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Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit

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by Heather Swick | Updated Jun. 20, 2019

Overview of the Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit

If you're relatively new to credit, it's often likely that you'll have fair credit, with most scores falling in the 620-659 range. While it's generally unlikely that you'll qualify for the best credit card offers out there, consumers with fair credit still have access to an array of options that help them continue to build credit. From cash back rewards to balance transfers, credit cards for fair credit still offer a solid array of features that will ensure you're not missing out while getting to good and eventually excellent credit. Read on to see our top picks for the best credit cards for fair credit. See More



Best Cash Back Credit Card for Fair Credit

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  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back - no matter the purchase
  • No need to sign up or opt-in to rotating cash back categories each quarter - earn cash back automatically
  • With Credit Steps you are able to gain access to a higher credit line if you are responsible and make your first 5 payments on time
  • Get access to CreditWise® and monitor your credit score and credit report for free
  • Zero fraud liability coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • There is no limit to the cash back you can earn and cash back won't expire as long as your account is in good standing
  • With responsible card use the QuicksilverOne card can help strengthen your credit
  • Set up personalized text or email reminders to help you stay current on your account

Annual Fee

$39

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

26.96% Variable

Benefits

If you have a fair credit score but still want a credit card with some bonuses, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid option. This card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, with no sign ups or categories needed to get that perk. You’re also eligible for a higher credit line if you make your first five months’ payments on time. As an added bonus, there is no foreign transaction fee. This is a basic unsecured option that helps you build credit while still taking advantage of rewards.

Things to Consider

This card has an annual fee of $39, so just be prepared to pay that every year. Consider that against the cash back you’ll receive – you’ll need to spend at least $220/month on this card to break even. You’ll also have a regular purchase APR of 26.96% Variable, so if you want to go with this option, try to avoid carrying a balance. That APR is pretty high compared to other options, but it’s common with cards that accept lower credit scores.

Our Verdict

If your credit is stable enough for an unsecured card but still needs some improvement, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is going to give you standard features with some decent bonuses. The automatic cash back is a nice perk, and keeping your balance low will help you avoid high fees from the APR.

Best Small Business Credit Card for Fair Credit

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  • No annual fee
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Opportunity to build credit for your business with responsible use
  • Zero fraud liability coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees when using your card abroad
  • Receive quarterly and yearly spending reports, free employee cards, and a customer service team experienced with helping small businesses

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

25.24% Variable

Benefits

It can be a challenge to gain credit as a new business owner with a limited history. The Capital One Spark Classic for Business gives new businesses a chance. You receive 1% cash back on every purchase you make, no annual fees or foreign transaction fees, and fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen. You’ll also get some nice business-specific bonuses, like year-end summaries, free additional employee cards and customer service that specializes in helping small businesses.

Things to Consider

There are other cards with higher cash back percentages, so this is not the highest available on the market. The regular APR is also pretty high, with a rate of 25.24% Variable, so take that into consideration. If you plan to carry a balance or pay off debt over time, you might be better off looking at options with higher rewards or lower APRs.

Our Verdict

Most businesses need a line of credit to function, and this is an ideal choice for business owners still building their credit. The business-related perks will come in handy, especially with additional employee cards to help you continue to save money. The cash back rewards and no annual fee will help you save money long-term - just be sure to keep your balances low and avoid APR penalties. Otherwise, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business will help you boost your credit while you grow your business.

Best Secured Rewards Card for Fair Credit

More Details

  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It’s a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can’t help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit from $200-$2500 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • Intro Offer: We automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% for 6 Months

Regular APR

25.24% Variable

Benefits

Here is a credit card that helps you rebuild your credit while offering some very impressive perks. The Discover it® Secured has so many benefits that most secured cardholders are going to miss. First of all, take a look at the rewards. There is a 1% cash back on every purchase, plus 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 each quarter. Also, at the end of your first year, all of the cash back you’ve earned will be doubled. There is also no annual fee, and your credit usage will be reported to all three major credit bureaus to help you boost your score. And another important bonus - you can be upgraded to unsecured after successfully using this secured option.

Things to consider

There is one big area to pay attention to when you’re applying for this card, and that’s the APR. The Discover it® Secured has an APR of 25.24% Variable, so if you’re prone to carrying a balance, you’re going to rack up some interest payments with this card.

Our verdict

This is an excellent secured card option, and its users have a lot of good things to say about it. It’s rare to find a secured card with rewards and no annual fee, so this is a unique option. If you plan to keep your balance low and want to build your credit, you will be happy with the Discover it® Secured.

Methodology SmartAsset has developed a quantitative and independent system for evaluating the relative value of a credit card offer versus other offers in the marketplace. Our system evaluates cards based exclusively on their features, such as their rewards earning rate (if applicable), fees, perks, and rewards program redemption options. The annual rewards values on this page are calculated using annual spending assumptions in various categories such as, but not limited to, gas, restaurants, airfare, and US supermarkets. These spending assumptions are built on research that SmartAsset has conducted on existing student credit cardholders. Our promise with our credit card recommendations is that we will always strive to have the most comprehensive, accurate, and objective method of evaluating credit card offers. Any recommendations are solely determined by the result of this research and model, and is never influenced by any fees, commissions, or other forms of compensation that SmartAsset may receive from credit card issuers for leads generated on our website.

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