[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
Credit cards with the best luxury perks and most valuable rewards require good or excellent credit. But if your credit doesn’t measure up, there are still plenty of options, and some credit cards still offer valuable rewards to people without good credit.
Here are four of our favorite rewards credit cards that don’t require good credit.
Rewards: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in spending per quarter; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: Discover will match the cash back you earn in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers; 10.99% APR for the first six months on balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: If you need a secured card with cash back, this is one of your best options. Plus, this card is available to consumers with poor, bad, or nonexistent credit.
For Less-Than-Perfect Credit: To open this secured card, you’ll need a security deposit of at least $200, and your initial credit limit will equal your initial deposit. After eight months, Discover will start reviewing your account and may refund your deposit. You’ll earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants and 1% cash back everywhere else, and Discover will match your first year’s cash back earnings dollar for dollar.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend much at gas stations and restaurants, this card isn’t as valuable.
2. SKYPASS Visa Secured Card
Rewards: One airline mile for every dollar spent on eligible purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: 5,000 bonus miles after your first purchase.
Annual Fee: $50
APR:Variable 17.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: Cardholders earn miles with participating airlines.
For Less-Than-Perfect Credit: You’ll need a minimum $300 security deposit to open this secured card. Every purchase earns one SKYPASS mile per dollar. You’re awarded 5,000 bonus miles upon your first purchase and 1,000 bonus miles every year you renew. Points are good for tickets and upgrades with SkyTeam partners, including AirFrance, Czech Airlines, Delta, and China Eastern.
Drawbacks: There’s a $50 annual fee, and the miles you earn can only be redeemed at 20 participating airlines.
Rewards: 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $39
APR: 24.99% (Variable) APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: A solid cash back rate on every purchase awaits consumers with fair credit.
For Less-Than-Perfect Credit: If your credit lands in the “fair” category, you can use this card to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Drawbacks: There’s a $39 annual fee.
Rewards: 1.5 miles per dollar spent on every purchase.
Sign-Up Bonus: Discover will match the miles you earn in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 13.74% - 24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfers APR.
Why We Picked It: If you have fair credit and love to travel, this card might be a good fit.
For Less-Than-Perfect Credit: The Discover it Miles card is available to those with fair credit and earns 1.5 miles per dollar on every purchase. Discover will match the miles you earn in your first year dollar for dollar. Miles can be used for any travel purchase, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, and more.
Drawbacks: If you don’t travel much, keep looking.
How to Choose a Rewards Card When You Don’t Have Good Credit
When you don’t have good credit, your primary goal should be to improve it. To build your credit using a credit card, you should maintain a low balance, make payments on time, and keep your account open.
You’ll need to choose between a secured or unsecured card. Secured cards do require an upfront security deposit, but they are available through major credit card companies and are usually designed to help build credit. If you have bad credit, it’s more difficult to find an unsecured rewards card through a nationally known credit card issuer.
Make sure to choose a card that rewards the types of purchases you tend to make and provides rewards that you’ll actually use.
Be careful, though: some cards for people with bad credit have predatory policies, which can make it more difficult for you to rebuild your credit. Check out our list of warning signs so you know what to avoid.
What Credit Score Will I Need?
Credit cards for people without good credit don’t have the strictest credit requirements and are available to people with credit scores below 700. However, your approval is still not guaranteed and your application could still be rejected. Before you apply, you can check your credit score for free at Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Discover it Secured, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Card, and the Discover it Miles Credit Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for either of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.