menu-nav menu-nav

Unsecured Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Complete List of Unsecured, No Deposit Credit Cards Available to Those With Low Credit Scores

Unsecured credit cards for bad credit can be the next step for those who have been rebuilding for a while with secured credit cards and or even as a starter rebuilder credit card for those who choose not to go the secured credit card route.

While secured credit cards have lower annual fee (and many have no annual fee), they require a secured deposit which sets you credit limit but will only be returned to you when you close out the card. In contrast, unsecured credit cards do not require any collateral or security deposit and many will give you higher limits than any collateral you can afford.

AskMrCreditCard.com has compared every unsecured credit card targeting those with poor credit and curated our recommendations.


Best Recommendations

Card Credit Limit Why We Like
Mission Lane$300 - $1,000Credit Limit after 6 months of on-time payments
No Monthly Fee
Merrick Bank$550 - $1,350Credit Limit Doubles After 7 months of on-time payments
No Monthly Fee
Reflex Mastercard$300 - $1,000Credit Limit Doubles After 6 Months of on-time payments
Fit Mastercard$400Credit Limit Doubles After 6 Months of on-time payments
Indigo Mastercard$300Accept BK applicants
No Monthly Fee
Revvi$300Easy Approval
Buy On TrustUp to $5,000High Credit Limit
No Credit Checks


We have divided our recommendations into three groups based on the credit score required. The first group of unsecured credit cards are for those with at least 570 or 580 credit scores. These cards tend to have more generous limits and only charge an annual fee (no monthly fee or processing fee). They also tend to have a better track record of increasing your credit limits as soon as 6-7 months if you pay your bills on time during this period.

The second group of recommended cards are for those with scores from 525 to 570 area. These cards come with both an annual fee and monthly fee as issuers have to be compensated for issuing card to those of you in this score range.

The third group is for those who have 500 credit scores or below and these cards do not perform any credit checks. Instead, they will criteria like having a certain monthly income or having a debit card as conditions for giving approval.


Best for credit score 570-580 and Above

These are unsecured credit cards for those with 570-580 credit score and above. The key characteristics of these cards are that they only charge an annual fee and do not charge any monthly fee or one-time processing fee. A couple of them will also double your credit limit after the first 6-7 months if you pay on time.

Updated On 22 July 2022

Merrick Bank Double Your Line Platinum Visa Credit Card

merrick bank 2x Visa

Who is this card for? - The Merrick Bank Double Your Line Visa is an unsecured credit card for rebuiders who have at least 580 credit score and have been rebuilding for a couple of years. Ideally, your credit score should be above 600. This card is ideal for those who are either ready to go from a secured credit card to an unsecured credit card in their rebuilding efforts or for those who are looking for an unsecured credit card with lower fees and a decent credit line.

Why we like this card? - For those who get approved for this card, you get an initial credit limit between $550 and $1,350. After paying on time for 7 months, your credit limit will double. That means your new credit limit after 7 months will range from $1,100 to $2,700. The annual fee ranges from $0 to $72 so there is a chance that you will get a no annual fee credit card. Aside from the credit line increase after 7 months of on-time payment, Merrick Bank has a track record of increasing your credit lines even after that initial increase.

Requirements: Below are the requirements for Merrick Bank

  • Credit score of at least 580 - preferably 600 or above
  • No delinquencies or late payment for at least 2 years
  • Past collections or charge-offs should be settled
  • Debt (excluding mortgage) not more than $20,000


Annual Fee: $0-$72
Regular APR: 23.45% - 28.45%
Starting Credit Limit: $500 - $1,350

Credit Limit after 7 months of timely payments: $1,000 - $2,700

Read our review of the Merrick Bank Double Your Line Platinum Visa

Mission Lane Visa Credit Card

Mission Lane Visa

Who is this card for? - The Mission Lane Visa Credit Card is for those who have a credit score of between 570 and 650 and who would like to get credit limit increases. It is also ideal for those who have been discharged of a bankruptcy can also apply. It is also ideal for those who have secured credit cards and are ready to move on to an unsecured credit card with reasonable fees and credit limit or for those who have more "predatory" high fee credit cards and want to get a card with much lower fees.

Why we like this card? - The reason why we like this card is because after paying on-time for the first six months, you will be eligible for a credit limit increase. For many cardholders, they see their credit limit double after the first six months of on-time payments. Furthermore, Mission Lane also has a track record of further credit limit increases after that initial increase.

Requirements
  • Minimum credit score of 570 to 650
  • Total Debt (including mortage) cannot exceed $80,000 if you have a mortgage
  • Total Debt cannot exceed $20,000 if you have no mortgage
  • No late payments or delinquencies for last 2 years
  • No more than 2 hard inquiries during the last 6 months
  • Old collections and charge offs should be settled
Annual Fee: $59
Regular APR: 29.99%
Starting Credit Limit: $300 - $1,000

Read our review of the Mission Lane Visa

Reflex Mastercard

reflex mastercard

Who Is this card for? - Reflex Mastercard is for those who have credit scores in the 550-650 range and would like to have quick credit line increases from their card. With the Reflex Mastercard, this is possible because after paying on time for the first 7 months, your credit limit will be doubled from a starting credit limit of between $300 to $1,000 to between $600 to $2,000. It is also a card for those who want features like free credit scores and the ability to manage your account from an app.

Why We Like This Card - We like this card because they have modern features that most prime cards have. For example, they have a slick mobile app, let's you check your Vantage score for free and more importantly, have a track record of credit limit increases. Their fees and rates come in a range so that those of you on the "upper end" of the bad credit spectrum (620-640 score) will get low fees, high credit limit and a lower APR. However, those of you on the lower end of the "bad credit spectrum" (550-600) will have a higher chance of approval though you may have to pay higher fees.

Requirements
  • Minimum credit score of 570
  • Total Debt (including mortage) cannot exceed $80,000 if you have a mortgage
  • Total Debt cannot exceed $20,000 if you have no mortgage
  • No late payments or delinquencies for last 2 years
  • No more than 2 hard inquiries during the last 6 months
  • Old collections and charge offs should be settled
Annual Fee: $0-$72
Regular APR: 23.45% - 28.45%
Starting Credit Limit: $300 - $1,000

Credit Limit after 7 months: $600 - $2,000

Read our review of the Reflex Mastercard

Indigo Mastercard

reflex mastercard

Who Is this card for? - The Indigo Mastercard is for folks with credit scores from 570-650 who wants an unsecured credit card that comes with just an annual fee and has the possibility of getting an offer with no annual fee. It is also ideal for those who have just been discharged from bankruptcy, having their debts wiped out and starting from afresh again.

Why We Like This Card - We like this card because you have a chance of getting a card with no annual fee. Furthermore, card holders have reported that they report to the three major credit bureaus on time and consistently.

Requirements - Here are the requirements for approval of this card.

  • Credit score of 570 to 650 area
  • Not more than 2 inquiries during the last 6 months
  • No late payments or delinquencies for at least 1 year
  • Collections and charge offs should be settled
  • Not more than $30,000 in total debt


Annual Fee: $0-$99
Regular APR: 24.99%
Starting Credit Limit: $300

Read our review of the Indigo Mastercard

Best for 520 - 570 Credit Score

The following cards are ideal for those with credit scores between 520 and 570. At this credit score, you should expect to pay an annual fee, a monthly fee and a one-time processing fee. Card issuers charge these fees because of your low scores and for the risk they are taking.

Fit Mastercard

fit mastercard

Who Is This Card For? - The Fit Mastercard is for rebuilders who want an unsecured credit card that will give credit limit increases, will accept credit scores in the mid 500 FICO score area and will accept the fees that come with this card.

Why We Like This Card? - We like this card because it has modern features like mobile app, free credit scores and a track record of credit line increases. This is also one of the cards on our site with very good approval rates.

Requirements - Here are the requirements for approval of this card.

  • Credit score of 550 area
  • Checking account required - you should have your a/c and routing number available when you apply
  • Not more than 2 inquiries during the last 6 months
  • No late payments or delinquencies for at least 1 year
  • Collections and charge offs should be settled


Annual Fee - $75 for the first year, then $48 thereafter.
Monthly Maintenance Fee - $0 for the first year, then $6.25 a month (which is $75 annually)
One-time Application Fee - $89
Regular APR - 34.99%
Starting Credit Limit - $400

Read our review of the Fit Mastercard

Revvi Visa Credit Card

revvi visa card

Who is Revvi Visa for? - Revvi Visa is an unsecured credit card for those with a credit score randing from 525 - 570, are looking for a card that has a cash back rewards program and will accept the fees that you have to pay for this card.

Why we like this card/ - One of the key reasons we like Revvi is because it has one of the highest approval rates for applicants from our site. If you are a rebuilder looking for an unsecured credit card rather than a secured card and you meet the criteria, then you should definitely consider this card.

Requirements - Here are the requirements for approval of this card.

  • Credit score of 525 to 570
  • Checking account required - you should have your a/c and routing number available when you apply
  • Not more than 2 inquiries during the last 6 months
  • No late payments or delinquencies for at least 1 year
  • Collections and charge offs should be settled
  • Not more than $20,000 in debt (excluding mortgage)


Annual Fee - $75 for the first year, then $48 thereafter.
Monthly Maintenance Fee - $0 for the first year, then $6.25 a month (which is $75 annually)
One-time Application Fee - $89
Regular APR - 34.99%

Read our review of the Revvi Visa Credit Card



Best for 500 Credit Score and Below

For those who have 500 and below credit scores, the key to getting an unsecured credit card is to find one which does not check your credit and instead use other criteria to approve you.

Buy On Trust Lending
buy on trust

Who is this card for? - Buy On Trust is for those who have really bad credit and do not want to incur another hard inquiry on their credit report. It is a lease to own electronics store where your products can be picked up at your nearest Best Buy Store. As there is no credit checks, Buy On Trust relies on you have a regular income of at least $1,000 for 3 months from the same source and having a banking or checking account with no overdraft history and no NSF. You can get a credit limit of up to $5,000.

Why we like this card? - We like this card because it can give you a very generous credit limit of up to $5,000 and they do not rely on your credit report and score to approve you. Instead, they rely on your income and on you having managed your checking account in a responsible way by not incurring overdrafts. Best of all, Buy On Trust is one of the rare lease to own electronics store that reports to all three major credit bureaus. With such a potential generous credit limit, you can actually purchase something significant with it rather than with a lower limit credit card.

Annual Fee: $0
Regular APR: varies
Starting Credit Limit: Up to $5,000

Read our review of Buy On Trust Lending


What You Get Realistically Expect To Be Approved

Depending on your score, and perhaps your income and whether you have had no late payments for a certain period of time (like say a year and a half), you may be approved for unsecured cards with different characteristics. The table below summarizes what type of unsecured card you can realistically expect to get based on your credit scores.

Score Range Expected Features Example Cards
>Above 580 and above
  • No or Low Annual Fee
  • No Monthly Maintenance Fee
  • No One-Time Application Fee
525 to 580
  • Annual Fee
  • Monthly Maintenance Fee
  • May include one-time application fee
300-525
  • Online Store Cards
  • No credit checks
  • Can only be used at online stores


How We Chose Our Recommendations

We looked at the following factors when curating our recommended list.

  • Fees - Unsecured credit cards for bad credit tend to charge a lot of fees. They may include annual fees, monthly fees and even a one-time processing fee. Most of our recommendations have only an annual fee and no monthly fee or one-time processing fee. Only two of our recommendations have them and that is because these cards accept those with credit scores in the low to mid 500s and card that accept applicants in that range tend to have higher fees.

  • Credit Limits and Increases - Credit Limits are also an important factor. Many subprime credit cards have low credit limits in the $300 range. The cards we chose have higher starting credit limits and a track record of credit limit increases. Some cards that we recommend will double your credit limit after a few months of on-time payments. An example is the Merrick Bank Double Your Line credit line which starts with a credit limit ranging from $550 to $1,350 and it doubles after 7 months. There is only one card on our list which does not increase credit limits and that is the Indigo Mastercard. But that card was chosen for other reasons.

  • Modern Features like Mobile Apps - We also looked for cards that have features like mobile apps, autopay and even if they provided free credit scores.


What is an Unsecured Credit Card?

Most credit cards are unsecured so having an unsecured credit card is just like having a regular credit card. They are unsecured because you do not have to put up a security deposit. Instead, approval and credit limits will be based on an assesmment of your credit report and income. An unsecured credit card for poor credit tend to have more fees than prime credit cards. The better ones come with an annual fee. Some also have a monthly fee on top of an annual fee and even charge a one-time processing fee. They also tend to have a lower credit limits. The maximum starting limit tend to be around the $1,000 area. In contrast, most prime unsecured credit cards have no annual fee and starting credit limits of $5,000 to $10,000 are not uncommon.

What is the difference between unsecured and secured credit card?

If you get a secured credit card, you will have to put up a security deposit with the issuer. The amount of your deposit becomes your credit limit. You will get back your security deposit when you close the card or when the secured credit card graduates to an unsecured credit card (which some issuers do).

With an unsecured credit card, you do not have to put a security deposit. Your credit limit will be given based on your score and income (although in the case of bad credit cards, the starting limit is typically very low).

The other main difference pertains to fees. Most secured credit cards either have no annual fee or charge a modest annual fee. Many unsecured credit cards for bad credit have annual fees, one-time application fees and monthly fees as well.