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Looking to build credit?

You may qualify for these credit-builiding cards — even without a credit score.

One of our favorite cards

Current Build Card

on Current's website

4.2

NerdWallet rating 

on Current's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No credit check
  • No APR
  • Adjustable credit limit
  • Earns rewards

Cons

  • Must open a Current account
  • No upgrade path
  • Reports to only one credit bureau
  • Get credit for every swipe - Just use your card, even at the ATM, to build credit with every swipe, earn points, and more.
  • Build credit not debt - Build credit using only the money in your account and enable AutoPay so you never miss a payment.
  • Credit for everyone - No matter what your credit history, there are no credit checks required to apply and build credit.
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster - With direct deposit get your paycheck up to 2 days faster, so you get the money you need exactly when you need it.
  • Earn points on swipes - Earn up to 7x the points on card swipes at over 14,000 participating merchants, then redeem them for cash back.
Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No credit check
  • No APR
  • Adjustable credit limit
  • Earns rewards

Cons

  • Must open a Current account
  • No upgrade path
  • Reports to only one credit bureau
  • Get credit for every swipe - Just use your card, even at the ATM, to build credit with every swipe, earn points, and more.
  • Build credit not debt - Build credit using only the money in your account and enable AutoPay so you never miss a payment.
  • Credit for everyone - No matter what your credit history, there are no credit checks required to apply and build credit.
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster - With direct deposit get your paycheck up to 2 days faster, so you get the money you need exactly when you need it.
  • Earn points on swipes - Earn up to 7x the points on card swipes at over 14,000 participating merchants, then redeem them for cash back.

A good credit score could save you (potentially lots of) money

You can leverage great scores into great deals — on loans, credit cards, insurance premiums, apartments, and cell phone plans. Bad scores can hammer you into missing out or paying more, while good or excellent credit can add up to some pretty significant savings. For example, you could save:

$86,065 in interest on a $350,000 mortgage with a credit score of 750 or above compared with someone scoring 630-689, according to NerdWallet calculations using interest rates for a 30-year fixed-rate loan in July 2023.

$3,251 in interest on a five-year, $41,000 auto loan with a score of 720 or above, versus someone scoring 660-689, from FICO calculations using July 2023 rates.

$885 in interest on a three-year personal loan of $10,000 when scoring 720 or above compared to someone scoring 630-689, based on anonymized offer data from NerdWallet's lender marketplace.

Building credit takes time — so start today

Showing a consistent, long-term record of on-time payments is what building credit is all about. Payment history is the single biggest factor in your credit score — which is why it’s so important to get started ASAP on building your credit.

Whether you’re dealing with a financial setback, a student without credit history, or just looking to build credit, these Nerd-approved cards can be a big-time help — especially if you use these credit-building tools in a savvy way. Plus, these cards are typically easier to qualify for than standard credit cards.

What kinds of credit-building cards are out there?

Secured cards

These cards require a cash security deposit, which makes them easier to get with bad credit or no credit history. The deposit is typically equal to your credit limit, and you can get that money back when you move up to a regular credit card.

Skip to secured cards >

No-deposit starter cards

You don’t need to put down a security deposit for these cards, but keep an eye out for ones that come with hefty fees or that don’t report to the three main credit bureaus.

Skip to no-deposit starter cards >

Student cards

Straightforward starter cards for people who are still in school, student credit cards work like a standard card, and many offer rewards. Like all starter cards, they generally require access to income in order to qualify.

Skip to student cards >

Start practicing these healthy credit habits ASAP with your new card

A few simple practices can help build your credit over time:
• Pay your bill on time every month. Pay in full when possible to avoid interest, but always pay at least the minimum.
• Keep your balance low — below 30% of your total credit limit is great, and below 10% is ideal.
• Avoid applying for multiple credit accounts in a short span of time.
• Keep your card account open — at least until you've established a solid credit history.

In addition, regularly check your credit report to make sure there aren’t any errors that could be bringing down your score. (Signing up for a NerdWallet account can help you stay on top of that.) And remember, building credit takes time. So start today with one of these Nerd-approved cards.

Secured cards

Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

on Chime's website

4.6

NerdWallet rating 

on Chime's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No credit check to apply
  • No APR
  • Adjustable credit limit

Cons

  • Must open a Chime Checking Account
  • No rewards
  • No upgrade path
  • The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.
  • No credit check to apply, no annual fees or interest⁴, and no minimum security deposit required.³ No stress! Additional terms apply.
  • Use your secured Credit Builder card everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted, including on everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries.
  • Help build your credit history with your own money. The money you move into the Credit Builder secured account is the amount you can spend on your card (no minimum deposit required!).³ Turn on Safer Credit Building² and have your monthly balance automatically paid on time. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®.
  • Increase your credit scores by an average of 30 points, with regular, on-time payments.¹
  • Turn on transaction notifications to receive real-time transaction alerts. Then, use Chime’s instant in-app disable card feature to help prevent unauthorized activities.
  • Live support 24/7 to assist you around the clock.
  • Now you can use your Credit Builder card fee-free at over 60K+ in-network ATMs at retailers like Walgreens®, CVS®, and more! Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at Moneypass ATMs in 7-Eleven® locations, or any Allpoint® or Visa Plus Alliance ATMs.
  • Apply for a secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card once you sign up for a Chime Checking Account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more. See www.chime.com to learn more.
Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No credit check to apply
  • No APR
  • Adjustable credit limit

Cons

  • Must open a Chime Checking Account
  • No rewards
  • No upgrade path
  • The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.
  • No credit check to apply, no annual fees or interest⁴, and no minimum security deposit required.³ No stress! Additional terms apply.
  • Use your secured Credit Builder card everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted, including on everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries.
  • Help build your credit history with your own money. The money you move into the Credit Builder secured account is the amount you can spend on your card (no minimum deposit required!).³ Turn on Safer Credit Building² and have your monthly balance automatically paid on time. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®.
  • Increase your credit scores by an average of 30 points, with regular, on-time payments.¹
  • Turn on transaction notifications to receive real-time transaction alerts. Then, use Chime’s instant in-app disable card feature to help prevent unauthorized activities.
  • Live support 24/7 to assist you around the clock.
  • Now you can use your Credit Builder card fee-free at over 60K+ in-network ATMs at retailers like Walgreens®, CVS®, and more! Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at Moneypass ATMs in 7-Eleven® locations, or any Allpoint® or Visa Plus Alliance ATMs.
  • Apply for a secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card once you sign up for a Chime Checking Account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more. See www.chime.com to learn more.
Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

4.9

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • Qualify with limited/bad credit
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus
  • Earns rewards
  • No minimum redemption amount
  • Rewards don't expire
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • High APR
  • No new cardholder bonus offer
  • No bonus categories
  • No annual or hidden fees, and you can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Put down a refundable $200 security deposit to get a $200 initial credit line
  • Building your credit? Using a card like this responsibly could help
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1.5%-5%

Cashback

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • Qualify with limited/bad credit
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus
  • Earns rewards
  • No minimum redemption amount
  • Rewards don't expire
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • High APR
  • No new cardholder bonus offer
  • No bonus categories
  • No annual or hidden fees, and you can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Put down a refundable $200 security deposit to get a $200 initial credit line
  • Building your credit? Using a card like this responsibly could help
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024

Student cards

Discover it® Student chrome

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-2%

Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR period
  • Qualify with average credit
  • Bonus categories

Cons

  • Complicated rewards
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 18.24% - 27.24% applies.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-2%

Cashback

Intro offer

Cashback Match

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR period
  • Qualify with average credit
  • Bonus categories

Cons

  • Complicated rewards
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 cash back into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 18.24% - 27.24% applies.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's website

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-10%

Cashback

Intro offer

$50

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Bonus categories
  • No rewards caps
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

Cons

  • High APR
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), with 1% on all other purchases
  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Earn up to $500 a year by referring friends and family when they're approved for a Capital One credit card
  • Earn 8% cash back on entertainment purchases when you book through the Capital One Entertainment portal
  • Build your credit with responsible card use
  • Whether you're at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you
Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

1%-10%

Cashback

Intro offer

$50

Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Bonus categories
  • No rewards caps
  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

Cons

  • High APR
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), with 1% on all other purchases
  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • Earn up to $500 a year by referring friends and family when they're approved for a Capital One credit card
  • Earn 8% cash back on entertainment purchases when you book through the Capital One Entertainment portal
  • Build your credit with responsible card use
  • Whether you're at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you

No-deposit starter cards

Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

on Chime's website

4.6

NerdWallet rating 

on Chime's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No credit check to apply
  • No APR
  • Adjustable credit limit

Cons

  • Must open a Chime Checking Account
  • No rewards
  • No upgrade path
  • The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.
  • No credit check to apply, no annual fees or interest⁴, and no minimum security deposit required.³ No stress! Additional terms apply.
  • Use your secured Credit Builder card everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted, including on everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries.
  • Help build your credit history with your own money. The money you move into the Credit Builder secured account is the amount you can spend on your card (no minimum deposit required!).³ Turn on Safer Credit Building² and have your monthly balance automatically paid on time. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®.
  • Increase your credit scores by an average of 30 points, with regular, on-time payments.¹
  • Turn on transaction notifications to receive real-time transaction alerts. Then, use Chime’s instant in-app disable card feature to help prevent unauthorized activities.
  • Live support 24/7 to assist you around the clock.
  • Now you can use your Credit Builder card fee-free at over 60K+ in-network ATMs at retailers like Walgreens®, CVS®, and more! Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at Moneypass ATMs in 7-Eleven® locations, or any Allpoint® or Visa Plus Alliance ATMs.
  • Apply for a secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card once you sign up for a Chime Checking Account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more. See www.chime.com to learn more.
Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No credit check to apply
  • No APR
  • Adjustable credit limit

Cons

  • Must open a Chime Checking Account
  • No rewards
  • No upgrade path
  • The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.
  • No credit check to apply, no annual fees or interest⁴, and no minimum security deposit required.³ No stress! Additional terms apply.
  • Use your secured Credit Builder card everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted, including on everyday purchases, such as gas and groceries.
  • Help build your credit history with your own money. The money you move into the Credit Builder secured account is the amount you can spend on your card (no minimum deposit required!).³ Turn on Safer Credit Building² and have your monthly balance automatically paid on time. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®.
  • Increase your credit scores by an average of 30 points, with regular, on-time payments.¹
  • Turn on transaction notifications to receive real-time transaction alerts. Then, use Chime’s instant in-app disable card feature to help prevent unauthorized activities.
  • Live support 24/7 to assist you around the clock.
  • Now you can use your Credit Builder card fee-free at over 60K+ in-network ATMs at retailers like Walgreens®, CVS®, and more! Out-of-network ATM withdrawal fees may apply except at Moneypass ATMs in 7-Eleven® locations, or any Allpoint® or Visa Plus Alliance ATMs.
  • Apply for a secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card once you sign up for a Chime Checking Account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more. See www.chime.com to learn more.
Current Build Card

on Current's website

4.2

NerdWallet rating 

on Current's website

Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No credit check
  • No APR
  • Adjustable credit limit
  • Earns rewards

Cons

  • Must open a Current account
  • No upgrade path
  • Reports to only one credit bureau
  • Get credit for every swipe - Just use your card, even at the ATM, to build credit with every swipe, earn points, and more.
  • Build credit not debt - Build credit using only the money in your account and enable AutoPay so you never miss a payment.
  • Credit for everyone - No matter what your credit history, there are no credit checks required to apply and build credit.
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster - With direct deposit get your paycheck up to 2 days faster, so you get the money you need exactly when you need it.
  • Earn points on swipes - Earn up to 7x the points on card swipes at over 14,000 participating merchants, then redeem them for cash back.
Annual fee

$0

Rewards rate

N/A

Intro offer
N/A
Recommended Credit Score

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No credit check
  • No APR
  • Adjustable credit limit
  • Earns rewards

Cons

  • Must open a Current account
  • No upgrade path
  • Reports to only one credit bureau
  • Get credit for every swipe - Just use your card, even at the ATM, to build credit with every swipe, earn points, and more.
  • Build credit not debt - Build credit using only the money in your account and enable AutoPay so you never miss a payment.
  • Credit for everyone - No matter what your credit history, there are no credit checks required to apply and build credit.
  • Get paid up to 2 days faster - With direct deposit get your paycheck up to 2 days faster, so you get the money you need exactly when you need it.
  • Earn points on swipes - Earn up to 7x the points on card swipes at over 14,000 participating merchants, then redeem them for cash back.
Updated --.