Financial experts compare credit card companies to bad friends, who are available when you flush money but disappear when you go broke. Well, if you have been trying to get credit cards but have bad credit, you might be wondering how real the guaranteed approval cards you come across operate.
Bad credit scores hold most people back from accessing credit services. In most cases, the only way out is getting guaranteed approval for unsecured credit cards for bad credit.
Unsecured credit cards for poor credit often don’t require initial deposits but high-interest charge fees that typically add up surpassing the deposit placed on secure cards.
However, for individuals with low credit scores, this is the only available option. Whereas store credit cards are easy to acquire, they have low credit limits and charge high-interest rates.
That said, below are some of the best guaranteed approval unsecured credit cards for bad credit that can be of help.
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Top 10 Best Guaranteed Approval Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit
1. Credit One Bank Platinum Visa
The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa is another awesome credit card lender with competitive rates and low annual fees for the first year. Credit lines start from as little as $300 but have options of significant increase over time, especially if you pay the first five due payments on time.
If you achieve this, you will receive a free credit score tracking and 1% repayment on gas purchases.
- A good option for emergency loan
It is difficult and expensive to be eligible for an unsecured credit line if you have poor credit. However, this statement may not apply for Credit One Bank Platinum Visa.
For starters, there is no application processing fee or monthly fees. The first annual fee also ranges at about $75 with a maximum of $99 in subsequent years. This is, however, dependent on individual creditworthiness.
- APR Varies
Like other credit lenders, the annual pay rate varies greatly. Your rates can hit above 20%, especially if you have damaged credit. Therefore, you should make plans of paying up for the charges quickly to reduce the charges imposed.
- Helps rebuild credit
- Automatic accounts review increases credit line opportunities
- Quite high rates
2. Total Visa Card
Having a credit card when your credit score is poor isn’t easy, but that shouldn’t be the reason for giving up. The Total Visa Card is a good option for customers with below stellar score looking for a way to solve their pending financial crisis.
Whereas the fees and APR tagged on this card can be worrying, it is worth a good choice if you want to improve your credit score.
- Know the costs
Unlike other credit facilities, you will be required to part with $89 processing fee. However, annual fees for the first year level up with other credit providers at $75. You will then be required to pay $48 annually for the remaining period. This brings the initial costs to $164 during the first year.
From the second year, you will be paying $48 card charges with $6.25 monthly fees. Note that credit cards with monthly fees offer high rewards and benefits compared to those that don’t.
Nonetheless, the Total Visa Card may lack most of these features but focuses on being customers’ basic-go-to credit card, especially for those who cannot qualify for other unsecured credits and lack the funds to pay deposits for secured credit cards.
- Pay off monthly balances
To avoid the variable charges ranging up to 34.99% on APR, you should ensure that you pay off all your monthly balances in full.
- Low credit requirements
- Reports credit activity to all reporting agencies
- Fast and easy application
- Steep APR
- Upfront and ongoing fees are discouraging
3. Milestone Gold MasterCard
The Milestone Gold MasterCard is another excellent unsecured credit card that allows one to pre-check if they qualify. This eliminates the potential harm caused to your credit if you don’t satisfy the eligibility requirements.
This option has some annual fees, which vary according to individual credit score. The first year often doesn’t have any cash advance fee, but you should watch out as some fees are charged on cash advance transactions after 12 months.
- Annual Percentage Rates
Milestone Gold MasterCard annual percentage rates, though variable, is around 24.9%. The variable cash advance, on the other hand, is around 29.9%, which late payments are subjected to. Note that penalty APR is applied by the credit card lender for six months, but can be extended indefinitely.
- Foreign Transaction fees
Milestone Gold MasterCard imposes a 1% foreign transaction fee. For instance, if your total expenditure is approximately $2500 on your vacation abroad, you will have to pay a fee of $25.
With this, you should consider leaving this card at home when traveling abroad and apply for a credit card provider that charges no foreign transaction fees.
- Reports on account activity
- All-time mobile access
- Protection from stolen card
- Easy application
- No rewards program
4. Platinum Credit Card from Capital One
Like other credit lines, the Platinum Credit Card from Capital One provides a chance for users with poor credit scores to access real credit cards and build their credit without paying for annual fees.
As expected, these lenders charge high interest but come with the real features of a credit card, including fraud protection, free access to credit scores, and much more.
- Zero annual fees
Regardless of whether you need a credit card, looking to pay bills that can’t be afforded in cash or looking to rebuild your credit standing, the fact that they don’t impose an annual fee keeps the cost low.
- Helps improve on credit
Like other good credit card lenders, Platinum Credit Card from Capital One reports all your credit activities to relevant credit bureaus every month. Provided you meet your bills timely and you don’t max out your spending limits, such information will reflect positively on your credit score.
- Is it a reward or one cashback program?
The Platinum Credit Card from Capital One is a one cashback program. It doesn’t support any rewards program. In this, there are no rewards rates, annual rewards limit, and signup bonus.
- Free credit score
- Extended warranty period
- Travel and travel accident insurance
- Reports credit scores
- Protection from fraud
- Not available for those in the low end of bad credit
5. Milestone MasterCard
The Milestone MasterCard is another great-unsecured card for individuals with poor credit looking to rebuild their credit standings as well as borrow for some emergency expenses. The card doesn’t charge any security deposit, but the high annual fees may make it a lesser option compared to other credit cards.
- Best unsecured card for bad credit
Getting an unsecured credit card for bad credit is not good in the first place. However, if you need emergency cash more than a better credit score, this might be a good option.
What makes it the among the best is that customers can see if they prequalify for the credit card even before making a hard inquiry. Just to mention, making a hard inquiry may temporarily affect the person’s credit score.
- Modest fees
Unlike other credit card companies, the Milestone MasterCard doesn’t impose one-time or monthly fees. However, there is the normal annual fee ranging from $35 to $75. Like other firms, however, you will graduate to a cheaper fee with time,
- Low interests
This credit card comes with a favorable APR compared to other unsecured credit cards for those with bad credit.
- All-time mobile account access
- Fraud protection
- No initial deposit required
- Variable credit fees
6. First Access Car
Being approved for credit with an already bad credit tag is possible, but with a tradeoff. Like other unsecured credit cards, the First Access Solid Black VISA Credit Card comes with tough fees and high interests.
Though the fees and steep interests add extra subprime to clients already struggling with their creditworthiness, it is a better option for those with emergencies.
- Understand the Fees
All subprime credit cards charge an annual credit fee, and the First Access Solid Black VISA Credit Card isn’t an exception. That said, customers are required to make an $89 initial one-time opening fee. They will then part with an annual $75 fee for the first year and $48 in the second and coming years.
What you are paying as the fees is a way to rebuild your creditability. This is because First Access Solid Black VISA Credit Card, like other credit facilities, submit their reports every month to all the three credit bureaus. However, this is dependent on how timely you pay your monthly dues.
- Little Spending Power
Once allowed access to credit, your card is loaded with $300 at the beginning, which is subsequently reduced to $225 once you pay for the first annual fee. Well, though not much of an amount for an emergency, you are either way out of options.
- Reports to all bureaus
- Part of widely used VISA network
- Fast online application
- Good credit not a must for approval
- Slightly high APR
- Several fees
7. Indigo Platinum MasterCard
The Indigo Platinum MasterCard is a good choice of credit card for those with slightly less than perfect credit score. Those in need of an emergency loan or emergency car grant can consider this option.
This card is probably the best-unsecured credit cards to rebuild credit, even if your score doesn’t allow you to apply for the regular unsecured plans.
The card doesn’t offer reward programs but has additional benefits, including travel insurance, extended warranty on items purchased, and car rental insurance. This is something that most unsecured cards don’t offer.
- Helps rebuild credit
As mentioned, you can rebuild your credit score with the Indigo Platinum MasterCard. Like other good cards, it submits reports to major credit bureaus such as Transunion, Equifax, and Experian on a monthly basis. Therefore, if you pay up your bills on time without reaching the credit limit, be certain of an improved credit score.
- Soft pre-inquiry
The Indigo credit card pre-qualification process enables people with bad credits to check if they are eligible for approval without submitting the actual hard credit inquiry.
Note that submitting a hard credit inquiry can temporarily reduce the credit score. However, keep in mind that finding out the pre-qualifying aspect doesn’t imply a guaranteed approval.
- Varying annual fees
Based on individual creditworthiness, the Indigo Card charges vary from $0 to $59 and $75 during the first year. This is relatively a big range, especially for those who want a predictable charge on their cards.
- High-interest rates on accrued balance
When taking a credit card with a low credit score, you should always avoid worsening the score. Well, as for this option, balances brought forward from previous months accrue high interests at annual rates above the market average for both general credit cards and secured credit cards. Therefore, it is prudent to pay the amounts owed quickly.
- Offers emergency support
- Fraud protection for lost cards
- Submits reports to credit bureaus
- Doesn’t offer reward programs
8. Fingerhut Unsecured Card for Poor Credit
Fingerhut has been in business for more than 60 years. It initially established as a mail-order firm before shifting in accordance with digital advancements.
Currently, it is among the giant online retailers that shift several products in various categories globally. Just like other store credit cards, having a Fingerhut Unsecured Card is a good way to retrace your lost creditworthiness.
- The credit card can only be used to make purchases from Fingerhut.
- Individual payment activities and account balances to relevant credit authorities for credit reviews.
- They don’t charge any application and processing fees. Also, there are no annual fees.
- Charges interests on balances carried forward
- Easy application process
- Relieves your credit history
- Access to thousands of items
- Reports credit activities
- Not an access card
9. Credit One Bank Visa
Credit One Bank has been issuing unsecured credit cards to individuals with limited credits since 1984. What brought up doubts about this credit service is the fact that they lack a physical branch. Operating only on an online basis.
Nonetheless, the Credit One Bank Visa is a great choice for individuals struggling to improve their fair to bad credit without forfeiting on rewards.
The credit service provides a 1% cashback reward on various eligible purchases such as phone services, groceries, and gas. Customers also enjoy free Experian reporting on credit score with zero fraud liability.
- No security deposit
Most credit offering companies require a security deposit to release at least $300. However, the Credit One Bank Visa doesn’t have such requirements. After signing up, you automatically enjoy a credit limit of $300. Whereas this might not be much, it is a good option for those who want to rebuild their creditworthiness.
- Variable annual fee
Matching other credit facilities, this company requires customers to pay annual fees for their cards. Based on your current credit score, customers will required to pay between $0 to $75 in the first year and a lesser figure during the second year.
Clients allowed to check for their credit eligibility before making an application for this option. You can evaluate if you can afford the fee before time and decide if you can afford it.
- Customizable cashback rewards
- Great approval odds
- Soft pre-inquiry possible
- Monthly reporting
- No security deposit
- Relatively high APR
10. Surge MasterCard
Another legit credit card for individuals with bad credit is the Surge MasterCard. It sold and serviced by Continental Finance and aims at helping those in trouble with their credits build their credit scores again.
The company reports to all the three major regulatory bureaus, allowing the cardholders to develop their credit by either paying on time or using a small portion of the credit limit.
- Annual membership fees of $125 during the first year and $96 afterward.
- Cash limit of $500 for starters. Cardholders are however eligible for an increased credit limit after several on-time payments.
- Deposit requirements range from $0, $50 to $500 based on the individual’s creditworthiness assessment.
- No rewards, which isn’t uncommon with credit cards for bad credits. Some cards provide rewards, though.
- Approves applicants with poor credit scores
- Reports payments
- Minimal deposit requirements
- Relatively high annual fees
The Bottom Line
Guaranteed approval unsecured credit cards for bad credit designed to aid people whose credit scores range from 300 to 369 to improve their credit. The best cards should have low annual fees with cash back rewards and other features. They should also submit reports of individuals with poor credit to relevant credit institutions monthly.
Whereas most may opt for secured credit cards since they charge low fees with high approval odds. They might not be the best choice for everyone. Those who need emergency loans and lack the necessary down payment required for approval of secured credit cards will find the unsecured cards beneficial.