The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Are you looking to rebuild or re-establish your credit? Try one of these 3 great offers.

Best Credit cards for Bad Credit

Have bad credit and need a credit card?

Are you looking to rebuild or re-establish your credit? Well, you have come to the right place. Continental Finance is one of America’s leading marketers and servicers of credit cards for consumers with less-than-perfect credit.

With more than 2.6 million credit cards managed since our founding, we understand how to help people improve their credit score by giving them an opportunity when other companies won’t.

Our internal team of experts have collected the three best credit card offers (available online) from Continental Finance Company, each of which are designed to help people with less than perfect credit.


Offer #1: The Surge Mastercard®

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Why it’s the best credit card for bad credit

Many credit cards for people with bad credit require a security deposit of $125 or more. The Surge Mastercard® can provide an unsecured line of credit that ranges between $300 and $750. You don’t have to put any money down upfront if you qualify for an unsecured offer. The Surge card also features secured options if you don’t qualify for an unsecured offer, which would require a security deposit.

Pre-qualify credit card offers from Surge Mastercard
All credit types are welcome to apply for the Surge Mastercard. There’s a fast and easy online application process that allows you to see if you’re pre-qualified for an offer in seconds.

Credit-building features

One of the best credit-building features that all Continental Finance cards provide is:

  • Regular and frequent account reviews for credit limit increases. Simply make your first six required monthly minimum payments on-time and you’ll be eligible for an automatic review for a credit limit increase.

Beyond Credit Limit Increases, the card has more features to assist with building credit, including:

  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus.
  • There is also a $0 Fraud liability feature to help protect you from fraudulent charges and keep your credit history positive.
  • The 24/7 online customer platform gives you custom alerts to help you keep up with payments, avoid late fees and ensure your credit building efforts stay on track.
  • You’ll also get free online access to your credit score each month by signing up for e-statements in the customer platform.

What Customers Say About the Card


Offer #2: The Reflex Mastercard®

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Why it’s one of the best credit card offers for those with less than perfect credit

The Reflex Mastercard® shares many of the same qualities as the Surge Mastercard – including the range of credit limits between $300 and $750. The Reflex Mastercard also provides an unsecured line of credit in its pre-qualified offers, meaning you don’t have to put money down when you qualify for an unsecured offer. You may qualify for a secured offer with varying security deposit amounts, if you don’t receive an unsecured offer.

Pre-qualify credit card offers from Reflex Mastercard
The Reflex Mastercard uses a fast and easy to use pre-qualification process that begins by showing you any offers you pre-qualify for (checking if you pre-qualify for an offer won’t impact your credit score).

Credit-building features

Similar to the Surge Mastercard, building your credit is the primary focus with the Reflex Mastercard. The Reflex card features:

  • Frequent account reviews for credit limit increases.
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus.
  • There is also a $0 Fraud liability feature to help protect you from fraudulent charges and keep your credit history positive.
  • The 24/7 online customer platform gives you custom alerts to help you keep up with payments, avoid late fees and ensure your credit building efforts stay on track.
  • You’ll also get free online access to your credit score each month by signing up for e-statements in the customer platform.

What Customers Say About the Card


Offer #3: The FIT Mastercard®

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Why it’s the best offer for those looking to build or re-establish credit

The FIT Mastercard® is slightly different than the Surge and Reflex card offers. This is the starter card in Continental Finance’s offerings and comes with a credit limit of $400, which is a great option for someone looking to build their credit score.

Credit card offers from FIT Mastercard
The FIT Mastercard features a fast and easy online application process.

Credit-building features

Building your credit score is the main focus with the FIT Mastercard. Some of the great features include:

  • Frequent account reviews for credit limit increases.
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus .
  • A $0 Fraud liability feature to help protect you from fraudulent charges.
  • The 24/7 online customer portal gives you custom alerts to help you keep up with payments, avoid late fees and ensure your credit building efforts stay on track.
  • You’ll also get free online access to your credit score each month by signing up for e-statements in the customer platform.

What Customers Say About the Card


surprise at credit card approval

What These Cards are Designed to do

Credit cards for bad credit help people with credit scores from 300 to 639 rebuild their credit. Going by the FICO Score ranges, this typically includes the “Poor” and “Fair” categories.

PoorFairGoodVery GoodExcellent
Lower than 579580 to 669670 to 739740 to 799800 to 850

Don’t be put off by your score. Your credit, and the opportunities available to you for rebuilding your credit are likely better than you think.

Remember, these cards are designed with the purpose of building credit scores by reporting account information to the three major credit bureaus each month. That’s why using your credit card responsibly and developing good financial habits is the best way to rebuild damaged credit.

The offers above all focus on unsecured credit cards. That’s because unsecured credit cards for bad credit do not require a security deposit for approval. One of the biggest roadblocks for people who are actively trying to rebuild credit is that most offers they qualify for come with a large security deposit. But, if you don’t qualify for an unsecured offer, these cards may still be able to provide you with security deposit options.

But it’s very possible to rebuild credit using unsecured credit cards, which Continental Finance specializes in providing.

The downside of unsecured credit cards to build credit is they often have tougher approval requirements and higher fees. The upside is the credit line requires no money invested upfront, which means it avoids the common catch-22 of having to fund the card with money you might not currently have available.

Since the credit line is unsecured, the best way to build your credit score is to manage your spending. We have some tips to help!

Credit Report Score of 425

Manage Your Finances to Rebuild Your Credit

If you decide to apply for one of the unsecured cards listed above, make sure you have a plan for repaying what you spend.

Unsecured credit cards for people with bad credit charge more interest than secured credit cards. So the sooner you pay, the less you’ll have to spend.

Before you apply for a credit card, take a look at your current finances and try to do everything on this short checklist:

  • Pay down revolving balances
  • Pay off debts that you can
  • Fix errors you find in your credit report

You may not be able to clear up all these items, but if you can only focus on one issue, it should be to pay off debt. Most credit cards for people with bad credit won’t approve applicants with recent delinquencies.

How to Get a Credit Card with Bad Credit:

Now that you’ve taken the first step, let’s dive into how to apply for and get approved for one of these cards.

Another important thing to remember when building credit is to always pay your bill in full and on-time. Doing so will allow you to avoid interest charges.

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Continental Finance is one of America’s leading marketers and servicers of credit cards for people with less-than-perfect credit. Learn more by visiting ContinentalFinance.net

Author: Greg Knotts

Greg Knotts is the VP of Marketing, CDMP, at Continental Finance Company, LLC in Wilmington, DE. A persuasive and results driven leader, Greg has more than 20 years experience in marketing, operations, relationship management, sales and business development in the credit card industry. He spearheads the Continental Finance Blog and leads the company mission to help cardholders everywhere rebuild and restore their credit through the variety of educational resources, articles and graphics the blog provides each week.