What are the easiest credit cards to get approved for?

Posted by CreditCardGuru

Q: If you don’t have the best credit history, what credit cards are the easiest to be approved for in 2014?

approved stampA: That’s an excellent question and I’ll be happy to answer it.

Ever since The Great Recession, getting approved for credit cards isn’t quite as easy as it used to be. These days, credit card companies have stricter approval requirements, making approval more challenging for those with bad credit or a limited credit history.

Let’s take a look at some of the easiest credit cards to get approved for, divided by category…

For no credit history (or little credit history)

Here is the one I’m seeing a lot of people have luck with lately:Lucky for you, banks view those with a blank slate (little to no credit history) more favorably than someone that has screwed up their credit. In other words, banks are usually more willing to give newcomers a chance.

However it’s highly unlikely you will be approved for the mid- to high-level cards right away. Instead you will have to start off with some of the entry-level cards. After a year or so of good management, you should be able to apply for something even better.

If you are a college student, I would recommend applying for cards designed for college students. These are specifically geared towards younger people with little to no history, so they are some of the easiest credit cards to get approved for. We have a sponsored section for with the best student credit cards you should check out. Here is my favorite one right now:

If you are not a college student , you won’t be able to get a student credit card, as they generally require you to be enrolled at a college or university. Fortunately, there are still cards out there for those with limited credit history, whether you are 20 or 80. The easiest ones to get will be those geared toward people with fair credit (which is what most people newer to credit usually have). Check out our ranking of cards for people with fair credit.

For bad credit

Don’t worry, if you have bad credit, all hope is NOT lost! There are still plenty of options on the market for people just like you!

As expected, you won’t qualify for most of the cards out there. The easiest ones to get approved for will be secured cards. However you need to watch out, because a lot of secured credit cards charge outrageous fees. Just because you have bad credit, it doesn’t mean you should be ripped off! Here are some things to keep an eye on when it comes to secured cards:

  • Application fees – Some secured cards charge application fees. Generally this is something we frown upon
  • Processing fees – You may be charged a “processing fee” simply for processing your application. Ideally, it’s probably best to choose a card that doesn’t charge this fee.
  • Annual or monthly fees – You can expect to pay an annual fee for most secured cards, but some cards’ fees are more unreasonable than others.
  • Easy account management – Online account management, text message notifications, etc. should be included free of charge.
  • Reports to major credit bureaus – Card issuers actually have to pay in order to report their cardholders to the credit bureaus. For this reason, some sketchy companies won’t report. Make sure the secured card you choose reports to the major credit bureaus, otherwise it won’t help your credit.

Because secured cards require a refundable security deposit (you choose the amount), you’re likely to get approved as long as you meet the simple residency requirements (U.S. citizen), are at least 18 years of age and can verify your identity if needed. There is usually no credit history or credit score requirement, so secured cards are definitely the easiest to get, even if you have really bad credit. Check out this page where we ranked secured offers:

Rebuilding credit using secured cards


Updated April 1, 2014

62 comments... read them below or add your own

  1. Mark April 16, 2014 at 8:18AM

    There are many factors with getting approved. my score is 593 and got approved for barclay for $500.00. They look a lot for stability as well. How long you have lived at your current address. Collection on utilities is really bad…….they figure if you don’t pay your electric, your not going to pay for a credit card. Whether you own or rent. If you bankruptcy is discharged or not………….and length of time from poor credit. IE…….if there is a collection account on your credit……….and its 2 years old and your credit is fine otherwise…then it wont bother you. Sometimes you never really know why its declined. They can give you bad marks for many things. YOu need to score high on basic things…….length of time at address, how long you have had the same phone number, you debt to income ratio, you length of employment at same job.

  2. Robert April 10, 2014 at 9:17PM

    The easiest card to get approved is GM World Elite MasterCard. I just got approved with $8000 CL.
    This is a brand new card from Capitalone with GM.
    Apply here gmcard.com

  3. LC April 8, 2014 at 4:55PM

    Credit score 671 and got approved for a Barclaycard for $2500

  4. Kat April 7, 2014 at 10:11AM

    Capital One denied me with a credit score of 600. I’m not sure where these people are getting their information from, but they need to quit telling people Capital One is a option for people with challenging credit. They are NOT! So I guess there’s no hope for rebuilding credit in 2014. I guess since they’ve acquired Household Finance, their credit criteria has changed therefore they are no longer aiding people with credit issues.

    • yeah April 17, 2014 at 9:11PM

      I just applied for someone in my family and his score is 650 but did not get approved for capital One because he has a thin file that’s crazy because he paid off his student loan and has no bills, no credit cards, and could not get this.I have a score of 584 and did get approved for Capital 1 which I thought was a little strange as I had some bad things on there but I have been paying on my school loan and had other things I paid in the past but I had 3 hard credit checks on there and some collections.I really don’t know how they decide who gets what.I did try to get him a walmart card which they are making a decision to get him started.I also applied for a walmart card and a crate and barrel card and I’am waiting for decision as I’am wanting to rebuild my credit.

  5. JACKIE April 5, 2014 at 2:41PM

    SCORE OF 630 GOT APPROVED FOR BARCLAY 500 IN NOVEMBER JUST GOT AN INCREASE TO 1500, SCORE NOW AT 680

  6. Joseph March 30, 2014 at 5:30PM

    I have a question before I even apply for the barclaycard.
    Everytime I apply for a card it says that my credit file is too thin.
    AS far as I know, aside from Renters credit I have no credit at all.
    Before I waste my time applying for this card only to be rejected again does anyone have any insight on if I should go ahead with the application process or just not bother with it at all based on what I’ve just said?

  7. Chuck March 18, 2014 at 1:57PM

    I think the chances of qetting an approval are all a matter of who pulls the paper off the computer at any given time. Our income is over 55K a year. Nothing we do can get us a credit card approval. Cap one made a mistake on my spouses account and refuses to correct it. Wrote off and replaced an account that was allowed on a chapter 13 bankruptcy 17 times. The interest is now $1400 above the $586 balance. Cap one could have been repaid at the time but never filed. All our debtors had the chance, we repaid over $35K in 5 years. We should have filed a Chapter 7 and wrote it all off. Turns out 75% of people never pay off chapter 13′s. Instead of getting credit for repayment we’re screwed. Current credit scores are 650 +. Guess what … they don’t use credit scores anymore, they use newer reports to determine your numbers. Pulling credit scores is a waste of time – wonder why you don’t qualify, it’s because they pulled one of the newer reports. Credit scores are ‘old’ and out of date. THey only make money by getting us to buy them month after month. We’ve never had a bounced check, never paid our utilities late, own our home free and clear, our vehiles are PIF and the only late payment we had on the last one was the month it took to file the bankruptcy report. Nothing real matters. All smoke and mirrors. Am I angry … yes, 50 years of working and not one person will pick up a phone and actually look for the truth anymore.

  8. julien March 13, 2014 at 7:08PM

    Applied for cap1 card. Asked for income w2 SS#. Don’t know what to make of it. Any advise? Credit score 580.

    • Robert April 10, 2014 at 9:26PM

      They want do make sure what you say is true on the application.Example, If you say you a student and making
      $50000.00 a year, yeah, of course they will check on you.

  9. Deborah Harvey March 2, 2014 at 8:54AM

    Approved for Barclay for $1300 credit YAY

  10. CHRISTOBAL SARADETCH February 22, 2014 at 7:30PM

    AM TRYING TO GET A CREDIT CARD..AM RESIDENT IN ARGENTINA..

  11. mike February 22, 2014 at 12:22AM

    Don’t apply for a Barclaycard. Instead apply for fingerhut mich better u well get approved. I was denied with Barclay and I have good credit. I applied because this site said it’s a good chance of approval. ( the hell it is ). Now i have inquiry to even lower my score worst screw Barclay. Try capital one bank or Fingerhut. Trust me.

  12. Parrish Tubbs February 17, 2014 at 8:10AM

    What credit report did Barclay card uses?

    • working on my credit March 4, 2014 at 3:13AM

      equifax

  13. tiffany February 9, 2014 at 10:29PM

    Approved Barclay card for $750 with a 615 credit score

    • ellasf March 8, 2014 at 8:10AM

      That’s great! Do you have any baddies?

  14. Johnny February 8, 2014 at 3:19PM

    Ive been denied by both Barclay and capital one. What amazes me is that all 3 credit bureaus have 3 different scores. My highest is 741 down to 570. Revolving account is 0 and still denied. I don’t have any payments and make decent money. I honestly don’t think they look at all 3 scores just Transunion because it’s the hardest.

    • shhhitsme February 11, 2014 at 10:17PM

      Johnny,

      The score in between your two others is your mid score. It is used to determine your credit. Many companies frown upon $0 revolving, as they can’t judge if you’re responsible with credit or not.

      Use less than 30% of your credit each month, but use it every month. You can pay off the bill. We use $30 twice per month for gas in my husbands truck and then pay the balance off. It helps show a revolving responsible use of credit

    • David March 6, 2014 at 10:31PM

      Be sure that you don’t owe any banks even by owing a buck to any bank will lead to serious inquiries and being denied. You could check if you owe at ChexSystem.com and file for your free report it could take up to 5 business days to be sent, or simply head down to your nearest credit union or bank and by applying for a checking account they’ll be able to pull up your ChexSystem report on the spot.

  15. Ashley February 6, 2014 at 8:29PM

    APPROVED barclaycard! $2000! Low income, credit 650. YaY

    • Sammy February 21, 2014 at 12:17PM

      which barclaycard??

  16. Kevin February 4, 2014 at 6:13PM

    Just denied Barclay… credit score 654…70000 yearly income.
    Car payment paid in full in last year.
    Quite sad!

  17. jgarcia January 23, 2014 at 7:13AM

    Applied for the Barclay, capital one, and discovery and was denied. I make little under 20000 and am have no outstanding balances so I don’t know what the deal was

  18. samad January 22, 2014 at 1:42PM

    MY credit Score is good. I applied for BarclayCard and i got denied. Please people DO NOT apply for barclaycard unless you have long credit history and excellent score. I will tell admin to remove this credit card so people won’t get fool. Thanks

    • tscoville January 28, 2014 at 5:37AM

      I have a credit score of 576-654, depending on what time of day and which reporting agency is used, and I was approved for Barclayy instantly for $1000. I am rebuilding my credit and my utilization is less than 10% so that may be why.

      • brown February 23, 2014 at 3:42PM

        If you don’t mind, what’s your annual income?

      • ellasf March 8, 2014 at 8:10AM

        Did you have a secured card already? Also, what are your baddies? Thanks.

  19. JerryH January 22, 2014 at 10:21AM

    I am 19 yo and i got my first credit card in august of 2012,from 1fbusa with a $200 limit with no job, and I still was in High School, after 6 months it went up to $900 , still no job and I always paid on time. Now a year in half later, am in college, just got a job in dec 2013. I have a Dillards($1000), Belk($300), credit one bank($400), Us Bank Student card($600), and still have the 1fbusa($900). I got all of those cards in march and april of 2013. My experian credit score is 692,am not trying to get anymore but, i plan on closing all of them but 2.
    So really it doesn’t matter what you make , at least in my case it didn’t, starting off you’re going to have to pay the high interest rates.

    • BritB February 25, 2014 at 12:06PM

      Don’t close the cards, leave them open and don’t use them but maybe once a year. Closing the cards will have a negative impact on your score and will lower the total availible revolving credit that you have.

  20. Courtney January 22, 2014 at 5:58AM

    I got a credit one card with a limit of $400. I made one $100 payment and within a week they lifted my credit limit to $600. I have a 570 as credit score.

    • Karen April 15, 2014 at 11:15AM

      Hi, if you don’t mind sharing, what credit card was it? Thanks!

  21. sha January 15, 2014 at 6:01PM

    I tried for a Barclays Card, my score 737, only 3 other cards low balances, credit history 8 months, got denied applied second time about year history, still denied, so I called for reconsideration and was told the reason for denial is to they expect to see high utilization on my present cards,

  22. jjrenell January 15, 2014 at 11:24AM

    I’ve applied for several over time I’m 46 and have paid of vehicles ahead of time. I have no credit cards ever and because I don’t have that revolving debt I’m constantly denied. Omg never collected any type of welfare. I make 40 a yr, and I have to start a credit card with a 250 limit and it’s all fees just to say I did. That’s crazy the way our system works.

  23. Anonymous Anonymous January 3, 2014 at 11:46AM

    I have a relatively short credit history and I just got approved for Barclay. Thanks for your advice!

  24. laura jacilix December 19, 2013 at 9:30PM

    I’ve never had a credit card or anything bad against my credit except a few minor things and I really need help to know which card to apply for im tired of apply to see a no :(

  25. jones December 7, 2013 at 9:20AM

    I got approved for capital one, im under review for barclays idk if I’ll get approved for them..i gotta repo n late card payments on my last credit card but everything is paid up except the car n my credit score is 607

  26. Steve December 3, 2013 at 7:13PM

    I dont believe income is an issue here. I got approved for $1300 and i make less than 30,000 a year and my bills are 70% of my income. I have a $500 capital one card thats full and still got approved. I got denied by chase, discover, and usaa-(supposed to be pro military) and im active duty military. I really didnt think id get approved but life is full of surprises

    • tscoville January 28, 2014 at 5:40AM

      if you are active duty, please apply at navy federal credit union. nfcu.org.
      they just approved me after joining w/membership for $5 a c/c at $5000.

  27. Loida November 22, 2013 at 3:26PM

    I was approved with Barclaycard for $1300, My credit score is 640, I had applied for other 3 credit cards which 2 accepted me and this one accepted me also

  28. Sweet November 17, 2013 at 8:09PM

    My credit isn’t perfect. Bankruptcy and lates and charge offs on my report. I was approved for the Barclays card for $1300, my credit score is 690. Today is 11/17/2013

  29. Aaron July 19, 2013 at 12:51AM

    Chase offers the best Credit Line amount, best interest rate of major cards, and if you have good or better credit youll be approved

  30. Misty January 18, 2013 at 8:28PM

    I also have a credit limit with AmEx of over half my income. And that isn’t taking into account my 3 others. And $10,000 is the most I’ve ever made as I’m a full time student…

  31. John December 19, 2012 at 6:15PM

    I’ve had troubles in the past, such as having my vehicle repossessed and charged off credit cards, due to losing my job, being young, and not understanding credit. Fast forward 5 years and all past issues have been paid off and I used the secured credit cards path to rebuild my credit. Currently have a brand new car with 5.9% and multiple credit cards with a total of over $13,000 credit limits combined. I never put more than 30% on any card and I do carry balances over on some since they have that wonderful 0% introductory rate. I do still use the ones which the 0% introductory rate has expired but only charge small amounts that I can pay off every month. I am planning on purchasing a home within the next 2 years and believe I am on the right track. Some feedback would be much appreciated. As to everyone else out there that is frustrated, it takes time and a lot of patients to build/rebuild but it can be done! Best wishes to all on your credit building endeavours!

    • Gina August 31, 2013 at 6:20PM

      what was your credit score? And I have a lot of things coming off my credit report in 2013 and Jan 2014, How long should I wait before I apply for credit to see if my score has raised any at all? About 3 to 4 months?

  32. Shawn October 21, 2012 at 1:26PM

    Try joining a credit union. Once you have donated to their preferred association, and have opened up a free chequing or savings account, they will issue you a member#. Use this member number when applying for their credit card. You will be shocked at how easy the approval process is. Try DCU.org

    • ann May 11, 2013 at 11:48AM

      what is a preferred association

  33. Ariana August 22, 2012 at 10:05AM

    I’m a student and tried applying for every single one of these including a US Bank student card. I got denied for every single one.

    • Jessica April 4, 2013 at 12:06PM

      You shouldn’t apply for too many, and if you do, limit to about 2 and make sure you apply on the same day. Nonetheless US Bank is very hard to get approved for.

      After you’re denied, wait another 4 months and try applying again. Your score needs to bounce back.

    • kasi July 4, 2013 at 2:30PM

      Hi if you’re a student then apply for the Discover student card. It’s easy to get for students.

  34. applied August 14, 2012 at 3:39PM

    my husband applied for a capital one secured credit card and got DENIED! i have always thought that this was a fail proof credit card but indeed it is NOT! they sent letter stating that his credit did not meet, why do they state on website its to rebuild credit for bad credit but then wont approve a 570 score? makes no sense!! what is the fail proof sec credit card? 100% approval?

    • Domenique September 12, 2012 at 12:52PM

      Ya, I applied for Cap one secured and got denied as well. I have 2 cc’s and have paid all bills on time for 2 yrs. I was shocked!

      • Question August 24, 2013 at 6:22PM

        I am a disabled woman in her 50′s and I was separated from my husband who destroyed my credit. I just need one card to start with. Which one do you recommend?

  35. Pete July 28, 2012 at 1:06PM

    If you have good credit- almost any financial institution wants your business- just do a search on line then compare. If you have bad credit, you might just settle with high rates to give time to re-establish your credit.

  36. Shawn July 24, 2012 at 2:01AM

    In answer to Christine above and others who may be in a similar situation. If $12,000 is not a typo, you may not be meeting the minimum income threshold. Even many department store credit cards look for a minimum of $14,000 a year in income to get approved. Make sure that you are filling in the forms right. Good luck!

    • Misty January 18, 2013 at 8:25PM

      That isn’t true. I only make like $10,000 a yr and I got approved by American express. My parents make over $500,000 and got denied. What you make can’t make much of a difference.

  37. christine coy February 4, 2012 at 10:36AM

    I’ve tried getting a Discover and Walmart card, just paid my home off never lapsed on bills. I make over 12000 a year what am i doing wrong?

    help me please cc

    • CreditCardGuru February 9, 2012 at 12:24AM

      If you were denied for those then try the link above :)

    • Sarah March 31, 2012 at 9:03AM

      I hope the $12,000 a year is a typo…if not, then that’s why!

      • Candice November 26, 2012 at 12:22PM

        LOL that’s what I was thinking. You can’t get credit cards when you only make $12k a year… I make $50k/year and was lucky I got one with a $1,000 limit and having excellent credit LMAO

    • Laurie A October 24, 2012 at 8:15AM

      You were probably not approved because you may have too many credit accounts. Your income to debt ration is also looked at. I got a capital one unsecured mastercard. My credit score was about 600 and i owe absolutely no money.

    • Seth January 3, 2014 at 8:46AM

      I make a little over $13k a year and I got approved for the Capital One Quiksilver Card. Granted I only got a $300 limit but it doesn’t take long for that to be moved up.

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