If you are looking for a new credit card, you’ll quickly find that there are many options to choose from. With literally hundreds of different cards out there, it can quickly become overwhelming.
But what if your credit is just okay? What are some of the best credit cards for fair credit?
This guide will explore some of the best credit cards for average credit. Find our top recommendations in the guide below.
What is a “Fair” Credit Score?
First and foremost, what is “fair” or “average” when it comes to credit scores? How do you know if you’re likely to qualify for these cards?
Generally speaking, a “fair” credit score is a FICO score in between about 580 and 670. Anything over 670 is considered “good”, and anything under 580 is “poor”. With that said, there’s no hard-and-fast rule, and just because you have a certain score doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be approved for a credit card.
If you’re not sure what your credit score is, you can use a free tool like Credit Karma to get an estimate. You can also request a full credit report for free – once per year – from AnnualCreditReport.com. You should never pay for a credit report – any company asking for payment for a credit report is a scam.
Now that we’ve covered these basics, what are some of the best credit cards for fair credit? Find out below.
Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit
The cards described below are our recommendations for folks with average/fair credit. Do note that even having a good credit score does not necessarily mean you’ll be approved for a card.
Best No-Annual Fee: Capital One Platinum
Annual fee: $0
APR: 26.96% variable
The Capital One Platinum credit card is a good option for people with fair to good credit. It does not have an annual fee or any hidden fees like many card products have. It’s issued by a mainstream, trusted bank, and offers an easy entrance into the world of credit.
On the other hand, this card does not earn any rewards, and credit limits are generally fairly low at first. However, applicants who pay their bill on time are usually eligible to get a higher credit line after making 5 monthly payments on time. Capital One also offers a way to check if you’re pre-qualified for a card before actually applying (this won’t affect your credit).
Best for Rewards: Capital One QuicksilverOne
Annual fee: $39
APR: 22.97-26.97% variable
Rewards: 1.5% cashback on all purchases
The QuicksilverOne card from Capital One is another great option. This is one of the few credit cards for average credit that actually earns rewards. It gets you 1.5% cashback on all purchases, so a $100 purchase will earn you $1.50 in cashback rewards.
The trade-off for these rewards is that the card comes with an annual fee of $39. This may be offset by the rewards you earn, depending on your spending habits. If you spend $2,600 a year (~$217 a month) on the card, you will break even since you’ll earn $39 of rewards to offset the annual fee. Spend more than that, and you’ll come out ahead – less, and it’s best to go with a no-annual-fee option.
Easiest Approval: Discover IT Secured
Annual fee: $0
APR: 24.99% variable
Rewards: 1% cashback on all purchases, 2% at gas stations and restaurants. All cashback is doubled in the first year!
The Discover IT Secured is a good option for folks on the lower end of the “fair” credit score range. This card is very easy to get approved for because it’s secured. This means that you will need to make a fully refundable security deposit in order to use it. This is based on the credit limit you want – so if you want a $500 credit limit, you will need to make a $500 deposit into an account that will stay there for at least 8 months. After 8 months, Discover will review your account and if your payment history is good, they may offer to transition you to an unsecured card and refund your security deposit in full.
This may sound like a hassle, but it’s a great way to build credit. Note that this is a true credit card – although it may seem like it’s a prepaid card because of the deposit, it functions in the same way as a real credit card and it will help build your credit file for future use. Discover is also a great company to work with that offers good rewards and fair terms.
This card also offers a signup bonus of sorts; all the cashback you earn in the first 12 months is doubled at the end of the year. So if you earn $100 in cashback, Discover will give you an extra $100 for a total of $200! This double cashback offer is only for the first year of card membership. This card is one of very few average credit credit cards with a signup bonus.
Automatic Credit Increases: AvantCard
Annual fee: $29
APR: 25.99% variable
The AvantCard is another reasonable option for people just starting out on their credit journey. It comes with a $29 annual fee, but beyond that there aren’t any hidden pesky fees, besides a late fee (which is pretty standard across most cards). The card doesn’t earn rewards, which is a downside.
One reason we picked the AvantCard for this list of the best starter credit cards is that it offers automatic credit line increases. You’ll likely be given a relatively low credit line when you start out, but as early as 6 months in AvantCard will see if you are eligible for an automatic credit line increase. This can be helpful for building up your credit score and profile.
Lastly, another small perk of this card is that the application process is fast and easy, and you can check if you qualify without a hard pull to your credit. Keep in mind that some terms – such as APR – vary based on your credit, so you’ll want to review the terms in the last step before submitting your application.
Other Credit Cards for Fair Credit
Credit Cards For Fair Credit No Annual Fee
- Altra Credit Union Non-rewards Credit Card
- Ollo Platinum Mastercard
- Stanford Federal Credit Union Secured VISA Credit Card
Unsecured Credit Cards For Fair Credit
- Credit One Bank Platinum Visa with Cash Back Rewards
- Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
- Capital One Spark Classic for Business
Credit Cards For Fair Credit Instant Approval
- Capital One Platinum Credit Card
- OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
- Credit One Bank Platinum Visa
Store Credit Cards For Fair Credit
- America Eagle Card (check out our American Eagle Credit Card Review)
- Kohl’s Credit Card
- Walmart Store Card
Chase Credit Cards For Fair Credit
There you have it – the best credit cards for fair credit that are available today! Again, remember that there’s never a guarantee that you’ll be approved for a specific card, but these cards are certainly easier than many other options. If you get one of these credit cards and practice responsible credit use, you’ll quickly build up your credit profile and eventually qualify for higher credit lines and better credit cards!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below!