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They say all is fair in love and war. Let’s add money to the mix. If your credit score is “fair” – meaning you’ve had a few credit slip-ups or are just beginning to build a credit history — you will have access to a handful of credit card options with decent rewards and benefits.
What does “fair credit” mean? Well, it depends on the credit scoring model you use to define it, but fair credit generally means a FICO score of between 650 and 699.
Though you’ll need to wait until your score is 700 or higher to enjoy the most rewarding cash-back and travel reward cards on the market, we’ve found five great picks and consider these the best credit cards for consumers with 650 credit scores up to about the 700 mark.
These are for people who have fair credit, but still want to get the most out of their daily-use credit card.
5 Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit
We wholeheartedly believe that, no matter your score, you can still enjoy the benefits of having the right credit card for you.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of best credit cards for fair credit:
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- 1.5% cashback on all purchases
Because it’s the best card for people who want to build their credit that also pays generous cash rewards. If you have your sights set on increasing your credit line, the Capital One QuicksilverOne card makes it possible.
With a low annual fee of $39, this card leads with transparency and beats most other credit builder cards that use complicated fee structures to mislead credit newcomers or people learning how to increase their score.
You’ll also get 1.5% cash back on every single purchase and the ability to increase your credit line after only 5 consecutive, on-time payments.
If your card information is ever stolen and you find a fraudulent charge on your statement, you’ll be liable for nada –$0 Fraud Liability Coverage has got your back.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- earn 2X miles on every purchase
Swipe your card across the globe, anywhere major cards are accepted, and pay the exact dollar amount you otherwise would in cash. Not only is this more convenient – It’s safer and smarter. Why?
CapitalOne comes with great travel protections like 24-hour travel assistance and trip accident insurance when you’re abroad. You can also enjoy a $100 in Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® credit to breeze through your reentry to the US.
And, best of all, for every $1 you spend on hotels and lodging with Hotels.com, you will earn 10 VentureOne® miles to apply to your next trip. Who doesn’t love a free vacation?
Let’s crunch the numbers: Currently, this card offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 bonus miles after the first $3,000 on spending in the first 3 months. Plus, enjoy double miles on every $1 in qualified purchases year-round. The $95 annual fee is waived in the first year.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa®
- credit card approval with poor credit
If you’re not sure whether your score is good enough to qualify for this cash back rewards card, that’s okay – You can actually do a soft-inquiry to see if you pre-qualify for this card.
That way, you won’t damage your credit score with a hard inquiry hit, but you’ll also learn whether you can enjoy the following sweet cash back deals!
For starters, this card has a $0 annual fee, and even people with credit scores lower than 650 can apply. Straight out the gate, you’ll automatically earn 1% cash back that gets deposited straight into your bank account.
And as you rack up a good history of on-time payments, your account will be automatically evaluated for credit line increases as you watch your score go up.
Besides cash back, this card heaps on all the standard protections of any good credit card, and then some. Breathe easy with comprehensive fraud liability to protect you from unauthorized charges.
Plus, enjoy free credit education services designed to help you focus on – and celebrate – financial milestones.
Capital One® Platinum Visa
- Build credit, no annual fee
Start with a credit limit of as low as $300. With 5 months of on-time payments, your credit limit will go up.
No annual fee, plus $0 fraud liability coverage, means this card has got your back.
Indigo® Unsecured Mastercard®
- approvals with poor credit
Sometimes, having to declare bankruptcy can result in a less-than-perfect credit score. Fear not. Here’s an unsecured card for people with fair-to-low credit.
It’s at the bottom of the list because, even though it’s great for credit-builders, if you’re not careful you could be burned by the fees.
There is an annual fee that ranges from $0 – $99, but also a higher-than-average APR. Combine that with a low credit limit range of $49-300, and you can quickly outgrow your credit limit. This card is one to consider when you need to prop up your credit but you have few other options.
In fact, it can be essential when you want to build your credit back up to excellent. Use this card as part of your strategy, and we trust you’ll be ready for a VIP reward in no time.
Not only is this card a super accessible way for people with fair, or even poor credit to build their credit score, it’s also the best card on our list for expressing yourself! Indigo’s free, customized card designs let you select a card that fits your personality. Just a little bonus to make you feel like you!
What Is a “Fair” Credit Score?
A “Fair” or “Average” credit score is one with a FICO rating of 650-699. Sometimes credit card companies consider a score of 675-699 “good” as opposed to “fair” or “average,” so it’s always worth doing a soft-inquiry if possible to find out where you rank.
Having an average credit score is nothing to be ashamed of – You’ve proven a fair amount of creditworthiness to lenders, and you likely pay most of your bills on time and keep your debt-to-income ratio at a decent level. But, because chances are, you’re still paying off debt.
In this case, creditors charge customers like you higher interest rates, just incase you can’t pay back what you owe. Interest is their way of protecting their assets, even though it kind of stinks.
Though it’s easy to take a less-than-ideal credit score as a vote-of-no-confidence, as long as you are aware of how the credit card game works you can still come out on top. Just know that having a fair or average credit score will likely lock you into higher interest and lower credit limits until you prove yourself capable of earning more and paying off what you owe.
Credit Score Between 650-699? No Problem!
So, as you can see, there is an array of options to choose from when you have fair or average credit. Don’t let your less-than-perfect credit score keep you from enjoying all that life has to offer.
We’ve given you plenty to consider – from scores for repairing bad credit to cash back rewards cards that will make you feel like royalty.
This list has a card for nearly everyone with a FICO score between 650-699. No matter your circumstances, we encourage you to apply for a card that’s suited to your needs and make the most out of your credit journey.
After all, it’s your life and having the right credit card can either make it better or worse. We like to aim for “better,” and we know that, since you’re here, you probably do, too!