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Instant Approval Credit Cards

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Instant Approval Credit Cards

If rebuilding your credit is a top priority, having a good credit card is an important step toward achieving it.

“Instant approval credit cards,” also referred to as guaranteed approval credit cards, seem appealing because they don’t require a credit check. But with these kinds of cards, you tend to end up with a bunch of hidden fees, a card that doesn’t report your activity to the national credit bureaus (which means they won’t help your credit), or a prepaid card, which isn’t a credit card at all.

If you’re trying to get back on the right track, you’re better off with a secured card that doesn’t impose punishing fees but reports your payment activity to the credit bureaus. Here are some tips to get you started toward better credit, plus a couple of secured credit cards that are worth considering.

Rehabilitating your bad credit

Regardless of how you got to this point, know that there’s a way out, starting with these four steps.

1. Check your credit report

A 2013 study by the Federal Trade Commission found that a quarter of American consumers discovered errors on their credit report. Even if your credit score is in the dumps because of some past mistakes, there may be incorrect information on your report making it worse. Checking your credit report will also show you all outstanding accounts that may be delinquent or in collections, so you can know where to start.

You’re entitled to one free credit report every year from each of the three major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. You can order your report at AnnualCreditReport.com.

2. Pay on time

Your payment history comprises 35% of your FICO score, making it the factor with the biggest influence on which direction your score goes from here. If you’ve fallen behind on payments, avoid missing more payments because you’re trying to catch up. Instead, focus on paying your current bills on time.

3. Pay off debt in arrears

Once you’re making on-time payments, direct your efforts to paying off delinquencies and collection accounts. This may feel like a lost cause because you’re already in a hole credit-wise, but the longer your accounts are delinquent, the more negative the impact will be on your credit score. You may also face legal ramifications if you default on your debt.

4. Be wise about credit card applications

If you’re ready to start developing good credit habits, a secured credit card can help. Be careful about financial institutions you’re not familiar with or cards that boast instant approval and no credit check to entice you to apply. If you’re unsure, don’t hesitate to do a little extra research.

A couple of secured credit cards to consider

Capital Bank Open Sky Secured Credit Card
Learn More

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is unique among secured cards because it doesn’t require a credit check. You can score a credit line of $200 to $3,000, depending on how much of a security deposit you put up, and the card reports your activity to all three credit bureaus. The ongoing APR is 17.39% Variable and the annual fee is $35.

US Bank Secured Visa Credit Card
Learn More

US Bank Secured Card

If you’re looking to transition to a better credit card in the future, the US Bank Secured Card is a solid choice. If you establish consistent good credit behaviors with the card, you can transition to an unsecured credit card more quickly than if you have a secured card from a small bank or credit union. The ongoing APR is 19.24% Variable and the annual fee is $29. The US Bank Secured Card reports to all three credit bureaus.

The bottom line

Getting your credit score back on the right track won’t be easy, and applying for the wrong secured credit card can make it even harder. But if you combine good credit habits with a solid secured card that reports to all three bureaus and doesn’t charge a slew of fees, you can be on your way to better credit in a matter of months.

Updated December 3, 2015.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.


Image via iStock. 

  • Mallory Smith

    It says u need average credit to qualify for this card but i was approved with a score of 510 and i have serious deliquencies (medical bills) so even people with very poor credit can qualify:)

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi Mallory,

      That’s great to hear! Hopefully others will have the same success.

      • mina

        hi..I try to apply to capital one but they are asking $300 deposits for security fund..is that a scam?can you help me which card I can apply coz I hav a bad credit.thank u

    • bilal

      which one???

  • Mallory Smith

    It says u need average credit to qualify for this card but i was approved with a score of 510 and i have serious deliquencies (medical bills) so even people with very poor credit can qualify:)

  • Malsmith143ms

    It says u need average credit to qualify for this card but i was approved with a score of 510 and i have serious deliquencies (medical bills) so even people with very poor credit can qualify:)

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Hi Mallory,

      That’s great to hear! Hopefully others will have the same success.

    • bilal

      which one???

  • George ONeil

    i got qualified for an unsecured capital one card with a score of 530. im glad there is a company out there that understands people go through life and needs a little help to get started again.

    • bilal

      which one ?

  • George ONeil

    i got qualified for an unsecured capital one card with a score of 530. im glad there is a company out there that understands people go through life and needs a little help to get started again.

  • George ONeil

    i got qualified for an unsecured capital one card with a score of 530. im glad there is a company out there that understands people go through life and needs a little help to get started again.

    • bilal

      which one ?

  • zp1146671

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  • zp1146671

    4313084818968669=08092010000000000001

  • http://www.interest.com Dr Benson

    Do you need a loan apply now via accesspennyfn@gmail.com for
    more information okay.
    Dr. Benson
    loan finance companies
    CEO … / MD

  • http://www.interest.com Dr Benson

    Do you need a loan apply now via accesspennyfn@gmail.com for
    more information okay.
    Dr. Benson
    loan finance companies
    CEO … / MD

  • Manpreet Bhasin

    In my opinion one should not get Capital one card ever. Problem that no one mentions, they never graduate. So you have to close your account later no matter what, unless you keep paying them 30$ annual fee or close it and decreasing you average age per account. IMHO one should go for secured credit card from Bank of America or others, who graduate after a year and converts into regular credit card.

  • Manpreet Bhasin

    In my opinion one should not get Capital one card ever. Problem that no one mentions, they never graduate. So you have to close your account later no matter what, unless you keep paying them 30$ annual fee or close it and decreasing you average age per account. IMHO one should go for secured credit card from Bank of America or others, who graduate after a year and converts into regular credit card.

  • Manpreet Bhasin

    In my opinion one should not get Capital one card ever. Problem that no one mentions, they never graduate. So you have to close your account later no matter what, unless you keep paying them 30$ annual fee or close it and decreasing you average age per account. IMHO one should go for secured credit card from Bank of America or others, who graduate after a year and converts into regular credit card.

  • CatherineGotBandz

    I have a black card and i am offering purchases on items people want as long as they pay half the cost of the item to me up front and we have an agreement on how they will pay off the rest please i was not born yesterday i understand the dangers of this so no scams because i am no fool

    • joann

      ok
      how does someone use the card and terms?

    • Kecia Dawn Virgil-Wright

      what exactly are you offering is it just items you are offering

      • CatherineGotBandz

        Anything payable by credit card

    • Stephanie Mooney

      Hi Catherine, I am a single mom with two kids, and I am very interested in your proposal. What is the limit I could purchase, and do you have any restrictions regarding what the purchases may be, such as medical or dental procedures? How can I get in touch with you, in you are still interested?

    • Christine

      Is this offer still good? And is there a limit I’m a single mother desperately needing help paying a bill.

    • Ieshia Hart

      Are you still doing the credit card stuff?

    • Savannshssmile

      CatherineGotBandz ~ Could you entail what your process & criteria would be to utilize this offer if yours? Hypothetical, purchase of bedroom furniture set at $3500. Thanks JB

  • CatherineGotBandz

    I have a black card and i am offering purchases on items people want as long as they pay half the cost of the item to me up front and we have an agreement on how they will pay off the rest please i was not born yesterday i understand the dangers of this so no scams because i am no fool

  • joann

    ok
    how does someone use the card and terms?

  • joann

    looking for someone who has credit available for 30 days only willing to pay 25%

  • joann

    looking for someone who has credit available for 30 days only willing to pay 25%

  • joann

    looking for someone who has credit available for 30 days only willing to pay 25%

  • Carol Flowers

    I have a secured capital one card, paid it off every month and keep my balance low, under 30% of the limit. After six months they raised my 200.00 credit limited to $500.00. I then applied for their rewards card and was approved instantly with a 300.00 limited. I love Capital one, I am thinking about opening more products with them.

    • http://reverbnation.com/harrybroker Harry Broker

      I did the same as you did. The Quicksilver and the Platinum, MasterCards. Decided to open up their Capital One- 360, checking and savings as well, with a $100.00 overdraft, with no problem. No fees, whatsoever! Checking and Savings are interest bearing. MasterCard Symbols, worked for me, since Europe accepts it most anywhere, then any other major credit/debit cards.

  • Carol Flowers

    I have a secured capital one card, paid it off every month and keep my balance low, under 30% of the limit. After six months they raised my 200.00 credit limited to $500.00. I then applied for their rewards card and was approved instantly with a 300.00 limited. I love Capital one, I am thinking about opening more products with them.

  • Kecia Dawn Virgil-Wright

    what exactly are you offering is it just items you are offering

    • CatherineGotBandz

      Anything payable by credit card

  • Lysa B

    I have no credit and capital one approved me for a 300.00 limit Thank you Capital One

  • Lysa B

    I have no credit and capital one approved me for a 300.00 limit Thank you Capital One

  • anna

    im a full time student and i cant not get approved! is it because i am not working right now? i have good credit i just dont understand why im not being approved!!!

    • Jesse Reese

      A lot of companies now will not approve you unless you have a sufficient income. Someone I know Had a 730 credit score but got denied for a credit card with a line of only $500. They said the main consideration was her Debt to income ratio. Essentially she was spending to much of her income.

  • anna

    im a full time student and i cant not get approved! is it because i am not working right now? i have good credit i just dont understand why im not being approved!!!

  • CatherineGotBandz
    • ALICIA

      ok so u buy it ship it an then we send the money

  • Christine

    Is this offer still good? And is there a limit I’m a single mother desperately needing help paying a bill.

  • Carlos Díaz

    I have no credit established and yet still can not get approved for a secured card through capital don’t know what to do.

    • Annette Melero

      try fingerhut

  • Carlos Díaz

    I have no credit established and yet still can not get approved for a secured card through capital don’t know what to do.

  • Carlos Díaz

    I have no credit established and yet still can not get approved for a secured card through capital don’t know what to do.

  • http://reverbnation.com/harrybroker Harry Broker

    I did the same as you did. The Quicksilver and the Platinum, MasterCards. Decided to open up their Capital One- 360, checking and savings as well, with a $100.00 overdraft, with no problem. No fees, whatsoever! Checking and Savings are interest bearing. MasterCard Symbols, worked for me, since Europe accepts it most anywhere, then any other major credit/debit cards.

  • Joseph

    I think they choose who they want to have the money. Is pathetic. I gota 2000 dollar credt limit. and two 500 credit lines.

  • Joseph

    I think they choose who they want to have the money. Is pathetic. I gota 2000 dollar credt limit. and two 500 credit lines.

  • Joseph

    I think they choose who they want to have the money. Is pathetic. I gota 2000 dollar credt limit. and two 500 credit lines.

    • Joe Peet

      where do you have the 2000 limit and the credit lines with?

  • Ieshia Hart

    Are you still doing the credit card stuff?

  • Paulette Cogshell

    After Chapter 7 Bk December 2004. I got qualified for a Fingerhut credit card last year with a score 570. I’ve apply for JcPenney, , CreditOne Bank. Unfortunately, Capital One was one of the creditors on Chapter 7 BK, so when I apply for their secured credit card. I wasn’t approved.

  • Paulette Cogshell

    After Chapter 7 Bk December 2004. I got qualified for a Fingerhut credit card last year with a score 570. I’ve apply for JcPenney, , CreditOne Bank. Unfortunately, Capital One was one of the creditors on Chapter 7 BK, so when I apply for their secured credit card. I wasn’t approved.

  • Tasia Danielle Kriss

    Stay at home girlfriend. Trying to build my credit. Boyfriends credit is shot. I have ok credit and access to his $. I want to get a small house in five years. help.

  • Tasia Danielle Kriss

    Stay at home girlfriend. Trying to build my credit. Boyfriends credit is shot. I have ok credit and access to his $. I want to get a small house in five years. help.

  • Tasia Danielle Kriss

    Stay at home girlfriend. Trying to build my credit. Boyfriends credit is shot. I have ok credit and access to his $. I want to get a small house in five years. help.

  • Joe Peet

    where do you have the 2000 limit and the credit lines with?

  • Joe Peet

    where do you have the 2000 limit and the credit lines with?

  • Savannshssmile

    CatherineGotBandz ~ Could you entail what your process & criteria would be to utilize this offer if yours? Hypothetical, purchase of bedroom furniture set at $3500. Thanks JB

  • Jesse Reese

    A lot of companies now will not approve you unless you have a sufficient income. Someone I know Had a 730 credit score but got denied for a credit card with a line of only $500. They said the main consideration was her Debt to income ratio. Essentially she was spending to much of her income.

  • Jennifer Davis

    Hello, this year my fiance and I filed our tax and received our cash already. We bought a nice vehicle. I want to get a credit card to make sure our insurance and gas stays covered even if we are low on funds. I see that some credit cards give a $300.00 limit but uses that limit to cover their fees and I would have to shop at designated stores. I am trying to find a credit card that will accept my annual fee and let me pay into my credit limit. This will be my first credit card and I need help finding one that wont keep me in debt while I am trying to get out of debt and repair my poor credit status. Could you give me some positive feedback to help me find a credit card today? 02/12/2015

    • Jennifer Davis

      I found one that accepted me for a one time fee of 29.00. I am going to go with it and see if I can get a better one after three months. COMMENTS ARE WELCOME…..

      • diana

        what cc did you get approved for?

      • katy

        Which one it it please???

  • Jennifer Davis

    Hello, this year my fiance and I filed our tax and received our cash already. We bought a nice vehicle. I want to get a credit card to make sure our insurance and gas stays covered even if we are low on funds. I see that some credit cards give a $300.00 limit but uses that limit to cover their fees and I would have to shop at designated stores. I am trying to find a credit card that will accept my annual fee and let me pay into my credit limit. This will be my first credit card and I need help finding one that wont keep me in debt while I am trying to get out of debt and repair my poor credit status. Could you give me some positive feedback to help me find a credit card today? 02/12/2015

  • Jennifer Davis

    Hello, this year my fiance and I filed our tax and received our cash already. We bought a nice vehicle. I want to get a credit card to make sure our insurance and gas stays covered even if we are low on funds. I see that some credit cards give a $300.00 limit but uses that limit to cover their fees and I would have to shop at designated stores. I am trying to find a credit card that will accept my annual fee and let me pay into my credit limit. This will be my first credit card and I need help finding one that wont keep me in debt while I am trying to get out of debt and repair my poor credit status. Could you give me some positive feedback to help me find a credit card today? 02/12/2015

  • diana

    what cc did you get approved for?

  • Xavier

    I have 8 credit cards and I just turned 19, I do keep them under 30% and try hard not to over use . I mostly use them for reward points. So what i’ll do is pay with credit card as long as i know i have the cash to pay it back. Keep a balance on them to keep them active.

  • Xavier

    I have 8 credit cards and I just turned 19, I do keep them under 30% and try hard not to over use . I mostly use them for reward points. So what i’ll do is pay with credit card as long as i know i have the cash to pay it back. Keep a balance on them to keep them active.

  • katy

    Which one it it please???

  • Theb

    ok, for some help here is free advice.
    1. go look up a list of cards for comenity bank from experience there store cards are seemingly easy to get.

    2. for applications direct from an apt (Account Protection Team) Do not put more than (2) two different applications through the same back in the same calendar month. Eg. you apply on the 25th of June , after you put your 2 in you need to wait until the 25 of July for the next 2. This blocks them from trying to think there is suspicious activity.

    3. Get a PayPal verified account , then get a premier business debit card. As this will allow you to get to your money immediately.

    4. set up PayPal smart connect , which they have change names for the new applications, and for them the bank has also changed from synchrony to comenity.

    5. once approved, set that as your back up funding.

    6. take out any money you have in PayPal and move it to a connected account.

    note failure to do number 6 will result in them using your balance first before hitting the backup funding, (aka credit line)

    7.Use your card anywhere mastercard is available.

    doing this you could possibly earn the 1.5 percent cash back for each use to be added up and deposit once a month.

    if that total is less than $1.00, transfer exactly $1.00 to the PayPal account, and wait for it to show, during this time try not to use the debit card period. once you see it there through a mobile app, or online transfer the whole available balance back to the connected account out of PayPal.

    This will reopen the charging part of the account.

    finally if you use any account and do run them up too high, try to absolutely make sure that your payment is there on time even if it means a call in.

    Doing that can save an extra $20 plus dollars per occurrence, and prevent your score from dropping.

    I hope that this helps .

  • Theb

    ok, for some help here is free advice.
    1. go look up a list of cards for comenity bank from experience there store cards are seemingly easy to get.

    2. for applications direct from an apt (Account Protection Team) Do not put more than (2) two different applications through the same back in the same calendar month. Eg. you apply on the 25th of June , after you put your 2 in you need to wait until the 25 of July for the next 2. This blocks them from trying to think there is suspicious activity.

    3. Get a PayPal verified account , then get a premier business debit card. As this will allow you to get to your money immediately.

    4. set up PayPal smart connect , which they have change names for the new applications, and for them the bank has also changed from synchrony to comenity.

    5. once approved, set that as your back up funding.

    6. take out any money you have in PayPal and move it to a connected account.

    note failure to do number 6 will result in them using your balance first before hitting the backup funding, (aka credit line)

    7.Use your card anywhere mastercard is available.

    doing this you could possibly earn the 1.5 percent cash back for each use to be added up and deposit once a month.

    if that total is less than $1.00, transfer exactly $1.00 to the PayPal account, and wait for it to show, during this time try not to use the debit card period. once you see it there through a mobile app, or online transfer the whole available balance back to the connected account out of PayPal.

    This will reopen the charging part of the account.

    finally if you use any account and do run them up too high, try to absolutely make sure that your payment is there on time even if it means a call in.

    Doing that can save an extra $20 plus dollars per occurrence, and prevent your score from dropping.

    I hope that this helps .

  • Theb

    ok, for some help here is free advice.
    1. go look up a list of cards for comenity bank from experience there store cards are seemingly easy to get.

    2. for applications direct from an apt (Account Protection Team) Do not put more than (2) two different applications through the same back in the same calendar month. Eg. you apply on the 25th of June , after you put your 2 in you need to wait until the 25 of July for the next 2. This blocks them from trying to think there is suspicious activity.

    3. Get a PayPal verified account , then get a premier business debit card. As this will allow you to get to your money immediately.

    4. set up PayPal smart connect , which they have change names for the new applications, and for them the bank has also changed from synchrony to comenity.

    5. once approved, set that as your back up funding.

    6. take out any money you have in PayPal and move it to a connected account.

    note failure to do number 6 will result in them using your balance first before hitting the backup funding, (aka credit line)

    7.Use your card anywhere mastercard is available.

    doing this you could possibly earn the 1.5 percent cash back for each use to be added up and deposit once a month.

    if that total is less than $1.00, transfer exactly $1.00 to the PayPal account, and wait for it to show, during this time try not to use the debit card period. once you see it there through a mobile app, or online transfer the whole available balance back to the connected account out of PayPal.

    This will reopen the charging part of the account.

    finally if you use any account and do run them up too high, try to absolutely make sure that your payment is there on time even if it means a call in.

    Doing that can save an extra $20 plus dollars per occurrence, and prevent your score from dropping.

    I hope that this helps .