Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Published on January 26, 2016 7:50 am

fair credit scoreThere's no "official" definition or score for this category, but these circumstances typically go hand in hand...

  • High Balances: Using too much of your credit limit is bad for your FICO score. So if you currently have any cards that are maxed out or close to it, a credit card for fair credit will probably be easier to get approved for.
  • Late Payments: 35% of your credit score is based on payment history. Whether your payment is 1 day late or 30 days late, it's classified as a "30 day late payment" if the issuer reports it to the credit bureaus.
  • Bad Debt: Even just one bad debt or account written off will significantly bring down your credit score. It stays on your report for at least 7 years, but will have the greatest impact during the first 2-3. If this has happened to you, your credit might be classified as "fair."
  • Limited Credit History: Are you relatively new to credit or have you rarely used it in the past? If so, then you probably fall under this category.

Credit Cards for Fair Credit in 2016


Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One QuicksilverOneCapital One designed this version of the QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards card for those with fair credit, which significantly increases your odds for getting approved if apply for this type of credit. The card also offers an enhanced cash back reward program that lets you earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every single purchase (which is unique for reward cards in the fair credit category). The annual fee is $39 and the regular APR is 23.24% variable.

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back doesn't expire and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases until February 2017; 23.24% variable APR after that
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®

Barclaycard RewardsIt's almost impossible to find a major credit card for fair or limited credit history that comes with no annual fee AND a rewards program. With this one, you get both! And what makes it really blow away the competition is that they give you free access to your genuine FICO score every month through your Barclaycard account online.

  • 2X points on gas, utility and grocery store (excluding Target® and Walmart®) purchases. 1x points on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Points don't expire as long as account is open, active and in good standing
  • Redeem points for deposits to a U.S. checking or savings account, statement credits or gift cards, starting at 1,000 points for $10
  • No limit on the number of points you can earn or redeem
  • Free online access to FICO® Credit Score lets you keep an eye on your credit and get alerts when we learn that your score has changed
  • Use your card with confidence, $0 Fraud Liability protection means you're not responsible for unauthorized charges you report to us
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Capital One PlatinumFor those with limited credit history, credit card options can often be very limited. That's why the Capital One Platinum card can be an excellent option because you will get to enjoy Platinum MasterCard benefits such as the extended warranty program, auto rental insurance, 24-hour travel assistance services and more. Best of all there is no annual fee.

  • 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
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone with our mobile app
  • Pay by check, online, or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use

Discover it® Secured Credit Card - No Annual Fee

Discover it Secured Credit Card No Annual FeeNow there is a great new option in secured cards from a name you trust – Discover. With the Discover it Secured Credit Card you can earn the same great cash back rewards Discover is famous for while you build your credit history – all with no annual fee. Plus, you will get to see your FICO credit score each month on your billing statements. Discover has some of the most consumer-friendly terms in the market, so this is a great option whether you are just starting out with credit or rebuilding your credit history.

  • No annual fee. No late fee on your first late payment. Paying late won't raise your APR.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Discover matches all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year - automatically. New cardmembers only.
  • Your minimum security deposit amount of $200 or more will establish your credit line (up to the amount we can approve).
  • Monthly reviews start at 12 months to see if you qualify to get your security deposit back while you continue to enjoy your Discover card benefits.
  • Reports to 3 major credit bureaus so you can build or rebuild credit with responsible use.
  • FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements & online.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

Discover it® for Students

Discover it for StudentsThis card offers the same 5% cash back rewards program as the standard consumer Discover it card, but that version is not offered to those with average credit quality. With this card, the required credit score is more lenient since it was designed for students with fair and limited credit history. Just be aware that you must be a current college student to be approved for this offer.

  • Discover matches all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year - automatically. Only for new cardmembers.
  • Earn 5% cash back in new bonus categories like gas, restaurants, Amazon and more - up to $1500 every quarter you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on first late payment & paying late won't raise your APR.
  • Track your recent FICO® Credit Scores for free in one easy-to-read chart on monthly statements & online. Plus get 100% U.S. based customer service
  • Freeze ItSM on/off switch for your account that lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app & online.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.24% - 22.24%.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.

Don't know where you stand? Then try this tool!

Are you unsure whether you have good credit, fair credit, or bad credit? If so, then try out this tool which will help you find credit cards that best match your credit profile. In three easy steps, you can check if you pre-qualify for a card without affecting your credit score.

Opening a new card and managing it responsibly is one of the best things you can do for your personal finances. Why? Because the difference between bad and good credit is like night and day. Once you build (or rebuild) a good credit history, new opportunities will await. This is because things like mortgages, car loans, and most reward cards are hard to get approved for with a mediocre or average credit rating. But once you break that barrier and achieve an excellent score, you will find those opportunities come more easily.

Editorial Disclosure: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.