The importance of having a good credit score cannot be overstated. It can affect your ability to get approved for loans, rent an apartment, and even secure specific jobs. But what if you have no credit history at all?
This is a common dilemma young adults face when just starting their financial journey.
Thankfully, certain credit cards are designed for those without a credit history. These cards can help you build credit and establish a positive credit score, setting you up for future financial success.
Best Secured Card
A secured credit card is an excellent option for those without credit, as it requires a security deposit that serves as your credit limit. This lowers the risk for the credit card company, making it easier to get approved.
Discover It Secured Credit Card
As a secured card, this option requires an upfront security deposit, which becomes your credit limit. Having a credit limit based on your deposit is excellent for spending responsibly.
It also offers cash-back rewards on all purchases and has no annual fee.
Like most credit cards for low credit, the interest is high, at 28%, after a 10% APR introductory period for the first six months. Thus, paying off the balance in full each month is best.
OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
This secured card requires no credit check, making it ideal for those with no credit or damaged history. It has no annual fee and a low deposit requirement. This is a great card option for anyone who'll keep up with paying the balance in full each month (as you should realistically with any card).
Best Unsecured Cards
An unsecured credit card does not require a security deposit, but it may have higher interest rates and lower credit limits for those with no credit history.
Chase Freedom Rise Credit Card
The Chase Freedom Rise Visa card is another great option for those with no credit history and is relatively easy to get approved for. It offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases and has no annual fee. Once again, look out for a high APR.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
The Capital One Platinum credit card is also a good choice for those with no credit history. It is a user favorite but doesn't come with the perks of cashback rewards like other cards. However, the ease of approval and no annual fee make it an excellent choice for beginners who want to build their credit.
Best Card for Students
Capital One Savor One Student Cash Rewards Card
This beginner student credit card not only helps you establish credit but also offers cash-back rewards on all purchases. With no annual fee, no cash deposit needed, and a potential for a higher credit line after making your first six payments on time, this card is an excellent choice for students looking to start building their credit.
The cash-back rewards and a $50 bonus for spending $100 in the first three months can help offset any necessary purchases for school or other essentials.
The only drawback of this card is the high APR (20-30%), which will quickly add up if you carry a balance. Therefore, it is essential to use this card responsibly and pay off your balance in full each month.
Best Card for Travel Rewards
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card is a great choice for those with no credit history but a love for travel. It offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases and has no annual fee, making it easy to earn rewards while building credit. Plus, it offers 5% cash back on hotel and rental cars.
This is the only card on this list with a $39 annual fee. For some, the cashback rewards may outweigh the fee, so weigh your options and determine if this card is right for you.
Best Card for Businesses
Capital One Spark Classic for Business
If you're a business owner or have a new side hustle with no credit history, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business card is a great option. It offers 5% rewards on hotel and car rentals, 1% cash back on all other purchases, and has no annual fee. Plus, you can add employees as authorized users.
However, this card has a high APR of 30%, so it's essential to use it responsibly and pay off the balance in full each month.
Best Card for Foreign Credit History
Blue Cash EveryDay Card from American Express
If you have a credit history outside the United States, consider the Blue Cash EveryDay card from American Express. It offers 3% cash back on groceries and online retail, making it perfect for everyday spending. There is no annual fee and an introductory 0% APR (on purchases or a balance transfer) for the first 15 months.
This card is a great solution for immigrants trying to build a credit history in the U.S., especially if they’ve been forced to work under the table to make ends meet.
Countries currently eligible for the Blue Cash EveryDay include Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Nigeria, South Korea, the Philippines, Spain, and Switzerland.
Why Get a Credit Card?
Whether you're looking to build credit, earn rewards, or have a convenient way to pay for purchases, getting a credit card is often a necessary step in managing your finances. With the variety of options available for those with no credit history, there's never been a better time to start building your credit and securing financial stability for the future.
People with bad credit, no credit, or low income often fear getting a credit card. Still, with responsible spending and consistent payments, credit cards can help you build your credit score and improve your financial standing.
Plus, with the right card choice, you can earn rewards on everyday purchases and offset any potential fees or interest.
How To Get a Credit Card With No Credit History
If you're a new cardholder, there are a few steps to increase your chances of getting approved for a credit card with no credit history.
First, research and compare different cards to find one that best fits your financial needs and spending habits. Then, be sure to have all required documents ready when applying, such as proof of income or identification.
You can also consider applying for a secured credit card, where you put down a deposit that serves as your credit limit. This helps mitigate the risk for the credit card company and increases your chances of approval.
Lastly, if you have a family member or friend with good credit, they may be able to add you as an authorized user on their account. This allows you to build a credit history without actually having a card in your name.
Keep Building Your Credit
Once approved for a credit card, it's important to use it responsibly and continue building your credit. This includes making timely monthly payments, avoiding a cash advance, and keeping your balance low.
Also, make sure your credit card regularly reports your activity to the credit bureau to see your credit slowly grow.
Explore Other Credit Card Options Over Time
Over time, as you establish a good credit history and make more money (so you can potentially spend more), you may qualify for better credit cards with a higher line of credit, low interest, and more perks. Getting your first credit card is just the start of great financial opportunities.
Credit Cards for No Credit FAQ:
What is the difference between a secured and unsecured card?
A secured card requires a prepaid cash deposit as collateral, while an unsecured card does not require any deposit. Secured cards are often easier to get approved for with no credit history and may have lower credit limits.
Can you get a credit card with no credit?
Yes, many credit offers are available for those with no credit history or who need to rebuild credit (as listed above). These beginner cards often have lower credit limits and may require a deposit or higher interest rate, but they can help you establish your credit.
Which credit card is easiest to get approved for?
This can vary depending on your financial situation, but secured credit cards and beginner cards specifically designed for those with no credit history are often the easiest to get approved for. Compare credit cards and car offers to find the best option for your finances.
How can I build my credit if I have no credit history?
Getting a credit card is one of the best ways to build your credit, whether you have no credit or poor credit.