Bad Credit Credit Cards

The "bad credit credit cards" section is organized as follows. We first highlight the different choices available for those with poor or no credit. We then highlight our recommended cards. Lastly, we provide links to directories of all cards designed for the sub-prime market.

Different Types of "bad credit credit cards"

Unsecured Credit Cards - Unlike unsecured credit cards catered to those with good credit, sub-prime credit cards tend to have higher cost. Aside from the usual annual fee, there are usually one-time application and processing fees that could add up to over one hundred dollars just in upfront cost. The apr is usually prime rate plus 15% or higher.

Secured Credit Cards - Unlike an unsecured credit card, a secured credit requires that you put a deposit with the credit card issuing bank. You will be given a credit limit based on your deposit (it is normally 100% of your deposit). Your deposit acts as a collaterall if you default on payments. Secured credit cards is perhaps the lowest cost option as many secured cards charge a reasonable annual fee and do not charge any one-time application or processing fees that are common in sub-prime cards.

Prepaid Credit Cards - This is the fastest growing segment in the credit card world today. With a prepaid card, you are not extended credit. Rather, you "load up" your cards with funds from payroll, your bank account etc and use it like you would normall use a visa or mastercard. One of the main appeal of prepaid cards is that it maintains your spending discipline. To build or rebuild your credit, you need to get prepaid cards that come with a program called CREDITBUILDER, which for a fee every month, reports to credit agencies.

Catalog/Retail Cards - These are not actually credit cards. You can only use them for purchases at the card issuers "merchant stores". However, you get a credit line easily and there is no apr (ie apr is 0% though you have to pay a higher than normal minimum monthly payments as a percentage of your balance). Your payments are also reported to credit agencies.

Recommended cards for those with poor or no credit

Because most sub-prime credit cards have high fees (especially upfront fees), the lowest cost way is to get a secured credit card and perhaps a department store card. Our first recommendation inludes one secured credit cards and two prepaid cards.

Orchard Bank Mastercard
We recommend the Orchard Bank MasterCard® to those with a poor credit history because it has more reasonable fees than many sub-prime cards and is also issued by one of the largest and most reputable bank in the world, HSBC Bank. Depending on your credit, you will either be approved for a regular unsecured credit card or a secured credit card. The secured credit card has a very reasonable annual fee of $35.00 and none of the one-time application or processing fee common in other secured or sub-prime credit cards. You can deposit anywhere between $200 and $15,000 and you are given a credit limit based on 100% of your deposit. Orchard Bank reports to the three major credit agecies as well. This is a good credit card to start off building or rebuilding your credit.

If you are approved for a regular unsecured credit card, you will have to pay a one-time application fee of anywhere from $0 to $79.00. The annual fee will range anywhere from $0 to $49.00. These are very reasonable fees for sub-prime cards.

One of the great thing about HSBC Bank is that if your credit score is borderline between bad and ok, you can apply for any of HSBC's credit cards, including reward cards. If you approved, that is great. If you are not approved, you will be given a card that is suitable for you based on your credit. Hence, you may be offered a regular or secured HSBC card.

BuyRight Prepaid Mastercard
The BuyRIGHT Prepaid MasterCard® buyright prepaid mastercard is actually a hybrid prepaid/debit and catalog card. You can use the BuyRight Prepaid Mastercard wherever a Mastercard is accepted. Every BuyRIGHT prepaid card also comes with a free membership to the BuyRIGHT Marketplace, which gives customers access to a $5,000 credit line that can be used to make purchases through the BuyRIGHT quarterly catalog and on-line at the BuyRIGHT marketplace. The BuyRIGHT website has over 15,000 brand name products available. Your on-time payments are reported to two of the major credit bureaus on a monthly basis (Transunion and Innovis). Hence, you get the convenience of a prepaid card with the advantage of a catalog/retail card (with credit lines, 0% apr and having your monthly payments reported to credit agencies).

Other Sub-Prime Credit Cards

aspire visa
The Aspire Visa® Gold is an unsecured credit card targeted at those with poor credit. It is issued by Columbus Bank and Trust. You do not have to pay any application fees and you will get a response after 30 seconds when you apply online. Read our review of the Aspire Visa Gold

new millennium bank credit card
If you have bad credit and yet want to have a travel reward card, then the New Millennium Bank Secured Platinum Visa® or Mastercard® may suit you. It is a secured credit card with rewards. After paying your processing fee you will be sent instructions by e-mail on how to redeem a "FREE COMPANION AIRFARE.*" You can travel to most major US cities when you purchase one adult round trip airfare.

You will also be automatically enrolled in The World's Best Travel where you will receive discounts and low, low prices on all your travel needs!

Your credit line will be equal to and secured by your New Millennium Bank Savings account (Minimum deposit $300, Maximum deposit $5,000 per card

When you make your first condo booking* through the World's Best Travel Club, the club will send you a cash rebate of $69.00!

Read our New Millennium Bank Credit Card.

Prepaid Debit Cards As mentioned earlier, prepaid credit cards are easy to get because the card issuer does not actually extend you any credit. Below are a few other prepaid debit cards you should check out.

VIP Visa
The VIP Visa® Card is a prepaid credit card that gives you the option to enroll in the "credit builder" service, which for a monthly fee, reports it as an interest payment to the three major credit bureaus. Hence, this prepaid visa will help you build or rebuild your credit history. Read our review of the VIP Visa Card.

credit builder
The Credit Builder is also a prepaid credit card that has a credit builder service, which helps you to build or rebuild your credit. Though it is not a Visa or Mastercard, you can use them at merchants that accept debit card payments (many merchants do accept debit card payments these days). Read our review of the Credit Builder.

Catalog Credit Cards

Catalog credit cards only allow you to use the card at the issuers online store. Hence, unlike a regular Visa or Mastercard, you are limited as to where you can use the card. However, the advantage these cards have over prepaid visas or Mastercard is that you are given a credit line. Some catalog credit cards also reports your card payments to credit bureaus, which helps you to build or rebuild your credit. Below are a few catalog credit cards to consider if you have been turned down for a unsecured credit card and do not wish to get a secured or prepaid credit card.

platinum plus card
The Platinum Plus Card is issued by USA Credit. It's key features are :

- $7500 Unsecured Platinum Credit Line
- Monthly Credit Limit Increases
- No Employment Verifications
- No Credit Checks or Credit Turndowns
- Establish credit by reporting to a major credit bureau

Read our review of the Platinum Plus Credit Card.

usa platinum
The USA Platinum is also issued by USA Credit. It's highlights include :

- $7500 Unsecured Platinum Credit Line
- Enjoy great merchandise while establishing your credit!
- No employment verifications and No credit checks
- Monthly credit limit increases for those who qualify
- Reports to a major credit bureau

Read our review of the USA Platinum Credit Card.

Articles and more credit cards for those with bad credit

Directory of Catalog Credit Cards
Find out what exactly are catalog credit cards, its pros and cons and browse through our directory of catalog credit cards.

Directory of Prepaid Credit Cards
Prepaid Debit Cards are suitable for those with bad credit because they are very easy to get and by their very nature, instill spending discipline because you are not extended credit. However, there are so many types of prepaid credit cards and so many of them that we cannot possibly list all of them on this page. Browse our prepaid debit card directory.

Build or rebuild your credit with prepaid credit cards that has credit builder program
If you are looking to rebuild your credit, make sure your prepaid credit card enrolls in Credit Builder, a program which reports (for a fee) your monthly payments to credit bureaus. This article highlights and compares prepaid cards which has this feature...

How to make money by refering friends to your prepaid credit card?
Referal marketing has invaded the credit card sector and no more is this apparant in the prepaid debit card sector. There are several prepaid cards that pay you a referal fee for refering friends to the card, even paying lifetime commissions or tiered commisions. If you are interested in earning some extra cash with your prepaid card, then compare these prepaid credit cards that pay referal fees.

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