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Best credit cards for those with fair or average credit

  • APR:23.90% (Fixed)
  • Annual Fees:$35-$99 (varies by credit level)

We care about helping You find the best credit card offer for your needs

If you have fair credit, cards with good benefits and reasonable terms are within reach, but compare carefully to find the offer that’s best for Your finances and lifestyle.

If you're a consumer with a fair (or average) credit rating who is looking for the best credit card offer that will give you greater spending flexibility and perhaps even a few perks, there are a wide variety of options available to you.

Credit card issuers are now expanding their lending criteria for all accounts, meaning that if you have average or fair credit, you likely have access to a number of accounts you might not have been able to tap before. Therefore, you might want to carefully compare credit card applications for fair credit, and see what each might mean for your financial situation. More...

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Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards
Credit One Bank® Credit Card with Gas Rewards

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Intro Purchase Apr Regular Apr Ann.Fee
N/A* 17.90% - 23.90% (Variable)* $35-$99
Type: Gas Cards, Credit Quality ...
Rank: #1 Credit Quality Fair, ...
Credit Needed:   Fair
  • Unlimited 1% cash back gas rewards
  • Rewards post to your account automatically each month
  • Get Pre-Qualified without affecting your credit score
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • Keep an eye on your credit information with free online monthly credit score tracking
  • Choose your card design from our premium gallery
  • Email or text alerts to remind you when your payment is due
CCA In-House Review & more info
Milestone® Gold MasterCard®
Milestone® Gold MasterCard®

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Intro Purchase Apr Regular Apr Ann.Fee
N/A 23.90% (Fixed) $35-$99 (varies by credit level)
Type: Credit Quality Good, Cred ...
Rank: #1 Credit Quality Good, ...
Credit Needed:   Good/Fair
  • Quick pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
  • Fast and easy instant decision
  • Choose your custom card design - Free
  • Free online account access
  • Zero Liability — you'll never be held liable for unauthorized charges made to your card
  • Accepted at over 35 Million Locations Worldwide!
  • Previous bankruptcy OK
CCA In-House Review & more info
USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa®
USAA Secured Card® Platinum Visa®

see credit card application
Intro Purchase Apr Regular Apr Ann.Fee
N/A 9.90%-19.90% (Variable) $35
Type: Secured, USAA, Credit Qua ...
Rank: #1 Secured , #1 Secured ...
Credit Needed:   Bad
  • USAA Bank products are only available to military members, veterans who have received an Honorable discharge, and their eligible family members.
  • It's a real credit card - not a prepaid or debit card, that helps you build or improve your credit score.
  • When you apply - you'll also be opening a USAA 2-year Certificate of Deposit (CD), an interest-earning deposit account that has a two-year term and a $250-minimum initial deposit.
  • Your CD is a security deposit - the money you put in upfront, from $250 to $5,000, is the card's credit limit.
  • Earn interest on your CD - your deposit is guaranteed to grow. Plus the money is yours to keep as long as you don't default on your payments.
  • Start building your credit - opening a CD lets you get a credit card even if you don't have a credit history or have bad credit.
  • Chip technology has added security when used at a chip-enabled terminal and greater acceptance worldwide.
CCA In-House Review & more info
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Is there a difference between Credit Cards for Average Credit and Credit Cards for Fair Credit?

Actually these terms are interchangeable. This a regular, ordinary credit. Normal credit.

An 'average' or 'fair' credit score ranges from 620-659. When describing the credit required for these cards, different issuers use different terminology. For example, Capital One describes the credit required as 'fair credit' while BarclayCard uses the term 'average credit'. If your credit score is in the above range, your options include both average credit applications and fair credit applications.

For any of the above account types, you should review your finances and past borrowing habits to figure out the best credit card deals for you. This might also include doing a little bit of math after reviewing a number of offers to see what type of card will work best given your unique financial situation and needs. For instance, if you tend to not carry a balance over from one month to the next, you probably will not need to worry about the interest rate very much, and might want to focus more on one with no annual fee. Similarly, if the amount of spending you do will earn you enough points, cash back or miles to overcome your interest charges and annual fees, you might want a rewards card.

Finally, it's important to remember that you should think of card offers for those with average or fair credit as a kind of stepping-stone. Your goal should be getting the best possible credit score you can, and if you manage this account correctly, your score will likely improve considerably, to the point that you might be able to qualify for more beneficial cards down the road.

What Features and terms are available in cards for Fair/Average credit?

There are a number of account types that might be available in your credit category, including:

  • Capital One credit cards
  • Low APR cards
  • No annual fee cards
  • Rewards cards

Each comes with its own benefits and drawbacks. To get the best value, look at how you will use the card and then compare cards in the fair credit category focusing on the features you need and the fees and interest rates of each card.

For more information, check out our article: How to get your best credit card? Do the math

Capital One has many of the best credit card offers for fair\average credit.

They don't pay us extra to say this.... It’s really true. Of the major Issuers, Capital One Credit Cards offer the best credit cards for average credit. From cards for those with so-so credit history to student cards to cards designed to rebuild or establish credit, Capital One offers a wide selection of products. More so than any other major issuer, they have products for consumers across the credit spectrum.

Discover Card also has a number of good offers targeted to consumers with average credit. Finally, smaller issuers like Barclaycard also tend to position credit card offers for fair or average credit.

Low APR cards

A low APR credit card will typically allow you to borrow and carry a balance without paying sizable interest charges for doing so. Sometimes, this is the result of an introductory rate that goes away after a certain period of time - which can be anything from six to 18 months - and in other cases, the low APR is ongoing for the life of the account. The drawback of these, though, is that cards with low introductory rates typically carry higher rates when the first period expires, and those with low ongoing rates typically carry annual fees that might make the account more troublesome.

Low APR cards do exist in the fair/average credit category. One way to find them is to start on the Low APR page, and then scan for ‘fair credit’ or ‘average credit’ in the credit required field.

No annual fee cards

This type of card can be another great way to save money, as it will allow you to control an account without paying for the privilege of doing so every year. No annual fee cards are usually ideal for use in emergencies, as you can put them away in a drawer and not worry about getting a bill for them until you use them. However, these cards often carry higher interest rates than those with annual fees.

Rewards cards

Earning cash back, points or miles for every purchase you make can be a great way to save money. However, in many cases, these rewards credit cards carry higher interest rates and annual fees than accounts with fewer benefits, and these can cancel out the savings you enjoy from your rewards program.

Balance Transfer cards

Unfortunately, balance transfer cards are available only to those with excellent credit, so this is not generally promising if you need to apply for a credit card application with fair credit.

Compare Cards First - Apply Second

This might sound difficult or confusing, but to get your best credit card deal, you’ll need to make a point-by-point comparison of several appropriate offers before you apply for a credit card online.

Consider using the Search Engine or credit card comparison matrix (found on the home page). These tools are designed to make finding and comparing Your best credit card offers easier.

So compare first so you only have to complete one fair credit card application that best meets your specific needs.

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