Are you a probationer? Or student? Or a foreigner? Would you like to have a credit card for handling emergencies? If yes, this article will be covering the various ways on how to get approved for a credit card with no credit.
As you might know, though, many credit card issuers require a good credit score to approve your credit card application. Then, as I mentioned when discussing the tricks to get approved for a cell phone with bad credit, a credit card is amongst the best to improve your FICO score. Therefore, how exactly will you get a credit card when you got only a blank credit report?
Is a Credit Card Really Worth it?
Technically, it’s obvious bill me later stores and buy now pay later financing are replacing the traditional credit card. In a recent report by IBIS World, the application of credit cards in Australia dropped by 6.6% in 2019-20.
Here in the U.S., the trend is the same, considering one can now shop from major retailers and with an extended repayment period. The best part, a percentage of these financing options doesn’t require credit history and are open to applicants with bad credit.
Regardless, however, having a credit card is still important both in the short and long term. Some of the benefits include:
1. Cash Back Rewards:
The idea here is that you use your card on purchases and the issuer will rebate a certain amount. Many credit cards usually offer 1% cashback, but others can go as high as 6%.
Put simply, chargeback refers to a refund after the credit card company reverses charges you have earlier paid to a vendor. It can happen in cases where the vendor provides you with a defective product or shoddy services.
3. Emergencies Funds:
Just like with the buy now pay later catalogues, a credit card can help you take care of emergency or unplanned expenses. Then, pay up the amount later as per your billing cycle, which is usually between 28 to 31 days.
4. Insurance Benefits:
While not many know about it, you could enjoy consumer protection privileges with your credit card. Some of them include extended product warranties, rental car insurance, travel insurance, amongst others
Unlike debit cards, a credit card can be accepted nearly everywhere, including abroad where they don’t have your local bank. Moreover, many rental car companies and hotels will ask for a credit card when booking as it’s easier to charge.
In this one, your credit card issuer, in conjunction with an airline, rewards you points to buy more travel tickets. Just like with retail shopping, these points often accumulate based on how much you spend, then calculated as a set amount of miles. Hence, its other name frequent flyer miles or airline miles.
Improving Credit History:
As was mentioned, a credit card is one of the key ways you can build a good credit report. The issuers usually do report your performance to the major credit bureaus, which means inconsistency could also hurt your score.
This is where the credit card issuer offers to give you bonuses when you spend a certain amount with your new account. Even so, the initial bonus is mostly for applicants that have outstanding credit. Thus, you might miss out when applying without a credit history.
Speaking of credit history, let us jump into our focus subject and see the different methods you can qualify for a credit card without it.
How To Get Approved For A Credit Card With No Credit History
Overall, there are two main ways you can get a credit card without needing a credit report. You can either:
- Establish your own credit account through specialized cards, or
- Establish Your credit account through a help
Method 1: Establish Your Own Credit Account With No Credit History
In this method, the trick is to start building your credit using specialized types of credit cards. Unlike the traditional ones, these cards are easy to get approved as they rely on other eligibility factors instead of credit scores.
The four special credit cards I’m talking about here are: starter credit cards, student credit cards, retail store credit cards, and secured credit cards.
Apply for a Starter Credit card
If you have a blank or thin credit, the starter credit card is a good place to start building your FICO score responsibly. Many of the issuers operate on the principle that everyone needs an opportunity to build their credit. So, they don’t bother with your credit report.
Another thing, starter credit cards behave more like a standard card in that you can enjoy benefits such as cashback, reward bonuses, and fraud coverage.
Few examples of the starter credit cards that you can check include:
- Petal 2 Visa Card from WebBank
- Capital One Spark Classic for Business credit card
- Capital One QuicksilverOne credit card
Get a Student credit card
As a student, you can start building your credit early and still enjoy lucrative rewards along the way. The student credit cards are available to college and university students, which you’ll have to prove to qualify.
As by the law, you should be at least 21 years to have the student credit card in your name. However, you can also apply if you’re 18 years and have sufficient income or a qualified cosigner.
As for the others (21 years and above), you can apply for a student credit card using income from a job or money from parents. Some providers do also accept scholarships, grants, or even student loans.
The five best student credit cards you can check out include:
- Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students
- Wells Fargo Cash Back College credit card
- Discover it Chrome for Students credit card
- Discover it Student Cash Back credit card
- Capital One Journey Student Rewards credit card
Apply for a Secured credit card
These types of credit cards are also easier to get approved than the traditional credit card. As the name advertises, this credit card must be “secured” with a cash deposit before you can qualify. This deposit will serve as both the collateral and the credit limit for your account. So, the more the amount you place, the higher your limit will be.
Regardless, a secured credit card operates like any other credit card. So, you improve your credit score and earn rewards on purchases made.
- Discover it Secured Credit Card
- OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
- GO2bank Secured Credit Card
- Secured MasterCard from Capital One
Try a retail store credit card
If you want to jump-start your credit report, retail store credit cards can also help. Yes, many of them only operate in that particular store, but it still counts when you make your payments well.
Moreover, many stores don’t rely on your past credit to approve you for the shopping credit card. They also tend to have impressive cashback rewards, plus discount coupons from time to time.
A good example that we can use in this case is the CreditOne Bank Credit Card of NASCAR. However, the issuer does charge an annual fee and APR rate based on whether you have an excellent, average, or rebuilding credit.
Alternative-01: Use your International Credit Report
If you have just relocated to the united states, you don’t need to have a local credit history to enjoy credit benefits. More than a dozen credit companies do allow you to transfer your home-country credit records to the U.S. and use them to apply for the card. You just need to find an intermediary firm like Nova Credit that can translate your international credit data into an equivalent of the U.S. score.
Alternative-02: Take a Credit-Builder Loan
This one is more like a method to start building your credit so that you can have a good standing when you need a credit card. However, the loan funds aren’t to use then, but to open locked savings account that you’ll access after full repayment. In other words, it’s more like a layaway, only that the focus now is to build your credit score.
Method 2: Establish Your Credit Account With no Credit History Through Help
If either of the above options fails, you shouldn’t lose hope there. You can still get approved for a credit card with no credit history through the help of someone with good credit. That person can either be a relative, wife, husband, guardian, or close friend who is willing to help you grow.
Through that other person, you can get a credit card by either becoming an authorized user or use him/ her as a co-signer.
Get Approved for a Credit Card through a Co-signer
When applying for a credit card through a cosigner, he/ she must have a stable source of income and good credit. The person must also be willing to apply with you, preferably a relative or a spouse. But again, you’ll still need to meet your payment obligations on time and avoid maxing out your card. Otherwise, your irresponsibility will affect your credit, as well as that one for your co-signer.
Get Approved for a Credit Card as an authorized user
This is also similar to the use of a co-signer, only that this time you’re applying under an existing active credit account. In simple words, it’s like with mobile carriers, whereby you can add more lines into your primary account to form a family plan. So, you’ll enjoy the benefits of an established credit account, in particular making purchases and building a good credit history.
Even so, the card issuer knows the responsibilities are for the primary cardholder. He/ she will be the one responsible for all the payments. A good example of a credit card that has authorized user feature is the Capital One Platinum Credit Card.
Can I Get a Credit Card With Bad Credit?
Unfortunately, many standard (unsecured) credit card companies will look for applicants who are responsible enough. That’s they approve individuals who tend to settle their bills regularly and on time.
Therefore, it’ll be kind of hard, but not impossible, to get an unsecured credit card with bad credit. However, you can try to apply for a secured credit card, though it’s not a guarantee you’ll get approved.
Meanwhile, you can get approved if you have a fair credit score. As shown in the FICO score chart below, this should fall between 580 and 669 points.
|FICO Score||Credit Range||Risk Level|
|800 – 850||Exceptional|
(well above average)
|Exceptionally Low Risk|
|740 – 799||Very Good|
|670 – 739||Good|
(slightly above average)
|580 – 669||Fair|
(slightly below average)
|300 – 579||Very Poor/ Bad|
(well below average)
Three of the best credit cards that you can get with a fair credit score are:
Discover It Secured Card: This type of card allows you to boost your credit score while at the same time transitioning you to an unsecured card. It offers valuable cashback rewards at up to 2% on $1,000 spent on select items. Moreover, the card has some lovely bonuses for both new and existing cardmembers.
Capital One Platinum MasterCard: This card allows you to improve your credit and also conduct foreign transactions at no cost. Also, you can increase your credit limit if you remain consistent and timely on the payments.
Credit One Platinum Rewards Visa: this one is also available if you have an average FICO score. It provides you with 5% cashback on the first $5,000 spent on select purchases, then drops to 1% to 1.5%. In a nutshell, the card kind of combine your one-time bonus with the cashback reward.
Simply, it’s not a must you have a credit history to get a credit card or enjoy its benefits. In fact, you even won’t need to have an income if your spouse or parent has a credit account that she/ he can add an authorized user.
Other than how to get approved for a credit card with no credit history, it’s worth remembering the green light isn’t everything. Once you get approved for a credit card, do remember you still have to pay the funds in the future. So, use your credit account responsibly and make sure you settle any remaining balance on time.
As you apply for credit with no credit history, I would also recommend you watch the provider’s terms. Just like when shopping, you should also browse through several choices that are available while comparing the best interest rate and fees.