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Credit Cards for People with No Credit History

Not all cards require a long credit history
  • See which cards you’re eligible for if you don’t have a credit history
  • Find out why building credit is important
  • Discover how to establish a good credit history from scratch
  • Get advice from our credit experts on how to choose a card
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Holly D. Johnson - Contributor Updated: 26 January 2023 9 Min Read
Reviewed By Bestcovery - Editorial Team
Why Trust Us?

If you’re wondering how to get a credit card with no credit — it’s actually easier than you would think. Often these cards have high approval odds so that anyone can apply for a credit card with no credit, even those first starting on their credit journey.

While your first credit card for no credit may not provide a high credit limit or many rewards, it allows you to slowly improve your FICO score to enjoy lower variable interest and extended credit limits. A respectable credit score can help you finance a house one day or get pre-approved for a car loan.

When shopping around for a starter card, consider factors like annual or monthly fees, cashback rates, hidden costs, and whether your card lender will automatically consider you for a credit line increase. The most important factor to remember is that you must use your card responsibly from the very beginning.

If you’re interested in establishing a credit history, it can be as simple as having a credit account that’s in good standing. By paying off your card each month, your information will be sent to the three major credit bureaus regularly.

Our picks for the best credit cards for no credit history

Credit Cards for People with No Credit

Learn more about your credit card options
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OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Best for No Credit Check

Why we like it

The OpenSky Credit Card is a great starter card for those with bad or no credit history. It does not run a credit check or require a bank account, but it also offers up to an 85% approval rating. The card does charge a $35 annual fee, but that can be a worthy price for building your credit.

For approval of this secured credit card, you will need to be over 18 years old and provide a $200 minimum deposit. The amount of money you deposit sets your credit limit and is refundable within ten weeks if you close your account and pay your balance. Any activity is reported to all the major credit bureaus, unlike a prepaid or debit card.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

PROS

  • No credit check needed
  • Low APR
  • No bank account needed

CONS

  • Annual fee
  • $200 minimum deposit
  • No rewards

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Best for No Deposit

Why we like it

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card might be the perfect fit if you have only some credit history but are interested in a nice rewards rate. You earn 1.5% back on all purchases, and you can still qualify with less than 3 years of credit history.

While there is an annual fee, it is not too hefty at $39. If your credit history isn’t perfect, such as defaulting on a loan within the last five years, you can easily rebuild with a card like this. Card users start with a credit line of at least $300, but it may depend on your most recent FICO score.

The Capital One QuicksilverOne card is great for anyone trying to rebuild their credit. However, once you improve your score, you may want to consider a credit card with better rewards or no annual fee. This is a great stepping stone towards that goal.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

PROS

  • No need to sign up for rotating categories
  • Great rewards rate
  • No foreign transaction fees

CONS

  • High variable APR
  • Annual fee
  • No low introductory APR rate

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

Best for Building Credit with Savings

Why we like it

The Capital One Platinum Credit Card can help people build their credit with responsible use. There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, and Capital One automatically reviews your account after six months to potentially increase your credit limit. All you have to do is make your payments on time!

This card is no-frills and doesn’t have a rewards program. However, if your priority is to build and establish your credit, then perks may not be high on your list.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

PROS

  • Unsecured option for people with no credit
  • Automatically considered for a higher credit line within six months
  • No annual fee

CONS

  • No rewards program
  • High variable APR
  • No balance transfer option

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Best Secured Card with Rewards

Why we like it

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a great secured card option that doesn’t charge fees, while also offering cashback rewards on purchases. You can double your rewards in the first year!

Secured cards typically don’t offer rewards, plus the minimum deposit of $200 is considered low for this type of card. The secured card from Discover is a great opportunity if you can commit to paying your bill on time each month. You can easily rebuild your credit while saving money!

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

PROS

  • Can qualify with limited or bad credit
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • No annual fee

CONS

  • Security deposit
  • High-interest rate
  • No fees

Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card

Best for Cash Back

Why we like it

The Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card is a great way to build your credit report.

First, it doesn’t require a security deposit, which is unusual for those new to credit. Second, you don’t have to worry about annual fees, which can be great if you are trying to get on your feet. On top of that, their issuing bank, WebBank, doesn’t just look at your FICO score. Instead, they look at your total finances, including your income, spending, and savings. 

Incredibly, Petal also extends a cashback rate on par with some cards for excellent credit scores. You start off earning 1% cashback. If you make your monthly payments on time for 6 months, your rewards rate will increase to 1.25%. After a year of successful payments, the cashback rate jumps to 1.5%, making this a really strong reward offer.

Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card

PROS

  • No late or returned payment fees
  • Cashback when you shop and pay on time
  • No annual or foreign transaction fees

CONS

  • No option for balance transfer
  • No intro APR
  • No cash advances

Compare Cards for People with No Credit

Learn about the top credit cards
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Why does credit history matter?

Credit history allows lenders to review your payment history, debts, and other public records.

It also allows them to see how long you’ve had a credit score. If you’re looking into credit, you have likely come across terms like good credit vs. bad credit, credit history, and credit report.

Your credit history starts the second you open a credit card or take out a loan, and it will then continue to grow with new account openings.

Having a credit history can make a big difference in your credit score. Creditors look for two main things: how long you’ve been using credit and the type of credit. Your credit record accounts for 15% of your FICO score, while a mix of your credit accounts makes up 10%.

How long you’ve had your accounts open can directly impact your credit score. While it’s true that it may not be the most important factor when scoring your credit, having a long history of keeping up with cards and loans can make you more trustworthy when borrowing money.

Most credit bureaus consider several metrics when calculating your score, including:


To put things in perspective, the longer your history is, the better it is for your FICO scores.

Credit scoring agencies get the information they need to analyze your credit report from the three main national credit reporting companies: TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. The detailed record of your financial history is called your credit report.

1

Get a secured credit card

You can sign up for a secured credit card. These cards are made for people with no credit to work on building or improving their scores. These are easy to qualify for, but most often require a security deposit.

2

Look into loans

You can also build credit without using a card by applying for a credit-builder loan, co-signed loan, or a secured loan. Making regular monthly payments can help you establish a credit history.

3

Apply for a gas card or store card

These cards tend to be easier to qualify for than a regular card, and they don’t have high credit limits, so you don’t have to worry about overspending. However, their interest rates tend to be high, so try not to carry a balance.

4

Look for a cosigner with established credit

This can help fast-track you to better credit as you have access to their credit line and can make payments. However, if they fail to make a payment on time, it can reflect on your credit report.

By practicing good credit habits and keeping track of your FICO score, you can slowly build solid credit. One thing to keep in mind is remaining consistent. Lenders tend to look at factors like employment history, rent history, and sources of income, so try to have these established. As you start your journey in building your credit history, try not to backtrack. Once you get going, keep maintaining your credit, growing your savings, and managing your debt. Your financial goals are within reach!

What to look for in a first credit card

Those new to credit likely won’t be eligible for top-rated credit cards with hefty rewards, large sign-up bonuses, or the lowest interest rates. However, you can work your way up as you secure your credit history.

Your first card may be geared towards people with no history or low credit scores. However, some cards still provide rewards and no annual fees.

Things you should look for may include fees, interest rates, rewards programs, customer support, late fee structure, balance transfer options (although these may be limited), foreign transaction fees, and more.

If you are a student, you could apply for a student credit card to start establishing your credit history.

These cards are geared toward first-time cardholders with no credit history and are generally easier to obtain than other types of cards, offering student-specific perks you won’t see from a secured card.

If you aren’t a student but have no credit, a secured card could be your best option. These require a security deposit, but the biggest advantage is that they are easy to qualify for. Once you’ve used it long enough to improve your credit score, you can try to upgrade it to an unsecured card.

The important part is applying good credit behavior as soon as you start so you don’t find yourself in debt or poor credit.

It’s good to shop around for a card that fits your finances and lifestyle. While interest rates might be high on some cards, bear in mind that you only pay interest if you carry a balance, so it’s best to always try to pay your balance in full.

Thankfully, any credit card issuer must let you know their interest rates and fee structures before you open.

Every time you apply for a new card, the lender will look at your credit, which will show up as a hard inquiry on your credit report and impact your score. However, some cards do not do this, so checking before applying is a good move. Too many hard inquiries in a short period of time can hurt your credit instead of helping it.

How to apply for a starter credit card with no credit

Established credit is an important factor when applying for a card.

If you don’t have any credit history, your options can be limited. Your credit history won’t necessarily prevent you from being able to get a card, but it will impact the cards that are available to you.

That is what starter credit cards are for! You can use a starter card to build credit and ultimately raise your credit score.

When you first apply for a starter card, you may need certain information, depending on the card lender:


Some credit cards will need more information, and some starter cards will accept less.

Building credit with your starter card

Starter cards are the stepping stone to bigger and better things. Therefore, they don’t often have the best rates. Still, if you’re ready to start building credit, they are a great place to begin.

Don’t wait until you need to be approved for a home, car, or loan to consider your credit history. It takes time to establish a relationship with lenders. Applying for a loan with poor to no credit could make you vulnerable to high-interest rates, less-than-stellar terms, or even an outright denial.

Building credit can also help you with prospective employers who check your credit, eliminate the need for a deposit when signing up for utilities, lower your homeowners and auto insurance premiums, and more.

Establishing credit is a marathon, not a sprint, so it’s good to start as soon as you can so you can enjoy the rewards.

When you have your starter card, consider the following tips:


Building credit with your starter card can be a breeze if you are willing to be a responsible user and spender. You can keep track of your credit score to ensure you’re on the right track and keep an eye out for any bad marks.

How we selected our top cards

Credit cards for no credit can are designed to get you in good standing. If you don’t have any history of credit, there are certain features you should look for to help manage your spending and establish credit.

We looked for cards with no annual fee, easy qualification standards, and lenders who report your monthly payments and credit limit to all three credit bureaus. Building credit works best to improve your score across the board, and not everyone reports to credit bureaus, so it is a good feature to look for.

Additionally, we look at interest rates. Starter cards have notoriously high variable interest rates, but if you aren’t planning on exceeding your limit and know to pay your balance in full, this may not be a big deal.

Finally, we look at rewards rates, which can be limited in this selection. However, they exist and can greatly benefit you if you make combined purchases. You can often redeem rewards for a statement credit, cash, gift cards, travel points, and more.

Credit cards for no credit FAQ

Holly D. Johnson
Holly D. Johnson Contributor

Holly D. Johnson is an award-winning personal finance writer who covers topics like insurance, investing, credit and family finance. As a leading voice in the travel and loyalty space, Johnson has traveled with her family to more than 50 countries over the last decade. 

The author has also written extensively on the power of household budgeting, and she even co-authored a book on the topic. Zero Down Your Debt: Reclaim Your Income and Build a Life You’ll Love was originally published in 2017, and it teaches families how to use zero-sum budgeting to reach their financial goals. She is also the co-owner and founder of the family finance and travel website, ClubThrifty.com.

Johnson’s 10+ years of writing have focused on helping families make important financial decisions at each stage of their lives. The author also applies the financial principles she teaches to her own life, and she is currently on track to retire in her late 40’s with her partner. She currently lives in Central Indiana with her husband and children, and she is a regular contributor for Bankrate, CNN, Forbes, U.S. News and World Report Travel and many other notable publications.