Best credit cards for bad credit of 2024

When you have bad credit, getting approved for a credit card can be hard. Get matched to credit cards from our partners based on your unique credit profile.

Improve your credit

Get back on the right track to improving your financial health.

Get better chances for approval

Our recommendations are for people like you who are looking to rebuild their credit.

Enjoy low fees

Most of these cards have low to no annual fees.

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All credit card offers for bad credit

Alabama
All ratings (300-800+)
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17 partner offers

AvantCard

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

N/A*

Ongoing APR:

35.99%* Variable

Annual Fee:

$59*

Annual fee

Some credit cards have an annual fee you'll pay when you first receive the card and at each cardholder anniversary. Take the cost of an annual fee into account when considering which card will benefit you the most over the course of a year.

Annual percentage rate (APR)

The APR on credit cards is simply the interest rate the card issuer charges when you don't pay off your balance in full each month—it doesn't include the card's annual fees or other fees you may be charged for using your card. There several types of APR that can apply to credit cards.

Minimum security deposit

Many credit cards for bad credit include secured credit cards. A secured card generally requires you to make a refundable security deposit that will become your credit limit. The standard deposit is $200.

Credit limit

Your credit limit is how much you’re able to spend with your card and will be assigned after you’re approved for a card. Cards for bad credit applicants generally have low credit limits, but some allow you to qualify for a higher credit limit over time by making on-time monthly payments.

Credit One Bank® NASCAR® American Express® Credit Card for Rebuilding Credit

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

1% (cash back)

Ongoing APR:

29.74% Variable

Annual Fee:

$75 First year. $99 thereafter, billed monthly at $8.25

AvantCard

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

N/A*

Ongoing APR:

35.99%* Variable

Annual Fee:

$39*

Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® logo.

Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

N/A*

Ongoing APR:

29.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$75 - $125

Surge® Platinum Mastercard® logo.

Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

N/A*

Ongoing APR:

29.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$75 - $125

Credit One Bank American Express® Card for Rebuilding Credit

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

1% (cash back)

Ongoing APR:

29.74% Variable

Annual Fee:

$75 First year. $99 thereafter, billed monthly at $8.25

Credit One Bank® Secured Card

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

1% (cash back)

Ongoing APR:

29.74% Variable

Annual Fee:

$0

AvantCard

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

N/A*

Ongoing APR:

35.99%* Variable

Annual Fee:

$0*

Indigo® Mastercard®

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

N/A*

Ongoing APR:

24.90%

Annual Fee:

$75 the first year; $99 thereafter

Avant Credit Card (CRM Deployment Date: 8/14/19) logo.

Avant Credit Card (CRM Deployment Date: 8/14/19)

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

N/A*

Ongoing APR:

25.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$29

FIT™ Platinum Mastercard® logo.

FIT™ Platinum Mastercard®

Intro bonus:

N/A*

Rewards:

N/A*

Ongoing APR:

29.99% Variable

Annual Fee:

$99

Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party companies ("our partners") from which Experian Consumer Services receives compensation. This compensation may impact how, where, and in what order the products appear on this site. The offers on the site do not represent all available financial services, companies, or products.

Credit scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any offer.

*For complete information, see the offer terms and conditions on the issuer or partner's website. Once you click apply you will be directed to the issuer or partner's website where you may review the terms and conditions of the offer before applying. We show a summary, not the full legal terms – and before applying you should understand the full terms of the offer as stated by the issuer or partner itself. While Experian Consumer Services uses reasonable efforts to present the most accurate information, all offer information is presented without warranty.

Experian websites have been designed to support modern, up-to-date internet browsers. Experian does not support Internet Explorer. If you are currently using a non-supported browser your experience may not be optimal, you may experience rendering issues, and you may be exposed to potential security risks. It is recommended that you upgrade to the most recent browser version.

Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer.

How to get a credit card when you have bad credit

1

Know your FICO® ScoreΘ

Understand where you credit stands by creating a free Experian membership and getting your FICO® Score.

2

Narrow down your options

Look at credit cards that fall within your recommended credit range.

3

Apply with confidence

You can start the application process once you find the right card for you.

4

Have money for your security deposit

You’re most likely to apply for a secured credit card for rebuilding credit, which often requires a security deposit that’s put toward your credit limit.

Start with your FICO® ScoreΘ and see card offers matched to your credit profile.

Get started for free

ΘCredit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn more.

Frequently asked questions

A bad credit score is a credit score below 670, according to FICO® Score ranges. If your credit score falls within this range, consider looking for credit cards designed for bad credit applicants.

Bad credit will happen if you do not repay your debts within the borrowing agreements. Actions that can cause bad credit include:

  • Missing payments
  • Maxing out credit cards
  • Defaulting on debts
  • Having unpaid debts sent to collections
  • Filing for bankruptcy
  • Foreclosure
  • Reposession

Yes, you can get a credit card if you have bad credit. Many credit card companies have cards specifically designed for people that have bad credit and are looking to rebuild their credit. While these cards won't be the most robust, you can work toward improving your credit and qualifying for better cards in the future.

In terms of how you use the card, secured and unsecured cards are identical in many ways. The main difference is that you need to provide the card issuer a security deposit to get a secured card; unsecured cards don't require a security deposit.

There's generally a minimum deposit requirement for secured cards, such as $200, and your card's credit limit will often be based on your security deposit. You may be able to provide a larger deposit if you want a higher limit. Just keep in mind that you might not get the security deposit back until you close the account or the card issuer upgrades you to an unsecured card (not all cards have this option).

No, secured cards are not your only option if you have bad credit, however, they are generally your best option available. Often times when card issuers offer unsecured cards to people with bad credit they will have high fees, making them not worth it. Make sure you review the terms of any credit card you apply for to make sure it won't cost you more than you can afford.

When looking for a credit card for bad credit you will want one that will report to the three credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). You also should look for a credit card that has low fees or no fees at all. If you want to think more long term, look for a credit card that you can possibly upgrade in the future once you have improved your credit score. This will allow you to keep that account open while getting your security deposit back.

If your credit card application is denied, the card issuer will send you an adverse action letter explaining why. You have the right to get a free copy of your credit report to get a better understanding of why you were denied. You may also want to call the issuer and ask why your application was denied. In some cases, the decision can be reversed. But often, you may need to improve your creditworthiness before trying again later—or try to get a different credit card if you want one now.

If you initially applied for an unsecured card, you could apply for a secured card instead. You can also try to get prequalified for a credit card, which will tell you if you're likely to get approved or denied without impacting your credit scores.

There are different steps you can take to improve your credit before applying for a new credit card. Depending on why you have bad or poor credit in the first place, it could take some time to move into a new credit score range (such as fair or good). However, here are some actions that can help:

  • Pay down current credit card debt.
  • Open a credit-builder loan and make on-time monthly payments.
  • Rehabilitate defaulted federal student loans.
  • Use Experian Boost® to add on-time phone, utility and streaming service payments to your Experian credit report.
  • Review your credit reports for erroneous negative marks. Disputing errors could get the negative marks corrected or deleted, which could help your credit scores.

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