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 639 range, and help you on your way to a higher FICO score.
The NFL Extra Points Credit Card: Best average credit card
Don’t be put off by the name: The NFL credit card is pretty much the best average credit card out there. It has no 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, we’ve seen anecdotally that the NFL card is easier to qualify for if you have fair credit, and its signup bonus is better as well: Earn 10,000 bonus points after $500 in purchases in the first 90 days, enough to redeem for a $100 cash back statement credit compared to Complimentary FICO® Credit Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Credit Scores from your Barclaycard online account.. Whether you’re glued to your TV every Sunday or haven’t quite figured out what a touchdown is, the NFL card is a great option for rehabbing your credit.
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 – Capital One is known for being generous to those with not-quite-good credit, for a price. For a $39 annual fee, you’ll get rewards and 0% on purchases and balance transfers until February 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.
How does the QuicksilverOne compare with the NFL card? Assuming you hold the card for two years, you’d need to spend $17,800 a year to earn more rewards with the Quicksilver than the NFL credit card. If you spend more than $17,800 a year, or around $1,500 a month, you’re better off with the QuickSilverOne; otherwise, the no-fee NFL card is more rewarding.
The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard: 2% on bonus categories
The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard for Average Credit offers 2 points per dollar on Net Everyday Purchases, which is Barclays-speak for groceries, gas and utility bills, and 1 point per dollar on everywhere else. There’s no cap on those rewards, and the card has no annual fee, putting it a notch above the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card for many people with average credit.