Compare credit cards for bad credit

5 min Read Published: 05 Jun 2024

Compare credit cards for bad creditYou may not be able to get a top credit card because you have had financial issues in the past or because you do not have a history of using credit. Just because you can't access the best credit card on the market, doesn't mean to say you won't be able to get a credit card to suit your needs. The best credit cards for bad credit can help you access much-needed spending power and boost your credit file with examples of responsible borrowing. In this article you can find the best bad credit credit cards, plus all the key information you need to know before you apply.

What is a credit card for bad credit?

Credit cards for bad credit are aimed at people with a low credit score and poor credit history who would struggle to qualify for other credit cards. An application for a mainstream credit card could be declined if you have:

  • Not meet a lender’s income requirements or eligibility criteria
  • A limited credit history
  • Late or missed payments, defaults, or county court judgments (CCJs)
  • An IVA (Individual Voluntary Agreement) or Debt Management Plan
  • Made several credit applications in a short space of time
  • Been financially linked to someone who has a bad credit history, such as your spouse

If you have been declined for a standard credit card recently or you are not eligible for one, then a bad credit credit card may be the right option for you.

Partner Spotlight

Compare credit card deals

We’ve teamed up with Creditec

  • Find out what credit cards you are eligible for
  • This will not affect your credit rating
  • 26.5% APR Representative (variable)

Powered by
Compare Credit Cards*

Which credit card for bad credit is best for you?

Comparing different credit cards is a key part of getting the best deal for you. Money to the Masses has helped to simplify this process by partnering with Creditec*, an online comparison service. You do not need to trawl through countless different provider websites hunting for the best cashback or lowest fees, as Creditec’s personalised search results will show you the key details you need to know in one place. Your tailored list will also feature the cards that you are more likely to be accepted for, cutting down the chance of any applications you make being rejected. Your search results are built using a soft credit search, so there will be no damage to your credit score. You can start your search by clicking this link*.

The best credit cards for bad credit – June 2024

Card name  Representative APR (variable) Annual fee Check your eligibility before you apply?
BIP Credit Card 29.90% £0 Yes - Check eligibility
HSBC Classic Credit Card 29.90% £0 Yes - Check eligibility
Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit Card 34.50% £0 Yes - Check eligibility
Aqua Classic Credit Card 34.90% £0 Yes - Check eligibility
Marbles Credit Card 34.90% £0 Yes - Check eligibility
Capital One Classic Credit Card 34.90% £0 Yes - Check eligibility
Zopa Credit Card 34.90% £0 Yes - Check eligibility
118 118 Money Credit Card 49.00% £0 Yes - Check eligibility

Partner Spotlight

Compare credit card deals

We’ve teamed up with Creditec

  • Find out what credit cards you are eligible for
  • This will not affect your credit rating
  • 26.5% APR Representative (variable)

Powered by
Compare Credit Cards*

BIP Credit Card BIP Credit Card - Check eligibility

  • Representative APR: 29.90% variable
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.90% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £0, your representative rate is 29.90% APR (variable)
  • Annual fee: £0

HSBC Classic Credit Card HSBC Classic Credit Card - Check eligibility

  • Representative APR: 29.90% variable
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 29.90% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £0, your representative rate is 29.90% APR (variable)
  • Annual fee: £0

Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit Card Vanquis Bank Credit Builder Credit Card - Check eligibility

  • Representative APR: 34.50% variable
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.50% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £0, your representative rate is 34.50% APR (variable)
  • Annual fee: £0

Aqua Classic Credit Card Aqua Classic Credit Card - Check eligibility

  • Representative APR: 34.90% variable
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.90% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £0, your representative rate is 34.90% APR (variable)
  • Annual fee: £0

marbles credit card Marbles Credit Card - Check eligibility

  • Representative APR: 34.90% variable
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.90% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £0, your representative rate is 34.90% APR (variable)
  • Annual fee: £0

Capital one classic credit card Capital One Classic Credit Card - Check eligibility

  • Representative APR: 34.90% variable
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.90% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £0, your representative rate is 34.90% APR (variable)
  • Annual fee: £0

Zopa Credit Card Zopa Credit Card - Check eligibility

  • Representative APR: 34.90% variable
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 34.90% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £0, your representative rate is 34.90% APR (variable)
  • Annual fee: £0

118 118 Money Credit Card 118 118 Money Credit Card - Check eligibility

  • Representative APR: 49.90% variable
  • Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 49.90% (variable) p.a. with a fee of £0, your representative rate is 49.90% APR (variable)
  • Annual fee: £0

Partner Spotlight

Compare credit card deals

We’ve teamed up with Creditec

  • Find out what credit cards you are eligible for
  • This will not affect your credit rating
  • 26.5% APR Representative (variable)

Powered by
Check your eligibility*

How to make the most of bad credit credit cards

Credit cards for bad credit often have a higher annual percentage rate (APR) and lower credit limit than standard cards, but you can avoid any interest charges by paying off the balance on your card within the billing period, usually 56 days. This has a secondary positive effect as it will appear on your credit file and suggest to future prospective lenders that you can manage your finances. You can read more about building your credit rating using a credit card in our article 'How to build your credit score with a credit card'.

While most credit cards for bad credit do not offer rewards or cashback, you should make sure to maximise anything that is on offer. For example, this may mean only shopping at the supermarket linked to the card, or making sure to spend the rewards points you earn in the most efficient way possible. However, avoid spending more money just to earn extra rewards points, as the points rarely outweigh the cost of the additional spending.

What to consider before getting a credit card for bad credit

Getting a credit card for bad credit can be a stepping stone to better borrowing options, but it could also make your situation worse. If you have never borrowed money before or you have a poor borrowing history, you may be able to build up a good record of borrowing and repaying with a bad credit credit card. However, missing payments will send you in the opposite direction. This means keeping to your credit limit and repaying the balance in full every month is key. If you think that it will be too challenging to make the payments on time, you should consider an alternative spending option.

The pros and cons of a credit card for bad credit

Here are the key pros and cons to think about before you apply for a bad credit credit card:

Pros of a credit card for bad credit

  • Access credit that is not available elsewhere
  • Repair a poor credit rating

Cons of a credit card for bad credit

  • Higher interest rate than standard credit cards or low interest credit cards
  • Lower credit limits compared to standard credit cards
  • Limited choice of cards available

Alternatives to a bad credit credit card

A bad credit credit card tends to be one of the last resorts when it comes to getting credit, so the next alternative step could be choosing not to borrow any money at all. Spending on a debit card will be cheaper than having to pay interest on a credit card balance and there are many benefits to using a debit card for everyday spending. These can include cashback, rewards and sign-up incentives. You also limit the possibility of getting yourself into problematic debt, being charged for cash withdrawals and paying interest. Read our article ‘Best bank account switching offers, cashback & incentives’ to see what options are available.

Alternatively, your credit may not be as bad as you think. You can check your eligibility without affecting your credit score to see what range of credit cards are available to you. This could show you that one of the best credit cards is unexpectedly an option for you.

 

 

If a link has an * beside it this means that it is an affiliated link. If you go via the link Money to the Masses may receive a small fee which helps keep Money to the Masses free to use. But as you can clearly see this has in no way influenced this independent and balanced review of the product.