2017 RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP RANKING BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR REALLY BAD CREDIT


Credit Cards for Really Bad Credit Give American Consumers a Second Chance

Credit cards for terrible credit – what are they are all about? Well, you can’t get much done without a credit card. If you want to book a trip, buy something online, rent a car, even buy a song on iTunes, a credit card is either mandatory or the most convenient option. 

But what if you have had a bit of bad luck and your credit is not so hot? Should you be condemned to a lifetime of missing out and going out of your way to pay for things in cash? Not at all, and banks don’t seem to think so either. That’s why they offer credit cards for very bad credit.

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Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Very Bad Credit

Finding credit card applications for bad credit is not a shot in the dark, and it is definitely not a matter of searching for a needle in a haystack. In fact, there are so many options when it comes to credit cards for damaged credit that we have managed to round up not just six random credit cards for horrible credit but six of the best cards for bad credit with reviews of their rates and features to boot. 

Forget finding the easiest credit card to get with bad credit. Here are half a dozen cards that are easy to get with bad credit. 

See Also: Top Best Interest-Free Credit Cards | Ranking | Best Zero Interest Credit Cards (Reviews)



AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Credit Cards for Damaged 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 6 Best Credit Cards for Very Bad Credit | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Credit Card Names

Purchase
APR

Balance Transfer
APR

Cash
Advance
APR

Penalty APR
(rate change
for late/
missed payments)

BankAmericard® Credit Card

20.49%

20.49%

20.49%
(min)
25.24%
(max)

29.99%

Citi® Secured MasterCard®

22.24%

22.24%

25.49%

29.99%

Discover it® Secured Card

23.24%

23.24%

25.24% 

None 

SunTrust Secured Credit Card

20.24%

20.24%

25.24%

None

U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card

19.24%

19.24%

24.24%

None 

Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card

19.24%

19.24%

24.24%

None

Table: Top 6 Credit Cards with Horrible Credit| Above list is sorted alphabetically



Secured Credit Card: The Easiest Credit Card to Get with Bad Credit

Filling out credit cards applications for bad credit consumers can be a frustrating process. But if you know where to look, you can find cards tailored for people in your exact situation: they are known as secured credit cards.

What are secured credit cards? They are the answer to the prayers from those looking for credit cards for horrible credit. In all seriousness though, they are cards that come with a security deposit. The security deposit determines what your credit limit will be. If you provide a $500 deposit, you will get a $500 limit and so on.

Image source: Pixabay

The important thing to note is that this security deposit on your credit card for horrible credit is not meant to pay off your monthly bill. You use and pay off credit cards for damaged credit the way you would an unsecured credit card. If you cannot pay the full balance, you make the minimum monthly payment (on time – you are trying to build your credit after all!) and carry the balance over to the next month. In the meantime, it accumulates interest.

The security deposit is only used if you fail to make payments. The great thing about these credit cards for really bad credit is that they allow you to build up your credit score since the provider will report your payments to a credit bureau. Secured credit cards for very bad credit can be a terrific way to regain some financial power.



AdvisoryHQ’s 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.


Detailed Review – Top Ranking Credit Cards for Very Bad Credit

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

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BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card Review


Overview of the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card

When you are looking for a credit card with bad credit, opting for a secured credit card is one of your best routes. And the best credit card with bad credit is one that comes with the reputation, support, and services of a large bank like Bank of America. So it is quite fortunate that Bank of America offers the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card.

If you need a credit card with bad credit, this secured card from Bank of America helps you on two fronts. Credit cards for really bad credit are sought because it is very difficult to do certain things, like rent a car or book a hotel room, without a credit card, not to mention all kinds of online shopping. With the BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card, you get the privileges of a regular card. In addition, you receive the added perk of safely building your credit so that you can eventually apply for an unsecured credit card. 

The minimum deposit you have to provide for this credit card with bad credit is $300. The maximum amount is $4,900. Most people looking for the easiest credit card to get with bad credit have very little choice but to go for a secured credit card. It is this security deposit that makes it “secured.” Your limit is determined by the amount of the deposit you put on the card.

So, if you want a credit card with bad credit with a limit of $1000, you will need to provide a security deposit of $1000 to your BankAmericard®.

Annual Percentage Rate and Fees

The BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card is an option for individuals looking for credit cards for horrible credit. This credit card for very bad credit comes with an APR of 20.49 percent for purchases and 20.49 percent APR for balance transfers. For those getting this credit card with bad credit, there is a minimum APR of 20.49 percent and a maximum APR of 25.24 percent for cash advances.

Credit cards for very bad credit often come with penalty fees. These are higher annual percentage rates that are applied to the accounts of customers who fail to makes late payments or a payment that is returned on their credit cards for really bad credit.

To use this credit card with bad credit, customers have to pay an annual fee of $39.

Credit Cards for Horrible Credit That Reward You for Good Behavior

The ultimate goal of getting credit cards for horrible credit, like secured cards, is to one day qualify for credit cards for decent credit. Keep in mind that your security deposit is not used to pay off your balance each month on secured credit cards for damaged credit. It is there as collateral. You can still carry a balance each month.

The point of these credit cards for very bad credit is to see if you can be a responsible borrower (i.e., make minimum monthly payments on time). Some providers of secured cards and credit cards for terrible credit will allow you to apply for an unsecured card sometime after you have shown them you are a responsible borrower.

The BankAmericard® Credit Card for damaged credit rewards you in this way. After 12 months of using its credit card for horrible credit, it will evaluate your account. If it finds a consistent history of making payments on time, the bank will return your security deposit and allow you to continue making purchases with your now unsecured card.

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Citi® Secured MasterCard® Credit Card Review


Overview of the Citi® Secured MasterCard®

Citibank describes its easiest credit card to get with bad credit, the Citi® Secured MasterCard®, as a card that helps you start building for tomorrow. It is fair to say that this is an accurate assessment.

Customers who are searching for credit card applications for bad credit will find that this card meets their financial and credit needs. If you have a bad credit history or a limited credit history, Citibank offers one of the best cards for bad credit.

You simply provide a security deposit between $250–$2,500, and the amount you choose to provide becomes the credit limit on your credit card with bad credit. This amount of money is held as collateral for eighteen months.

Customers interested in Citibank’s credit cards for damaged credit have to fill out an application so that their income and debt history can be approved. To qualify for Citibank’s credit cards for horrible credit, customers must not have any bankruptcies in their history for the previous two years.

Annual Percentage Rate and Fees

Right off the bat, if you are looking for credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee, Citibank’s Citi® Secured MasterCard® is your treasure. It is the best credit card with bad credit if you want a secured card that does not come with an annual fee.

The APR for purchases on these Citibank credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee is 22.24 percent. The APR for balance transfer on its secured credit cards for very bad credit is 22.24 percent. When it comes to cash advances, the APR on its secured credit cards for horrible credit is 25.49 percent.

If you do miss payments or have payments returned on your Citibank secured credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee, you will be hit with a penalty APR of 29.99 percent.

Added Perks of Citibank’s Citi Secured MasterCard

Tired of filling out credit card applications for bad credit? Giving Citibank’s best credit card with bad credit, the Citi® Secured MasterCard®, may be worth the hassle. If you are approved, you stand to gain from the attractive features that come with the card, including worldwide travel accident insurance, worldwide car rental insurance, and trip cancellation and interruption protection.

Additionally, you receive the support of Citi Identity Theft Solutions in case your credit card with bad credit account is compromised in any way.



Discover it® Secured Credit Card Review


Overview of the Discover it® Secured Card

The best cards for bad credit guarantee you get a credit card that works like any other credit card would. The credit cards to apply for with bad credit are not prepaid cards or gift cards – they are credit cards, even if they are secured.

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card from Discover takes this approach to credit cards for terrible credit seriously. Instead of watered-down credit cards for horrible credit, its credit cards for very bad credit come with the kinds of perks normally found with premium unsecured credit cards, like cash back and a cashback matching program.

Image source: Pixabay

Annual Percentage Rate and Fees

The APR for purchases on Discover’s credit cards for really bad credit is 23.24 percent. For those who are looking to a transfer a balance from another credit card, Discover is offering an introductory balance transfer APR offer of 10.99 percent, which expires in January 2016.

So, if balance transfers are an important factor in your search for credit cards for very bad credit, you may want to hop on this offer. The regular APR on balance transfers (after January 2016 or after your six months is up) is 23.24 percent. When it comes to cash advances, the APR is 25.24 percent.

Unlike many credit cards for terrible credit, the Discover it® Secured Card does not come with a penalty APR. For those who are looking for the best cards for bad credit but believe they may still need a little wiggle room, these Discover it® Secured Cards are the credit cards to apply for with bad credit.

This is also one of the credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee, so unless you carry a balance each month, you pay back only what you’ve spent.

Attractive Perks of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Not only is the Discover it® Secured Credit Card one of the credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee, it comes with added value as well.

If you are looking for cash back, this is one of the credit cards to apply for with bad credit. Every purchase receives 1 percent cash back, and purchases at restaurants or gas stations get 2 percent cash back.

But what makes this one of the best cards for bad credit is its cashback matching program. After your first year, Discover matches all the cash back you have earned. This is an offer that is only extended to new members in their first year.

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SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards Review


Overview of the SunTrust Secured Credit Card

The SunTrust Secured Credit Card packs a punch. With this secured card from SunTrust, members can make purchases, build their credit, and earn additional cash rewards. For a card that falls into the category of credit cards for really bad credit, this card sure sounds really good.

Annual Percentage Rate and Fees

To use this credit card with bad credit, you pay an APR of 20.24 percent on your purchases, an APR of 20.24 percent on balance transfers, and an APR of 25.24 percent on cash advances. Unfortunately, for those who are looking for credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee, this card will cost you an annual fee of $32.

Attractive Perks of the SunTrust Secured Credit Card

This is one of the secured credit cards for horrible credit on our list of best cards for bad credit that is packing sweet perks.

When you qualify for this credit card with bad credit, you get 2 percent cash back. For the 2 percent cash back, the maximum amount is $6,000 annual on qualifying purchases of gas or groceries. For all other qualifying purchases, you get unlimited cash back of 1 percent. In fairness, the SunTrust Secured Credit Card should be on a list of “credit cards for horrible credit that pay you to rebuild your credit.”

When you get this credit card with bad credit, you can make those cashback-earning qualifying purchases go further by setting up recurring payments for bills, like your Internet bill or phone bill.



U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card Review


Overview of the U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card

This U.S. Bank Secured Visa® Card offered by U.S. Bank lands on our list of the best cards for bad credit primarily because of its useful practical features for people looking for a credit card with bad credit. With this card, customers get a connection to a reputable and well-known bank in addition to the safety and security features credit card consumers have come to expect.

It is, however, not as attractive as some of the other cards on this list because it does not come with the same cool perks. That being said, if you are looking for a secured card that will get the job done (i.e., rebuild your credit) instead of aiming for credit cards for terrible credit with cool promotions, then this may be the card for you.

Annual Percentage Rate and Fees

This secured card may not be the prettiest card with bells and whistles, but it does come with an interest rate that is slightly better than some of the other cards on this list. Those who want this credit card with bad credit have an APR of 19.24 percent on regular purchases.

The APR for a balance transfer is also 19.24 percent. The APR for cash advances takes a leap, going to 24.24 percent, which is to be expected for cash advances on credit cards for very bad credit.

Attractive Perks of the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card

On our list of the best credit cards for horrible credit, this card does not come with the glamorous perks of the others, but it does offer the kind of features you want to feel comfortable regarding with the credit card you use.

Those who get approved for this credit card with bad credit get a secured card that comes with zero fraud liability, fraud protection, auto rental insurance, online banking, automatic bill pay, and flex control that lets you set up automatic payments to ensure your balance is paid on time every month.


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Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card Review


Overview of the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card

The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card offered by Wells Fargo falls into the same category of credit cards for really bad credit as the one offered by U.S. Bank: it has a connection to a larger institution for convenience and security’s sake, but it lacks the bells and whistles of other cards. One attractive element of this secured card for people looking for a credit card with bad credit is that it is open to both U.S. and temporary residents. It also comes with some competitive rates.

Annual Percentage Rate and Fees

Wells Fargo offers good rates for a secured card and is relative to other competitive credit cards for really bad credit. The APR on regular purchases is 19.24 percent; it is the same for balance transfers as well: 19.24 percent. The APR for cash advances is 24.24 percent, and there is no penalty fee. This is not among those credit cards for bad credit with no annual fee though. The Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card comes with an annual fee of $25.

Additional Info & Perks of the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card

For those who are looking for credit cards for really bad credit and hoping to upgrade to unsecured credit cards over time, the fact that Wells Fargo does not provide a timeline for when your account will be reviewed can be frustrating. At the same time, Wells Fargo does have upgrading to unsecured credit cards as an option depending on its assessment of your account history with the bank.

One standout perk is the fact that both U.S. residents and temporary residents looking for a secured credit card can apply for the Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card.

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Conclusion – Top 6 Credit Cards for Horrible Credit

America is the land of second chances – even third, fourth, and fifth chances. If you’ve been down on your luck and your credit has taken a hit, it is not impossible to find credit cards for damaged credit.

As you can see from our list, you can even find credit cards for bad credit with no annual fees! It will require a little bit of discipline and sacrifice in the form of higher interest rates and security deposits.

However, with time, you can use credit cards for very bad credit to work your way up to unsecured credit cards (and a better credit score!) in no time.



AdvisoryHQ (AHQ) Disclaimer:

Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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