The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Sunday, May 26, 2024

$1,000+ Limit Credit Cards For Bad Credit (May 2024)

1000 Limit Credit Cards For Bad Credit
Ashley Fricker

Written by: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience to the CardRates team. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Florida. Today, Lillian edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Reviewed by: Danielle Spurlin

Danielle Spurlin
Danielle Spurlin

With more than 10 years of accounting experience, Danielle Marshall has a deep understanding of many financial disciplines, including personal and commercial lending, retirement annuities, financial forecasting, and general bookkeeping. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida's Fisher School of Accounting and currently manages all accounts receivable and payable for the parent company of CardRates.com. She works directly with credit card issuers and advertising partners to ensure our content meets compliance expectations and regulatory standards.

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Advertiser Disclosure

Finding $1,000 + limit credit cards for bad credit takes a little bit of know-how, but it’s not impossible. That’s why we’re on your team to help you make the best decision possible to maximize your spending power while improving your credit score along the way.

You’ll likely have to consider a secured credit card if you need a four-figure credit line right away. Traditional unsecured credit cards for bad credit usually limit you to an initial credit limit of $500 or less — and that number can shrink substantially when you activate your card and are immediately charged an activation and/or annual fee.

Whether you want to take the secured or unsecured route, we’ve compiled a list of the best cards to consider when you’re ready to rebuild your credit score without skimping on your credit line.

Secured Cards ($1,000+) | Unsecured Cards (>$1,000) | FAQs

Secured Credit Cards With $1,000 + Limits

A secured credit card requires a refundable security deposit for approval. This deposit doesn’t count as a payment, but your credit card issuer will refund the entire deposit when you close your credit card account with a $0 balance. If you’re upgraded to an unsecured card from the same issuer, your deposit can be refunded.

While this may seem like an inconvenience, it just may work in your favor. The secured cards listed below will match your card’s credit limit to your deposit. This means you can acquire a card with a $1,000 or higher limit simply by adjusting the amount you put down on the card. In some cases, you can obtain a credit limit increase by adding to your deposit after you open your account.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Review

at Capital Bank N.A.'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • New feature! Earn up to 10% cash back* on everyday purchases
  • No credit check to apply. Zero credit risk to apply!
  • Looking to build or rebuild your credit? 2 out of 3 OpenSky cardholders increase their credit score by an average of 41 points in just 3 months
  • Get free monthly access to your FICO score in our mobile application
  • Build your credit history across 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
  • Add to your mobile wallet and make purchases using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay
  • Fund your card with a low $200 refundable security deposit to get a $200 credit line
  • Apply in less than 5 minutes with our mobile first application
  • Choose the due date that fits your schedule with flexible payment dates
  • Fund your security deposit over 60 days with the option to make partial payments
  • Over 1.4 Million Cardholders Have Used OpenSky Secured Credit Card To Improve Their Credit
  • *See Rewards Terms and Conditions for more information
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
25.64% (variable)
$35
Poor

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is all about educating and empowering cardholders by allowing consumers to set their own credit limit based on the amount of their refundable security deposit. And since OpenSky reports your balance and monthly payment history to each major credit bureau, you can build — or rebuild — your credit with responsible behavior.

Cardholders have access to FAQs and free credit education modules that provide tips and information on building and maintaining a positive credit history.

Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Better than Prepaid...Go with a Secured Card! Load One Time - Keep On Using
  • Absolutely No Credit Check or Minimum Credit Score Required
  • Automatic Reporting to All Three National Credit Bureaus
  • 9.99% Low Fixed APR - Your Rate Won’t Go Up Even if You Are Late
  • Activate Today with a $200 Minimum Deposit - Maximum $1,000.
  • Increase Your Credit Limit up to $5,000 by Adding Additional Deposits Anytime
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
9.99% Fixed
$48
Poor/Fair/Limited/Damaged

New Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card members can start with a credit limit of up to $1,000, based on the amount of their refundable security deposit. Cardholders can earn a credit limit increase by adding to their deposit after they’ve established a positive monthly payment history.

This card also has one of the lowest interest rate offerings on the list — but beware the lack of a grace period. And because the card reports to all three major credit bureaus, you can build credit and raise your credit score with responsible use.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit history.
  • Your secured credit card requires a refundable security deposit, and your credit line will equal your deposit amount, starting at $200. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites. Activate for free.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
28.24% Variable APR
$0
New/Rebuilding

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card provides cash back rewards on eligible purchases. Responsible use of the card can lead to an upgrade to an unsecured credit card in under a year. This card provides a maximum security deposit of up to $2,500, based on your income and ability to repay.

Other valuable features include no late fee for your first late payment, no over limit fee, no foreign transaction fee, and paying late won’t raise your APR.

Savings Secured Platinum Rewards Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★
4.2

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • All credit lines start at $250
  • Earn Flexpoints Rewards - 1 point for every $1 spent
  • Competitive low rate
  • Use the card responsibly and you can be automatically graduated to a Platinum Rewards Credit Card
  • Visa card benefits like Roadside Dispatch, a pay-per-use roadside assistance program
  • 25-day grace period on purchases
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24%
$0
N/A

You don’t have to be a member of the State Department Federal Credit Union to qualify for the Savings Secured Platinum Rewards Credit Card, but you can join SDFCU and apply for your card at the same time. This opens the door for a potential upgrade to the institution’s popular Platinum Rewards Credit Card.

You can also earn bonus points with all eligible purchases that you can redeem for gift cards, travel discounts, or cash rewards. This card also features a low ongoing interest rate and no annual fee.

Unsecured Credit Cards With Sub-$1,000 Limits

Unsecured credit cards do not require you to make a refundable security deposit for approval. But these cards will also limit your initial available credit to well under $1,000.

In most cases, new unsecured cardholders will start out with a credit line of $250 to $500. If the card has an annual fee, signup fee, or other initial charges, those funds will be automatically deducted from your available credit when you activate your account.

Surge® Platinum Mastercard® Review

at Continental Finance'ssecure website

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Monthly Credit Score – Sign up for electronic statements, and get your Vantage 3.0 Score Credit Score From Experian
  • Initial Credit Limit of $300 – $1,000 (subject to available credit)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
See website for Details
35.90% Fixed
$75 - $125
See website for Details*

The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® is one of the only unsecured credit cards that will consider you for an initial credit limit of $1,000 upon approval. But keep in mind that not everyone will qualify for a high-end credit line.

The card also charges annual and one-time fees to your account when you activate your card, which decreases your initial credit limit until you make your first account payment.

Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® Review

at Continental Finance'ssecure website

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★
4.4

OVERALL RATING

  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified with no impact to your credit score
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Access to your Vantage 3.0 score from Experian (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Initial Credit Limit of $300 – $1,000 (subject to available credit)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
35.90% Fixed
$75 - $125
Bad, Fair, or No Credit

The Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® indicates on its website that some applicants will qualify for a credit limit of up to $1,000, though card reviews show that most new cardholders begin with a credit line of $300.

You may qualify for a higher credit line over time with timely payments and responsible behavior. In the meantime, cardholders who activate an online account can gain free access to their Vantage 3.0 credit rating and credit report from TransUnion.

Total Visa® Card Review

at Total Card'ssecure website

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn 1% cash back rewards on payments made to your Total Credit Card
  • Checking Account Required
  • $300 credit limit (subject to available credit)
  • No security deposit, simply pay a one-time $95 program fee to open your account.*
  • User friendly Mobile App.
  • *See Rates, Fees, Costs & Limitations for complete offer details
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
35.99%
$75.00 1st year, $48.00 after
Fair, Bad Credit

You can apply for the Total Visa® Card in a matter of minutes and possibly receive instant approval online. If approved, you’ll receive an initial credit line of $300.

This card reports to all the major credit bureaus, which can help you improve your credit rating with responsible behavior. You may qualify for a higher credit line over time.

Can I Get a $1,000 Credit Limit With Bad Credit?

If you have a poor credit score, your best bet to obtain a credit card with a $1,000 credit limit is to apply for a secured credit card.

Many of these cards don’t require a credit check for approval. Those that do check your credit often have very forgiving approval standards.

With a secured credit card, you can typically set your own credit limit based on the amount of your refundable security deposit. For example, your card will have a $1,000 credit limit if you submit a $1,000 deposit.

Some cards allow for a credit limit as high as $5,000 and as low as $200, based on the amount of your deposit. Your credit card company will issue a complete refund of your deposit when you close your account with a $0 balance or are upgraded to an unsecured card.

And, unlike a prepaid card or debit card, a secured credit card will report your monthly payment and balance history to at least one credit bureau. That makes it easy for you to improve your credit score with responsible card use.

How to Manage Credit Responsibly

Even if you’re new to credit and have no credit score, you can receive a secured card and often generate your first credit score within three to six months.

Some secured cards, including the Discover it® Secured Credit Card and Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Secured Credit Card, offer cash rewards on eligible purchases.

Rewards aren’t common on traditional unsecured credit cards for bad credit applicants. And in most cases, these bad credit credit card options start new cardholders out with a credit limit of $500 or less.

You can earn a higher credit line with responsible behavior over time, but it could take years to achieve a credit limit that you can get from the start with a secured card.

How Do I Apply For a Credit Card?

You can apply for a credit card online and, depending on your creditworthiness, receive instant approval. All the credit cards listed above provide online applications on their official websites that you can access by clicking the links associated with each card.

The application process typically takes less than five minutes to complete. In most cases, the credit card company will process your application and give you a credit decision in less than 60 seconds.

During the application process, the credit card company will require some basic identifying information to prevent identity theft. This will often include your:

Once you submit your application, the bank will use automated underwriting software to make a near-instant credit decision. If you’re approved, the bank will show your new card’s credit limit and begin the printing process. The card will arrive by mail within seven to 10 business days.

If the bank declines your application, you will receive an adverse action notice in the mail that outlines the reason why you weren’t approved. This will also arrive within seven to 10 business days.

What’s the Difference Between a Secured Card and an Unsecured Card?

When you’re at the register or paying for goods and services online, there’s no difference between a secured and unsecured credit card. The only difference between the two appears during the application process.

A secured credit card is designed to help consumers who have bad credit or no credit build their credit rating. These cards have very forgiving approval standards and, in many cases, don’t require a credit check for approval.

Unsecured vs Secured Cards

A secured credit card will require a refundable security deposit to open the account. The amount of your deposit will typically match your new card’s credit limit. This allows you to choose your credit limit — which you can’t do with an unsecured credit card.

And while unsecured cards don’t ask for any money upfront, they often come with tight credit limits to offset the risk that banks take when issuing a bad credit credit card.

Quite often, an unsecured credit card will feature an initial credit limit of $250 to $500. But aside from those two factors, the cards are very similar.

You can use either — if you have enough available credit — to make in-store, online, or over-the-phone purchases. You can rent a car or a hotel room or pay bills. You can even use your card at an ATM to take out a cash advance. And both types of cards allow you to request a credit limit increase when you’re ready.

A secured card issuer will refund your security deposit when you cancel your credit card account if you have no outstanding debts owed to the bank or when you upgrade to an unsecured card with the same issuer. In the latter case, the deposit is usually refunded as a statement credit.

Both cards will report your payment and balance history to at least one of the major credit bureaus, which can help you develop a good credit score — and a card upgrade — in the future.

What Credit Score Do I Need to Get a Credit Card?

Credit card issuers don’t usually publish minimum credit score requirements for their cards because most issuers consider more than just your credit score when reviewing your credit application.

Instead, you may find that a specific card advertises itself to consumers who fall within a specific credit range.

For example, a credit card for consumers who have good credit will likely consider applicants who have a FICO score of 700 or greater. Cards designed for those who have fair credit (a score of 670 to 719) and bad credit (579 or lower) are also available.

FICO Credit Score Chart

Credit cards are available to consumers with all credit scores.

But falling within that range doesn’t guarantee you’ll get approved for the card of your dreams. Even those who have excellent credit may still be rejected under certain rules enforced by the credit card company.

For example, Capital One only allows consumers to have two of its cards at one time. If you’re applying for a third Capital One card, you’ll receive an automatic rejection — even if you have perfect credit.

What is the Easiest Credit Card to Get Approved For With Bad Credit?

A secured credit card is the easiest card to get approved for with bad credit. That’s because your required security deposit lessens the risk that banks take when issuing credit cards to consumers who have bad credit.

Think of your deposit as you would a security deposit when renting an apartment. If you don’t cause any damage to the apartment by the time you move out, the landlord will refund your deposit. If you trash the place, the landlord will keep your money and use it to make the necessary repairs.

The same goes for your secured card’s deposit. If you miss a payment, the card issuer can deduct it from your security deposit (and report the late payment to the bureaus and harm your credit score).

With so little risk involved for the issuer, banks frequently offer secured credit cards without a credit check. Even if you must submit to a credit check, you’ll likely be approved as long as you’re not in active bankruptcy.

How Do I Build Credit With a Secured Credit Card?

Just as with an unsecured credit card, a secured credit card issuer will report your payment and balance history every month to at least one major credit reporting bureau. In many cases, the bank will report to all three — TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian.

FICO FactorsThese three bureaus generate unique scores under your name based on the information reported to them each month.

If you make on-time payments and maintain a low balance, those reports will help to improve your credit score and build a positive credit history. If you have late payments or a high balance, your credit score will suffer.

A low credit card balance is important for maintaining a low credit utilization rate. You can calculate your credit utilization rate by dividing your credit card balance by your total credit limit.

For example, a card with a $1,000 credit limit and a $500 balance has a 50% utilization rate — meaning you’re using 50% of your available credit.

The lower your utilization rate, the better your credit score. Your total debt load accounts for 30% of your credit score calculation. That means you can improve your credit score by several points simply by maintaining a low (or no) balance on your credit card accounts and keeping your credit utilization below 30%.

What Fees Do Credit Cards Charge?

The fees your credit card charges — and the size of those fees — are completely up to the bank that issues your card. Some cards may skip some of the fees listed below, whereas others may include all of them.

Standard fees, such as interest and late payment fees, are found on just about every credit card. But the amount you’ll pay may vary depending on the card issuer and your credit score.

Some typical credit card fees include:

  • Interest: Every credit card will charge interest for any money you borrow by using your card. The bank adds these charges every month to your account balance. If you don’t have a balance, you won’t incur these charges.
  • Late fee: If you submit your payment after the due date, you will likely be charged a late payment fee on your next statement. This fee typically ranges between $15 and $25 for each occurrence.
  • Foreign transaction fee: Some cards charge a foreign transaction fee if you use your card to make a purchase in a currency other than U.S. dollars. This fee covers the cost of converting the transaction into a new currency. Many travel cards do not charge this fee.
  • Cash advance fee: You’ll meet this fee if you withdraw cash from your credit card account at an ATM or bank teller window — like you would with a debit card. Not only will you pay a cash advance fee, but you’ll also pay a higher interest rate for money removed this way — and there’s no grace period for when interest charges kick in. You may also have a cash advance limit on your card.
  • Balance transfer fee: You may see this fee if you conduct a balance transfer that moves debt from an existing card to your new card. The fee may be worth it if the new card has a lower interest rate or a 0% balance transfer offer.
  • Card replacement fee: If you lose your card or if it’s stolen, you may have to pay a fee to replace the lost plastic. This is typically a flat fee of between $10 and $25.

Be sure to read your credit card disclosure before you submit your card application. This document will show all your potential account fees and outline your total cost of credit. This is a great way to avoid unpleasant — and often expensive — surprises down the road.

Can I Get a Credit Card With No Deposit and Bad Credit?

Several unsecured credit cards for bad credit that don’t require a security deposit will consider your application for credit. Just remember that these cards come with much higher risks for the banks that issue them.

If you run up a high balance and don’t make payments, the bank is left holding the debt.

That’s why these cards often come with higher fees and lower credit limits. Typically, a new cardholder who has bad credit will start out with a credit limit of $250 or $300. You may qualify for a higher credit limit once you prove your responsibility, but that can take several months at the earliest.

How Can I Get a Higher Credit Limit On My Credit Card?

Most credit card issuers provide a quick credit limit increase request link on their website or mobile application. This may require you to resubmit your income information but typically shows you a decision within seconds.

If you’re approved for a credit limit increase, your new credit line will immediately take effect. Just remember that most banks won’t consider you for a higher credit line if you’ve had your card for less than three months.

How to Request a Credit Limit Increase

If you can’t find a link on the bank’s website or mobile app, you can contact your card issuer to request a credit limit increase over the phone.

Are There Any Credit Cards That Don’t Check Credit?

Many secured credit cards skip the credit check process in exchange for a security deposit. Your deposit minimizes the bank’s risk, which negates the need for a credit check.

Some secured cards still require a credit check, but that’s only to make sure you don’t have an active bankruptcy case or accounts in foreclosure or collections. If you don’t have any of these negatives on your credit report, you’re almost guaranteed approval for a secured credit card.

Compare $1,000+ Limit Credit Cards For Bad Credit Online

The best $1,000 + limit credit cards for bad credit are secured cards. While these credit cards may come with a higher upfront cost, they’ll give you more spending power, can improve your credit utilization rate, and make it easier to qualify for an eventual upgrade to an unsecured credit card with a higher spending limit.

Don’t let the deposit requirement fool you into thinking that a secured card isn’t a good option. Millions of Americans use these cards to stay within their budget without having to deal with the annoying low credit lines offered by unsecured credit cards for bad credit.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.