Walmart purchases
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On Capital One‘s site

Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit of November 2022

Compare 153 credit cards for fair credit on Myfin.us.

By Hanna Volkava
Updated November 29, 2022

Best Credit Cards for Fair credit in November 2022

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Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® best for Walmart purchases

Capital One Walmart Rewards®
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
17.99% - 27.74% Variable
Our Rating:
4.12
scorer
Credit score
Fair to Good (580-739)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back at Walmart.com, including pickup and delivery.
    • 2% Cash Back in Walmart stores, at restaurants and on travel.
    • 1% Everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 5% Cash Back in Walmart stores for the first 12 months after approval when you use your Card with Walmart Pay.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    17.99% - 27.74% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Walmart Rewards® is a card for people who regularly shop at Walmart.

    The Card's APR: 17.99% – 27.74% (Variable). The card has a balance transfer fee of 3% (none for balances transferred at the Transfer APR).

    The Walmart Rewards® Card earns 5% Cash Back on in-store purchases for the first 12 months when using Walmart Pay. The card offers 5% Cash Back at Walmart.com, including pickup & delivery; 2% Cash Back in Walmart stores, at restaurants and on travel; 1% Cash Back everywhere else Mastercard is accepted.

    The Walmart Rewards® Card charges no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.

  • Pros:
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fee
  • Cons:
    • No 0% intro APR period
  • Benefits:
    • 5% Cash Back in Walmart stores (for the first 12 months);
    • 5% Cash Back at Walmart.com;
    • 2% Cash Back in Walmart stores, at restaurants and on travel;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • $0 Fraud Liability.
View all Walmart Rewards® details
Apply now
On Capital One‘s site
Card detail

Capital One Platinum Credit Card best for Without SSN

Platinum Mastercard Capital One
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
28.49% Variable
Our Rating:
2.91
scorer
Credit score
Fair (580-669)
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    28.49% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    If you're new to owning a card, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a great one to start with. This card has no annual or foreign transaction fees. Depending on your payment habits, you can also expect to be considered for a higher credit line within six months of receiving the card. Lastly, you can enjoy full coverage from fraudulent charges in case your card is lost or stolen.

  • Pros:
    • No annual or foreign transaction fees: Capital One Platinum doesn’t have either of these fees.
    • Credit monitoring tools: Capital One allows you to keep track of your credit score free of charge.
  • Cons:
    • High APR: This fair credit card does have a high variable APR of 28.49%.
    • No rewards: You won't be able to rack up and redeem rewards points for this card.
  • Benefits:
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • ATM Location Services;
    • Emergency Card Replacement;
    • Autopay;
    • 24/7 Customer Service.
View all Platinum Mastercard details
Apply now
On Capital One‘s site
Card detail

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Quicksilver Capital One
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
17.99% - 27.99% Variable
Our Rating:
4.58
scorer
Credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Cash Bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months that your account is open, 17.99% - 27.99% variable APR after that
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    17.99% - 27.99% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    This card offers fair-credit borrowers a variety of cash reward options — especially for travelers. The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make. In addition to no foreign transaction fees and fraud liability coverage, you can earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars when you book through Capital One Travel. Unlike the other Capital One card on this list, this card does include a $0 annual fee.

  • Pros:
    • Flexible rewards options: You can receive unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back when you book a hotel or rental car through Capital One Travel.
    • Other Capital One helpful perks: In addition to credit monitoring and fraud protection, you can receive a higher credit line in six months.
  • Cons:
    • There's an annual fee: You have to pay a $0 annual fee.
    • High APR: Your variable purchase APR is 17.99% - 27.99%, which potentially can result in a high monthly payment.
  • Benefits:
    • $200 Cash Bonus (once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening);
    • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Complimentary Concierge Service;
    • Travel Accident Insurance;
    • 24-hour Travel Assistance Services;
    • Capital One Shopping;
    • Shop With Your Rewards.
View all Quicksilver details
Apply now
On Capital One‘s site
Card detail

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card best for Fair credit

QuicksilverOne Capital One
Annual fee:
$39 annually
Regular APR:
28.49% Variable
Our Rating:
3.64
scorer
Credit score
Fair to Good (580-739)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    28.49% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The QuicksilverOne Credit Card from Capital One gives you 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase. The Card has an annual fee of $39.

    The QuicksilverOne Card has an APR of 28.49% Variable.

  • Pros:
    • Unlimited high rewards rate
    • Average credit score required
    • Automatically considered for a higher credit line after 6 months
    • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cons:
    • Annual fee
    • High APR
    • No bonus rewards categories
  • Benefits:
    • 1.5% Cash Back;
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
    • Autopay;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Card Lock;
    • ATM Location Services.
View all QuicksilverOne details
Apply now
On Capital One‘s site
Card detail

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One best for Without SSN

Capital One Journey Student
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
28.49% Variable
Our Rating:
3.79
scorer
Credit score
Fair (580-669)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1% Cash Back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your Cash Back to a total of 1.25% for that month.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    28.49% Variable
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    Build credit history with Journey Student Credit Card. Earn 1% Cash Back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your Cash Back to a total of 1.25% for that month.

    The Journey Student Card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. The Card's APR: 28.49% Variable.

  • Pros:
    • Rewards program with bonus points
    • No annual fee
    • Automatic credit limit increase reviews
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Reports to three major credit bureaus
  • Cons:
    • High APR
    • No bonus categories
  • Benefits:
    • 1% Cash Back on every purchase;
    • 1.25% extra Cash Back;
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
    • ATM Location Services;
    • Emergency Card Replacement;
    • Travel rewards cards;
    • Fraud Coverage.
View all Journey Student Credit Card details
Apply now
On Capital One‘s site
Card detail

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® best for Good credit score

Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
14.99% - 29.99% Regular
Our Rating:
4.35
scorer
Credit score
Fair to Excellent (580-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Cash Back on payments.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Bonus when you open a Rewards Checking account and make 3 debit card transactions. *
  • Details:

    Upgrade is typically known for offering personal loans. However, this lender is dipping into the world of credit with their Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® Credit Card. You should consider this card if you're looking to maximize your purchases in various categories, which this option offers.

    This card offers 3% cash back in home, auto, and health categories and 1% cash back on all other purchases. However, you only receive the cash back when you make payments on the card. This card is also unique in that it offers credit lines instead of credit limits. A line of credit allows you to use only the amount of money you need and pay it off right then or over time. Borrowers have a variety of potential credit lines they could receive: between $500 and $25,000.

  • Pros:
    • Range of cash back options: Cardholders can receive up to 3% cash back on various purchases, depending on the category.
    • Receive a $200 bonus: If you open a rewards checking account and make three debit card transactions within 90 days from opening the account, you can get a $200 bonus.
  • Cons:
    • Cash back depends on when you pay off: You only get rewards when you make payments on the card.
    • High max APR: While the APR range starts at 14.99%, the max is 29.99%. You could have to deal with a higher APR if you have fair credit.
  • Benefits:
    • $200 bonus;
    • 1.5% Cash Back;
    • Сontactless card technology.

    *To qualify for the $200 welcome bonus, you must open and fund a new Rewards Checking account and make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days of your Upgrade Card account opening. The bonus will be applied as a one-time credit to your account and will not otherwise reduce the amount of your regular monthly payments. The bonus credit will be posted to your Upgrade Card as a rewards credit within 1 - 2 billing periods following the third debit card transaction on your Rewards Checking account. Your Upgrade Card must be in good standing to receive a bonus.

View all Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® details
Apply now
On Upgrade‘s website
Card detail
Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Upgrade
Annual fee:
$0
Regular APR:
14.99% - 29.99% Regular
Our Rating:
3.53
scorer
Credit score
Fair to Excellent (580-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3% Cash Back on Home, Auto and Health categories.
    • 1% Cash Back on everything else.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Bonus when you open a Rewards Checking account and make 3 debit card transactions (within 60 days of your Upgrade Card account opening). *
  • Details:

    The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Credit Card offers 3% Cash Back on home, auto and health purchase and 1% Cash Back on everything else.

    Earn a $200 welcome bonus when you open a Rewards Checking account and make 3 debit card transactions (within 60 days of your Upgrade Card account opening).

    The card's APR: 14.99% - 29.99% (Regular APR).

    Apply online and get a credit line from $500 to $25,000 with your Card.

    Read full review

  • Pros:
    • Every Purchase Earns You Cash Back
    • Increased Cash Back for Three Categories
    • Forget About Fees
    • No Limits Abroad
  • Cons:
    • You Can’t Withdraw Cash
    • Cash Back Doesn’t Satisfy Your Monthly Payments
  • Benefits:
    • $200 bonus;
    • 3% Cash Back on home, auto and health purchase;
    • 1% Cash Back on everything else;
    • Сontactless card technology.

    *To qualify for the $200 welcome bonus, you must open and fund a new Rewards Checking account and make 3 debit card transactions within 60 days of your Upgrade Card account opening. The bonus will be applied as a one-time credit to your account and will not otherwise reduce the amount of your regular monthly payments. The bonus credit will be posted to your Upgrade Card as a rewards credit within 1 - 2 billing periods following the third debit card transaction on your Rewards Checking account. Your Upgrade Card must be in good standing to receive a bonus.

View all Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® details
Apply now
On Upgrade‘s website
Card detail
Double Your Line® Mastercard® Merrick Bank
Annual fee:
$0 - $72 annually
Regular APR:
22.45% - 30.70% *Variable
Our Rating:
4.1
scorer
Credit score
No Credit History to Excellent (0-799)
    • Issuer name:
      Merrick Bank
    • Details:

      The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Mastercard® is good for people looking to build or rebuild credit.

      Double your credit line by making at least your minimum payment on time each month for the first 7 months your account is open.

      The APR for purchases is 22.45% - 30.70% (Variable). The card's annual fee: $0 - $72 annually.

      Credit lines range from $550 - $1,350 which double to $1,100 - $2,700 after your account qualifies. No security deposit required.

      Read full review

    • Pros:
      • Double your credit line
      • $0 fraud liability
      • No security deposit is required
      • A free FICO score each month
      • A poor credit score is enough to apply
    • Cons:
      • High variable APR
      • No rewards
      • No balance transfer option
      • Cash advance fee
    • Benefits:
      • $0 Fraud Liability;
      • Double Your Line®;
      • Exclusive Platinum Mastercard® Benefits.
    View all Double Your Line® Mastercard® details
    Apply now
    On Merrick Bank‘s site
    Card detail

    WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® best for Beginner, No history

    Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® WebBank
    Annual fee:
    $0
    Regular APR:
    15.99% - 29.99% Variable
    Our Rating:
    3.8
    scorer
    Credit score
    No Credit History to Excellent (0-799)
    • Rewards Rate:
      • 1% - 1.5%:
      • Cash Back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
      • 2% - 10%:
      • Cash Back from select merchants.
    • Issuer name:
      WebBank
    • Details:

      Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® expands on Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® with no annual fee and a potential credit limit of up to $10,000. Cardholders receive 1% cash back on purchases at the start and up to 1.5% for on-time balance payments. APRs range from 15.99% - 29.99%. Cardholders can get 2% to 10% bonus cash back at certain businesses. Lastly, individuals can make payments in the app, and use it to set a monthly budget to monitor spending on the card.

    • Pros:
      • Enjoy cash back options: There are numerous options to benefit from cash back rewards.
      • High credit limit: This card offers between $300 and $10,000 credit limits.
    • Cons:
      • You may have a higher APR: If you have average or fair credit, you may have to deal with an APR on the higher side of the range.
    • Benefits:
      • No foreign transaction fee;
      • Petal 2 reports to all 3 major credit bureaus;
      • Qualify with average credit.
    View all Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® details
    Apply now
    On WebBank‘s site
    Card detail
    First Access Visa® The Bank of Missouri
    Annual fee:
    $75 annual fee for first year
    $48 annually
    Regular APR:
    34.99%
    Our Rating:
    4.2
    scorer
    Credit score
    No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
      • Issuer name:
        The Bank of Missouri
      • Details:

        The First Access Card is a true VISA® credit card that does not require perfect credit for approval.

        The First Access Visa Card's APR: 34.99%.

        The First Access Visa Credit Card is not a secured credit card, meaning applicants don’t have to have the amount of their credit limit as a deposit.

        Read full review

      • Pros:
        • Available to those with bad credit
        • Reports to three major credit bureaus
        • Easy application
        • No security deposit
      • Cons:
        • High APR
        • Several fees
        • Low credit limit
        • No rewards
      • Benefits:
        • First Access Visa credit card accepted nationwide;
        • Rebuild your credit;
        • Easy and Secure Online Application.
      View all First Access Visa® details
      Apply now
      On the First Access Visa® Card secure website
      Card detail

      Celtic Bank Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® best for Unsecured

      Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®​ Celtic Bank
      Annual fee:
      $75 - $99 for the first year
      $99 after the first year
      Regular APR:
      24.99% - 29.99% Variable
      Our Rating:
      3.8
      scorer
      Credit score
      No Credit History to Good (0-739)
        • Issuer name:
          Celtic Bank
        • Details:

          The Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® can be used as an effective tool to build credit. The card has an APR of 24.99% - 29.99% (Variable).

          With $0 Fraud Liability you will not be held responsible for unauthorized charges on your Reflex credit card. With zero fraud liability you are only responsible for purchases that you make, so you can shop with confidence and know that your card activity is fully protected.

          Monthly Maintenance Fee: $0 - $120.00 annually (billed at $0 - $10.00 per month). Monthly Maintenance Fee not billed for the first 12 months your account is opened. Additional Card Fee is $30.00 (one time, if applicable).

          Read full review

        • Pros:
          • Chance to get a higher credit limit
          • All credit scores are welcome to apply
          • Reports to three bureaus
          • Check if you prequalify without affecting your credit score
          • No deposit required
        • Cons:
          • No rewards
          • High Regular APR
          • High annual fee
          • Monthly maintenance fee
          • Additional card fee
          • Foreign transaction fee
        • Benefits:
          • $0 Fraud Liability;
          • Potential Credit Limit Increase After Just 6 Months;
          • Free Monthly Credit Score;
          • Monthly Reporting to All Three Major Credit Bureaus;
          • Credit Protection program.
        View all Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® details
        Apply now
        On Celtic Bank‘s site
        Card detail

        Celtic Bank Indigo® Mastercard® best for Unsecured

        Indigo® Mastercard® Celtic Bank
        Annual fee:
        $0 - $99 annually
        Regular APR:
        24.9%
        Our Rating:
        3.7
        scorer
        Credit score
        No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
          • Issuer name:
            Celtic Bank
          • Details:

            Indigo doesn't hide that this card is aimed at those seeking to focus on building credit. So people with fair or average credit should be confident about considering this card. The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® doesn't come with many bells and whistles, only the essentials for improving credit. You can get pre-qualified online without hurting your credit score. Additionally, Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® reports to all three credit bureaus, so on-time payments can help enhance your credit profile.

          • Pros:
            • Get Mastercard benefits: This card allows you to take advantage of Mastercard® perks like ID theft and zero liability protection.
            • Pre-qualify without hurting your score: The last thing you want is to experience a dip in your score. This card bypasses that since you can get pre-qualified without negatively impacting your credit score.
          • Cons:
            • You'll have to dig for the information you need: Before applying for a credit card, it helps to know the regular APR and other essential terms. Most of that information is not readily available on their website.
          • Benefits:
            • A low foreign transaction fee of 1 percent;
            • Choice of Card Image;
            • Fraud Protection;
            • 24/7 Account Access;
            • Extended warranty coverage.
          View all Indigo® Mastercard® details
          Apply now
          On Celtic Bank‘s site
          Card detail
          Total Visa® The Bank of Missouri
          Annual fee:
          $164 for first year (including one-time program fee of $89)
          $48 annually *
          Regular APR:
          34.99% *
          Our Rating:
          3.32
          scorer
          Credit score
          Rebuilding Credit to Fair (0-669)
            • Issuer name:
              The Bank of Missouri
            • Details:

              The Total Visa® сard is a credit card for people with bad credit score or limited credit. It does not require a credit check to apply. But the card doesn’t offer rewards.

              The Total Visa® сard's Regular APR is 34.99%. There is a one-time $89 program fee.

              The Total Visa® сard allows you to choose your own card design.

              Read full review

            • Pros:
              • Low Requirements
            • Cons:
              • Annual Fee
              • High Regular APR
              • No Intro APR period
              • Extra Fees
            • Benefits:
              • $0 fraud liability;
              • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus;
              • Manageable monthly payments;
              • Select your favorite card design for free.
            View all Total Visa® Unsecured details
            Apply now
            On the Total Visa® Card secure website
            Card detail

            The Bank of Missouri Milestone Mastercard® best for Unsecured

            Milestone Mastercard® The Bank of Missouri
            Annual fee:
            $35 - $99 Dependent on credit worthiness
            Regular APR:
            24.9%
            Our Rating:
            3.5
            scorer
            Credit score
            No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
              • Issuer name:
                The Bank of Missouri
              • Details:

                The Milestone Gold Mastercard® is very similar to the Indigo Platinum Mastercard®. It is geared toward individuals with "challenging credit histories." Additionally, users can get pre-qualified and have their activity reported to the three credit bureaus — a move that can help you build your credit profile. This card doesn't offer as many perks as the others on this list, and the website is minimal on details like APRs and credit limits.

              • Pros:
                • Build your credit: Milestone reports credit card activity to the three credit bureaus. So you can work on improving your credit profile.
                • Mastercard® perks: Like other Mastercards, this one also offers theft and liability protection.
              • Cons:
                • Lack of APR and card limit information: If you want to know what you're getting into, you must dig a bit deeper to ensure a manageable APR.
              • Benefits:
                • Fraud Protection;
                • Credit Bureau Reporting;
                • Extended warranty coverage;
                • Mastercard Global Service;
                • Easy Pre-Qualification;
                • Full Mastercard Perks;
                • 24/7 Account Management.
              View all Milestone Mastercard® details
              Apply now
              On The Bank of Missouri‘s site
              Card detail
              Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Mastercard®
              Annual fee:
              $36 the first year. Billed $3 per month thereafter
              Regular APR:
              20.45% Variable
              Our Rating:
              3.98
              scorer
              Credit score
              No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                • Issuer name:
                  Merrick Bank
                • Details:

                  The Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Mastercard® is a good card for people looking to build or rebuild credit.

                  The card has an annual fee of $36 for the first year (billed $3 per month thereafter).

                  The APR for purchases is 20.45% (Variable).

                  Double your $200 credit line by making at least your minimum payment on time each month for the first 7 months your account is open.

                  Read full review

                • Pros:
                  • Double your credit limit
                  • Free monthly FICO Score access
                • Cons:
                  • Annual Fee
                  • Foreign Transaction
                • Benefits:
                  • $0 Fraud Liability;
                  • Double Your Line®;
                  • Reports to 3 Major Credit Bureaus.
                View all Double Your Line® Secured Mastercard® details
                Apply now
                On Merrick Bank‘s site
                Card detail
                First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Synovus Bank
                Annual fee:
                $49 annually
                Regular APR:
                13.74% Variable
                Our Rating:
                3.8
                scorer
                Credit score
                No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                  • Issuer name:
                    Synovus Bank
                  • Details:

                    The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a secured credit card for people with a limited credit history.

                    The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® doesn’t earn a welcome bonus.

                    The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® comes with an annual fee of $49. The card's APR: 13.74% (Variable for purchases), 22.74% (Variable for cash advances).

                    First Progress reports to all three major credit agencies, so even if you have bad credit, you’ll be able to improve on your credit standing provided you use your card responsibly.

                    Read full review

                  • Pros:
                    • Low APR for Purchases
                    • No Minimum Credit Score Required
                    • Reports to Three Major Credit Bureaus
                    • Suitable Range of Credit Limit
                  • Cons:
                    • High Annual Fee
                    • High Transaction Fees on Cash Advance
                    • High Penalty Fees
                    • No Bonuses or Rewards
                    • Foreign Transaction Fees
                    • Unavailability of Card for Certain Geographies in the US
                  • Benefits:
                    • Accepted Nationwide;
                    • No Minimum Credit Score;
                    • No Credit History Required.
                  View all First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured details
                  Apply now
                  On First Progress’s site
                  Card detail
                  First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Synovus Bank
                  Annual fee:
                  $29 annually
                  Regular APR:
                  23.74% Variable
                  Our Rating:
                  3.3
                  scorer
                  Credit score
                  No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                    • Issuer name:
                      Synovus Bank
                    • Details:

                      The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is designed to help cardholders build credit with no credit check or minimum credit score required to apply.

                      As a secured credit card, the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® doesn’t come with any welcome offers, sign-up bonuses or reward rates.

                      As a Mastercard®-branded credit option, this First Progress card is accepted nationwide.

                      The initial Credit Limit for your Account will be equal to the amount of the Deposit that you make with us, which must be at least $200 (see “Security Interest” above). However, if you choose to deposit more than $200 your initial deposit and corresponding Credit Limit must be at least $300 and may not exceed $2,000.

                      Read full review

                    • Pros:
                      • No credit history required
                      • No Minimum Credit Score needed
                      • Low Annual Percentage Rates
                      • It builds your Credit Score
                    • Cons:
                      • No option to graduate to an unsecured credit card
                      • Credit limit is equal to your deposit amount
                      • There is no Rewards program
                      • There are some area restrictions
                    • Benefits:
                      • No Minimum Credit Score;
                      • No Credit History Required;
                      • Accepted Nationwide.
                    View all First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured details
                    Apply now
                    On First Progress’s site
                    Card detail

                    Celtic Bank Deserve EDU best for Cash Back, Without SSN, Student

                    Deserve EDU Celtic Bank
                    Annual fee:
                    $0
                    Regular APR:
                    22.49% Variable
                    Our Rating:
                    3.5
                    scorer
                    Credit score
                    No Credit History to Excellent (0-799)
                    • Rewards Rate:
                      • 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning Cash Back on all purchases.
                    • Issuer name:
                      Celtic Bank
                    • Details:

                      It's not a secret that some students may not have the highest credit scores since their credit history is still new. However, the Deserve EDU helps students new to personal finance establish their credit. Additionally, international students can apply without a Social Security Number (SSN). The card comes with a few perks that make it an attractive option. For example, the Deserve EDU reimburses students for a one-year Amazon Prime Student Subscription when they pay for it using the card. Also Deserve offers up to 1% cash back on all purchases, and zero foreign transaction fees. There’s no annual fee for this card.

                    • Pros:
                      • Save on Amazon Prime Student: Deserve EDU truly understands its audience and offers perks that appeal to them. Deserve will reimburse for a monthly or annual Amazon Prime Student one-year subscription. However, you have to spend $500 on the card within the first three months of receiving it.
                      • Take advantage of convenience: Like many newer cards, this one embraces technology. You can freeze the card or allow international transactions within the app.
                      • Cell phone protection: This card will cover a lost or broken cell phone up to $600.
                      • No annual fee: You don’t have to pay an annual fee.
                    • Cons:
                      • You cannot redeem cash back rewards for cash: Even though you can receive 1% cash back on all purchases, they can only be redeemed as statement credits — in $25 increments.
                    • Benefits:
                      • Cellphone Protection;
                      • Collision Damage Waiver;
                      • Concierge Service;
                      • No International Transaction Fees;
                      • Priority Pass™ Membership;
                      • Mastercard Benefits;
                      • No Social Security Number required for international students to apply.
                    View all Deserve EDU details
                    Apply now
                    On Celtic Bank‘s site
                    Card detail

                    WebBank Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® best for For bad credit

                    Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® WebBank
                    Annual fee:
                    $0
                    Regular APR:
                    22.99% - 32.49% Variable
                    Our Rating:
                    4.34
                    scorer
                    Credit score
                    No Credit History to Good (0-739)
                    • Rewards Rate:
                      • 2% - 10%:
                      • Cash Back at select merchants.
                    • Issuer name:
                      WebBank
                    • Details:

                      Petal takes a novel approach in determining creditworthiness. The company looks beyond credit scores and considers banking history, which is a great feature for customers with fair credit. The Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® doesn't have an annual fee and offers limits between $300 and $5,000 and the opportunity for 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants. Customers can also enjoy zero foreign transaction fees.

                    • Pros:
                      • Non-traditional credit assessment: Unlike other cards, Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® “looks beyond” credit scores and considers banking history.
                      • Cash back rewards: Customers can take advantage of cash back rewards between 2% and 10% at certain businesses.
                      • No annual fee: You don’t have to pay an annual fee for this card.
                    • Cons:
                      • APR ranges are high: As of now, APR ranges are between 22.99% - 32.49%, with the latter being on the higher side.
                    • Benefits:
                      • 2 - 10% Cash Back;
                      • Zero liability fraud protection;
                      • $300 - $5,000 credit limits.
                    View all Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® details
                    Apply now
                    On WebBank‘s site
                    Card detail
                    First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Synovus Bank
                    Annual fee:
                    $39 annually
                    Regular APR:
                    17.74% Variable
                    Our Rating:
                    3.5
                    scorer
                    Credit score
                    No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
                      • Issuer name:
                        Synovus Bank
                      • Details:

                        The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured is designed to help cardholders build credit with no credit check or minimum credit score required to apply.

                        The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured doesn’t come with any welcome offers, sign-up bonuses or reward rates.

                        The card's APR: 17.74% (Variable for Purchases), 23.74% (Variable for Cash Advances).

                        The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® has an annual fee of $39. Plus, the card has a foreign transaction fee of 3%.

                        Read full review

                      • Pros:
                        • No credit history required
                        • No Minimum Credit Score needed
                        • Low Annual Percentage Rates
                      • Cons:
                        • Annual Fee
                        • Foreign Transaction Fee
                      • Benefits:
                        • Accepted Nationwide;
                        • No Minimum Credit Score;
                        • No Credit History Required.
                      View all First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured details
                      Apply now
                      On First Progress’s site
                      Card detail
                      Divvy Cross River Bank
                      Annual fee:
                      $0
                      Regular APR:
                      None
                      Our Rating:
                      4.04
                      scorer
                      Credit score
                      Fair to Excellent (580-799)
                      • Rewards Rate:
                        • 2x - 7x:
                        • Points on restaurants.
                        • 2x - 5x:
                        • Points on hotels.
                        • 1.5x - 2x:
                        • Points on recurring software subscriptions.
                        • 1x - 1.5x:
                        • Points on everything else.
                      • Issuer name:
                        Cross River Bank
                      • Details:

                        The Divvy Card is a corporate credit card.

                        The Divvy Card earns 1-7x rewards, but it doesn't offer a sign-up bonus.

                        Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, statement credits or cash back.

                        Read full review

                      • Pros:
                        • No fees
                        • Rewards
                      • Cons:
                        • No sign-up bonus
                      • Benefits:
                        • Unlimited creation of virtual cards;
                        • Scalable credit line;
                        • Employee cards for everyone;
                        • Enforceable budgets;
                        • Expense reports.
                      View all Divvy details
                      Apply now
                      On Cross River Bank‘s site
                      Card detail

                      WebBank AvantCard best for Fair credit

                      AvantCard WebBank
                      Annual fee:
                      $0 - $59 annually
                      Regular APR:
                      25.74% - 29.99% Variable
                      Our Rating:
                      1.51
                      scorer
                      Credit score
                      Fair to Good (580-739)
                        • Issuer name:
                          WebBank
                        • Details:

                          Like Upgrade, Avant is known as a personal loan company but it also offers a credit card in partnership with Mastercard. Overall, the AvantCard is a more basic option for people with fair credit.

                          There are no reward offerings, and you might have to pay a fee — depending on your cardholder agreement. However, the AvantCard has zero overlimit fees and fraud liability.

                        • Pros:
                          • A convenient experience: You can apply online in minutes and quickly get questions answered via the Avant app.
                          • Avoid fees and other liabilities: Avant touts that users don't have to worry about fees like overlimit charges.
                        • Cons:
                          • There's an annual fee: Depending on what is in your card member agreement, you may have to pay an annual fee of up to $0.
                          • High APR range: This card's min and max APR are fairly high. Their website shows the current APR range is 25.74% - 29.99%. High APR can make your monthly payments costly if you carry a balance to the next month.
                        • Benefits:
                          • Zero fraud liability;
                          • Zero hidden fees;
                          • Prequalification process;
                          • No security deposit;
                          • Reports to major credit bureaus.
                        Card detail

                        Discover Bank Discover it® Secured best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Young couples, For bad credit

                        Discover it® Secured Discover Bank
                        Annual fee:
                        $0
                        Regular APR:
                        25.24% Variable
                        Our Rating:
                        3.98
                        scorer
                        Credit score
                        No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
                        • Rewards Rate:
                          • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter.
                          • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
                        • Intro Offer:
                          • 2x Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
                        • Balance Transfer APR:
                          10.99% The APR for 6 months from date of first transfer
                          25.24% The APR after 6 months from date of first transfer
                        • Issuer name:
                          Discover Bank
                        • Details:

                          A secured credit card is a bit different than an unsecured one. Secured credit cards require cardholders to add a cash deposit to act as collateral if the cardholder cannot make required payments. Typically, the card's credit limit will match your deposit.

                          The Discover it® Secured follows this format. This could be attractive to fair-credit consumers as you do not need a credit score to apply. The card also comes with no annual fee, and after seven months, you may be eligible to upgrade to an unsecured card and receive your deposit back.

                        • Pros:
                          • Multiple cash back options: Depending on where you make your purchases, you can receive up to 2% cash back. Additionally, you will get double the cash back earned at the end of the card's first year.
                          • Free credit score monitoring: The card allows you to monitor your FICO score for free.
                        • Cons:
                          • Your credit limit equals to your deposit: You can only charge the amount of the deposit that you made with the card. So, if you make a small deposit, you will have a small card limit.
                          • High standard APR: The regular APR for this card is fairly high at 25.24%.
                        • Benefits:
                          • Refundable security deposit;
                          • $0 Fraud Liability;
                          • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
                          • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants;
                          • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
                          • Unlimited Cashback Match;
                          • 99% nationwide acceptance.
                        Card detail

                        Best credit cards for Fair/Average Credit

                        An average credit score (typically 580 to 669, according to Experian), doesn't mean you can't enjoy perks like rewards or no annual fee.

                        There are cards for those with fair credit. If you are not sure about cards you could be eligible for, we're here to walk you through some fair or average credit card options to help you make the best decision for your finances. See our picks for the best credit cards for fair credit.

                        Short Review of Best Credit Cards for Fair/Average Credit

                        NameBest forRewards RateAPRApply
                        Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®
                        4.12
                        Walmart purchases
                      • 5% Cash Back at Walmart.com, including pickup and delivery.
                      • 2% Cash Back in Walmart stores, at restaurants and on travel.
                      • 1% Everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted.
                      • 17.99% - 27.74% VariableApply now
                        On Capital One‘s site
                        Capital One Platinum Credit Card
                        2.91
                        Without SSN
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 28.49% VariableApply now
                        On Capital One‘s site
                        Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
                        4.58
                        Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use
                      • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
                      • 17.99% - 27.99% VariableApply now
                        On Capital One‘s site
                        Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
                        3.64
                        Fair credit
                      • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
                      • 28.49% VariableApply now
                        On Capital One‘s site
                        Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
                        3.79
                        Without SSN
                      • 1% Cash Back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your Cash Back to a total of 1.25% for that month.
                      • 28.49% VariableApply now
                        On Capital One‘s site
                        Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
                        4.35
                        Good credit score
                      • 1.5% Cash Back on payments.
                      • 14.99% - 29.99% RegularApply now
                        On Upgrade‘s website
                        Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®
                        3.53
                      • 3% Cash Back on Home, Auto and Health categories.
                      • 1% Cash Back on everything else.
                      • 14.99% - 29.99% RegularApply now
                        On Upgrade‘s website
                        Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Mastercard®
                        4.1
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 22.45% - 30.70% *VariableApply now
                        On Merrick Bank‘s site
                        WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa®
                        3.8
                        Beginner, No history
                      • 1% - 1.5%:
                      • Cash Back after making 12 on-time monthly payments.
                      • 2% - 10%:
                      • Cash Back from select merchants.
                      • 15.99% - 29.99% VariableApply now
                        On WebBank‘s site
                        The Bank of Missouri First Access Visa®
                        4.2
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 34.99%Apply now
                        On the First Access Visa® Card secure website
                        Celtic Bank Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®
                        3.8
                        Unsecured
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 24.99% - 29.99% VariableApply now
                        On Celtic Bank‘s site
                        Celtic Bank Indigo® Mastercard®
                        3.7
                        Unsecured
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 24.9%Apply now
                        On Celtic Bank‘s site
                        The Bank of Missouri Total Visa® Unsecured
                        3.32
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 34.99% *Apply now
                        On the Total Visa® Card secure website
                        The Bank of Missouri Milestone Mastercard®
                        3.5
                        Unsecured
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 24.9%Apply now
                        On The Bank of Missouri‘s site
                        Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card
                        3.98
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 20.45% VariableApply now
                        On Merrick Bank‘s site
                        First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                        3.8
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 13.74% VariableApply now
                        On First Progress’s site
                        First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                        3.3
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 23.74% VariableApply now
                        On First Progress’s site
                        Celtic Bank Deserve EDU
                        3.5
                        Cash Back, Without SSN, Student
                      • 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning Cash Back on all purchases.
                      • 22.49% VariableApply now
                        On Celtic Bank‘s site
                        WebBank Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®
                        4.34
                        For bad credit
                      • 2% - 10%:
                      • Cash Back at select merchants.
                      • 22.99% - 32.49% VariableApply now
                        On WebBank‘s site
                        First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
                        3.5
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 17.74% VariableApply now
                        On First Progress’s site
                        Cross River Bank Divvy
                        4.04
                      • 2x - 7x:
                      • Points on restaurants.
                      • 2x - 5x:
                      • Points on hotels.
                      • 1.5x - 2x:
                      • Points on recurring software subscriptions.
                      • 1x - 1.5x:
                      • Points on everything else.
                      • NoneApply now
                        On Cross River Bank‘s site
                        WebBank AvantCard
                        1.51
                        Fair credit
                      • This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.
                      • 25.74% - 29.99% VariableLearn more
                        Discover Bank Discover it® Secured
                        3.98
                        Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Young couples, For bad credit
                      • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter.
                      • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
                      • 25.24% VariableLearn more

                        Who should apply

                        Capital One Platinum Credit Card

                        Individuals who don't need a lot of bells and whistles like rewards points or any related perks and who only need standard credit card functions may be a fit for the Capital One Platinum credit card.

                        Read more about Capital One Platinum Credit Card

                        Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

                        This is one to consider if you're looking for a card with cash back options. Additionally, Capital One comes with perks that can help you improve your credit: free credit monitoring and fraud liability protection. If these benefits are important to you and you don't mind the annual fee, this is a viable option for people with fair credit.

                        Read more about Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

                        Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

                        The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® Сredit Сard is great for those who want to use a line of credit to make larger purchases. Because this card has a high APR — and those with a fair credit score will likely have to manage a higher APR — it's probably the most beneficial for those who don't let their card charges linger until the next month. The card will ideally suit families with at least fair credit whose top expenses include home and car maintenance and health-related spending.

                        Read more about Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

                        WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa®

                        If you desire to handle most of your banking with your phone, you should consider looking at the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card. It offers convenience and multiple ways to capitalize on cash back rewards, which may be harder to get with fair or average credit. The number of perks and its cash back features are worthy of being considered one of the best credit cards for fair credit.

                        Read more about WebBank Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa®

                        Celtic Bank Indigo® Mastercard®

                        Those with average credit scores on the lower side of that tier may want to try this card. They make it clear on their website that they're open to individuals with lower credit scores and those who need to build their credit. However, beware of any potential high APRs or fees.

                        Read more about Celtic Bank Indigo® Mastercard®

                        The Bank of Missouri Milestone Mastercard®

                        This card is geared toward individuals who either have a lower credit score or do not have an extensive credit history. If you haven't been able to get approved for a credit card, you may want to consider this one as an option. But, make yourself aware of the APR details and card limit information before committing.

                        Read more about The Bank of Missouri Milestone Mastercard®

                        Celtic Bank Deserve EDU

                        If you're a student just beginning their financial journey and need a card to build your credit, this is a card to add to your research list. The APR listed in their cardholder agreement is 22.49%, which is a bit more manageable than other options on this list. This card is also great for those who want to conduct all of the application and card management process online.

                        Read more about Celtic Bank Deserve EDU

                        WebBank Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®

                        If you want the opportunity to get a better APR than other credit card companies might give with fair credit, then the Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® is worth looking at. Since they consider banking history, you may be able to score a better rate. In addition, you can benefit from no annual membership fee and the option to connect this card to Apple Pay or Google Pay. These perks also make it a great option for individuals who have recently immigrated to the U.S.

                        Read more about WebBank Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa®

                        WebBank AvantCard

                        You may consider the AvantCard if you aren't interested in rewards and only need a basic card. It also allows you to eliminate overlimit fees and security deposits.

                        Read more about WebBank AvantCard

                        Discover Bank Discover it® Secured

                        If used properly, a secured card like this one can help you to improve your credit over time. If you're primarily focused on building credit, don't need a higher credit line, but still want perks that unsecured credit cards have — like cash back — then this card is worth checking into.

                        Read more about Discover Bank Discover it® Secured

                        What is considered fair credit?

                        According to Experian, fair credit scores are between 580 and 669. Here's a breakdown of each credit score range:

                        Credit score category Range
                        Poor 300 - 579
                        Fair 580 - 669
                        Good 670 - 739
                        Very good 740 - 799
                        Exceptiona 800 - 850

                        As you take steps to build your credit, it helps to understand how FICO calculates credit scores. Knowing this can help you take the proper steps to better your credit profile over time.

                        Payment History

                        Your payment history determines 35% of your FICO score. This number is important to your credit score because creditors use your payment history to assess your risk. The more on-time payments you make, the less risky you are.

                        Credit usage

                        Credit utilization goes into 30% of your credit score calculation. Credit utilization is the ratio of your entire credit balances and credit limits. A high ratio may mean you're overextended, which could add to creditors and lenders seeing you as a risk.

                        Credit history

                        Creditors also heavily consider the length of your credit history. They look at the age of your credit accounts and how long it's been since you established them. This component accounts for 15% of your credit history.

                        Credit mix

                        The credit types you have are 10% of the calculation. FICO considers different types of credit accounts: personal loans, credit cards, mortgages, etc. Typically, the more diverse the credit mix you have, the more of a positive impact it'll have on your FICO score.

                        Number of recent inquiries

                        Typically, creditors consider a large number of hard credit inquiries, like those you can get by applying for credit cards, in a short period a risky activity. The number of recent inquiries you have contributes to the 10% of the credit score calculation.

                        What to know before applying for a credit card

                        Applying for a credit card can be a time-consuming or involved process, depending on how prepared you are. Knowing what you'll probably need before applying will help make the process smoother. As you're deciding between cards, keep these things in mind.

                        Credit limit

                        Each card comes with a credit limit. This number is the maximum amount you can spend. Every purchase you make is subtracted from this amount. As you pay your credit card back, the amount will increase until it reaches the credit limit again.

                        For example, if your credit limit is $10,000 and you make a $500 purchase, you'll reduce your limit to $9,500. However, if you pay off $250, the limit will be $9,750 in case you didn’t accrue any interest.

                        Credit limits are determined by your credit score. Some credit card companies disclose the credit limit ranges they offer. This information can help you determine whether to apply. But keep in mind that reaching the credit limit will increase your credit utilization ratio and decrease your credit score.

                        Fees and APR

                        Credit cards can come with a variety of fees. Some examples of potential additional charges include late fees, foreign transaction fees, and even an annual fee. You'll also have to deal with annual percentage rates (APRs). This number is used to determine the amount you have to pay in case you don’t pay the full balance on time.

                        Credit cards have annual interest rates, and unlike just interest rates, APRs can also include other administrative costs. APRs are typically determined using the prime rate and an individual's creditworthiness. APRs should factor into your selection, as a card with an APR that's too high can make monthly payments unmanageable if you don’t pay your balance in full each month. Although, we strongly recommend not carrying any balances at all.

                        Rewards

                        A card with cash rewards can help you make the most of your spending. Some cards may offer 1% cash back on all purchases or may only offer cash back in specific categories, like when you spend at a grocery store or on travel.

                        For example, if you spend $100 on groceries and your card offers 2% cash back on purchases in that category, you would get $2 cash back. Some cards will allow you to redeem cash back at specific merchants, while others may let you redeem the cash back for actual money.

                        Ability to upgrade

                        Some cards will allow you to upgrade your card. This situation can look like upgrading to a higher credit limit — which some credit card companies will automatically do if you've made on-time payments.

                        It can also look like getting a card that offers more perks. For example, the Discover it® Secured allows you to upgrade to a standard unsecured card once you've met their expectations after a particular time.

                        Pros and Cons of cards for fair credit

                        Credit cards for fair credit are a great way for individuals with lower credit scores to still benefit from perks, like rewards points, and have the opportunity to build their credit. However, there are both advantages and disadvantages for individuals with average credit to get a card geared towards them:

                        Pros

                        • Build your credit: Some of the best credit cards for fair credit options above offer credit monitoring tools and report credit card activity to the three credit bureaus, which can help you to improve your credit score.
                        • Get access to rewards points: Many credit cards for fair credit consumers offer cash back rewards.
                        • Take advantage of technological conveniences: Many newer cards allow you to handle all your banking from your mobile phone. This makes it easier to keep track of your card balance and ensure all the payments happen on time.

                        Cons

                        • You may have a higher APR: Because you have a lower credit score, you may have to deal with an APR that's a bit on the higher side. Before you commit to any credit cards, make sure that you will be able to pay out your balance in full or afford your monthly payments.
                        • You may not get a higher credit limit: Your credit limit is also typically determined by your creditworthiness. So, you may not have access to a higher credit limit because of having fair or average credit. This situation can be an issue if you need to make larger purchases.
                        • A misstep can hurt your finances: Everyone should treat a credit card cautiously. However, those with lower credit scores need to keep a closer eye on spending and monitor their balances. Missing a payment can do a lot of damage to your credit score.

                        How to choose a credit card for fair credit

                        Before applying for a credit card targeted at people with fair credit, it's helpful to know how to choose the best credit card for your needs. Here's some insight into what you need to look for in credit cards for fair credit:

                        • Rewards - Just because you have fair credit doesn't mean you cannot make the most of your spending. Look for cards that offer cash back rewards, even if it's only 1%.
                        • Fraud protection - The last thing you want is fraudulent spending on your card to tank your credit score. This feature can help protect your card if you lose it.
                        • Credit monitoring - Cards can help you build your credit, mainly if you make on-time payments. Having the option to monitor your credit over time can benefit you and allow you to see your progress.

                        What to avoid with credit cards for fair credit

                        • High APRs - While your APR will be higher than someone with good or excellent credit, you still want to get the best APR possible. Try to stay away from APRs in the mid to late 20s, and avoid APRs in the 30s. Additionally, make a point to pay off your balance in full so you don’t have to deal with paying interest.
                        • Annual fee - You want to avoid any cards with an annual fee, as many fair credit card options don't have them. Some cards, however, offer rewards that can offset an annual fee

                        How to make the most of a credit card for fair credit

                        Your primary goal for your credit card should be to use it to improve your credit score. Options like those we mentioned above, can help you build your credit over time. One of the best ways to make the most of your card is to make on-time payments.

                        How to apply for a credit card with fair credit

                        How you can apply for a credit card with fair credit will depend on each card company’s policy. So, be sure to read the instructions before you apply. Here are a few basic steps you'll likely need to take to apply:

                        • Check your credit score. Before considering your options, know your credit score. Knowing where you are will help you see if you can meet the company's recommended credit score requirements.
                        • Research the best option. Find the best fair credit card option. You should see if it comes with an annual fee, high APR, or foreign transaction fee. Try to go with the card that has the best options for your financial situation.
                        • Pre-qualify. Pre-qualifying allows you to see what APR and terms you are eligible for before you commit without impacting your credit score.
                        • Gather the right documents. You may need to provide a social security number, proof of income, and contact information like names and addresses.
                        • Submit the application. Submit your application per the directions by the company.

                        What do I do if I'm rejected for a credit card

                        There are times when you might be rejected for a card. This can be due tovarious reasons, and you may not always know why.

                        Here are a few common things that can cause a rejection:

                        • Too many inquiries.
                        • A high credit card balance.
                        • A credit score that's too low to meet the company’s recommended credit threshold.
                        • The length of credit history is too short.

                        First, you can request a reconsideration, where the company reviews your application again. If that doesn't help, you can take specific steps to improve your chances in the future. This could be checking your credit reports for errors, like misspelled names or fraudulent charges, and requesting them to be cleared.

                        Next, you can decrease your credit usage and pay off any outstanding debt. Lastly, consider getting a secured card to help you refine your credit, and then opt for an upgrade to an unsecured card when possible.

                        Ways you can improve your credit score

                        Here are a few ways that you can build your credit and take steps to improve it over time:

                        • Remove any errors. If there is any incorrect information on your credit report, including any charges you didn't make, work with the credit card company to correct them.
                        • Go easy on new credit inquiries. Hard inquiries can decrease your credit score. So, stay away from applying for any credit and financing.
                        • Pay down credit card debt. If you have high credit usage, you can improve your credit by paying off your balance.
                        • Pay your credit bills on time. Late bill payments can be reported to the three credit bureaus and cause your credit score to drop. Therefore, make sure you're paying your bills, including credit cards, before the deadline.

                        Be patient with these tactics, as it can take months to see a significant increase in your credit score.

                        Ultimately, credit cards help you in building credit because they allow you to show a history of credit payments and activity. Responsibly handling a credit card can help you diminish your risk to creditors and improve your credit score.

                        FAQ

                        How long does it take to build fair credit?

                        How long it takes to improve and build your credit depends on how well you manage your debt.

                        Are there credit cards for fair/average credit with Instant Approval?

                        While receiving fast approval for a fair or average credit card is possible, it will depend on how quickly you complete your application and if the credit card company has any concerns.

                        Are there any High-Limit credit cards for fair/average credit?

                        Most fair and average credit cards seem to have lower credit limits. However, the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® and Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® cards have high limits at $10,000 and $25,000, respectively.

                        What are some good credit cards for fair credit with no deposit?

                        The Capital One Quicksilver, Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®, and Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® credit cards are all viable options for people with fair credit since they offer a lot of perks, including a wide range of credit limits and cash back options.

                        Is it easy to get approved for a card with fair credit?

                        Your ability to get approved for a credit card with fair credit will depend on factors like income, credit history, and credit usage. You may also need to meet their recommended credit score standards. The better those elements are, the easier it will be to get approved.

                        What is the best balance transfer credit card for fair credit?

                        Balance transfer options are relatively sparse for people with fair credit. However, you may want to consider options like the Navy Federal Credit Union — if you've served in the military — as they don't have any balance transfer fees.
                        Hanna VolkavaHanna Volkava

                        Financial and product expert

                        hv@myfin.us