- Check Your Credit & Cash – You can’t know what you need without first assessing what you have. So check your credit score, review your free credit report and take stock of how much money you can attribute to monthly credit card payments. This will help narrow your options a lot as well as pay dividends in terms of account management.
- Compare, Compare, Compare – Once you know what type of credit card you need, figure out which terms are most important to you – no fee, rewards, 0% APR, etc. Then directly compare offers until you find one that closest fits your ideal.
- Start with a Secured Card – Unfortunately, decent unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit don’t really exist. They tend to charge high non-refundable fees and even higher interest rates in return for only a small amount of borrowing power. That’s why we always recommend biting the bullet and placing a deposit on a secured card.
Getting a secured card will enable you to start the credit-building process as soon as possible. It will also give you complete control over your spending limit and help you avoid racking up debt, since your limit usually equals the amount of your security deposit. A secured card obviously won’t give you an emergency loan, though.
- Don't Forget Store Cards – Retailer-affiliated credit cards are surprisingly useful credit-improvement tools. They’re usually available to anyone with fair credit or better. And hardly any of them charge annual fees. Plus, the best of the bunch offer some really great rewards.
- Get Your Priorities Straight – When credit-improvement is your top priority, a low annual fee (or no annual fee) is the most important thing to look for in a credit card. Most credit-score damage involves missed payments, after all. So you should try to save as much money as possible, if only to build an emergency fund.
Besides, if you have bad credit, you’re unlikely to qualify for good enough rewards or a low enough interest rate to warrant paying an annual fee when fee-free options are available.
Keep these pointers in mind as you contemplate which card to apply for. For your convenience, we put together a quick recap of our top picks, which you can check out below.
Easiest Credit Cards to Get Approved for in 2021
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
The OpenSky Secured Card is the easiest credit card to get because applicants don’t have to pass a credit check.
Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card
The Petal 2 Credit Card is the easiest credit card to get with no annual fee and rewards. Cardholders earn at least 1 - 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
The First Progress Platinum Elite Card has some of the lowest approval requirements among secured cards, according to WalletHub’s research. Applicants don’t even need a bank account to get approved.
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
The Capital One Journey Student Rewards Card is an easy credit card for students to get. It’s also one of the best, rewarding users with 1 - 1.25% cash back on purchases, up to $60 streaming credit and not charging an annual fee.
Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card
The Credit One Visa Card is the easiest unsecured credit card to get. It is available to people with bad credit or no credit. Cardholders also earn 0 - 1% cash back on eligible purchases.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is an easy credit card for people with limited or no credit history to get. It also charges a $39 annual fee.
Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card
The Wells Fargo Business Secured Card is the easiest business credit card to get approved for. It requires a deposit of at least $500, charges a $0 annual fee, and gives 1.5% cash back in rewards on all purchases.
Secured Mastercard® from Capital One
The Capital One Secured Card is one of the easiest credit cards to get after bankruptcy. Its only requirement in that regard is that your bankruptcy case can’t be ongoing. The Secured Mastercard® from Capital One also is easy to get overall by virtue of being a secured card.
Fingerhut Credit Account
The Fingerhut Credit Account is the easiest store credit card to get with bad credit. It also has a $0 annual fee. For those who aren’t familiar, Fingerhut.com sells a wide range of merchandise, from clothing to furniture.
To identify the easiest credit cards to get approved for, WalletHub’s editors compare more than 1,500 credit card offers based on their eligibility requirements for new applicants. We also consider their fees, rates, rewards and other notable features as tiebreakers in order to help people find credit cards that are not only easy to get but also worth keeping.
You can find a recap of our selections below.
Summary: WalletHub’s Picks for Easy Credit Cards
|Credit Card||Best For||Annual Fee||APR||Editor’s Rating|
|OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card||No Credit Check||$35||17.39% (V)||4.0 / 5|
|First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card||No Bank Account||$29||19.99% (V)||3.7 / 5|
|Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card||No Annual Fee||$0||12.99% - 26.99% (V)||5.0 / 5|
|Journey Student Rewards from Capital One||Students||$0||26.99% (V)||5.0 / 5|
|Fingerhut Credit Account||Online Shopping||$0||29.99%||4.7 / 5|
|Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card||Unsecured||$0 - $99||17.99% - 23.99% (V)||3.0 / 5|
|Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||No Credit||$39||26.99% (V)||4.7 / 5|
|Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card||Business||$0||15.15% (V)||3.0 / 5|
|Secured Mastercard® from Capital One||After Bankruptcy||$0||26.99% (V)||5.0 / 5|