If your FICO score is only fair (approx. 650 to 700), you still qualify for many credit cards. It’s just that you will face higher annual fees and/or worse APR rates while not really getting premium rewards.
ElitePersonalFinance has reviewed countless credit cards of all kinds, and we know for sure that there are credit cards that will work for you!
Here are the credit cards for fair score borrowers that we rank the highest (by card type):
So, as you can see, there are actually at least a handful of quality credit cards for those who have weak FICO scores. But there’s only about one card for each category that really excels above the rest.
At ElitePersonalFinance, our goal is to provide you with educated rankings on various financial products. We usually grade cards in the list-style format, detailing “the top X cards for” and applying it to each category.
However, it is a whole new ball game when you only have fair credit. A score of 650 to 700 means you don’t get preferential treatment. Many card issuers will turn you down just because you’re going to have to work hard to find a truly appreciative card that accepts applicants with your credit score.
So we have listed each of the credit cards based on who they are best for. It’s up to you to decide which type of card is truly best for you.
This is the best fair score credit card for STUDENTS …
Get 1% back on all purchases, up to 1.25% back!
This is a student credit card that only requires ‘average’ credit to get approved.
You usually start with around a $300 to $1,000 credit limit. You can request an increase after five months of paying on time.
More increases can come over time, so you won’t be stuck with a low-limit card if you effectively build your credit from here.
This card has endless positive reviews and not really any complaints.
It’s perfect for students who want to build their credit, and we recommend it to anyone with moderate credit.
You can qualify for this card with a FICO score in the 650 to 700 range. It is easy to get approved for, and you get many credit-building tools with the card.
Many students that own this card have successfully built or repaired their credit rating while using it!
This is the best credit card for fair credit for FREQUENT SHOPPERS …
Get 1.5% back on all purchases, up to 1.8% back!
This is a cashback credit card that rewards a flat 1.5% back on all your purchases.
You can increase your rewards from a 1.5% rate to 1.8% back by meeting two requirements:
If both requirements are met, your cash rewards rate will be 1.8%. If one of the two is met, it will be 1.65%, and if you can’t do either, you’ll get a flat 1.5% back.
There’s also a 9-month no-interest period on ALL purchases and balance transfers.
This card is perfect for anyone looking to build their credit while also covering mid-to-large transactions regularly. They offer unlimited cashback, so it’s just a matter of how much you can spend to decide how much you earn.
Capital One Quicksilver vs. QuicksilverOne Card
You might be wondering what the differences are.
Capital One Quicksilver is a flat 1.5% cashback card that rewards you no matter where you use it. You can also get $100 after spending $500 in the first three months with it. Your creditworthiness makes our APR rate, but you’re looking at 13.24% to 23.24% as the possible range.
Capital One QuicksilverOne card is also a flat 1.5% cashback card. With it, you can shop anywhere. Both offer unlimited rewards, but you can expect a better return from Quicksilver as it has no annual fee. Meanwhile, the QuicksilverOne card has a $39 annual fee, which takes approximately $215 per month of spending to pay off.
With that said, if you only have fair credit … the QuicksilverOne is clearly your only real option. But, once your credit rating has improved and you are seen as having ‘excellent’ creditworthiness, you can request an upgrade to their Quicksilver card instead.
This is the credit card for fair scores for FREQUENT DRIVERS …
Get 1% back on all purchases, up to 3% back!
This card is almost perfect for anyone with average credit because it gives you a minimum of 1% back on everything you spend and up to 3% on certain categories.
We view it as the top card for GAS PURCHASES because you get a flat 2% back on all gas station purchases.
But why should you pick up Amazon Card?
With Amazon Card, you can buy anything you could ever want. Their inventory is even much larger than what Walmart offers online. You can get 2% back on gas purchases at participating Walmart gas stations with their card instead, of course, but then again, you are limiting yourself too much.
Note: If you are a regular shopper at BJ’s Wholesale Club, then the My BJ’s Perk Plus MasterCard is a better option. It offers 2% back at all gas stations and 10 cents off every gallon of gas purchased at one of their locations. And then, you get an incredible 3% back on everything you spend at their Club store and 1% on everything else.
Amazon Rewards VISA has unlimited potential, and their 3% cashback for Amazon purchases is the climax of awesomeness for any borrower with weak credit!
If you have a fair credit score, choosing a credit card can certainly be a difficult task. You know your credit will improve in soon time. However, you aren’t sure how long it will be before you get a high-rewards, great APR card, and a mid-ranked card is great for building credit.
With all that in mind, there are many questions that consumers think of while trying to figure out what to do.
Most of them go unanswered, so we’re covering many common things right now to help you out.
If you’re still wondering something, ask below!
What is a fair credit score exactly?
You can consider a fair credit rating that falls approximately, although every lender views this term differently. If you have a score above 650, you should not have any issue applying for the list cards. But, there’s still a possibility that you will get rejected because of your ‘lack of creditworthiness’ anyway.
Can you get a cashback card with only fair credit?
Many credit cards offer cashback rewards, even if you’re a fair credit applicant. Some examples include Amazon Rewards VISA and Capital One QuicksilverOne cards. The main downfall, though, is that your APR rate is almost always higher than it would be with a standard card. Since all fair credit cardholders get unfavorable rates, this is a non-issue.
Do store credit cards worth it?
There are many store cards out there, and quite a few are willing to accept applicants with average credit ratings. The majority of these are Comenity and Synchrony Bank cards.
While most come with lower credit limits, higher APRs, and the occasional sky-high annual fee, they are effective for those looking to build their FICO score up from the bottom.
With that said, some store cards are better than others.
We find some of the best retail cards, including Amazon Store Card & Amazon Rewards VISA, Walmart Store Card, and Toys R Us MasterCard. It all really boils down to how you shop — and where.
How many credit cards should you get?
We wrote about this subject before, and there’s no final answer. It all boils down to what your credit status is like and how you intend to shop with your card. But when just starting, you only need one or two credit cards.
In fact, you do not want to jump into a bunch of cards right away. It will mean you have less availability for better cards down the road.
How many credit cards should you apply for?
Your FICO score will get a drop from the hard inquiries that are made on your report. You are better off applying for any cards you are interested in right away instead of spacing them out over a few months.
Just be realistic as to which cards you can get approved for, and there won’t be any issues either way. The inquiries have a negligible effect on your score after a few months, and the hard inquiries drop from your credit report (and score) fully after two years.