The Best Credit Cards for Poor Credit of 2016

Obtaining a credit card when you have poor credit can be quite the challenge.  Often times, credit card issuers want nothing to do with your 600 FICO score because you’re seen as a risk.  Fortunately, if you look hard enough, there are a few unsecured credit cards tailored to consumers on the lower end of the FICO score ladder.

However, while you may be able to obtain unsecured credit, it will come at a price.  To compensate for the risk involved, card issuers generally charge high interest rates as well as mandatory annual fees.  You’ll find several credit cards for individuals with poor credit below.  If you own a card with a low interest rate and low fees that hasn’t made our list, please let us know and we’ll gladly add it.

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa®

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  • Get Pre-Qualified without affecting your credit score
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • Keep an eye on your credit information with free online monthly credit score tracking
  • Choose your card design from our premium gallery


First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

Get Details
  • Fund your new MasterCard® secured credit card with your tax refund today!
  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards are Accepted!
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 - $2,000 Submitted with Application
  • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account


USAA Secured Card® American Express® Card

USAA Secured Card® American Express® Card

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  • USAA Eligibility Requirement: Today, USAA membership is only open to U.S. military service members, veterans who have received an discharge type of Honorable, and their eligible family members.
  • It's a real credit card - not a prepaid or debit card, that helps you build or improve your credit score.
  • When you apply - you'll also be opening a USAA 2-year Certificate of Deposit (CD), an interest-earning deposit account that has a two-year term and a $250-minimum initial deposit.
  • Your CD is a security deposit - the money you put in upfront, from $250 to $5,000, is the card's credit limit.
  • Earn interest on your CD - your deposit is guaranteed to grow. Plus the money is yours to keep as long as you don't default on your payments.
  • Start building your credit - opening a CD lets you get a credit card even if you don't have a credit history or have bad credit.
  • Chip technology has added security when used at a chip-enabled terminal and greater acceptance worldwide.


USAA Secured Card® Platinum MasterCard®

USAA Secured Card® Platinum MasterCard®

Get Details
  • USAA Eligibility Requirement: Today, USAA membership is only open to U.S. military service members, veterans who have received an discharge type of Honorable, and their eligible family members.
  • It's a real credit card - not a prepaid or debit card, that helps you build or improve your credit score.
  • When you apply - you'll also be opening a USAA 2-year Certificate of Deposit (CD), an interest-earning deposit account that has a two-year term and a $250-minimum initial deposit.
  • Your CD is a security deposit - the money you put in upfront, from $250 to $5,000, is the card's credit limit.
  • Earn interest on your CD - your deposit is guaranteed to grow. Plus the money is yours to keep as long as you don't default on your payments.
  • Start building your credit - opening a CD lets you get a credit card even if you don't have a credit history or have bad credit.
  • Chip technology has added security when used at a chip-enabled terminal and greater acceptance worldwide.


Credit One Bank® Credit Card with 1% Cash Back on Gas Purchases

Credit One Bank® Credit Card with 1% Cash Back on Gas Purchases

Get Details
  • Unlimited 1% cash back gas rewards
  • Get Pre-Qualified without affecting your credit score
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • Choose your card design from our premium gallery


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Published or Updated: February 9, 2016
About Rob Berger

Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Comments

  1. Avery Lopey says:

    I do not even understand how I ended up right here, however I assumed this put up was once good. I don’t realize who you might be however certainly you are going to a famous blogger when you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  2. Doug Younker says:

    Now I found another layer to consider. Health care costs wrecked me. I need a card for online purchases of what local retailers don’t carry in my rural location. For the moment a prepaid debit card is route I’ll take. In time I’ll get a secured card to build my credit rating back up. $2-$5 monthly fee isn’t that expensive, when there should never be no interest to pay, if I pay myself back on time every month.

    • Doug Younker says:

      Yes I understand I should have used the bad credit secured credit card. Higher interests rates that regular secured credits cards, interestingly similar monthly fees.

  3. matt says:

    Just an FYI, I was trying to use the valuable info you give on this page but the link to the
    Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Credit Card, no longer works. Instead of taking me to an official looking site where I can apply for the card it took me to credit cards.com, another helpful site where you can search by specific credit score ranges and by brand such as visa or MasterCard plus some others and includes many more search refinements that are very helpful but the card I was looking for from your list above wasn’t there and as you suggested it as one of the best credit building cards I really wanted to apply for that one specifically. Anyway just an fyi

    • Rob Berger says:

      Matt, thanks for letting me know. I’ve updated the cards and links.

  4. Qualifying for a credit card can be tough if you have a poor credit record, but a secured credit card may be one way you can obtain one. It’s also the best way to build or rebuild credit. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t understand how a secured card works.

  5. Rachel says:

    Hello,

    Which is the best card that doesn’t involve a security deposit? Do any of these NOT require a security deposit? The annual fee – is that automatically charged? My husband has credit score in the 400s.

    • Rob Berger says:

      All of the secured cards require a security deposit. That’s why the credit card company is willing to extend credit to those with low credit scores. The Credit One cards above, however, are not secured cards so they don’t require a security deposit.

  6. Rachel says:

    Also, are there any store credit cards that build credit?

    • Rob Berger says:

      Rachel, most store credit cards build credit. The downside is that the interest rates are extremely high, often higher than 20%.

  7. Anonymous says:

    After reading your responses to comments, I am confused. Do the secure cards listed in this article help build credit or not? Thank you and you are doing a first class job of managing this blog.

    • Rob Berger says:

      Secured cards do help build your credit.

  8. Jenn says:

    Can I really repair my credit history/score by paying off what is on my credit report? I’ve heard different sides of info/opinions but I’m confused. My score is in the high 400s?

    • Rob Berger says:

      Jenn, one key factor in your score is called credit utilization. We talk about it in an interview with FICO’s Tom Quinn–http://www.doughroller.net/credit/interview-ficos-credit-expert-tom-quinn-podcast-episode-002/

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Advertising Disclosure: The credit card and savings account offers that appear on this site are from companies from which Doughroller.net receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site, including, for example, the order in which they appear on category pages. Doughroller.net does not include all credit card companies, banks, or all available offers, although best efforts are made to include a comprehensive list of offers regardless of compensation.

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