Best Fresh-Start Unsecured Credit Cards

Andrew Reyes
A person standing in a store, holding a credit card for the camera.

Last-chance, or second-chance, credit cards are created for those with poor or bad credit. Many last-chance credit cards are “secured,” meaning the user needs to put down a deposit before they can access funds from the card. However, not every last-chance credit card is secured.

Unsecured credit cards are riskier for those with poor credit and require the borrower to stay on top of their payments (or risk dropping their credit score further). This article will guide you to find the best unsecured credit card for poor credit.  

Table of Contents

Unsecured Credit Cards That Give You a Second Chance

These cards are likely to accept consumers who have bad credit and can help them rebuild their credit without requiring a security deposit.

Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card

The Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card is a basic credit card perfect for those with poor credit. The card includes a 2% to 10% cash-back rewards program with select merchants.  

This card doesn’t require a deposit and has a credit limit of $500 to $5,000, depending on your spending habits while using the card. The Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card is available to those without existing credit history and can help you build new credit.

  • Annual fee:$0;
  • Regular annual percentage rate (APR):19.99% to 29.49% variable;
  • Rewards rate:2% to 10% cash back from select merchants.
  • Compare cards here.

Destiny™ Mastercard®

The Destiny™ Mastercard® has several design options for the face of the credit card and allows users to pre-qualify without affecting their credit scores. It has a high annual fee without any rewards and doesn’t require the cardholder to pay a security deposit.

The Destiny™ Mastercard® reports to the three major credit bureaus, helping cardholders build up new credit while using an unsecured card.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® is a card for creative individuals looking for a credit card that expresses their inner creativity.

Those interested in the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® can pre-qualify without impacting their credit score and access their credit funds without depositing money. The annual fee varies depending on your terms.

Credit One Bank® Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

The Credit One Bank® Visa® for Rebuilding Credit card is one of the best options for those looking to rebuild their credit history without worrying about security deposits. The creditor reports monthly to the three credit bureaus, helping card users rebuild their credit faster.

This card also offers rewards — 1% cash back on gas, groceries, and services. The Credit One Bank® Visa® for Rebuilding Credit card allows its users to choose their monthly payment due dates to protect against late payments.

  • Annual fee:$0 to $99;
  • Regular APR:17.99% to 23.99% variable;
  • Rewards rate:1% cash back on gas, groceries, and services.
  • Compare cards here:

Milestone® Gold Mastercard®

The Milestone® Gold Mastercard® is a simple, unsecured credit card. Those with poor credit can apply for it in a quick and easy pre-qualification process that won’t impact your credit score.

Because the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® doesn’t require the user to deposit money, you can access credit as soon as you need it. The creditor also reports to the three credit bureaus to help you build better credit.

First Access Visa® Credit Card

The First Access Visa® Credit Card doesn’t require you to have perfect credit. They focus on helping their users build new credit every month by reporting to all three major credit reporting agencies.  

The application for the First Access Visa® Credit Card is simple, easy, and secure. Users can receive their cards faster in the mail with optional expedited processing, available through the creditor.

Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card

The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card offers quick and easy pre-qualification that doesn’t impact your credit score. It is an unsecured credit card, meaning you gain access to credit as soon as you need it.  

The Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card includes free, online credit score access for cardholders and has no interest on purchases when you pay in full on time each month. However, this credit card has a higher APR than other options, which could make it more difficult to stay up-to-date with your payments.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is a great option for students with little to no credit. This card rewards students for getting good grades by offering a $20 statement credit for each school year your GPA is higher than 3.0.

In addition, the Discover it® Student Cash Back earns 5% cash back on everyday purchases such as grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and PayPal purchases. You also receive 1% cash back on all other purchases.

This card also has a Refer-a-Friend promotion. When you refer a friend, you earn a statement credit.

  • Annual fee:$0;
  • Regular APR:12.99% to 21.99% variable;
  • Intro APR:0% for 6 months;
  • Rewards rate:5% cash back on eligible purchases; 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Compare cards here:

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a simple option that automatically considers cardholders for a higher credit line within the first six months. It has a $0 annual fee and offers fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen.

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card will help you build new credit and allows cardholders to pick a monthly due date that works best for them.

Jasper Cash Back Mastercard®

The Jasper Cash Back Mastercard® is a rewards card that lets users earn 6% cash back by referring their friends. There is no annual fee, no security deposit, and no foreign transaction fees.  

The card offers unique auto payment options to help cardholders build and maintain their credit. Cardholders earn cash back as long as their account is in good standing.

  • Annual fee:$0;
  • Regular APR:15.49% to 24.99% variable;
  • Rewards rate:1% cash back to start; earn 6% cash back by referring two friends.
  • Compare cards here:

How to Get a Last-Chance Unsecured Credit Cards

To receive a last chance unsecured credit card, you will need to have your documentation ready. You will need your:

  • Social Security number;
  • Driver’s license;
  • Verified income;
  • Current home address.

Some creditors may also ask to perform a soft credit check to see if you pre-qualify for the card.

If you’re struggling to qualify for an unsecured credit card, you should focus on increasing your credit score. You can increase your credit score by:

  • Using a secured credit card or credit account;
  • Paying off all debts on time;
  • Lowering your utilization rate.

Even though you can qualify for an unsecured credit card, it doesn’t mean it’s your only option. For those with low credit scores, using a secured credit card is often the safest choice while you work to rebuild your credit.

How to Pick the Right Last-Chance Unsecured Credit Cards

Unsecured credit cards often have high APRs and high annual fees. It’s important to choose a card that fits your budget. Choosing the wrong unsecured credit card can hurt your credit score instead of helping it.

Only consider unsecured credit cards that have:

  • APRs lower than 26.99%: If the credit card has a high APR, it will make it more difficult to pay off the debt. Choosing a card with a low APR will make it easier to manage your loans.
  • Flexible payments: Some credit options in the list above allow the cardholder to pick their payment dates. This added flexibility safeguards against late payments.
  • No annual fees: If you struggle to afford to pay off your credit, you won’t want to have a card that requires an annual fee.

Choosing a credit card is a personal process. Make sure that you’re considering all of your options before opening a credit card if you’re trying to rebuild your credit.

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