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The Best Business Credit Cards For Bad Credit

Need to build credit? These credit cards for small businesses with bad credit can help you raise your business credit score, establish a credit history, and earn rewards.

    Jason Vissers
  • UPDATED

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Business Credit Cards For Bad Credit

Can You Get A Small Business Credit Card With Bad Credit?

Business credit cards can be the key to securing access to credit for new business owners and entrepreneurs with past credit challenges. While bad credit will, unfortunately, prevent you from getting a top-tier rewards card, there are business credit cards you can qualify for if you have bad credit.

Small business credit cards for bad credit can not only help you finance your business — they can also help you boost your score and qualify for a better card later on. Let’s look at your best options.

Introducing Divvy Credit Builder

Divvy


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Divvy offers a free corporate card for virtually any business. The Credit Builder card is suitable for business with bad credit or no credit. Start earning rewards with your corporate spending today. Get your free card.

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CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary
Ramp

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  • Best no personal guarantee card for bad credit
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Must be a US-based corporation, LLC, or LP with at least $75,000 in the bank
  • Best no personal guarantee card for bad credit
  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Must be a US-based corporation, LLC, or LP with at least $75,000 in the bank

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Divvy

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  • Best charge card for bad credit
  • Earn up to 7x points on restaurants, 5x on hotels, 2x on recurring software subscriptions, and 1.5x on everything else
  • Your business must be US-based and must "typically" have over $20,000 in an active account
  • Best charge card for bad credit
  • Earn up to 7x points on restaurants, 5x on hotels, 2x on recurring software subscriptions, and 1.5x on everything else
  • Your business must be US-based and must "typically" have over $20,000 in an active account

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Brex

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  • Best corporate card for bad credit
  • Earn up to 8x points on rideshares, 5x on Brex Travel, 4x on restaurants, 3x on recurring software, and 1x on everything else
  • Must be a US-based C-corp, S-corp, LLC, or LLP with $50,000+ in the bank for startups with professional investors ($1 million for self-funded startups)
  • Best corporate card for bad credit
  • Earn up to 8x points on rideshares, 5x on Brex Travel, 4x on restaurants, 3x on recurring software, and 1x on everything else
  • Must be a US-based C-corp, S-corp, LLC, or LLP with $50,000+ in the bank for startups with professional investors ($1 million for self-funded startups)

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Spark Classic from Capital One

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  • Best unsecured card for bad credit
  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Must have fair personal credit
  • Best unsecured card for bad credit
  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Must have fair personal credit

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Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

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  • Best secured card for bad credit
  • 1.5% cash back or 1 point per $1 spent
  • Security deposit of at least $500 required
  • Best secured card for bad credit
  • 1.5% cash back or 1 point per $1 spent
  • Security deposit of at least $500 required

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Credit One Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit

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  • Best unsecured personal credit card for bad credit
  • 1% cash back on gas, groceries, and monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, & satellite TV services
  • Personal credit score of about 500 recommended
  • Best unsecured personal credit card for bad credit
  • 1% cash back on gas, groceries, and monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, & satellite TV services
  • Personal credit score of about 500 recommended

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Discover it Secured

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  • Best secured personal card for bad credit
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 of gas station & restaurant purchases each quarter & 1% cash back on everything else
  • Personal credit score of about 500 recommended
  • Best secured personal card for bad credit
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 of gas station & restaurant purchases each quarter & 1% cash back on everything else
  • Personal credit score of about 500 recommended

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Platinum Secured from Capital One

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  • Best personal card for rebuilding credit
  • No rewards
  • Must not have defaulted on a loan more than once or been declined for a credit card in the last 3 months
  • Best personal card for rebuilding credit
  • No rewards
  • Must not have defaulted on a loan more than once or been declined for a credit card in the last 3 months

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OpenSky Secured Visa Card

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  • Best bad credit personal card for startups
  • No rewards
  • Security deposit required but no credit score requirements
  • Best bad credit personal card for startups
  • No rewards
  • Security deposit required but no credit score requirements

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Your Most Likely Bad Credit Credit Card Options

Business owners with bad credit can typically qualify for the following types of credit cards:

  • Secured Cards: Secured credit cards require a security deposit that normally (though not always) establishes the amount of your credit line. These cards tend to either have low credit score requirements or none at all. With responsible use, you’ll often have the option to upgrade to an unsecured card.
  • Corporate Credit Cards: Corporate credit cards often don’t check your personal credit score when you apply, though they may require that your business be a corporation or LLC. They may also require automated daily repayments.
  • Charge Cards: Charge cards often have relaxed credit score requirements compared with ordinary credit cards due to the fact that charge cards don’t let you carry a balance from month to month.
  • Unsecured Cards: There are some unsecured credit cards that can be obtained by applicants with bad credit. However, these cards have low credit limits (especially at first) and high APRs. Furthermore, these cards are personal credit cards that can be used for business purposes, not dedicated business credit cards.

Of these credit card types, secured cards tend to be the easiest to get, followed by unsecured personal cards. The other card types may come with significant requirements regarding your business revenue, cash-on-hand, and/or other business factors.

Let’s now explore which business credit cards you can get with bad credit.

The X Best Business Credit Cards For Bad Credit

The following business credit cards for bad credit are meant for different business types and have varying eligibility requirements, but what they all have in common is that they either have minimal credit score requirements or none at all.

1. Ramp: Best For No Personal Guarantee & Bad Credit

Ramp


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Pros

  • No personal guarantee required
  • No credit check required
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back

Cons

  • High cash-in-bank requirements
  • No mobile app

The Ramp corporate card is unique in that it carries no fees whatsoever. No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no late fees, no employee card fees…you get the idea. You even get expense management software and employee spend controls for free.  Ramp doesn’t require a personal guarantee and doesn’t perform a credit check on applicants. To top it all off, you’ll get 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sounds amazing, right? Well, it can be, if your business qualifies. To do so, your business must be a US-based corporation, LLC, or LP. Individuals, sole proprietors, and other types of unregistered businesses need not apply. Furthermore, you must have at least $75,000 in cash in a US bank account.

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2. Divvy: Best Charge Card For Bad Credit

Divvy


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Pros

  • Flexible rewards scheme that matches your bill payoff frequency
  • No annual fee
  • No employee card fees

Cons

  • Using Divvy responsibly improves your business credit but does not improve your personal credit
  • Foreign transaction fee

The Divvy corporate card’s selling point is its unique rewards scheme: the more frequently you agree to pay off this charge card, the more rewards you’ll earn.

  • Pay off your card weekly and earn 7x points on restaurants, 5x on hotels, 2x on recurring software subscriptions, and 1.5x on everything else
  • Pay off your card bi-weekly and earn 4x points on restaurants, 3x on hotels, 1.75x on recurring software subscriptions, and 1x on everything else
  • Pay off your card monthly and earn 2x points on restaurants, 2x on hotels, 1.5x on recurring software subscriptions, and 1x on everything else

Divvy offers users with poor business credit a secured charge card — by making their payments, these users can work their way towards getting an unsecured credit line.

Note that responsible use of your Divvy card will improve your business credit but will not impact your personal credit. According to Divvy, “Divvy Credit Builder is only reporting activity that may impact your business credit.”

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3. Brex: Best Corporate Card For Bad Credit

Brex


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Pros

  • Earn 8x points on rideshares, 5x on Brex Travel, 4x on restaurants, 3x on recurring software, and 1x on everything else
  • No credit check required
  • No personal guarantee required

Cons

  • High cash-in-bank & cash flow requirements
  • You must make Brex your exclusive corporate card to earn maximum rewards

If you’re running a startup with high growth potential but poor credit (or even no credit history whatsoever), the Brex card is a unique value proposition.

Brex doesn’t even check your credit score when you apply — factors such as your cash balance and your spending patterns are considered instead. What’s more, the Brex Card is one of the very few business credit cards that require no personal guarantee — you won’t be held personally liable for any business debt. Also, Brex is a charge card, so you can’t carry a balance month-to-month.

The Brex card offers vastly higher points-earning rates than just about any other credit card available to borrowers with poor credit. You can earn as much as 8x points on rideshare/ taxi purchases. To earn these rewards, you’ll need to make Brex your exclusive corporate card, however. Additionally, you can get additional cards for your employees for free.

The card’s big catch is that many such new businesses won’t meet Brex’s high cash flow requirements and/or won’t have enough cash in the bank ($50K in the bank is required for startups with investors, and $1 million is required if your business is self-funded) to be considered.

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4. Spark Classic From Capital One: Best Unsecured Card For Bad Credit

Spark Classic from Capital One


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Pros

  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Employee cards available for no additional cost

Cons

  • High APR
  • Fair credit required

When it comes to unsecured business credit cards for bad credit, the Spark Classic from Capital One deserves a look. Marketed as a business card for people with “average” credit, it carries a high APR of 26.99% (variable), which is the card’s main drawback.

On the plus side, you’ll earn an unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase, which is good for an unsecured business credit card accessible to those with fair credit. The card also carries no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and you can get additional employee cards (for which you can set customized spending limits) at no extra cost. Another benefit of the Spark Classic is that Capital One reports your card activity to several business credit bureaus so you can improve your business credit score, provided you make your payments on time.

Get Started With Spark Classic from Capital One

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5. Wells Fargo Business Secured: Best Secured Card For Bad Credit

Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card


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Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back or 1 point per $1 spent + 1,000 points each billing cycle after spending $1,000+
  • No annual fee
  • Employee cards available for no additional cost

Cons

  • Limit of 10 employee cards
  • Security deposit required

The Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card is a business credit card for bad credit that requires a security deposit of at least $500 (to a maximum of $25,000) which establishes the amount of your credit line. It’s another card that reports your card activity to the credit bureaus, thus helping you build your business credit if you make your payments on time. Do this, and you may be eligible for an upgrade to an unsecured card later on, in which case you’ll get your security deposit back.

The card’s purchase APR is Prime + 11.90%. The card carries no annual fee or foreign transaction fee, and you can get up to 10 employee cards. As for rewards, you can choose to get either cash back or reward points. Choose cash back, and you’ll get 1.5% cash back on every $1 spent. Choose reward points and earn one point on every $1 spent and get 1,000 bonus points when your company’s spending is $1,000+ in any monthly billing period.

Get Started With Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card

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6. Credit One Bank Platinum Visa: Best Personal Credit Card For Bad Credit

Credit One Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit


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Pros

  • 1% cash back on gas, groceries, and monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, & satellite TV services
  • Certain accounts get a 24-day interest grace period each month

Cons

  • Up to $99 annual fee (up to $75 the first year)
  • $19 charge to add another authorized user

The Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit isn’t a business credit card, but it can be used by entrepreneurs with iffy credit as a credit card option. The Credit One (not Capital One) Bank Platinum Visa carries an APR of 23.99% (variable) — relatively average for a poor-credit card. Certain accounts will be given a monthly interest grace period of at least 24 days after the close of each billing cycle.

Interest will not be charged on purchases if your entire balance is paid by the due date each month. This won’t apply if you aren’t granted an interest grace period. Sadly, you’ll also owe an annual fee of up to $99 ($75 your first year). The exact fee depends on your creditworthiness, so the primary audience of this article will likely be paying a fairly high annual fee.

The nicest benefit of the card is undoubtedly the 1% cash back you’ll earn on gas, groceries, mobile phone plans, and cable, internet, and satellite TV services. However, there’s also a $19 charge to add another authorized user (such as an employee) and a 3% foreign transaction fee. So while using the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa for Rebuilding Credit will see you earning cash back and can help you boost your credit score, it might not be the most friendly card for some users.

Get Started With Credit One Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit

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7. Discover it Secured: Best Secured Personal Credit Card For Bad Credit

Discover it Secured


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Pros

  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 on gas station & restaurant purchases each quarter, 1% cash back on everything else
  • Discover matches all the cash back you earn in your first year
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • High APR
  • Security deposit required

Discover it Secured is a secured consumer credit card that can be used for business. The minimum deposit is just $200, while the max reaches up to $2,500. You can expect a high-ish APR of 24.49% (variable), and the card carries a grace period of 25 days until interest on purchases starts to accrue. The card carries no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.

For rewards, expect 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 per quarter). This 2% rate is among the highest you can snag for poor-credit cards. All other purchases get 1% cash back. On top of those base rewards, Discover will match whatever you earn for your first year — effectively giving you 4% back on gas station and restaurant purchases and 2% everywhere else.

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8. Platinum Secured From Capital One: Best For Rebuilding Credit

Platinum Secured from Capital One


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Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Flexible due dates
  • Security deposit is refundable when you upgrade

Cons

  • High APR
  • No rewards

The Capital One Platinum Secured card is a no-frills secured personal credit card for bad credit. With no rewards-earning and a high APR, it shouldn’t be your first choice for a credit card for your business, but if you’re unable to qualify for some of the others, it may be a useful instrument for you — if you responsibly use this card, you can both rebuild your credit and get your deposit back with an upgrade to the unsecured Platinum card.

You’ll need to make a deposit of $49, $99, or $200 to use this card. Luckily, once you’re approved, you can choose the payment due date that works best for your schedule. But as this card’s APR runs high, try not to carry a balance month-to-month.

Get Started With Platinum Secured from Capital One

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9. OpenSky Secured Visa: Best For Startups With Bad Credit

OpenSky Secured Visa Card


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Pros

  • Lower APR than many similar cards
  • No credit check

Cons

  • $35 annual fee
  • No rewards

It’s a secured credit card with no rewards program, but when it comes to startup business credit cards for bad credit, the OpenSky Secured Visa has some key advantages.

First of all, the OpenSky Secured Visa’s APR is lower than that of many competing credit cards in this space. Second of all, when applying for this card, you won’t undergo a credit check at all, so you won’t have to worry about your credit score taking a hit. The minimum deposit is $200 and the maximum is $3,000. The downside: there’s a $35 annual fee and a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Get Started With OpenSky Secured Visa Card

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Choosing The Right Bad Credit Credit Card For Your Business

If you find yourself overwhelmed by the various options listed here, it might be helpful to go through some different business situations and discuss which type of business credit card for bad credit best suits each situation.

  • If you have an incorporated startup with exponential growth potential but little or no credit history, consider a corporate credit card like Brex or Divvy.
  • If you want a credit card to use on business expenses and your credit score is around 500, consider applying for an unsecured personal credit card.
  • If you want a credit card to use on business expenses but you have a credit score under 500, or if you have no credit history whatsoever, consider a secured personal credit card.

Another thing to consider: getting a credit card can be difficult if you don’t have a social security number or if you don’t want to provide it. However, it’s possible to get a credit card using just your EIN, which has the added benefit of letting you avoid personal liability and a hard credit pull. Read our guide to getting a business credit card with only an EIN for more information.

Furthermore, if you have bad credit but are pondering your other business financing options, Merchant Maverick has you covered. Our article on the best startup loans for bad credit contains useful advice should you decide to go that route. Likewise, if you’re thinking about a business line of credit, our piece on business lines of credit for bad credit is a helpful resource.

Learn How To Rebuild Your Credit & Qualify For More Credit Card Options

There are a number of tactics you can employ to boost your credit score and expand your business funding opportunities. Let’s discuss them.

  • Make On-Time Payments And Pay Debts In Full If Possible: One surefire way to hurt your credit score is to miss your payment due dates. Always prioritize making your payments on time! Also, paying your debts in full demonstrates your creditworthiness to your creditors and improves your credit utilization ratio, both of which will improve your credit.
  • Start Building Your Credit By Using Your Card: The biggest key to improving your credit with a credit card is to always pay off your monthly balance. Once you’ve paid off your balance with a credit card for a while, you may be able to graduate to better cards or apply for low-interest-rate loans. For more of these tips, see our article on how to get a business credit card and our piece explaining how to use a credit card to build credit.
  • Option To Upgrade To An Unsecured Card: Many issuers of secured credit cards offer the option of upgrading to an unsecured card once you’ve demonstrated responsible use of your secured card, sometimes after six months or so. Once you do this, you’ll get your security deposit back.
  • Check Your Credit Score Regularly: It’s good to check your credit score frequently to monitor your progress in improving your credit health. Some card issuers will give you free access to an in-house credit monitoring service so you can check your score when you log in to your account. Alternatively, you can visit a free credit score site.
  • Track & Observe Your Spending Habits: It’s also a good idea to track your spending habits by going through your credit card statements on a regular basis. If you find that you’re charging more on your credit card than you intend to, you might consider putting a greater portion of your regular expenses onto your debit card instead (if possible).

For more on how to improve your credit health, check out our list of tips for improving your personal credit score and our guide to improving your business credit score.

FAQs About Small Business Credit Cards For Bad Credit

Getting a credit card is never easy, especially when you have a poor credit history. Here are a few common questions about credit cards for those with poor credit.

Is a secured or unsecured card better for building credit?

Strictly in terms of building credit, an unsecured business credit card is better because issuers will more consistently report your activity to bureaus. However, it may be easier to qualify for a secured card, and secured credit cards can still provide an avenue to building and bettering your credit history.

What’s the difference between personal and business credit cards?

Business cards may offer rewards or benefits targeted toward business spending habits. For instance, a business card may provide a higher rewards rate for spending money on office supplies or allow you to request employee cards for free. Additionally, business credit card issuers may report your activity to business credit bureaus. In contrast, your personal credit card history only gets sent to consumer bureaus.

Otherwise, these types of cards are rather similar. Many offer rewards and benefits as well as ways to carry a balance. Note, however, that issuers of business credit cards may ask specific questions about your business.

Entrepreneurs and business owners can use personal credit cards for business purchases. However, you should follow some general guidelines to make sure you are utilizing your credit card in a way that will best benefit your business. Learn more about best practices for using personal cards for a business.

Can you get a business credit card with bad personal credit?

It’s possible to get a business credit card even if you have bad personal credit. Several secured business credit cards may be within reach for you, along with a few unsecured personal cards that you can use for business.

Can I use my EIN to get a credit card?

You can use your employer identification number (EIN) to apply for a business credit card. You’ll likely have to provide other information as well, such as your Social Security number.

What credit score is needed for a small business credit card?

The credit score you’ll need to qualify for a small business credit card depends entirely on the card in question. Some small business credit cards require excellent credit (740+), while others will accept applicants with bad credit (300-579). A few small business credit cards won’t check your credit score at all when you apply.

Can you get an unsecured credit card with a 500 credit score?

Yes. Certain unsecured credit cards, such as the Credit One Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit, accept applicants with credit scores of 500 or lower.

Can I get a credit card with a score of 540?

Yes. Many credit cards, both secured and unsecured, will accept an applicant with a credit score of 540.

Can you get a business credit card without income?

You may be able to get a business card if you’re not earning business income yet, but in most cases, you will need to be drawing an income in some form in order to qualify for a business credit card.

Alternatives To Getting A Business Credit Card With Bad Credit

 

Introducing Divvy Credit Builder

Divvy


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Divvy offers a free corporate card for virtually any business. The Credit Builder card is suitable for business with bad credit or no credit. Start earning rewards with your corporate spending today. Get your free card.

In Summary: The X Best Business Credit Cards For Bad Credit

  1. Ramp:
    • Best no personal guarantee card for bad credit
    • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
    • Must be a US-based corporation, LLC, or LP with at least $75,000 in the bank
  2. Divvy:
    • Best charge card for bad credit
    • Earn up to 7x points on restaurants, 5x on hotels, 2x on recurring software subscriptions, and 1.5x on everything else
    • Your business must be US-based and must "typically" have over $20,000 in an active account
  3. Brex :
    • Best corporate card for bad credit
    • Earn up to 8x points on rideshares, 5x on Brex Travel, 4x on restaurants, 3x on recurring software, and 1x on everything else
    • Must be a US-based C-corp, S-corp, LLC, or LLP with $50,000+ in the bank for startups with professional investors ($1 million for self-funded startups)
  4. Spark Classic from Capital One:
    • Best unsecured card for bad credit
    • 1% cash back on all purchases
    • Must have fair personal credit
  5. Wells Fargo Business Secured Credit Card:
    • Best secured card for bad credit
    • 1.5% cash back or 1 point per $1 spent
    • Security deposit of at least $500 required
  6. Credit One Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit:
    • Best unsecured personal credit card for bad credit
    • 1% cash back on gas, groceries, and monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, & satellite TV services
    • Personal credit score of about 500 recommended
  7. Discover it Secured:
    • Best secured personal card for bad credit
    • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 of gas station & restaurant purchases each quarter & 1% cash back on everything else
    • Personal credit score of about 500 recommended
  8. Platinum Secured from Capital One:
    • Best personal card for rebuilding credit
    • No rewards
    • Must not have defaulted on a loan more than once or been declined for a credit card in the last 3 months
  9. OpenSky Secured Visa Card:
    • Best bad credit personal card for startups
    • No rewards
    • Security deposit required but no credit score requirements
Jason Vissers

Jason Vissers

Expert Analyst & Reviewer at Merchant Maverick
Jason Vissers has been researching, analyzing, and writing about small business software and finance since 2015. His financial expertise has been cited in numerous publications, including The Ladders. Jason graduated with a Political Science degree from San Diego State University in 2001.
Jason Vissers
View Jason Vissers's professional experience on LinkedIn.

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The vendors that appear on this list were chosen by subject matter experts on the basis of product quality, wide usage and availability, and positive reputation.

Merchant Maverick’s ratings are editorial in nature, and are not aggregated from user reviews. Each staff reviewer at Merchant Maverick is a subject matter expert with experience researching, testing, and evaluating small business software and services. The rating of this company or service is based on the author’s expert opinion and analysis of the product, and assessed and seconded by another subject matter expert on staff before publication. Merchant Maverick’s ratings are not influenced by affiliate partnerships.

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