Whether you’re rebuilding, or prefer to have a more ‘manageable’ credit limit, there are many low credit limit credit card options. You probably know some of these, but perhaps you forgot they existed.
Back in 2016, I reviewed low credit limit credit card offerings from some of today’s more popular banks. But today, I’m actually putting personal experience behind the ten listed below. I did not include links or any affiliations because, well, I’m providing this list as an educational tool only. Apply with care.
#10: Indigo Mastercard
Probably not the greatest option available. However, for those who cannot get anything, it’s a start. The Indigo Mastercard offers a $300 credit line, reduced to $225 after the mandatory $75 annually fee is assessed. So, you immediately start off owing a $75 bill.
I had this card back in 2015. Desperate for anyone to give me something, I latched onto this card and used it for gas. Eventually, I paid this off and closed it down.
This card is an excellent option for those rebuilding but still have some old ‘baddies’.
#9: Credit One Bank (any card)
Yes, I put Credit One Bank pretty low on this list, primarily because of customer service.
Of all the low credit limit credit card options in existence, they offer far more generous starting credit lines. But that’s pretty much where the glory ends.
I once spent 45 minutes on hold waiting to pay my bill. My 45 minute wait spilled into their after-hours, meaning I never paid the bill over the phone. It cost me a late fee, which they removed.
Apply for them only if you’re prepared to deal with incompetent customer support, and want charged for paying with debit card.
#8: Milestone Mastercard
Here’s another card I tinkered with during my rebuilding phase three years ago.
Customer support isn’t too bad; I usually waited 10 minutes or less each time I called.
What holds these guys down at #8 is their stinginess when credit line increases are requested.
You’ll start with $300, reduced to $265 due to their first-year annually fee assessment of $35.
This card is another last-ditch card which I’d probably keep off your portfolio if you’re one to request increases frequently. Because these guys are pretty ruthless when asked.
#7: Total Visa
I fall in line with what Beverly Harzog says about this low-hanging fruit: it basically sucks. Unless you’re desperate.
This card has been offered by so many banks, it’s hard to keep track. Currently, The Bank of Missouri backs this card.
I paid an $89 processing fee, and ate $75 before my card was activated. So, I paid the $164 bill off, and to the sock drawer it went.
Use this card only as something to keep utilization low while building credit age. Buy $10 worth of gas, and pay it off the next day.
Customer service? Not too bad, longest I waited for an agent was 15 minutes on a Friday.
#6: (Tie) Surge Mastercard and Reflex Mastercard
The good news about both these low credit limit credit card options? Starting line is $500.
And, well, that’s pretty much it. Don’t expect credit line increases or competent customer support.
Continental Finance services both cards, but both are backed by Celtic Bank.
In some instances, you may have to put down 20% up to 100% to fully or partially secure this card.
I burned these guys pretty bad, but settled for about 30% of what I owed them. Yes, for both cards.
#4: First Premier Bank Credit Card
I know, you’re probably thinking I’m on drugs for putting this South Dakota-based bank card this high.
Let me explain.
Ignore the fact you’ll need to pay $95 to tap into this card’s relatively abysmal credit line. These guys have rock-star customer support, are reasonable when requesting a credit line increase, and immediately credit payments when made.
I had these guys for 4 years, never missed a payment and tripled my starting line before reaching year three.
Before applying for the ones above, start here because they’re forgiving even if burned in Chapter 7.
#3: Deserve Credit Cards
These guys are another Celtic Bank-backed option for those with bad credit.
With this card, however, it appears you’ll connect your bank account to your application. From there, underwriters look at your spending and deposit history to determine credit limit.
This is the newest low credit limit credit card I’ve found. Having just applied today, I was given a 5-day application review turnaround time. Not too shabby.
To find this card, head to Celtic Bank’s website or simply Google ‘Deserve credit cards‘.
#2: Merrick Bank Credit Card
I’m a particularly happy customer of Merrick Bank. Not only did they offer me their Double Your Line product via mail, but customer support has been remarkable.
There are a few ways to apply for this card: Google ‘Merrick Bank pre-qualify‘ to see if their link works, or get an offer via mail.
They’re great about handing out credit line increases provided there’s usage and timely payments.
I believe you’ll need to be over 600 FICO to pique their interest. Some have been approved lower, and denied higher.
#1: Capital One (lower tier)
As expected, Capital One is the greatest low credit limit credit card available today. Not because of Jennifer Garner or Samuel L. Jackson, either.
I’ve literally burned these guys 3 times over my life, and they’ve let me back in each time. Credit Steps works, too, if you work the program and use the card.
Credit line increases, product changes and waiving late fees are commonplace, too. Customer support, albeit offshore, is pretty cool to deal with. And the Executive Team (when you must escalate things) acts quickly, an impressive feat given the volume of emails and letters they get.
Apply with them first, and always do recons if denied.
Final thoughts about the low credit limit credit card world
Folks, rebuilding is pretty challenging. Once those derogatory items are gone, you may feel inclined to ‘app spree’.
Here are five things to remember:
- Never apply for credit you cannot pay for. Always disclose truthful financials, too.
- Inquiries cost. Use them wisely.
- Read reviews of those in a similar situation as you. They rarely lie.
- Pay $1 more (at least) than the minimum monthly payment. Goal is 1-5% revolving utilization.
- Don’t open and close numerous cards within one (1) year’s time.
If I forgot some low credit limit credit card that you believe deserves recognition, sound off in comments. Include fees, starting line, your experience and rate customer support.