If you don't have a credit score or credit history, getting a credit card can seem daunting. How can you persuade someone to issue you credit so you can build your score? Numerous no credit history credit cards are specifically designed for people with no credit score. If that's you, the credit cards below can help you build a positive credit history while earning rewards.
The best credit cards for applicants with no credit history can differ depending on your goals. For instance, you may want a credit card with rewards, or you may prefer one that reports to all the credit agencies so you can build your credit faster. Read on to find the best credit cards for no credit to start credit-building and plan to reach your financial goals.
Quick Look: Best Credit Cards for No Credit History
- Best Overall: Capital One Platinum Credit Card
- Best for First Card: Open Sky Secured Visa®
- Best for Travel: Petal 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa Credit Card
- Best for College Student: Discover It Student Cash Back
- Best for Business: American Express Blue Business Cash
- Best for Cashback: Capital One QuickSilver Secured Cash Rewards
Best Starter Credit Cards for No Credit
When looking for the best starter credit card options, a no credit history credit card that meets your needs can help you earn and save more. From cards that can help you build a credit score overnight or get a mortgage-qualifying credit score to cards with rewards, find the best options here.
1. Best for Overall: Capital One Platinum Credit Card
The Capital One Platinum Secured card is great for those building or rebuilding their credit. The card is designed to help people with no credit. Capital One reports all payment activity to the major credit reporting agencies, so each time you make an on-time payment, it's building a positive credit history.
Your credit line equals the initial deposit, so you can choose your credit line by depositing the amount you desire. In some cases, you may get a credit limit that’s higher than your initial deposit. You can also opt to pay the security deposit in installments over a 35-day period.
After six months of on-time payments, you can request an increase in your credit line with no additional deposit or shift to an unsecured credit card. According to a Redditor, Capital One offers some of the best credit-building cards on the market.
Who is it for: Excellent for building positive credit history with all three credit bureaus with a small deposit.
- Low deposit requirements
- Get considered for a credit line increase or unsecured card in six months
- No annual fee
- Qualify with limited or bad credit
- No foreign transaction fees
- Reports to three major credit bureaus
- Your monthly income must exceed your rent or mortgage costs by at least $425.
- It's a secured card, so you'll need to make a downpayment of $49 to $200 for a $200 credit line.
- High annual percentage rate (APR)
2. Best for First Card: OpenSky Secured Visa
The OpenSky Secured Visa is a card for those who are serious about improving their credit score. The card issuer claims that after six months of on-time payments, you can request an increase in your credit line with no additional deposit or get approved for an unsecured credit card.
On-time payments are reported monthly to all three reporting agencies to help you build or improve your credit score. Your credit line equals your deposit. Choose your credit line up to $3,000 with a matching deposit. With a larger credit limit, keeping your credit utilization ratio low while building a positive credit history is easier.
Who is it for: Anyone looking to build a strong credit history fast on a secured card.
- Reports your activity to all three credit bureaus
- Credit limit of up to $3,000 with a matching deposit
- No credit check required
- $35 annual fee
- No welcome offers or rewards
3. Best for Travel: Petal 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa Credit Card
Few secured credit cards are good for travel, but Petal 2 is the exception. It has no foreign transaction fees and a decent cash-back reward. The Petal 2 is issued by WebBank, which looks at your income, expenses, savings and debts instead of credit scores to determine eligibility.
You can earn up to 1.5% cashback with on-time payments. There are also no annual fees or late fees. While it's not a fantastic travel credit card, you can build a credit history and save before applying for premium travel rewards cards.
Who is it for: Avid travelers looking to build a positive credit history.
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- Qualify with poor or no credit
- Reports to the three major credit bureaus
- Rewards aren't straightforward
- No bonus offer
- High APR
4. Best for College Student: Discover It Student Cash Back
Students wanting a little more cashback while building their credit score can consider the Discover It Student Cash Back. You'll get a free FICO score with regular access to your score, low fees and forgiveness for your first late payment.
You could get 5% cashback on everyday purchases with rotating quarterly categories. Common rewards categories include grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations, plus unlimited 1% cashback on purchases. You'll have to activate the quarterly bonus categories for higher rewards.
Discover automatically matches all the cashback you’ve earned at the end of your first year, with no minimum spending or maximum rewards.
Who is it for: Anyone who wants to earn cashback in rotating categories while building credit.
- Qualify with bad credit
- Can get the card with no credit
- Bonus categories
- Intro APR period
- Reports to the three major credit bureaus
- No annual fee
- You can only earn the 5% bonus cashback rate for the first $1,500 per quarter
- You'll need to activate quarterly bonus categories
- 1% base reward rate isn't the best option available
5. Best for Business: American Express Blue Business Cash
- Regular APR
18.49% – 26.49% Variable based on your creditworthiness and other factors determined at the time of account opening. APRs will not exceed 29.99% | American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card – Rates & Fees
*Terms apply ** Be advised that applicants who do not have a credit history in the U.S. but have had credit cards or loans in Australia, Brazil, Canada, the Dominican Republic, India, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines, South Korea, Switzerland or the United Kingdom will need to provide a SSN or ITIN during the application process.
If you're launching a business in the U.S. or want to build a positive credit history, consider the American Express Blue Business Cash card. Thanks to a partnership between American Express and credit-reporting startup Nova Credit, this card allows expats from certain countries to translate credit to a U.S.-equivalent credit report instantly.
You can access a credit history from bureaus in Australia, Canada, India, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, Nigeria, South Korea, the Philippines, Spain and Switzerland.
Who is it for: International businesses and expats who want to transfer credit history to build USA credit fast.
- Earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, gas stations and online retail purchases
- 1% cash back in all other categories
- Get a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first six months
- Redeem rewards for statement credit or at Amazon checkout
- It can be difficult to qualify for if you don't have a credit history from one of the listed countries or the U.S.
- $50,000 yearly spending cap
6. Best for Cashback: Capital One QuickSilver Secured Cash Rewards
The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Card stands out because it offers cash back on a secured card. You earn 1.5% on every dollar spent on purchases. In addition, you can earn unlimited 5% cashback on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
To get the Capital One Quicksilver Secured card, you must make a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. This low credit line makes it difficult to keep credit utilization low, but after six months of on-time payments, you may qualify for a credit line increase or an unsecured card.
Capital One reports to all three credit reporting agencies monthly, making it easier to build your credit score from the first month.
Who is it for: Those who want a simplified cash back structure while building a positive credit history.
- Earn a higher credit limit in six months.
- Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars
- Good base rewards rate of 1.5%
- No spending caps
- Low initial credit limit of $200
- High variable APR
Can You Get a Credit Card With No Credit?
Yes, you can get a credit card with no credit. No credit means that you haven't built a positive credit history. This usually means you've never had a line of credit that reports to credit bureaus. Many credit-building cards are designed to help students and recent immigrants get started on their credit-building journey.
In some cases, cards designed for people with no credit can also be used by those with poor or fair credit to build a positive credit history. Common cards include:
- Secured credit cards: With these cards, you'll need to make a deposit, usually equal to the line of credit, to "secure" the line of credit. These cards typically have low credit lines and can often be converted to a standard credit card after six months to one year. A secured credit card is the easiest credit card to get approved for if you have no credit.
- Student credit cards: These cards are often the best credit cards for an 18-year-old with no credit history and are designed to help young people build credit history. Student credit cards usually have lower credit limits and higher interest rates.
- Store credit cards: Store credit cards are issued by popular retailers and may come with store rewards or bonuses. These cards are a form of revolving credit you can use to make purchases and pay the balance later. Some, like the Amazon secured card or JCPenny card, are available to borrowers with no credit history.
What to Look for in a Credit Card for No Credit
When choosing a credit card with no credit history, consider annual fees, income requirements, signup bonuses, and other rewards.
- Are there annual fees?
- What is the interest rate (APR)?
- Are there credit score requirements?
- Which credit bureaus does the issuer report to?
- Are there foreign transaction fees?
- Is it secured or unsecured?
How to Get a Credit Card With No Credit History
To get approved for no credit credit cards if you don’t have a credit history, you'll need to provide other information requested by the lender. For a secured credit card, you'll need to make a deposit. You'll also usually need to show the lender:
- Your name and legal ID
- Social Security number (SSN) or individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN)
- Information on employment, income and debt
- Any other issuer-specific requirements
How to Build Your Credit with Starter Credit Cards
To build credit with starter credit cards, remember the basics:
- Keep credit utilization below 30% of available credit
- Pay off the card in full each month
- Setup automatic payments to avoid late payment
Remember that building a credit history is a long-term process. While you can start seeing positive credit history from the first month, it can take months or years to build a good to excellent credit score.
If you want to build your credit history faster, consider becoming an authorized user or using a rent reporting company to report past on-time rental payments. Learn more about how to build credit.
Should You Get No Credit Credit Cards?
Building a positive credit history can open new financial opportunities. It can help you get a business or personal loan or a mortgage with a lower interest rate. Sometimes, it can help you get a job. With on-time payments and responsible use, the best credit card for no credit can be the first step to financial freedom. Ready for the next steps? Learn how to get an 850 credit score, find travel reward cards with no annual fee or the best airline credit cards.
About Alison Plaut
Alison Kimberly is a freelance content writer with a Sustainable MBA, uniquely qualified to help individuals and businesses achieve the triple bottom line of environmental, social, and financial profitability. She has been writing for various non-profit organizations for 15+ years. When not writing, you will find her promoting education and meditation in the developing world, or hiking and enjoying nature.