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Credit Cards for Fair Credit

If you have a fair credit score, these are the best credit cards for average credit in the marketplace: they offer low or no annual fees, low balance transfer fees, cash back, airline miles, and more.

A great deal of the credit cards for fair credit below feature a 0% introductory APR or an instant approval decision, so be sure to scan the details regarding special promotions, rewards programs, annual fees, and other pertinent information before applying. Congratulations — you're on your way to improved credit.

Given the number of fair credit credit cards on the market today, average credit consumers have their pick when it comes to paying lower interest fees and earning better rewards. Some of the offers below are also designed for students with a limited history, and can be a great credit-builder for younger consumers with OK credit. 

Generally, a fair or average credit score ranges from 650-699, putting consumers precisely on the fence when it comes to receiving the best interest rates from credit companies. Credit cards for average credit help you build your credit even further by using a number of strategies and incentives to pay your bill on time each month, including rewards, cash back and lowered APR's over time.

If you have average credit that you’re hoping to build or re-establish, consider our recommendations for the best credit cards for fair credit on the market today in the helpful compare table below.

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Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® - Average Credit

Intro APR
n/a
Regular APR
24.99%* Variable
Balance Transfer
N/A
Average Savings
$163.66
Over 1 year Apply Now View Savings Info
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4.65
Expert Rating

Your Average Savings

Year One Year Two Year Three Total
Interest Savings on Balance Transfers ? $0.00 $0.00 $0.00 $0.00
* For Interest Savings on Balance Transfers calculations, we use the amount you input in your "My Credit Card Profile". For calculation purposes, please note that as of February 2010, the CARD Act requires credit card companies to use customer credit card payments to pay off the highest APR portion of their balance first, which is more favorable for the customer.
Interest Savings on Balance for New Purchases ? $90.06 $-59.88 $-59.88 $-29.70
* For Interest Savings on Balance Carried on New Purchases calculations, we use the amount you input in your "My Credit Card Profile". Please note that as of February 2010, the CARD Act requires credit card companies to use customer credit card payments to pay off the highest APR portion of their balance first, which is more favorable for the customer.
Reward Points ? $48.60 $48.60 $48.60 $145.80
This card offers 2x points per $1 spent on gas, groceries and utilities (estimated at $.02). We assume 35% of purchases made with this card are on these premium purchases, with the remaining 65% receiving the standard one point per $1 spent (estimated at $.01).
One Time Bonus ? $25.00 $0.00 $0.00 $25.00
Cardholders earn 2,500 bonus points after their first purchase, an estimated $25 value. This one-time bonus will only display in your savings calculations if the monthly purchases entered into your "My Credit Card Profile" meet this qualification.
Balance Transfer Cost ? -$0.00 -$0.00 -$0.00 -$0.00
* For Balance Transfer Cost calculations, we take the specific balance transfer fee associated with a card to determine the cost. Once this balance transfer cost is calculated, we deduct this value from the total savings amount. Please note that we only factor in this cost if a user intends to transfer a balance, as determined by selecting "Yes" under "I want to carry a balance" in your "My Credit Card Profile".
Annual Fee ? -$0.00 -$0.00 -$0.00 -$0.00
* Annual fee costs are only deducted from your total savings when a card includes an annual fee. Credit cards that waive the annual fee for the first year have also been accounted for in our calculations.
Totals $163.66 $-11.28 $-11.28 $141.10
* Credit card savings displayed are based on estimates as calculated by Creditnet.com, are not endorsed by any credit card issuer, and are for comparison purposes only. Savings vary based upon individual factors such as spending & payment habits and how long you expect to maintain the card.

Discover it® for Students

Intro APR
0%
6 months applied to Purchases
Regular APR
12.99%-21.99% Variable*
Balance Transfer
See Terms
Ongoing
Average Savings
$268.51
Over 1 year Apply Now View Savings Info

Discover it® for Students Highlights

  • Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And paying late won't increase your APR.*
  • 5% cash back at gas stations on up to $1,500 in purchases from July through September 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.*
  • Human. Talk to a real person any time with 100% U.S.-based service.
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4.85
Expert Rating

Your Average Savings

Year One Year Two Year Three Total
Interest Savings on Balance Transfers ? $35.05 $35.05 $35.05 $105.15
* For Interest Savings on Balance Transfers calculations, we use the amount you input in your "My Credit Card Profile". For calculation purposes, please note that as of February 2010, the CARD Act requires credit card companies to use customer credit card payments to pay off the highest APR portion of their balance first, which is more favorable for the customer.
Interest Savings on Balance for New Purchases ? $162.06 $84.12 $84.12 $330.30
* For Interest Savings on Balance Carried on New Purchases calculations, we use the amount you input in your "My Credit Card Profile". Please note that as of February 2010, the CARD Act requires credit card companies to use customer credit card payments to pay off the highest APR portion of their balance first, which is more favorable for the customer.
Reward Points ? $86.40 $86.40 $86.40 $259.20
This card offers 5% cash back ($.05) on up to $1,500 spent in rotating categories that change each quarter. Creditnet assumes cardholders spend 35% of their total purchase balance on these 5% cash back options. Creditnet then assumes that consumers earn 1% cash back on the remaining 65% of their monthly purchase balance.
Balance Transfer Cost ? -$15.00 -$0.00 -$0.00 -$15.00
* For Balance Transfer Cost calculations, we take the specific balance transfer fee associated with a card to determine the cost. Once this balance transfer cost is calculated, we deduct this value from the total savings amount. Please note that we only factor in this cost if a user intends to transfer a balance, as determined by selecting "Yes" under "I want to carry a balance" in your "My Credit Card Profile".
Annual Fee ? -$0.00 -$0.00 -$0.00 -$0.00
* Annual fee costs are only deducted from your total savings when a card includes an annual fee. Credit cards that waive the annual fee for the first year have also been accounted for in our calculations.
Totals $268.51 $205.57 $205.57 $679.65
* Credit card savings displayed are based on estimates as calculated by Creditnet.com, are not endorsed by any credit card issuer, and are for comparison purposes only. Savings vary based upon individual factors such as spending & payment habits and how long you expect to maintain the card.

Credit One Bank® Gas Rewards Credit Card

Intro APR
N/A
Regular APR
17.90%-23.90% (Variable)
Balance Transfer
N/A
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4.25
Expert Rating

If your FICO scores fall between 650 and 700, you're in what is known as the "Fair Credit" range. In other words, your credit scores are average and can use improvement. The best way to improve your credit score is by using credit responsibly—by paying on time and preferably in full each and every month.

First Progress Platinum Select MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

Ongoing APR
14.99%
Setup Fee
$0.00
Reports to Major Credit Bureaus?
Yes
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4.4
Expert Rating

First Progress Platinum Prestige Secured MasterCard®

Ongoing APR
11.99%
Setup Fee
$0.00
Reports to Major Credit Bureaus?
Yes
Show More Info
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4.5
Expert Rating

Fair Credit Credit Cards

For starters, "fair" is not necessarily a “dirty” word in the credit world. While there are some limitations on what types of credit cards you’re likely to get approved for, there are several credit cards on the market specifically targeted at building credit labeled in the “fair” range.

Fair credit score consumers will want to consider a few things when applying for a credit card, such as ...

  • Annual Fees

If you have fair credit, odds are you’ll have a stronger chance of being approved for a credit card that requires an annual fee. Generally, these fees are small. But in this day and age, any money saved is worthwhile, which is why we recommend cards with low or no annual fees.

That being said, if you’re against paying ANY annual fees, there are some no annual fee credit cards for fair credit consumers available. Just keep an eye out on APR variables if you plan on carrying a balance, as annual fee cards can sometimes have higher APR’s than those without annual fees. Since interest rates are likely to add up well beyond that of an annual fee, sometimes the trade-off to paying an annual fee on a fair credit credit card can be advantageous for a customer.

Speaking of carrying a balance...

  • APR and Intro Periods on Average Credit Credit Cards

Creditnet.com always recommends paying off your bill in full each month if you can. However, we realize that that’s not always realistic for all consumers, in which case we recommend applying to fair credit credit cards with a lower APR. Obviously, the lower the interest the more you can work at paying off your balance. That’s pretty simple.

In that regard, Intro periods with 0% APR are also pretty simple to understand. A number of fair credit credit cards (especially for students) offer introductory periods that do not charge interest for 6 months to a year or longer. If you think you may carry a balance on your card from time to time, consider a card with a longer introductory period and low APR so that you’re paying off more of your balance then you are in interest fees each month.

As you continue to build your credit from fair to good or even excellent, you’ll see credit card offers for YOU with lower APR’s even longer intro periods. In the meantime, the credit cards for fair credit below are perfect for consumers with credit score ranging from 550-639.

(Remember, if you’re a student be sure to check out our list of the best student credit cards on the market today. And if you’re not exactly sure what your credit score is, use one of our recommended partners to find out your credit score today!)