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

Easy Credit Cards To Get Approved For With No Deposit in 2022

Easy Credit Cards To Get Approved For With No Deposit

credit card advice

Ashley Dull

Written 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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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

The key to finding easy credit cards to get approved for with no deposit is to only look for unsecured credit cards. Just as with traditional loans, an unsecured credit card requires no deposit or upfront cash for approval.

Like a secured loan, a secured credit card requires collateral to secure your account against default. In this case, your collateral is a cash security deposit that typically determines your card’s spending limit.

We’ve compiled a list below of unsecured credit cards you can likely qualify for, even if you have fair credit, limited credit, or poor credit. These cards don’t require a deposit, and you can apply for the card of your choice and receive a credit decision in a matter of minutes.

Unsecured Credit Cards With No Deposit Required

You can access the online application for every unsecured card below by clicking on the card’s name or the Apply Now button. Each application takes only minutes to complete, and you can receive instant approval from the card issuer if you qualify.

Some cards charge an annual fee that’s deducted from your available credit limit when you activate your card, but none require a security deposit for approval.

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*

Many consumers choose the Surge® Platinum Mastercard® because it has flexible acceptance standards and typically offers higher initial credit limits than the average credit card for bad or limited credit history.

With this card, you can potentially double your credit limit simply by making your first several payments on time. You can easily submit your payment via your online dashboard by linking your checking account or other bank account.

Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank’ssecure website

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified with no impact to your credit score
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
See Terms
Bad, Fair, or No Credit

The Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® also allows new cardholders to double their available credit line when they make multiple consecutive on-time payments after opening their account. This is a great way to build credit with a reputable credit card company.

Reflex also allows you to prequalify for any of its credit cards without harming your credit score or leaving a hard inquiry on your credit report with any of the major credit bureaus. This provides peace of mind that you’ll likely qualify before you apply for the card.

Indigo® Unsecured Mastercard® - Prior Bankruptcy is Okay Review

at Indigo® Mastercard®’ssecure website

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Pre-qualifying today will not affect your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit histories can qualify, even with prior bankruptcy!
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$0 – $99
Fair/Good

The Indigo® Unsecured Mastercard® – Prior Bankruptcy is Okay has very forgiving approval standards — even going so far as to approve applicants with recent bankruptcies on their credit report. Whether you’re looking for a good starter credit card or you’re building credit after previous financial mistakes, this card may be right for you.

Not only will Indigo provide a competitive interest rate on its cards, but it will report your account history to the three major credit bureaus. This helps you build credit faster without worrying about paying for a pricey security deposit with a secured card.

Milestone® Mastercard® - Less Than Perfect Credit Considered Review

at Milestone Mastercard®’ssecure website

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • Prequalify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Protection from fraud if your card is stolen
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S
  • *Dependent on credit worthiness
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$35 – $99
Poor/Bad

The Milestone® Mastercard® – Less Than Perfect Credit Considered is one of three offerings the card issuer has for consumers with a less-than-perfect credit history. By submitting a single prequalifying form on the bank’s website, you can get a better idea of which card fits your needs.

If you qualify for this card, you’ll receive instant approval and get access to your full credit line — minus the annual fee — once your card arrives in the mail within seven to 10 business days.

Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit Review

at Indigo® Mastercard®’ssecure website

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★

4.4

OVERALL RATING

  • Pre-qualify for a card today and it will not impact your credit score
  • Less than perfect credit is okay
  • Mobile account access at any time
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.9%
$0 – $99
Bad, Poor Credit

Indigo’s second appearance on this list shows how the card issuer truly specializes in creating unsecured credit card products for consumers who are focused on building credit without the upfront costs of a secured card.

The Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit comes with a variable annual fee that’s based on your credit history. If your credit score falls within Indigo’s acceptable range, you may not have to pay an annual fee. 

Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Mastercard® Review

at Merrick Bank’ssecure website

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★

4.3

OVERALL RATING

  • Credit lines range from $550-$1,350 which double to $1,100-$2,700 after your account qualifies. No security deposit required.
  • Double your credit line by making at least your minimum payment on time each month for the first 7 months your account is open.
  • See if you are pre-approved within minutes, without affecting your credit score.
  • Build or rebuild your credit. As you pay your bill every month, we report to all three major credit reporting agencies.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free each month.
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen. Access your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Get help staying on track with available Auto Pay and account alerts.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.20% to 30.20% Variable
$0-$72
See website for Details*

The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Mastercard® is a great tool for helping you build credit when you keep a low balance and credit utilization ratio. In less than a year, this card will potentially double your credit line once you make your first several payments on time.

This credit card company will also report your account information monthly to each credit bureau, which helps you work toward good credit with responsible use over time.

FIT® Platinum Mastercard® Review

at The Bank Of Missouri’ssecure website

UNSECURED RATING

★★★★

4.0

OVERALL RATING

  • $400 credit limit doubles to $800! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Initial Credit Limit of $400.00* (Subject to available credit)
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Use your card at locations everywhere Mastercard® is accepted
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
29.99%
See Terms
Fair/Poor/Bad

The FIT® Platinum Mastercard® is a good starter credit card because it offers a lower initial credit limit that allows you to get comfortable using credit without accruing a large amount of credit card debt. 

This unsecured card may double your credit limit after you make consecutive payments on time — a common feature among the cards on this list. 

What Makes a Credit Card Easy to Get Approved For?

Every credit card has different approval requirements. Some cards are designed solely for consumers who have perfect credit while others consider applications from people who have bad credit.

But, generally, cards that are “easy to get” have low income and credit score requirements.

The cards listed above are designed for consumers who have poor credit, limited credit, or are building credit. That means they’re more flexible when reviewing an applicant’s credit history and still approve people with past credit mistakes.

The easiest type of card to get approved for is generally a secured credit card that requires a refundable security deposit. Many secured credit cards don’t require a credit check to open your account. This is because your deposit acts as security in case you default on your credit card debt. 

Unsecured versus secured credit cards.

There are several types of secured cards — including secured Visa, secured Mastercard, and secured business credit card offerings. Most major banks offer secured cards, including Capital One, Citi, Discover, and Bank of America.

You may also want to consider secured cards from large banks that offer a portfolio of unsecured cards. That way you can build your credit score with the same bank and eventually graduate to an unsecured card that won’t require a new application or account change.

How Do I Apply For a Credit Card Online?

For customer convenience, banks offer online applications that take only minutes to complete and offer instant credit decisions for most consumers.

You can access the application for each card listed above by clicking on the link attached to the card name or the Apply Now button. The application will require basic identifying information — including your name, Social Security number, address (physical and email), phone number, and income.

Once you submit your application, the bank will use automated underwriting to make a credit decision within seconds.

If you’re approved, your screen will update with your new account information, which will include your account number and credit line. The bank will then invite you to create an online profile to manage your account. You can link your checking account or another bank account at that time to make future payments.

The bank will immediately process your account and print your new card. It will arrive in the mail within seven to 10 business days.

If the bank denies your application, it will mail you an adverse action notice that outlines the reasons why you were denied.

How Do I Use a Credit Card to Rebuild Credit?

Credit cards provide a great way to build credit because they help you develop a reputation for responsible financial behavior, which can replace previous negative items on your credit report.

Graphic of how to build credit with a credit card.

Your credit card issuer will report your balance and payment information to at least one credit bureau every month. The bureau collects all of this information and creates a profile under your name and Social Security number. 

This is your credit history, and credit scoring models (e.g., FICO and VantageScore) use this data to calculate your credit scores.

You may have a bad credit score if you’ve made past financial mistakes that left negative marks on your credit report. Adding new, positive data to your report pushes the negative items further down your credit report. Your credit score favors more recent data over older information — so current credit card data will carry more weight than older data.

If you keep your balance low and make all of your payments on time, you’ll continue to add positive information to your credit report. Over time, this will overtake the negative items and leave you with a more favorable credit report and an improved credit score.

But just one little slip up, such as a single late payment, can quickly shave as many as 100 points off your credit score and undo all of your hard work to rebuild your credit score.

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

There’s no magical credit score number that you need to get guaranteed approval credit cards. That’s because every credit card company has its own standards for acceptance — and none will publicize what those standards are.

Remember that your credit score is just one of several factors that determine your creditworthiness. Someone who has very good credit may still have their application rejected if they have too much debt and too little income to afford a new loan.

On the other hand, someone with bad credit may have no trouble finding approval if they have little debt and enough income to support the added credit card debt.

Average credit card APRs by credit score.
There is no set minimum credit score for approval, but your credit score will affect the interest rate you receive.

A credit card company will also look more closely at your recent financial history than it will at past information. For example, a late payment from three months ago will cause far more damage to your credit score than one from three years ago.

Before you apply for a credit card, you should access your free annual credit report to see any recent and potentially damaging data listed. If so, you may want to hold off on your application until you can push those items further down your history and replace them with positive information.

What Credit Limit Will I Get With a New Card?

Your credit limit will vary based on the card you qualify for and your credit score.

Some cards start all new cardholders with the same credit limit. The FIT® Platinum Mastercard®, for example, starts with a $400 credit line. There’s no way around that.

Other cards offer a range that’s based on your credit history. Consumers with very good credit will often qualify for a higher credit line compared with someone who has bad credit and poses a greater risk.

Most credit cards also have a maximum allowed credit line that typically is not publicized. Rarely does a bank start a new cardholder with the maximum allowable credit line. 

Based on your credit history and the bank you qualify with, you may find that your initial credit line can range anywhere between $250 and $100,000 or more.

Can I Get a Credit Card Without a Credit Check? 

You’ll need to submit to a credit check when applying for an unsecured credit card that requires no deposit. Without a deposit, the issuing bank has no recourse if you default on your debt. As a result, the bank will require a look at your credit history to gauge your level of risk.

A few secured credit card offerings won’t require a credit check. Instead, the issuing bank will use your refundable security deposit as a backup in case you don’t repay your debt. The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card and Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card are two options that currently do not require a credit check during the application process.

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

at the issuer’ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★

4.4

OVERALL RATING

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

While these guaranteed approval credit cards may seem more convenient during the application process, they come with drawbacks. For example, a card that doesn’t require a credit check may also charge higher fees and interest to offset any risks associated with extending credit to someone who has bad credit. 

Your credit score seldom affects your approval odds with most secured card issuers. That means you shouldn’t choose a card simply because it skips the credit check process. Instead, you should always look at a card’s fee structure and interest rate to determine which offering is best for you.

How Long Does it Take To Get a New Credit Card in the Mail?

Once approved, you’ll typically receive your new credit card in the mail within seven to 10 business days. Banks need this time to finalize your account, print your new card, and send it to you.

Few cards allow you access to your credit line before your card arrives. But once you retrieve your card from your mailbox, you can activate it online or over the phone and begin using your credit line right away.

Woman looking at a phone and a credit card.
You should receive your card in about a week, after which you’ll need to call or go online to activate it. You can then begin using it immediately.

Keep in mind that the issuing bank will likely charge your annual fee or any setup fees to your card as soon as you activate the account. This means your initial credit line may decrease by the amount of the fees charged.

How Many Credit Cards Can I Have?

No rule limits how many credit cards you can have in your name — but some banks may limit the number of cards it will issue to an individual consumer.

This means you can have a couple — or a couple of dozen — credit cards in your wallet. The number of cards you have depends on your qualifications and whether a bank will accept your application for new credit.

The exception to this rule is Capital One, which limits consumers to having only two of its branded cards at a time. This rule does not apply to its co-branded cards, such as those with Saks and other department stores.

This rule went into effect in 2011. Anyone who had more than one Capital One card in their name at that time was grandfathered into the rule.

The Chase 5/24 rule also limits the number of cards you can have from the bank. This rule states that if you have five or more new bank card accounts (credit or charge cards) opened within the last 24 months, you’ll most likely be rejected for a new Chase credit card even if you otherwise qualify.

Other banks may have rules that limit your eligibility for multiple cards. Other known policies include:

  • According to Wallethub, you can have an unlimited number of Citi credit cards, as long as you’re approved for each card.
  • According to UpgradedPoints.com, you can have up to five American Express credit cards at a time. This includes business credit cards but does not include charge cards, such as the The Platinum Card®.
  • Multiple sources report that you can have an unlimited number of Bank of America credit cards.
  • According to ValuePenguin, Discover limits consumers to no more than two of its cards at a time.

Remember that you can often work around this rule by canceling a card account and applying for a new card with the same issuing bank. Just keep in mind that canceling a card account may impact your credit score, and some banks make you wait for a while after canceling an account before you can apply for a new one.

Check with the bank to clarify its rules before you apply for, or cancel, any card account.

How Do I Choose the Best Card For Me?

There’s so much more that goes into a credit card beyond the interest rate and credit limit. Although those are important details, it’s often the only thing that consumers look at when comparing cards.

That would be like buying a car and only checking the oil level to determine whether it’s in good working condition.

A card may advertise high potential credit limits but only offer lower limits to new cardholders. On the other hand, a card may sport a very low interest rate, but tack on a sky-high annual fee, setup fee, or other charges.

If you frequently travel overseas, you may want to consider a card’s foreign transaction fee that will increase the total cost of any purchase you make with the card in another currency.

Woman choosing a credit card among several options.
Having a purpose for the card, such as traveling overseas or using it to finance a large purchase, can help you narrow down your options.

You should also inspect the balance transfer fee if you’re looking to move over any existing debt from a card that has a higher interest rate. Your cash advance fee and interest rate are important if you regularly withdraw cash from your card account at a bank teller window or through an ATM.

If you have a large purchase looming in the near future, consider a card that offers a 0% APR promotion for new cardholders. You can also consider any cash back, bonus points, or miles rewards that your card may give you for eligible purchases. But the best rewards and APRs are reserved for consumers with good credit.

These are the makings of a great credit card. But what’s good for one consumer may not work with another person. Make a list of what matters to you, and then narrow down your list of potential cards based on those factors.

Find Easy Credit Cards To Get Approved For With No Deposit Online

It’s great to avoid a security deposit when you’re adding a new credit card to your wallet. But sometimes you avoid a security deposit but still run into other fees —  including an annual fee, a high interest rate, or other charges — that cost you just as much. 

Make sure that your card limits its fees so you don’t end up paying more than you should for access to credit. With the easy credit cards to get approved for with no deposit listed above, you’ll keep your fees at a minimum while helping increase your credit score. 

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