Unsecured Yet Easy Credit Cards to Qualify For
Even if you have bad credit, you can still often find an easy credit card to qualify for. Depending on whether you have a poor credit history, or just no credit, you might even get approved for a solid unsecured card. In fact, those who have limited credit have quite a few attractive options.
Credit cards to rebuild credit
One of the best easy credit cards to get is the Capital One Secured MasterCard. You only have to put down $49, $99 or $200 (based on your credit history) to get the $200 minimum line of credit, though of course you may get a higher limit. It’s the best card for people who can’t make a full $200 or $300 security deposit, because you can pay in installments for up to 80 days if need be. If you need cash quickly, this is the ideal card. The annual fee’s a low $29 – one of the best in the business, and definitely better than you’d get with a so-called unsecured credit card. If you need cash fast, and you need it cheap, the Capital One Secured is better than an unsecured credit card or payday loan. It also helps build credit, so you can “graduate” to a no-fee, higher limit card.
If you can qualify for it, the US Bank Harley-Davidson Secured is a more affordable offer. Don’t be put off by the name – while marketed toward biker groups, anyone can apply for the Harley card. Unlike the Capital One Secured, the Harley doesn’t have an annual fee, and even earns 1% rewards on all purchases, usable for H-D merchandise. Okay, not great rewards, but remember – you’re going for the card because it doesn’t have an annual fee. You can also check out other secured cards, which have no annual fee the first year and a $25 fee thereafter, such as the AeroMexico, Lanpass and Lifemiles secured cards.
Credit cards for no credit
If you don’t have a credit history (versus having a bad credit history) you have a few more options on the table. Remember, though, that this is for people looking to build, not rebuild, credit. Some thin-file-friendly credit cards include:
The Capital One® Cash Rewards. The Capital One® Cash Rewards offers a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases – 1% regularly, and a 50% points dividend at the end of the year. Unlike the Barclaycard, this one has an annual fee – $39 a year. Still, you do earn substantial rewards, and it’s a great average-credit card to boost you into the higher FICO score range. And it’s rare for average-credit cards to offer rewards at all, so this is a pretty good deal.
The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard for Average Credit. With no annual fee, the Barclaycard is pretty much the most affordable offer out there for those with fair or no credit. It earns 1% back on all purchases, plus 2% on gas, groceries and utilities. You’ll get a signup bonus of none after your first purchase, too, and 6 months of zero interest on purchases and balance transfers.
Unsecured credit cards
In addition to the cards mentioned above, there are a number of unsecured credit cards for bad credit out there – you’ve probably heard of the First Premier, Matrix Hybrid, Cerulean, Applied Bank and others. The unfortunate part about these cards is that they often have very expensive annual fees, which are deducted from your initial credit line. For example, the Matrix Discover card has a $75 annual fee, so your initial credit limit is just $225, not $300. Moreover, your annual fee rises to $219 after the first year ($75 billed annually, plus $144 billed at $12 monthly). That’s insanely expensive for a $300 line of credit.
Again, contrast this with the Capital One Secured, where you can put down as little as $49-$200 (depending on your credit score), get a $200+ line of credit, and increase that limit without having to pay a fee. The Matrix card charges $30 for every $100 credit limit increase.
The Cerulean card is just as bad – it’s the exact same card, more or less, with the same shoddy terms. And the First Premier card is worse: It charges a $95 application fee, on top of a $75 first-year annual fee and $120 ongoing annual fee ($45 billed annually, $6.25 billed monthly). You also have to pay a fee of $25 for every $100 credit limit increase, after the first year, which is assessed against the credit limit. So if you increase your limit by $100, you’re really only getting $75 in available credit.
This is all to say – unsecured cards are a bad idea. Really, they are. If you’re still convinced that you want one, you can find an unsecured card via Google, but they tend to be far more expensive than secured cards and in most cases not as good of a product.