Good Alternatives for Credit Cards

Unfortunately, not everyone immediately qualifies for a regular, unsecured credit card. However, there are plenty of alternatives that you can use. Knowing where to research credit card alternatives can certainly help. Here are some of the best alternatives for credit cards.

Debit Cards

A debit card is probably the closest thing to a credit card you can get if you don’t qualify for the latter. You can get a debit card when you have a checking account from a bank or credit union. In some cases, you may be required to keep a certain amount of money in your account to keep it open. When you use this type of card, the money is paid directly from funds you have in your checking account. Of course, it’s important to be extra cautious when you use a debit card because if it’s stolen or you fall prey to identity theft, you can lose all the money you have in your account. However, when your debit card is safe, using it is a good way to avoid debt.

Prepaid Debit Cards

Unlike a regular debit card, prepaid debit cards are not linked to a bank account. They require funding that must be added manually so that you can pay bills and for other everyday purchases. Many of these cards offer perks like regular debit cards, such as mobile banking. However, it’s important to know the fees tied to a card prior to signing up for it. Always learn all the terms and conditions beforehand as well.

Gift Cards

Gift cards are a good alternative to credit cards as well. If you receive one for a specific store you regularly visit to do your shopping, it can be very convenient. However, the amount on gift cards is fixed and you can’t add funds to it.

Secured Credit Cards

Perhaps the best alternative to standard credit cards is a secured credit card. These are actually credit cards, but they require a security deposit from you in the form of your own money in which you determine your credit limit. It’s a great way to either repair your existing credit or gradually build your credit if you are new to it because your usage is reported to the credit bureaus and can eventually enable you to sign up for a regular credit card. Secured cards have annual and other fees but are generally worth it.


Cash is another good option when you cannot get a credit card. If you have it on hand, you can pay for just about anything. Of course, it can be awkward and not the best when you want to buy larger purchases of hundreds or thousands of dollars because it’s not always safe to carry around large sums of cash.

These are all great alternatives to credit cards. Find the best option for you until you are able to qualify for a regular card.