The 8 Best Credit Cards to Get in 2018 if You Have Bad Credit

These cards will get you back on the right financial track

Getting a credit card when you have bad credit isn’t easy. Most credit card issuers expect you to have good credit before they will approve you for a credit card, but you can’t build up your credit score unless you have access to a credit card. Fortunately, there are a few credit cards on the market for consumers with bad credit.

A few of the credit cards on our best credit cards for bad credit list are secured credit cards. These are a type of credit card that allows you to make a security deposit against the credit limit of the credit card. Your credit limit will be equal to the security deposit. Because your security deposit assumes some of the risks, you’re more likely to be approved. As you pick the best credit card for you, consider your ability to pay a security deposit, the annual fee and other perks of the credit card.

Best for Low Security Deposit: Capital One Secured MasterCard

Capital One Secured
Courtesy of Capital One

The Capital One Secured MasterCard allows you to make a minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 for a $200 credit limit. Your credit history determines whether you qualify for one of the lower security deposit amounts. After you find whether you’re approved, you can make an additional security deposit for a larger credit limit before your account opens. You must have a bank account, so you can pay your security deposit.

After making your first five monthly payments on time, Capital One will consider you for an automatic credit limit increase without an additional security deposit. You’ll have also access to CreditWise, a free credit monitoring tool that helps you stay on top of your credit score.

Important Pricing: The APR is 24.99 percent and there’s No annual fee. More

Best for Earning Rewards: Discover it Secured

Discover It Secured
Courtesy of Discover

Discover it is the only secured credit card that allows cardholders to earn rewards on their purchase. Get two percent cash back at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus one percent cash back on all other credit card purchases. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of the first year. You can redeem your rewards at any time for any amount and automatically at Amazon.com.

Make a minimum deposit of $200 up to $2,500 and your credit limit matches your security deposit. After you’ve had your credit card for eight months, Discover will review your credit to consider refunding your security deposit while keeping your account open. Plus get free access to your FICO score on your monthly statements.

Important Pricing: Introductory balance transfer APR is 10.99 percent for six months from the date of transfers. The transfer must post to your account by March 10, 2018 to be eligible. The regular APR is 23.99 percent APR and there’s no annual fee. More

Best Top-Tier Secured Credit Card: Citi Secured MasterCard

Citi Secured Credit Card
Courtesy of Citi

Perhaps the best thing about the Citi Secured MasterCard is that it’s issued by Citi – one of the major credit card issuers. Good account management with your secured credit card may allow you to qualify for one of their better credit cards.

With the Citi Secured MasterCard, you can make a security deposit between $200 and $2,500 at the time you make an application. Your deposit is placed in a “Collateral Holding Account” for 18 months. Unfortunately, your deposit won’t earn interest and a bankruptcy in the past 24 months can prevent you from being approved.

Important Pricing: The APR is 23.74 percent. There is no annual fee. More

Best for No Credit: First Progress Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card

First Progress
Courtesy of First Progress

The First Progress Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card doesn’t require you to have a credit history or minimum credit score to be approved. The card is issued by Synovus Bank, Columbus GA, which is a member of the FDIC and reports to the three major credit bureaus to help build your credit score.

You must make a minimum security deposit of $200 to be approved. The annual fee of $39 is assessed on your credit card from the date your account is opened. That means if you make an initial security deposit of $200, your starting available credit will be $171.

Your security deposit is held in a non-interest bearing account. To receive a refund on your security deposit, you’ll have to pay your balance in full, close your account and send back your credit card cut in half.

Important Pricing: The Purchase APR is 13.99 percent APR. The annual fee is $39. More

Best for No Bank Account: OpenSky Secured Visa Card

Open Sky
Courtesy of Open Sky

The OpenSky Secured Visa allows you to make a security deposit between $200 and $3,000 to secure your credit limit. You can pay your security deposit with a Visa or MasterCard debit card – which is a plus because many secured credit card issuers require you to use a bank account.

You can request to increase your credit limit after your account is opened. If your request is approved, Open Sky will allow you to make an additional deposit for the credit limit increase and may charge an additional fee. You won’t earn any interest on your security deposit.

Unfortunately, you won’t have the option of converting this card to an unsecured credit card. Your deposit will only be returned to you within for four to six weeks of closing your account.

Important Pricing: The APR is 18.39 percent. The annual fee is $35. More

Best for Large Security Deposits: Wells Fargo Secured MasterCard

Wells Fargo
Courtesy of Wells Fargo

If you have access to capital and want a credit card with a high credit limit on your credit history, consider the Wells Fargo Secured MasterCard. You can make a security deposit in $100 increments from $300 all the ​way up to $10,000.

Your security deposit is placed in a non-interest bearing account until your credit card is closed or upgraded to an unsecured credit card. There’s no preset time for your account to be upgraded. Whether you’re upgraded at all depends on how you manage your Wells Fargo Secured MasterCard and any other accounts on your credit report.

Important Pricing: It has 20.24 percent APR. There's $25 annual fee.

Best for Military & Interest on Security Deposit: USAA Secured American Express

American Express
Courtesy of American Express

The USAA Secured American Express places your security deposit into a USAA Bank two-year Certificate of Deposit (CD), which earns interest. You must make a minimum $250 security deposit to get started and you can make additional deposits to your CD at any time and request a credit limit increase to match. You’ll keep your deposit plus any interest earned on it as long as you don’t default on your payments.

This credit card is only available to USAA members: active or retired members of the military and their family. Military enjoys special deployment interest rates under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

While there’s no penalty rate if you’re late on payments, you don’t want to make a habit of late payments because you’ll incur a fee and you’ll put your account at risk of default.

Important Pricing: The APR is between 10.90 and 20.90 percent. The annual fee is $35. There are no foreign transaction fees. More

Best for Previous Bankruptcy: Indigo Platinum MasterCard

Indigo Platinum
Courtesy of Indigo Platinum

With the Indigo Platinum Mastercard, you can get pre-qualified right on their website to determine the likelihood that you’ll be approved. Pre-qualification doesn’t affect your credit score and you’ll get a decision in 60 seconds. A previous bankruptcy won’t be held against you, depending on your other qualifications.

This is a regular credit card – no security deposit required. If you’re approved, you’ll receive a $300 credit limit and the option to add a custom credit card design.

The only downside is that you won’t know your annual fee until you’re actually approved. There’s a possibility of no annual fee, a $59 annual fee or a $75 fee in the first year. If you’re approved for the $75 annual fee, the fee will increase to $99 in the second year and each year after. That means up to 33 percent of your credit limit will go toward the annual fee.

Important Pricing: The APR is 23.9 percent and the annual fee can be up to $99. More

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