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Credit Cards for Fair Credit

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It’s likely that you have fair credit if you’ve had your own credit card for less than three years or you’ve made some mistakes using credit in the past. Whatever the case, you’re sure to find a credit card that meets your needs in the selection of credit cards for people with fair credit listed below (some of which originate from CardHub advertising partners). Credit cards for fair credit not only provide convenience, but can also help you further improve your credit. Convenience comes from being able to carry less cash and make purchases that require plastic (e.g. car…show more

    Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card


    capital one quicksilverone cash rewards credit card
    • 0% Purchases until September 2015
    • 0% Transfers until September 2015None Fee
    • Regular Rate 22.9% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Rewards Cash Back
    • Initial Bonus None
    • Earn Rate 1.5% cash back
    • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
    • No rotating categories and no sign ups needed to earn cash rewards.
    • Redeem the cash back you earn for any amount, any time.
    • Cash back doesn't expire and there’s no limit to how much you can earn

    Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® - Average Credit


    barclaycard credit card
    • 0% Purchases Not Offered
    • 0% Transfers Not Offered
    • Regular Rate 24.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Points
    • Initial Bonus None
    • Earn Rate 1 - 2 points/$1
    • Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else.
    • Use the points you earn like cash to pay for almost any purchases you've made.
    • No blackout date, no redemption fees, no limit on the points you can earn and no complicated set up.

    Capital One® Platinum Credit Card


    capital one standard platinum
    • 0% Purchases Not Offered
    • 0% Transfers Not Offered
    • Regular Rate 24.9% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site
    • Annual Fee $0 for 1st yr, $19 after
    • Rewards None

    Capital One® Classic Platinum Credit Card


    capital one classic platinum credit card
    • 0% Purchases Not Offered
    • 0% Transfers Not Offered
    • Regular Rate 20.9% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Rewards None

    Primor® Secured Visa Gold Credit Card


    primor secured visa gold card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • Annual Fee $49
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 9.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    Secured Credit Card Application from First Progress
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 14.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    Platinum Secured Credit Card from First Progress
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $29
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 19.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site

    First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    MasterCard Secured Card from FirstProgress
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • Annual Fee $44
    • Monthly Fee None
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 11.99% (V)
    Apply Now at issuer's secure site
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    We work hard to present you with the most accurate credit card information, however, this information does not originate from us and thus, we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information.

    Before you apply for a credit card we recommend that you review and verify the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card company's web site. Please let us know if you find any differences.

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    Ask our Experts
    EXPERT’S ANSWERS

    How can I build my credit with a fair credit credit card?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorTo build your credit effectively with any type of credit card, you must pay your bill on time every month and avoid using your full allotment of credit. If you do this with your fair credit credit card, you’ll be reported to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion) as having an open line of credit that is in good standing, and your credit file will continually fill up with positive information, lowering the importance of any negative information contained therein. If you don’t believe you can do this, simply open your card and lock it away in a drawer without making any purchases. Your issuer will still report positive information about you to the credit bureaus, given that you are technically being responsible with credit.

    How long until I can upgrade from a credit card for fair credit?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOCredit building is a process, and it’s easy to get frustrated, especially if your credit used to be above average. However, you shouldn’t worry if your current financial position allows you to comfortably make on-time payments on all your debt obligations and you are progressively applying and getting approved for better credit cards. It usually takes a minimum of three years of paying your bill on time and staying below your credit limits before you can reach good credit, so stay focused and you will soon see the fruits of your labor.

    How high are the limits for fair credit credit cards?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorIn short, they are low--usually somewhere between $300 and $2,000. People with fair credit lack the track record of responsible credit use for the past 3+ years that is usually needed to make credit card companies feel comfortable extending them higher credit lines. If you need a high credit limit, we suggest opening a secured credit card since the security deposit you place acts as your credit line and can be increased whenever you want (usually up to a credit line of $5,000).

    What about rewards?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOWhile some credit cards for people with fair credit do offer rewards, rewards should not be your focus when looking for a credit card for fair credit. In most cases, you’ll actually see a bigger return from focusing on finding the card with the lowest annual fee and interest rates. If your fair credit credit card happens to have some form of a rewards program, consider that a fringe benefit.

    I have fair credit; should I consider secured credit cards?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOAbsolutely, any third party that looks at your your credit report (e.g. credit card company, mortgage broker, car dealership, landlord) won’t be able to tell whether you have an unsecured credit card or a secured card. Therefore, while a fully refundable security deposit of at least $200 is required with a secured credit card, a secured card provides the same benefit as an unsecured credit card for fair credit, with the added perk of guaranteed approval. With either type of card, what really matters in terms of how efficiently you build credit is whether you pay your bill on time and how much available credit you have.

    This is where a secured credit card could actually help you. Given that your security deposit acts as your secured credit card’s credit limit, you can increase your available credit at will simply by adding to your deposit. By aggressively increasing your credit limit over time, you could also potentially build credit faster than with an unsecured card. A secured credit card’s deposit-tied limit also benefits you in that it is impossible to incur debt that you cannot afford to pay back. However, credit isn’t being extended to you, meaning you cannot purchase anything you can’t afford in cash, and this may or may not be a negative, depending on your perspective.
    COMMUNITY DISCUSSION

    Help others find the best credit cards for fair credit by sharing what your deciding factor was when choosing your card (customer service, interest rate, fees, convenience, rewards, etc.)

     
    October 22, 2014
    Photo of James J.
    By:
    So I had what can be described as average credit and I always wanted to know how to raise it but never knew how. So I was looking online and found my solution and it was in the form of Capital One Platinum Credit Card. I have had this card for over 2 years now, and let me tell you its a great way to boost your average credit as long as you follow the rules and pay on time. Some of the great things about this card besides being a credit builder is, start with no annual fee for the first year; $19 after that, get access to a more
    October 1, 2014
    Photo of John R.
    By:
    I was approved for the Chase Slate card with fair credit, and was able to transfer 1,200 dollars from another card that was accruing 23% APR. I was given 12 months to pay the balance with ZERO transfer fee (introductory rate) and ZERO APR. I was able to pay it off within the 12 months and was very happy that I saved a ton of money! My credit score went up a few points when I paid it off!
    July 29, 2014
    Photo of Stephanie C.
    By:
    I was able to get the Capital One Classic card about a year ago after my credit score improved. I love this one and got rid of my other cards because the annual fee for this one is less than half the amount that I was paying per year on each of my other card.
    June 9, 2014
    Photo of Sarah O.
    By:
    The first card that I got was the Capital One Secured card. I've had this one for a couple of years. I sort of wish that I hadn't gotten this card, because it's my oldest account so I don't want to close it, which means I have money tied up in the account now. The card I use most often is my Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. I got this for the household to charge groceries/gas/etc. We never carry a balance, but really just wanted a card that would give us the cash rewards. Although the rewards aren't super high, any little extra bit is helpful. The thing more
    May 15, 2014
    Photo of Jennifer M.
    By:
    My second credit card was the Capital One Classic Platinum Credit Card. I have since upgraded. I was young when I got this card, and didn't have much credit. This card was really great for building credit responsibly. I would engage a couple of different methods. The first was to purchase all of one item category (like groceries) on the card. I would save the money for the bill, and pay it off in full at the end of the billing cycle. Later on, I would make small purchases and carry the balance forward for a month or two at which point I would pay off the balance.
    March 25, 2014
    Photo of Sara W.
    By:
    I don't have many credit options, so I was glad that I got this card. I did have to make a deposit, but my credit line was much larger than the deposit. My credit is gradually increasing and hopefully I can be at a "good" score soon.
    March 25, 2014
    Photo of Lori B.
    Rebuilding my Credit came with a similar challenge since I filed bankruptcy 4 years ago. Capital One has given me this opportunity by offering a lower credit amount, but it is nice to have a few hundred dollars should an incident arise. I am not sure I will ever get more than credit card again, since one is enough for me to handle at this time.
    March 1, 2014
    Photo of Suzanne C.
    By:
    I have within the last year opened a Capital One Secured Card. I put a deposit of $99 (I think it was as low as $49) and was given a $500 credit line. I've had no issues with the card and when I checked my report recently it has gone up 62 points. I'm still digging out of a hole but I'm glad to have them!
    February 10, 2014
    Photo of Todd P.
    By:
    It's nice that you don't need to pay a yearly fee in the first year. After that though it jumps to $19, which while isn’t too expensive isn't free like some either. The 24.9% is really high though in any experiences I've had with credit cards to this point. I have found that I use this card when I can know that I'm going to be able to pay something off in full the very next month, so as not to get a high interest hit. While I don't like those 2 things about this card very much, it has also helped to raise my credit score by 25 over more
    March 4, 2014
    Photo of Camilla D.
    I also chose this as my first card because they didn't charge a yearly fee for the 1st year. I was just starting college and I was broke. So having to pay any fee was too much for me. And this card saved me from starvation many times, so I didn't really worry about the high interest rate. I used to just pay the minimal balance but since I started working, I always pay it in full each month. And even though my credit is much better now, I still have this card. Because they were willing to take a chance on me, even though my credit score wasn't the more
    January 30, 2014
    Photo of Roy C.
    By:
    When I was in college my first card was a gold Visa card issued by Bank of America. Over time it was upgraded to my current Balance Rewards card but the initial credit card was very helpful in building credit for someone with fair to Alt-A credit. It was a good card with no fees and reasonable APR. Most importantly, it came with a low credit limit, which is a good forcing mechanism to control my spending. The downside, though at the time it was not a priority, is the lack of rewards or cash back.
    January 16, 2014
    Photo of Clay H.
    By:
    When I was younger I was able to obtain a Capital One credit card... my credit at the time was okay, but definitely wasn't anything to get excited about. In my case, it helped me get my credit score to increase because I used it responsibly and was careful with it; I only bought things I could afford and I paid it off each month. But on the other side of the coin a friend of mine recently obtained a similar kind of card (I'm not sure what the brand is) and it wrecked the little bit of credit he had managed to build for himself. He maxed it out more
    February 27, 2014
    Photo of Robert S.
    This is pretty much my exact experience. This is also the advice I would offer to anyone currently considering a line of credit. Make sure that you only buy things you were planning to buy with cash, and pay the bill off as soon as possible, almost any other strategy will do nothing or hurt your credit.
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