6 Credit Cards for People With No Credit

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Whether you fund your lifestyle with an all-cash diet or you’re coming off of your parents’ financial support, navigating the credit world with no credit history, or even thin” credit, requires patience and finesse. Because a credit history demonstrates to lenders that you’re able to pay your debts on time and in full (as agreed upon in credit agreements), having no credit history means you have to start from scratch to prove your creditworthiness. 

But there’s a catch: you need a credit account to show clean payment history and the ability to manage your accounts well. However, there can be a steep barrier to receiving credit approval without a solid credit history. 

To help you better understand your options when it comes to credit, we’ve analyzed what it means to have no credit, how to build credit, and the best credit cards for consumers with no credit history. 

What Does It Mean to Have No Credit?

More than 26 million Americans are “credit invisible— which means that one in every ten adults does not have any recorded credit history with one of the three credit reporting companies: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. 

There are several reasons one might not have a credit history: 

  • They’re young and new to the credit world
  • Mainly use cash 
  • Have one or two inactive credit accounts
  • Are an immigrant who hasn’t established credit history in the U.S. yet

While having no credit history simply means you don’t have a track record of responsible credit use, it also means you haven’t damaged your credit like someone with bad credit

Because you need a good credit history to get approved for credit accounts, building credit without having any credit is a bit of a chicken-egg paradox. One viable option for establishing your credit history is getting a student credit card or a secured credit card with a low barrier for approval. Here are some of our top credit card picks for people with no credit history. 

 

Most credit cards available to consumers with zero credit history are in the form of secured credit cards. Given that your own security deposit is on the line if you fall behind on payments, secured cards may promote spending discipline. They’re also the most accessible cards for the “credit invisible” to get. 

Green Dot primor® Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

The Green Dot primor® Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card comes with a heftier annual fee than the average card ($39 a year) and a three percent foreign purchase transaction fee. 

Green Dot softens the $200 required minimum deposit with no monthly fees and or minimum credit score requirements. The Green Dot doesn’t offer flashy perks or a signup bonus, but with a credit limit of up to $5,000 it offers the potential to build your credit history without jumping through hoops. 

  • $39 annual fee
  • Three percent foreign purchase transaction fee
  • No minimum credit score or history required 
  • Monthly reporting to all three major credit bureaus 

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card carries a considerable $49 annual fee. There aren’t any exciting rewards that come with this secured card, and the foreign purchase transaction fee is three percent, but your deposit is refundable when you pay off your balance. 

  • $49 annual fee
  • Three percent foreign purchase transaction fee
  • No minimum credit score or history required 
  • Monthly reporting to all three major credit bureaus 

Cards for Cash Back 

In the world of credit card rewards, cash back is the most flexible. We’ve scouted the best cash back options for people with no credit. 

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Offering more than 50 percent more cash back than the market average, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card gets you 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases. 

  • 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases and no foreign purchase transaction fees 
  • Steep annual fee of $39 

Cards for Travel 

Collect travel rewards and perks every time you swipe your credit card. From airline miles to hotel points, these cards offer the best travel rewards for people with no credit history. 

Deserve® Classic Mastercard

While the Deserve® Classic Mastercard is a basic choice for consumers with no credit history, it offers platinum benefits like price protection, travel assistance, ID theft protection, and car collision damage waiver. There are also no foreign purchase transaction fees and can be used anywhere in the world Mastercard is accepted

  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus 
  • No security deposit or co-signer required
  • Lower credit limit and $39 annual fee 

Cards for Rewards

Stretch your hard-earned dollar with a credit card that offers rewards such as cash back, no annual fees, travel perks, or member-only deals. 

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard is designed for students and offers three percent cash back on entertainment, two percent at restaurants, and one percent on all other purchases. It has no annual fee and is available to those with no credit history. International students benefit from no SSN requirement and no foreign purchase transaction fees. 

  • No annual fee, no foreign purchase transaction fees 
  • One percent cash back on all purchases 
  • Bonus: $59 Amazon Prime Student membership
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Comments (1) Leave your comment

  1. Nice article. Are there secure credit cards that offer graduation to unsecured credit cards? I ‘m of the perspective of what’s the point of having a secured credit card that never graduates to unsecured? Then almost all of the cards on this list charge an annual fee. Why pay for a card when there’s plenty out there don’t charge you? That’s my 2 cents on the matter.

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