Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit of 2019

Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

If you don’t already know, your credit score impacts your financial life in a few different ways. If you’ve got a good to excellent score, for example, you’re more likely to get approved for credit. Not only that but you also may have a better shot at the best interest rates.

If you’ve got fair credit, on the other hand, you can still get approved for loans or credit cards but you might have a harder time locking in lower rates.

Keep in mind that having a credit score in a particular range is not a guarantee that you will be approved for a credit card or a loan. Credit card issuers, lenders and other financial institutions use a variety of different types of credit scores/credit scoring models and other criteria when making a decision about extending credit and the terms of the offer, so having a credit score in a certain range is not a guarantee for approval.

Finding the right credit card is a must. Luckily, you don’t have to spend hours researching different cards. We have put together this guide to help you find a credit card for fair credit that may fit your spending habits and your lifestyle. We’ve chosen these cards for these categories:

  • Best for Cash Back: Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Best for Small Business: Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business
  • Best for Students: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Continue reading to learn more about what each of these cards has to offer if you have fair credit.

 Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Spark® Classic for BusinessJourney® Student Rewards from Capital One®
Annual fee:$39$0$0
Rewards program:Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchaseEarn 1% cash back on every purchaseEarn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to increase your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
Benefits and perks:Access to higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on timeEmployee cards at no extra costAccess to higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
No foreign transaction feesNo foreign transaction feesNo foreign transaction fees
Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® appVisa® Business BenefitsMonitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app
Bonus offerNoneNoneNone
We think it's good for:Someone who wants a straightforward way to earn cash rewards on every purchaseBusiness owners who are working on building, improving their creditStudents who want to build up their credit history while earning cash rewards
We think these folks should keep looking:Someone who wants to sidestep paying an annual fee to earn cash rewardsBusiness owners who are looking for a higher rewards rate on purchasesStudents who want to earn travel rewards

Best for Cash Back: Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Annual Fee: $39

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for earning unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. If you have average, fair or limited credit you may want to consider this card.

What makes this card a standout

When you make a purchase with the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you can earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories – earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase.

Giving you even more spending power, get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time. Access CreditWise® from Capital One® for free, which allows you access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit profile, note availability will vary depending on ability to obtain your credit history from TransUnion®. Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app.

Why you may want to consider a different card

This card isn’t going to be an ideal fit for someone who wants to avoid paying an annual fee. On the bright side, the annual fee is just $39, which is generally less than what many other cash back rewards cards charge. Something else you might see as a drawback is the absence of a one-time cash bonus offer for eligible new Cardmembers who meet the spend requirements.

Best for Small Business: Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business

Annual Fee: $0

emv-spark-classic-emv-visa-flat-240x151-wwwGood credit is just as important when you have a small business to run. The Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business card can be a tool to work on building your credit with responsible use by you, while earning some cash back.

What makes this card a standout

With the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business card, you earn 1% cash back on every purchase for your business. Whether you’re buying office supplies or computer equipment, you can be rewarded for what you spend on purchases for your business. When you’re ready to redeem cash back, you can do so in any amount, there is no minimum to redeem. This card doesn’t have an annual fee and, like all Capital One® credit cards, there are no foreign transaction fees either.

A few business benefits worth mentioning are quarterly and year-end summary of your spending, employee cards at no additional cost allowing you to earn rewards on their purchases as well, and experienced small business customer service.

Why you may want to consider a different card

This card doesn’t offer an incentive up front as a one-time bonus for eligible new Cardmembers who meet the spend requirements.

Best for Students: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Annual Fee: $0

If you’re looking to establish your credit history while you’re in college you may want to consider the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®. Healthy credit is your ticket to a future car loan, home mortgage or even renting an apartment. With the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, with responsible use by you, you can use this as a tool to get your credit off on the right foot, and earn cash back rewards in the process.

What makes this card a standout

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® offers 1% cash back on all your purchases. Want some motivation to get in the habit of paying your bill on time every month? This card provides just that. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month. This card has no annual fee. There are no foreign transaction fees, which could be a plus if you plan to study abroad at some point.

View your credit profile for free with CreditWise® from Capital One® in addition to accessing financial tools and tips to help you develop a better understanding of your finances and manage your credit.

Why you may want to consider a different card

Earning 1% cash back is great, and even better if you pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month, but there are other student cards that may yield more substantial rewards. If you’re going to school away from home, a student travel rewards credit card that earns miles or points towards flights or car rentals could be more of a money-saver in the long run.

The Bottom Line

The cards included here get our vote as the best picks for individuals with fair credit. To see how your credit score measures up, take a look at your free credit report card. Then, check out Credit Sesame’s credit card marketplace to see which cards may be a good fit for your credit profile and spending habits.


Advertiser Disclosure: The credit card offers that appear on this site are from credit card companies from which this site may receive compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This site does not include all credit card companies or all available credit card offers. Credit Sesame is an independent comparison service provider. Reasonable efforts have been made to maintain accurate information throughout our website, mobile apps, and communication methods; however, all information is presented without warranty or guarantee. The editorial content on this page (including, but not limited to, Pros and Cons) is not provided by any credit card issuer. Any opinions, analysis, reviews, or recommendations expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. All images and trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

See the online provider’s application for details about terms and conditions. Offers are subject to change and the terms displayed may not be available to all consumers. Please visit the provider’s site for current information and verify all terms and conditions of any offer prior to applying.

Disclaimer: The article and information provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice.

You can trust that we maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments; however, we receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners and get approved.
Published October 7, 2016
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