Credit Card Companies | 15 Largest Issuers (2016 List)

15 Largest Credit Card Companies

credit card news

Toby Sembower
By: Toby Sembower
Posted: November 1, 2016
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

Credit card companies, like most other things in life, come in all shapes and sizes.

Some are titans of the industry, spending upwards of $336 million a year to blare commercials 24/7 on every medium known to man. Others lack any kind of name recognition — outside of their employees and, presumably, a handful of customers.

You don’t want to entrust your financial future to just any credit card company. So if you’re looking to get a new credit card, where do you even start?

Below we list the 15 largest credit card companies (as measured by number of active U.S. accounts), along with links to their top credit cards, phone numbers, credit score ranges, and more:

1. Visa — 323M Cardholders

Visa logoVisa is a monolith in the credit card world, widely accepted by over 8 million merchants. From traditional benefits to premium rewards, Visa personal credit cards offer a wide range of benefits for cardholders around the world. Mobile cardholders can save themselves time and shop online using Visa Checkout.


  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Redeem for cash — any amount, anytime
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
14.24%-23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
14.24%-23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card Review

at Wells Fargo'ssecure website

VISA® RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • New: Earn $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in net purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on everyday net purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on Android Pay™ or Apple Pay™ mobile wallet net purchases during the first 12 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, after that the variable APR will be 13.24%-25.24%
  • No category restrictions or quarterly sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card
  • No annual fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
12 months
0%
12 months
13.24%-25.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 500 to 850
  • Average: 675
  • Translation: Can have anywhere from poor to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

2. MasterCard — 191M Cardholders

MasterCard logoThe second most major credit card network in the United States, MasterCard offers perks like easy bill pay and personal information protection using chip technology. MasterCard processes transactions in over 210 countries and in more than 150 currencies.


  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.24%-22.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles don’t expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
12.24% - 22.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good Credit

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $100 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months of approval
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back doesn’t expire and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.24%-23.24% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.24%-23.24% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 9 months
0% for 9 months
13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good Credit

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles don't expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Excellent, Good Credit

Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 650 to 850
  • Average: 750
  • Translation: Must have good to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

3. Chase — 93M Cardholders

Chase logoChase is the top issuer of general-purpose credit cards in the U.S. Its revenue takes up a significant share of the the market (31.7% to be exact). With rewards from companies like Disney and Southwest Airlines, Chase boasts high customer satisfaction for its credit cards.


  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Redeem for cash — any amount, anytime
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
14.24%-23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
15 months
0%
15 months
14.24%-23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.24%-23.24% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Excellent Credit

Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 616 to 850
  • Average: 718
  • Translation: Must have fair to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

4. American Express — 58M Cardholders

Active in over 130 different countries, American Express (AMEX) is the world’s largest issuer of credit cards in terms of transactions, averaging 6 billion transactions per year. American Express primarily accepts high-income cardholders with robust credit scores.


Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

  • Special Offer - earn 10% cash back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, up to $200.
  • Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • Everyday Cash Back: 3% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 2% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept. stores; 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • No rotating reward categories. No enrollment required.
  • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
for 12 months
0%
for 12 months
13.24%-23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent Credit
Gold Delta SkyMiles® Credit Card from American Express Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

AMERICAN EXPRESS® RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Earn 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Terms and conditions apply.
  • Earn 2 Miles per dollar spent on purchases made directly with Delta. Earn 1 mile for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.
  • Check your first bag free on every Delta flight - that's a savings of up to $200 per round trip for a family of four.
  • Settle in sooner with Priority Boarding.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.49% - 19.49% Variable
$0 for the first year, then $95
Excellent Credit
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

AMERICAN EXPRESS® RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Receive 25,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership.
  • 3X points for flights booked directly with airlines. 2X points at US restaurants, US gas stations, and US supermarkets. 1X points on other purchases.
  • No matter where you're traveling, when you use your Premier Rewards Gold Card there are no foreign transaction fees from American Express.
  • $100 Airline Fee Credit. Up to $100 a year in baggage fees and more at one airline.
  • Get a $75 hotel credit on qualifying charges, plus a room upgrade upon arrival, if available with The Hotel Collection at americanexpress.com/hc. Terms apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
Pay Balance In Full Each Month
$0 for first year, then $195
Excellent Credit

Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 623 to 850 
  • Average: 733
  • Translation: Must have good to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

5. Discover — 57M Cardholders

Discover logoFor those with good credit, Discover offers numerous cash back and travel promotional offers on its credit cards. Dependable fraud protection keeps customers safe while they spend. Applying for a Discover card is easy, and you’ll find they have good offerings for students and businesses alike.


Discover it® Cashback Match™ Review

at Discover'ssecure website

  • Our Take: "One of our favorite cards, with long 0% intro APRs, low ongoing APRs, awesome cash back rewards, and lots more.
  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases
  • Matches the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers)
  • No limit to the amount of cash back that can be matched"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
14 months
0%
14 months
11.24% - 23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Discover it® 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer Review

at Discover'ssecure website

DISCOVER® RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Our Take: "With a ridiculously good deal on balance transfers, low APR's, and a generous cash-back program, we can see why this card is so popular.
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 5% cash back in categories that rotate quarterly, up to $1,500 per quarter when you sign up for the quarterly bonus
  • 1% cash back on all your other purchases
  • Matches the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year (only for new cardmembers)
  • No limit to the amount of cash back that can be matched"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
6 months
0%
18 months
11.24% - 23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Discover it® Miles – Unlimited 1.5x Rewards Card Review

at Discover'ssecure website

DISCOVER® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Our Take: "If you're looking for a card that gives you air miles, your search is over. This card helps you earn free flights with multiple airlines, awards very generous bonuses, and offers a low APR to boot.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar spent
  • Cover travel costs by redeeming the miles in any amount for a statement credit
  • Fly any airline, any time
  • No blackout dates
  • At the end of your first year, the card automatically matches the miles you've earned (only for new cardmembers)"
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
14 months
10.99%
14 months
11.24% - 23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 601 to 850
  • Average: 733
  • Translation: Must have fair to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

6. Citibank — 48M Cardholders

Citi logoBegun in 1812, Citibank is a major banking institution for customers with above average credit standing. Citi cards have two primary rewards programs available: Simplicity and Thank You. The CitiManager® online tool helps its members manage multiple accounts.


  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months.
  • No categories to track and no caps on cash back.
  • No Annual Fee*
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
for 15 months
0%
for 15 months
13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • The ONLY card with No late fees, No penalty rate, and No annual fee... EVER.
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period.
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day - just say "representative"
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
for 21 months
0%
for 21 months
13.24% - 23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • 2 ThankYou Points per dollar spent on dining at restaurants and entertainment.  1 ThankYou Point on other purchases
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points
  • Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, cash and more
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0%
for 15 months
0%
for 15 months
13.24% - 23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent

Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 633 to 850
  • Average: 750
  • Translation: Must have good to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

7. Capital One — 45M Cardholders

Capital One logoWhether your credit score is excellent or poor, Capital One has a credit card for you. With 24/7 customer service and free credit scores via CreditWise, Capital One is attentive to the needs of every cardholder. Capital One provides premium benefits and invaluable tools for everyone.


  • Earning unlimited 2% cash back could mean thousands of dollars each year going back into your business
  • Plus, a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months of approval
  • Use Spark Cash across all your business spend, with no categories to limit your purchasing
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
  • Rewards don't expire, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount, anytime
  • Get employee cards at no additional cost, and earn rewards from their business spend
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Excellent, Good Credit

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $400 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • Miles don't expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
13.24% - 23.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $59 after that
Excellent, Good Credit

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months of approval, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 12.24%-22.24% variable APR after that
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Miles don’t expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
12.24% - 22.24% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good Credit

Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 666 to 850
  • Average: 717
  • Translation: Can have anywhere from poor to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

8. Bank of America — 32M Cardholders

Bank of America logoFounded in 1904, Bank of America began as “Bank of Italy,” serving America’s expanding immigrant population. Renamed in 1930, Bank of America re-branded itself and created the first general-use credit card. Its award-winning online and mobile banking makes handling credit cards much easier for its responsible cardholders.


BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card Review

at Bank of America'ssecure website

  • No annual fee
  • $100 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and now at wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas up to the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Introductory
for 12 Billing Cycles
0% Introductory
for 12 Billing Cycles
13.24% - 23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card Review

at Bank of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases, with no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees and your points don't expire
  • 20,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days — that can be a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Use your card to book your trip how and where you want — you're not limited to specific websites with blackout dates or restrictions
  • Redeem points for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars, or baggage fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Introductory
for 12 Billing Cycles
N/A
15.24% - 23.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
BankAmericard® Credit Card Review

at Bank of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Balance transfer fee of either 3% of the amount of the transfer or $10 (whichever is greater) applies
  • No annual fee
  • Saves you more on interest when you transfer balances from higher rate credit cards
  • $0 Liability Guarantee, so you're not responsible for any fraudulent charges made on your account
  • Access your FICO® Score fro free within Online and Mobile Banking
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0%
for 18 Billing Cycles
11.24% - 21.24% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good

Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 681 to 850
  • Average: 744
  • Translation: Must have excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

9. Wells Fargo — 24M Cardholders

Wells Fargo logoFrom the Gold Rush to the 21st century, Wells Fargo has been a wealth of opportunity for everyday Americans. Wells Fargo credit cards provide offers and diverse financial assistance. About one in three American households trust this brand’s six-horse stagecoach with their personal finances.


Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 650 to 850
  • Average: 750
  • Translation: Must have good to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

 10. US Bank — 18.5M Cardholders

US Bank logoUS Bank offers credit cards for rebuilding credit for first timers, students, small businesses, and for the general populace. Accepting all types of credit, U.S. Bank has many beneficial credit cards that you can easily browse through online.


Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 600 to 850
  • Average: 725
  • Translation: Can have anywhere from poor to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

11. USAA — 10M Cardholders

USAA logoBegun by former members of the military, the United States Automobile Association issues credit cards for military servicemen, veterans, and their families. USAA members receive cash back, rewards points, low rates, credit building, and more. Many cards award customers with points that never expire and have no cap.


Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 650 to 850
  • Average: 750
  • Translation: Must have fair to excellent credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

12. Credit One — 6M Cardholders

Credit One logoCredit One has an abundance of discounted deals for its cardholders. With cashback programs and monthly credit score tracking, Credit One takes care of its customers. There’s even a promotional offer for NASCAR fans! In less than a minute, anyone can go online to find out if they’re pre-qualified for a Credit One Bank credit card.


Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 530 to 850
  • Average: 675
  • Translation: Can have poor credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

13. Barclaycard US — 418K Cardholders

Barclaycard US logoFor responsible borrowers in good standing, Barclaycard is a reliable option. Established in 2004, Barclaycard is known for its  co-branded credit cards in partnership with well-known travel, entertainment, retail, educational, and financial institutions.


Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 600 to 850
  • Average: 721
  • Translation: Must have fair credit or better to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

14. First PREMIER Bank

First Premier logoEstablished in 1929, First PREMIER Bank is the 12th largest issuer of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the country. First PREMIER caters to subprime consumers by offering transitional credit cards as a stepping stone to building a good history. Borrowers start off with low credit limits to encourage responsible spending, and anyone with imperfect credit is welcome to apply.


First PREMIER® Bank Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

  • Checking account required
  • A credit card offer for those currently building credit history
  • Monthly reporting to the major Consumer Reporting Agencies
  • Response provided in 60 seconds or less
  • Apply today, and if approved, pay a Processing Fee and you can access your available credit (additional fees and charges apply)
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See issuer website
See issuer website
Bad Credit
First PREMIER® Bank MasterCard® Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Checking account required
  • Easy online application  
  • Reports to the major Consumer Reporting Agencies
  • Unlike some other issuers, good credit is not required
  • Manage your account online 24/7 free of charge
  • Paying your minimum payment on time each month and keeping your balance low relative to your limit will provide your credit report with positive marks on a monthly basis
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See issuer website
See issuer website
Bad Credit
First PREMIER® Bank Gold Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Checking account required
  • A manageable credit limit can help you stay in control
  • This is a credit card - not a debit or prepaid card
  • Apply today and if approved, pay a Processing Fee to begin enjoying your available credit (additional fees and charges apply)
  • Make your payments on time each month, and keep your balance low relative to the credit limit, for positive marks on your credit report.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See issuer website
See issuer website
Bad Credit

Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 300 to 850
  • Average: 630
  • Translation: Can have poor credit to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

15. PNC

PNC logoA popular brand east of the Mississippi River, PNC Financial Services issues secure credit cards to individuals and small businesses with strong credit history. The majority of PNC’s credit card holders (60%) have high credit scores. PNC cardholders enjoy lower rates and great rewards for their financial responsibility.


Credit Scores Approved

  • Range: 620 to 850
  • Average: 719
  • Translation: Must have fair credit or better to become a cardholder.

Where to Apply

Sources and Further Reading

As you can see, the nation’s largest issuers offer credit cards for all types of credit-worthy customers. No matter your credit score, you should take your time to research credit card offers and the companies behind them. With the right knowledge, you’ll be ready to make a responsible, informed decision in choosing your next credit card.


To see the top credit cards ranked:

Recommended sites that we used to compile the data in this guide: