The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, November 25, 2020

27 Easy-Approval Credit Cards by Category

Easy Approval Credit Cards

credit card advice

Aaron Crowe
By: Aaron Crowe
Updated: April 20, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

Having a financial life without a credit card is possible, but it isn’t easy. A credit card makes online purchases fast and simple, and it beats carrying loads of cash to a store. Using a credit card smartly can improve a credit score, and the higher the score, the more likely you are to get the best terms on car and home loans, among other things.

Being approved for a credit card isn’t always easy, especially if you have bad credit or none at all. You aren’t born with a credit score stamped on your credit report. It’s something that you earn, and starting with a credit card that you’re most likely to be approved for with the score you currently have is a wise way to start working to improve your score. Here, we take an in-depth look at some of the best easy-approval credit cards available for a wide range of credit scores and an array of card types.

By Credit Score: Bad Credit | No/Limited Credit | Fair Credit | Good Credit
By Card Type: Business | Student | Rewards | Secured | Retail
FAQs

Easy-Approval Cards for Bad Credit (300-579 Score)

Credit scores go as high as 850. If you’re at the low end — between 300 and 579 — your credit is considered “bad.” Experian has estimated that 16% of Americans have poor or bad credit.

Still, credit cards that cater to people with bad credit are available. Using such a card well by paying the bill on time and making at least the minimum payment each month will improve your score over time, as these card providers report monthly to the three major credit bureaus. You may have to pay an annual fee, a monthly service fee, or a security deposit to be approved.

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 and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • 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
  • Optional overdraft protection option helps prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America® checking account to your credit card. Transfer fees may apply.
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99% Variable
$0
Bad/Limited
Surge Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
N/A
25.90% - 29.99%
See website for Details
Bad, Poor Credit

If you have bad credit, you probably already know it without having to check a credit report. Creditors may be denying you credit, landlords may not accept you as a tenant, and you may even have difficulty signing a cellphone contract. But with responsible use of an easy-approval credit card for bad credit, you can begin to rebuild your credit and earn back the trust of lenders.

Easy-Approval Cards for No/Limited Credit (0 Score)

Credit card companies realize that consumers must start their credit profile somewhere. Starting at zero with no credit score at all or scant credit history can be a sign that you’re either just starting your financial life as a student, a recent college graduate, or have never used credit before, and that’s OK.

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set.
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
Surge Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank'ssecure website

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
N/A
25.90% - 29.99%
See website for Details
Bad, Poor Credit

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited

These cards can be used to build a credit history — hopefully, a good one — that within a year or so should allow you to move to the next level of credit where you’ll receive lower interest rates, better terms, and richer rewards.

Easy Approval Cards for Fair Credit (580-669 Score)

If your credit score is in the fair range, you’re still considered a subprime borrower and are unlikely to get the best interest rates, but you’ll still get better rates and terms than consumers with bad credit. Some of these cards allow applicants to pre-qualify online by providing some basic information, such as their contact information and total monthly income. It should take less than a minute to fill out the online form and it won’t affect your credit score.

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set.
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited
Surge Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
N/A
25.90% - 29.99%
See website for Details
Bad, Poor Credit

Seeing if you’re pre-approved online can save you time when applying for credit cards because you’re getting an idea whether you’re likely to qualify for the card before you fill out an application. You may also get a prequalification letter in the mail as a way to put you in the sales funnel for a company’s credit card.

Once you’ve achieved a fair credit score, it’s not a far step to reach the next level of credit scores where you’re likely to see competitive interest rates and better rewards.

Easy-Approval Cards for Good Credit (670+ Score)

This is where being approved for a credit card is much easier. Many more cards are available to people with good credit, and some issuers target consumers with credit scores of 670 or better with the hope that their first card at this level will be one they keep for a long time.

The online application process is the easiest part of getting a credit card with good credit. You may be immediately approved and will likely get better perks and rewards for using these cards.

GOOD CREDIT 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

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 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✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. 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
Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1%). Also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit, including U.S. gas stations, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Access to Global Assist Hotline - 24/7 medical, legal, financial and other select emergency assistance and coordination services
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening
  • $95 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

Having good credit means you’re less likely to be delinquent on a credit card account in the future. Credit card companies try to gain these good customers by offering rewards such as cash back, signup bonuses, and travel benefits, with no foreign transaction fees or annual fees, among other perks. You can also add family members to your card so you can rack up more rewards points.

Easy-Approval Business Cards

As an entrepreneur, one way to earn more rewards for your business expenses is to give a credit card to employees who make purchases for your company. Like many other credit card categories, some cards are meant specifically for business owners, including startups.

13. Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

This card is currently not available.

Business Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

14. Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is aimed at businesses with past credit challenges and for businesses with little to no business credit history. The card can help establish or rebuild business credit with Wells Fargo.

Wells Fargo Secured Credit Card

  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent
  • Earn 1 point on every $1 spent and receive $1,000 bonus points when your company spends $1,000 or more in any monthly billing period
  • $0 annual rewards program fee, but there is a $25 annual fee per card

The secured card’s credit line is $500 to $25,000, depending on how much money you deposit.

(The information related to the Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card has been collected by CardRates.com and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product or service.)

15. BBVA Secured Visa® Business Credit Card

The BBVA Secured Visa® Business Credit Card is another secured card aimed at new business owners. It is secured by a minimum opening deposit of $500 that can be increased at any time in $100 increments.

BBVA Secured Visa® Business Credit Card

  • No annual fee for the first year, then $40 per year
  • Available credit is 90% of your savings account balance
  • Free employee cards with set spending limits for each employee
  • Manage your account online and download 24 months of statements

The card is only available in Alabama, Florida, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, California, and New Mexico.

Easy-Approval Student Cards

Few students have credit histories. Credit providers know this and offer cards to students that often have flexible approval requirements, low fees, and student-centered perks to help them build good credit while in college.

You must at least 18 to get a credit card. If you’re 21, you don’t have to have a cosigner or independent income.

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.2/5.0
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • Earn $5 per month for 12 months on Select Streaming Subscriptions when you pay on time. *Exclusions Apply
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles (3% balance transfer fee applies)
  • Optional overdraft protection option helps prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America® checking account to your credit card. Transfer fees may apply.
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 billing cycles
0% for 12 billing cycles
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
None/Limited
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.4/5.0
  • Earn 25,000 bonus points ($250 value) if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere
  • No blackout dates or restrictions apply, and points never expire
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 12 billing cycles
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 billing cycles
N/A
14.99% - 22.99% Variable
$0
None/Limited

Of course, having a credit card as a student doesn’t mean you should use it for things you can’t afford. Using it wisely and paying the bill off each month will help you establish a good credit score, which is invaluable for life after college.

Easy-Approval Rewards Cards

This is where credit cards can get interesting. If your credit score is good enough to get you a credit card that offers rewards, then you can get free flights, hotel rooms, and cash back, among other perks. Some rewards credit cards are aimed at beginners, or those working their way back up the credit ladder, such as those below.

19. Discover it® Secured

This card is currently not available.

Secured Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® with Cash Back Rewards Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Qualified applicants will enjoy benefits including 1% cash back rewards on all purchases, no annual fee, and a competitive APR. Terms apply
  • CreditOneBank.com and the Credit One Bank mobile app makes it easy to access and manage all your account information and make payments whether you’re at home or on-the-go.
  • Zero Fraud Liability protects you if your card is ever lost or stolen. Rest easy knowing you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges.
  • Use your Apple device to make purchases securely through Apple Pay®. Apple Pay is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.
  • Keep an eye on your credit information with free online access to your Experian credit score. Terms apply.
  • Get access to billing statements online when you Go Paperless. Enjoy quicker access to your account documents without the hassle of having to wait ‘til they arrive in the mail.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% to 23.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Bad/Poor/Fair/Good

Be sure to determine if the value of the rewards outweigh any annual fees. And remember that paying interest on balances will make those perks less valuable.

Cash back is probably the best reward because you can spend it any way you want. But there are other ways to get the most out of rewards credit cards, such as using the card for all of your spending and knowing when your rewards points expire.

Easy-Approval Secured Cards

Secured credit cards use money you deposit into the account as collateral to secure the line of credit. They’re usually used by subprime borrowers or people with thin credit files.

Payments on secured credit cards are reported to the credit bureaus, so paying the bill on time each month and doing other things to improve your credit should help you establish a good credit profile.  All three cards below report payments to the credit bureaus.

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

at the issuer'ssecure website

SECURED 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
Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.7

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 and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
  • 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
  • Optional overdraft protection option helps prevent declined purchases, returned checks or other overdrafts when you link your eligible Bank of America® checking account to your credit card. Transfer fees may apply.
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99% Variable
$0
Bad/Limited
BankAmericard® Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.3/5.0
  • A secured credit card designed to help establish, strengthen or rebuild credit
  • 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
  • Your account will periodically be reviewed, and, based on your overall credit history (including other credit cards and loans), you may qualify to have your security deposit returned. Not all customers will qualify.
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
22.99% Variable
$0
Bad/Limited

If you don’t want to deposit money for a secured card, or can’t afford to, there’s another option to getting a credit card with the retail cards detailed below.

Easy-Approval Store Cards

If you frequent one retailer often, it can be worthwhile to get its credit card. Most store credit cards can only be used by the retailer it’s tied to. A big benefit is that cardholders can typically get discounts, such as 20% off or more on your first purchase with the card. Ongoing discounts may also be offered.

Retail cards are usually easier to apply for than typical credit cards and come with lower credit limits and higher interest rates. Store cards can also build credit since their payment history is generally reported to credit bureaus.

Fingerhut Credit Account Review

at Fingerhut'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.3

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Issuers Website
$0
Poor Credit

26. Amazon Store Card

The Amazon Store Card has special financing offers on all Amazon orders of $149 or more. You pay no interest if paid in full within six, 12, or 24 months as applicable.

Amazon.com Store Card

  • Join Amazon Prime and your card is automatically upgraded to the Amazon Prime Store Card, which gives 5% back on Amazon purchases
  • Zero fraud liability
  • No annual fee

Interest will be charged from the purchase date if the balance isn’t paid in full within the promotional period. Minimum monthly payments are required.

27. Target REDcard

If you often shop at Target, a Target REDcard offers 5% off every purchase online or in the store. Cardholders also get early access to special products and promotions.

Target REDcard

  • Free 2-day shipping at target.com on qualified purchases
  • Check your balance, make payments, and review statements online
  • 30 extra days to return purchases made with your REDcard
  • No annual fee

Applicants who don’t qualify for the Target REDcard may instead qualify for its debit card, which ties directly to your checking account.

FAQs About Easy-Approval Credit Cards

The lower your credit score is, the harder it is to be approved for a credit card with good rewards, a low interest rate, and no annual fee. Knowing which credit card you’re likely to be approved for before you apply for one can save you time and make approval easier. Keep in mind, however, that being pre-approved for a credit card doesn’t guarantee you’ll be approved for that card.

Credit cards for all kinds of credit scores and profiles are available, including unsecured cards for bad credit, secured cards for no credit, beginner cards for students, and even rewards cards. You’re bound to have a credit card match out there, you just have to narrow your options down from the hundreds available.

What is the Easiest Credit Card to Get?

The easiest credit card you can get depends on your credit score. The higher it is on the range of 300 to 850, the better chance you have of being approved. Even having no credit can be easy to get a secured credit card with if you’re willing to pay a deposit for a line of credit.

The cards we’ve listed above should be the easiest to get if you meet the criteria listed for each card. If you have a job and don’t use more than 30% of the credit limit available to you — called a credit utilization ratio — then you should be able to get some type of credit card.

If you don’t want to pay a security deposit for a secured credit card, look for an unsecured card that doesn’t have an annual fee or monthly maintenance fees.

Unsecured vs Secured Credit Cards

Remember, the easiest credit card to get is one that you have the best chance of being approved for. That’s why we made this list, so you can find a card that fits your credit score.

If you don’t know your credit score, go to annualcreditreport.com and request a free copy of your credit report every 12 months from each credit reporting company. Make sure all of the information on your reports is correct since wrong information can lower your score. Disputing incorrect information on a credit report is worth your time and can be done for free.

What Credit Cards Can I Get with Bad Credit?

You are considered to have bad credit if your credit score is between 300 and 579. You may still be able to get a credit card, though it won’t have the same benefits as cards aimed at consumers with good credit.

Expect to have a minimal credit line — as low as $200 — and no rewards, unless you go with a secured card that offers cash back, such as the Discover it® Secured. Some credit cards for people with bad credit do have high credit limits, however.

Here are some ways to improve your credit score with a credit card:

  • Use the card regularly so that there’s enough data to calculate a score.
  • Pay on time. Follow the monthly due date and this will increase your score more than anything else.
  • Pay the balance off each month. This will also increase your score and will save you money by not paying interest on a monthly balance.
  • Keep your credit utilization low, to about 7% if possible. It should be no higher than 30% of your credit limit.
  • Read your statements carefully to track charges and accuracy. If something is wrong, resolve it quickly.
  • If you’ve just made a big charge, pay it off early before the bill comes so that it doesn’t affect your credit utilization.

Once you understand the five factors used to determine a credit score, it’s easier to manage credit to the best of your ability.

Can You Be Denied a Pre-Approved Credit Card?

If you’re getting credit card offers in the mail that say you’re pre-approved for a card, then it’s likely the credit card issuer has sent you a prescreened offer after it obtained a list of consumers who met its initial credit criteria from the credit bureaus.

This doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to be approved for that credit card. Your application may still be rejected based on updated information you provide and if anything has changed, such as your income, credit score, or other financial information.

Your approved credit limit and interest rate may also be affected based on the information you provide.

Why do I Need a Security Deposit for a Secured Credit Card?

Without a credit score (or a poor one), a creditor will likely consider you a high risk for an unsecured credit card — a card that doesn’t require a security deposit. To offset that risk, credit providers will require a security deposit to be paid in exchange for a secured credit card. It’s like loaning yourself money, though with an interest rate if you carry a balance.

Here are some other things to know about secured credit cards:

  • A $300 deposit is common, though they can range from $200 to $2,000 or more.
  • You’ll often be able to use 90% of the deposit as a credit line.
  • You may be able to add to the deposit to increase your credit limit.
  • The deposit will be refunded when you close the card, minus any balance due.
  • Just like other credit cards, secured cards are reported to credit bureaus and affect credit scores.
  • Pay on time and your credit score will likely increase.

You may wonder how a secured card is different from a debit or prepaid card. Debit and prepaid card usage aren’t reported to credit bureaus, so they do not appear on your credit reports and won’t affect your credit score. This is a big deal if your goal is to build credit.

How Do I Apply for a Store Card?

Store card applications are some of the easiest credit card applications around. More often than not, you’ll be asked by a store clerk at checkout if you’d like to apply for the store’s credit card.

Applying will often get you an immediate 20% discount or better, and it should only take minutes to be approved. It’s easy to get approved for a store card because the card will likely charge a higher interest rate — possibly as high as 30% — than a credit card that can be used anywhere.

Store cards can only be used at the store they’re affiliated with, though some may be tied to a group of stores. Store cards also often charge deferred interest.

Screenshot of Amazon.com Credit Card Special Financing Page

Watch out for deferred interest, which is charged by many store cards, including the Amazon.com Store Card.

This is often used to finance a large purchase, such as a furniture set, that you pay off over time. If you pay off the balance during the special financing period, you won’t have to pay any interest.

If you don’t pay it off during the special financing period, however, you’ll pay retroactive interest back to when you first made the charges on the card. This can be very expensive and is a good incentive to make monthly payments to pay it off in full before the financing period expires.

Many Cards are ‘Easy to Get’ if You Know Where to Apply

Applying only for the credit cards you know you qualify for is the key to being approved. Why waste your time applying for cards that you have little chance of being approved for and placing a hard inquiry on your credit report unnecessarily?

Here are some tips for applying for a card that’s right for you:

  • Bad credit score of 300-579: Look for cards that cater to people with bad credit. Don’t expect low interest rates and high rewards.
  • No credit or a student: If you’re in college, you should be able to find credit cards that cater to students. If you have no credit, consider starting with a secured credit card that requires a deposit to set your credit limit.
  • Fair credit score of 580-669: Fill out a pre-approval form online to see if you’re likely to be approved for a credit card in this range. Most cards offer these on the issuer’s website.
  • New business owner: If you’re just starting out and don’t have much revenue to show or lack business credit history, a secured business card may be the easiest to get in the beginning.
  • Rewards cards: You likely won’t get the best credit card rewards until your credit score is considered “good” at 670 or better. For lower scores, you’ll probably have to pay annual fees or higher interest rates to get rewards.

If everyone is still turning you away for credit, try a store credit card. Your activity will be reported to the credit bureaus and your credit score should improve over time. The Fingerhut Credit Account has minimal approval requirements and will allow you to make purchases with low monthly payments.

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