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Easiest Credit Card to Get For Every Credit Score

5 min read
Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Jul 03, 2018 | Updated Mar 27, 2020

Whether you have always paid with cash or have made past credit mistakes, like missing payments, you might be tempted to eschew credit cards forever.

But credit cards are actually excellent tools for establishing or rebuilding credit.

And though you probably won’t qualify for one with all the bells and whistles (yet!), we’ve compiled a list of the easiest credit cards to get.

Easiest For Card Name
Limited or No Credit History
Bad Credit
Average or Fair Credit
Balance Transfers
Students
Business Owners

What Are the Easiest Credit Cards to Get?

Long story short: the easiest credit card to get depends on your creditworthiness.

When you apply for a credit card, the card issuer will run a credit check as part of the application process.

It’ll obtain your credit history from one or more of the major credit bureaus, and will also review factors that aren’t on your credit reports (like your income).

If you have a strong credit history and income, you’ll probably qualify for several good options. But if you don’t, you’ll have to be a bit more selective about the cards you apply for.

To see which cards might be appropriate, you can check for pre-qualified card offers on the issuers’ websites. These offers are like invitations to apply — and your chances of getting approved are better than with other cards.

Easiest Credit Cards to Get for Limited or No Credit History

If you’re just starting out and haven’t yet established a credit history, choosing the right card for building credit may seem like a challenge. But there are still quite a few cards available to you.

The easiest cards to get are typically secured credit cards, which require refundable security deposits to fund their credit limits. There are unsecured cards designed for no credit history, which you should check out first, but generally speaking you’ll have an easier time qualifying for secured cards, as they typically have low credit score requirements.

Certain card issuers will even conduct periodic automatic reviews that qualify cardholders for card upgrades if they’ve shown consistent responsible use with a secured credit account.

Some issuers, like Deserve, provide unsecured cards specifically for people with limited or no credit. Deserve will check more than the usual factors to determine your creditworthiness, like your education and career path.

When applying for cards like these you’ll have a better chance of approval if you’re well-paid and have good job prospects. This can show the issuer that you’ll be more likely to pay back your debts on time, even if you don’t yet have a credit history.

Insider tip

Take note that Deserve will need to connect to your bank account to verify your balance. If you have privacy or security concerns this might worry you, but it seems logical because Deserve bases its decision on more than just an applicant’s credit history.

Consider the following cards if you have limited or no credit. We’ve included the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® (Review) because it doesn’t require you to actually be a student, despite the name. And be sure to check out the easiest credit cards to get for bad credit below, as those cards could also be good options for your credit level.

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Platinum Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Easiest Credit Cards to Get for Bad Credit

Unfortunately, credit cards for people with bad credit (roughly a FICO Score 8 below 579) generally have low credit limits and high interest rates.

So, if you have poor credit, the easiest credit card to get is likely a secured credit card, which requires a refundable security deposit equal to the amount of the credit limit. Say you want a credit limit of $500 — you’ll need to give the issuer a $500 deposit.

If you want a higher line of credit, you may need to pay an additional deposit. It’s also worth noting that some secured cards charge annual fees.

Despite those downsides, secured credit cards are a great way to build your credit, because payments and other card activity go on your credit reports. (That’s in stark opposition to debit cards, which don’t build credit at all.)

You can still, however, get denied for a secured card. As an alternative, consider boosting your credit with a credit builder loan first, and then applying for a credit card later.

Discover it® Secured

Discover it® Secured

Our rating
Min. credit levelBad
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRSee Terms

The information related to Discover it® Secured has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelBad
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Secured Mastercard® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

DCU Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelBad
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.75% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Extended Warranty
  • Travel Insurance
  • Build credit with this card and graduate to a better one
  • No cash advance fee
  • No annual fee
Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Platinum Card

Green Dot primor® Secured Visa® Platinum Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$39
Regular APR19.99% Fixed
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Credit lines available from $200 to $1,000
  • Fixed 19.99% interest rate on purchases
  • No minimum credit score requirements
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use by reporting to three national bureaus
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0-$99
Regular APR24.9% Fixed
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
  • Previous bankruptcy OK
  • Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
  • Free online account access (mobile friendly)
  • Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
  • Accepted at over 35 Million Locations Worldwide!

Easiest Credit Cards to Get for Average or Fair Credit

If you have average or fair credit, you can move from secured cards (which require a deposit) to unsecured credit cards (which entrust you with a credit limit from the issuer, and often provide more compelling credit card offers all around).

After making sure you understand how credit cards work, visit our top picks for fair credit.

Insider tip

Retail store credit cards tend to be relatively easy to qualify for as well, making them targets for people who want to build their credit. Be sure to carefully inspect the terms of any store card you want to apply for, and follow the rules of responsible card use.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRSee Terms

The information related to Discover it® Cash Back has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$39
Regular APR26.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® credit card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.99–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • Earn an Introductory 3% Cash Back on all purchases in the first 12 months from Account opening, up to the first $10,000 in purchases
  • 10% Anniversary Bonus on all Cash Rewards earned once a year.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 14.99% – 24.99% variable APR.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Platinum Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Easiest Credit Cards to Get for Balance Transfers

Want to transfer a balance to a new credit card? It should come as no surprise that your likelihood of approval still comes down to creditworthiness.

If you’re approved for a balance transfer credit card, your credit limit will be based on your income and credit history. That being said, even if your new credit limit isn’t big enough to cover the whole balance you’d like to transfer, you could still save money by transferring a portion to the new card. On the other hand, you could also transfer balances from multiple high-interest cards to one card with a balance transfer offer as long as your credit limit is big enough to allow that.

See our top picks for balance transfer credit cards here, or browse balance transfer credit cards here.

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99%–25.99%.
  • $0 balance transfer fee. Balance transfers must be requested within 60 days from account opening.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The information related to Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card

HSBC Gold Mastercard® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR12.99–20.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 18 months from account opening. Then a variable APR of 12.99% – 20.99% will apply.
  • No Penalty APR.
  • Late Fee Waiver.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $0 Annual Fee.
  • $0 liability for unauthorized purchases.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
BankAmericard® Credit Card

BankAmericard® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.24%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 0% APR for purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.24%–25.24% Variable,
  • No balance transfer fee for the first 60 days; 3% fee (min $10) after that for all transfers
  • No annual fee
  • No penalty APR. Paying late won’t automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply
  • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.74% – 23.74% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% – 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% – 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balance, are paid in full.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® score online.
  • With Citi EntertainmentSM, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
  • Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable protection benefits, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.74% – 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Chase Slate®

Chase Slate®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR16.49%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Free DoorDash membership (DashPass; gets you free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12 and up) for three months, and then a 50% discount for the following nine months
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, 16.99%—25.74% variable APR.
  • No balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future transactions is 5% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.
  • Monitor your VantageScore 3.0 credit score, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • No annual fee.

Easiest Credit Cards to Get for Students

In addition to all the other things college students need to worry about — student loans, laundry, finals — smart financial habits are a must.

Even if you have little or no credit established, you might qualify for these special cards for students. Just make sure you take your new responsibility seriously, as mistakes you make now could haunt you for years. Or, if you make wise financial choices now, you can reap the benefits for years to come with valuable credit cards and low interest rates.

Deserve Edu Mastercard

Deserve Edu Mastercard

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR20.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • No SSN required for International students. Available to students (enrollment verification is required)
  • Amazon Prime Student Membership (get reimbursed for subscription fees up to a lifetime total of $59)
  • 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • Credit limits up to $5,000
  • $0 annual fee & no foreign transaction fees
  • No security deposit or co-signer required
  • Helps students build credit history and gain financial independence
  • Use anywhere in the world where Mastercard is accepted
  • Includes Mastercard Platinum Benefits like Car Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Roadside Assistance, Travel Assistance Services, Price Protection, Extended Warranty and ID Theft Protection
  • Complimentary cellphone insurance up to $600
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students

Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR16.24%–26.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • $200 cash rewards bonus for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • New Offer: Maximize your cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement /furnishings
  • Now earn 3% cash back in your choice category and 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • You can update your choice category for future purchases once each calendar month using the Mobile banking app or Online banking, or do nothing and it stays the same.
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 16.24%–26.24% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers.
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% – 75%. Click “Apply Now” to learn more about Preferred Rewards.
  • Now with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals
  • No annual fee
Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRSee Terms

The information related to Discover it® Student Cash Back has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.49% - 24.49% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • The Citi Rewards+SM Student Card – the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase – with no cap
  • Earn 2,500 bonus points after you spend $500 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for a $25 gift card at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 7 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49% – 24.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.49% – 24.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
  • No annual fee

The information related to Citi Rewards+ Student Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Easiest Credit Cards to Get for Business Owners

Unless you’ve already established credit separately for your business, most credit card companies will require you to have great personal credit before they’ll issue your business a credit card.

For people with fair credit, there aren’t many business cards, but the Capital One® Spark® Classic (Review) is one good option. You may also be able to get a secured business credit card, which requires a deposit.

The CreditStacks Mastercard (Review) is a bit different, designed specifically for professionals who are relocating to the U.S. (although anyone is welcome to apply). It doesn’t require an SSN to apply, but you’ll need to provide one later.

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

CreditStacks Mastercard

CreditStacks Mastercard

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRPrime + 12.24%
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • May be helpful for professionals who recently started a new job in the U.S., without a traditional credit history
  • No credit scores or SSN required to apply (SSN required within 60 days of card activation, or at time of application for those living in the U.S. for at least a year)
  • Mastercard Priceless Cities and Airport Concierge perks
  • Online travel booking service
  • Shopping and travel protections, including cell phone protection
  • Credit limit up to $5,000
  • No annual fee (Rates & Fees)
  • Use this card responsibly to improve your credit over time
  • The CreditStacks Mastercard® is issued by WebBank pursuant to license by Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. WebBank, Member FDIC © 2019.

Easiest Credit Cards to Get for Excellent or Good Credit

When you have excellent credit, the world is your oyster. Not only will you have your pick of cards, you’ll usually receive a higher credit line and better terms.

Since there are so many options, we haven’t listed specific cards here — but you can choose from all types of cards, including:

How to Build Your Credit

Before applying for a credit card, you should be familiar with your credit scores and reports to see where you fall. (Here’s how to get a free credit score.)

Since credit scores indicate your creditworthiness, this information will help you see yourself from the credit card issuer’s perspective.

If your scores are not where you want them, work on building your credit. As we said, one of the best ways to do so is with smart use of credit cards: by paying your bills on time and in full every month.

Your credit card balances are reported to the credit bureaus each month and included on your credit reports, along with a report of whether you paid on time. A constant stream of timely monthly payments will show that you’re a responsible borrower, and can follow the terms of a loan. This helps you establish a positive credit history (and increases your scores).

To get your credit scores even higher, avoid maxing out your card. When you have more available credit, you have lower credit utilization — and higher scores.

Like everything in personal finance, the easiest credit cards to get depend on you and your situation (and, in this case, your credit reports). Find the card that works for you, pay your bill on time and in full, and enjoy watching your credit scores improve.

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At a glance

Whether you’re working with poor, average, excellent, or even no credit scores, choosing a card that caters to your credit situation can help maximize your approval odds.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, Capital One® Platinum Credit Card, Discover it® Secured, Capital One® Secured Mastercard®, Discover it® Cash Back, Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, Discover it® Student Cash Back, Citi Rewards+ Student Card, and Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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