6 Best Credit Cards for Credit Scores of 650-700
Your FICO credit score is firmly in the fair-to-middling range, hovering somewhere from 650 to 700. That's not bad credit. But it's not great credit, either. The financial institutions passing out credit cards consider credit scores of 740 or higher to be much stronger FICO scores today. They reserve their absolute best credit cards for those with FICO scores of 800 or more.
This doesn't mean that you can't qualify for a solid credit card even with fair credit score. Even if your FICO credit score is only 650, you can still qualify for a credit card that charges no annual fee and comes with reasonable interest rates. And if your score is 700? You might even qualify for a card that comes with a few of the perks that you normally would expect from top-tier cards.
The best news? If you make your payments on time every month with whatever new card you choose, you'll steadily boost your credit score. Don't make any late payments, and don't run up a ton of debt that you can't pay back each month, and you'll eventually have a FICO credit score that lets you qualify for even better credit cards.
But before you get to that point, you'll need to apply for those cards designed for consumers with fair but not bad credit. Here are six of our recommendations to get you started.
1. Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard® is one of the better cards for consumers with fair credit. Your odds of being approved for it will rise if your FICO credit score is closer to 700 than 650.
On the plus side, this card comes with no annual fee and, as its name suggests, offers a rather solid rewards program. You'll get double cash-back rewards for every dollar you charge for gas, utilities and groceries. This means you'll receive two points every dollar you charge in one of these three categories. You'll get one rewards point for every dollar you charge on all other purchases. Your cash-back rewards are earned as points that you can redeem for cash back on your next statement. You can also turn these points into gift cards.
It's also one of the many credit cards that come with free FICO scores so that you can track your credit improvement.
On the negative side? The card does come with a high interest rate of 25.24% on new purchases. This makes it important to pay your entire balance each month. Otherwise, at over 25% interest, your credit-card debt could jump significantly each month.
2. Chase Freedom® Credit Card
The Chase Freedom® card is another top card for consumers with fair credit thanks to its low introductory interest rate and generous cash-back program. Because this is a stronger credit card, your FICO score will need to be closer to 700 than 650 if you expect to qualify.
But if you do qualify, you'll get an introductory interest rate of 0% for the first 15 months. After that, your rate will jump to 14.24% to 23.24%, depending on your credit score. The card also charges no annual fee and provides decent cash bonus after you use it to charge at least $500 in purchases, as long as you hit this milestone during the first three months of opening your account.
The Chase Freedom® cash-back program is particularly impressive. You'll get 1% cash back on every purchase you make. There is no limit on this. You can also earn a total of 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in select bonus categories each quarter. These categories will change, so you'll have to pay attention.
3. Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
This card is another available to those with fair credit -- you have a good chance of qualifying even if your FICO score is just 650 -- that also comes with a rewards program. You'll earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make with this card, so you won't have to worry about keeping track of different purchase categories.
This card comes with an introductory interest rate on new purchases of 0%. After the intro period ends, your interest rate on new purchases will jump to 13.24%-23.24%. That is still high, so be careful to pay off your entire balance each month.
The card also rewards good credit behavior: You'll be able to increase your credit limit after making your first five monthly payments on time.
On the down side, this card does charge an annual fee, though it is a low one at $39.
4. Discover it® Chrome for Students
If you're a college student, you might have limited or fair credit. The Discover it® Chrome for Students card will give you a chance to build your credit score while also providing cash-back rewards and extra bonuses if you can pull down good grades.
If you're a good student, the Discover it® Chrome for Students will provide you with an extra $20 cash-back bonus at the end of the year. You will need to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
The card comes with an introductory APR of 0% on new purchases for six months, before adjusting to a rate of 13.24% to 22.24%, depending on your credit score. The card comes with no annual fee.
5. Chase Slate®
Chase's Slate® card doesn't come with a rewards program. But it is a top card if you happen to have existing credit-card debt. That's because the Chase Slate® card offers a $0 introductory balance transfer fee if you transfer credit-card debt from an existing card onto your new Chase Slate® card within the first 60 days after your open your account.
The Chase Slate® card also comes with an introductory interest rate of 0% on new purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months after you open your account. After the intro period ends, your rate will rise from 13.24% to 23.24%, depending on your credit score. You also won't have to worry about an annual fee; the Chase Slate® card doesn't charge one.
6. Capital One® Platinum Credit Card
If your score is closer to 650, you might struggle to qualify for a credit card that comes with many perks. Fortunately, there are plenty of basic vanilla cards that you can use to build your credit. The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is one.
While this card offers no rewards program, it also charges no annual fee. And if you make your first five monthly payments on time, you'll gain access to a higher credit limit. Your interest rate, depending on your credit, can be as high as 24.99%, so, again, you'll need to pay your balance in full each month if you don't want your debt to grow.
While there are some quick-fire ways to boost your credit score, the goal with a basic card such as this is to make your payments on time, not charge too much debt and steadily boost your FICO score so that you can qualify for an even better card.