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4 great credit cards for fair credit

credit cards for fair credit

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Having less than excellent credit doesn’t mean you’re doomed to the bottom of the credit card barrel. There are plenty of credit cards for fair credit that offer solid rewards and perks. 

If you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit history, use our guide to find a card that fits your lifestyle and needs.

Looking for a credit card? Use our marketplace to compare credit card offers.

Here are four great credit cards for fair credit you may want to consider:

Credit CardAPRAnnual FeeRewards
Capital One Platinum Card24.99%$01% cash back
Milestone MasterCard23.9%$35 to $99None
Indigo Platinum Mastercard23.9%$0 to $99None
Credit One Bank Unsecured Bank17.24% to 25.24% variable$0 to $991% cash back

1. Capital One Platinum Card

The Capital One Platinum Card is an often-cited favorite among credit card experts. Why? It doesn’t require an annual fee and there are no fees on foreign transactions. In addition, monthly payment activity reports are provided to all three credit major credit bureaus to help you quickly build your credit.

Highlights: 

  • No annual fee
  • Capital One may give you access to a higher credit line after making five monthly payments on time
  • Get free online access to your credit score and credit report summary from Experian
  • Recieve 1% cash back on eligible purchases
  • Choose your monthly payment due date

APR and fees: 

  • APR: 24.99%
  • Annual fee: $0

The takeaway

The Capital One Platinum Card is an excellent option for those interested in building credit and earning rewards at the same time. But at 24.99%, the APR is on the high side. If you tend to carry a balance, this may not be the card for you.

2. Milestone MasterCard

The Milestone® Mastercard® is specifically built for consumers that need to build or rebuild their credit – so approval is likely with a fair credit scoreMonthly payment activity is reported regularly to the credit bureaus, which can help increase your credit score with responsible use. While there’s one main Milestone credit card, there are several versions the company issues for different situations and various wants and needs from customers.

Highlights: 

  • Quick pre-qualification with no impact on credit score
  • Available to those with fair credit, including those with previous bankruptcy
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • Card designs to fit your personality at no extra charge

APR and fees:

  • APR: 23.9%
  • Annual fee: $35 to $99

The takeaway 

If you’re looking to build or rebuild your credit with responsible card use, and need a card with an easy approval process, the Milestone MasterCard can be a good option. But it comes with a $35 to $99 annual fee, and the APR is a high 23.9%. That’s why this card serves as a great temporary card while you rack up a solid credit history. As score increases through responsible use with the Milestone, you may be able to qualify for cards with better terms and rewards.

3. Indigo Platinum MasterCard

Indigo Platinum Mastercard

If your FICO score is below 600 and you’re having trouble getting approved for other cards, the Indigo Platinum Unsecured Mastercard can be a great choice. While the card doesn’t offer any cash-back rewards, it does report your activity to all three major credit bureaus to help you establish and build a credit history, if used responsibly. You can also check to see if you’re pre-approved for this card without impacting your credit scores.

Highlights: 

  • Less than perfect credit histories can qualify, even with prior bankruptcy
  • Mobile friendly online access from anywhere
  • Fraud protection for stolen or lost cards
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.

APR and fees:

  • APR: 23.9%
  • Annual Fee: $0 to $99

The takeaway

Like the Milestone Mastercard, the Indigo Platinum Unsecured MasterCard is ideal for those mainly interested in building or rebuilding credit responsibly. It doesn’t provide rewards or many perks, but it does offer a way to report your responsible credit use to the major credit bureaus. If you’re looking for a short-term card that can help you qualify other types of cards in the future, the Indigo can be a great option.

4. Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa

Looking to earn rewards while building your credit? The Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa credit card gives card holders the opportunity to earn unlimited 1% cash back on eligible purchases, including gas, groceries and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV. This card is a fully functional, unsecured credit card — not a debit, prepaid, or secured card. There’s no need to load funds or tie up cash in deposits, and there are no out-of-pocket costs to open your account.

Highlights: 

  • Get 1% cash back on eligible purchases
  • Monthly payment activity is reported to all three major credit bureaus
  • Free online access to your credit score and credit report summary from Experian
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified in less than 60 seconds
  • Choose your monthly payment due date for added convenience

APR and fees:

  • APR: 17.24% to 25.24% variable
  • Annual fee: $0 to $99

The takeaway

The Credit One Bank Unsecured Visa is a great choice for anyone interested in building or rebuilding credit while getting a little cash back on common purchases. It has a quick approval process and it offers convenient perks, like the option to choose your monthly payment due date. But its does carry an annual fee of anywhere from $0 to $99, depending on creditworthiness.

Shopping for a credit card for fair credit

A fair credit score is generally considered to be a FICO score of between 580 and 660. And while some credit cards for fair credit do offer rewards, you may want to focus on the APR instead.

“When you’re looking for a card, I generally encourage people with fair credit to build their credit with less focus on rewards and more on interest rates,” says Jason Steele, credit card expert with Offers.com.

“Your focus should be minimizing your interest rate. There are good cards available to people with fair credit that offer decent APRs. Eventually, as you responsibly manage your credit and pay off balances in full, you can qualify for cards that offer one to 1.5% cash-back.”

Steele says the credit card industry is intensely competitive and customers are truly valuable to their business, so no matter what your credit score range, most card issuers will have a product that meets your needs.

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