Whether you want to build up your credit history or improve your credit score, you need a credit card. However, it is difficult to get approved for a credit card if you have a poor score or little to no credit history. This might just be one of the greatest paradoxes.

If you apply for a credit card and get denied, you will damage your credit score. If you make multiple applications in a short period of time, this will damage your credit score even further.

To help you get out of this situation, you might want to look into guaranteed approval credit cards. It’s a unique kind of credit card that could help you rebuild your credit if you use it responsibly.

Let’s dive deeper into 100% approval cards, learn what their advantages and disadvantages are, and help you discern whether this card might be a good option for you.

What is a Guaranteed Approval Card?

When you hear the word “guaranteed”, you typically wouldn’t be wrong in assuming that something is 100% certain. Unfortunately, when it comes to the guaranteed approval category, this is actually a wrong assumption, and “guaranteed” can be considered a misnomer.

Not everyone can get a guaranteed approval card, and regardless of its name, issuers will still have a few requirements for you to meet before they give you it. If you don’t meet the requirements, you won’t be approved.

Fortunately, though, the requirements are few, and most people can meet them, even with a bad or no credit score.

Perhaps “easy approval” credit cards would be a more suitable name since, even though it’s not guaranteed you’ll get the card, it’s relatively easy to do so.

Besides the fact that the application process is much easier, guaranteed approval cards are very much the same as regular credit cards. They come with fees, benefits, rewards, and terms and conditions that are set by the issuer.

PRO Tip
Guaranteed approval credit cards are not the right fit for everyone, and not everyone can get them. Always do your research to find out whether you’re eligible for a card before you apply for it. This way, you’ll minimize the chances of your credit score being damaged by a rejected application.

What Are Easy Approval Card Application Requirements?

As mentioned, even though they’re called 100% or guaranteed approval, you still need to meet the issuer’s requirements if you are to get approved.

Your credit score doesn’t play as big of a role in your application status as it does for some other types of credit cards. To get approved for a guaranteed approval offers, you will most likely have to meet some of the following requirements:

These are just some of the requirements for a guaranteed approval offers, and different card issuers might have different requirements. Before you apply for this card, make sure you read and understand all of the issuer’s requirements to see whether you would be eligible for their card.

While the application process is typically straightforward and easy, you should always read the fine print of the Terms and Conditions and the Pricing and Information.

Keep in mind that the ease of approval comes with some drawbacks. These cards typically come with higher interest rates and fees and fewer bonuses and rewards.

PRO Tip
Easy approval card offers are usually not the best type of card you can get since they come with higher fees and fewer rewards and benefits. You should only get this card if you need to improve your credit score and cannot get approved for better, another type of unsecured card.

Guaranteed Approval vs Instant Approval

Guaranteed approval offers are often confused for instant approval cards, also known as instant decision cards. There is, however, quite a difference between these two.

Instant Approval Cards

Instant approval cards are those that let you know almost immediately whether you’ve been approved for a card or not. You can fill in your application online, and you’ll typically get a notification within 2 minutes that tells you whether your application has been accepted.

To be eligible for an instant approval card, you’ll normally need to have a good or excellent credit score. There are some instant approval offers for fair credit, but this is typically not the case.

Guaranteed Cards

Guaranteed cards, on the other hand, are designed for those with bad or no credit. It will take a longer time, between 7 and 10 days, to find out whether your application has been successful.

Guaranteed vs Pre-Approval Cards

It’s very likely that you’ve received a card offer or two in the mail telling you that you’ve been pre-approved for a card. Does this mean that you’re guaranteed to get a card if you apply for it? The short answer is No.

If you receive a pre-approval offer, it is mostly based on the general information about your financial status and credit score. Card issuers that send you these offers don’t have your exact figures – they just collect lists of consumers who meet certain criteria, who are within a certain income bracket or credit score range.

Only once you apply for a card will these issuers do a full credit check on you and tell you if you’ve been approved.

Getting a pre-approval offer for a guaranteed card might mean you are eligible for this card since you can easily apply for it with bad credit, but again – it’s not 100% guaranteed.

PRO Tip
The pre-approval offers you get in the mail do contain some of your personal information. To stay on the safe side, be sure to rip these offers apart or shred them before throwing them away. This way, you will prevent others from seeing your personal information.

What Are Guaranteed Approval Card Alternatives?

Guaranteed approval card offers are designed for those with a poor credit score or little/ no credit history. They have fewer requirements for applicants, so many with a poor credit score believe these cards to be their only option.

However, you should try to avoid these cards if possible. Since they’re made for riskier clients, they often come with high annual fees, high-interest rates, and can quickly become expensive if you have to carry your balance.

Secured Card Offers

The best alternative for a guaranteed approval card is a secured card (Explained). Secured cards are also available to those with poor credit, but they come with lower fees and better rewards and bonuses.

The only drawback is that you will need to make a deposit to get your card. If you’re a responsible cardholder and pay off your debts on time, your deposit can be returned to you if you decide to cancel your card or upgrade to a better one.

PRO Tip
Once you’ve built up your credit score with a guaranteed or a secured card, it’s better to upgrade to a better card from the same issuer than to cancel your card and apply for a new one. Closing a credit account and applying for a new one will damage your score. Upgrading to a better card will not.

Guaranteed Card Offers Recap List

Guaranteed Approval Credit Cards FAQ