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5 easiest credit cards to get approved for in September 2023

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Easiest credit cards to get

Best for no annual fee

Citi® Double Cash Card

  • Rewards

    2% cash back: 1% on all eligible purchases and an additional 1% after you pay your credit card bill

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 18 months on balance transfers; N/A for purchases

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    For balance transfers completed within 4 months of account opening, an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies; after that, a balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) applies

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
  • Simple cash-back program that doesn’t require activation or spending caps
  • One of the longest intro periods for balance transfers at 18 months

Cons

  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Estimated rewards earned after 1 year: $443
  • Estimated rewards earned after 5 years: $2,213

Best for cash back

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card

Information about the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

  • Rewards

    5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter in two categories you choose, 2% cash back on eligible purchases in your choice of one everyday category (like gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants) and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

  • Welcome bonus

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fees

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • You can earn cash-back for everyday spending, a rare feature for a secured credit card
  • Opportunity to upgrade to an unsecured card if you pay your bills on time and stay within your credit limit
  • Flexibility to change your payment due date

Cons

  • Requires a $300 to $5,000 deposit to open the card
  • No welcome offer
  • High APR
  • 3% fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.

Who’s this for? The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card is easy to get, even with poor credit or no credit, because it is a secured credit card and requires an upfront deposit. But unlike many other secured credit cards, it has a generous rewards structure.

Standout benefits: This card allows you to customize where you earn bonus cash back. You receive 5% on the first $2,000 spent in combined eligible purchases each quarter in two of 12 categories of your choice. You’ll also earn 2% back in one additional category of your choice.

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Best for students

Discover it® Student Cash Back

On Discover’s secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for 6 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Cash-back program
  • Generous welcome bonus

Cons

  • Cash-back categories must be activated each quarter
  • Cash-back program limits earnings: Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back in various categories on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases, then 1%
  • You must be a U.S. citizen and college student to apply for this card

Who’s this for? The Discover it® Student Cash Back is available to college students with fair credit or limited credit history. Not only is this card easy to get, but it also earns cash back on every purchase.

Standout benefits: You don’t tend to find generous welcome bonus offers with student credit cards or other easy-to-get cards, but the Discover it® Student Cash Back card is an exception. All of the rewards you earn in the first year will be matched by Discover. There’s no limit to this offer, so if you earn $300 back in your first year, you’ll get an additional $300 at the end of that year.

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Best for no credit

Who’s this for? The Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card is open to applicants with no credit history, including those without a social security number. Instead of requiring a credit score, your banking activity and other financial data can determine your eligibility for the card.

Standout benefits: You can boost the cash back you earn by making on-time payments. Cardholders start off earning 1% cash back and can earn up to 1.5% back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.

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Best secured credit card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

On Discover’s secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • Welcome bonus

    Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Pros

  • Cash-back program
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Starting at seven months from account opening, Discover will automatically review your credit card account to see if you can transition to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit

Cons

  • Cash-back program limits earnings: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%
  • Low credit line prevents cardholders from charging high-cost items or many expenses

Who’s this for? The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is an excellent secured credit card that not only earns rewards but also comes with a potentially lucrative welcome bonus.

Standout benefits: The cash back you earn during the first year you have the card will be matched. What’s nice about this offer is there’s no minimum spending requirement, so you won’t risk missing out on your intro bonus. Plus, this card charges no foreign transaction fees.

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More on our easiest credit cards to get

Citi® Double Cash Card

What makes the Citi Double Cash Card such a great no-annual-fee credit card is the uncapped 2% back you earn on all purchases.

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Rewards

Earn 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay.

Welcome bonus

None

Annual fee

$0

Notable perks

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When you complete a balance transfer with the Citi® Double Cash Card in the first four months of opening the account, that transfer receives an introductory balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount you transfer ($5 minimum). After the intro period, there’s a balance transfer fee of 5% of the amount you transfer ($5 minimum). New cardmembers will receive 0% intro APR for the first 18 months (then a 19.24% – 29.24% variable APR)

While it is technically a cash-back card, it earns cash back in the form of Citi ThankYou® points. This gives you more options for redeeming your points. You can use ThankYou points to get cash back (checks, direct deposits, statement credits) and other redemptions, such as gift cards at a value of one cent per point. You can also transfer these points to three travel loyalty programs: JetBlue, Wyndham and Choice Hotels. If you pair this card with the Citi Premier® Card (see rates and fees), you’ll unlock access to even more transfer partners, including Turkish Airlines, Avianca and Singapore Airlines.

Check out CNBC Select’s best cash-back credit cards.

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U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card

The flexibility with what purchases earn the most rewards is what makes U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card a good choice for anyone who wants to earn cash back.

Rewards

  • 5% cash back on prepaid airfare, hotels and car rentals booked through the U.S. Bank Rewards Travel Center
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter in two categories you choose. Eligible categories include cell phone providers; TV, internet and streaming; home utilities; fast food restaurants; gyms; ground transportation; furniture stores; sporting goods stores; select clothing stores; electronics stores; department stores; and movie theaters.
  • 2% cash back on eligible purchases in your choice of one everyday category (like gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants)
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

Welcome bonus

None

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Annual fee

$0

Notable perks

The main benefit of the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa® Secured Card is its flexible bonus reward categories. Plus, the cash back you earn with this card is very easy to redeem. You can redeem cash back for a statement credit, a deposit to a U.S. Bank account (savings, checking or money market) or a prepaid U.S. Bank Rewards card. You’ll need at least $25 to make a redemption.

New cardholders must put down a deposit of between $300 and $5,000 which acts as your credit line. If you spend within your credit limit and pay your bill when it’s due, U.S. Bank could eventually upgrade you to the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card, at which time your security deposit will be returned.

Check out CNBC Select’s best cards for everyday spending.

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Discover it® Student Cash Back

The ability to earn cash back in rotating categories makes Discover it® Student Cash Back a valuable choice for students looking for a card that’s easier to qualify for.

Rewards

  • 5% back for up to $1,500 in purchases in rotating quarterly bonus categories you activate (then 1%)
  • 1% back on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Discover will match the cash back you earn during the first year with no minimum spending requirement or cap on the match.

Annual fee

$0

Notable perks

The Discover it® Student Cash Back card has no foreign transaction fees, which is helpful for anyone who is studying abroad or travels internationally during school breaks. Cardholders also receive an introductory 0% APR on new purchases for the first six months. After the introductory period, an 18.24% – 27.24% variable APR applies.

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Check out CNBC Select’s best college student credit cards.

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Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card

The Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card isn’t just easy to get, but it also has no fees, including no late payment fee. Instead of judging your creditworthiness solely based on credit history, Petal may ask you to link bank accounts during the application process. Then, WebBank, analyzes your bank statements and other data, such as bill payments and earnings, to determine your eligibility.

Rewards

  • 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away, which can increase up to 1.5% cash back after you make 12 on-time monthly payments
  • 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants

Welcome bonus

None

Annual fee

$0

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Notable perks

The best part of the Petal 2 card is its lack of fees, it has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no late payment fee and no returned payment fee. The ability to earn up to 1.5% cash back after making 12 on-time monthly payments is not only a nice perk but a great way to encourage responsible behavior. Cardholders can also take advantage of limited-time offers for 2% to 10% back at select merchants.

Check out CNBC Select’s best credit cards for bad credit.

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Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is an easier credit card to get, even if you’re in the process of rebuilding your credit. It allows you to rewards as you improve your credit score and offers a clear path to upgrading to an unsecured card.

Rewards

  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Welcome bonus

Discover will match the cash back you earn during the first year with no minimum spending requirement or cap on the match.

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Annual fee

$0

Notable perks

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires a refundable security deposit, but after seven months there’s an automatic review to see if you can be moved to an unsecured card. This takes the guesswork out of wondering when you’ll qualify for an unsecured credit card.

There are no foreign transaction fees, so you won’t be dinged for using the card abroad. The cashback you earn can be redeemed at any time with no minimums, including directly through Amazon and PayPal.

Check out CNBC Select’s best cards for building credit.

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FAQs

What is the easiest credit card to get with bad credit?

What credit card can I get with a 500 credit score?

How can I get an authorized user credit card?

To become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card account, the primary account holder needs to add you as an authorized user. Authorized users get their own credit card but typically won’t have access to the same benefits available to the primary cardholder and there could be a fee for adding authorized users.

Are store credit cards easy to get?

Store credit cards are typically easier to qualify for, but they can have limited rewards or other limitations. Many store cards can only be used with that particular retailer or have fewer useful benefits than other types of credit cards.

Bottom line

Just because you’re a beginner or are repairing your credit doesn’t mean you can’t get approved for a credit card or have to sacrifice the opportunity to earn rewards. The best easy-to-get credit cards earn rewards that compete with cards that have stricter credit score requirements. Even some secured credit cards can offer the opportunity to earn cash back on your purchases.

After a few months of paying your bills on time and in full, you may be able to upgrade or switch to an even more generous card. The best way to know when you’re ready is to keep track of your credit score using a free resource like *Experian Boost™ (FICO® Score), CreditWise from Capital One (VantageScore) or Chase Credit Journey (VantageScore).

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Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every credit card review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit card productsWhile CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best easy credit cards.

Our methodology

To determine which cards will put the most money back in your pocket, CNBC Select evaluated credit cards offered by the biggest banks, financial companies and credit unions that allow anyone to join. We compared each card on a range of features, including cash-back rewards, annual fee, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available.

Catch up on CNBC Select’s in-depth coverage of credit cardsbanking and money, and follow us on TikTokFacebookInstagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

*Results may vary. Some may not see improved scores or approval odds. Not all lenders use Experian credit files, and not all lenders use scores impacted by Experian Boost.

Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card is issued by WebBank.

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For rates and fees of the Discover it® Secured Credit Card, click here.

For rates and fees of the Discover it® Student Cash Back, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.



Source: CNBC

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