There is quite a variety of credit cards available for consumers that have bad credit and consumers that wish to use a credit card to establish a good credit profile.  These types of credit cards are for consumers with clear needs yet divergent credit backgrounds.  The credit card programs for these consumers are designed by the credit card companies to specifically meet the needs of these individuals but, not all of these types of credit cards are created equal.

Obtaining one of these credit cards is often dependent on your credit history or credit score.  Getting a credit card in general, is heavily dependent on the credit card applicant’s credit rating.  A good credit score will help ensure that the a card applicant gets access to the best credit card deals available while the opposite is true for those consumer with a bad credit history.  However, it is possible even with bad credit, to obtain a credit card.

Credit cards for bad credit as well as credit cards intended for credit repair are available from several credit card companies.  These types of credit cards generally fall into three different categories: unsecured credit cards, secured credit cards and prepaid credit cards. 

Unsecured credit cards for consumers with bad credit are commonly limited to consumers that have less than perfect credit but not credit that is all bad.  These credit cards can be good for general use and for help rebuilding credit histories since they often report the card holder’s payment history to all three major credit reporting agencies monthly.

Unsecured credit cards for consumers with less than perfect credit operate like any other unsecured credit card but will come with some limitations that are not commonly found on standard credit cards.  Generally, the credit limit will be lower for these cards; at least until the card holder has developed a history of responsible use and timely payments.  The credit card interest rate is almost always going to be higher than the average credit card rate.  Credit rewards programs and promotional offers are limited for these cards.  Approval for these credit cards is still heavily dependent on the applicants credit history, fair to good credit is the norm and poor to bad credit will often not be sufficient to gain approval.

Secured credit cards are an option for consumers with bad credit that have very limited credit history requirements.  These credit cards operate just like traditional unsecured credit cards and can be used to make purchases, reservations, cash advances and develop a credit payment history.  Applying for a secured credit card is one of the best options for those having bad credit card history.  The credit limit on these credit cards are determined by the amount of security deposited into the account established by the credit card company.  The security deposit may or may not earn interest but it is a refundable security deposit if the account holder chooses to close the account.

The final card category for poor credit situations is the prepaid card.  These cards also function similar to traditional credit cards with the exception that the spending limit is determined amount of money deposited into the card account.  Prepaid cards are not technically credit cards; there is no credit extension with the account.  The amount that is available to spend or use on other transactions is determined by the amount deposited less any withdrawals or purchases made against that deposit. 

Since there is no extension of credit with a prepaid card, there are also no monthly payments and no credit history to develop.  These cards are good for the basic functions that traditional credit card provide such as, a convenient form of payment, the ability to make phone and online purchase transactions, the ability to make  transactions anywhere the network such as Visa or  MasterCard Debit is accepted.  These cards often have a 100% acceptance rate based on credit and income, there is no credit check required to obtain a prepaid card.

Credit card use has become a very useful and handy means of payment.  Having poor credit history may cause a number of credit card companies to deny you credit but there are still plenty of options available.  To get the biggest bank for your buck with a new credit card regardless of your credit, you need to shop and compare card offers to find one that’s right for you.

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