Credit Cards for Bad Credit: Best of 2017

While most credit cards for people with bad credit don't have many perks, a few provide cash back or travel rewards.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.] 

If you have bad credit, you may think you’re automatically unqualified for credit cards that offer cash back or travel rewards. For many cards, that may be true.

But you’re not necessarily locked out of earning rewards completely. While most credit cards for people with poor credit don’t have many perks, gas cards, travel cards, and cash back cards for bad credit are available.

Here are our picks for the three best rewards credit cards for bad credit, focusing on the top perks for gas cards, travel cards, and cash back reward cards.

1. Discover it Secured Card

Best For: Gas credit card rewards for people with bad credit.
Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent at restaurants and gas stations each quarter; 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: Discover matches the cash back you earn in the first year. This is one of the best sign-up bonus credit card offers available—whether you have poor credit or not.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 23.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: This is one of the best secured credit cards for bad credit you can find—and one of the best gas credit cards you can get with bad credit. This secured card offers cash back on everything, with an extra incentive for dining and gas purchases.
Benefits: Secured credit cards are one of the safest and easiest ways to establish and improve your credit. With bonus cash back for the first year and no annual fee, this is one of the best credit cards for poor credit available. Discover’s secured card offers 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Drawbacks: You’ll need an up-front security deposit of at least $200 to access this card.
Credit Needed: Poor credit, bad credit, and no credit applicants accepted. 

2. Credit One Bank Cash Back Rewards Visa

Best For: Consistent cash back rewards for poor credit.
Rewards: 1% cash back on all eligible purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 to $99
APR: Variable 16.99% to 24.99% APR on purchases.
Why We Picked It: This unsecured card provides consistent 1% cash back on all eligible purchases and offers credit-building features for those with poor credit.
BenefitsCredit One Bank’s cash back cards earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases, which vary based on which of its five cash back cards you qualify for. Eligible purchases may include gas, groceries, utility bills, and dining. The card also offers credit score tracking and pre-qualification, which many other cards for bad credit do not offer.
Drawbacks: Credit One isn’t transparent on how it determines which of its cash back cards you’ll receive, and there’s a highly variable annual fee.
Credit Needed: Applicants with poor credit are eligible, but this card is recommended for applicants with fair credit to help build their credit health. 

3. AeroMexico Visa Secured Card

Best For: Airline miles and travel rewards for people with poor credit.
Rewards: Two miles for every dollar spent on gas and groceries; one mile for every dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: 5,000 bonus miles with your first purchase.
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $25.
APR: Variable 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: Frequent AeroMexico flyers can earn miles toward their flights, making this a great airline credit card for people with poor credit.
Benefits: This secured airline miles credit card earns two miles per dollar spent on gas and grocery purchases and one mile per dollar spent on other purchases. Points are redeemable for AeroMexico flights. New cardholders get a bonus of 5,000 miles and a round-trip flight for a companion. There’s also an annual companion certificate, and all flights get a complimentary checked bag.
Drawbacks: If you prefer another airline, you won’t get much mileage out of this travel card.
Credit Needed: Applicants with poor credit or no credit are eligible to apply for this secured credit card.

How Can Bad or Poor Credit Affect Credit Card Eligibility

Credit affects many aspects of your life—including the credit cards you can apply for. All credit cards have some sort of credit requirements that applicants must meet to be approved, which means many cards will not approve you if you have poor or bad credit. If your credit score is low, a secured card or other card specifically designed for bad credit can help you rebuild your credit. 

How to Choose the Best Rewards Credit Card for Bad Credit

It may not seem like it, but there are many credit card companies for people with bad credit. Choosing a rewards card for bad credit depends on your financial circumstances. One of the most important reasons to get a card for poor credit is to rebuild your credit, so you’ll want to choose a card that can help you do that.

Pay attention to the fees and APR associated with any card you’re considering. While a security deposit for a secured card may seem like a steep up-front expense, it might be worth it if you can avoid higher fees later and improve your credit health.

Choose a card that rewards your spending habits and provides incentives for the types of purchases you tend to make. And make sure you’re avoiding these seven red flags as you’re deciding on a credit card for bad credit.

What Is Required to Get a Rewards Card with Bad Credit?

Many credit cards for bad credit are available to consumers with a checkered or nonexistent credit history, but that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed to qualify. Before you apply, you should know your credit score so you can have a better idea of what cards are right for you. You can check your credit report for free with Credit.com.

At publishing time, the Discover it Secured and Credit One Bank Cash Back Rewards Visa credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

The post Credit Cards for Bad Credit: Best of 2017 appeared first on Credit.com.

How New Parents Can Budget For Child Care

Plan ahead as much as possible.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Having a new baby on the way is an incredibly joyous time for most families, but it can also be stressful. After all, babies require a lot of care — they need to be fed and changed, and then there’s the diapers, clothes, bedding, car seats, toys, healthcare … it can be overwhelming, both emotionally and financially.

Add to that the tremendous childcare expense — the average annual cost for child care in the United States is higher than the average cost of in-state college tuition — and it can feel downright impossible, especially if your finances are already tight.

Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help you budget for child care. We talked to Katie Bugbee, senior managing editor of Care.com, a website dedicated to helping families and caregivers connect in a reliable and easy way. She shared some ideas on how to start saving at every stage.

“Obviously, the earlier people can start saving the better,” Bugbee said. “When you have babies on the brain is a good time to start cutting back. As much as you want to celebrate the last few years without kids and enjoy them, you should also really make sure that you have enough money moving forward to live as comfortably as possible with the additional expenses.”

Before Baby Comes

There are a multitude of things you can do to save money before you have a baby on the way. From cutting back on your daily $3 coffee to skipping that new outfit for work and even buying used items instead of new.

You can also save money by using a cash-back credit card for your everyday purchases. Some of the best cash-back cards can help you earn rewards on pretty much everything you buy. Of course, most of these cards require you have good credit. But, if you don’t, it’s good to keep in mind there are credit cards for bad credit and some — like the Discover it Secured card or the Capital One Secured MasterCard — even offer cash back rewards. Even better, they’ll help you build and improve your credit if managed properly. You can see what your credit situation is by reviewing your free credit report snapshot from Credit.com, which updates monthly.

Of course, you can also save in larger ways. Instead of moving into a bigger, nicer apartment or house, stay where you are for now. That way, you keep your housing budget reigned in while you put more money into savings for your new baby.

If you have the cash flow, set up a savings account especially for baby, and consider skipping that fabulous week long vacation to St. Lucia and opt instead for a long weekend visiting friends. Here are 7 other money moves to make before baby arrives.

When Baby Is On the Way

When you know your baby is on the way, it’s time to really get busy with the saving, especially if you didn’t so earlier. One option is to see if your employer offers flexible spending accounts that cover child care. If so, it could be worth setting up and reaping the tax benefits it will provide. You can also ask if there’s a child care subsidy available, or if there is in-office child care.

Now is also a good time to talk to your accountant or financial adviser about how best to plan for your new family addition. Are there additional tax breaks to consider?

You might also want to begin researching child care options in your neighborhood. There’s a lot to consider, and your financial situation will likely dictate what choices you make. Will you want at-home care? If so, a nanny share can be a great way to cut your costs. Will you opt for a family day care center instead? Are there any in your neighborhood that offer a sliding pay scale that fits your financial situation?

“Going and getting the best care for the most affordable option is what you need to charge yourself with,” Bugbee said. “I strongly recommend using message boards for that, because you probably don’t even know half the daycare or nanny options in your area.”

She suggested trying out sites like Bigtent.com to find child care options near your home. These are closed groups that will want to verify you live in the area, but once that hurdle is out of the way, they can be incredibly helpful, Bugbee said.

You may also want to consider Facebook groups for parents, which can also be very helpful in finding affordable child care services through people who have already used them, she said.

When Baby Arrives & Every Day After

Now is the time to start looking for ways to save money on baby gear itself.

“The only new things you really need are cribs and car seats,” Bugbee said, adding that pretty much everything else can be bought used. Be sure to check for recalls on used products, however, as well as expiration dates where applicable. The money you save can be used toward child care.

Bugbee also suggested using Amazon Mom to help save money on things like diapers, sippy cups, bottles and more.And remember that cash-back rewards credit card we mentioned earlier? Putting it to use on essential purchases can help you save even more. (As far as shopping on Amazon goes, you may find a lot of value in their credit card, which we reviewed here.)

At the end of the day, you want what is best for your child. Saving money wherever you can help you provide a better life for them now and in the future. And teaching them to do the same can help them be financially secure even when you aren’t around to watch after them.

At publishing time, the Discover it Secured and the Capital One Secured MasterCard are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Image: DragonImages

 

The post How New Parents Can Budget For Child Care appeared first on Credit.com.