|Credit Card||Best For||Annual Fee|
|Discover it® Secured Credit Card||Overall||$0|
|Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card||Cash Back||$0|
|Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card||Custom Rewards||$0|
|OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card||After Bankruptcy||$35|
|Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit||No Deposit||$75 intro 1st yr, $99 after|
Tips for Rebuilding Credit With a Credit Card
1) Start as soon as possibleThe sooner you apply for a new credit card, the sooner you can begin adding positive information to your credit reports, which is the key to rebuilding your credit. Every month your account is reported to the bureaus as being in good standing will help counter some of the negative information in your credit reports that you’re trying to rebuild from.
2) Compare lots of credit card offersComparing credit card offers is the best way to find the best card for your needs. Even a quick search can save you a lot of money if you find a low fee or great rewards, for example.
3) Set up automatic monthly paymentsPaying your credit card bill on time every month is the most important thing you can do to rebuild your credit. Setting up automatic monthly payments from a bank account for at least the minimum amount due is the easiest way to avoid missing due dates due to forgetfulness or disorganization.
4) Use only a fraction of your spending limitMaxing out your credit card by using your full credit limit will hold back your credit-rebuilding efforts. The best credit utilization ratio is 1% - 10%.
5) Monitor your progressRebuilding your credit takes months, if not years, in most cases. Tracking your progress by regularly checking your credit score for free will help ensure you’re headed in the right direction. You can check your score and get personalized credit-improvement tips for free on WalletHub.
For more information, check out WalletHub’s guide to rebuilding credit.
Methodology for Selecting the Best Credit Cards to Rebuild Credit
To identify the best credit cards for rebuilding credit, WalletHub’s editors compare all the credit cards available to people with bad credit from WalletHub’s database of 1,500+ credit card offers. These cards are compared based on factors such as approval requirements, monthly credit-bureau reporting, fees, rewards and interest rates – the main features that will affect the ability of cardholders to get approved and save money while rebuilding their credit. In particular, each card’s estimated two-year cost plays a big role.
This comparison focuses mainly on secured credit cards, as they tend to be the most accessible and inexpensive tools available to people rebuilding their credit. Secured credit cards don’t provide emergency borrowing power, however, so unsecured credit cards for bad credit are also considered.
How Two-Year Cost Is Calculated
Two-year cost is used to approximate the monetary value of cards for better comparison and is calculated by combining annual and monthly membership fees over two years, adding any one-time fees or other fees (like balance transfer fees), adding any interest costs, and subtracting rewards. Negative amounts indicate savings. When fees or other terms are presented as a range, we use the midpoint for scoring purposes.
Rewards bonuses and credits have been taken into account for two-year cost calculations. However, bonuses applicable to only a very small portion of cardholders are not considered. For example, credits and bonuses awarded for spending or redeeming rewards through a company portal with non-co-branded cards have not been taken into account. Similarly, bonuses and credits related to spending with specific merchants using a non-co-branded card have not been taken into account (for example, if Card A offers credits with DoorDash, this feature would not be factored into calculations because it is hard to assess how many cardholders would use the benefit or exactly how much value they'd get from it).
Cardholder Spending Profiles
Given that different users have different goals and are likely to use their credit cards differently, we identified spending profiles that are representative of different users’ financial priorities and behaviors. For each cardholder type, we have assumed a specific amount of monthly spending by purchase type (e.g., groceries, gas, etc.), as well as an average balance, balance transfer amount, amount spent on large purchases and average monthly payment. Spending assumptions are based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data for consumers.