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Best Credit Cards For Bad Credit 2024

Feeling like your credit score is a sour lemon? Let's make some financial lemonade!

Struggling with bad credit can feel like being stuck in a financial maze. Rent applications get denied, interest rates soar, and building a secure financial future seems impossible.

 A credit card for bad credit is your savior in shining armor in such situations. Even with a low credit score, you can get a credit card that helps you climb toward a more secure financial situation.

Credit cards for people with bad credit are specifically designed to help those with low credit scores (generally below 640) rebuild their creditworthiness. Though these cards have limited perks and rewards, using them responsibly can gradually improve your credit score and unlock many financial opportunities.

This guide will equip you with the knowledge to navigate the world of credit cards for bad credit. We'll explore the best options, explain how to use them effectively, and help you avoid common pitfalls. So, grab your low-credit credit cards, and let's build a strong credit foundation together!

Beginner's Guide To Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Beginner's Guide To Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Are you new to the world of credit cards for bad credit? Ideal for individuals with credit scores below 640, credit cards for bad credit come in two types: secured and unsecured.

  • Secured credit cards act like training wheels for credit building. You provide a security deposit (like a refundable down payment) that becomes your credit limit. If you use the card responsibly, your credit score improves!
  • Unsecured credit cards are the classic credit cards you might be familiar with. They don't require a security deposit but can be harder to qualify for with bad credit. Secured cards are generally the better option for those starting their credit journey.

But how do you get into bad credit territory? Late or missed payments, high credit utilization, short credit history, or hard inquiries can lead to a low credit score. Having bad credit can be expensive. Here's how it can hit your wallet:

  • Higher interest rates: Loans and mortgages come with steeper interest rates for those with bad credit.
  • Rental roadblocks: Landlords might hesitate to rent to you due to bad credit.
  • Increased security deposit: Expect higher security deposits for utilities and apartments when your credit score is low.

If you're facing these challenges, a credit card designed for bad credit can be helpful. But that doesn’t mean you can keep a low score on your credit card. Here’s how you can improve your credit score:

  • Make on-time payments (Always!): This is the golden rule! Consistent on-time payments significantly boost your score.
  • Keep it below 30%: Don't max out your credit limit. Aim for a low credit utilization ratio for a healthy credit score.
  • Say no to cash advances: Cash advances often come with higher fees and interest rates. Instead, stick to swiping for purchases.
  • Apply strategically: Don't go on a credit card application spree. Multiple inquiries can hurt your score.

Getting your first credit card with bad credit can be challenging. This is where no credit check-secured cards come in! These cards don't require a credit check for approval, but they do require a security deposit. They're a fantastic starting point for building credit with responsible use.

Understanding your financial habits is key to choosing the right credit card for bad credit. Tratta can help streamline this process by tracking your spending and providing insights into your financial habits, making it easier to select a card that fits your needs.

Remember, building good credit takes time and effort. You're on your way to a brighter financial future by responsibly using a credit card for bad credit!

Are you ready to explore some top-notch options? Let’s check out the best credit cards tailored to your credit score.

Picks by Credit Score

Not all credit cards for people with bad credit are created equal. Different cards cater to various credit score ranges. A credit score is a three-digit number between 300 and 850, representing creditworthiness. If your credit score falls below 500, you have a high chance of getting a bad credit. So, if you fall in the category of low credit scores between 400 and 490, here are the top credit card picks:

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Mastercard®

This card is a popular option for those with bad credit because it offers:

  • No annual fee: You can avoid extra charges while building credit.
  • Rewards potential: You can earn cash back rewards on everyday purchases, motivating you to use the card responsibly.
  • Wide credit bureau reporting: You can build your credit history with all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion).

Discover it Secured Credit Card

Discover is another excellent choice for beginners with bad credit because of these features:

  • Security deposit flexibility: You can choose a security deposit amount that fits your budget (minimums may apply).
  • Rewards for good habits: You can earn cash back rewards for on-time payments, encouraging responsible credit card use.
  • Double match bonus (first year): This card matches all the cash back you earn in your first year, potentially accelerating your rewards.

Milestone Mastercard

This card offers some unique features that can be helpful for those with bad credit:

  • Lower minimum security deposit: Compared to some competitors, Milestone® allows you to start building credit with a potentially smaller deposit.
  • Purchase security: You can get protection against theft or damage for covered purchases.
  • Travel benefits: You can enjoy certain travel benefits, like auto rental insurance and travel assistance services (restrictions may apply).

Here’s a pro tip: Prioritize approval odds over flashy rewards programs when considering a credit card for a low credit score.

Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit by Company

Conquering bad credit is like training for a marathon - it requires a strategic plan and the right tools. Picking a credit card can feel overwhelming, but fear not! Here's a breakdown of what to consider and avoid when selecting your credit card with bad credit and rebuilding success.

Do’s while choosing a credit card with bad credit:

  • Focus on getting approved: Look for cards with a high approval rate for applicants with bad credit.
  • Consider secured cards: These cards require a security deposit but are easier to get approved. They're a fantastic way to build credit history.
  • Compare the fees: Annual fees, balance transfer fees, and late payment fees can add up quickly. Opt for cards with minimal or no fees to avoid unnecessary financial burdens.

Don’ts while choosing a low-credit credit card:

  • Get swayed by rewards: Flashy reward programs often come with high credit score requirements. Focus on building credit first, then worry about rewards later.
  • Apply for multiple cards at once: Multiple credit card applications can lead to multiple hard inquiries on your credit report, which can lower your score. Apply strategically and only when necessary.
  • Swipe the card mindlessly: The goal is responsible credit card use. Don't go on a spending spree! Make your payments on time and in full to demonstrate your creditworthiness.

Building credit is a marathon, not a sprint. Choose a card that supports your long-term goals.

Ever wonder how we pick the cream of the crop? Here's the scoop on our selection of secret sauce. 

How to Select the Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit?

As there are several credit card offers for bad credit, we’ve made it easy for you to pick the right one for your needs. Here are a few criteria to check for the best credit cards for bad credit:

  • Approval odds: Prioritize cards known for giving applicants with bad credit a fair shot at approval. After all, getting approved is the first step to credit card success!
  • Credit bureaus: Ensure the cards report your responsible credit card use to all three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion). This builds a positive credit history, the foundation for a bright financial future.
  • Not a one-size-fits-all deal: Everyone's financial situation is unique. So, consider cards that cater to diverse needs, like those with lower security deposit requirements or features that benefit frequent travelers (even those rebuilding credit can dream of vacations!).

But wait, there's more! Go beyond the surface and use a special double-year cost calculation to get the most accurate picture. This calculation considers not just annual fees but also potential rewards you might earn with responsible credit card use. This way, you get a clearer idea of each card's overall financial impact. Pretty cool, right?

WalletHub's Credit Card Rating System

Are you confused by all the credit card jargon? No worries! Our credit card rating system simplifies the selection process. We evaluate cards based on several key factors:

  • Fees: Annual fees, balance transfer fees, late payment fees, and foreign transaction fees are all considered.
  • Rewards: We assess the value and ease of earning rewards programs offered by different cards.
  • Interest Rates: Lower APR (Annual Percentage Rate) translates to less interest paid on your balance.
  • Consumer Reviews: We factor in real user experiences to provide a well-rounded picture of each card.

By analyzing these factors, we provide a clear and objective rating system to help choose the best credit card for people with bad credit.

Hold up! Before you rush in, let’s discuss some pitfalls you should avoid on your credit-building journey.

Credit Card Mistakes to Avoid with Bad Credit

Building credit takes time and effort. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when using a credit card for bad credit:

  • Overspending: It's tempting to max out your credit limit, but resist! High credit utilization hurts your score.
  • Missing payments: Late or missed payments are a major red flag and can significantly damage your credit score.
  • Applying for too many cards: Multiple credit inquiries can negatively impact your score. Apply strategically.
  • Closing old accounts (in some cases): A long credit history can positively affect your score. Consider keeping older accounts open, even if inactive (Be sure to check the specific advice for this situation, as it can vary depending on your credit profile).

Now, armed with what not to do, let’s move on to some pro tips that can help you achieve credit score success.

Tips for Securing the Best Credit Card for Bad Credit

Ready to take charge of your credit score? Here are some final tips:

  • Know your credit score: Check your credit score for free regularly. This helps you track your progress and understand your approval odds.
  • Compare offers: Don't settle for the first card you see. Shop around and compare fees, interest rates, and reward programs.
  • Consider secured cards: If you have bad credit, a secured card can be a stepping stone to better credit options in the future.
  • Start building good habits: Pay your bills on time, keep your credit utilization low, and use your credit card responsibly. These habits will pave the way for a brighter financial future.

Knowing your credit score and monitoring your financial health is easier with tools like Tratta. Our platform allows you to check your credit score regularly and offers personalized recommendations to improve it, ensuring you're always on the right track.

While bad credit can feel like a roadblock, it doesn't have to be a dead end. The tools and knowledge presented here empower you to take charge of your financial future. By utilizing a credit card for bad credit and following our expert tips, you can transform your credit score from a cause for concern to a symbol of financial responsibility and opportunity.

Tratta can be your partner on this journey! Our app equips you with the tools to manage your payments effectively. Effortlessly track your income and expenses, set budgets to stay on track, and monitor your credit score – all for free. Sign up for a free trial today and see how Tratta can help you achieve your financial goals. 

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