The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, November 28, 2022

15 Best Credit Cards After Divorce

Best Credit Cards After Divorce

credit card advice

Adam West

Written by: Adam West

Adam West

Adam corresponds with finance experts to publish industry news coverage related to helping consumers achieve greater financial literacy and improved credit. He has more than 12 years of storytelling, editing, and design experience in print and online journalism and is most knowledgeable in the areas of credit scores, financial products and services, and the banking industry.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience. 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 instructor at the University of Florida. Today, she edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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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

  • Start off strong with 0% Intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. A variable APR of 17.99% - 26.74% on balance transfers and purchases after the introductory period ends.
  • Lower your interest rate by 2% each year. Automatically be considered for an APR reduction when you pay on time, and spend at least $1000 on your card by your next account anniversary.
  • Raise your credit limit. Get an automatic, one-time review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time, and spend $500 in your first six months.
  • All for no annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Slate Edge℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 18 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 18 months
17.99% - 26.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.99% - 26.74%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.99% - 26.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $200 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
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
17.99% - 27.99% (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.

Discover it® Balance Transfer Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • Every $1 you earn in cash back is $1 you can redeem.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
0% Intro APR for 18 months
14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 17.74% - 28.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is an introductory balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of the transfer, whichever is greater for balances transfers completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR Period 12 months on Purchases
0% Intro APR Period 21 months on Balance Transfers
17.74% - 28.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good Credit

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

0% BALANCE TRANSFER RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 16.74% - 27.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • For a limited time earn a $150 Statement Credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
  • 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% 12 months on Purchases
0% 21 months on Balance Transfers
16.74% - 27.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

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

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 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 a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
18.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good
Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 14.99% to 25.99% Standard Variable Purchase APR will apply.
  • Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
14.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
$395
Excellent

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

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.99% - 26.74%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
17.99% - 26.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

  • 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 Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 17.74% - 27.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • 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 an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% Intro APR Period 18 months on Balance Transfers
17.74% - 27.74% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Additional Disclosure: Citi is a CardRates advertiser.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $200 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
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
17.99% - 27.99% (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.

PREMIER Bankcard® Grey Credit Card Review

at PREMIER Bankcard®'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • You don’t need good credit to apply.
  • We help people with bad credit, every day.
  • Just complete the short application and find out in 60 seconds if you’re approved.
  • You can build* or rebuild your credit: apply for a PREMIER Bankcard credit card, keep your balance low, and pay all your monthly bills on time.
  • Don’t let a low FICO score stop you from applying – we approve applications others may not.
  • FICO 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 PREMIER Bankcard® product.
  • *Build credit by keeping your balance low and paying all your bills on time every month.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Provider Website
See Provider Website
Fair/Poor
PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard® Credit Card Review

at PREMIER Bankcard®'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Don’t let a low FICO score stop you from applying – we approve applications others may not.
  • You don’t need good credit to apply.
  • Just complete the short application and find out in 60 seconds if you’re approved.
  • When you need assistance our award-winning US-based Customer Service agents are there to help.
  • FICO 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 PREMIER Bankcard® product.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Provider Website
See Provider Website
Fair/Poor
Surge® Platinum Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT 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!
  • Free 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
  • 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
24.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
See website for Details
See website for Details*

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card 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.

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.