|Credit Card||Best For||Spending Limit||Annual Fee||APR|
|Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit||Overall||$300||$0 - $99||24.9%|
|Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card||Cash Back||$350||$49 - $175 1st yr, $0 - $49 after||29.99% or 36%|
|Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit||No Monthly Fee||$300||$75 intro 1st yr, $99 after||28.99% (V)|
|Milestone® Mastercard®||No Bank Account||$700||$175 1st yr; $49 after||35.9%|
|Surge® Platinum Mastercard®||High Approval Odds||$300||$75 - $125||29.99% (Variable)|
|Montgomery Ward Credit Account||Store Card||N/A||$0||5.75% - 25.99%|
The best unsecured credit card for bad credit is the Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit because it has a $300 minimum credit limit and you don’t have to put down a security deposit. The Indigo Credit Card also has a $0 - $99 annual fee, and it’s made for people with bad credit. Plus, it reports to the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis, giving cardholders the chance to build better credit scores by making on-time payments.
But the pickings are pretty slim, unfortunately. That’s why we recommend reconsidering secured credit cards, which tend to be far cheaper in the long run. Short of that, try to avoid cards with one-time fees and focus on offers with just a small annual fee. That’s how we whittled down a list of 1,500+ credit card offers to our picks for the best credit cards for bad credit with no security deposit.
No matter which credit card you end up getting, you can track your credit improvement for free on WalletHub. You will also benefit from personalized money-saving advice.
The easiest unsecured credit cards for bad credit are the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit, the First Access Visa® Card, the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® and the FIT® Platinum Mastercard®. All of these unsecured cards are meant for people with bad credit and have minimal approval requirements, per their terms and conditions. Plus, they all allow potential applicants to pre-qualify first, with no credit score impact, so there’s little risk in trying.
For more options, check out WalletHub’s full list of the easiest credit cards to get.
To identify the best unsecured credit cards for bad credit, WalletHub’s editors regularly compare 1,500+ credit card offers based on their approval requirements, fees, rewards, and interest rates. Final selections are then made based on the estimated two-year cost of using each card. It is important to minimize costs when rebuilding damaged credit because interest rates and fees can be high.
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.
WalletHub actively maintains a database of 1,500+ credit card offers, from which we select the best credit cards for bad credit for different applicants as well as derive market-wide takeaways and trends. The underlying data is compiled from credit card company websites or provided directly by the credit card issuers. We also leverage data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to develop cardholder profiles, used to estimate cards’ potential savings.