering unique, valuable features specifically for people who are interested in getting a credit card with bad credit.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Among the available bad credit credit cards, the following are primary reasons the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® is included on this list of top credit cards for bad credit.

FlexControl

One way that the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® stood out among other credit cards for people with bad credit and was named to this list of best bad credit credit cards is because of FlexControl. FlexControl is a suite of credit card tools designed to empower cardholders to take control of their payments and spending.

Features of U.S. Bank FlexControl include:

  • AutoPay lets cardholders automatically pay their credit card every month, giving people flexibility and reduced interest, while helping them be more successful in rebuilding or establishing their credit.
  • Selecting payment due dates is an option that delivers flexibility to holders of the U.S. Bank Secured Visa®, one of the best credit cards for people with bad credit.
  • Account alerts can be customized and sent by text or email, so cardholders will see their spending, payments that are due, and more.

Online Banking

When a consumer receives the U.S. Bank Secured Visa®, a pick for one of the top credit cards for bad credit, they can manage their account online using U.S. Bank’s mobile banking options. This is a good way to see what you’re spending, manage your money more effectively, view balances, and more. Online banking from U.S. Bank is also a portal where cardholders can download their account history and check their balance.

After you get the U.S. Bank Secured Visa®, one of the best bad credit credit cards, you can also use U.S. Bank’s online banking service to get a cash advance, make a payment directly from your U.S. Bank checking or savings account, or view current statements.

Cardholders of this leading credit card for bad credit can also take advantage of automatic bill pay, which lets them quickly and effortlessly pay bills online.

Transparency

For people interested in getting a credit card with bad credit, it can be somewhat of a daunting experience. This is often because, in addition to a complicated application process for applicants searching for bad credit credit cards, consumers also find that when they are offered a card, it has incredibly high interest rates or hidden fees.

The U.S. Bank Secured Visa has neither of these things.

First, applicants can apply for a credit card for bad credit online. Then, the fees and interest rate information are clearly and transparently provided to consumers. The interest rate is competitive, the annual fee is relatively low compared to many other credit cards for bad credit, and consumers can avoid paying interest if they pay the entire balance by the due date each month.

Fraud Protection

No one who is working to either rebuild or establish their credit history ever wants to have to deal with the worry of fraud. Fraudulent card activity can completely destroy efforts someone might be making toward cleaning up their finances or creating a strong financial history. This is something understood by U.S. Bank and their Secured Visa Card, one of the leading credit card offers for bad credit, which features ample security protections.

This includes Visa Zero Fraud Liability. With this feature, if there are unauthorized transactions on the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® because it’s lost or stolen, the cardholder isn’t responsible.

Another feature is fraud protection, which not only is an automated way to detect potentially fraudulent activity, but the cardholder will also be notified of any out-of-the-ordinary activity.



Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card Review


Often, the concept of the best credit cards for bad credit are similar to credit cards designed for building credit. The reason is that not only can derogatory marks on your credit make you have a lower score, but simply not having enough credit and payment history can also contribute to a lower score, which means you might need to look for credit cards for bad credit history or cards for no credit history.

One such option for consumers who don’t have credit history is the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card. This student credit card is one of the credit cards for bad credit with no deposit included in this ranking, and it’s specifically designed for building credit while the cardholder is in college.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

When comparing credit cards for bad credit that are secured as well as credit cards for bad credit with no deposit, the following are specifics of why the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card ranks well.

No Fee

One very significant way this leader among the best bad credit credit cards and also cards designed for building credit stood out is regarding the annual fee. This card carries no annual fee at any time. Additionally, this is one of the few best credit cards for people with bad credit or no credit that also has an introductory interest rate offer.

The Annual Percentage Rate is 0.00% for the first six months, and even after that, it’s very low, ranging from 11.40% to 21,40%. No interest is charged on purchases if the entire card balance is paid by the due date.

Budgeting Tools

Something many people find beneficial when searching for good credit cards for bad credit are financial education tools and budgeting features that allow them not just to have a credit card for bad credit, but also to learn how to manage their money and make better financial decisions. This card is not just one of the leading credit cards for bad credit history or no credit history, but it also has some of the most robust budgeting tools.

For example, My Spending Report shows an account summary and lets account holders track all of their purchases and payments made with eligible credit cards, debit cards, checks, and bill pay.

Another tool is called Budget Watch. This lets cardholders with the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card, one of the best credit card offers for bad credit or no credit consumers, to create a customized budget. They can design goals for their spending and even set up email alerts that will give them a heads-up with what’s happening with their accounts.

Establishing Credit

Since this particular card isn’t necessarily just one of the top credit cards for bad credit history but is really aimed at helping people build their credit, there are tips available to cardholders to help them do just that.

For example, Wells Fargo reports payment and usage behavior to credit bureaus and also reinforces the importance of always making on-time payments. They also encourage cardholders to pay more than their minimum each month and only charge what they can afford to pay back.

Finally, there is a program called the Wells Fargo Path to Credit, and it’s a financial education program cardholders can use to learn more about how to build and maintain good credit.

Rewards

It should be noted that this particular card is for people who need to build their credit in college, but the credit score and history requirements may be more stringent than some of the requirements for the secured credit cards for bad credit on this list.

With that being said, the requirements are still lower than what comes with most conventional credit cards, and the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card also features perks such as participation in a rewards program.

There are 3% cash rewards for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore net purchases for a six-month period, and 1% cash rewards for every $1 spent on most other net purchases. There are also options to earn even more cash rewards at certain stores when cardholders shop the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall.



Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card Review


Among all credit card companies, including for consumers specifically searching for good credit cards for bad credit, Wells Fargo tends to rank well in general. As well as providing some of the best credit cards for bad credit, this full-service bank also features a range of other personal banking products and services and credit cards for average and good credit customers.

Along with the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card, another one of the best credit cards for bad credit that comes from this bank is the Secured Credit Card. Like other names on this ranking of the leading credit cards for bad credit history, the Wells Fargo Secured Card does require a security deposit, but if approved, it can be as low as $300.

Key Factors That Led to Our Ranking of This as One of the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Among credit card offers for bad credit and credit cards for bad credit history, the Wells Fargo Secured Card ranks well for reasons listed below.

Upgrading to an Unsecured Card

The goal with the use of the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card, one of the best credit cards for bad credit, is to help consumers strengthen their credit, repair past damage with positive payment history, and to learn how to be responsible credit users. Another goal is also to pave the way for cardholders to move from a credit card for bad credit to an unsecured card.

With responsible sue over time, holders of this credit card for bad credit may be able to get a Wells Fargo unsecured card.

Wells Fargo shares activity with credit bureaus, and when a cardholder can upgrade depends on factors like their account management and other accounts. There isn’t a pre-determined time frame for upgrades, so the consumer really has complete control.

Automatic Payments

When consumers are searching for the best credit cards for bad credit, it can often be because they’ve had troubles in the past making on-time payments for previous cards they’ve held. Wells Fargo works to alleviate this situation and help people move from credit cards for bad credit history to conventional cards.

One of the tools that can make this possible is the automatic payment option. This is available in the online banking portal, and cardholders can make automatic credit card payments by transferring funds from their checking or savings account. All cardholders need to do to make card payments automated and effortless is sign on to online banking, go to transfers, and then select monthly.

Visa Benefits

While this card is one of the top credit cards for bad credit and is secured, it still offers all of the protections and features cardholders love about Visa. These Visa features included with the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card, one of the best bad credit credit cards, include:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Emergency card replacement
  • Roadside assistance/dispatch
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Cell phone protection
  • Zero liability protection against unauthorized transactions
  • Chip technology
  • Mobile payment options

Flexibility for Temporary Residents

One of the things that’s unique about this best credit card for someone with bad credit is that it can also be used by temporary U.S. residents, who might not otherwise be eligible to get a credit card. It provides the benefits of a credit card, as well as a low annual fee and a competitive APR, but it’s open to people who aren’t yet legal residents of the United States.

People who are in the U.S. temporarily can use this to have the security and convenience of a credit card, with as little as a $300 security deposit, and it can be used anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted and also to make online purchases.


Conclusion—Top 12 Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Many people feel a sense of anxiety and frustration when they have bad credit because they feel as if they’ll never find credit cards for bad credit. Without finding credit card offers for bad credit, it becomes impossible to rebuild one’s credit and then move on to make larger purchases such as a vehicle or home eventually.

Luckily, there are credit cards for people with bad credit. Most of these credit cards for bad credit are secured, meaning the cardholder must pay a security deposit, but this is one of the simplest ways to build or rebuild your credit history.

In addition to the best bad credit credit cards, this in-depth ranking also looked at another option for people with a low credit score, which are cards designed not necessarily to rebuild but to establish a credit history. This ranking and review is intended as a consumer-centric resource to help people find and obtain credit cards for bad credit history that will bring convenience and value to their lives.



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