The Best Unsecured Credit Cards

Unsecured credit cards are the most common type of credit card, and unlike secured credit cards, unsecured credit cards are not directly connected to property or a deposit that a lender can seize if the cardholder fails to pay. A person qualifies for an unsecured credit card based on their credit history, their financial strength, and their earnings potential.

Finding the best unsecured credit card for your spending needs means reading reviews, studying product features, and diving into the ins and outs of available options and interest rates. With the right unsecured credit card, you can easily make purchases without the added hassle of making a deposit first.

We reviewed dozens of unsecured credit cards to identify the best of the best, based on CreditCards.com reviews, how easy they were to apply for and use, cost, and other considerations. We narrowed our search down to 5 of the top-rated unsecured credit cards people can apply for to meet their spending needs.

Best Unsecured Credit Card Overall
Discover it® Cash Back

Earn cash back on everyday spending with no limit to how much you can earn.

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We’ve identified Discover it® Cash Back as the best unsecured credit card out there. With the ability to earn cashback on daily spending, and with no limit to how much you can earn, this unsecured credit card is one that will keep your budget and spending on track.

The 5 Top-Rated Unsecured Credit Cards

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best Unsecured Credit Card OverallDiscover it® Cash Back 4.1
Best Unsecured Credit Card for Bad CreditCredit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card4.6
Best No-Fee Unsecured Credit CardCiti® Double Cash Card4.7
Best Unsecured Credit Card With Cash BackBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express3.5
Best 0% Intro APR Unsecured Credit CardCiti® Diamond Preferred® Card 4.2

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

Best Unsecured Credit Card Overall: Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back took the top spot on our list of the best unsecured credit cards and offers valuable cashback on all daily purchases. There is no limit to how much you can earn, and it provides 5% cashback for rotating categories up to $1,500 each quarter after activation. At the end of the first year, Discover will match the cash back earned automatically for even more value. Rewards never expire, can be redeemed at any amount, and can even be used at Amazon.com checkout.

Those who hold and reviewed this unsecured credit card appreciated that there were no foreign transaction fees and that it included zero fraud liability for added peace of mind. People found the cashback rewards to be quite generous, especially since the card has a $0 annual fee.

With an annual fee of $0, the price is certainly right, and the quality customer service associated with the brand, as well as the ease of application and use more than justifies opening an account. It has a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars on CreditCards.com with more than 26,000 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make the application.

Discover it® Cash Back Key Features:

  • Introductory balance transfer and purchase APR of 0% for 14 months
  • Variable APR of 11.99%-22.99%
  • Mobile pay ready

Best Unsecured Credit Card for Bad Credit: Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card

Best Unsecured Credit Card for Bad Credit
Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card

Improve bad to fair credit without sacrificing rewards.

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The Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card took the runner-up spot on our list of the best unsecured credit cards and is an excellent option for those looking to rebuild their credit. It offers 1% cash back rewards on all eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV. Cardmembers can enjoy free online access to their monthly Experian credit score, and the company reports to the 3 major credit bureaus to help rebuild your score.

Those who applied for and reviewed this unsecured credit card appreciated that it offered rewards even for those with a bad credit history and that they were able to receive regular account reviews for credit line increases.

The annual fee ranges from $0-$99 depending on qualification, and the ability to improve bad to fair credit without sacrificing rewards makes it a solid choice for many applicants. It has a rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars on CreditCards.com with nearly 5,000 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make an application.

Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card Key Features:

  • Regular APR 17.99%-23.99% variable
  • Choose your monthly payment due date
  • Select from a variety of card designs

Best No-Fee Unsecured Credit Card: Citi® Double Cash Card

Best No-Fee Unsecured Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash Card

Earn cashback as you buy and pay off your purchases.

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The Citi® Double Cash Card is an excellent choice for those looking for an unsecured credit card that won’t break the bank. It allows users to earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cashback at the time of purchase, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. There is currently a generous 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months.

Those who applied for and reviewed this unsecured credit card appreciated that there are also no caps on the total amount of cashback they could earn and no category restrictions. People also liked the flexibility of redemption — with the ability to choose to receive cashback as a statement credit, direct deposit, or check; or convert to points.

With no annual fee, this unsecured credit card is a solid choice for those looking for an unsecured credit card option on a budget. It has a rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars on the company website, with more than 13,000 people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people that this budget-friendly pick is just as good at meeting their unsecured credit needs as its more expensive counterparts.

Citi® Double Cash Card Key Features:

  • Regular APR 13.99%-23.99% variable
  • Mobile pay ready
  • Special access for event tickets purchases

Best Unsecured Credit Card With Cash Back: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Best Unsecured Credit Card With Cash Back
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

A great card for families and frequent shoppers.

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The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is an excellent option for those looking for an unsecured credit card that offers cashback rewards. It currently offers a $200 cashback bonus after you make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of card membership. Earn anywhere from 1-3% cashback on all types of purchases, with no limit to the number of cards you can carry on the account.

Those who hold and reviewed this unsecured credit card appreciated that it offered a generous amount of cash back on everyday purchases and that it came with a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR of 13.99%-23.99% afterward.

With an annual fee of $0, the price is certainly right on this unsecured credit card, especially considering the generous cashback rewards program it offers. It has a rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars on CreditCards.com with thousands of people reviewing it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make an application.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Key Features:

  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Exclusive access to ticket presales
  • Fraud protection

Best 0% Intro APR Unsecured Credit Card: Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Best 0% Intro APR Unsecured Credit Card
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Take nearly 2 years to pay off balance transfers.

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The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is a solid choice for those wanting an unsecured credit card with a 0% APR introductory rate. It offers a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months and 0% on balance transfers for 21 months. Cardholders enjoy 24/7 customer service, as well as automatic account alerts for suspicious activity. This card comes complete with contactless payment ability, and the option to choose a payment date that works best for your needs.

Those who held and reviewed this unsecured credit card appreciated that they had $0 liability protection for any unauthorized purchases and included identity theft protection. People also liked the digital wallet feature, which makes for a more streamlined online shopping experience.

With no annual fee, the price is certainly right on this unsecured credit card, especially with its generous 0% APR timeframe. It has a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars on the company website from nearly 5,000 people who’ve reviewed it, which we think goes a long way in convincing people to make an application.

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card Key Features:

  • Regular APR 13.74%-23.74% variable
  • Free online access to your FICO® score
  • Exclusive access to ticket presales

Who Should Apply for an Unsecured Credit Card

An unsecured credit card is an ideal choice for those who have good to excellent credit. That’s because unlike secured credit cards, unsecured credit cards are not directly connected to property or a deposit that a lender can seize if the cardholder fails to pay. This means there is more risk to the financial institution when they extend credit to you.

Unsecured credit cards are the most common type of credit card, and a person will qualify for an unsecured credit card based on their credit history, their financial strength, and their earnings potential.

That said, there are a few unsecured credit cards that are a suitable choice for those with fair or bad credit, but they don’t offer as much in the way of benefits, and might feature an annual fee or higher interest rate.

Because unsecured credit cards are so popular, they are often widely available and offer plenty of choices to those shopping around for the best credit card available. Especially for those who are new to using credit, an unsecured credit card can be a valuable tool for building a healthy relationship with credit, while better managing their finances.

If you’re trying to establish your credit early, then you may also appreciate the cards mentioned in The Best Credit Cards For Young Adults.

Best Unsecured Credit Card Overall
Discover it® Cash Back

Earn cash back on everyday spending with no limit to how much you can earn.

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Important Features to Consider

Not all unsecured credit cards are created equal. An unsecured credit card should be easy to apply for and offer the credit you need. Here’s what to consider when evaluating the options in search of the best unsecured credit card for your financial needs:

  • Annual fee. The first thing to consider when searching for the best unsecured credit card is the annual fee. Cards with annual fees tend to have lower APRs, which makes borrowing more affordable in the long run. Cards with low or no annual fees often carry higher APRs, but as long as you are making payments in full and on time, they can still be a good option if you don’t want the hassle of annual fees. Unsecured credit cards vary in price from $0-$100 or more annually, although some cards with cashback can easily pay for themselves depending on how much you use them.
  • Credit limit. Another thing to look for when it comes to choosing an unsecured credit card is how much credit you can actually get. Some cards offer really low starting limits of $100, while others start at $500 and up. Look for a card that suits your spending needs and habits.
  • Card type. After deciding if you want a card with or without an annual fee, you’ll need to decide if you want a Visa, MasterCard, Discover Card, or AmEx. Not all merchants accept all cards, so if there’s somewhere you plan to use your card regularly, check to ensure you can make purchases without hassle.
  • Introductory APR. Some unsecured credit cards offer a starting APR (annual purchase rate) that is much lower than the regular APR. If you have a number of upcoming purchases and want to keep the cost of borrowing down, a card with an introductory APR offer might be a good idea to seek out. There are some cards that also offer a promotional balance transfer APR, which can make transferring a balance from another card to the new card a smart choice, as long as you can make the payments responsibly.
  • Regular APR. A card’s regular APR will determine how much interest you are charged each month. Cards with lower APRs make borrowing more affordable, but they sometimes come with annual fees. Cards with low or no annual fees often carry higher APRs, but as long as you are making payments in full and on time, they can still be a good option.
  • Bonus features. Many unsecured credit cards include bonus features that make them more appealing to users, such as cashback, travel points, free-spending tracking apps, extended warranties, travel insurance, or fraud protection. Review a card’s additional features to see if there are any that would be applicable to your personal situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it mean when a credit card is unsecured?

When a credit card is unsecured, it basically means that the card is not directly connected to property or a deposit that a lender can seize if the cardholder fails to pay. This means there is more risk to the financial institution when they extend credit to you, as they have little means to recover any borrowed monies. Unsecured credit cards are the most common type of credit card, and a person will qualify for an unsecured credit card based on a number of different factors, including their credit history, their financial strength, and their earnings potential.

What unsecured credit card is the easiest to get?

The Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card is considered one of the easiest unsecured credit cards to get. The Discover it® Cash Back card is another card that most people will find they can easily be approved for.

What credit score is needed for an unsecured credit card?

In most cases, a credit score that is “good” or above 700 is sufficient to qualify for the majority of unsecured cards. That said, the better your credit score, the most likely your chances of being approved for a specific card. Don’t despair though — there are still unsecured credit cards available to those with poor or even bad credit, and if necessary, you can improve your credit score with a secured credit card before applying for an unsecured card. A person will qualify for an unsecured credit card based on their credit history, their financial strength, and their earnings potential.

Can I get an unsecured credit card with a 500 credit score?

Yes, you can still get an unsecured credit card even with a 500 credit score or below. That said, credit card options at this level might not offer as much in terms of rewards or benefits, and will more than likely feature an annual fee or higher interest rate. By using your unsecured credit card responsibly, you can improve your credit score and qualify for a better credit card or lower interest rate.

Other Unsecured Credit Cards We Reviewed

Best Unsecured Credit Card Overall
Discover it® Cash Back

Earn cash back on everyday spending with no limit to how much you can earn.

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We looked at 20 other unsecured credit cards. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best unsecured credit cards list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your credit needs. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

0% Intro APR Unsecured Credit Cards

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

American Express Cash Magnet® Card

This 0% intro APR unsecured credit card offers unlimited 1.5% cashback on your purchases and includes a $200 signup bonus.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 13.99%-23.99% variable
  • Introductory purchase APR 0% for 12 months
  • Split up big purchases into monthly payments with a fixed fee

Cost: $0 annually

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

This 0% intro APR unsecured credit card boasts a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening and has a $300 cash back bonus offer.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 13.99%-23.99% variable
  • Car rental loss and damage insurance
  • Online account management

Cost: $95 annually

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

This 0% intro APR credit card offers 2X ThankYou® Points at supermarkets and gas stations on their first $6,000 of charges per year, and then 1X points thereafter.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 13.49% – 23.49% variable
  • Introductory balance transfer and purchase APR 0% for 15 months
  • Signup bonus worth $150

Cost: $0 annually

ABOC Platinum Rewards Card

ABOC Platinum Rewards Card

This unsecured credit card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, with no upper limit on the points you can accumulate.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 12.9%-22.9% variable
  • $150 credit after making $1,200 in purchases within the first 90 days
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cost: $0 annually

Unsecured Credit Cards for Fair/Bad Credit

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

This unsecured credit card for fair/bad credit offers 24/7 account access online and by phone. After making the first five monthly payments on time, cardholders can access an increased credit limit.

Key Features:

  • No annual fee
  • Fraud coverage in case of loss or theft
  • Auto rental coverage and travel accident insurance included

Cost: $0 annually

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

This unsecured credit card for fair/bad credit boasts no foreign transaction fees and also offers cashback rewards. The generous rewards program offers 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase.

Key Features:

  • Introductory purchase APR of 0% for 15 months
  • Regular APR 15.49%-25.49% variable
  • Additional warranty protection at no charge

Cost: $0 annually

Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa

Credit One Bank® Platinum Rewards Visa

This unsecured credit card for fair/bad credit offers unlimited 1% cashback rewards on all purchases and includes no annual fee plus a competitive interest rate.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 23.99% variable
  • Includes $0 fraud liability
  • Earn 5% cashback rewards on the first $5,000 of eligible purchases

Cost: $0-$99 annually

Discover it® Student Chrome

Discover it® Student Chrome

This unsecured credit card for fair/bad credit is an excellent choice for students looking to build credit history and features an introductory cashback matching bonus on all the cashback earned at the end of the first year.

Key Features:

  • Good grade bonus
  • Free Social Security number alerts
  • Regular APR 12.99%-21.99% variable

Cost: $0 annual fee

First Hawaiian Bank Priority Rewards Mastercard®

First Hawaiian Bank Priority Rewards Mastercard®

This unsecured credit card for fair/bad credit lets users earn 1 CashPoint for every $1 spent in net qualifying purchases, with the ability to redeem for gift cards, merchandise, and travel rewards.

Key Features:

  • No reward limit
  • Regular APR 11.24%-18.00% variable
  • Travel assistance services

Cost: $0 annually

No-Fee Unsecured Credit Cards

PenFed Gold VISA® Card

PenFed Gold VISA® Card

This no-fee unsecured credit card boasts a low APR of 7.49% to 17.99% based on credit worthiness and includes a $100 Statement Credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.

Key Features:

  • 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months
  • EMV chip-enabled for added security
  • Contactless payments enabled

Cost: $0 annually

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Credit Card

This no-fee unsecured credit card lets members earn 3X Bonvoy points per $1 spent at over 7,000 participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels, 2X Bonvoy points on other travel purchases, and 1X point on everything else.

Key Features:

  • No annual fee
  • 15 elite night credits
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cost: $0 annually

American Airlines AAdvantage

American Airlines AAdvantage

This no-fee unsecured credit card boasts the ability to earn reward miles through flight purchases, and travel partners, and everyday purchases.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 15.99%-24.99% variable
  • 50,000 bonus mile qualifying purchase offer
  • Save 25% on inflight food and beverage purchases

Cost: $0 annually

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

This no-fee unsecured credit card includes 100,000 Hilton Honors bonus points if you make $1,000 in purchases during the first three months.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 15.74%-24.74% variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud protection

Cost: $0 annually

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

This no-fee unsecured credit card offers 2% cashback through the PenFed Honors Advantage program, with 1.5% cashback on all other purchases.

Key Features:

  • $100 statement bonus after spending $1,500 within the first 90 days
  • 0% promotional rate for 12 months on balance transfers
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cost: $0 annually

Lowe’s Advantage Card

Lowe's Advantage Card

This no-fee unsecured credit card is valid only on purchases at Lowes but gives cardholders two financing options, either 6 months special financing on any minimum purchase of $299, or 84 fixed monthly payments with reduced APR financing on any purchase over $2,000.

Key Features:

  • Take 5% off everyday purchases in-store and online
  • Regular APR 26.99% variable
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cost: $0 annually

Unsecured Credit Cards With Cash Back

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

This unsecured credit card with cashback is available exclusively for Costco members, and offers 1%-4% cashback on purchases at Costco and elsewhere.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 15.24% variable
  • Damage and theft purchase protection
  • Special access to purchase tickets

Cost: $0 annually

PenFed Platinum Rewards VISA Signature® Card

PenFed Platinum Rewards VISA Signature® Card

This unsecured credit card with cashback offers 5X the rewards on fuel purchases, 3X on groceries, and 1X on all other purchases. In comes with a $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 within the first 90 days.

Key Features:

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Regular APR 13.49%-17.99% variable
  • Contactless payments enabled

Cost: $0 annually

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

This unsecured credit card with cashback allows cardholders to earn 1% cashback on all purchases, with a 0.25% bonus for paying off the balance on time each month.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 26.99% variable
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you

Cost: $0 annually

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

This unsecured credit card cashback offers an unlimited 3% cashback on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other purchases.

Key Features:

  • One-time $150 cash bonus when you spend $500 within first 3 months
  • Use rewards at Amazon.com
  • Regular APR 15.49%-25.49% variable

Cost: $0 annually

Discover it® Chrome

Discover it® Chrome

This unsecured credit card with cashback boasts an introductory cashback matching bonus on all the cashback earned at the end of the first year, with no limit.

Key Features:

  • Regular APR 11.99%-22.99% variable
  • Introductory balance transfer and purchase APR 0% for 14 months
  • Redeem for any amount at any time

Cost: $0 annually

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