Check your credit report and credit score before you apply for a new credit card so you know what you’re working with. If you apply for a card that is only available to individuals with better credit scores, chances are that you’ll take a hit to your credit score with nothing to show for it. In addition you will want to review the fee schedule carefully. There are some credit cards for individuals with poor credit that you may find that offer a low or no annual fee. Review the APR so that you know what you’ll pay if you carry a balance (but try not to carry a balance). If all else is equal, choose a card that offers rewards.
Don’t apply for several cards all at once because that is likely to hurt your score. Do take advantage of tools that can help you increase your credit score, such as free credit monitoring, credit education, gentle fees and due date reminders.
If your goal is to build or rebuild a positive credit history, make sure the card issuer reports your credit card activity to the three major credit bureaus. Once you use a card responsibly for six to 12 months, your credit standing is likely to improve and you can consider requesting a card that is not secured or one that has more features and perks.