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Sometimes, our credit can take a dive, despite our best intentions. It can affect your ability to get one of the top credit cards, but the good news is that you could still be able to obtain a line of credit with the best unsecured credit card for you without paying a security deposit.
When you have bad or no credit, many credit card companies will require that you pay a deposit before extending a line of credit. These are known as secured credit cards. However, there are some credit cards that do not require a deposit called unsecured credit cards. Our editorial team has done the work to find the top offers based on factors like APR, card requirements, rewards, introductory offers, automatic reviews, and more.
If you're looking for credit cards for bad credit, these are the best unsecured credit cards of 2022.
You can receive Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit flat 1% cashback rewards on your everyday purchases, including gas and groceries. You can also receive extra cashback when you use your card to pay for your mobile phone and internet, as well as cable and satellite TV services. These rewards accompany a variable APR of 28.74%, which is a couple points lower than cards like the Petal 2 and QuicksilverOne credit card.
Credit One will periodically review your account to check for timely payment history, and it could lead to credit line increases, giving you more freedom to spend. You have the option to set your own payment date to best fit your schedule so you can help ensure on-time payments that will help boost your credit score over time. You will need to pay an annual fee, although it is discounted in the first year from $99 to $75.
The Capital One Platinum credit card comes with no annual fee to save you a few hundred dollars when compared to other cards like those from American Express. Interest is high with a variable APR of 29.99%, but Capital One will also automatically review your credit line as soon as six months to reevaluate your account terms. You will likely need fair credit for approval.
To help you improve your credit, you have free access to Capital One's CreditWise program that you can use to monitor your credit score. There is also $0 Fraud Liability included with your card membership.
The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards credit card comes with unlimited rewards that give you 1.5% cashback on all purchases you make. There are no restrictions or rotating categories, so you can buy what you want when you want with rewards that are issued as statement credits. The variable APR is high at 29.99%, but this is largely attributed to the fact that this card is unsecured and does not require a deposit. There is an annual fee, but it costs less than $40, a rarity among most cards with fees.
Like the Platinum card, Capital One offers an automatic account review usually within six months to assess your payment history and determine whether you are due for an increase in credit line. There is also free access to CreditWise for credit monitoring and a $0 Fraud Liability program should your card ever become lost or stolen.
With the Discover It Student Cash Back, a 0% introductory purchase APR makes it easier to save money on those big purchases in your first six months of having the card, then a variable APR of 17.74% - 26.74%. Discover is flexible with its requirements because this is a card designed for young adults that have not yet fully established their credit. Because of this, there is no annual fee and no credit score necessary to apply.
Despite the fact that this is a great starter credit for those with no credit, there are still rewards with 5% cashback on a quarterly rotating basis for categories like dining, groceries, gas, and Amazon purchases. The rotating categories are present upfront; from July through September, for example, it's 5% cashback at restaurants and PayPal, and from October to December its 5% cashback at Amazon.com and for digital wallets. All other purchases receive 1% cashback automatically without a time limit. There is also Cashback Match, which gives unlimited dollar-for-dollar matching of your total first-year cashback earnings.
The Petal 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa credit card is issued by WebBank, as a cashback rewards card for those with fair credit. Its APR starts low at 17.74% but can reach as high as 31.74%, depending on your total credit score. Credit lines begin at $300 and go all the way up to $10,000 total. However, what is most remarkable is the complete lack of fees that Petal 2 charges, skipping the typically high annual, balance transfer, and foreign transaction fees.
There are also unlimited rewards with up to 1.5% cashback, so you do not have to track categories or spending. There is 1% cashback when you spend and up to 1.5% with timely payments, plus 2% to 10% off select merchants. The way you spend matters, too, with up to 1.5% cashback when you swipe your card.
When shopping for the best unsecured credit card, there are several factors to consider. These are some of the ones we considered in our search for the best unsecured credit cards.
Take the time to seriously consider your needs before shopping and comparing your options for the best unsecured credit card for you.
The Capital One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit gets ZDNet's top pick for unsecured credit card for bad credit for 2022. In addition to receiving 1% cashback rewards on your everyday purchases, you can get extra cashback to pay mobile phone and internet, and cable and satellite TV services. What's more Credit One periodically reviews your account, and good payment history could lead to credit line increases.
Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit
$75 first year; $99 thereafter
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Discover it® Student Cash Back
0% (first six months); then 17.74% to 26.74% variable
Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card
17.74% to 31.74% variable
It can be overwhelming to sort between so many credit cards with all the different figures, percentages, and rewards. If you are looking for a new card, these are the ZDNet team's recommendations for the best unsecured credit cards of 2022.
Choose this card...
You want to give your credit a boost
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards
You want cashback rewards that do not run out
Discover It Student Cash Back
You want student rewards
Petal 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa
Do not have the credit for a credit card
Credit One Bank Platinum Visa
Rebuilding credit is your goal
Bad credit is a FICO score that is 579 or lower. While this question is subjective, the standard credit score ranges are the following:
740 - 799
670 - 739
580 - 669
579 and lower
While the FICO score is only one type of consumer credit score, the term is essentially synonymous with credit scores. The FICO score is derived from your credit reports sent to the three major credit bureaus. Factors such as bankruptcies, debt, and payment history are all taken into consideration.
The three major credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion.
A secured credit card is one that requires a deposit to fund your credit card. An unsecured card doesn't use a deposit but extends a line of credit that you repay over time.
Generally, the better your credit, the better your interest rate. The best unsecured credit cards of 2022 look at all credit types, including bad credit, so check to see what type of credit score is needed for your favorite unsecured credit card.
We've compiled the best starter credit cards to help you grow or rebuild your credit.
The best unsecured credit cards include options from leading financial institutions, such as Capital One and Chase. Ultimately, the best unsecured credit card for no credit all depends on your specific needs and financial goals.
Keep in mind that credit cards typically require credit to apply for them, but we all have to start somewhere. If you have no credit to show, you have options.
The short answer is yes, but secured credit cards are a better fit for people with fair credit. However, if you can't get approved for one, there are options for you with better odds.
If your FICO score is below 669 and you need to build credit, you can get an unsecured credit card for fair credit. Just know that you'll be subjected to higher interest rates and fees since they aren't backed by cash deposits.
To find the best unsecured credit cards of 2022, we reviewed many different credit cards. In our search, we found several options that may be worth your consideration.
To help round out your search, consider our picks for the best bankruptcy credit card, the best crypto credit card, and the best small business credit card for 2022.