Prepaid debit cards come loaded with charges, from monthly fees to ATM fees to fees for using the card. Answer a few questions to the left, and we'll figure out which one will cost you the least money.
Remember: prepaid debit cards don't improve your credit score! If you're looking to build or rebuild credit, consider a secured credit card. Also keep in mind that prepaid debit cards are rarely cheaper than traditional checking accounts.
There are no good options for unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit, despite whatever the marketing material might say.
Truth is, if you have bad credit, you’re pretty much stuck. Either you go with a secured credit card, or you’ll have to pay higher fees. Be careful: You may see advertisements for products that don’t build credit, like prepaid debit cards.
Your options if you have bad credit:
Secured credit card: If you have enough saved up to make a deposit of $200-$500, we highly suggest that you shoot for a secured credit card (or if you don’t, we advise that you save up to make the deposit). Secured credit cards require an upfront deposit, but will help you build credit and “graduate” to an unsecured credit card. They often have annual fees in the realm of $25-$50, but that isn’t terrible if you’re looking to build credit.
Prepaid debit cards: You’ll see these advertised a lot in a search for “unsecured credit cards.” However, these are NOT credit cards. You can’t spend money you don’t have, and you won’t build up your credit score. There are perfectly legitimate reasons for wanting a prepaid debit card, but building credit or getting a loan isn’t one of them. Watch out for prepaid cards that are misleadingly interspersed among credit cards.
High-fee, unsecured credit cards: Your last option, if you still want to get a secured credit card, will probably cost you a lot of money. Two big-name providers of unsecured credit cards are First Premier and First Progress. We refuse to participate in the referral programs of these banks, or to link to them directly, but you can find them via Google.