8 Credit Cards For When You Have ‘Just Average’ Credit

8 Credit Cards For When You Have ‘Just Average’ Credit

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Whether you’re establishing a credit history for the first time or rebuilding your score in the wake of financial mistakes, an average credit score does not have to be a permanent brand on your finances. In fact, one in eight consumers has a fair or average credit score

The good news? There are quality credit card options available to consumers with average credit scores. Paired with a strategic financial game plan, credit cards designed for average credit ratings can potentially help you build a reputable payment history and boost your credit score. 

Not sure where your credit score stands? Check your latest credit score for free

We’ve outlined what it means to have a fair or an average credit rating, how credit bureaus configure your credit score, and share some of the best credit card options for consumers with an average credit rating. 

What is Considered Average Credit?

What is an Average Credit Score

Credit scores range between 300-850the higher the credit score, the greater your financial credibility. A “fair” or “average” credit score falls between 580-669, with 634 being the average Transunion VantageScore®  score for Americans between the ages of 18 and 29.  

How are Credit Scores Calculated? 

Credit reporting agencies calculate your credit score based on five primary factors: 

  • Payment history 
  • Debts owed 
  • Length of credit history
  • Recent credit inquiries 
  • Types of credit used

Lenders evaluate the data in your credit file to determine how likely it is you will pay back your debts and credit obligations. While these are the five key factors used in determining a credit score, remember that lenders often look at the total sum of a credit report to understand your complete financial situation. 

Credit Cards for Fair Credit 

Credit cards for average credit offer rewards options such as cash back, travel perks, or a zero percent introductory Annual Percentage Rate (APR). 

Finding the right card and using it responsibly can help you prove to be a less risky borrower and boost your credit score. As you compare the available offers, the goal should be to find the combination that saves you the most money. 

Here are some of our top credit card picks for fair credit. 

Cards for Fixed or Low APR Rates 

Consider giving yourself a reprieve from hefty interest rates with credit cards that offer low APR at the start of account activation. 

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard is a secured card that’s slim on fancy perks. However, the regular APR is just 10.74 percent compared to an industry average of 16.46 percent, according to the St. Louis Federal Reserve

  • Annual fees: $49 annual fee plus an initial $200 deposit at the time of application 
  • Intro purpose APR: Not offered
  • Regular APR: 10.74 percent for purchases 
  • Foreign purchase transaction fee: Three percent 
  • Sign-up bonus: None 

Green Dot primor® Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card

Start building or rebuilding your credit with the Green Dot Platinum Visa® Secured Credit Card—a secured credit card funded by your initial deposit. 

  • Annual fees: $39 annual fee plus an initial $200 deposit at the time of application
  • Intro purpose APR: Not offered 
  • Regular APR: 19.99 percent 
  • Foreign purchase transaction fee: Three percent
  • Sign-up bonus: None 

Cards for Earning Cash Back When You Swipe 

Cash back is the most flexible of all credit card rewards. Instead of navigating points systems and conversions, cash back means you get real dollars that you can use for, well, anything you want. 

Discover it® Secured

Intentionally designed for building or rebuilding credit, Discover it® Secured offers one to two percent cash back on purchases, and requires a deposit of just $200. As an added perk, you’ll earn double the rewards your first year. 

  • Annual fees: No annual fee plus an initial $200 deposit at the time of application
  • Intro purpose APR: Not offered
  • Regular APR: 25.24 percent variable regular APR 
  • Foreign purchase transaction fee: None  
  • Sign-up bonus: Discover doubles the rewards you earn the first year.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® offers 1.5 percent cash back across all purchases, exceeding the average of one percent that’s typically offered with cash back rewards. Paired with a generally high approval rate for average credit consumers, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card can be a great option when used responsibly. 

  • Annual fees: $39 annual fee 
  • Intro purpose APR: Not offered 
  • Regular APR: 26.99 percent
  • Foreign purchase transaction fee: None 
  • Sign-up bonus: None 

Petal Visa Credit Card

The Petal Visa Credit Card tops the list as one of the best credit cards for fair or average credit because no credit history is necessary for approval. Petal also reports to all three major credit bureaus. There’s no annual fee, late fees, foreign transaction fees, or any-other-kind-of-fee, fee. 

  • Annual fees: No annual fee
  • Intro purpose APR: Not offered  
  • Regular APR: 15.24 percent26.24 percent variable regular APR
  • Foreign purchase transaction fee: None  
  • Cash back: Up to 1.5 percent cash back after making 12 on-time payments. One percent cash back on all purchases – right away. 

Cards for Travel 

Earn travel rewards every time you swipe your credit card. From hotel points to airline miles, reap some of the top travel rewards for average credit with these cards. 

Deserve® Classic Mastercard

Finding a travel card designed for average credit can be tricky, but the Deserve Classic Mastercard offers premium benefits like travel assistance, price protection, ID theft protection, and car collision damage waiver. Not to mention, there’s no foreign purchase transaction fees and can be used anywhere in the world Mastercard is accepted

  • Annual fees: $39 
  • Intro purpose APR: Not offered 
  • Regular APR: 24.49 percent variable APR 
  • Foreign purchase transaction fee: None 
  • Cash back: Refer a Friend and get a $30 statement credit. Refer 10 friends and get a $200 bonus for a total of $500 in statement credits

Cards for Rewards

Whether you’re an entrepreneur or a student, get the most out of your dollar with a credit card that offers rewards such as cash back, travel perks, or members-only deals. 

Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

If you’re a business owner with a fair or average credit rating, the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business offers the potential to build your credit while running your business, if used responsibly. Earn unlimited one percent cash back on every purchase for your business, with no minimum to redeem.

  • Annual fees: No annual fee  
  • Intro purpose APR: Not offered
  • Regular APR: 25.24 percent variable APR
  • Foreign purchase transaction fee: None
  • Additional Rewards and Perks: Free employee cards. Redeem cash back for any amount at any time with no expiration date for the life of the account.

ABOC Platinum Rewards Credit Card

Earn 5x rewards on up to $1500 in combined purchases each quarter in popular categories such as dining, groceries, travel, and automotive. 

  • Annual fees: No annual fee 
  • Intro purpose APR: Zero percent 
  • Regular APR: 15.15 – 25.15 percent variable APR
  • Foreign purchase transaction fee: None 
  • Sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,200 on purchases within the first 90 days from account opening 

Using Credit Credit Cards Responsibly

Credit cards for average credit are generally for people with scores in the 640 to 699 range. However, it’s essential to keep in mind that you may need approximately three years of experience using a credit card responsibly to get approved for most fair-credit credit cards.  

After approval, there are actionable steps you can take to use your credit responsibly:  

  • Pay your bills on time or early to show lenders that your payment history is clean.
  • Maintain a low credit utilization rate and debt-to-income ratio.  
  • Limit the number of applications for a new credit account; set up a reputable credit history with a healthy mix of credit accounts (e.g., mortgage, auto loan, credit card). 

While we use credit scores as a representation of the creditworthiness of a person, it is just one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for and a high credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any offer. 

About the author

Stella is a travel enthusiast and music lover. She is a Finance student and loves to blog about latest tech, business, and finance happenings.

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