The Best Credit Cards for No Credit

If you’ve never had any type of credit, it can be difficult to get approved for a credit card. This is simply because there’s no history for a credit card issuer to look at when you apply. In this instance, it’s best to focus specifically on credit cards designed for those of us with no credit.

The good news is that there are quite a few of these on the market to choose from. We reviewed dozens of credit cards for no credit, in order to identify the best of the best. We considered features such as whether a credit check was required, if there was an annual fee, and if a deposit was required. Of course, we also took into account the interest rate applied to your purchases.

Top Pick
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

This secured card has no annual fee, and a low deposit to secure your credit.

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Our Top Pick is the Capital One® Secured Mastercard®. There’s no credit history required for this secured credit card, and by placing a deposit of $49, $99, or $200, you can access a credit limit of $200.

The 5 Top-Rated Credit Cards for No Credit

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallCapital One® Secured Mastercard® 3.4
Runner UpDiscover it® Secured
4.1
Best No Credit Check Credit Card for No CreditOpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card2.5
Best No Annual Fee Credit Card for No CreditCiti® Secured Mastercard3.0
Best No Deposit Credit Card for No CreditDeserve® Edu Mastercard for Students 1.1

*Ratings are from CreditCards.com at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is designed to make applying for credit when you have no credit history a quick and easy process. While this credit card is secured, and requires a deposit, you can choose from 3 options. With a deposit f $49, $99, or $200, you can access a monthly credit limit of $200.

After making 5 monthly payments on time, you can apply for a higher credit limit, with no need to increase your deposit. This card reports to the 3 main credit bureaus, helping to build your credit history.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Key Features:

  • APR 26.99% (variable)
  • No annual fee
  • Online banking and mobile app compatible

Our Runner Up Pick:  Discover It® Secured Credit Card

Runner Up
Discover It® Secured Credit Card

This secured card has great cash back offers, and no annual fee.

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As our Runner Up, we selected the Discover It® Secured Credit Card. This card offers a range of great features, including 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% cashback on all other purchases.

You can choose a deposit of between $200 – $2,500, with the amount you deposit becoming your credit limit. After 8 months, your account will be reviewed and you can choose to transition to an unsecured credit card at this point.

Discover It® Secured Credit Card Key Features:

  • APR 25.24% (variable)
  • Balance transfer APR 10.99% for 6 months
  • No annual fee

Best No Credit Check Credit Card: OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Best No Credit Check Credit Card for No Credit
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

This credit card is our pick if you don’t want a credit check on your file.

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Our choice for the best no credit check credit card is the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card. OpenSky use your refundable deposit to match your credit limit on this card. Your deposit can start as low as $200. This card allows you to build your credit history in as little as 6 months.

OpenSky provides a Facebook community, credit tips, and a credit education page to help you reach your goals. While it doesn’t offer any rewards, this card is a great gateway to building your credit history.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card Key Features:

  • APR 19.64% (variable)
  • $35 annual fee
  • Deposit up to $3,000

Best No Annual Fee Credit Card for No Credit: Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Best No Annual Fee Credit Card for No Credit
Citi® Secured Mastercard®

With no annual fee, and free access to your credit score, this card is a great choice.

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The Citi® Secured Mastercard® is our choice for the best no annual fee credit card for no credit. The minimum security deposit is $200, and your credit limit will be equal to this deposit. This card also gives free access to your FICO credit score, so you can keep check on your credit score.

Auto Pay and account alert options mean you can keep an eye on your account, using either the website, or mobile app. After 18 months of on-time payments, you can ask for an account review and see if you’re eligible to upgrade to an unsecured card.

Citi® Secured Mastercard® Key Features:

  • No annual fee
  • APR 24.74% (variable)
  • Flexible payment due dates

Best No Deposit Credit Card for No Credit: Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

Best No Deposit Credit Card for No Credit
Deserve® Edu Mastercard

This card doesn’t need a deposit, and gives you 1% cash back on all purchases.

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It can be a challenge to find a no deposit credit card for no credit, but if you’re a student, there are far more possibilities. The Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students is our pick, and was also selected as “The best credit card for students” by Money Magazine in 2018.

There is no need for a security deposit, or for a co-signer for this card. The non-traditional approval process helps both resident and international students to start building their credit rating. As an added bonus, this card gives free access to Amazon Prime for Students, for one year.

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students Key Features:

  • No annual fee
  • APR 20.99% (variable)
  • 1% cashback on all purchases

Who Should Apply for a Credit Card for No Credit

If you’ve never applied for credit before, and you’ve got a plan for financing a car, or even applying for a mortgage in a few years, it’s important to consider building your credit rating from this point on.

Credit cards specifically designed for those of us with no credit rating are the perfect way to start. Many of these are known as secured credit cards, meaning you need to pay a refundable deposit. By carefully using your card, and paying off the balance each month, you can start to work towards a higher credit rating.  Most credit cards for no credit need to see that you have a regular income. The higher your income , the better your chance of being approved.

Top Pick
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

This secured card has no annual fee, and a low deposit to secure your credit.

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Important Features to Consider

A credit card for no credit should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting the best credit card for someone with no credit:

  • Deposit. Many credit cards designed for people with no credit are known as secured credit cards. This means you pay a deposit in order to qualify for credit. Make sure you can afford to pay the deposit before putting in your application. Deposits usually range from $49 to $200.
  • Annual fee. Many credit cards have an annual fee, which you’ll need to build into your budgeting.
  • APR. This is the Annual Percentage Rate, and will show the amount you pay for borrowing funds on your credit card. Usually, you can avoid paying the APR interest when you pay off your card in full each month. Be sure to check this with your card issuer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I get a first credit card with no credit?

One of the best options is to select a secured credit card. These cards need you to place a deposit with the issuer, which is used to reduce the risk of lending credit to someone with no credit history. Often, the amount you deposit is the same as your credit limit, but that’s not always the case. Some of these cards don’t run a credit check, meaning having no credit history won’t be an issue.

How do credit cards for no credit work?

Many credit cards designed for those of us with no credit require either an annual fee, a deposit, or both. These can vary, so use our review to find the combination that suits you best. A deposit means that the risk to the lender is decreased, so you’re more likely to be accepted. Your deposit is refunded when, after a certain period of time, you can upgrade to an unsecured credit card.

Unsecured credit cards are also available for people with no credit, but often only if you meet certain criteria, such as being a student.

What is my credit score if I have no credit?

If you’ve never applied for credit, then you won’t actually have a credit score at all. Once you apply for, are accepted, and start using a credit card designed for someone with no credit, then your credit score can start to be calculated.

Credit scores from FICO and VantageScore run on a scale from 300 –  850.

Is bad credit better than no credit?

It’s generally better to have no credit, than bad credit. As long as you select a suitable credit card, and take care to build up your credit rating, you can increase your credit rating if you’re starting with no credit.

It’s harder to change your score into the good or excellent range if you already have a bad credit rating.

Other Credit Cards for No Credit We Reviewed

Top Pick
Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

This secured card has no annual fee, and a low deposit to secure your credit.

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We looked at 20 other credit cards for no credit. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best credit cards for no credit, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

No Credit Check Credit Cards for No Credit

Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa with Free Credit Score Tracking

Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa with Free Credit Score Tracking

You can see if you pre-qualify for this card without affecting your credit score, and once approved you’ll have free online access to your Experian credit score.

Key Features:

  • APR 20.24% – 26.24% (variable)
  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases
  • Annual fee from $0 – $99

DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

DCU Visa Platinum Secured Credit Card

To be eligible for this card, you’ll need to join the Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU). They will run a soft credit check, but it won’t show on your file, and approval rates are very high.

Key Features:

  • APR 13.75% (variable)
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum deposit

First Latitude Mastercard Secured Credit Card

First Latitude Mastercard Secured Credit Card

With this card, you can secure your credit line with a deposit of between $200 – $2,000.

Key Features:

  • APR 26.74% (variable)
  • No annual fee
  • Quick online application

Indigo Platinum Mastercard

Indigo Platinum Mastercard

It’s easy to request a pre-qualification check for this card, with no impact to your credit score.

Key Features:

  • APR 24.90% (fixed)
  • Online account access
  • Fast application response

SDFCU Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card

SDFCU Savings Secured Visa Platinum Card

This credit card issuer will only check your identity, rather than run a full credit check.

Key Features:

  • No annual fee
  • APR 14.24% (variable)
  • You’ll require an account with the SDFCU prior to application

No Annual Fee Credit Cards for No Credit

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

After 5 monthly payments on time, you can apply for a higher credit line.

Key Features:

  • APR 26.96%
  • Online banking
  • Fraud coverage included

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

While this card doesn’t have an annual fee, it does require a better credit rating than some of the other cards we reviewed.

Key Features:

  • APR 17.24 % – 25.99% (variable)
  • 3% cash back on initial purchases
  • Free credit score, updated weekly

Discover it Student Cash Back

Discover it Student Cash Back

This card offers students 5% cash back at certain places such as gas stations, and 1% cash back everywhere else.

Key Features:

  • APR 15.24% – 24.24% (variable)
  • Good grades rewards for up to 5 years
  • 100% USA based customer service

Discover it Student Chrome

Discover it Student Chrome

This card also offers a good grades reward – with a $20 credit each school year that GPA is over 3.0.

Key Features:

  • APR 15.24% – 24.24% (variable)
  • Between 1% – 2% cash back
  • Free Credit Scorecard

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Specifically designed for students, this card offers no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees.

Key Features:

  • APR 26.96% (variable)
  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Includes use of the CreditWise app

No Deposit Credit Cards for No Credit

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

After making 5 monthly payments on time, you can access a higher credit line.

Key Features:

  • APR 26.96% (variable)
  • $39 annual fee
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back

Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa with Cash Back Rewards

Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa with Cash Back Rewards

This card offers 1% cash back on eligible purchases, such as groceries, gas, and services.

Key Features:

  • APR 20.24% – 26.24% (variable)
  • Annual fee from $0 – $99
  • Pre-qualify in 60 seconds

Milestone Mastercard

Milestone Mastercard

This unsecured credit card accepts applications from people with no, or less than perfect credit history.

Key Features:

  • Pre-qualification available
  •  APR 24.90% (fixed)
  • Mobile account access

Surge Mastercard Credit Card

Surge Mastercard Credit Card

All credit types are welcome to apply for this card, but you’ll need a checking account to do so.

Key Features:

  • Initial credit limit of $550
  • Fast application
  • APR and annual fee details available upon application

Total Visa Unsecured Credit Card

Total Visa Unsecured Credit Card

You’ll need to check the updated APR and annual fee when you apply, but you should get a response to your application within seconds.

Key Features:

  • Checking account required
  • Monthly reports to credit bureaus
  • Manageable monthly payments

Instant Approval Credit Cards for No Credit

Fingerhut Credit Account Issued by WebBank

Fingerhut Credit Account Issues by WebBank

The APR on this card varies, so be sure to check the issuer’s website before applying.

Key Features:

  • No annual fee
  • Fast online application, with instant approval (if eligible)
  • Not an access card – can be used to purchase a range of items through Fingerhut

Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card

Green Dot Primor Visa Gold Secured Credit Card

This card doesn’t require a minimum credit score, and offers a secured credit limit of $200 – $5,000.

Key Features:

  • APR 9.99% (fixed)
  • $49 annual fee
  • Fast and easy application process

Horizon Gold Card

Horizon Gold Card

This unsecured credit card doesn’t require a credit history, or employment check. It reports to the major credit bureaus., to help you build your score with careful use.

Key Features:

  • 0% APR
  • Fast online approval
  • $500 initial credit limit

Unity Visa Secured Credit Card

Unity Visa Secured Credit Card

This card doesn’t need a minimum credit score to apply. You can apply in less than 5 minutes, and expect approval on the same day (if eligible)!

Key Features:

  • Refundable deposit, minimum of $250
  • APR 17.99% (fixed)
  • Annual fee $39

Self Lender – Credit Builder Account

Self Lender - Credit Builder Account

This is more of a credit building account than a credit card, but it’s a good option to build your credit history.

Key Features:

  • APR 12.03% – 15.98% (varies by product)
  • One time fee $9 – $15
  • Instant approval

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Emma Stenhouse