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Your FICO score can range from 300 on the low end to 850 at the top. A credit score between 600-649 FICO range can make getting a good credit card a challenge. But there's still hope. Here is a list of the best credit cards for those with a 600 credit score or more.
- Best Credit Cards for a 600 Credit Score (Fair Credit)
- Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Capital One Platinum Credit Card
- Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card
- Chase Freedom Flex(SM)
- Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card
- Discover It® Secured Credit Card
- Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
- Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card
- Aspire® Cash Back Reward Card
- Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card
- Research Methodology
- How to Choose a Credit Card for Fair Credit
- What Is Considered Fair Credit?
- What You Need To Know About the Best Secured Credit Cards for Fair Credit
- How Do You Improve Your Fair Credit Score?
- Final Thoughts
The goal for everyone is to have excellent credit, but sometimes we don’t have enough credit history, or past credit mistakes are holding us back. As a result, we have fair or average credit. Unfortunately, some of the most highly-rated credit cards, especially those with exceptional rewards, are only available to those with excellent credit. The good news is that there are many credit cards for those with fair credit who want to work on improving their situation.
We’ll look at the best credit cards for fair credit while helping you figure out how to improve your credit score. Let’s get started.
Best Credit Cards for a 600 Credit Score (Fair Credit)
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One includes a quick tool where you can move a slider and see how much cash back you could earn in a year. If you spend $1,000 a month, you get cash back of roughly $180 each year. That takes care of the annual fee and puts a little extra money in your pocket.
You'll also have access to CreditWise with this card.
APR: 30.74% variable
Annual Fee: $39
Best For: Simple cash back rewards on all purchases
Read our Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Review
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
0% Intro APR: Get 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After that, your rate will be 19.99% - 29.99% variable, depending on your creditworthiness.
Annual Fee: $0
Welcome Bonus: $200 Cash Back after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
Best For: Welcome bonus and ongoing rewards
Read our Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Review
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
The card does feature a variable APR of 30.74%, making this a card you'll want only to keep until you get your credit score to the point where you can qualify for another card.
There's no opportunity to earn cash back or rewards on purchases, but it's easy to get accepted for this card even if you're still beginning your credit score-rebuilding journey.
Capital One also offers access to CreditWise, where you can track your credit score and use a simulator to see how financial actions can impact your score.
APR: 30.74% variable
Annual Fee: $0
Best For: Easy approval
Read our Capital One Platinum Credit Card Review
Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card
You will need to have a Chime checking account and a $200 qualifying direct deposit to be eligible for a Credit Builder secured card.1 Your credit limit is based on the amount you put into the Credit Builder secured account from your checking account.
Chime reports to the three main credit bureaus, and you can help increase your credit score by making on-time payments.2 Chime will always let you know how much you have available to spend, and you can keep track of your credit score with the app.
Annual Fee: $0
Best For: Avoiding fees, no interest, and choosing your own credit limit
The Chime Card is a secured credit card. As such, it does not run a credit check during the application process.
The Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by Stride Bank, N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A.
1To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits
2On-time payment history can have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.
Chase Freedom Flex(SM)
There are some other solid benefits to this card. If your credit card has gotten away from you, you can use the card's 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months if the credit limit you're approved for allows for that.
You'll also earn cash back rewards: 5% on a rotating bonus category, 5% on travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining, 3% on drugstore purchases and 1% on everything else.
0% Intro APR: 0% on purchases for 15 months; 0% on balance transfers for 15 months. After that, your rate will be 20.49%–29.24% variable, depending on creditworthiness
Annual Fee: $0
Best For: Beginners who need a jump start on their credit journey
Read our Chase Freedom Flex(SM) Review
Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card
You can be approved for a line of credit starting at $300 and going up to $5,000. You can earn a credit line increase with six months of on-time payments if you begin with a lower limit. The app also makes it easy to track the actions you need to take to earn a credit limit increase.
Be prepared to connect your bank account via Plaid to verify the income. Petal is a bit of a process, but it offers 2% – 10% cash back at select merchants. You can use the app to find merchants offering cash back deals.
Petal's website makes it easy to get more information, and the application form flowed incredibly well when I tested it out.
APR: 25.24% - 34.74% variable
Annual Fee: $0
Best For: Building credit and keeping an eye on your credit score
Read our Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® Credit Card Review
Discover It® Secured Credit Card
Putting down a security deposit to open a credit card is not ideal. However, a secured card can get you back to rebuilding credit if you have limited options.
The rewards are great. You can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, up to $1000 in purchases every quarter, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
The icing on the cake here is that you get an unlimited match of the cash back you earn at the end of your first year with no additional steps required.
Discover offers an automatic account review seven months after you open the card to see if you can convert to an unsecured card. You can get your deposit back, and it works like a standard credit card.
APR: 28.24% variable
Annual Fee: $0
Best For: Earning rewards while quickly building towards an unsecured card
Read our Discover It® Secured Credit Card Review
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®
APR: 14.99% to 29.99% variable
Annual Fee: $0
Best For: Budgeting for equal payments
Read our Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® Review
Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card
APR: 26.99 - 29.99% Variable
Annual Fee: $0 - $59
Best For: Short-term use until you can build your score to get a better credit card.
Aspire® Cash Back Reward Card
APR: 29.99% or 36% Fixed
Annual Fee: As low as $85
Best For: Those with fair credit that want an unsecured card with cash back rewards.
Fortiva® Mastercard® Credit Card
APR: 29.99% or 36% Fixed
Annual Fee: As low as $85
Best For: Those with fair credit who want an unsecured card that reports to the three major credit bureaus.
Our ratings are based on comparing credit card offers designed for those with a credit score of 600 to 649.
To create this list, we first narrowed our database of credit cards to those designed for those with fair credit. We considered traditional credit cards and secured cards. We then focused on each card's interest rates, rewards, and fees.
How to Choose a Credit Card for Fair Credit
Remember that every new credit card you apply for results in a hard inquiry, impacting your credit score. It's wise to pick a good card or two to minimize the consequences and maximize your benefits.
Also, consider these factors:
Your Credit Score: While the cards here are designed for fair credit, there's a big difference between a score of say 600 and 640. The higher your credit score, the more likely you will qualify for a card. You want to ensure that you can apply to see if you pre-qualify without hurting your credit score because the last thing you need when you have a fair credit score is anything else bringing it down. Many cards on our list allow you to prequalify without hurting your FICO score.
Fees: If your credit score has taken a hit due to financial mistakes, you’ll want to take things back to basics. This will include saving money anywhere you can, starting with the annual fee. We prefer credit cards without an annual fee. Most of the cards on our list meet this standard. The few that do charge an annual fee offer something in return, such as cash back rewards.
Rewards: Until recently, it was rare to see cards for fair to average credit offering cash back rewards. Today they are more common, particularly with new card companies such as Petal.
Credit Score Tools: If you have fair credit, your goal should be to improve your credit score, and you'll want to consider the tools some credit card issuers offer to build and monitor your score quickly. For example, Capital One offers free credit monitoring with CreditWise.
What Is Considered Fair Credit?
Since we’re on the topic of the best credit cards for fair credit, you may be wondering what even counts as a fair credit score, which is definitely a fair question (pun intended). According to Experian, a fair score is a FICO score of around 580 to 669. To fall into this category, you’ll need to have some credit history, at least some of which is good.
You might have a fair score if you make payments on time but have a high debt-to-credit ratio, for instance. Or you might go from a good to a fair score if you go more than 30 days late on a payment to a creditor. Some people are also in that category if they’ve managed their credit well but only have a short credit history.
Not sure what your credit score is? It’s a good idea to check before you apply for a credit card. Knowing your score can help you apply for cards you’re more likely to be approved for. And that keeps you from applying for too many credit cards, which can cause your score to dip more.
Plus, you might qualify for credit cards with better rewards systems if you have a good credit score in the high 600s or low 700s.
What You Need To Know About the Best Secured Credit Cards for Fair Credit
While we mostly list unsecured credit cards for fair credit, we have to address the importance of secured credit cards when building up your credit. Not everyone who applies for the best credit cards for fair credit will get approved.
A secured credit card is a good way to build your credit if you don’t have much of a credit history or if you’re looking to fix your credit after some previous mistakes. With secured credit, you make a financial deposit with the credit card company. The credit card company then holds this amount and uses the money if you miss a payment. If you make your payments on time, your deposited amount stays in your account.
The best secured credit cards will eventually convert to regular credit cards, which give you a higher limit, better credit card rewards, and more flexibility. You’ll want to look at a few different credit card options in this category.
Overall, applying for a credit card with fair credit means you should do your research. It’s best to only apply for a card if you are fairly sure you qualify. There’s always a chance that you’ll get turned down, and it’s important that you don’t get discouraged during the process.
Related: The Best Secured Credit Cards
How Do You Improve Your Fair Credit Score?
If you’re looking to improve your fair credit score, here are the tips that we recommend:
- Make your payments on time – The goal is to make your payments on time so that you can build up your credit history, which would prove to lenders that your creditworthiness has improved.
- Focus on the basics of personal finance – When it comes to money management, you must use this new credit card as a tool. Your goal is to build your credit history by making your payments on time. You want to ensure that you’re budgeting and improving your finances so that you don’t have to worry about having poor credit ever again by being in a situation where you accumulate debt that you can’t pay off promptly.
- Prepare yourself for the next step – Once you start using your new credit card to build up your fair credit, you’ll notice that your situation is improving. You want to ensure you’re ready for the next step and can handle a higher credit limit.
What is the best credit card for a 600 credit score?
While there are several good options, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is considered one of the best. It charges no annual fee, offers credit-building tools, and Capital One will consider a credit line increase in as little as six months.
What is the best credit card for a 620 credit score?
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid option, particularly when spending $2,600 or more a year on the card. It does charge an annual fee, but the 1.5% cash back rewards more than make up for it.
What is the best credit card for a 640 credit score?
For those with a credit score at the high end of fair credit, Chase Freedom Flex(SM) is an excellent option if you don't mind activating rotating categories. The card pays up to 5% cash back, charges no annual fee, and offers a signup bonus. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is another option if you don't want to fuss with rotating categories. There's no annual fee, you can earn elevated rewards on everyday purchases, and there's a signup bonus.
What is the easiest credit card to get if you have fair credit?
While all of the cards in our list are designed for fair credit, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is one of the easiest cards to get approved with fair credit based on our research of approvals and denials.
Don't let a few credit issues from the past keep you from a brighter credit future. You have what it takes to build excellent credit. We recommend holding onto these cards long enough to move to a higher credit score tier. Once you see that your score is at or just below 700, it's time to move on to credit cards for good credit.