The Best Credit Cards for Poor Credit of 2014

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.  Please find our favorite 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® Credit Card with Gas Rewards
Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards

Apply Now...
  • Unlimited 1% cash back gas rewards
  • No limit to the gas rewards you can earn
  • Rewards post to your account automatically each month
  • 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
  • Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due
Intro APR Intro APR
Period
Regular
APR
Annual
Fee
Balance
Transfer
Credit
Needed
N/A* N/A* 17.90% - 23.90% (Variable)* $35-$99 N/A* Bad Credit

Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards
Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards

Apply Now...
  • Unlimited 1% cash back gas rewards
  • No limit to the gas rewards you can earn
  • Rewards post to your account automatically each month
  • 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
  • Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due
Intro APR Intro APR
Period
Regular
APR
Annual
Fee
Balance
Transfer
Credit
Needed
N/A* N/A* 17.90% - 23.90% (Variable)* $35-$99 N/A* Fair Credit

First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

Apply Now...
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI
  • 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 $300 -- $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
Intro APR Intro APR
Period
Regular
APR
Annual
Fee
Intro Balance
Transfer
Credit
Needed
N/A N/A 19.99% (Variable) $29 N/A Bad Credit

USAA Secured Platinum American Express Card
USAA Secured Platinum American Express Card

Apply Now...
  • 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.
  • Before starting your application, USAA will ask you a few questions to establish your online access and eligibility with USAA.
  • If you are not eligible, USAA credit cards and other products may still be available.
Intro APR Intro APR
Period
Regular
APR
Annual
Fee
Balance
Transfer
Credit
Needed
N/A N/A 9.90% (Variable) $35 N/A Bad Credit

USAA Secured Platinum Card
USAA Secured Platinum Card

Apply Now...
  • 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.
  • Before starting your application, USAA will ask you a few questions to establish your online access and eligibility with USAA.
  • If you are not eligible, USAA credit cards and other products may still be available.
Intro APR Intro APR
Period
Regular
APR
Annual
Fee
Balance
Transfer
Credit
Needed
N/A N/A 9.90% (Variable) $35 N/A Bad Credit

Credit One Bank® Platinum Card
Credit One Bank® Platinum Card

Apply Now...
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • Keep an eye on your credit information with free online monthly credit score tracking
  • Get Pre-Qualified without affecting your credit score
  • Choose your card design from our premium gallery
  • Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due
  • Unlimited 1% back gas rewards
Intro APR Intro APR
Period
Regular
APR
Annual
Fee
Balance
Transfer
Credit
Needed
N/A* N/A* 17.90% - 23.90% (Variable)* $35-$99 N/A* Fair Credit

Published or Updated: June 6, 2014
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%.

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