The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Thursday, December 8, 2022

Easiest Cards to Get Approved For

Easiest Cards To Get Approved For

credit card advice

Eric Bank

Written by: Eric Bank

Eric Bank

Eric Bank has been covering business and financial topics since 1985, specializing in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences. In addition to his work on CardRates.com, Eric has appeared regularly on Credible.com, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Get.com, Zacks, Chron and dozens of other outlets. A former software engineer, Eric holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University.

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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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Reviewed by: Ashley Dull

Ashley Dull

With more than a decade of experience as a content manager and marketer, Ashley has specialized in finance coverage since 2015. 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 campaigns. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among others.

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Advertiser Disclosure

You’re approved!

Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it? Qualifying for a credit card is one of life’s little victories. To help you achieve that triumphant feeling, we’ve identified some of the easiest cards to get approved for.

These cards offer you your best shot at approval, whether your credit is fair, bad, or non-existent. If you’d like to establish or build your credit, one of these cards may be the perfect answer to your credit needs.

 Unsecured | Students | No/Limited Credit | Balance Transfers | Secured | Prepaid | FAQs

Easiest Unsecured Card to Get Approved For

The Surge® Platinum Mastercard® is designed to help you rebuild credit by reporting your payments each major credit bureau. You can prequalify for this unsecured credit card in less than 60 seconds by filling out a short form that includes your Social Security number and total monthly income.

Surge® Platinum Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank'ssecure website

  • 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*
In addition to a quick preapproval process for those with bad or fair credit, the card offers a free credit score and monthly reporting of your payment history to the major credit bureaus. You must be a U.S. resident and at least 18 years old to be approved.

Easiest Student Card to Get Approved For

To qualify for the Discover it® Student Cash Back card, you must be a college student, at least 18 years old, and enrolled in a two- or four-year college or university.

Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★

4.8

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! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • 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.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 16.74% - 25.74% applies.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
16.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit
To receive approval for this student credit card, you must authorize Discover to contact you via phone or text. Discover will perform a hard pull of one or more of your credit reports from the national credit bureaus and use them and other sources to verify the information on your credit card application. That means you must authorize Discover to contact your bank and employer (if any).

Easiest Card to Get Approved For With No Credit History

The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is our top choice for an easy to get card when you have no credit history.

You can make a larger initial deposit of up to $1,000 if you want a higher credit limit. You must have a bank account from which you can fund your deposit.

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help
  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
28.49% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad

To be approved, your credit card application must be verified by Capital One and you must reside in the United States or a U.S. military location (excluding correctional institutions). Your monthly income must exceed your mortgage or rent payment by at least $425. In addition, you must be age 18 or older and possess a valid Social Security number.

You won’t be approved if you have an unresolved bankruptcy, already have two or more Capital One credit cards, or have a Capital One card that is past due, over its limit, or has been charged off within the past year.

Easiest Balance Transfer Card to Get Approved For

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires you to deposit cash collateral with Discover Bank in an amount equal to your credit line.

You must be a U.S. resident, 18 or older to qualify, and you must authorize Discover to perform a hard pull of your credit reports and to contact your employer, bank, and other information sources. You must also allow Discover to contact you via text or phone.

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 with responsible use.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.
  • 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. 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.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
26.74% Variable APR
$0
New/Rebuilding

The security deposit account is FDIC insured. You can’t withdraw funds from the account, and you cannot be involved in any bankruptcy proceedings or lawsuits that may impact your security deposit account.

Easiest Secured Card to Get Approved For

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card bends over backward to make approval easy. For starters, it does not subject applicants to credit checks, which means that your credit score will not be negatively impacted. The card reports your payments to the three major credit bureaus to help you build credit.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Review

at Capital Bank N.A.'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • No credit check to apply and find out instantly if you are approved
  • OpenSky gives everyone an opportunity to improve their credit with an 85% average approval rate for the past 5 years
  • Get considered for a credit line increase after 6 months, with no additional deposit required
  • You could be eligible for the OpenSky Gold Unsecured Card after as few as 6 months
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus monthly, unlike a prepaid or debit card
  • View your FICO® Score through your OpenSky account, an easy way to stay on top of your credit
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
21.14% (variable)
$35
Poor

Qualified applicants must be US citizens or permanent residents, at least 18, with a Social Security number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number. You must have sufficient monthly income to cover all expenses, including card payments.

You’re not eligible if you’ve applied four or more times in the last 60 days for a Capital Bank credit card. Also, you can’t have more than one Capital Bank credit card.

Easiest Prepaid Card to Get Approved For

Let it be known that all prepaid cards are easy to get. There’s no credit check or income requirement to get a card, and they’re free to sign up for online.

The NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card is a cinch to obtain because you don’t need a bank account or to maintain a minimum balance. It costs $9.95 to buy the card at a retail location, but it’s free to apply for online:

NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card Review

at NetSpend'ssecure website

PREPAID RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • With Netspend Direct Deposit, you can get paid faster than a paper check.
  • No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card.
  • No Overdraft Fees on purchases using your card.
  • Use the NetSpend Mobile App to manage your account on the go and get text message or email alerts (Message & data rates may apply).
  • Card issued by MetaBank®, Member FDIC. Card may be used everywhere Visa Debit cards are accepted. Click "Get My Card " for full details.
  • See additional NetSpend® Prepaid Visa® details.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
Up-to $9.95 monthly
Not applicable

As a prepaid account, you need not worry about overdraft fees, as you can only spend the amount on deposit. To qualify, you must be 18 or older, be able to prove your identity, and can lawfully enter into contracts in your state of residence.

Your deposited funds are maintained in an FDIC-insured account at MetaBank®.

What is the Easiest Credit Card to Get Approved For?

Without a doubt, secured credit cards are the easiest to obtain. By depositing cash collateral, you reduce the issuer’s credit risk.

This facilitates easy approval and relatively low APRs. We’ve recommended two secured cards in this article.

Unsecured vs Secured Credit CardsThe OpenSky® Secured Visa® doesn’t require a credit check to obtain. Your credit limit will be equal to the amount you deposit.

These cards are great for building credit because they report your payments to all three credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax.

We also recommend the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card if you have no credit history. Your initial card limit will be $200, requiring a deposit of $49, $99, or $200. You can subsequently increase your deposit and credit line to $1,000.

To qualify for this card, you must be a US resident, age 18+, with sufficient monthly income and a valid Social Security number. You may be disqualified due to previous experiences with the issuer.

Finally, we recommend the Discover it® Secured Credit Card if you are looking to consolidate your credit card debt via balance transfers. You must be 18 or older, reside in the United States, and not be in active bankruptcy proceedings.

What is the Minimum Credit Score Needed to Get Approved For a Credit Card?

There is no set minimum score to obtain a credit card. Instead, cards are categorized by credit rating, i.e., excellent, good, fair, bad, and no/limited credit.

FICO Score® Ranges

FICO credit scores range from 300 to 850, with scores below 580 considered to be bad. But you can get a type of credit card that ignores credit scores. Typically, these include secured, student, and prepaid cards.

Our top secured card for consumers with no credit is the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card. It’s easy to acquire because it’s secured by your cash deposit of $49 to $1,000. The minimum credit line is $200.

Requirements for this card are typical in terms of age and residency. Your monthly income must be at least $425 more than your monthly rent or mortgage payment. The biggest obstacle is that you cannot already have two or more Capital One cards.

Two other secured cards are similarly easy for bad- or no-credit consumers to obtain. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a good choice for folks with credit scores below 660 who are not currently in bankruptcy proceedings.

But the winner in terms of availability among secured cards is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card that explicitly does not perform credit checks. The only real hurdle involves your previous experience with the issuing bank, Capital Bank (not to be confused with Capital One Bank).

Students can get the Discover it® Student Cash Back card without any credit score or credit history. They just have to demonstrate that they are at least 18 years old, have a source of income, and are enrolled in a two- or four-year school.

Though not included in this review, the Discover it® Student chrome is equally easy to obtain. It differs only in the cash back it offers, but both of Discover’s student cards offer friendly introductory terms for first-time card users.

The NetSpend® Visa® Prepaid Card doesn’t require a credit check because it’s not a credit card. You simply load cash into the prepaid account and forget about overdraft fees or bank accounts. You must be 18+ years old and have proof of identity.

What Type of Credit Card Is Issued to Someone With Bad Credit?

People with poor credit are likely to be approved for cards with low credit limits and high fees. But not all cards for bad credit are “bad.”

The secured cards reviewed in this article have lower interest rates and fees than their unsecured counterparts.

While you won’t yet qualify for an American Express card, you can inch your way closer to one by using any credit card you qualify for now responsibly. Always pay your bill on time and keep your balance low to build credit.

FICO Credit Score Factors

Payment history makes up 35% of your FICO Score, so paying on time will help you improve your credit scores.

You may also qualify for a store credit card, which is usually a closed-loop card issued by a bank that partners with a store, e.g., Target, Old Navy, Amazon, etc. Closed-loop means the store card can only be used for purchases made at that store, whether online or in person. Store cards usually issue reward points or cash back that can be redeemed for merchandise from the retailer or as a statement credit to cover your balance.

Ranking Methodology

Our rankings of the easiest credit cards to get approved for evaluated the approval criteria of more than 130 credit cards to determine the top 10. We looked at the ease of approval in each respective category and payment reporting to the credit bureaus to help applicants improve their credit scores with responsible card use.

CardRates’ reviews undergo a thorough editorial integrity process to ensure that content is not compromised by advertiser influence.

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.