Store Credit Cards for Bad Credit: Best Offers & Tips
Store credit cards for bad credit are few and far between. In fact, there’s only one available right now: the Fingerhut Credit Account. All of the other store cards in WalletHub’s database of 1,000+ credit card offers require at least fair credit for approval. So you should check your latest credit score (for free on WalletHub) before applying for most store plastic in order to avoid making a “bad” situation worse.Compare 2017’s Best Store Credit Cards
Store credit cards’ reputation for being easy to get does not extend to people with damaged credit. That’s true. But it doesn’t mean you’re out of options. To start with, you’ve got the aforementioned Fingerhut store credit card for bad credit. Fingerhut is an online retailer that sells a broad array of goods from major brands, often at a discount, and allows you to pay for them in monthly installments. You can buy TVs and computers for up to 25% off, for example. So there might be some deals to be had on the site (or in the catalog for phone orders). But the Fingerhut card will hardly help you pay for groceries, car repairs and other essentials. It doesn’t offer rewards either.
Fortunately, there are other types of cards to consider, including unsecured credit cards for financing and secured credit cards if credit repair is your top priority. Some even offer rewards and have an affiliation with a popular brand. You can check out WalletHub’s top picks below.
2017’s Best Store Credit Cards for Bad Credit
A store credit card is one that can only be used to make purchases from whichever retailer it’s affiliated with. And there’s only one of those available to people with bad credit right now: the Fingerhut Credit Account. So that has to be the best store credit card for bad credit, if you’re looking at things literally.
But there are a number of co-branded credit cards for people with bad credit, too. They’re connected to airlines, hotel chains and other companies but allow you to make purchases anywhere. You can check out some notable examples of both types of cards below.
Credit One Bank® NASCAR® Visa® Credit Card
Harley-Davidson® Secured Credit Card
Aeromexico Secured Credit Card
Best Western Secured Credit Card
Fingerhut Credit Account
|Annual Fee||$0 - $99||$0||$25||$29||$0|
|Rewards Bonus||N/A||N/A||3,500 miles + Companion certificate||5,000 points||N/A|
|Rewards Rate||1 - 2% Cash Back||1 point / $1||1 - 2 miles / $1||2 - 3 points / $1||N/A|
|Purchase Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Transfer Intro APR||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered||Not Offered|
|Regular APR||17.24% - 25.24% (V)||24.24% (V)||24.24% (V)||22.24% (V)||26.15% (V)|
|Editors’ Rating||N/A||5.0 / 5||N/A||N/A||4.7 / 5|
|Details, Rates & Fees||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More||Learn More|
The best store credit cards for bad credit aren’t necessarily the same offers as the best overall credit cards for bad credit. In particular, all of the very best bad-credit cards don’t charge annual fees. That’s very important if your top priority is to rebuild your credit standing, as opposed to borrowing money for emergency expenses. After all, if you’re not in the market for an emergency loan, a secured credit card is all you need. And they tend to be far cheaper than unsecured credit cards for bad credit.
All major secured credit cards report account information to the major credit bureaus each month. So as long as you pay your bill on time, if you even make purchases with your card, that info will be positive. And that will gradually offset the negative impact of past mistakes.
3 Tips for Getting the Best Store Credit Card with Bad Credit
- Store credit cards don’t have the highest approval odds. Nearly all store credit cards require at least fair credit for approval. So you’re unlikely to get such offers with bad credit. Secured credit cards, on the other hand, offer nearly guaranteed approval regardless of credit score. That’s because your spending limit is usually equal to the amount of a refundable security deposit you’re required to place.
Store credit cards and co-branded credit cards are different. A store credit card only works with a single retailer. A co-branded credit card is affiliated with a retailer or other company but can be used anywhere Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express is accepted.
If you only want a credit card for credit-building purposes, it doesn’t really matter which type you get. But there are more co-branded credit cards available to people with bad credit than store credit cards.
- Secured cards are best for credit repair. Like store credit cards, secured cards are known for low fees and lax approval requirements. Both also report to the credit bureaus each month, which is crucial to credit improvement. And you can’t even tell the two apart on a credit report. But unlike store cards, secured credit cards give you a chance to repair significant credit score damage because they actually accept applicants who have bad credit. No positive info will be reported to the bureaus if you don’t get approved for an account to begin with, after all.
So store credit cards are generally unsuitable for complete credit repair, while secured cards are ideal.
Image: William Potter/Shutterstock
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