Best Credit Cards With No Credit Check

Some credit cards, particularly from newer companies, promise no credit check and no fees — an ideal combo for those with bad credit. Here are our top picks.
Aug 5, 2022

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Credit cards that advertise "no credit check" can be appealing to those with poor credit (FICO scores of 629 or lower), since applying for them won't impact your credit scores. But often, such cards come with high fees and interest rates — hence the name fee-harvester cards.

They may let you dodge that hard pull on your credit report, but you'll pay for it in the long run.

But some credit card companies — especially newer startups in the space — are advertising both no credit check and no fees of any kind. Many of these so-called alternative credit cards have proprietary underwriting technology that can evaluate creditworthiness by looking at other factors, like your bank account, instead of traditional FICO scores and credit histories.

In short, if you have poor credit, fee-harvester cards and traditional secured credit cards are no longer your only options. Here are some low- and no-fee cards that don’t require a credit check.

Best credit cards with no credit check

Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card
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Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

Our pick for: Chime users

CARD DETAILS

Credit check: None.

Security deposit: No upfront security deposit is required. You decide your credit limit based on how much you move to your secured account.

Fees: None.

APR: None.

WHY WE LIKE IT

For those with poor credit or no credit, the Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card removes many of the limitations of traditional secured credit cards. A Chime Spending Account — a free bank account that allows you to receive direct deposits — is required to get the card. You'll also need at least $200 in direct deposits made to the Chime Spending Account within the past 365 days to show that you have a source of income.

However, this card doesn't require an upfront security deposit as many secured credit cards do, so you're not paying $200 that will be wrapped up and untouchable for an undetermined amount of time.

You also get to decide how much you spend. The money you move from the Chime Spending Account to the Credit Builder secured account determines the amount of your credit limit. So if you move, say, $25 to your secured account, you’ll be able to spend $25 with the card. The money in the secured account can also be used to pay off the balance, and those payments will allow you to build credit. For instance, if you spent $15 on gas with your secured card, you'd be able to use that $25 you moved to your secured account to pay off the $15. Your payments are reported to all three major credit bureaus: TransUnion, Equifax and Experian. These companies collect the information used to calculate your credit scores

DRAWBACKS

The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card requires a Chime Spending Account to qualify. It’s free to open one, but it does require some additional effort beyond the card's application. And if you prefer the option to carry a balance from month to month, this card doesn't allow it.

🤓Nerdy Tip

On July 6, 2021, the nonprofit news organization ProPublica reported that Chime customers had their accounts closed without notice, leaving them without access to funds. In ProPublica’s report, Chime said many account closures were linked to fraud, but it also admitted that several of the closures had been mistakes. If your account is closed by Chime or other neobanks without notice, there are some steps you can take to potentially remedy the situation. Act quickly by contacting the neobank to explain the situation. And if you aren't helped by the neobank, you can file a complaint with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

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Tomo Credit Card
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Tomo Credit Card

Our pick for: Rewards

CARD DETAILS

Credit check: None.

Security deposit: None.

Fees: None.

APR: None.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The Tomo Credit Card, issued by Community Federal Savings Bank, is ideal for those with poor credit or no credit. It earns 1% cash back and may offer a possible credit limit of up to $10,000, depending on eligibility. TomoCredit, the company behind the card, has proprietary technology that weighs many data points including, but not limited to, income (or income potential), account balances and contact information. The bank uses this data to determine whether you’re a good candidate for the card.

To provide this information, you're required to link at least one account through Plaid, a third-party service provider. You may link a checking account, savings account, investment account or another eligible account. Payments are reported to all three major credit bureaus, a must-have feature when you're trying to establish credit.

DRAWBACKS

The Tomo Credit Card may have some features that aren't ideal for everyone. For instance, you can't carry a balance from one month to the next with the card. Plus, it requires you to start off with a seven-day schedule in which payments are automatically deducted from your bank account.

Grow Credit Mastercard
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Grow Credit Mastercard

Our pick for: Subscriptions

CARD DETAILS

Credit check: The company runs only a soft credit check, which won't impact your credit score.

Security deposit: None for most membership plans.

Fees: None with the free membership tier. (Other tiers will cost you.)

APR: None.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The Grow Credit Mastercard is a virtual card issued by Sutton Bank that is friendly to those with poor credit or no credit. Grow Credit has proprietary technology that looks at income to evaluate creditworthiness. To weigh that information, the company requires you to link a bank account through Plaid.

With the card, you choose one of four membership plans that help you build credit as you pay for eligible monthly subscriptions or bills. For example, if you normally pay $8.99 a month for Netflix, you can make that payment with the Grow Credit Mastercard. The payments, if made on time and in full, will build your credit. (Qualifying subscriptions and bills vary by membership plan.) The Grow Credit Mastercard reports payments to all three major credit bureaus.

DRAWBACKS

You can't use the card for any transactions other than the qualifying bills and subscriptions. You also can't carry a balance from one month to another.

Two of the paid membership plans — the Grow membership tier (annual cost of about $60) and the Accelerate membership tier (nearly $120 annually) — are not worth the cost. That's money you won't get back. You're better off with Grow Credit's free membership plan or secured membership plan. It's also worth exploring a secured credit card that offers a chance to get your deposit back.

Capital Bank Open Sky Secured Credit Card
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OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Our pick for: Those who are unbanked

CARD DETAILS

Credit check: None.

Security deposit: A $200 minimum deposit is required.

Fees: A $35 annual fee. Depending on your transactions and payments, other fees may apply.

APR: The ongoing APR is 18.89% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is a traditional secured credit card ideal for those with poor credit. Among secured credit cards, it’s one of the few that lets you qualify without a credit check or bank account. It reports payments to all three credit bureaus and lets you carry an ongoing balance.

DRAWBACKS

The card’s minimum $200 deposit requirement may be an obstacle for some. And while the $35 annual fee is on the low end, it's possible to find secured credit cards that don't charge an annual fee. The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card also doesn’t offer a path to upgrade to an unsecured card once you've established a good payment history, so you’ll have to close your account if you want to get your security deposit back.

GO2bank Secured Credit Card

Our pick for: A low security deposit

CARD DETAILS

Credit check: None.

Security deposit: A $100 minimum deposit is required.

Fees: A $0 annual fee. Depending on your transactions and payments, other fees may apply.

APR: The ongoing APR is 22.99% (as of this writing).

WHY WE LIKE IT

The GO2bank Secured Credit Card is a solid option for those with poor credit. To apply, you’ll need to have a GO2bank account and direct deposits totaling at least $100 in the past 30 days. There won't be a credit check to apply. The GO2bank Secured Credit Card has a relatively low minimum security deposit requirement among secured credit cards: $100. The amount deposited determines your credit limit.

As with a regular credit card, the lower the credit limit, the less you’ll want to spend using the card. Using less than 30% of your available credit limit can help your credit score. The GO2bank Secured Credit Card reports your payments to all three credit bureaus, which helps you build credit.

DRAWBACKS

Aside from the required security deposit, the GO2bank Secured Credit Card also requires you to have a GO2bank account to qualify, which adds an extra step in the application process. It doesn’t offer a path to upgrade to an unsecured credit card once you've established a good payment history, so you’ll have to close your account if you want to get your security deposit back. The card also charges a 3% foreign transaction fee on every purchase, so it’s not ideal for traveling abroad.

Self Visa Credit Card

Our pick for: A mix of credit-building features

CARD DETAILS

Credit check: None.

Security deposit: No upfront security deposit is required. You decide your credit limit based on how much you move to your Credit Builder account.

Fees: A $25 annual fee. Depending on your transactions and payments, other fees may apply.

APR: Varies depending on several factors, including the amount you choose to pay monthly.

WHY WE LIKE IT

To qualify for the Self Visa Credit Card, you need a Credit Builder Account, which is a small installment loan that's held in a certificate of deposit. Having a mix of credit types can be a win for your credit scores if you can maintain on-time payments. The Self Visa Credit Card and the Credit Builder Account are both reported to all three major credit bureaus — the former as a revolving line of credit, and the latter as an installment loan.

To start, you'll open a Credit Builder Account where you’ll contribute monthly installments, starting at $25 per month, depending on the loan term. When you've contributed $100 and met other requirements, you can use that money to cover a security deposit for the Self Visa Credit Card. This can be an ideal option if your budget would benefit from paying a deposit in small installments over time. You’ll eventually get this money back when you close the account in good standing.

DRAWBACKS

A $100 security deposit is significantly less than is required by some traditional secured credit cards, but over the long term, the loan and card combined would end up costing more. Unlike many secured credit cards, the Self Visa Credit Card charges an annual fee, and there's a one-time administrative fee of $9 to open a Credit Builder Account.

And again, you can’t get the card immediately. You’ll have to clear some hurdles first, like saving $100 or more in your Credit Builder Account, making the last three monthly payments in full, and having an account in good standing.

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