There’s no such thing as a good instant-approval credit card. Most of the credit cards that claim they accept anyone and everyone with no thought to your credit and financial situation don’t mention that they charge sky-high interest rates and fees for the privilege.
That said, some credit cards are relatively easy to get if you’re new to credit or you’re trying to rebuild your credit history. More importantly, there are credit cards that won’t charge you an arm and a leg to use them.
What to watch out for
As you’re searching for the easiest credit cards to get approved for, you might come across some that don’t offer a lot of information up front. That’s typically because they have something to hide.
Before you apply for any credit card, take a look at its rates and fees. Some of the worst credit cards charge high annual fees, processing fees just for opening the account, and even monthly fees. These cards end up costing far more than the benefit of building your credit history.
The easiest credit cards to get approved for in 2018
If you’re concerned about your credit getting in the way of a credit card approval, here are some cards we’d recommend considering.
Best for limited credit history: Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
This is a plain vanilla, unsecured credit card designed to help credit newbies start building their credit history. The card doesn’t offer rewards or any other special features, but it also doesn’t charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
So if your primary goal is to build credit from scratch, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card should be on your radar.
Best for terrible credit: OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
If you have some major negative items on your credit report — we’re talking bankruptcies, foreclosures, and unpaid tax liens — you could have trouble getting most credit cards.
With the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card, however, you don’t have to worry about those things standing in the way. That’s because the card issuer doesn’t run a credit check when you apply. You also don’t need a checking account to get approved, which is a standard requirement for most credit cards.
The card does charge a $35 annual fee, and you’ll need to put down a security deposit of at least $200, but that’s a small price to pay to improve your credit.
Best for rewards:
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
If you’re new to credit, the Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is low-hanging fruit. But if you’re feeling ambitious, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card could be worth applying for.
While the card is primarily designed for people with fair credit, Capital One’s website also makes room for people who are fairly new to credit and have at least one other open credit account.
The card offers 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, but it does charge a $39 annual fee.
Best for college students: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
If you’re a college student, you have access to a special line of credit cards to help you build your credit.
Student credit cards like the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® are designed to help young students establish a solid foundation for their credit history before they enter the real world.
This card, in particular, offers 1% cash back on every purchase you make, plus another 0.25% if you pay your bill on time. You’ll also get a higher credit limit if you pay your bill on time for your first five months.
Best for low interest: First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
If you’re new to credit or have a bad credit score, you can generally expect to pay ridiculously high interest rates if you ever carry a balance.
With the First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card, however, you’ll get a better APR than you can expect from even the best low-interest credit cards. The card offers a 10.74% APR, which is well below the 15.54% average, according to the Federal Reserve.
That said, you’ll pay a $49 annual fee for that benefit. Also, you’ll need a security deposit equal to your credit limit, which can be between $200 and $2,000.
How to pick the right card for you
While the credit cards we’ve listed don’t guarantee approval, they’re the easiest credit cards to get approved for that won’t take advantage of you and your situation.
Compared with some of the best rewards credit cards, these cards don’t sound great. But as you work on building your credit to the point where you can get a good rewards credit card, these ones are worth having in your wallet.
As you compare these cards, you’ll notice that there’s not a clear winner for every situation. So consider your credit situation and think about which card or cards are best tailored to your needs. And if you don’t get the perfect card, just remember that you’ll be eligible for better credit cards in a year or so anyway.
Editorial Disclaimer: Information in these articles is brought to you by CreditSoup. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles. The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted; however, all credit card information is presented without warranty. Please check the issuer’s website for the most current information.