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Best Credit Cards of May 2024 for Fair Credit

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1. Compare our recommended credit card offers for fair credit from our partners
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Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card

On WebBank's secure site
Rewards Rate
Up to 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases after making 12 on-time monthly payments, 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away, 2% - 10% cash back at select merchants
Easy Approval Process
Easily see if you're pre-approved within minutes without impacting your credit score
No Fees
No late fee, international fee, annual fee, or other suprise fees
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Check if you’re Pre-Qualified without hurting your credit score

Surge® Platinum Mastercard®

On Continental Finance's secure site
No Security Deposit Required
A true credit card with no need to put down a security deposit
Improve Your Credit
Boost your credit score with responsible use
Mastercard Network
Use your card wherever Mastercard is accepted
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Check if you’re Pre-Qualified without hurting your credit score

Reflex® Platinum Mastercard®

On Continental Finance's secure site
Increased Credit Limit
Up to $1,000 credit limit doubles up to $2,000! (Simply make your first 6 monthly minimum payments on time)
Immediate Application
All credit types welcome to apply
Build Credit
Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
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Mission Lane Visa® Credit Card

On Mission Lane's secure site
Credit Journey
Free, online credit score access for cardholders.
Higher Credit Line
Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as few as 7 months.
Regular Purchase APR
29.99 - 33.99% Variable
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Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa®

On Upgrade's secure site
Rewards Rate
Earn unlimited cash back on payments - 3% on Home, Auto and Health categories and 1% on everything else
$0 Fees
$0 annual fee and $0 activation fees. Interest rates as low as 14.99%.
Easy Online Application
See if you qualify without hurting your credit score. Applicants with 640+ FICO® scores have better chances of approval.
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Milestone® Mastercard®

On Bank of Missouri's secure site
Rewards Rate
Applying is quick and easy with our fast decision process
Fraud Protection
Fraud Protection* for stolen or lost cards
Build Credit
Build your access to credit - $700 credit limit
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Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit

These credit cards have been selected not only for their rewards or interest rate, but because they are accessible to most Americans. They are specifically designed for cardholders with fair - or average - credit scores and don’t compromise on rewarding their cardholders even if you don’t have perfect credit. Fair credit usually refers to the credit range between 580 and 669.

These cards are great options if you are new to credit or are in the process of building towards a higher credit score. Historically, rewards, high limits, and competitive interest rates were available to only people with excellent credit. Thankfully, that has changed - especially with the emergence of cash flow underwriting - which has ushered in great offers for those with less than perfect credit.

Building Credit Made Easy (and Rewarding!)

You’ll notice these cards offer competitive eye-catching rewards but there is one main benefit that you might not see initially. Opening one of these credit cards can help you build your credit score higher to unlock even more rewarding cards with lower interest rates if you use them responsibly. These cards all report to major credit bureaus automatically to take the paperwork out of improving your creditworthiness.

Some of these cards supplement or even completely make their approval decision based on alternative data such as your income, savings, and spending history instead of a traditional credit score. Using this additional data to determine creditworthiness has resulted in more Americans than ever with access to favorable credit card products.

The Difference Between Credit vs Debit Cards

If you are one of many Americans with fair credit you might be rebuilding your score or new to credit entirely. Either way, you’re likely to have used or still have a debit card. With fair credit, you can take advantage of the benefits of a credit card that are not available to transitional debit cards.

Credit cards are different from debit cards in that you do not need to have the money currently in your bank to pay for a purchase. This is because credit cards extend you a short term loan which you are supported to pay off each month. The size of the loan offered to you is called your credit limit, which ranges depending on a few factors such as your credit score and the credit card you choose to apply for. Accordingly, credit cards are useful to smooth out purchases between paydays and to demonstrate you can responsibly handle access to credit card loans.

The most popular benefit of credit cards that are not found with debit cards are the rewards programs. There are numerous credit cards for fair credit that offer rewards to cardholders on every purchase. Rewards add up quickly and are a great way to save on everyday purchases that you would make anyway. Usually you will redeem these rewards in the form of a statement credit to your account or redeemed with a retailer - like Amazon.

If you’re still not convinced to make the jump from a debit card to credit card consider that most debit cards don’t improve your credit score because you aren’t demonstrating using credit responsibly. Using a credit card and paying off your balance is a sure way to improve your credit score. Improving your score will unlock more great personal financial options available to you such as more rewards, lower interest rates, and larger credit limits.

Extra Benefits

Most of these offers come with software (or apps) that makes it easy to manage your credit card. Noteworthy features include daily transaction reports, real-time credit limit monitoring, and redeeming your rewards in the app. These portals make it easy to make payments online and even see the monthly change in your credit score. In most cases, you will be able to add your card to mobile wallets to pay for goods and services without having your physical card present. If you still prefer a physical card, you will surely receive this upon approval of your application. Common conveniences for physical cards include contactless payment and temporarily freezing your card if you misplace it.

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The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCreditCard receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCreditCard does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.
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All content is written by editorial staff or writers engaged by the site, not by marketers/sales staff. Editors responsible for producing the content are not in contact or affiliated with any advertiser and are not compensated based on success of the affiliate links. All decisions regarding recommendations are determined separately from advertising relationships. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
Approval Odds
BestCreditCard calculates your approval odds by comparing your credit profile to other BestCreditCard members who were approved for this product. These approval odds are estimates only and do not guarantee approval. Credit card issuers use a variety of different types of credit scores and criteria to make credit decisions. The TransUnion credit score we provide is based on the VantageScore 3.0 model and may not be the credit scoring model used by financial institutions presenting offers on our website.