5 Best Instant Approval Credit Cards

5 Best Instant Approval Credit Cards

Before we get into the best instant approval credit cards for bad credit, it’s important to note that there technically aren’t any good “instant approval credit cards” out there.

Most issuers that promise an instant credit card without a credit check  — you’ll see one exception below — are predatory lenders. So these are not the kind of instant credit cards you want.

Not only do they charge outrageous fees (no legitimate credit card issuer is going to charge you a fee to process your application or monthly maintenance), but many don’t report all of your activity to the three national credit bureaus.

And if they don’t do that, you won’t build any credit by using them.

That said, there are some credit cards that are easier to get approved for, even if you have bad credit. So, some of these cards still go by the term “instant approval credit cards for bad credit” because your chances of getting approved are fairly high.

As you decide which card to get, here’s what to consider:

    • Don’t get a card that charges insane fees. Some of the best instant approval credit cards don’t charge an annual fee at all, and some charge annual fees below $50.
    • Consider what you need. Some cards don’t run a credit check, while others don’t charge foreign transaction fees. Understand your priorities from the get-go.
    • Ask yourself if you plan to carry a balance. In general, Faveable doesn’t recommend carrying a balance on your credit card from month to month. You can avoid interest entirely by paying your balance in full each month. But if you do plan to carry a balance, get a card with a lower interest rate.

Now, let’s get to the best instant approval credit cards and why we like them.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated June 18, 2018 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

5 Best Instant Approval Credit Cards

  • 5. Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card
  • 4. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
  • 3. Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
  • 2. Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
  • 1. Deserve Edu Mastercard

Best Cash Back Credit Card for Bad Credit

Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card

Best Cash Back Credit Card for Bad Credit: Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card
Variable APR
17.49% - 25.49%
Cash Advance APR
19.40% - 25.49%
Rewards Rate
1% cash back on eligible purchases.
Annual Fee
$0 - $99
Intro APR
n/a
Bonus Offers
n/a
30 % Editor Score
85 % User Score
534 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • Easy approval process
  • Bankruptcy-friendly card
  • Doesn't require a security deposit

  • Handy prequalification tool helps you figure out if you'll get approved -- without a hard inquiry
  • Some cardholders qualify for 1% cash back on eligible purchases
  • You might not have an annual fee
  • There's no guarantee you'll get rewards — it's based on your creditworthiness
  • You may have to pay an annual fee
  • Not all purchases generate rewards
Expert Ratings

Application Process: Get pre-qualified online then apply. Approval is typically instant.

Rewards: You may or may not get approved to earn rewards. If you do, you'll earn 1% cash back on eligible gas and groceries plus mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV services.

Bonus Offers: None.

Annual Fee: Annual fees range from $0 to $99.

Details:Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card »

Best Secured Card With No Credit Check

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Best Secured Card With No Credit Check: OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
Variable APR
18.64%
Cash Advance APR
18.64%
Rewards Rate
n/a
Annual Fee
$35
Intro APR
n/a
Bonus Offers
n/a
80 % Editor Score
85 % User Score
239 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • No credit check required for approval 
  • Doesn't require a checking account 
  • Low APR compared to other secured cards

 

  • Low annual fee
  • Helps build or repair credit
  • Requires a security deposit
  • Payments can take up to two weeks to clear
  • Charges an annual fee
Expert Ratings

Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds. 

Rewards: None

Bonus Offers: None

Annual Fee: $35.

Details:OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card »

Best Unsecured for Bad Credit

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Best Unsecured for Bad Credit: Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
Variable APR
19.99% - 28.99%
Cash Advance APR
28.99%
Rewards Rate
n/a
Annual Fee
n/a
Intro APR
n/a
Bonus Offers
n/a
76 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
466 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • Credit limit can increase after 5 months of on-time payments
  • Pick your monthly due date
  • No annual fee or foreign transaction fees

  • Helps you build credit without distractions
  • Can qualify with average credit
  • Card offers no rewards or any other major benefits
  • High APR
Expert Ratings

Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds.

Rewards: None.

Bonus Offers: None.

Annual Fee: None.

Details:Capital One® Platinum Credit Card »

Best Credit Card for People With a Very Low FICO Score

Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

Best Credit Card for People With a Very Low FICO Score: Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
Variable APR
19.99%
Cash Advance APR
24.99%
Rewards Rate
n/a
Annual Fee
$29
Intro APR
n/a
Bonus Offers
n/a
89 % Editor Score
88 % User Score
287 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • Refundable security deposit
  • No minimum credit score required
  • No monthly fees

  • Card requires a security deposit of at least $200
  • You'll pay an annual fee
  • Card offers no rewards
Expert Ratings

Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds. Have your deposit ready when you apply because you’ll need it right away.

Rewards: None.

Bonus Offers: None.

Annual Fee: $29.

Details:Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card »

Best Credit Card for International Students

Deserve Edu Mastercard

Best Credit Card for International Students: Deserve Edu Mastercard
Variable APR
20.24%
Cash Advance APR
n/a
Rewards Rate
1%
Annual Fee
$0
Intro APR
n/a
Bonus Offers
Get up to $49 in Amazon Prime Student subscription fees credited back to your account.
82 % Editor Score
85 % User Score
174 Clicks

Why People Love it

  • International students don't need a Social Security number to apply
  • No annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a flat rate of 1% cash back on all purchases, plus get an Amazon Prime Student subscription offer

  • The card charges a relatively high APR
  • You need a U.S. bank account, which can be tough if you have no Social Security number
  • Its rewards don't stack up against some other student credit cards

 

Expert Ratings

Application Process: Apply online and get a response within 60 seconds. A Social Security number isn't required, but you will need:

  • Proof of a U.S. bank account balance
  • Passport ID and Student Visa
  • I-20 form

Rewards: A flat rate of 1% cash back on all purchases.

Bonus Offers: Use your Deserve Edu card to sign up for an Amazon Prime Student subscription and get reimbursed up to a lifetime total of $49.

Annual Fee: None.

Details:Deserve Edu Mastercard »

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Article Staff

Ben is a money and travel writer living in Utah. He has spent the past 10 years studying and working in the financial industry.

Ben has written for sites such as NerdWallet, USA Today, Money, Credit.com, Credit Karma, and US News.

Ben loves giving people the tools they need to improve their financial health.

When he's not writing, Ben enjoys planning his next vacation, reading, and eating chips and salsa. You can connect with him at BenLuthi.co.

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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