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Unsecured Credit Cards

No one would blame you if you had to ask, "What is an unsecured credit card?" It’s actually what most people think of as a “normal” credit card. The term “unsecured” is simply used to differentiate ordinary cards from secured credit cards, which require users to place a refundable security deposit.

The first step in finding the best unsecured credit card for your needs is adjusting the filters on the left side of the page in order to pare down the displayed offerings (some cards are from our partners) to only those that match your credit standing. Then simply determine…show more

    3.5 3,027 reviews

    Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card


    capital one ventureone
    • Purchase Intro APR 0% until April 2017
    • Transfer Intro APR Not Offered
    • Regular APR 12.24% - 22.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1.25 miles / $1
    • Rewards Bonus 20,000 miles
    • Minimum Credit Good
    • Rewards Details
    • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel
    • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
    • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
    • Miles don’t expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
    • Additional Info
    • Enjoy a low intro APR on purchases until April 2017; 12.24%-22.24% variable APR after that
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Fraud Coverage - $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
    • Warranty Manager/Extended Protection - provides you with valuable features to help manage, use, and even extend warranties of items purchased with your card.
    • Auto rental insurance - use your card to rent an eligible vehicle and you’re covered for collision, damage, and loss
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card
    4 1,390 reviews

    Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever


    citi simplicity credit card
    • Purchase Intro APR 0% for 21 months
    • Transfer Intro APR 0% for 21 months 3% (min $5) Transfer Fee
    • Regular APR 13.24% - 23.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee $0*
    • Rewards Rate None
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate and No Annual Fee…EVER
    • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 21 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24% - 23.24% based on your creditworthiness.
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
    • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period.
    • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”.
    • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month.
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Citi Simplicity® Card – No Late Fees Ever
    3.5 858 reviews

    Citi® Double Cash Card


    citi double cash card
    • Purchase Intro APR Not Offered
    • Transfer Intro APR 0% for 18 months 3% (min $5) Transfer Fee
    • Regular APR 13.24% - 23.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee $0*
    • Rewards Rate 1% + 1% Cash Back
    • Rewards Bonus None
    • Minimum Credit Good
    • Rewards Details
    • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
    • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
    • Additional Info
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
    • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24% - 23.24% based on your creditworthiness
    • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Citi® Double Cash Card
    3.5 3,189 reviews

    Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card


    capital one quicksilver
    • Purchase Intro APR 0% until January 2017
    • Transfer Intro APR 0% until January 2017 3% Transfer Fee
    • Regular APR 13.24% - 23.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1.5% Cash Back
    • Rewards Bonus $100
    • Minimum Credit Good
    • Rewards Details
    • One-time $100 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
    • No rotating categories or sign ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back doesn’t expire and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
    • Additional Info
    • 0% intro APR on purchases until January 2017; 13.24%-23.24% variable APR after that
    • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR until January 2017; 13.24%-23.24% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
    • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
    3.5 1,815 reviews

    Chase Slate®


    chase slate
    • Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
    • Transfer Intro APR 0% for 15 months $0 Intro Transfer Fee
    • Regular APR 13.24% - 23.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate None
    • Minimum Credit Good
    • Rewards Details
    • Additional Info
    • Chase Slate named "Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers" three years in a row by MONEY Magazine
    • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days of account opening
    • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
    • Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard for free
    • No Penalty APR – Paying late won't raise your interest rate (APR). All other account pricing and terms apply
    • $0 Annual Fee
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Chase Slate®
    3.5 1,509 reviews

    Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express


    • Purchase Intro APR 0% for 12 months
    • Transfer Intro APR 0% for 12 months 3% Transfer Fee
    • Regular APR 13.24% - 23.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1 - 3% Cash Back
    • Rewards Bonus Up to $300
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • Rewards Details
    • Special Offer - Get up to $300 back. Offer Ends 6/15/2016.
    • Get Cash Back: 3% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 2% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept. stores; 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
    • With the Blue Cash Everyday® Card, you can get cash back. No rotating reward categories. No enrollment required.
    • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. You can only get cash back on eligible purchases.
    • Terms and restrictions apply.
    • Additional Info
    • No annual fee. Plus, 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate, currently 13.24% to 23.24%, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
    3.5 396 reviews

    Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®


    barclaycard arrival
    • Purchase Intro APR Not Offered
    • Transfer Intro APR 0% for 12 months 3% Transfer Fee
    • Regular APR 16.24% - 24.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1 - 2 miles / $1
    • Rewards Bonus 20,000 miles
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • Rewards Details
    • Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
    • Earn 2X miles on travel & dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
    • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem for travel statement credits
    • Additional Info
    • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
    • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
    • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
    • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®
    4.5 2,554 reviews

    Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®


    barclaycard arrival plus
    • Purchase Intro APR Not Offered
    • Transfer Intro APR 0% for 12 months 3% Transfer Fee
    • Regular APR 16.24% - 20.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee None 1st yr, $89 after
    • Rewards Rate 2 miles / $1
    • Rewards Bonus 40,000 miles
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • Rewards Details
    • Earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
    • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
    • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem for travel statement credits
    • Additional Info
    • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
    • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
    • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 16.24% or 20.24%, depending on your creditworthiness.
    • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®
    4 1,595 reviews

    Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card


    capital one venture
    • Purchase Intro APR Not Offered
    • Transfer Intro APR Not Offered
    • Regular APR 13.24% - 23.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee $0 for 1st yr, $59 after
    • Rewards Rate 2 miles / $1
    • Rewards Bonus 40,000 miles
    • Minimum Credit Good
    • Rewards Details
    • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel
    • Earn unlimited 2X miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
    • Travel when you want with no blackout dates
    • Miles don't expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
    • Additional Info
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
    • Fraud Coverage - You're covered by $0 Fraud Liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
    • Travel upgrades and savings - Receive complimentary upgrades and special savings at hotels, resorts, and spas with your Visa Signature® card.
    • Complimentary concierge service - Enjoy assistance 24 hours a day, from home and when you travel, with Visa Signature® Concierge.
    • Special access to events - Your Visa Signature® card gets you special access and preferred seating at popular sporting events, premier golf outings, and concerts.
    • Travel & Emergency Assistance - Available 24/7 to help connect you with local emergency and assistance resources when you're away from home
    • Emergency Card Services - If your credit card is lost or stolen, you can get an emergency card replacement and a cash advance.
    • Auto Rental Insurance - use your card to rent an eligible vehicle and you’re covered for collision, damage, and loss
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
    4 2,038 reviews

    Chase Freedom®


    chase freedom
    • Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
    • Transfer Intro APR 0% for 15 months 5% (min $5) Transfer Fee
    • Regular APR 14.24% - 23.24% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1 - 5% Cash Back
    • Rewards Bonus $150
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • Rewards Details
    • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
    • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it’s automatic
    • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, select grocery stores, and wholesale clubs
    • Cash Back rewards never expire as long as your account is open
    • Additional Info
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
    • No Annual Fee
    • See More Details & Reviews About The Chase Freedom®
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    Good Credit 661 – 720
    Fair Credit 620 – 660
    Bad Credit 300 – 619
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    Ask our Experts

    Expert’s Answers

    What are the pros & cons of unsecured credit cards?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOFirst of all, it’s important to note that when you consider the pros and cons of unsecured credit cards, you’re essentially comparing them to secured credit cards. With that being said, the pros of unsecured credit cards are: 1) No security deposit is needed, which allows you to stay more liquid; 2) They provide a line of credit; 3) Rewards are both more prevalent and more lucrative.

    On the other hand, the cons of unsecured credit cards are: 1) They are harder to get approved for, since the lack of a security deposit exposes banks to potential losses and defaults; 2) They enable you to spend beyond your means.

    Are there different types of unsecured credit cards?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOGiven that no security deposit credit cards are what most people refer to when they use the generic term “credit cards,” there are, of course, many different kinds. Unsecured credit cards vary on a number of levels, including their target consumer market (e.g. business, student), their specific features (e.g. rewards, 0% APR) and the minimum credit standing required for approval (e.g. good credit, fair credit). One type of card that may lead to some confusion is what’s known as a partially unsecured credit card. These cards, which we list on the Secured Credit Cards page, may require a security deposit that is smaller than the credit line that you get (the Capital One Secured Credit Card is a good example).

    So, with all of the different types of credit cards with no security deposit, you may be wondering which is best. The list of “best unsecured credit cards,” changes constantly and varies based on both your credit standing and needs. Therefore, checking out our Editor’s Best section could be a great starting point.

    Who should & shouldn’t get an unsecured credit card?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorWhether or not you should apply for an unsecured credit card depends on your credit standing:

    Damaged Credit: If you have damaged credit, your focus should really be on rebuilding your credit standing. Aside from the fact that unsecured credit cards for bad credit might not even be available, secured cards are much better suited to accomplishing this objective for three reasons: 1) They are much easier to get approved for, since they require a security deposit; 2) The security deposit makes high fees unnecessary and secured cards thereby cheaper alternatives; 3)The fact that the security deposit equals your credit line makes it impossible to spend beyond your means.

    Limited Credit: From a credit card company’s perspective, people with limited or no credit history can be put into one of two groups: students and everyone else. The focus of anyone with limited or no credit should be building credit as inexpensively as possible. With this in mind, whether the card is secured or unsecured doesn’t really matter and college students should focus their search on no annual fee student cards, while everyone else should check out all of the no annual fee credit cards for limited credit.

    Good or Excellent Credit: Pretty much anyone in this category should opt for an unsecured credit card, given that the rewards, interest rates and lines of credit simply cannot be matched by secured cards.

    I have bad credit; can I get an unsecured credit card?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOThe new credit card law (the CARD Act) has made it generally not profitable for credit card companies to offer unsecured credit cards to people with bad credit. The reason for this is that the law prevents issuers from charging fees that total more than 25% of a card’s credit limit during the first year. Since it is difficult to manage the inherent risk involved with offering unsecured cards to people with bad credit without these fees, most companies have ceased doing so. Nevertheless, you might want to check back from time to time in order to see if a new unsecured credit card offer has been added to our database.

    How does the economy impact unsecured credit card offerings?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorFor people with the highest credit scores, the economic landscape does not affect the overall availability of unsecured credit card applications but does impact the terms that are offered. During times of financial hardship, interest rates rise and rewards fall. During times of financial recovery, credit card companies are very competitive in their pursuit of the most exemplary consumers and offer initial rewards bonuses and 0% introductory interest rates as part of their courtship.

    On the other hand, the economy dictates whether unsecured credit cards for fair or limited credit history are available at all. When times are tough, issuers become more conservative and usually do not wish to incur the added risk of offering credit cards with no security deposit to unproven consumers. During those times, secured cards are the only option available.

    Community Discussion

    Ask a question or help others find the best credit card by sharing some tips.

     
    Oct 21, 2015
    By:
    I've been quite satisfied with a secured Visa through my local bank, but I'm completely ecstatic right now after just being approved for the Chase IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card. With an average interest charge, a low annual fee, and rewards for hotel earning double points on the things I purchase the most: gas and groceries!
    Sep 22, 2015
    By:
    I do not really want to use credit cards. But income is limited so I had gotten Capital One cards. I like how Capital One seems a little more understanding it seems like when you are behind on payments and they are easier to get. I like how you can move the payment date around too. I wish the dates could be more toward the end of the month though. I like their website. It is easy to navigate. Capital One offers cashback rewards and when you redeem the rewards to add as a credit statement on there it seems to be put on there quickly.
    Aug 5, 2015
    By:
    I chose Discover as my first card; they're the preferred card at two dollar stores I go to, and it offered 5% back on rotating categories (although I have to remember to enroll *each quarter*). The application was simple, I had a couple questions, so I gave my information over the phone, and was done in less than 5 minutes, with my card on the way—just a few questions like "...have a checking account?". The cashback program is simple and this card saved me from running out of gas quite a few times, even when I was over my limit.
    Jun 12, 2015
    By:
    My Capital One quicksilver card is great for transferring balances and also paying for those transfers. There is a promotional period and that is also great for saving a lot of money. I think that having more bonuses would also be a big improvement but with all of the benefits that come with this card, it is hard to make a fuss when the deal is this good. I used my card to pay off some bills that were piling up due to hard times at my job. I am really grateful for the savings that the card brought for me. I Really recommend it.
    May 5, 2015
    By:
    The unsecured credit card I use most is the Citi Double Cash card. I use it because I receive 2% cash back on everything I buy. I do have to pay an annual fee, which generally is a deal breaker for me.. There's also no annual fee. You get a good amount of rewards from this card without having to pay anything out of pocket as long as you pay your bill in full every month. The only thing I would like to see is higher cash back in categories, but that's just being greedy!
    Apr 16, 2015
    By:
    I use a Capital One credit card, I am using it to rebuild my credit after a bankruptcy and divorce a few years back. I do not enjoy paying the high interest rate or the yearly fees, but as I am still rebuilding my credit my options are limited. If I could add some features to this card I would implement a program that rewards it's customers with a chance to lower their interest rate by paying on time each month. Another program I would put into place would be a way to "work off" the yearly fee again by paying on time every month.
    Apr 11, 2015
    By:
    I personally use the Chase Freedom card. Amazing card for the things i like to do. 1% cash back on everything, 5% revolving. It can be a hassle sometimes having the revolving cash back amounts, but overall, i love the product. Even better, if you like to do a lot of Amazon shopping, the card links up automatically and you can pay for things using your Chase Freedom points. I just figured that out the other day and have never gone back. Overall, it may not be the best card on the market, but for no annual fee, it isn't too bad. Only thing i would add would be having a higher cash back amount on amounts not spent on the quarterly category.
    Apr 2, 2015
    By:
    I use my Capital One QuicksilverOne card quite often. It is a good card for balance transfers. I have saved a whole bunch of money transferring balances to this card and paying my balance down during the promotional period. The only thing that I do not like is the annual fee. I hate annual fees because I feel like I am already paying interest so why should they charge me an annual fee. The APR is pretty good once the promotional period is over. I originally got this card so that I could transfer my balances from other cards but I will probably keep this card once I finish paying it off.
    Feb 26, 2015
    By:
    I had gotten myself into some debt issues some years back, and I had hurt my credit score. I essentially had to start fresh and need to get back on my feet again with an prepaid credit card. If you have to go this route, I highly recommend going with Capital One because they are a big name in the credit card business and a reputable one. Like other commenters have mentioned, my unsecured card was more of a prepaid one in that I had to make a deposit which was the amount of money that I had to spend on the card. For example, if you put down $500, you typically have $500 to spend (unless there is an additional security fee which you get back down the road provided you use the card responsibly). In my case, I was sure that I did not overspend on the card so that I could build my credit again and not be stuck with unsecured cards.
    Feb 11, 2015
    By:
    I use the Citi Simplicity card as my unsecured credit card. When my credit score was bad because I’d gotten myself into some debt problems, I opened this card to try to improve it. I didn’t love the fees on the unsecured credit card, but I knew that once I got this card paid off, I could go back to a “normal” credit card and an improved situation. This card is better than a lot of other unsecured card because intro rate on purchases is 0% for 18 months and the interest rates are fairly low. However, the drawbacks of an unsecured card are that you can’t typically earn points or bonuses like gas or travel rewards and cash back like you can on other cards.
    Oct 23, 2014
    By:
    Six years back, when I arrived US from India for an IT job. My credit score was zero. As I have my salary direct deposit on BOA, I went to the BOA bank and they suggested me secure credit card to build my credit. I opened $300 credit and then raised it to $500 in 6 months. After an year BOA changed that secured credit card to a real credit card of limit $2000. After one more year, I could buy a car on auto loan with the credit score. The interesting fact is that the interest rate is really very low for this so I am still maintaining it. To the people who come to US as alien, the secured credit card is the only way to build credit history.
    Oct 6, 2014
    By:
    I use the Bank of America Cash Rewards Card for my daily purchases. It was the first unsecured credit card that I qualified for, so I'm very loyal to them. I also do all my banking with them, so it's very convenient. It's wonderful that this card has no annual fee. I wish that they had 3% cash back on all purchases, but it's currently 1% for purchases, 2% for grocery stores, and 3% for gas. I really don't like that they limit the cash back to the first $1,500 per quarter. Once I hit my limit, I'm forced to use another card. Cash Back is the best thing that's offered by credit cards. If you use it to buy your needed items, it's like getting paid to spend money.
    Sep 27, 2014
    By:
    I use the Target Visa credit card since I shop at Target quite a bit. The one thing I would add to this are reward points or cash back. I would add more ways to gain points and also more periods where you can get more cash back like what Discover did for 3 months where they gave 5% cash back instead of the normal 1%.
    Aug 2, 2014
    By:
    I've only just started using the TrueEarnings card from Amex and Costco since I finally decided to take the plunge and get a Costco membership. Let me tell you, I'll never look back! The free membership is a huge plus. The only thing I would change is the max earn is 3%, which means I won't always be using this card for everything I can when I have a 6% Amex I can get more cashback on. Otherwise, this card rocks!
    Jun 29, 2014
    By:
    I primarily use the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. If I could add anything it would be to extend the interest free period. When I got the card it was only 6 months at 0%. I would also add more bonuses so that you can get more cash back on a quarterly basis if you had spent so much on the card.
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