The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, September 21, 2020

15 Best Credit Cards After Divorce

Best Credit Cards After Divorce

credit card advice

Adam West
By: Adam West
Posted: December 11, 2019
Advertiser Disclosure

While a judge’s divorce decree will officially end a marriage, the debt accrued during the union will likely live on. But with one of the best credit cards after divorce, you can turn the page on an unhappy marriage more quickly and start writing the next chapter in your life.

That’s because the right credit card can help you pay off your debt with fewer interest charges, help you earn cash back on your post-divorce purchases, or even send you on a much-needed vacation to hit the reset button.

And when the debt is gone, the card will still be around to help you out — and keep your ex firmly in the rearview mirror.

0% Interest | Balance Transfer | Travel | Cash Back | Credit Rebuilding | FAQs

Best 0% Interest Cards After Divorce

Divorce is expensive — but it’s not as pricey as the debt you may carry over after the marriage officially ends. If you’re struggling with credit card debt from your old life, consider a credit card with a 0% introductory APR.

A 0% interest card can help you get a fresh start in life. Moving, furnishing a new home, and purchasing necessities gets expensive. The cards listed below allow you to pay off these charges over time without heavy finance charges.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Wells Fargo Platinum Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Introductory 0% APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (3% balance transfer fee applies)
  • Account protection features such as Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions, alerts, and cell phone protection
  • My Money Map – tools to help you manage spending and create a budget with ease
  • Access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 18 months
0% for 18 months
16.49% - 24.49%
$0
Good

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • 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 won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

The length of the introductory period will vary by card, but most will offer interest-free purchases for up to 15 months or longer.

Best Balance Transfer Cards After Divorce

If you’re working to pay off shared debt after a divorce, a balance transfer card can help you pay that debt down faster. These cards offer a 0% introductory period for balances transferred from a credit card with a high APR to one that won’t charge you interest for a period of up to 18 months or longer.

Be sure to read the terms of the transfer, as most cards require you to transfer your debt within a specified period — 60 to 90 days is typical — to get the 0% promotional rate. You may also have to pay a balance transfer fee to perform the transfer, generally 3% to 5% of the transferred amount.

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% - 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balance, are paid in full.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® score online.
  • With Citi Entertainment℠, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 21 months
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 21 months
14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% (variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

Keep in mind that every introductory period has an expiration date. As soon as that date expires, your card balance will start accruing interest at the rate printed on your card’s monthly statement. That’s why it’s important to eliminate as much of your debt as possible while you’re inside that introductory window.

Best Travel Cards After Divorce

A divorce signifies new beginnings. And there’s no better way to start fresh than with a vacation that takes you far away from all the emotional stress you’ve endured.

You can earn points or miles that get you one step closer to that trip with one of the best travel credit cards after divorce listed below.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 15+ leading travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Study each card’s terms and conditions before you apply. Each card provides different values for its points and miles. Depending on your travel goals (flights, hotels, rental cars, cruises, etc.), one card could provide more value than others.

Best Cash Back Cards After Divorce

If you’re moving after your divorce, you may encounter lots of expenses you weren’t planning for. And moving trucks, packing supplies, and a security deposit to get you into your new home are just the beginning.

Once you’ve settled into your new digs, you’ll need furnishings, housewares, appliances, and countless other gadgets and gizmos that don’t come cheap. With one of the best cash back cards after divorce, among those listed below, you can get some money back on all those purchases.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% (variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

The key to maximizing your cash back earnings is to pay your credit card balance in full each month. Many card issuers boost the interest rates on their cash back cards to offset some of the money they give back to cardholders. Those monthly charges can quickly negate the savings you earn with each purchase.

Best Credit-Building Cards After Divorce

Although your ex is gone after a divorce, you may still carry around a lot of baggage from the former relationship. The heaviest burden of all may be a bad credit score.

If you’re struggling with damaged credit following your divorce, you might want to consider one of the following cards that can help you rebuild your credit. If you use one of these cards responsibly, you can improve your score and work your way toward better financial health.

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee
  • Unlike a prepaid card, there is regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you'll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad
Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • Earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • A minimum refundable security deposit of $300 (maximum of $4,900) is required to open this account
  • Access your FICO® Score updated monthly for free, within your Mobile Banking app or in Online Banking
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99%
$0
Bad/Limited
Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • 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%
$48
Poor/Fair/Limited/Damaged

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® comes from a major issuer that also offers cards to consumers who have fair, good, and excellent credit. While that may not interest you right now, it will over time.

Many card issuers allow you to upgrade to an improved card as you prove your responsibility and increase your credit score. That can save you money on interest charges — and possibly make you eligible over time — for a better credit card that offers higher rewards.

Who is Responsible for Credit Card Debt in Divorce?

This depends greatly on the state you live in and the judge presiding over your divorce. While most states dictate that you’re responsible for debt accrued in your name — and partially responsible for joint debts — state laws vary in how they treat debts remaining at the time of divorce.

In the nine community property states — Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin — any debt you or your former spouse acquired after the date of marriage and before the date of separation is community property. A judge will likely order a joint split of all debts but can alter the ruling based on your and your ex’s income.

Community Property States in the U.S. — Source: Wikipedia.com

Those states won’t consider any debt you acquired before marriage, or after the separation, as community property.

A judge could order you to pay all or part of your former spouse’s debts based on who is better able to repay the debt. If your ex makes more than you, he or she could receive an order to pay your debts. That doesn’t make you completely free and clear of the debt, though.

If the debt is in your name, you’re still contractually tied to the lender. If your ex doesn’t pay the bill or makes consistently late payments, you will receive the hit to your credit score.

This works not only for credit card debt but also for auto or home loans as well as medical debt or any other bills in your name. In fact, recent studies show that 1 in 8 divorced couples blame student loan debt for their split.

In most cases, a judge will simply allow each member of the divorce proceedings to leave with only the debt that’s in their name. But it’s still important to come to court with any documents that show that the debt is community property incurred to better both of your lives. If you can show that, you could improve your chances of a 50/50 split.

How Do I Separate My Credit After Divorce?

Regardless of the wording on your divorce decree, you’re still legally responsible for joint accounts opened during your marriage.

Even if the judge orders your ex to pay the entire debt, you’re still liable if he or she doesn’t make a payment or defaults on the debt. And if that account continues to live on after the divorce, you’ll still be responsible for the new debt accrued.

The first step in cleanly separating your credit after divorce is to close every joint account that includes your name. That won’t wipe out the balance of those accounts, but it will stop the accounts from building new debt.

You can also notify your creditors of the divorce to make sure you and your ex both receive monthly statements so you can stay on top of payment histories and current balances. You should also change any usernames and passwords on your financial accounts your ex is privy to.

Once you’ve done that, you can start exploring ways to build credit in your name so that you can develop a new and positive credit history. You can do this through a credit card — like those listed above — a personal loan, or an auto loan or mortgage.

Also, if the judge orders your ex to pay all or part of your joint debts, it’s vital that you ask the judge to make that ruling non-dischargeable in bankruptcy. That way, your ex can’t walk away from the debt and stick you with the responsibility if he or she ever files for bankruptcy.

Most judges will grant this request and place a note on the debt that makes it permanent — regardless of what your ex’s financial future holds.

Does Your Credit Score Drop When You Get Divorced?

This relies mostly on the type of debt you hold. If the judge decrees that you’re only responsible for the debt that’s in your name, you won’t experience much change to your credit rating.

A lot of joint debt could impact your score. That’s because you’re best served by closing any joint accounts that feature your and your ex’s names. By doing so, you’ll lower your total available credit and increase your credit utilization rate.

Adding more debts during and after your divorce proceedings can also weigh down your credit score. The effect on your credit score can range from a small decrease to a significant drop, depending on the total amount of debt.

Even if the judge in your divorce proceedings rules your ex must pay the debts in your name, it still won’t provide any credit score relief. That’s because the debts will remain in your name until they’re paid off. If your ex misses a payment or defaults on the debt altogether, you’ll receive the credit impact — not him or her.

In many cases, you’ll experience at least a small increase in total debt after divorce. That alone can weigh down a credit score. If you must finance the shift in your lifestyle — including moving expenses, new furnishings, household items, and other relocation expenses — you can see even more of a credit score dip.

This impact isn’t always permanent. As you pay down the debt and make on-time payments over time, you’ll see your score recover and maybe even surpass your pre-divorce levels. The key is to stick to a budget and manage your debt responsibly.

Start Anew — Emotionally and Financially

Divorce isn’t always bad. If you were stuck in a bad relationship that wasn’t contributing to your well-being, a divorce can provide a clean break and a fresh new chapter in your life.

You can make sure the split remains clean — and doesn’t leave you with too many financial burdens — by using one of our best credit cards after divorce to get your fiscal life back in order.

And, after all, divorce is about putting the pieces back together so you can regain the confidence you once had and begin to show the world how great you truly are. That becomes easier as you eliminate debt — and free yourself of the baggage acquired in your previous relationship.

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