The 5 Best Credit Cards for People With Fair/Average Credit
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It can be difficult to rebuild your credit after a financial setback — or just to develop a credit history from almost nothing. You can use a credit card to do it, but you may not qualify for one with great perks and terms if you don't have excellent credit. If you have a bad credit score, you might want to look into secured cards. However, if you have a fair/average score (around the 630-689 range) you can get a regular credit card — complete with cash back or rewards — that doesn't require such a high credit score to qualify.
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the rare credit cards available to those with average scores that also features a generous cash back program. You get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day — no need to sign up for rotating categories, and the cash back doesn't expire. Easy, right? After making your first 5 monthly payments on time, you gain access to a higher credit line. Need help monitoring your credit score? Capital One® Credit Tracker gives you 100% free access to your monthly credit score and credit tips. There is a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers until September 2016; after that, a 22.9% variable APR applies. There is a $39 annual fee.
Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
If you need to rebuild your credit score, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® can help! This card sends monthly reports to all three major credit bureaus, and active cardmembers receive complimentary FICO Scores — just opt in for online access from your Barclaycard account. As for rewards, you earn 2x points on purchases for gas, groceries, and utilities, plus 1x points on all other purchases. Points can be redeemed for rewards like statement credits and gift cards. The APR is 24.99% variable and there is no annual fee.
Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
Like the Classic Platinum card mentioned above, Capital One® Platinum Credit Card allows you to manage your credit card the way you want to, with 24/7 account access by phone, mobile app, or online. You also get to choose the due date that works for you, in the method that you prefer: check, online, or in person at a local branch. This card also comes with a free Credit Tracker to help you monitor your monthly credit score. Plus, you can get a higher credit line after you make your first 5 monthly payments on time. The APR is 24.9% and there is no annual fee.
USAA Classic American Express®
While there are no rewards, the USAA Classic American Express® card offers military benefits such as a 4% APR during deployment as well as a rebate for finance charges accrued during a qualified military campaign. Cardholders also receive American Express’ cardmember benefits like extended warranty. There is a $35 annual fee.
Even if you're in the fair/average range, you still have access to credit cards that offer decent cash back or rewards and reasonable terms. Just make sure to use them responsibly, and you'll be able to qualify for cards with even better terms and rewards in no time! (See also: How to Improve Your Credit Score)
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any bank, card issuer, airline or hotel chain.