The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Saturday, May 18, 2024

9 No-Credit Credit Cards with Instant Approval (May 2024)

No Credit Credit Cards With Instant Approval
Ashley Fricker

Written by: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. 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. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro

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

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Reviewed by: Danielle Spurlin

Danielle Spurlin
Danielle Spurlin

With more than 10 years of accounting experience, Danielle Marshall has a deep understanding of many financial disciplines, including personal and commercial lending, retirement annuities, financial forecasting, and general bookkeeping. She has a bachelor's degree from the University of Florida's Fisher School of Accounting and currently manages all accounts receivable and payable for the parent company of CardRates.com. She works directly with credit card issuers and advertising partners to ensure our content meets compliance expectations and regulatory standards.

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Advertiser Disclosure

When a financial emergency strikes, credit cards with instant approval can help you get things under control quickly. While you may not have immediate access to your card details to make a purchase, instant approval means that you can get your card mailed to you soon after approval.

Fortunately, people with bad credit or no credit and who need to get a credit card quickly have a lot of options. Several lenders offer credit cards to students, people with little or no credit history, and even people with bad credit. 

Here are the best options for instant approval credit card products on the market.

Unsecured Cards With Instant Approval Decisions

When most people think of a credit card, they think of an unsecured credit card. Unsecured cards have a preset credit limit and don’t require a security deposit or other guarantee for the credit you use. While most banks and credit card companies offer unsecured cards to people with good or excellent credit, a few work with borrowers who have bad credit or no credit.

Instant approval is a convenient service that some credit card companies offer, but it’s important to know what that means. Instant approval is not the same thing as guaranteed approval. The term just means that you’ll have an answer on your application in a matter of minutes, rather than days or weeks.

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you’re approved in seconds
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Help build your credit through responsible use of a card like this
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free for everyone
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One’s mobile app
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
29.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a solid introductory unsecured credit card for people with limited credit. It doesn’t provide cash back, but the card does have features associated with a mainstream credit card account, available to newcomers. It has fewer of the restrictions associated with no credit credit cards with instant approval, and a competitive interest rate and fees.

If you’re trying to build a credit history, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card offers strong features and benefits to help you along the way. Credit monitoring with CreditWise, balance transfer transactions, and automatic credit line reviews all help you manage your credit history in different ways. Periodically, Capital One automatically checks your eligibility for a credit limit increase after account activation, and keeping your bills paid on time can help you build your credit score.

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or limits to how much you can earn, and cash back doesn’t expire for the life of the account. It’s that simple
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
29.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited

If you want to earn cash back while you’re building credit, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a very good option. While the rate of cash back you get isn’t as high as that of some other credit card products, the cash back is unlimited on all eligible purchases.

Your cash back rewards can be used as statement credits to lower your balance, payment for individual purchases, or even gift cards. In addition to earning money back, Capital One offers automatic credit line reviews and fraud protection, as well as no foreign transaction fees. You can also get some help as you build credit through Capital One’s CreditWise program, which gives you access to your credit scores and report.

Milestone® Mastercard® Review

at Milestone Mastercard®’ssecure website

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★

4.5

OVERALL RATING

  • Greater access to credit than before – $700 credit limit
  • Get a Mastercard accepted online, in store and in app
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • $0 liability* for unauthorized use
  • Access your account online or from your mobile device 24/7
  • *Fraud protection provided by Mastercard Zero Liability Protection. If approved, you’ll receive the Mastercard Guide to Benefits that details the complete terms with your card.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See terms
See terms
Fair/Good

If you want a basic card that gives you standard features but you have poor credit or no credit, the Milestone® Mastercard® provides the essentials without a lot of confusing extras. The card has a variable annual fee, but there’s no monthly maintenance charge. 

One thing that sets the Milestone® Mastercard® apart from other products in this space is the fact that the card issuer invites people with a history of bankruptcy to apply. While balance transfer transactions aren’t an option with this card, the Milestone® Mastercard® can help people rebuild credit or build credit from the start. 

PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard® Credit Card Review

at PREMIER Bankcard®’ssecure website

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★

3.9

OVERALL RATING

  • PREMIER Bankcard credit cards are for building credit.
  • Start building credit by keeping your balance low and paying all your bills on time each month.
  • When you need assistance our award-winning US-based Customer Service agents are there to help.
  • Credit Limit Increase Eligible after 12 months of consistent responsible account management.
  • We report monthly to the Consumer Reporting Agencies to help you build your credit.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Provider Website
See Provider Website
Fair/Poor

Whether you have no credit, fair credit, or poor credit, the PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard® Credit Card offers a chance to build your history and credit reputation. The card doesn’t have as many bells and whistles as some other products, but the setup fee and annual fee may be waived in the first year for people who start with a low credit line.

In addition to the usual perks that come with an instant approval credit card for no credit, the PREMIER Bankcard® Mastercard® Credit Card also offers cash advance transactions. Be careful, however: The cash advance APR can be quite steep. The bank reports to each credit bureau, which helps you build credit within a matter of months (See Provider Website for full Terms & Conditions).

Secured Cards with No Credit Checks

The following cards come with a guarantee of approval because they don’t require a credit check to be approved. Secured credit card products require a deposit, which the credit card company holds as a security for your credit. It cannot be used to pay your bill. 

These cards are a good option for people with bad credit who have the money to pay the initial deposit because they don’t require the hassle of a credit check. Since approval is guaranteed, these cards are a good choice for rebuilding credit through good financial habits.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Review

at Capital Bank N.A.’ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • New feature! Earn up to 10% cash back* on everyday purchases
  • No credit check to apply. Zero credit risk to apply!
  • Looking to build or rebuild your credit? 2 out of 3 OpenSky cardholders increase their credit score by an average of 41 points in just 3 months
  • Get free monthly access to your FICO score in our mobile application
  • Build your credit history across 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
  • Add to your mobile wallet and make purchases using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay
  • Fund your card with a low $200 refundable security deposit to get a $200 credit line
  • Apply in less than 5 minutes with our mobile first application
  • Choose the due date that fits your schedule with flexible payment dates
  • Fund your security deposit over 60 days with the option to make partial payments
  • Over 1.4 Million Cardholders Have Used OpenSky Secured Credit Card To Improve Their Credit
  • *See Rewards Terms and Conditions for more information
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
25.64% (variable)
$35
Poor

The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn’t run a credit check during the application process. While your credit history doesn’t come into play, you will have to provide your Social Security number and other identifying details, and pay an annual fee. 

Your security deposit serves as your credit line. OpenSky reports to each major credit bureau, so you can build credit by paying on time and keeping your credit utilization low. OpenSky also offers its members informational and educational resources, as well as an online community with whom to share experiences and advice. 

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

at the issuer’ssecure website

SECURED RATING

★★★★★

4.6

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

If you’re in need of a credit card, the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card makes it very easy to get one. The card requires no credit check, and as soon as your application is approved and your security deposit is in, an instant card number lets you access your account right away on the same day.

While the Applied Bank® Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® Credit Card has a lower interest rate than most other products on this list, there isn’t a grace period on interest charges. But you keep that rate, even if you pay late. Paying on time and maintaining a low balance helps you build credit because Applied Bank reports to the credit bureaus from the very first month.

Student Cards with Instant Approval Decisions

Students entering their first years as an adult often struggle due to their lack of credit history. Mainstream banks and credit card companies hesitate to take a risk on people with little or no credit history, so it can be hard to earn a creditor’s trust. 

But some credit card companies specifically work with students and other borrowers who have little or no history on their credit reports. Credit cards geared toward students usually only require proof of income for approval, and often come with most, if not all, of the same benefits as their non-student counterparts. Some even come with specific perks for student populations.

Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

at Discover Card’ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – 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 cash back 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 you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • No credit score required to apply.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • 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 18.24% – 27.24% applies.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 6 months
10.99% Intro APR for 6 months
18.24% – 27.24% Variable APR
$0
Fair/New to Credit

Discover has a well-founded reputation as a credit card company for credit newcomers, with products like the Discover it® Student Cash Back. The card doesn’t require perfect credit or even good credit for approval, and it offers cash back on everyday purchases.

Students also gain access to Discover’s benefits and services. Discover doesn’t offer an instant credit card number upon approval, but does help students build good credit history while earning cash back rewards.

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), with 1% on all other purchases
  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card proves that people who are new to credit don’t have to settle for the bare minimum features. The card earns unlimited cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and purchases at many grocery stores. 

In addition to the cash back benefits, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers live event benefits and access to Capital One experiences. Students can build credit responsibly while enjoying benefits usually reserved for those with a better credit history.

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees
  • Lock your card in the Capital One Mobile app if it’s misplaced, lost or stolen
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

Another rewards-driven credit card product, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card provides unlimited flat-rate cash back on eligible purchases. With no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, the card is a great option for students looking to build credit.

In addition to unlimited cash back rewards that never expire for the life of the credit card account, Capital One offers students a wide range of benefits and services, including concierge, travel insurance, and shopping tools. 

What Does It Mean to Have No Credit?

The short answer to this question is that “no credit” means you have no credit history. About 20% of American adults have no credit score, which makes it more difficult to get a loan or credit card, or even a business credit card.

Each major credit bureau compiles a record of a borrower’s credit activity, which includes how many loans you have taken out and paid back, how many credit cards you have and their balances, and other borrowing behavior. It also includes identifying information such as your current and previous addresses taken from public records. All of this data is used to form your credit score.

But if you’re a young adult, new to the country, or just haven’t used any credit products (like credit cards, loans, etc.), you don’t have any credit history for the credit bureau to base its score on. This can cause some hesitancy with credit card issuers and lenders because your lack of history means they can’t predict how diligent you’ll be at paying off loans or credit card balances.

A laptop and a credit card.
No credit score means you don’t yet have a credit history with the credit bureaus from which a score can be determined.

Having no credit isn’t the same thing as having bad credit, however. A low credit score comes from negative marks on your credit report: late payments, defaults, bankruptcy, or high levels of debt compared to your income can all contribute to lower scores. 

While both bad credit and no credit can make it harder to get a loan or credit card approved, it is easier to build credit than to repair bad credit. 

Several credit card companies and lenders work specifically with people who have little or no credit history, as well as with people who have bad credit. By finding the no-credit credit card that best suits your needs, you can start building credit and working toward gaining the trust of credit companies.

What Is a No-Credit Credit Card?

Also known as starter credit cards, a no-credit credit card is one that doesn’t require good credit history for approval. While some no-credit credit cards are specifically for those without a credit history at all, many cards of this type are equally good for people with bad credit.

Starter credit cards tend to have lower credit limits and more restrictions from the credit card company. The credit terms also tend to be stiffer compared with those for a mainstream credit card account: Don’t be surprised if you see a steep interest rate. 

The good news is that rates and fees for no-credit credit cards tend to be more relaxed than the terms for a bad credit account.

Woman choosing from among several credit cards.
A credit card for no credit is simply a card you can get approved for without a credit score.

Some no-credit credit cards do come with specific conditions: Student cards may require proof of enrollment at a college, university, or trade school. For secured credit card products, you have to supply an initial refundable deposit, which generally also provides your line of credit. 

Along with credit-builder loans and store-issued credit cards, no credit credit cards with instant approval can help people build credit history. While the card issuer you apply with will probably still check your credit, the guidelines for approval are much more forgiving.

How Do I Receive Instant Approval For a Credit Card?

While the term “instant approval” may seem to mean that approval is guaranteed, that isn’t the case. No-credit credit cards with instant approval give you an answer in minutes rather than days or weeks, but that answer may not be a yes. 

Instant approval simply means that the credit card company gives you an answer quickly. Some banks and card companies do this by prequalifying people before they apply and are extended a formal offer. Other companies that cater to people with bad credit or no credit put applicants through a brief prequalifying step in the application process.

Technology makes it easy for many credit card companies to conduct a soft credit check on every applicant before they reach the final steps of the process. That gives the companies at least some idea of the level of risk an applicant presents. 

Of course, the final application involves a hard credit check that uses your Social Security number and verifying details, such as bank account information. That’s where final approval or denial can occur.

How Do I Use the Card to Build a Credit History?

If you want to build credit, managing a credit card account is a major step in the right direction. Building credit with an instant approval credit card is a matter of showing creditors that you’re a good risk: that you’re responsible, pay your bills on time, and don’t take on too much debt at one time.

First, it’s important to choose the right credit card for your situation. With no credit history, your options are more limited compared with the choices people with good or excellent credit may have. If you have bad credit, your options are even more limited. 

How to build credit with a credit card.

The good news is that credit card products exist for almost every credit level, and a little research can steer you to the right card for your needs. By choosing a card that fits your situation, you can avoid the frustration of a declined application.

Once you’ve received your card, try to keep your credit utilization under about 30% of your line of credit. For example, if your credit limit is $1,000, try not to maintain a balance over $300. 

While overall credit utilization considers all your credit accounts, it’s a good idea to stick with fewer accounts (or even just one account) if your goal is to build credit.

Finally, make payments consistently and on time. If you’re able to pay off the balance in full every month, you’ll save yourself a lot of interest charges. Paying off your balance in full before the statement closes can also help you keep your credit utilization ratio under control. 

But even if you only make the minimum monthly payment — and make the payment on time — you’ll start to build credit. Late payments can have a very negative impact on your credit history, and on-time payments can help build your credit reputation fairly quickly.

By keeping your credit utilization under control and paying on time, you can expect to begin seeing a positive turn in your credit history within about six months. 

What Is the Easiest Card to Get Approval For?

A secured card is the best option if you want to increase your chance of having your application approved. Secured credit cards like the two in this list are almost guaranteed approval because you provide a security deposit for the credit line. 

A secured credit card is a lower risk for both the card issuer and the borrower.

Unlike a prepaid card or a debit card, a secured credit card allows you to maintain a revolving balance and pay over time. Another key benefit to a secured card is the fact that the credit card company will report your payment history to at least one major credit bureau to help you build credit. 

Typically, secured credit card products have minimal requirements (such as a bank account and sometimes minimum monthly income), and many also have easy methods to increase your line of credit whenever you want. All you have to do, in most cases, is deposit more cash into your security deposit and your credit line increases.  

If you’re rebuilding credit or building credit for the first time and want a guarantee of approval and no credit check, a secured credit card is your best option.

What Credit Limit Can I Expect?

If you have bad credit or no credit history, the credit card company will start you with a limited credit line. The credit limit you start with depends on a few factors, including whether you have an unsecured credit card or a secured credit card. Other factors usually include your income, existing debt, and payment history.

Average credit card limits by score.
Cards for no credit usually begin with limits of around $1,000 or less.

The range for an instant approval credit card for bad credit or no credit borrowers starts at about $300 and can reach up to $1,000 or so. The initial credit line is lower for people who have a negative credit history or a high debt-to-income ratio. For people with no credit but a high income, a higher credit limit is more likely.

If you choose a secured credit card product, you can often increase your credit line at any time, but the initial credit limit can vary in the same $300 to $1,000 range. 

Options Abound For No-Credit Credit Cards With Instant Approval

For people with a bad credit history or no credit history, the process of getting a credit card can seem daunting. But finding credit cards with instant approval is much easier than it seems. 

Many banks and credit card companies serve people with limited credit and negative marks on their credit reports. While building credit and rebuilding credit take time, finding a good card that offers the benefits you need, an interest rate you can live with, and a credit limit that helps you bridge the gap is possible. 

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.