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Best Credit Cards For Fair Credit

Last updated: Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The key to good credit is managing your credit well. If you don’t have a long credit history, or you are recovering from a minor credit problem like late payments or years of high credit card balances, you will need to prove to the credit bureaus that you can be trusted with a line of credit. Until you show them that you are responsible, they have no way to assess your credit risk.

The best credit cards for fair or average credit highlighted here offer a way for you to build or continue building your credit score.

Here are some of the best credit cards for people with fair or average credit—approximately a FICO Score of 600-679. We’ve sorted our favorites into the most popular categories: Cash back, gas rewards, student cards, and credit cards for consumers with limited credit.

Best credit cards for fair/average credit

Best for:Card
Cash backCapital One(R) QuicksilverOne(R) Cash Rewards Credit Card
Gas rewardsCredit One(R) Platinum Visa(R) Cash Back Rewards Credit Card
StudentsDiscover it(R) Student Cash Back
Limited creditCredit One(R) Platinum Visa(R) Cash Back Rewards Credit Card
Limited credit, no annual feeCapital One(R) Platinum Credit Card
Credit BuildingCapital One(R) Secured Mastercard(R)
Past credit problemsIndigo(R) Platinum Mastercard(R)

You can’t go wrong with any of the best credit cards for fair credit we’ve featured in the above table. But if you’re looking for something specific that didn’t catch your eye, check out our full list of great credit cards for people with fair credit below.

The best credit cards for fair credit will offer a higher chance of approval and modest fees. Click “Apply Now” to apply immediately at the issuer’s secure website.

Capital One(R) Platinum Credit Card

Credit Needed: Average/Fair/Limited
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/AN/AN/A26.96% (Variable)$0

Capital One(R) QuicksilverOne(R) Cash Rewards Credit Card

Credit Needed: Average/Fair/Limited
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/AN/AN/A26.96% (Variable)$39

Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® with Cash Back Rewards

Credit Needed: Fair Credit
  • Seeing if you Pre-Qualify is fast, easy, and secure
  • Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply
  • Rewards post automatically to your account each month
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/AN/AN/A20.24% - 26.24% Variable$0 - $99

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Credit Needed: Fair
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
0%6 months10.99%6 months15.24% - 24.24% Variable$0

Capital One(R) Secured Mastercard(R)

Credit Needed: Limited/Bad
  • No annual fee, and all the credit building benefits with responsible card use
  • Unlike a prepaid card, it builds credit when used responsibly, with regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • You will get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/AN/AN/A26.99% (Variable)$0

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Credit Needed: Fair Credit
  • Pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
  • Previous bankruptcy OK
  • Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APRAnnual Fee
N/AN/AN/AN/A23.90%$0 - $99

About credit cards for fair credit

The best credit cards for fair or average credit highlighted here offer a way for you to build or continue building your credit score. These cards from, issuers like Capital One and Credit One offer favorable terms and a higher chance of approval for people with credit scores in the 600 to 679 credit score range. Once you have your new card, it is important to begin making small purchases on a monthly basis to expedite the building of your credit (and remember to pay the card off in full at the end of the month).

What is average credit?

The average credit score in the United States varies depending on the scoring model used, but is usually between 710 and 720 on a scale between 300 and 850. Thing is, this average credit score is actually considered good credit. For that reason “fair credit” is a more accurate way of describing a credit range just below “good credit”. In the U.S. today, the average credit score is a good one!

How to choose a credit card for fair credit

The best way to use a credit card for fair credit is to make a small amount of monthly purchases and pay your charges in full each month. The interest rates (APRs) on these cards may be higher than on credit cards designed for consumers with good credit, so you’ll want to avoid using them to pay off purchases over time. As your credit improves, you’ll be better qualified to apply for a card with a lower rate or higher rewards in the future. Look for cards that offer lower annual fees or some rewards that can offset an annual fee.

Rebuilding credit

If you can’t get approved for a credit card, it’s likely that you need to rebuild your credit score before applying again. Or you could get a secured credit card. Secured cards are available to consumers with no credit or bad credit, but they require a security deposit of a few hundred dollars to open.

When rebuilding fair credit, take time to learn the right way to rebuild credit yourself—know your rights and the signs of a credit repair scam. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Compare more recommended credit cards


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