low credit score, or any score below 579, can put a wrinkle in nearly any financial plan, including if you want to get a credit card. Like it or not, most credit card issuers require good or excellent credit to qualify for their best offers.
There are credit cards for fair credit, or FICO scores from 580 to 669, but these offers are few and far between. Secured credit cards are a popular option for people with bad credit, but these cards require a security deposit upfront.
If that doesn’t sound appealing, there are some unsecured credit cards for bad credit to consider, all of which let you borrow money without a security deposit.
The Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card lets you build credit with no security deposit and no annual fee required. Your credit limit can range from $300 to $5,000, and you can qualify for a credit limit increase when you make on-time payments for at least six months. Best of all, the Petal 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa Credit Card considers alternate data like banking history for approvals, so credit mistakes from the past don’t hold as much weight.
The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit is another popular unsecured credit card available for consumers with imperfect credit. This card lets you earn 1 percent in cash rewards on gas, groceries, your mobile phone bill, internet, cable and satellite TV services. You also get access to a free credit score, which can help you track your progress to better credit.
Don’t let the cash back distract you from a significant downside, though. The card comes with a $99 annual fee ($75 for the first year). You would have to spend $9,900 within the 1 percent cash back categories to make that $99 up, so it probably doesn’t make sense to choose this card for the cash back over a no-annual-fee card.