Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit
|Credit Card||Best For||Credit Score||Annual Fee||Welcome Bonus|
|Guaranteed Approval||300–669||$75 for the first year ($48 after)|
|High Credit Limit||300–669||$39 ($0 for the first year if you set up autopay)|
|No SSN Requirement||300–669||$0|
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While many credit cards for borrowers with poor or limited credit are secured cards, not everyone is willing or able to put down a security deposit up front. Unsecured credit cards don’t have this requirement, meaning no deposit is needed and your credit limit won’t be determined by the amount you pay.
Unfortunately, when lending to people with bad credit, credit card issuers tend to make up for a lack of a security deposit elsewhere—like with expensive fees, high interest rates, or bad borrowing terms. However, there are still some diamonds in the rough, and we’ve found the best ones. To find the right unsecured credit card for you, check out our top five picks.
Best unsecured credit cards for bad credit
Here are the best credit cards for bad credit that don’t require a security deposit.
Overall best unsecured credit card for bad credit
No-deposit credit card for bad credit with guaranteed approval
High credit limit unsecured credit card for bad credit
Credit-building card with no deposit
Unsecured credit card for bad credit and no SSN
What is an unsecured credit card for bad credit?
A unsecured credit card for bad credit is a credit card that doesn’t require a security deposit, but is still available to borrowers with bad credit or no credit.
As many credit cards are only available to applicants with good credit histories, it can be difficult to qualify for a credit card if your credit is less-than-perfect or even nonexistent. Luckily, such cards still exist, like all the ones mentioned above.
Unsecured credit cards for bad credit achieve two goals:
- They give you money through short-term loans that you pay back each month.
- They help you build credit through responsible borrowing that’s reported to the major credit bureaus. Improving your credit score is important if you want to qualify for even better credit cards or other loans in the future.
What’s the difference between a secured and unsecured credit card?
A secured credit card requires a security deposit. An unsecured credit card has no security deposit, so it can be opened without needing to pay money upfront.
Secured credit cards tend to be easier to qualify for, as the security deposit acts as collateral against risky borrowers. The credit limits on secured cards are usually the same amount as the deposit paid, so the lender can keep the security deposit if the borrower doesn’t pay their credit card bill.
Unsecured credit cards have credit limits determined by a borrower’s “creditworthiness” rather than a security deposit. Creditworthiness is a loose term that varies by lender. It’s usually determined by a borrower’s credit history and/or their current financial status.
Can I get an unsecured credit card with bad credit?
Yes, you can get an unsecured credit card with bad credit. While options are more limited for borrowers with bad credit, there are still credit cards available to people with bad credit, no credit, limited credit, or even black marks like bankruptcies on their credit reports.
What should I look for in an unsecured credit card for bad credit?
You should look for the following features in an unsecured credit card for bad credit:
- No security deposit required
- High approval odds
- No annual fee or an annual fee under $50
- APR under 25%
- Credit reporting to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion)
- Credit services (e.g., credit monitoring or free credit scores)