Less-than-perfect credit score can make it challenging to acquire a good store credit card with favorable terms. Even if you find the best store credit cards for bad credit, the options are not plenty, and expenses are many. However, your hope shouldn’t diminish because there are experts who can help you through this challenging situation.
People in this field know that nothing is impossible, and with little craftiness, you can find a viable solution to your bad credit problem. What you lack in credit score, you can make up for in research. You can also take advice from an expert who’s been in this arena for years and knows all the branded credit cards like the back of their hand.
Store cards for bad credit have many terms and conditions which make the card too expensive. Surcharges, hidden fees, and very high APRs are persistent problems. You get the card to make your life easier but end up in the cycle of debt with no way out. A wrong decision can leave you with worse credit than when you started.
So, where do you look in such a case? This article will serve two purposes. One, it’ll give you expert advice and review of the best department store credit cards for bad credit and the pros and cons of each. Second, you’ll get expert advice on selecting the best cards and which factors make up for the best store credit cards.
Weeks of research and comparative analysis help us select the cards with optimum APRs, low surcharges, and flexible terms. We came up with five of the best store credit card offers for bad credit. They salvage your situation as much as possible. The research and analysis then yield favorable results for the consumers.
Top Companies For Store Credit Cards For Bad Credit On The Market
- First Access Card: Overall Best Store Credit Card, Editor’s Pick
- Fit MasterCard: Top Company To Get Credit card For Bad Credit
- Indigo MasterCard: Most Recommended Brand For Credit Cards Among Users
- Milestone Card: Most Popular For Pre-Approval For Bad Credit Score
- Destiny Mastercard: Prime Credit Card Company For Low Deposit Credit Cards
#1. First Access Card: Overall Best Store Credit Card, Editor’s Pick
First Access Visa offers secured and unsecured credit cards and is accepted by major stores across the US. Users can also purchase online from this credit card. All three major credit scoring agencies accredit First Access. This means you can upgrade your score using this card.
The monthly limit is not above and beyond but is set according to the credit. Currently, the card offers $300 per month worth of credit. The process to acquire the card is online and is pretty simple. You can fill out an application, and the staff will take your application further from there. The online process usually takes minutes, and within 60 seconds, you get a callback. You can also choose your favorite design from the gallery. First Access Visa credit card is a service of The Bank of Missouri.
Easy Online Process: First Access Visa Card makes it the easiest to get your card. You can just go to the website, fill out the form with basic details, and you’re good to go. Within 50 to 60 seconds, you’ll get a response from the team. You can select your card design from the registration page with two unpaid and many premium design options. You have to pay a $95 program fee at the start to access your funds on the card. For people with bad credit, the process cannot be any simpler.
Validity of Use: One of the best features of the First Access Visa Card is its applicability across the US. You can use this store credit card for shopping online or at any physical store within the US. There’s no limit to your options, so Target, Amazon, and Walmart are on the menu. The card provides an online shopping facility, subscription payments, and other secure online transactions. Premium offers allow you to withdraw cash up to $300. All transactions are super-easy and secure so that you can enjoy your favorite brands or TV shows with this card.
No Upfront Deposit: Many best store credit cards require a security deposit equal to your credit limit. However, First Access Visa does not have such a requirement. You can get your card just by paying $95 as a program fee, but there’s no need to deposit $300 to use the card. This is a lucrative offer for people with bad credit as they can rely on this card when struggling for cash. You should know that to get First Access Visa Card; you need a checking account. There’re no hidden charges in this regard either. The only fee you have to pay upfront is mentioned on the website.
- No upfront deposit fees
- Applicable everywhere
- Fast and easy online application process
- 24/7 friendly customer service
- No monthly servicing fee for the first year
- Poor credit does not affect the application process
- Checking account required
#2. Fit MasterCard: Top Company To Get Credit card For Bad Credit
Fit MasterCard offers a higher credit of $400 which can be doubled to $800 upon review by the issuer. The good news for people with bad credit scores and those who do not have access to funds is that you don’t have to pay any collateral.
Remember that there’s an $89 processing fee at the beginning, which is charged from your credit limit of $400. However, after this first fee, you don’t have to pay any more processing fees using the card in the following months.
If the user complies with terms and conditions, they can even get a limit of $2000 after six months. Their credit score will also improve in the process. The application process is also simple and online, so anyone anywhere in the US can apply for Fit MasterCard.
Fit MasterCard does monthly credit reporting to three rating agencies, giving people with bad credit a great opportunity. With flexible terms and easy installments to pay the credit, the card is a great way to improve your credit score. Plus, there are plenty of late payment dues, so you’ll be aware of your liabilities. That alone can make people financially responsible.
Credit Limit Increase: The feature that distinguishes Fit MasterCard is the credit limit increase over time. A user can start using the card at $400 but, after six months, gets a review. The review process may increase to up to $800. You may also get a higher limit depending on your credit with Fit Mastercard. The maximum limit for credit is $2000, which is higher than most store credit cards for bad credit. All you need to do is pay your credit on time, and your credit rating and monthly credit limit will increase with time.
Secure and Safe: Fit MasterCard is secure and safe to use anywhere, not just in stores. You can use the card for shopping in physical stores and online shopping. The card is protected under MasterCard Zero Fraud Liability. If your card is misplaced or stolen, you are not responsible for unauthorized use. Also, your transactions will not be liable if you suffer from identity theft. The safety of the banking transactions also uses cutting-edge technology, so your data and information are safe. The store card is also safe to use for online shopping through encrypted data protection.
Flexible Terms: Fit MasterCard is easy for consumers and has many offers to make shopping more fun. The terms and conditions are flexible, and a monthly review may help you get more benefits. The condition is to use the card responsibly and return the credit within the due date. The credit score also goes up through the Fit store credit card, and you get bonus points for better loan management. Monthly limits are also a plus point, so you have great incentives to improve your credit score. Reporting the process to major credit bureaus every month is also a great benefit.
- Monthly limit increase after six months
- Credit reporting monthly
- MasterCard Zero Fraud Liability Coverage
- Eligibility requirements low
- Easy terms and conditions
- All locations acceptability
- High APR and annual fee
- Low credit limits
#3. Indigo MasterCard: Most Recommended Brand For Credit Cards Among Users
It takes thirty seconds to apply for The Indigo MasterCard store card. You simply need to fill out your name, email, phone, and social security number, and you will get an instant reply. The bank tells you if you qualify or not, which in most cases, you do. The Indigo store credit card does not require previous credit, a good credit score, or collateral.
The credit card has a monthly limit of $300, which might seem low, but it can be a real relief for people short on cash. There’s a zero annual fee for those who qualify. Usually, that’s the people with good credit quality. But that’s not the only case. If you keep returning your credit bill on time and abide by the terms and conditions, you may qualify for this facility.
Indigo is an international credit card, so you can use it for online purchases instead of just for stores. The card charges a 1% international transaction fee, much lower than many other department store cards. The added advantage is encrypted data protection on international payments and zero fraud liability.
Zero Annual Fee Option: The card offers an option for qualified users where it waves off its $99 annual fee. A person who already needs a small amount, such as 300 dollars, is likely to be short, even on $100. For such people, a ninety-nine dollars fee is too much. That’s why the card offers qualified holders a waiver. You need to spend responsibly, which experts recommend is 30% of your monthly limit. Return your credit amounts regularly, and you’ll qualify fo the offer.
No Collateral Required: Indigo store credit card does not need you to deposit any fee as security. This feature allows you to use all $300 available in your credit when you get your card. Unlike many banks that require people with bad credit to submit documents and pay security fees, Indigo has an open-door policy. The fees are a bit higher, but that’s the result of your credit score. In comparison, Indigo wins on many fronts and offers value-based services.
Simple Prequalification Process: Indigo MasterCard has some of the simplest prequalification processes on the block. All you need is to be 18 or older, be a US citizen, and have your social security number, an email, and a bank account. You enter these details in the prequalification form and submit it. Within minutes, you get your initial assessment. The approval ratio of the Indigo store credit card is very high, although some applications are rejected too. Once qualified, you’ll get an email and details from the bank, and your process will finalize within days. After approval from the bank, you’ll get your credit card in the mail within 14 business days.
- No upfront collateral deposit
- Annual fee waiver for qualified users
- High approval ratio
- Credit rating improvement chances
- Low international transaction fee
- No cash back or bonus offers
#4. Milestone Card: Most Popular For Pre-Approval For Bad Credit Score
Milestone Card is one of the best options for a low credit score. It provides zero liability protection in case your stolen credit card is misused. The option is great for people who suffer from identity theft or unauthorized use of store cards.
The store credit card also works in all major stores across the US and is valid for shopping online. There’s no need to have a perfect credit score as the credit card comes preapproved even for people with bad credit.
There’re no previous credit requirements either, so if you’re getting a credit card for the first time, you can get one quickly. The annual fee for this card varies and depends on your fair usage. It ranges from $35 to $99, so there’s an incentive for the user to comply with terms and conditions.
The card is an excellent way to get rid of bad credit as it reports to major credit rating agencies across the country. The flexible terms also make it easier to improve your score.
Preapproved Even with Bad Credit: When you visit the website, there’s a simple form you fill out to send your application. The Milestone Credit Card takes the lead in preapproving your application. The process does not affect your credit, so that you can apply with a peaceful mind. The speed of the process is also a unique feature of Milestone Credit Card, as they reply within seconds once you submit your application. The applicant does not need to provide any sensitive information or credit score during the application process. Plus, you can uplift your credit score through flexible repayment methods.
Zero Liability Protection: You may hear the stories of unauthorized credit card use for fraudulent purposes where the original owner is implicated. Not with the Milestone Store Credit card. It provides zero liability protection, so the cardholder is not held responsible for purchases made through the card in case of fraud. Moreover, when your card is stolen, the guarantee protects your interests. The theft monitoring service of MasterCard makes this card a secure asset you can utilize without any worries. The theft monitoring is automatic, so you’re protected at all times anywhere in the US.
Zero Collateral: Security deposits at the beginning take a huge cut out of your already suffering savings. Many cards exploit the bad credit to get initial amounts from the customers. The Milestone MasterCard does not have any collateral or security deposit requirements. You have to pay the annual fee from your first month’s limit, but that’s valid for every other card. With a range of $35 to $99, you can save from the annual fee by using the card responsibly. Zero collateral means no borrowing from your friends. You can pay the annual fee from the monthly limit.
- Zero liability assurance
- Zero collateral and security deposit
- Automated identity theft monitoring
- Chance to build a better credit
- Flexible terms and conditions
- Low monthly limit of $300
#5. Destiny Mastercard: Prime Credit Card Company For Low Deposit Credit Cards
Destiny MasterCard has made a name for itself in the credit card world in a short time. They provide high-quality service with secure transactions and fast communications. There are no strict terms and conditions for people with bad credit, and prequalification does not affect their score.
You can get the Destiny MasterCard even if you’ve been bankrupted before. The card does not penalize your past credit score or poor financial decisions. You can just go to the website and apply within minutes. The processing time is faster than you can imagine.
Destiny Mastercard is valid anywhere in the US, and the international transaction fee is just 1%. You can shop online or at any physical store from the monthly initial credit limit of $300. Remember that you have to pay $40 at the start for the annual fee from the monthly limit.
Unsecured Credit Card: Unlike secured credit cards, Destiny MasterCard is an unsecured card, so you can use it for any purpose. Although cash withdrawals are not an option, you can still shop online. A balance transfer facility is also unavailable, which is not an option for people with bad credit. However, many credit card companies don’t offer unsecured store cards to people with bad credit, so that’s a plus in Destiny Credit Card. There’s no collateral that you have to deposit when applying for a secured credit card. All in all, the card is a good option.
Credit Reporting: If you’re looking to build your credit score back, Destiny is perfect for you. Although there are high penalties such as late fees and exceeding credit limits, there’re flexible terms for building a good credit score. The plus point of Destiny Card is their reporting to three major credit bureaus monthly. That means if you’re behaving responsibly, you can qualify for a credit card with a much lower APR. If you have a low credit score, it is advisable to use the credit card wisely and get yourself out of the bad financial management label.
Accepted Everywhere: Another major highlight of Destiny Mastercard is its usability everywhere. As it’s an unsecured credit card, you can use it for shopping anywhere. There’re no limits to store locations or brands, and you can spend your money online and offline wherever you want. This is an excellent option for people with less-than-perfect credit scores who don’t want to get a secured credit card. Once you get this card, you can build on your credit score by using the card at a different location. You can easily qualify for a lower interest rate with monthly instalments and payback terms.
- Simple prequalification process
- No credit history required
- Unsecured credit card
- Valid internationally
- Flexible terms and conditions
- Customizable credit card designs
- No reward programs
How We Made The List of Store Credit Cards for Bad Credit?
Aimlessly surfing the internet with the hope of finding the best store cards for bad credit is a lost cause. Chances are, you’ll end up with a scam company taking advantage of your already difficult situation. This section will help you find a better lender from the list.
What We Looked For?
We’ll explain the most common factors that helped us find the best credit cards for your information. You can use this in the future when you need to find a financial lending service.
- Security Deposits
Many store credit cards for bad credit require a security deposit, also called the collateral, before issuing you a credit card. Although the purpose is to protect against fraud, many honest consumers suffer due to this policy. When you’re already suffering from bad credit and are in a tight spot, it’s not easy paying a security deposit. Thus, our experts spent a considerable time searching for credit card providers with no security deposit or very little deposit.
APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the interest you pay on the borrowed amount. When you keep paying your dues on set dates, the lender does not charge you any APR. There are processing fees and service charges, but those are minimal. The banks with high charge APR are unsuitable for people with bad credit as they may leave them in a worse situation. Thus, we selected the department store credit cards with the lowest APRs.
- Annual Fee
All banks charge you annual fees and service charges. In the case of bad credit borrowers, the banks are incredibly greedy as they can exploit the situation. However, our experts found some great options for you with in-depth research. The banks selected in this article have a low annual fee and don’t take advantage of your bad credit. It’s not perfect, but given the circumstances, you cannot get a better deal.
Finding reliable store credit cards is like ‘Finding Nemo’ from the ocean of websites and online vendors. Therefore, there are specific techniques of analysis and tools at our disposal that help us find the best store cards. Many factors go into this calculus before a great decision comes out. And that too by the best finance and banking experts who can distinguish a lousy credit firm from the good one.
Buying Guide: Factors To Consider Before Getting A Credit Card
Selecting without due consideration can be a grave mistake because financial matters are serious. You cannot trust a company only because they have the best advertisement. Financial gurus suggest several vital factors you should consider before making the final decision. This guide will list them briefly for your information.
Ensure your department store credit card company is accredited and affiliated with a credit bureau. That way, your credit score will increase when you use the card.
A credit card for bad credit does not mean you are not entitled to the necessary information. The credit card company cannot withhold any information from you in any case. The case becomes increasingly difficult when you use the department store credit card because that’s when hidden charges and unfavorable terms kick in. That’s why, when searching for a credit card, make sure to search for all the information. In case the credit card has hidden terms, skip it at once.
Select the credit card which requires the least amount of security deposit. Many store card banks exploit the customer situation of bad credit and ask for too much collateral. While it’s not unusual for a credit card company to ask for a security deposit, you cannot pay more than a fair share. Plus, there are several other lenders available who’ll provide credit cards without any security deposits. Don’t let your bad credit be a cause for exploitation.
- Annual Fees
A store card for bad credit is mainly a target for high annual fees by a credit card issuer. The ads do not show the actual amounts you’ll have to pay annually. Only when you are about to sign the documents do these fees appear. Thus, when searching for a store card online, pay special attention to annual charges. Many times these are mentioned in percentages. Spare some time to calculate your spending range and determine the amount you’ll have to pay. Good quality cards like JCPenney credit card issuer offer lower annual fees.
- Upgrade Offers
Secured credit cards are used for people who have bad credit. On the other hand, an unsecured credit card can provide you with better options, but you need better credit. When getting a secure credit card, check out their offers and reward points to improve your credit score. As a result, you can get an unsecure card after a while. Pay attention to credit card issuer who offers such services where you can change your credit card terms.
- Credit Limits
A bad credit score can severely hamper your chances of getting higher-limit store cards. However, with proper research, you can find companies that offer reasonable limits, even bad credit. Try to find a credit card company with higher limits, promotions, and special offers. The best store cards are the ones with high limits, special discounts on stores, and a chance to redeem offers. Such requests and deals from a credit card issuer can help you cut costs.
FAQs About Store Credit Cards
- Can I get a good store card with bad credit?
Best credit cards, such as the JCPenney credit card, are for those who maintain an excellent credit score and pay on time. Store cards are available for people with bad credit history. There are low limits and fewer perks on such store cards, but they work the same way. You can shop at your favorite brand through these store cards and pay them later.
If you keep paying on time and follow their terms and conditions, your rating improves, and you can get a better credit card with more privileges. This should motivate you to be a responsible borrower. Keep in mind that your credit score will fall further if you don’t follow through on your payments and deadlines. That’ll make it harder for you to get a good store card from any credit card issuer.
- Can I improve my credit with department store cards?
It depends on whether the credit card company is affiliated with a credit authority. Store cards are a great way to improve your credit score. They offer multiple services for some charges, which help you get better credit ratings. You can get a store card with low limits, such as $500 or $800, and pay it back on time to improve your credit rating.
In some cases, you can also use cash to pay your credit card company back. These options are better suited for people with regular monthly incomes. They can use these small limits to improve their scores. If you’re unsure of a steady paycheck and fail to pay back on time, your credit rating will deteriorate further. Make sure your store card provider is reporting to major credit bureaus regularly.
- Are store cards any good?
Store credit cards work mostly like any other credit card. When you have an average credit card score, you can use regular cards, such as JCPenney credit card, for shopping. But if your credit rating goes below a particular score (below 500 points), your options go south. In that case, you need something to lean on. Store cards are great for such people as they provide you with a cushion for shopping.
In some extreme cases, people need money to shop for groceries but have bad credit. Their store cards don’t work or are canceled. A store card, even with a poor credit score, helps you get through such a situation. You can constantly improve your credit score once you’re out of the woods.
- How does a credit card score become bad?
Some people are lazy and have poor financial management. They screw up every opportunity they get to improve their credit rating. Others are just unlucky. They get circumstances where they cannot control things, and their perfect credit score goes down with their financial status.
Late payments are the biggest culprit. Look out for annual or hidden fees with your card. When a single payment is late, it’s usually not a big deal. But your credit score takes a hit when you keep paying every installment after the due date and are short on paying interest as well. Many creditors also consider evaluating reports and how people manage their store cards. If you have multiple credit cards and are late on making payments, your credit score will deteriorate much faster.
- Where can I use my store card?
Store credit cards are not like simple cards. You cannot use them for online shopping from any country worldwide. You can only use a specific store card for a designated store. A credit card that’ll work with Walmart may not work with Amazon. This means you have limited options where you can use such cards.
Also, the credit score of the user matters too. People with very high credit scores may get well-integrated store credit cards that they can use anywhere. Thus, in each case, it’s essential to improve your credit rating. There’s a distinction between open loop and closed loop cards, which are differently used in different stores.
- Can I get multiple store credit cards?
One theme you can easily observe is the credit score. You may be eligible for multiple store credit cards if your credit score is higher. People with low credit ratings are usually limited to only one credit card, which also has some limitations on spending and usage.
You can opt for an open-loop store card used in multiple stores and shops. On the other hand, if you choose to use the closed loop cards, which can only be used at one store, you may get more than one store credit card. It’s not advisable to use many store cards at once. It’s best to keep things simple as long as your credit rating is low.
- What is a good credit score, and how to get one?
A credit score of 800 points is good enough to get you a loan from any bank. Anything above that score is exceptional and has special reward points. Generally, a credit score higher than 500 is essential because lower than 500 means severe limitations on your credit card options.
Getting an excellent credit score requires responsible spending and good financial management. People who pay their bills on time and never delay any installments are worthy candidates for a perfect credit score. They return their previous loans before getting a new one and don’t overspend when they are unsure of repaying the amount in time.
- Can I transfer my balance from store credit cards?
An oversimplified answer is yes; you can transfer funds from your store cards even with bad credit. In many cases, you can transfer the maximum limit of your store card to another credit card or your bank account.
However, it’s not a wise move unless you don’t have any other options. That’s because you’ll have to pay the transfer fee and service charges for the transfer. A better option is to use cash or your bank balance. You’ll not qualify for such a service with an extremely low credit score.
Conclusion: Best Store Credit Cards On The Market In 2022
Shopping with many store credit cards is fun and practical. But getting a good credit card becomes difficult when you have a low credit score. In such cases, you can get a store card from specific companies and improve your credit rating while shopping. The company will also offer discounts on many store items as they partner with large stores.
These store credit cards are just like any other store card, but they have special features for people with a low credit score. You can deposit cash or pay back a little extra interest, but that can improve if you keep making returns on your store card in time. It also helps if you pay your monthly bills in time and keep up with your credit reports.
Experts advise that you should not stick to these cards if you’re not getting favorable terms and try to improve your ratings and get a regular card. However, if the terms are easy, as in the case of many above store cards, you can keep enjoying the shopping.
Finally, read all the documents carefully before you sign any documents. Do your research with any great free online resource you find. Also, spend responsibly because this is your chance to improve your credit score. If you keep these points in mind, they will help you build credit. With time, your limit will increase, and pretty soon, you’ll be eligible for store cards with the best options.