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Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit

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by Sam Lipscomb | Updated Oct. 2, 2020

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
  • Capital One will automatically review your account and consider you for a higher credit line in as little as six months
  • Get access to the CreditWise app 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
  • With the Capital One mobile app, you can 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

26.99% Variable

Details

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card comes with an annual fee of $39, but it also allows cardholders to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. While the card doesn’t come with a signup bonus, that kind of cash back is quite good for a card designed for those with fair credit. Cardholders can earn a higher credit line in just six months, and you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees with this card.

Why We Like It

It can be difficult to find a credit card with average or fair credit requirements that also earns strong cash back rewards. However, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card does exactly that. In fact, 1.5% unlimited cash back is about as good as you’ll find on a handful of cards for excellent credit. While the $39 annual fee is obviously less than ideal, you’ll only need to spend $2,600 every year to break even. With the opportunity to earn a higher credit line within six months, it’s no mystery why this card is our top pick for those who have fair credit.

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Best for New Credit Users

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  • There is no annual fee with the Petal 1 Card
  • Receive 2%- 10% from select merchants
  • Credit limits of $500 - $5,000 depending on creditworthiness, No security deposits
  • Depending on your creditworthiness receive a variable APR of 19.99% to 29.49%
  • Build your credit - card is reported to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Manage your money, automate payments and track your spending with Petal’s mobile app
  • Check if you are pre-approved within minutes with no impact to your credit score
  • Petal Visa is issued by WebBank, Member FDIC

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

19.99% - 29.49% variable

Details

The Petal 1 Visa Credit Card is truly a new age credit card, as many of its features are quite different from traditional cards. For example, you can check to see if you’re pre-approved before submitting an official application. Upon approval, you’ll be granted a credit limit of $500 to $5,000, depending on your creditworthiness. Petal looks at your entire financial picture instead of just using your credit score to make a decision.

This card has no annual or foreign transaction fees, though typical late and returned payment fees may apply. It does not require a security deposit to open either. You can also earn up to 10% cash back at select merchants when you use your card. Plus, Petal reports to all three major credit bureaus so that you can build your credit profile and score.

Something to note about the Petal 1 Visa Credit Card is that it does not offer the ability to complete balance transfers or cash advances. This could be a dealbreaker for some prospective cardholders, as credit cards like this one typically offer these features.

Why We Like It

An interesting and unique credit option, the Petal 1 Visa Credit Card is great for anyone with fair credit who’s looking to build better spending habits and improve their credit score. It also boasts higher potential credit lines than most cards in this category. Add in the fact that the card is designed specifically to help people take control of their finances, and it’s easy to see why it’s a top option.

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Best Fair Credit Card for No Credit Check

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  • OpenSky will consider anyone for approval - no credit check is necessary
  • You must choose and provide a refundable security deposit (min. $200) that becomes the credit line on your Visa card
  • OpenSky reports to the 3 major credit bureaus, which can help build credit quickly when credit is used responsibly
  • Most customers with this card who had no credit earned a record with the bureaus in 6 months
  • There is an "OpenSky Card" community in Facebook for insights and shared experiences
  • Get credit tips and credit education on the OpenSky website to help support you on your journey
  • You will find the Cardholder Agreement at the bottom of the application page for further details of the card

Annual Fee

$35

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

17.39% Variable

Details

The OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card is a secured card that doesn’t actually require a credit check for approval. The card has a $35 annual fee and it is meant to help those with fair or average credit build good credit habits. OpenSky reports to the three major credit bureaus as well, so if you manage your balance responsibly, you can improve your credit score. The security deposit you put down acts as your credit limit, and it can be anywhere from $200 to $3,000. As a Visa, cardholders will have access to Visa perks, like purchase protections.

Why We Like It

What the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card lacks in terms of rewards, it more than makes up for in credit-building opportunities. It’s also one of the rare cards that allows you to get approved without a hard credit pull. The $35 annual fee is manageable, and you’ll have the option of depositing up to $3,000 as your credit line. When it comes to safe, secured cards for those with fair credit, this is a great way to go.

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Best Student Card for Fair Credit

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  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase - plus, you can increase that to 1.25% just by paying on time for the month
  • When you pay on time, earn $5 per month for up to 12 months on eligible streaming subscriptions - some exclusions apply
  • No foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad and there is no annual fee
  • Have the freedom to pick the monthly due date that works best for your payment schedule
  • With responsible card use the Journey Student Rewards card can help build your credit. Capital One will automatically review your account and consider you for a higher credit line in as little as six months
  • Zero fraud liability coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Get access to CreditWise and monitor your credit score and credit report for free

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

26.99% Variable

Details

The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One earns cardholders a decent rate of 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases. In addition to this, you’ll receive an extra 0.25% cash back for every month you pay your statement on time. This card has no annual fee, as well as no foreign transaction fees. If you’re looking to travel during your college years, this card also comes with travel accident insurance, car rental collision damage protections and 24/7 travel assistance services.

Why We Like It

The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is a great card for students who have yet to reach a high credit score tier. It's an especially attractive option for students who are studying abroad, as the travel protections and lack of foreign transaction fees make it viable outside of the U.S. With a decent cash back program that incentivizes timely payments, students with fair credit should absolutely get value out of this card. Responsible use will also help cardholders build their credit profiles and improve their scores.

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Best Small Business Credit Card for Fair Credit

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  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Opportunity to build credit for your business with responsible use
  • Zero fraud liability coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Free cards for your employees, and those cards will also earn cash back
  • Cash back won't expire and you can you can redeem for any amount
  • No foreign transaction fees when using your card abroad

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

26.99% Variable

Benefits

The Capital One Spark Classic for Business earns cardholders unlimited 1% cash back on all spending. These cash back earnings process immediately, giving you ample access to your rewards. The card also carries no annual fee, meaning you don’t need to worry about any maintenance costs.

This card has a plethora of other benefits, such as $0 fraud liability and security alerts. Plus, you can get additional employee cards at no extra charge. This card does not charge foreign transaction fees, and you can pick your own monthly statement due date.

Why We Like It

When it comes to business credit cards for those with fair credit, the Capital One Spark Classic for Business stands out because of its robust features. The card has no annual fee and earns unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, much like a handful of other credit cards that are meant for those with stronger credit. So if you’re on the prowl for a cheap, high-value business credit card that doesn’t have exorbitant approval requirements, take a look at this card.

Compare Similar Small Business Offers

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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