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After reviewing eleven of the best instant approval credit cards, we found two cards that rank as the best options. If you have bad credit and want to improve your credit score, take a serious look at Applied Banks’s Secured Visa® Gold Preferred®, and Unsecured Classic Visa® cards.

Banks typically give instant approval to anyone with excellent credit, and you’ll discover those types of cards below.

However, worrying about getting approved when carrying a bad credit score is one of the biggest stressors when applying for a credit card.

That’s why Applied Bank’s Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® and Unsecured Classic Visa® cards sit at the top of the list. They work great when you’re in credit score rebuilding mode after hitting a rough financial patch, such as a string of late payments or even bankruptcy.

Would you feel less stress knowing you can get a credit line without a minimum credit score required or even no credit check at all? You’ll find that my top choices offer these features. These cards report to the credit bureaus as well.


Let’s dive in so you can get the best instant approval credit card that meets your specific needs.

You don’t need to worry about your credit score when obtaining the Applied Bank Secured Gold Card. The reason is that Applied Bank doesn’t check your credit history at all.

It’s a secured card, meaning the amount of credit available to you equals the deposit you make when opening your account. For example, you’ll have a credit limit of $200 when depositing $200 upon applying.

The Applied Bank card caters to people with bad credit who need to rebuild their credit scores. The low APR and the lack of fees make this card stand out.

Pros
● No credit check required
● Reports to the major credit bureaus every month
● Low 9.99% APR
● No monthly fee
● No one-time fee
● No over-limit penalty
Cons
● $48 annual fee
● Does not offer rewards
● No grace period

Best Features
● A late payment won’t affect your APR
● Low and flexible security deposit
● No credit check

2. Applied Bank® Unsecured Classic Visa® Card

Here’s another Applied Bank credit card option for anyone with bad credit. Unlike their Secured Visa Gold Card, this one doesn’t require a refundable security deposit. The offset to that is the $89 one-time fee upon opening your new account.

You’ll pay a $75 annual fee to start the account (each subsequent year costs $45) and a $6.25 monthly fee.

The most beneficial aspect of the Applied Bank® Unsecured Classic Visa® Card is the monthly reporting that goes out to the three major credit bureaus. You can start your journey back to a higher credit score with that feature.

You’ll get a $300 credit limit to start the account and face a 29.99% APR. You can increase your credit limit later. Although this card has the advantage of not requiring a security deposit, there are several fees that you will need to budget for.

Pros
● Instant $300 credit line
● Fixed APR
● Reports to all three major credit bureaus every month
● Manageable minimum monthly payments
● No minimum credit score requirements
● Access higher credit limits after making on-time payments

Cons
● $89 set-up fee
● $45 annual fee ($75 the first year)
● $6.25 monthly fee ($0 per month the first year)
● 29.99% APR

Best Features
● Easy qualification process
● Reports to the credit bureaus each month
● You can obtain a higher credit line eventually

3. Discover it® Secured Credit Card

This card works well for anyone with bad credit. It doesn’t come in first on the list because it’s not as easy to get approved when compared to the top two choices from Applied Bank.

It’s a secured card with a $200 minimum deposit and comes with a high 22.99% variable APR. The 2% cashback reward program and the lack of fees make it well worth it if you can get approved.

Pros
● 2% cash-back rewards
● No annual fee
● No one-time fee
● No monthly fee
● $200 minimum deposit

Cons
● 22.99% variable rate
● Approval isn’t guaranteed

Best Features
● 2% cash-back program
● Starts automatic reviews after eight months
● Low minimum deposit

4. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

This card gets instant approval if you have a 750+ credit score and already belong to Costco. Its APR is above average. However, you can offset that a bit by taking advantage of the cash-back feature.

Pros
● No annual fee
● 1%-4% cashback
● Shopping benefits (extended warranty protection, for example)
● Travel insurance coverage

Cons
● Only for Costco members ($60+ annual fee)
● 15.24% variable APR
● Late fee charge = $40 ● Rewards are only paid annually

Best Feature
● Cashback rewards

5. Surge Mastercard® Credit Card

This unsecured card reports to the three credit bureaus each month, making it a good option when rebuilding your credit. Unfortunately, it comes with some high fees, such as its $75 to $99 annual fee. The APR is high, as well, coming in at 24.99% to 29.99%.

Pros
● No first-year monthly fee ($10/month after 1st yr)
● Monthly fee waived w/ $750-$1,000 credit limit
● No one-time fee

Cons
● 24.99% to 29.99% variable APR
● $75-$99 annual fee
● No rewards

Best Features
● Vantage 3.0 access
● Any credit type is eligible to apply
● Reports to all three credit bureaus

6. Indigo® Mastercard® for Less than Perfect Credit

Here’s another unsecured option for people in need of rebuilding their credit histories. You’ll know instantly if you qualify for a credit line of $300.

Pros
● No one-time fee
● No monthly fee

Cons
● $0 – $99 annual fee (based on creditworthiness)
● 24.9% APR
● $300 limit on your credit line

Best Features
● Soft inquiry pre-qualification process
● Monthly reporting to all three credit bureaus

7. Secured Mastercard® from Capital One

This card offers a quality, low-cost option for building credit. It doesn’t require an annual fee, and it reports to the three credit bureaus each month. Depending on your credit history, you can get a credit limit starting at $200 with a deposit ranging from only $49 to $99.

Pros
● No annual fee
● Only partially secured ($49 or $99 deposit = $200 credit line)
● No one-time fee

Cons
● 26.99% variable APR
● Not eligible if you have: ○
An over-the-limit Capital One card A past-due Capital One card ○ A non-discharge bankruptcy

Best Features
● Increase your credit line by depositing additional funds before the account officially opens
● Get additional credit within six months
● Earn your deposit back

8. Fortiva® Cash Back Reward Card

Here’s an unsecured card for people with bad credit. It’s more expensive than other available options but doesn’t require a deposit. It comes with a cash-back rewards program to help offset its fees and high APR.

Pros
● 1% to 3% cashback
● No monthly fee the 1st year
● No one-time fee
● Potential for up to $1,000 credit limit

Cons
● Annual fee ($85 – $175 the 1st yr)
● Annual fee ($29 – $49 in subsequent years)
● Monthly fee of $7.25 – $12.50 after 1st yr
● 29.99% variable APR

Best Features
● Pre-qualification feature
● Contactless payments
● VantageScore 3.0 access

9. Fingerhut Credit Account

The Fingerhut Credit Account store card is a solid option for building credit. You can get approved with a lower required credit score than most other available store cards, and it doesn’t charge an annual fee.

This makes for an excellent option for anyone starting their credit-building journey. If you have damaged credit, it can also help rebuild your credit profile. Whatever the reason for needing it, it’s a low-cost way to build credit because it doesn’t charge any fees at all. You could pay off the balance every month, avoid interest, and rebuild your credit completely free of charge.

Pros
● No annual fee
● No one-time fees
● No monthly fee
● Shop for brands like DeWalt, KitchenAid, and Samsung

Cons
● 29.99% APR
● Only good for Fingerhut purchases

Best Features
● The Fingerhut card reports all three credit bureaus
● Sometimes offers a promotion of $25 off your first $100 purchase
● Simple application process and get approved in seconds

10. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

If you have fair credit, then the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards card might fit your needs. Its cash-back option pays out almost 40% more than the average rewards credit card. Another unique feature is that this card is one of very few that don’t charge any foreign transaction fees.

This Capital One card does charge a $39 annual fee. This means you’ll need to spend $2,600 every year to break even after getting your 1.5% cashback. You can come out ahead if you intend to spend more than that on an annual basis.

Pros
● 1.5% cashback on all purchases
● Available to people with fair or limited credit
● No charges on international use
● Monitor your credit profile with the free CreditWise® app

Cons
● $39 annual fee
● 26.99% variable APR

Best Features
● There’s no limit to how much cash you can get back
● The cashback amount never expires on you
● Gain automatic eligibility for a higher credit line in 6 months

11. Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

Here’s an unsecured credit card for anyone with bad credit. You don’t need any security deposit, and you’ll get an immediate $300 credit line. The card reports to the credit bureaus and offers a cashback rewards program.

Many other bad credit unsecured credit cards come in as more expensive than this Credit One Bank card. That’s because it doesn’t charge a one-time application fee like most other similar cards do. Although it doesn’t charge monthly fees, there is a $75 annual fee. Every year after that charges a $99 annual fee.

Pros
● No one-time fees
● 1% cashback rewards program
● Instant unsecured credit line
● No monthly fees
● Free Experian credit score access

Cons
● It doesn’t guarantee future credit line increases
● $75 annual fee (first year)
● $99 annual fee (subsequent years)
● 23.99% variable APR

Best Features
● You can choose your monthly due date
● Card reports to all three credit bureaus
● You can check if you quality without hurting your credit score

Instant Approval Credit Card Buying Guide

Here are some tips to follow as you make your choice from my list of the best instant approval credit cards.

Features

If you have bad credit, the main feature you’re looking for is whether a card reports to the three credit bureaus. Your priority is building your credit score higher, and this can’t happen if the credit bureaus don’t see your positive monthly activity.

You also want to look for the lowest cost to rebuild your score. Look for the following card features:

  • No annual fee
  • No monthly fee
  • No upfront fees
  • Low APR costs

If possible, look for rewards features like cash-back options. However, this shouldn’t be your focus since you need an improved credit history more than rewards.

Your top feature requests will look different if you already have a solid credit score. In this case, you want to find as many perks as possible in exchange for your responsible credit history. Find cards that don’t charge you any fees, offer the lowest APRs possible, and give you cashback on your purchases. Look for other perks, such as travel insurance.

Problems to Watch Out For

When you have bad credit, you’re in a vulnerable position. Creditors know you might feel desperate enough to fall victim to bad credit card deals.

Watch out for extremely high annual percentage rates because these affect your minimum monthly payments. Those minimum payments affect your ability to pay on time every month, and thus, increasing your credit score.

Check into any company to see if they’ll charge you to simply get on the phone and talk to a customer service rep. Your new credit card company should provide free customer service, so you get all your questions answered without hassle.

When getting a secured card, make sure the deposit is refundable.

When Should You Consider Getting a New Credit Card?

Everyone needs a few credit cards to build credit and make it easier to apply for the important things in life, such as a new car or house. However, don’t overextend yourself with so many cards that you can’t keep up with the payments. That’s a sure way to end up with a damaged credit score.

Consider getting a new credit card if you:

  • Don’t have any credit yet and need to start building your credit file
  • Went through bankruptcy and need to rebuild your credit score
  • Have good to excellent credit and need extra benefits such as cash-back rewards

Conclusion

What’s the bottom line regarding the above choices? Each of them has its place when looking for the best instant approval credit cards. However, the Applied Bank’s Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® and Unsecured Classic Visa® cards represent the top choices when you need to build credit or recover from a bad credit history.

They offer credit without needing to qualify at all or without any minimum credit score required. The Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® card is especially helpful in saving money on fees and interest rates.

Although the Unsecured Classic Visa® card comes with higher fees and interest rates, it’s an excellent option when you don’t have a deposit on hand to get started with.

Are you ready to start improving your credit history? Visit the following links to begin your new journey: Click here for the Applied Bank Secured Visa® Gold Preferred® card. Click here for the Applied Bank Unsecured Classic Visa® card.