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The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Updated: 11th October, 2018.

> Home > The Best Credit Cards for 2018 > The Best Credit Cards for Bad Credit

We’ve vetted some of the most popular credit cards on the market to bring you our shortlist of the best credit cards for bad credit. Whether your credit score is low because you filed for bankruptcy or you haven’t been practicing good credit hygiene, our picks could get you on the right path to making your credit score shine.


Our top picks for credit-building cards at a glance:


Aqua Classic with 0% Purchase Offer (6 Months)

Good for: Building credit with a 0% intro purchase APR

Our Rating:

StarStarStarStarEmpty Star

4.2 stars


Features
  • 0% on purchases over the first six months.
  • No annual fee


Our Bottom Line

The Aqua Classic credit card is one of the more straightforward credit cards for bad credit, open to those with a bad credit history, money problems in the past or on low incomes, as well as the self-employed. Maximum credit limit is £1,200, although if you handle your card sensibly Aqua may increase this pretty quickly. Extra features can also help you understand your credit score, and make every monthly payment. This offer from Aqua includes a 0% rate on purchases through the first six months.

Full Aqua Classic with 0% Purchase Offer (6 Months) review coming soon!

Representative APR (variable):

34.90%

Credit Limit:

Between £250 and £1,200


Barclaycard Initial Credit Card

Good for: New borrowers or those with past credit problems

Our Rating:

StarStarStarStarEmpty Star

4.2 stars


Features
  • 0% interest on purchases for the three months from the date you open your account
  • No annual fee


Our Bottom Line

Sometimes having no credit history can almost be as big a problem as having a poor credit history, as lenders don’t know how to judge your application. If you’re in that awkward position, Barclaycard Initial can get you started. One of the best credit cards to build credit, it is designed for people with limited or no credit history, as well as those with prior problems. It also numbers among the UK’s 0% purchase credit cards, with no interest charges for the first three months (avoid the temptation to rack up more debt you cannot repay). Initial representative APR start at 34.9% but may reduce after a year, so long as you make your minimum payments on time and stay within your credit limit.

Full Barclaycard Initial Credit Card review coming soon!

Representative APR (variable):

34.90%

Credit Limit:

Between £150 and £1,200


Aqua Classic Card With 6 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Good for: Consolidate debt and build credit

Our Rating:

StarStarStarStarEmpty Star

4.2 stars


Features
  • 0% interest on balance transfers for six months
  • Free aqua credit checker
  • No annual fee


Our Bottom Line

The Aqua Classic credit card is one of the more straightforward credit cards for bad credit, open to those with a bad credit history, money problems in the past or on low incomes, as well as the self-employed. Maximum credit limit is £1,200, although if you handle your card sensibly Aqua may increase this pretty quickly. Extra features can also help you understand your credit score, and make every monthly payment. With this offer, customers get a low 3% rate on balance transfers over the first six months.

Full Aqua Classic Card With 6 Month Balance Transfer Offer review coming soon!

Representative APR (variable):

34.90%

Credit Limit:

Between £250 and £1,200


Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card

Good for: Credit repair with a lower starting APR

Our Rating:

StarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star

3.3 stars


Features
  • Credit limit could increase to £4,000 over time
  • Low starting APR
  • No annual fee


Our Bottom Line

Those with past credit problems are resigned to paying sky-high APRs, if they can get credit cards at all. Vanquis Bank’s Chrome Credit Card is a welcome exception, offering a low representative APR of just 24.7%, to those with a limited credit history or past problems. On most other credit cards for bad credit, APRs start at 35% and can soar to 60%. Vanquis says it focuses on each applicant’s current credit situation and recent history, rather than dwelling on past mistakes. One of the best credit cards for bad credit, this could help you build a brighter financial future.

Full Vanquis Bank Chrome Credit Card review coming soon!

Representative APR (variable):

29.50%

Credit Limit:

Between £250 and £1,000


Aqua Classic Card (29.7%)

Good for: Building credit with a lower starting APR

Our Rating:

StarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star

3.3 stars


Features
  • Low starting APR
  • No annual fee
  • Free aqua credit checker


Our Bottom Line

The Aqua Classic credit card is one of the more straightforward credit cards for bad credit, open to those with a bad credit history, money problems in the past or on low incomes, as well as the self-employed. Maximum credit limit is £1,200, although if you handle your card sensibly Aqua may increase this pretty quickly. Extra features can also help you understand your credit score, and make every monthly payment. This version of the card aims for a lower initial interest rate, with the representative APR at 29.7%.

Full Aqua Classic Card (29.7%) review coming soon!

Representative APR (variable):

29.70%

Credit Limit:

Between £250 and £1,200


Aqua Advance Card

Good for: Lowering your APR while building credit

Our Rating:

StarStarStarEmpty StarEmpty Star

3.3 stars


Features
  • Stay on time with payments and APR reduces 5% per year
  • Keeping on time with payments could reduce APR to 19.9%
  • Free aqua credit checker
  • No annual fee


Our Bottom Line

The Aqua Adance Card includes many of the features that make other Aqua cards great for those looking to build or re-build credit. As an added bonus though, users of the Advance Card that stay on time with their payments will see their APR go down by 5% per year. Over time, this could bring the APR down to 19.9%.

Full Aqua Advance Card review coming soon!

Representative APR (variable):

34.90%

Credit Limit:

Between £250 and £1,200


Vanquis Classic Credit Card

Good for: Rebuilding credit

Our Rating:

StarStarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star

1.7 stars


Features
  • No annual fee
  • You could get a credit limit increase after your fifth statement


Our Bottom Line

The Vanquis Classic Credit Card is a higher APR card without some of the features of other cards here. However, for those who qualify, this card can still be a great way to rebuild your credit score and use as a stepping stone to better cards in the future.

Full Vanquis Classic Credit Card review coming soon!

Representative APR (variable):

39.90%

Credit Limit:

Between £150 and £1,000

5 Things You MUST Check Before You Apply For A Credit Card

Thanks to the research we’ve done for you, you should have a good idea of which credit card suits your needs best. Now there’s just one more important page you need to read: “5 Things You MUST Check Before You Apply For A Credit Card” is a special report from The Motley Fool, and it’s completely free!

This expertly prepared report will inform you how to repair your credit history, explain why your credit report may contain errors and how you can fix these, as well as guide you through exactly how the UK credit scoring system works and why you need to understand it. All that’s left to do is click here for access, and it won’t cost you a penny!

The Motley Fool receives compensation from some advertisers who provide products and services that may be covered by our editorial team. It’s one way we make money. But know that our editorial integrity and transparency matters most and our ratings aren’t influenced by compensation. The statements above are The Motley Fool’s alone and have not been provided or endorsed by bank advertisers. The Motley Fool has recommended shares in Lloyds, Tesco and Barclays.