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Credit cards for bad credit

Get a credit card even with a bad credit score

  • Got a low credit score? Check out cards that are designed to help you get approved more easily.

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4.4 out of 5 5,382 reviews

MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker not a lender. You must be 18 or over and a UK resident. Representative 29.9% APR

Compare credit cards for bad credit from leading specialist providers

We work with a wide range of specialist credit card providers including:

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Representative 29.9% APR

What are the best credit cards to get with poor credit?

  • Credit-builder cards

    These can help you improve your credit score. You'll initially be given a low credit limit but this could rise as you build trust with the lender. Rates tend to be high - so aim to pay off your balance every month.

  • 0% balance transfer cards

    Helps you pay off debt faster by consolidating existing card balances. You may not need a top credit rating to get a balance transfer card and with the best deals you can pay no interest for up to two years.  

  • 0% purchase credit cards

    Designed for shopping, these cards help you spread the cost of spending, typically with 0% interest for a fixed period up to 12 months. You may need a strong credit score to get the best 0% APR purchase cards.

Kate Hughes

Our expert says


Used well, these cards really can help boost your credit score, but be sure you understand what you’re getting into. Make it a priority to clear the balance on time and in full and understand the financial implications if you don’t. Make sure you’re in charge of your credit card, not the other way around.

- Kate Hughes, Money & Savings Expert

How can I improve my credit score?

Whether you have ‘bad credit’ or ‘no credit’ you can take steps to improve your credit rating:

  • Register on the electoral roll

    Registering on the electoral roll with your local council can help boost your score as lenders use this as proof of your home address.  

  • Check your credit report

    Errors on your credit file could affect your credit score. Once spotted, you can contact the credit reference agency to get them corrected. 

  • Repay your bills on time

    This shows you can borrow responsibly and gives mortgage, loan and credit card providers the confidence to offer you better deals in the future. 

  • Limit your credit applications

    Each application for credit leaves a mark on your report. Too many applications in a short period can damage your credit score.

Why compare bad credit credit cards with MoneySuperMarket?

  • It’s quick and easy

    Comparing credit cards with us is simple. We show you the important information upfront from our specialist bad credit card providers. You can then apply within minutes.

  • It won’t harm your credit score

    We’ll run a soft search that won’t further damage your credit rating and will only show you deals that you’re likely to be accepted for

  • We're highly rated

    Our credit cards service is highly rated. We currently have a 4.4/5 star rating on Feefo - our customers praise the ease of using our site and our great deals.

With a pre-approved credit card, the deal you see is the deal you get

When you apply for a bad credit credit card, it’s not always clear whether you’ll be accepted. But when you’re pre-approved, you’ll know where you stand with information to help you make the right choice.  

  • Apply with confidence

    When you’re pre-approved, the interest rate, interest-free period and fee (if there is one) are all confirmed. The only thing not guaranteed is your credit limit

  • Tailored to you

    You’ll see your personalised chance of approval for all credit building credit cards, so you can easily compare your options.

  • You’re in safe hands

    Our soft search shows you your chances of approval. This helps protect your credit score as you’re less likely to be rejected when you apply

We're 100% independent, working only for our customers

Unlike some of our competitors, MoneySuperMarket is not owned by an insurance company. So we can offer the best value, with savings delivered straight to you.

By combining independence with our excellent technology, we can negotiate the best prices and the best value on products and services.

of our customers would buy again
based on 5,382 reviews

Pros: Found a good balance transfer deal, accurate info and so easy to complete
Pros: Explained all I needed to know about the product Cons: Nothing negative
Pros: Easy to use, finds you a credit card and tells you if you’re eligible. Cons: No

How to compare credit cards for bad credit with MoneySuperMarket

If you think a credit card for bad credit could be right for you, the next step is to use our eligibility checker to see what cards are available – including those you’re most likely to be approved for:

  • Tell us about yourself

    We'll ask you a handful of simple questions about your circumstances and your finances and what you need from a credit card

  • We browse the market

    We'll sift through dozens of credit cards offers from across the market, and show you the cards we think will suit you best

  • Pick the card you want

    You'll be shown a range of credit cards, which you'll be able to sort according to APR, features and your chances of being approved

MoneySuperMarket is a credit broker – this means we’ll show you products offered by lenders. We never take a fee from customers for this broking service. Instead we are usually paid a fee by the lenders – though the size of that payment doesn’t affect how we show products to customers.

Representative 29.9% APR

There isn’t a single answer to this question, as different lenders have different criteria for their product and calculate your overall score in different ways. However, the more negative marks on your credit history – such as bankruptcies, county court judgements or missed repayments – the less likely you’ll be accepted if you apply for credit.

You can check your credit score in minutes by using our free Credit Monitor service. Not only will you be able to view your credit report, but we’ll also provide helpful hints and tips on how you might be able to improve your score. 

It will depend on how you use the card – if you make your payments on time you’ll avoid paying any interest, which means you can focus on other existing debts. However if you don’t use the card responsibly then you’ll end up paying a much higher interest rate – which won’t help at all.

Here are some tips for using your card responsibly that will help you avoid paying more interest than you have to, so you can improve your credit score:

  • Set up a direct debit so you never forget to make a repayment

  • Don’t use too much of your credit limit – be aware of how much you can afford to pay back

  • Avoiding taking out further lines of credit

If you have a limited credit history, rather than ‘bad credit’, you’ll benefit from a credit-builder credit card. These work in much the same way as credit cards for bad credit.

When you’ve improved your credit score, you’ll likely qualify for a wider range of cards, including: 

  • 0% interest credit cards, which offer a set period of usually 12 months – during which you won’t be charged on interest. You can use these cards to make purchases or transfer existing debts from credit accounts that currently charge interest.

  • Reward credit cards, which actively reward you for spending on them – and offer incentives such as cashback or store loyalty points like Clubcard or Nectar points

‘Bad credit’ means you’ve a credit history but you’ve made mistakes in the past, while ‘no credit’ implies that you’re young or have a limited history of taking credit out.

While it might seem unfair, if you haven’t previously had a credit card, loan or mortgage, a lender may not have the confidence that you can handle credit. A credit card for bad credit could be useful here too.

Most credit cards are easy to apply for, but most – especially those with the better terms – will take a few days to approve you. This is because card providers want to check you out before offering you a deal.

There are some so-called ‘instant approval’ credit cards which can give you a decision in as little as 60 seconds, however. If you apply for one of these, you still can end up approved, declined or referred for further review.

The best way to help make sure you’re approved at short notice is to have a high credit score.

Everyone’s likelihood of acceptance depends mostly on their credit score. So the higher your score, the more chances you have of being offered a deal on a particular card.

However, some cards, including credit-builder cards, are made for people with lower credit scores and may come with a higher chance of acceptance.

All credit cards can help you build up your credit score to some extent – provided you use them responsibly. If you spend a small amount each month and then pay it all off, you will quickly demonstrate to the credit agencies that you are a sensible borrower.

Your credit score can be improved a few times a year in this way. 

There is not one ‘best card’ for bad credit because it depends on your personal circumstances and preference for what you want from a credit card. If you have a low credit score your choice of cards is likely to be limited – until you can improve your credit rating. But credit cards for bad credit often have lower eligiblity criteria. 

You may feel that finding a card with the lowest interest rate is the priority - particularly if you are concerned you might not pay off your balance in full every month.  

Alternatively, you might want to transfer existing debt from elsewhere on to the card. In this instance, a dedicated balance transfer card would be a better option. If rewards, cashback or low rates on spending abroad are important to you, then these would be other features to look out for – but usually you’ll need a good credit score for the best deals. 

There may be several reasons why you might have a poor credit history or your credit score isn’t in the best shape, including:

  • You’ve not borrowed before, so you have no credit history 

  • You’ve had county court judgements against you 

  • You’ve been declared bankrupt 

  • You’ve missed repayments on a previous card or loan 

  • You’re unemployed 

  • You’re not on the electoral roll

If you miss a payment on your credit card, you are likely to be charged a missed payment fee by the credit card provider. Because your outstanding balance will also remain unpaid, you’ll also start to incur interest charges. Finally, if you start to regularly miss credit card payments you could find that it damages your credit rating, making it harder to be approved for borrowing in the future. 

Finding a bad credit credit card that gives you rewards and cashback can be more difficult than when you have a good credit rating. You may have to wait until you have built your credit rating up sufficiently so that rewards and cashback cards become available. 

If you’re applying for a credit card, you might be able to find a better deal if you look through offers from different providers before taking one out. With MoneySuperMarket you’ll be able to search through multiple credit cards and compare them by a range of factors, including their interest rates and any benefits and rewards they come with.

All you need to do is answer a few questions about yourself and your financial situation, and our Eligibility Checker will show your chances of being accepted for different credit cards. This won’t affect your credit score, so you can run a check without any worries.

Once you know which card you want, you can normally apply by phone, online, or in person if the provider has a high street branch. However, when you do apply, the provider will usually run a hard credit check – which will show up on your credit report – to confirm whether they’ll give you the card. If you’re accepted they’ll tell you your credit limit and interest rate, and soon you’ll be ready to start using your credit card.

MoneySuperMarket gives you lots of clever ways to save a lot, by doing very little.

  • Take control of your credit score by checking and improving it for free with Credit Monitor

  • Never overpay again with Energy Monitor, our energy monitoring service

  • Over 50 ways to Get Money Calm

So how do we make our money? In a nutshell, when you use us to buy a product, we get a reward from the company you’re buying from.

But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.