Loading
Tap on the profile icon to edit
your financial details.

Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Your Details Done
by Heather Swick | Updated Aug. 18, 2017
We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. This post contains links from our advertisers, and we may receive compensation when you click these links. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone and have not been provided, reviewed or otherwise endorsed by our advertising partners. Please visit our Advertiser Disclosure for more information and to view our partners.

Overview

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 Secured Rewards Card for Fair Credit

More Details

  • New! We'll monitor your Social Security Number. Get an alert if we find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites.* Activate for Free.
  • No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
  • Your Secured Card requires a refundable security deposit up to the amount we can approve of at least $200 which will establish your credit line.
  • We will automatically begin reviewing your account starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% APR for 6 Months

Regular APR

23.99% Variable

Benefits

Here is a credit card that helps you rebuild your credit while offering some very impressive perks. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card 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 Credit Card has an APR of 23.99% 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 Credit Card.

Best Cash Back Credit Card for Fair Credit

More Details

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your QuicksilverOne card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 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
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use

Annual Fee

$39

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

24.99% 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 24.99% 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

More Details

  • Enjoy no annual fee
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Build business credit with responsible use
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy business benefits including Year-End Summaries, employee cards at no extra cost, and experienced small business customer service

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

23.99% 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 variable rate of 23.99% 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.

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.

Best Credit Cards on SmartAsset.com Best Credit Cards by Issuer Best Credit Cards by Credit Score
How helpful was this page in answering your question?
not helpful
very helpful
​If you could change one thing about ​this page what would it be?​
Thank you for your answer! Your feedback is very important to us.
We are working hard to improve our product and could use your help!
We pay $30 for 30 minutes on the phone to hear your thoughts on what we can do better.
Please enter your email if you'd like to be contacted to help.

Please enter your name