Credit Cards for Fair or Average Credit Scores

A Fair or Average credit score is generally a FICO score in the 580-669 range, while a Good score is 670-739 and an Excellent score is considered anything above 740.

Credit card options for people with Fair credit are similar to those for people with no previous credit history: not so many choices, higher APR’s, limited rewards or bonuses.

On the bright side, having an Average credit rating won't prevent you from getting a credit card (unlike Poor or Bad credit), so you don't have to settle for a prepaid card or a secured card. Prepaid cards don't build your credit history, and secured cards are less convenient and more expensive than unsecured credit cards.

Have a look at our editor's top credit card picks for low to mid 600’s credit scores – travel, gas, business, rewards, cash back and all other types of credit cards for fair credit or average credit.

Jump to the section below:

 

Our favorite cards:

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.65 - 24.15% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.65-24.15%
rewards 1% on gas and groceries, terms apply 

1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply

Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due

Flexible payment date to assist you in making your payments on time

$0-$99 annual fee

read review

Another credit card from Indigo brand - for Fair to Good credit owners this time.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
fair credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APR23.9%

Easy pre-qualification process with fast response

All credit histories considered

Online servicing available 24/7 at no additional cost

Unsecured credit card, no security deposit required

Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.

read review
 

Best Fair Credit Cards for Travel

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% Variable
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 2x miles on travel and dining, 1x miles on all other purchases, 20,000 sign up bonus

Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit

Earn 2X miles on travel & dining and 1X miles on all other purchases

Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem

Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad

No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country

0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness

Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

read review

Although Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard is marketed for people with good to excellent credit, this card might be withing the reach for people with fair credit, who have no past credit problems and have eligible income.

This card is the best you can get for travel rewards with no annual fee. You can earn 2% on all travel and restaurant purchases and a 20,000-miles spending bonus after sign up. 

Best for Air Miles

If you prefer cobranded airline cards to earn miles and get in-flight perks, and your credit score is in fair to good range - you can try one of the easiest American Express cards to get -  Gold Delta Sky Miles card.

This card will give you priority boarding, free checked bag, 2 miles on Delta flights and 35,000 miles bonus after spending $1000 on the card in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $0 for the first year, $95 after that.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.24 - 19.24% (V)
intro BT APR 15.24-19.24% 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1-2 miles/$1 +30,000 bonus miles
  • get 30,000 miles bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • get $50 statement credit if you make Delta purchase in the first 3 months
  • 2x miles on Delta purchases
  • 1 mile for $1 on other purchases

Gold: $95 annual fee, waived for the first year

Platinum: $195 fee

Reserve: $450 fee

Delta benefits

read review

Another good card for air miles if you have fair credit is Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Premier.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.24 - 23.24% (V)
intro BT APR 16.24% 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1-2 miles/$1 +50,000 sign-up bonus
  • 2x points on Southwest purchases and on Southwest Hotel and car rental programs partners purchases
  • get 50,000 miles after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • +6,000 miles every account anniversary

 

$99 annual fee

2x on Southwest purchases

50,000 miles bonus

read review

Best Rewards and Gas Cards for Fair Credit

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR25.24% Variable
intro BT APR no intro offer BT fee 3% min $5
rewards 1-2 points/$1 
  • 2x points on groceries, gas, utilities (excluding Target and Walmart®)
  • 1 point on all other purchases
  • redeem points towards your statement balance to offset purchases

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

read review

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard is a no annual fee card with great rewards for everyday spending. You get 2x rewards on gas, utilities, and groceries (excluding Walmart and Target stores). The free online FICO score tracking tool that comes with the card makes it easier to grow your credit over time.

Best for Cash Back

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 15 monthsregular APR13.99 - 22.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 1% or 5% on every $1 +$100
  • 5% cashback on quarterly categories ($1,500 quarterly limit, then 1% )
  • get $100 bonus after spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months 
  • get $25 on first added authorized card user

 

no annual fee

0% intro APR

5% cash back on quarterly categories

$100 intro bonus

read review

Chase Freedom card is available for people with a credit score in the high 600’s. This is a good 5% cash back card with rotating categories. 

Another option is the Capital One QuicksilverOne card with 1.5% unlimited cash back on everything and 0% intro APR.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
intro purchase APR 0% APR for 9 monthsregular APR13.24 - 23.24% (V)
intro BT APR 0% APR for 9 months 13.24-23.24%
rewards 1.5% +$100 bonus
  • get $100 bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases

 

no annual fee

1.5% cash back

$100 welcome bonus

read review

Best Balance Transfer Card

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 15 monthsregular APR12.99 - 22.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months, 0% BT fee 60 days 3% BT fee $5 min

no annual fee

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

0% BT fee for 60 days

free FICO score

read review

Even with a limited credit you still can get a Chase Slate card that has 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. Together with a $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days, it makes a perfect balance transfer card. 

Business Credit Cards for Fair Credit

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR23.24 - 23.24% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer no BT fee
rewards 1%  

no annual fee

good card for average credit

1% cash back on all purchases

read review

The Capital One Spark Classic for Business is a good solution for new small business owners. It comes with and easy approval process, 1% cash back, which isn't the greatest, but still a decent reward rate for a fair credit rating.  

High Limit Credit Card for Average Credit

There is one trick to get a high credit limit on your credit card even with a limited credit history – apply for a small business card instead of the personal credit card. You will be surprised with high credit limits that are unreachable for you with your fair credit history. A starting limit of $10,000 is a norm for a business credit card when people with low credit rarely get a limit of $1000 on a personal credit card.

The only inconvenience is that you need to register a company and apply for a federal EIN (Employer Identification Number) in order to get a small business credit card. If you have a side income, that is a good excuse to open an LLC for that activity and enjoy high limit business credit card.

Best for Students

Most banks have special credit card products for students with generous rewards and cash back offers.

Students usually do not have a credit history (no credit score) and need to focus on building a good credit for a healthy start of their independent life.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
no credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 6 monthsregular APR12.99 - 21.99% (V)
intro BT APR 10.99% for 6 months 3% BT fee
rewards 1 or 5% 
  • earn 5% cashback on rotating quarterly categories up to $1,500 quarterly limit in purchases
  • 1% cashback on all purchases
  • double cashback for first year
  • $20 cashback annual  bonus if your GPA is 3.0 or greater

 

no annual fee

no credit needed

5% cashback on changing categories

double first year cashback

read review

Discover it for Students is a decent card that offers up to 5% cash back on selected categories according to a quarterly bonus calendar. New cardholders get double cash back for the first year, making this card a 2% flat rate card.

Tips for Building a Solid Score Starting from your Average Credit

Credit cards can be extremely helpful in many ways, but they can also damage a person’s credit if not used responsibly.

It is extremely important to manage a card wisely to eventually reach an excellent credit rating and qualify for better credit card offers in the future.

  1. While shopping for a credit card, don’t forget that it is important to limit the number of applications you submit, as sending out too many applications can indicate money problems and result in a temporary decrease in your FICO score.
  2. A rule of thumb is to use no more than 10-30% of your total credit limit available. If you exceed this number in one period – try to post a payment several days before the statement date – it will prevent from showing a large balance on the statement.
  3. Always pay your bills on time. It is recommended to do it three days in advance to avoid late payment because of technical issues.

The road to better credit can be long and challenging, but your patience and hard work will eventually pay off. A higher credit score will enable you to get better deals on credit cards as better rates on home and auto loans. 

All Credit Cards for Fair Credit 

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR15.65 - 24.15% (V)
intro BT APR no intro offer 15.65-24.15%
rewards 1% on gas and groceries, terms apply 

1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply

Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due

Flexible payment date to assist you in making your payments on time

$0-$99 annual fee

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR25.24% Variable
intro BT APR no intro offer BT fee 3% min $5
rewards 1-2 points/$1 
  • 2x points on groceries, gas, utilities (excluding Target and Walmart®)
  • 1 point on all other purchases
  • redeem points towards your statement balance to offset purchases

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

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
good credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APR15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24% variable
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 2x on NFL purchases +10,000 points
  • 2x points on NFL and Team purchases - tickets, on-stadium purchases, etc.
  • 1 point/$1 on all other purchases
  • earn 10,000 points after spending $500 in the first 90 days 

 

 

All 32 team cards are available, customized with your favorite team's colors and logo

Earn 10,000 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days, enough to redeem for $100 cash back

20% off purchases at NFLShop.com - that's $20 off every $100 you spend

0% Promotional APR for 6 months on eligible NFL ticket purchases. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness

Earn 2 points per $1 on NFL or Team purchases - eligible game tickets, in-stadium and team pro shop purchases - and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases

Redeem points for NFL game tickets, VIP experiences, or 1% cash back beginning at 2,500 points for $25

0% Introductory APR for 15 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.24%, 20.24% or 25.24%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers.

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
bad credit
18.15% to 24.15%*

Best for members with average credit.

Make consistent, on-time payments and you could improve your credit rating — sometimes in as little as 12 months.

We'll periodically consider you for an automatic upgrade to a premium credit card based on improved credit and your account history.

Use your card to make purchases worldwide. (Cash advances and balance transfers are not available.)

read review

Another credit card from Indigo brand - for Fair to Good credit owners this time.

read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
good credit
fair credit
intro purchase APR n/aregular APR23.9%

Easy pre-qualification process with fast response

All credit histories considered

Online servicing available 24/7 at no additional cost

Unsecured credit card, no security deposit required

Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 15 monthsregular APR12.99 - 22.99% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 15 months, 0% BT fee 60 days 3% BT fee $5 min

no annual fee

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers

0% BT fee for 60 days

free FICO score

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 12 monthsregular APR11.24 - 23.24% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% BT fee
rewards 1% or 2% 
  • earn 2% cashback on gas and restaurants with $1,000 quarterly limit in combined purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases

no annual fee

2% on gas and dining out

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
fair credit
no credit
intro purchase APR 0% for 9 monthsregular APR23.24 - 23.24% (V)
intro BT APR 0% for 9 months no BT fee
rewards 1.5% on all purchases 

earn 1.5% on all purchases with no cap and limitations

$39 annual fee

good for average credit\limited credit

1.5% cash back

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
excellent
good credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24% Variable
intro BT APR 0% for 12 months 3% BT fee $5 min
rewards 2x miles on travel and dining, 1x miles on all other purchases, 20,000 sign up bonus

Earn 20,000 bonus miles after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days — that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit

Earn 2X miles on travel & dining and 1X miles on all other purchases

Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem

Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad

No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country

0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 16.24%, 20.24% or 24.24%, depending on your creditworthiness

Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers

read review
read card review Apply Now
at issuer’s secured site
no credit
intro purchase APR no intro offerregular APR19.99 - 19.99% (V)
intro BT APR 19.99% no BT fee
rewards 1-1.25% +25% for paying on time
  • get 1% cash back on al purchases
  • and earn +25% on your rewards when you pay on time

 

no annual fee

student card

up to 1.25% cash back

read review

 


Leave a comment

Filtered HTML

  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
SIGN UP TO GET FREE
CREDIT SCORE UPDATES
and
exclusive members-only deals
Follow us
Facebook Twitter Google+