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Credit Cards for Fair Credit

4.0 4.0 - 1,078 reviews for top rated card

You likely have fair credit if you opened your first credit card less than three years ago or you’ve made some mistakes using credit in the past. Whatever the case, you’re sure to find an offer that meets your needs among the following selection of credit cards for people with fair credit (which includes products from CardHub advertising partners).



Credit cards for fair credit not only provide convenience, but also can also help you further improve your credit standing.



Convenience comes from being able to carry less cash and make purchases that require plastic (such as car rentals and…show more

    Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card


    capital one quicksilverone cash rewards credit card
    • 0% Purchases until November 2015
    • 0% Transfers until November 2015No Transfer Fee
    • Regular Rate 22.9% (V)
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Rewards Rate 1.5% cash back
    • Rewards Bonus None
    • Minimum Credit Fair, Limited History

    Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard®


    barclaycard credit card
    • 0% Purchases Not Offered
    • 0% Transfers Not Offered
    • Regular Rate 24.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1 - 2 points/$1
    • Rewards Bonus None
    • Minimum Credit Fair

    Capital One® Platinum Credit Card


    capital one standard platinum
    • 0% Purchases Not Offered
    • 0% Transfers Not Offered
    • Regular Rate 24.9% (V)
    • Annual Fee $0 for 1st yr, $19 after
    • Rewards Rate None
    • Minimum Credit Fair, Limited History
    • Start with no annual fee for the first year; $19 after that.
    • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time.
    • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen.
    • Use online banking to access your account–even from your smartphone with our mobile app.
    • Pay by check, online, or at a local branch, all with no fee—and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
    • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • Get free access to your monthly credit score and credit tips using Capital One® Credit Tracker
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

    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)
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Rewards Rate None
    • Minimum Credit Fair, Limited History
    • Get the credit you need with a competitive rate
    • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time.
    • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen.
    • Use online banking to access your account–even from your smartphone with our mobile app.
    • Pay by check, online, or at a local branch, all with no fee—and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
    • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
    • Get free access to your credit score and learn how everyday decisions can affect your score using Capital One® Credit Tracker.
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Capital One® Classic Platinum Credit Card

    Primor® Secured Visa Gold Credit Card


    primor secured gold credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $200
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 9.99%
    • Annual Fee $49
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Fair, Limited History, Bad

    First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    first progress secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 14.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $39
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Fair, Limited History, Bad
    • Full-feature Platinum MasterCard secured credit card.
    • No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval.
    • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to help build credit.
    • Set your own credit limit, which is secured by your deposit of $300 - $2,000.
    • Deposit held at FDIC-insured bank.
    • 24/7 access to your account online.
    • The First Progress Platinum MasterCard Secured Card requires no credit history or minimum credit score for approval, but the refundable security deposit must be provided before a card can be issued. The new CARD Act regulations also require all credit card issuers to verify the identity of every applicant before approval. We can usually complete this identity verification using fast, automated methods, but it is sometimes necessary for us to contact an applicant in order to verify his or her identity. Applicants will receive their cards more quickly if they respond promptly to our call or letter relating to this verification process. Virtually every applicant who successfully provides the refundable security deposit and passes the identity verification step will be approved for the card. If you have applied for the card and have a question or want to check the status of your application, please call First Progress toll-free at (888) 403-4783.
    • Receive your card more quickly with new Expedited Processing option.
    • See All Reviews & Details About The First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

    First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    platinum secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 19.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $29
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Fair, Limited History, Bad
    • Full-feature Platinum MasterCard secured credit card.
    • No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval.
    • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to help build credit.
    • Set your own credit limit, which is secured by your deposit of $300 - $2,000.
    • Deposit held at FDIC-insured bank.
    • 24/7 access to your account online.
    • The First Progress Platinum MasterCard Secured Card requires no credit history or minimum credit score for approval, but the refundable security deposit must be provided before a card can be issued. The new CARD Act regulations also require all credit card issuers to verify the identity of every applicant before approval. We can usually complete this identity verification using fast, automated methods, but it is sometimes necessary for us to contact an applicant in order to verify his or her identity. Applicants will receive their cards more quickly if they respond promptly to our call or letter relating to this verification process. Virtually every applicant who successfully provides the refundable security deposit and passes the identity verification step will be approved for the card. If you have applied for the card and have a question or want to check the status of your application, please call First Progress toll-free at (888) 403-4783.
    • Receive your card more quickly with new Expedited Processing option.
    • See All Reviews & Details About The First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

    First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card


    first progress mastercard secured credit card
    • Secured Credit Card Min Deposit of $300
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 11.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $44
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Fair, Limited History, Bad
    • No credit history or minimum credit score required for approval.
    • Monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus to help build credit.
    • Deposit held at FDIC-insured bank.
    • Set your own credit limit, which is secured by your deposit of $300 - $2,000.
    • The First Progress Platinum MasterCard Secured Card requires no credit history or minimum credit score for approval, but the refundable security deposit must be provided before a card can be issued. The new CARD Act regulations also require all credit card issuers to verify the identity of every applicant before approval. We can usually complete this identity verification using fast, automated methods, but it is sometimes necessary for us to contact an applicant in order to verify his or her identity. Applicants will receive their cards more quickly if they respond promptly to our call or letter relating to this verification process. Virtually every applicant who successfully provides the refundable security deposit and passes the identity verification step will be approved for the card. If you have applied for the card and have a question or want to check the status of your application, please call First Progress toll-free at (888) 403-4783.
    • Receive your card more quickly with new Expedited Processing option.
    • See All Reviews & Details About The First Progress Platinum Prestige MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

    Milestone Gold MasterCard® Credit Card


    milestone credit card
    • One-Time Fees None
    • Regular Rate 23.9% (V)
    • Annual Fee $35-$99*
    • Monthly Fee None
    • Minimum Credit Good, Fair, Bad
    • 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
    • *Dependent on credit worthiness
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Milestone Gold MasterCard® Credit Card

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    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.

    -- Questions --

    COMMUNITY DISCUSSION

    Ask a question or help others find the best credit cards for fair credit by sharing some tips.

     
    Jan 11, 2015
    By:

    --Comment from Joseph Perea--

    Jan 11, 2015
    spend only what you can afford.
    Nov 27, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Stephanie Crosgrove--

    Nov 27, 2014
    I have used a credit card that requires fair credit to help raise my credit. It is what helped me buy my house. A big "thank you" to Capital One for being such a great company. I couldn't have done it without you.
    Oct 22, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from James Jasso--

    Oct 22, 2014
    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 higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time, and last is my favorite perk fraud coverage. Those are some of the reasons I like this card the only negative I could say is its a bit higher on APR, but that 's because its used to build credit. All in all I would say thanks to Capital One for making such a great credit builder and getting me on track.
    Oct 1, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from John Reed--

    Oct 1, 2014
    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!
    Jul 29, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Stephanie Collings--

    Jul 29, 2014
    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.
    Jun 9, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Sarah Oppelt--

    Jun 9, 2014
    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 I like most about the Capital One cards is that (in my experience) they raise your credit limit after 6 months of paying on time. I also like that they give you access to your credit score each month. I've also noticed that Capital One reports to all three credit bureaus, and thanks to having these cards, I've seen my credit score go up substantially.
    May 15, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Jennifer Merriman--

    May 15, 2014
    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.
    Mar 25, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Sara Woodwind--

    Mar 25, 2014
    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.
    Mar 25, 2014
    Photo of Lori B.
    Mar 25, 2014
    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.
    Mar 1, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Suzanne Cunningham--

    Mar 1, 2014
    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!
    Feb 10, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Todd Poole--

    Feb 10, 2014
    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 the past year by using the card just as I have.
    Mar 4, 2014
    Photo of Camilla D.
    Mar 4, 2014
    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 greatest. And it's a great card to have.
    Jan 30, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Roy Chen--

    Jan 30, 2014
    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.
    Jan 16, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Clay Hamilton--

    Jan 16, 2014
    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 within a couple of days of receiving it and only made minimum payments for the first few months before he stopped paying it all together; the last I knew the credit card company was garnishing his wages. So I guess any card can help you improve your credit if you're responsible when you use it.
    Feb 27, 2014
    Photo of Robert S.
    Feb 27, 2014
    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.
    Jan 8, 2014
    By:

    --Comment from Nina Araneta--

    Jan 8, 2014
    Capital One Platinum helped me reestablish my credit. When I was in the mid 20's, I run into some credit problems. I was pretty devastated because I really took care of my credit history before that. But when I lost my job, it just became harder to take care of my finances. When I regained my footing again, I applied for a Capital One Platinum card. I am very pleased with this card because it helped with my credit score going up and rebuilding my credit history pretty quickly. My credit limit went up within 9 months of continually paying my full balance on time every month. As long as you take care of this card, you will get offers for better credit cards. It's one of the best cards for those adults who have fair to little credit or for those rebuilding their history again.
    Dec 27, 2013
    By:

    --Comment from Doug Miller--

    Dec 27, 2013
    I have used the Capital One Classic Platinum Credit Card for a few years now. It does not really have an outstanding features, and the annual fee is a bit of a disappointment, but it has allowed me to help build up my credit score, which is the main reason I got the card to begin with. It requires fair credit, which is why I didn’t understand the annual fee, since that is something is normally reserved for rewards credit cards or those cards that are normally given to those with less than fair credit scores. The interest is a bit higher than where it should be, but as long as you pay it off every month, you can leverage this card to pump up your score over time.
    Dec 18, 2013
    By:

    --Comment from Rafael Maldonado--

    Dec 18, 2013
    My first credit card that I’ve ever had actually required a fair credit score. It was difficult for me to obtain because I had not yet established a credit history. I was accepted into the card program and after making all my payments on time, my limit went up and my credit score increased drastically. Applying for a card that required a fair credit score was the best way to go and if I had the choice, I would do it all over again.
    Feb 19, 2014
    Photo of Will B.
    Feb 19, 2014
    I was in a similar situation as you. I had problems trying to get a credit card, but once I was accepted into a program, they increased my spending limit and my score went up. I find that having a bit of faith in these companies helps. They told me that if I made my minimum payments and stuck with it, my credit could definitely improve, and they were absolutely right.
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