Credit Cards » Compare Credit Cards » Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit in 2021
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Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit in 2021

There are a couple of cards that provide cash back rewards for fair credit. Here are The Smart Investor top cards for fair credit

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Fair credit is a credit score range that falls in the 580 to 669 range on a FICO score, or 601 to 660 on a VantageScore model. This credit range is below average for most American consumers, and it tells lenders that a borrower is more likely to default on their obligations. Therefore, most borrowers in this credit score range may miss out on most credit card offers since they are considered subprime.

A fair credit score is a few points lower than a good credit score, but these two credit score groups vary considerably in terms of the borrowing opportunities available and the terms of the loan. Borrowers with good credit are considered to be less likely to default on a loan, and can therefore get approved for a credit card and get a better APR than a borrower with fair credit.

Credit cards are some of the best credit-building tools that can help you add more points to your credit score. In addition, there are a couple of cards that provide cash back and other rewards also for fair credit.

Here are The Smart Investor select's picks of top credit cards for fair credit:

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card review

On Capital One Secure Website

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards

Reward Details

Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase

Current Offer

None

Credit Rating

Fair

Annual Fee

$39

0% Intro

None

APR

26.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

This is one of the few cash back credit cards that require a fair credit. Quicksilverone Cash Rewards card earns 1.5% cashback on every dollar spent on purchases, without requiring category activations. New sign-ups also get a $200 cash offer for spending $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. This card has a $0 annual fee.  QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards card is a good choice if you are looking for a credit card for fair credit to earn cashback rewards across all purchase categories at a low annual cost.

  • APR: 26.99%
  • Annual fee: $39
  • Balance Transfer Fee: None
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%
  • Rewards Plan: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • Sign Up bonus: None
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: None
  • 1.5% Cash Back
  • Build Your Credit
  • No Rewards Limits
  • No Transfer Fees
  • No-Cost Fraud Liability
  • Annual Fee
  • Redemption Limits
  • Foreign Transaction Fee
  • High APR

Discover It Student Cash Back

Discover It Student Cash Back Card Review

On Discover Secure Website

Discover It Student Cash Back

Reward Details

1-5% cashback

Current Offer

Match Bonus for the first 12 months

Credit Rating

Fair

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

0% intro APR for six months

APR

12.99% – 21.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

Discover It Student Cash Back is a credit card designed for students alone. It is one of the best products for those in higher institutions in the US. It is ideal for clients starting their credit journey and wish to earn cashback rewards. Customers are liable to claim a  5% cashback on groceries, cafes, restaurants, gas stations, and purchases via Paypal. You can also claim this cashback on online stores like Amazon while you gain 1% cashback on every other purchase. There is a match bonus on all cash backs after your first year. The card is widely accepted across the US, and it offers a series of benefits, including good grade rewards for students with a Cgpa of 3.0 and higher. These clients are liable to claim a $20 statement credit. 

  • APR: 12.99% - 21.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: %5
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Rewards Plan: 5% cashback on bonus categories (Up to $1,500 per quarter) , 1% cashback on the rest
  • Sign Up bonus: Match Bonus for the first 12 months
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: 0% intro APR for six months
  • Introductory Rates
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • No Rewards Limits
  • Reasonable APR
  • No Annual Fee
  • Limited Use outside the US
  • No International Students
  • Need to Activate Bonus rewards categories every quarter

Petal 2 Visa

Petal 2 Visa card Review

On Petal 2 Secure Website

Petal 2 Visa

Reward Details

1.5% cash back

Current Offer

None

Credit Rating

Fair

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

None

APR

12.99% – 26.99% Variable
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

Petal 2 Visa Credit Card offers you the benefits of a rewards card, no fees attached. This card does not charge annual fees, maintenances fees, foreign transaction fees, over limit fees, late payment fees or any kind of fee. It is a great choice for people who want to build their credit up without forgoing rewards. These rewards are offered as cash backs which will increase depending on your level of financial responsibility.

While using this card does not attract any direct fees, users who have a habit of defaulting in monthly payments will not get the best value out of this card. Considering that the upper limit of the APR is high, poor account management may have you paying considerably higher than you would expect to.

  • APR: 12.99% - 26.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: $0
  • Rewards Plan: 1.5% cash back
  • Sign Up bonus: None
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: None
  • No Fees
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • Reports to all Three Major Credit Bureaus
  • No Deposit Required
  • No Balance Transfer or Cash Advance
  • No Intro APR
  • Quite High APR

Discover It Student Chrome

Discover It Student Chrome Card Review

On Discover Secure Website

Discover It Student Chrome

Reward Details

Up to 2% cashback

Current Offer

Match Bonus for the first 12 months

Credit Rating

Fair

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

6 months

APR

12.99% – 21.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

Discover it® Student chrome offers 2% cashback on restaurant and gas station purchases on up $1000 worth of purchases each quarter, and an additional 1% cashback on all other purchases.

This card also rewards you with a cashback match by doubling all the cashback you've accumulated in the first year. This means that $100 could turn to $200, which you could redeem for statement credit, gift cards, and other options. This card does not charge an annual fee, and new cardholders enjoy a 0% APR for the first 6 months.

  • APR: 12.99% - 21.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 5%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Rewards Plan: 2% cashback at gas and restaurants (up to $1,000 every quarter), 1% on groceries and other student related products
  • Sign Up bonus: Match Bonus for the first 12 months
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: 6 months
  • 0% Intro APR
  • No Annual Fee
  • Cash Back Rewards
  • No Foreign Fees
  • Not Widely Accepted Outside the US
  • Restrictions on Rewards
  • Late Payment Fee

Capital One Walmart

Walmart Credit Card review

On Capital One Secure Website

Capital One Walmart

Reward Details

1-5% cash back

Current Offer

5% cash back in Walmart stores for the first 12 months

Credit Rating

Fair

Annual Fee

None

0% Intro

None

APR

17.99% – 26.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

Capital One Walmart Credit Card  is one of the credit cards on the market that is a store card that allows borrowers who do not have perfect credit to apply and be approved. The Walmart Credit Card earns 5% cash back at Walmart.com and Walmart app. This includes orders made online and products picked up at local stores. Also, the card earns cash back on Walmart stores,restaurants & travel and gas. This must be at Walmart or Murphy USA gas stations.

The Walmart Credit Card also earns 1% on all spending at everywhere else where Mastercards accepted. Also, as part of an Introductory offer for new cardholders, you earn 5% cash back for the first 12 months when you use your card with Walmart Pay for in-store purchases, upon approval.The card has no annual fee and the fact that average credit is also accepted, it can be good for those who want to build or rebuild their credit.

  • APR: 17.99% – 26.99%
  • Annual fee: None
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Unknown
  • Rewards Plan: 5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, 2% cash back on in-store Walmart purchases and restaurant and travel purchases , 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Sign Up bonus: 5% cash back for the first 12 months when you use your card with Walmart Pay for in-store purchases, upon approval.
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: None
  • High Cash Back
  • No Annual Fee
  • Sign Up Bonus
  • In-Store Financing
  • Limited Use
  • Foreign Transaction Fee
  • High APR

Upgrade Visa Cash Rewards

upgrade Visa Credit Card Review

On Upgrade Secure Website

Upgrade Visa Cash Rewards

Reward Details

1.5% cash back on payments

Current Offer

None

Credit Rating

Fair

Annual Fee

$0

0% Intro

None

APR

8.99% – 29.99%
  • Overview
  • Card Features
  • Pros & Cons

The Upgrade Card is a good pick if you are looking for a no-annual-fee credit card with a flat-rate cashback reward. This credit card is also a good fit if you are looking to make large purchases with predictable monthly payments.  Unlike conventional credit cards which charge you daily interest for carrying a balance, this card practically gives you a personal line of credit ($500 – $25,000 or more). This will be split into equal installments which you pay every month. You may use your credit line on purchases online, at retail stores, or even transfer the funds from your card to your personal bank account at no extra cost.

A particularly attractive feature of the Upgrade Visa Card in relation to similar credit cards is the complete absence of fees, transactional or otherwise, on the card. It offers you rewards, but you should be aware that the cash backs on all your purchases with this card are only given when you make payments, not before. This is the only reward you get; so if you want intro rates or welcome bonuses, consider other alternatives.

 

  • APR: 8.99% - 29.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Balance Transfer Fee: None
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Rewards Plan: 1.5% cash back on payments
  • Sign Up bonus: None
  • 0% APR Introductory Rate period: None
  • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back
  • No Fees
  • Reports to Three Major Credit Bureaus
  • No Deposit Required
  • No Grace Period
  • Inflexible Payments
  • No Signup Bonus
  • Limited Availability

How to Use Credit Cards to Build Your Credit?

Credit cards are some of the best credit-building tools that can help you add more points to your credit score.

Here are ways you can use your credit card to build credit:

  • Pay Bills on Time

Making bill payments on time can help prove that you are responsible with debt and that you can be trusted to make loan payments on time. You can set up automatic minimum bill payments to ensure you make timely payments. One or more late payments can cause a dip in your credit score.

  • Get a Secured Credit Card

Applicants with little or no credit record are less likely to be approved for most credit cards. If lenders are unwilling to approve your credit card application, you can start by getting a secured credit card.

These credit cards require cardholders to put down a deposit, which also acts as a credit limit. Making payments on time and keeping the card open for a long time can help you establish a long credit history, and improve your credit scores.

  • Keep Credit Card Balance Low

You should maintain a low credit utilization ratio, which compares the combined credit card balances and the credit line available. Keep a credit utilization ratio of below 30% by paying off a majority of the balances or not owing any credit card debt.

This chart created with Experian data shows that those with an average to good credit score have an average credit utilization ratio of the optimum 33%. This ratio drops significantly for those with very good and excellent scores.

At the other end of the scale, the chart shows that those with poor credit scores typically have a very high credit utilization ratio, with an average of 73%. This will be a massive factor in lending decisions for those in this group.

Average Credit Utilization Ratio by Score

  • Keep old Credit Cards Open

Credit scoring companies consider the age of your credit accounts when calculating credit scores. Keeping the credit card open for long can age your credit and boost your credit scores.

  • Become an authorized user

You can give your credit scores a boost by becoming an authorized user in a friend’s credit card. The user privilege must be at the same level as the account owner to benefit from their credit reputation. The credit card account activity will appear on your credit report by virtual of being an authorized user.

What Should I Look For in a Credit Card if I Have Fair Credit?

When comparing credit cards for fair or average credit, here are things you should consider:

1. Credit card fees – If you have fair credit, you should pick the least expensive card. Compare the various cards you are interested in to know the annual fee, annual percentage rate, penalty fees, and other charges that add up to the overall cost of owning a card.

2. Annual fees – Paying an annual fee makes sense if the card earns enough rewards to pay off the annual fee. For a fair credit, you should go for a low or no-annual-fee credit card to keep fees on the lower side.

3 .Free credit score check – As you build your credit, it is important to track your progress using free credit score tools. Most credit card companies allow users to monitor their credit scores using inbuilt free credit score tools.

4. Low APR – The APR is the total cost of borrowing from a lender, and it includes the interest rate and other fees. Lender charge an APR on credit card balance. With fair credit, go for a low-APR credit card to keep costs to the minimum.

5. Introductory offer – Some credit cards for fair credit have a 0% introductory offer for 6 to 15 months. Getting a card with this feature can help you save money in interests incurred on balance transfers and large purchases.

6.Reports to credit bureaus – When comparing credit cards for fair credit, consider cards that report to at least one or all the three credit bureaus. This ensures that your account activity is recorded on your credit report so that your on-time payments and other good credit habits are considered when calculating your credit score.

How Long Does it Take to Build Good Credit?

If you are building credit from scratch, it takes at least 6 months of on-time payments for your file to become thick enough to calculate your credit score. Depending on your credit history, FICO assigns users a credit score of at least 300 to 850.

For new users, the credit score can be in the poor to fair credit score range, and it will take another 6 to 12 months to accumulate enough history to move to the next credit score category.

However, getting a good to excellent credit score takes years of good credit habits such as on-time bill payments, keeping a low credit utilization ratio, and only taking new credit cards when need arises.

If your fair credit score is in the upper limits, you can move to the good credit score range in 3 to 6 months. Maintaining good credit habits and fixing errors on your credit report can help you accumulate more points to push you into the good credit score category.

For example, if the credit report contains old debts that were paid but remain open or active debts that you did take, you can dispute these entries with the credit bureau and have the transactions removed.

How Do You Pick the Best Fair Credit Card For Your Specific Needs?

When comparing credit cards, it is important to find the best credit card that matches your specific needs. Consider the following factors:

  1. Determine your preferred features

When comparing credit card offers, pick the credit card with the features that matter most to you. If you are looking for a credit card for building credit, find a card with the lowest cost such as a low APR and no annual fee. Also, find credit cards that submit monthly credit card activity to the three credit bureaus to help you build credit.

  1. Credit limit

Know the size of the credit line that the issuer is willing to give you. A higher credit limit allows you to use the card for making purchases without worrying that you will exhaust the limit and affect your credit score.

Credit card limits are influenced by credit scores and other factors. Whether you have an excellent credit score or poor score, there is a trend for higher and higher average credit card limits.

This chart created with Experian data from 2020, highlights the significant increase in the average credit card limits in the last decade. Credit card limits have consistently increased with an overall increase of approximately 15% since 2012.

Average Credit Card Limits in he US

  1. Fees and penalties

If your credit score is below average, you want a credit card with the lowest or at least reasonable fees. Common credit card fees include interest charges, late payment fees, over-limit fees, and transaction fees on balance transfers and cash advances. If you want a balance transfer credit card, find credit cards with 0% APR for an introductory period, and low transfer fees.

What's The Best Credit Card Company?

The JD Power Study 2020 ranked American Express as the best credit card company based on a customer satisfaction survey conducted from September 2019 to June 2020. A majority of American Express customers were satisfied with the company’s response during the COVID-19 pandemic.

American Express scored highest among National Issuers with a score of 838, followed by Discover at 837 and Bank of America at 812. In the regional bank issuer’s category, Regions Bank topped the list with 816, followed by BB&T and PNC, each with a score of 815.

J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study 2020

The JD Power study received responses from 29,106 credit card customers, and it measured customer satisfaction based on 6 key factors such as interaction, communication, rewards, credit card terms, benefits and services, and key moments.

Overall, the JD Power study showed there was a decline in customer satisfaction since the pandemic started, with customers being more unsatisfied with credit card terms and communication. The decline in customer satisfaction was unique to the credit card industry, with other financial services such as retail banking and primary mortgages recording an improvement in customer satisfaction.

If you’re shopping for a credit card, you are likely to be aware of the biggest brands on the market. However, one factor you may not have considered is the number of complaints for credit card issuers.

In this chart compiled using Consumer Financial Protection Bureau data, we can see that Capital One had 11.8 complaints per billion dollars charged. This is followed by CitiBank at 10.55. At the other end of the scale, AMEX appears to have the fewest complaints at just 1.59 complaints per billion dollars.

Credit Card Issuers Complaints Per Billion Dollars Charged

Benefits and Drawbacks of Credit Cards For Average Credit 

Credit cards offer convenience and quick access to cash to pay for emergencies and large purchases. However, credit cards can be dangerous when used irresponsibly. Here are the benefits and drawbacks that you should know:

Benefits

In spite of cards for fair credit are limited in terms of rewards, there are a couple of important benefits they can provide for cardholders :

  1. Build credit

Credit cards for fair credit are an invaluable tool for establishing a solid credit history and credit score. Keeping your credit card open for a long time and making on-time payments can help you build a good credit score and increase your odds of getting a mortgage, personal loan, or even a job.

  1. Quick access to cash

Credit cards give you a major purchasing power both locally and abroad. You can use your card to pay for airfare, rideshare, hotel stays, roof replacement, groceries, and fuel, and these cards are accepted almost everywhere. It also saves you the need to carry large bundles of cash.

  1. Earn rewards

Some credit cards for fair credit allow users to earn points, miles, or cashback on their purchases. These rewards can be redeemed for cash, gift cards, statement credit, transfers to travel partners, and other redemption options.

  1. Finance large purchases

If you want to make a large purchase but you don’t have enough money to pay for it all at once, you can use a credit card to pay the purchase now and pay for it over time at a small interest.

  1. $0 fraud protection

If your card gets lost or stolen, the credit card issuer offers $0 liability protection to protect you from unauthorized credit card transactions. The issuer is responsible for any losses incurred.

Drawbacks

Credit cards for fair credit don't have many options such as cards for good and excellent credit. Here are the main drawbacks to consider:

  1. Fall into debt

Using credit cards to pay for purchases puts you at risk of overspending beyond the allowed limit. If you don’t pay the outstanding balance, the balance will keep growing every month until you don’t have control over the debts.

Your credit score can influence not only your credit card rate, but also your available credit limit. This chart using Experian data shows the average credit card debt by credit score. It shows that those with an average to good credit score have the highest amount of credit card debt.

This highlights that those with excellent credit scores are more likely to have a lower credit utilization ratio, and therefore carry less credit card debt. It also suggests that those with poor credit scores are more likely to have lower credit card limits or use alternative forms of credit.

Average Credit Card Debt by Credit Score

  1. High-interest costs

Credit cards charge high-interest costs on the outstanding balance each month. However, if you pay the balances for each month, you won’t have to deal with high interest rates.

  1. Negative impact on credit scores

Any irresponsible credit habits such as late payments, high account balances, and new credit card applications can easily damage your credit scores. When these records appear on your credit report, lenders will reject your credit card application, or offer punitive interest rates and loan terms.  

  1. Intimidating fine print

The credit card’s fine print is written in an industry jargon that may be difficult to interpret for the average credit card user. The information may be confusing to understand, and it may deter some users from signing up for a card, while others may sign up without knowing everything about the credit card.

What are the Best No Annual Fee Credit Cards for Fair credit?

Most of the cards for fair credit don't charge an annual fee. Here are our two suggestions:

  1. Capital One Platinum Credit Card

If you are looking to improve your credit at a minimal cost, this credit card is a good pick. Capital One Platinum credit card is available for borrowers with a limited credit history, and a fair credit score increases your chances of getting approved for this credit card.

You may be considered for credit line review if you use this card responsibly for at least 6 months. This card gives you the flexibility to choose the due dates so that you can schedule repayments when you have enough cash flows.

  1. Upgrade Visa Card with Cash Rewards

The Upgrade Card is a good pick if you are looking for a no-annual-fee credit card with a flat-rate cashback reward. This credit card is also a good fit if you are looking to make large purchases with predictable monthly payments.

Any outstanding balances are converted into an installment loan with equal monthly payment. The Upgrade card also earns a 1.5% fixed-rate cashback on every dollar spent on purchases, and this means you get rewarded as you build your credit.

What are the Best High Limit Cards for Fair credit?

A fair credit score gives borrowers slightly better rates than subprime, but below borrowers with good credit. Still, there are a few high limit cards for fair credit in the market. Here are high-limit credit cards to consider:

  1. Discover it® Student Cash Back

Once approved for the Discover it® Student Cash Back, you get a minimum credit line off $500, and some student cardholders have reported getting credit limits of up to $3500. This no-annual-fee card earns a 5% cashback on all purchases at different places that change every quarter.

You also get an unlimited cashback match for all the cashback you've earned your first anniversary with the card. Discover it® Student Cash Back is a good pick if you are looking to build credit at minimal cost while enjoying rich cashback rewards.

  1. US Bank Secured Visa Card

The US Bank Secured Visa Card comes with a credit limit of $300 to $5000, which is a relatively high limit for a secured credit card. However, you will need to make a security deposit that matches the credit line.

The security deposit is held in an interest-earning account at a US bank, and you will earn interest as long the credit card is open. US Bank Secured Visa Card is a good option if you are looking for a higher credit line as you build your credit.                                                                                                                                  

What are the Best Easy Credit Cards for Fair Credit?

A fair credit score limits the number of credit cards you can get, but there are credit cards with easy approval requirements. Some of these cards include:

  1. Discover It Secured

This is one of the easiest credit cards you can get approved for with fair credit. You just need to show that your current income can support the monthly repayments and that you have not been declared bankrupt in the past. You need to put down at least $200 in security deposit to be approved for the Discover It Secured credit card.

It is also one of the few secured credit cards with rewards, and it earns 2% cashback on the first $1000 spent on restaurants and gas stations every quarter, and an additional 1% on all other purchases. If you are looking for a low cost starter credit card with easy approval, Discover It Secured credit card is a good option.

  1. Capital One Platinum Rewards Visa

This $0 annual fee credit card is designed as a credit-building credit card. If you are new to credit cards or have average credit, you can easily get approved for Capital One Platinum Rewards Visa, thanks to the reasonable approval requirements.

Capital One reports your credit account activity to all three credit bureaus to help you create a record of good credit habits. Using this credit card responsibly for at least 6 months can help you get a higher credit line. Capital One Platinum Rewards Visa Credit Card makes a good choice if you are looking to build credit at a minimal cost.

What are Some Cashback Cards For Fair credit?

The following are our top picks for cashback credit cards if you have a fair or average credit:

  1. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

This is one of the few cash back credit cards that require a fair credit. Quicksilverone Cash Rewards card earns 1.5% cashback on every dollar spent on purchases, without requiring category activations.

New sign-ups also get a $200 cash offer for spending $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening. This card has a $0 annual fee.  QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards card is a good choice if you are looking for a credit card for fair credit to earn cashback rewards across all purchase categories at a low annual cost.

  1. Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card

If you are looking to earn cash backs on local purchases, consider Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card. This credit card earns 2% to 10% from select merchants in your area. Petal does not charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees for this card, and you can build your credit from fair to good at a minimal cost.

Credit cardholders are allowed a credit limit of $500 to $5000 without requiring a security deposit. If you are looking for a beginner no-annual-fee credit card with cashback rewards, Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card may be a good option for you.

What are the Best Rewards Cards for Fair Credit?

If you are looking for credit card with generous rewards, here are some options you can consider:

  1. Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card

If you are looking for a rewards credit card to help you build credit at the lowest cost, Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card is a good pick. This credit card does not charge any fees whatsoever, including annual fees and late payment fees.

You earn 1% cashback on all qualifying purchases, and the cashback rate rises to 1.5% if you make on-time payments consistently for 12 months. For local purchases, you stand to earn a cashback of 2% to 10% from select merchants.

  1. Discover it® Student Chrome

Discover it® Student Chrome offers 2% cashback on restaurant and gas station purchases on up $1000 worth of purchases each quarter, and an additional 1% cashback on all other purchases. This card also rewards you with a cashback match by doubling all the cashback you've accumulated in the first year.

This means that $100 could turn to $200, which you could redeem for statement credit, gift cards, and other options. This card does not charge an annual fee, and new cardholders enjoy a 0% APR for the first 6 months.

What are the Expected Credit Card Rates for Fair credit?

The average credit card APR for fair credit is 23.13%, according to the Credit Card Landscape Report by WalletHub. The APR represents the amount of interest that a credit card balance will accrue every month if it is not repaid. Here's another research mentioned by US News, we can see the average APR per category

credit cards Average APR per Category

Also, the average APRs for fair credit varies depending on the type of credit card, with issues charging different rates for travel cards, rewards cards, no-annual-fee cards, etc. Some other rates charged on credit cards for fair credit include:

  • Purchase APR: Credit cards charge 0% APR for an average of 10.5 months, and the APR changes to an average ongoing rate of about 18.33% when the promotional period ends.
  • Balance Transfer APR: Credit cards charge a 0% APR for an average of 12.21 months, and the rate changes to an ongoing APR of about 17.96% after the promotional period ends.
  • Cash Advance APR: Using the credit card as a debit card to withdraw funds from an ATM attracts an average interest of about 20.32%
  • Penalty APR: If you fall behind in your monthly loan payments or exceed the allowed credit limit, credit cards charge an average APR of about 25.66%.

What are the Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit with Instant approval?

Instant approval credit card issues evaluate credit card applications in real-time, often within minutes. Here are credit cards that give instant approval:

  1. Discover it® Secured

When you apply for the Discover it® Secured, Discover runs a preliminary check to determine if you are creditworthy. If your file is clear, you will get an instant response within a few minutes. Once approved, the card takes 5 to 7 days to arrive in your mail and you can start earning 5% cashback on everyday purchases on rotating categories that change every quarter, and another 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Discover also doubles all the cashback rewards earned in the first year i.e. $50 turns into $100. It has a $0 annual fee. Discover it® Secured makes a good choice for a $0 annual fee credit card with instant approval.

  1. Indigo Platinum Mastercard

The Indigo Platinum Mastercard is one of the few credit cards that approve applicants with a bankruptcy record and other less than perfect credit history. This credit card has no annual fee.

You can prequalify for the Indigo Unsecured Mastercard without affecting your credit scores. If you are looking for a credit card with no security deposit to help you rebuild your credit, consider Indigo Unsecured Mastercard.

Are there Credit Cards with Guaranteed Approval?

If your credit is in really bad shape, you are unlikely to qualify for a credit card. However, you may still apply for credit cards without a credit check that almost guarantees approval. Most credit cards with guaranteed approval require a security deposit, which is equivalent to the allowed credit line. For example, a deposit of $1000 gives you a $1000 credit limit.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is one of the few credit cards with guaranteed approval. There is no credit check when you apply for this card, and you can get approved quickly when you make a security deposit. You can deposit anywhere from $200 to $3000, and the size of the deposit is equal to your credit line.

OpenSky reports the credit card activity to credit bureaus, and a history of on-time payments can help you rebuild your credit and qualify for better credit cards.

What are the Best Cards for Fair Credit with No Deposit?

If you have fair credit and don’t want to pay a security deposit on your credit card, here are some options you can consider:

  1. Capital One Platinum Credit Card

If your top priority is building credit, Capital One Platinum can help you improve your credit without paying an annual fee. This credit card is designed for people with average credit, and it can help you get a good credit score without put down a deposit.

When using this credit card, you may qualify for a higher credit limit within 6 months of on-time payments. If you are looking for a low cost credit card with no deposit, Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a good pick.

  1. Surge Mastercard

Surge Mastercard markets itself as a credit builder tool. This credit card gives you a credit limit of $300 to $1000 without requiring a security deposit, with an automatic credit limit review in 6 months. However, it doesn't guarantee a credit limit increase.

On the downside, this card is heavy on fees, and you will be required to pay $75 to $99 in annual fees, $10 in monthly maintenance fees from the second year, and $30 for every authorized user. Surge Mastercard may be a good fit if you are looking for a high credit limit credit card for fair credit that does not require a security deposit.

Credit Card Reviews Methodology

In order to determine the best possible credit cards, we look at things like fees, interest rates and rewards. We do this with companies that are associated with us as partners as well as other offerings. From there, we make a decision about what the best card is related to different categories and needs. We focus on interest rate cost & fees, especially the cost of carrying a balance, rewards – cards accumulate rewards in different currencies—points, miles, cash back—and their values vary widely usability – cards that accept a wide range of credit profiles and offer simple solutions for things like checking your credit score or contacting. We also consider customer reviews.

We look at cards related to good or excellent credit ratings that will then provide a range of different benefits and improvements for someone who has these scores. We also look at low fees when it comes to those who have lower credit scores.