The 7 Best Credit Cards of 2019 If You Have No Credit

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Getting approved for a credit card when you have no credit is tough. Many credit cards require you to have an established credit history before you can be approved, but you can’t establish a credit history if you can’t get approved. Thankfully, there are a handful of good credit cards that allow you to start building your credit even without a previous credit history – some even offer credit card rewards. Our list includes:

  • Best Cash Rewards: Capital One QuicksilverOne
  • Best No Annual Fee: Capital One Platinum
  • Best for No Credit Check: OpenSky Secured Visa
  • Best Cash Back Secured: Discover Secured Credit Card
  • Best Cash Rewards for Students: Discover it Student Cash Back
  • Best for No Fees: DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card
  • Best for Immigrants and Permanent Residents: Deserve EDU MasterCard for Students

Student credit cards and secured credit cards are two of the best credit cards for no credit. We’ve included some other options for non-students and those who prefer to skip the security deposit. So read on and find out the best credit cards to get if you don't have any credit.

01
Best Cash Back Rewards: Capital One QuicksilverOne

Capital One QuicksilverOne
Courtesy of Capital One

What we like: The QuicksilverOne from Capital One pays an unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards on all purchases. Flat rewards mean you don’t have to keep up with any categories or enroll to maximize your rewards. One QuickSilverOne credit card pays a flat 1.5% cash back on all your purchases.

You may start out with a low credit limit – it's pretty normal when you get a credit card with no credit. Capital One will automatically consider you for a credit limit increase if you make your first five monthly payments on time.

The Capital One QuicksilverOne comes with a few additional MasterCard benefits, including extended warranty for items you purchase on your card, auto rental insurance, and travel accident insurance

What we don't like: You'll need to spend at least $2,600 in purchases just to breakeven on the $39 annual fee. The APR is pretty steep on this credit card, so pay your balance in full each month to avoid expensive interest charges and to avoid negating your rewards. 

  • Minimum Credit Required: Average
  • Annual Fee: $39
  • Intro APR: None
  • Ongoing APR: 26.96% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: None
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 3% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.

02
Best No Annual Fee: Capital One Platinum

Courtesy of Capital One

What we like: The Capital One Platinum has a reputation for approving consumers who are just starting out with credit. Capital One’s website has dozens of user-submitted reviews from applicants who were approved despite having no credit history. Just make sure you have an income before applying.

Like Capital One’s other credit cards, you’ll automatically be considered for a credit limit increase if you make your first five monthly payments on time.

What we don't like: The card has a high APR, which means you’ll want to pay your balance in full each month to avoid paying expensive interest on your credit card balance. The Capital One Platinum doesn't offer a signup bonus or pay rewards on purchases.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Average
  • Annual Fee: None
  • Intro APR: None
  • Ongoing APR: 26.96%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: None
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 3% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup Bonus: None offered

View details about this ​credit card.

03
Best for No Credit Check: OpenSky Secured Visa

OpenSky Secured Visa
Courtesy of OpenSky

What we like: The The OpenSky Secured Visa doesn't pull your credit when you apply which means you can be approved with any type of credit. You can pay the security deposit between $200 to $3,000 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, OpenSky will allow you to make an additional deposit for the credit limit increase and may charge an additional fee.

Your credit history will be reported to the three major credit bureaus, which means you can begin building good credit as long as you make your payments on time and keep a reasonable credit card balance. 

What we don't like: Unlike most other secured credit cards, your card won’t be converted to an unsecured credit card. Your deposit will only be returned to you within four to six weeks of closing your account.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Any
  • Annual Fee: $35
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 19.64%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: $6 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: 3% of the purchase amount in U.S. dollars
  • Signup bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.

04
Best Cash Back Secured: Discover Secured Credit Card

Discover Secured Credit Card
Courtesy of Discover

What we like: Discover it Secured is the only secured credit card that allows cardholders to earn rewards on their purchases. You can earn 2% cash back at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, plus 1% 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.

You can get started with a minimum security deposit of $200. Once your account is established you'll have free access to your FICO score on your monthly statements; plus, Discover monitors your Social Security number and alerts you of fraudulent activities.

What we don't like: The Discover it Secured offers a low balance transfer rate, but you can only take advantage of the offer if your credit limit is high enough. And since your credit limit is equal to your security deposit, taking advantage of the balance transfer rate means paying a security deposit equivalent to the balance you want to transfer.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Any
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 10.99% for six months from the date of transfer on transfers made by November 10, 2019.
  • Ongoing APR: 25.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the transfer amount that posts to your account by November 10, 2019; 5% of the transfer amount after that.
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: None offered

05
Best Cash Rewards for Students: Discover it Student Cash Back

Discover it Student Cash Back
Courtesy of Discover

What we like: The Discover it Student Cash Back credit card pays 5% cash back on purchases in categories that rotate each quarter and 1% back on everything else. Just like you have to sign up for classes, you must sign up to earn the 5% cash back in the bonus categories. Enroll before the beginning of the quarter to ensure access to the bonus all quarter long.

Keep your card active and in good standing, and at the end of your first year, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year. You can also earn $20 cash back bonus each school year for the next five years if you keep your GPA at a 3.0 or higher.

Student credit cards are a good option for those with no credit. Credit card issuers may ask for proof of enrollment before approving you for a credit card – so make sure you’re a student before applying.

What we don't like: You can't apply with a co-signer, so if you're under age 21 and can't show proof of independent income you may not qualify.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Average
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% on purchases for six months
  • Ongoing APR: 15.24% to 24.24% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the transfer amount that posts to your account by November 10, 2019; 5% of the transfer amount after that.
  • Cash Advance Fee: $10 or 5% of the cash advance amount
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: None offered

06
Best for No Fees: DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

Courtesy of DCU

What we like: The DCU Visa Platinum Secured credit card offers a competitively low interest rate, especially for a secured credit card. You won't pay an annual fee or any transaction fees on the card, but you'll get access to several other perks like free auto rental collision damage waiver, optional overdraft protection, free travel insurance coverage, and extended warranty on most of your purchases.

What we don't like: You must be a member of the credit union before you can apply for the DCU Visa Platinum Secured card.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Any
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 13.75%
  • Balance Transfer Fee: None
  • Cash Advance Fee: None
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: None offered

07
Best for Immigrants and Permanent Residents: Deserve EDU MasterCard for Students

Deserve EDU MasterCard for Students
Courtesy of Deserve

What we like: The Deserve Edu MasterCard is great for immigrants and permanent residents who don’t have a social security number (you don't need one to be approved). You only need proof of a U.S. bank account balance, passport ID, Student Visa, and I-20 Form.

Once you’re approved, the Deserve Edu MasterCard will pay 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases made on the credit card. Students also get a credit limit of up to $5,000. 

After using the Deserve Edu MasterCard wisely, you may become eligible for the Deserve Pro MasterCard. This upgraded pays 3% cash back on travel and entertainment, 2% back on restaurants, and 1% back on all other purchases.

What we don't like: There's no option to get a cash advance, which can be an inconvenience if you're in a pinch and need to get cash in an emergency.

  • Minimum Credit Required: Average
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Intro APR: None offered
  • Ongoing APR: 20.74% variable
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Cash Advance Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Purchase Transaction Fee: None
  • Signup bonus: None offered

View details about this credit card.