NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards for Fair or Average Credit, 2015
If you have fair or average credit, you can still get great rewards and perks with your credit card. We’ll break down the best options for someone whose credit score is in the 630 to 689 range, and help you on your way to a higher FICO score.
The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card: Average credit meets rewards
The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is pretty much the most accessible average credit card – in fact, Capital One is known for being generous to those with not-quite-good credit. For a $39 annual fee, you’ll get rewards and 0% intro on purchases until March 2016 and 0% intro on balance transfers until March 2016, and then the ongoing APR of 22.9% (Variable). You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There’s no cap on rewards, either, and cash back is easy: You can get statement credit upon request and for any amount you’d like.
The Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard®: 2% on bonus categories
The Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® offers 2 points per dollar on net purchases for groceries, gas and utility bills, and 1 point per dollar on everywhere else. There’s no cap on those rewards, and the card’s annual fee is $0, putting it a notch above the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card for many people with average credit.
The NFL Extra Points Credit Card: Best sign-up bonus for average credit
Don’t be put off by the name: The NFL Extra Points Credit Card is a great credit card for average credit. It has a $0 annual fee, as well as cash-back rewards. You earn 1 point on every dollar you spend, redeemable as a 1% statement credit; you also get 2 points per $1 on NFL and team merchandise, as well as 20% off every purchase at NFLShop.com. Its major drawback is that it doesn’t give bonus rewards, whereas the Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® gives 2% rewards on groceries, gas and utilities.
However, the NFL Extra Points Credit Card does provide a signup bonus: Earn 10,000 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days, enough to redeem for a $100 cash back statement credit. So whether you’re glued to your TV every Sunday or haven’t quite figured out what a touchdown is, the NFL Extra Points Credit Card is a great option for rehabbing your credit.
How does the NFL Extra Points Credit Card compare with the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card? Assuming you hold the card for two years, you’d need to spend $17,800 a year to earn more rewards with the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card than the NFL Extra Points Credit Card (mostly because the latter carries a signup bonus). If you spend more than $17,800 a year, or around $1,500 a month, you’re better off with the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card; otherwise, the NFL Extra Points Credit Card is more rewarding.