If you’re new to credit or took one too many chances with your credit before, your credit health may not necessarily be bad, but it’s probably not good, either. Most likely, you might just have average credit. Based on a FICO scoring model using a 300 to 850 range, average credit would be between 580 and 669, says myFICO.com. According to Business Insider finance experts, scores that fall under “fair” are categorized as “poor.” On the other hand, scores higher than 669 are ranked as good, very good, or excellent.
When you have fair or average credit, you still have a moderate chance of approval for most types of credit cards. However, lenders will likely offer you higher rates, a lower credit limit, or less flexible payment terms. You’ll also most likely be ineligible for the best rewards or travel credit cards.
Consider checking your credit health before applying for a credit card. From now until April 2021, you can order your credit report for free at AnnualCreditReport.com. This will give you a clearer picture of your situation, so you know which cards you’re most likely to qualify for.
Business Insider examined some of the best credit cards for average credit on the market. They based their decision on the rewards and perks each card provides. However, keep in mind that paying extra for interest or late penalties will offset these cards’ benefits. When you have a credit card, make sure you pay your bill on time and in full every month, and avoid the temptation to overspend.
Best Credit Card With Zero Annual Fee
Capital One Platinum
The Capital One Platinum credit card is a no-frills card that’s easy to understand and easier to build your credit. There’s no annual fee, although you may not get approved for the highest credit limit. However, Capital One will incrementally raise your limit after paying your balance in full on time for five consecutive months.
This card doesn’t offer rewards, and other than fraud protections and free credit score access via the Capital One CreditWise program, you don’t get many benefits. Still, if you just need a credit card with no annual fee so you can build or repair your credit, the Capital One Platinum is a smart pick.
Best Cashback Credit Card
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards
Just because you have average credit doesn’t mean you should have to miss out on all the perks of a cashback credit card. With the Captial One Quicksilver One Cash Rewards credit card, you can enjoy 1.5% cash back on every dollar. This card doesn’t come with a welcome bonus for new cardholders, and you do have to pay a $39 annual fee, but there are no foreign transaction charges if you make international purchases with it.
Besides the flat cashback rewards, you can enjoy Capital One consumer protections like extended warranties, travel insurance, assistance, and free concierge services.
Best Credit Card For Students
Discover it Student Cash Back
When you’re a student, you need all the financial help you can get. The Discover it Student Cash Back card is a great way to build your credit while also earning rewards for the things you buy every day. You don’t have to pay annual or foreign transaction fees, but review the terms and conditions to check for updated charges.
Unlike the previous cards on this list, the Discover it Student Cash Back offers various benefits. For one, you can earn 5% cashback on the first $1,500 you spend in rotating categories each quarter. When you reach your limit, you can start getting an unlimited 1%. In addition, you can earn another 1% back on all other purchases. To top it off, Discover will match your cumulative rewards earned during your first year.
Besides that, you can get free access to your FICO credit score and $20 statement credit when you maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA each year. Discover will also waive your first late fee and never charges for going over your limit.
Best Credit Card For Building Credit
Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card
The Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card was designed specifically for people who want to build their credit and enjoy a few benefits in the process. There are absolutely zero penalties for late payments, foreign transactions, or even annual fees. However, be mindful that it has a regular APR of 12.99% to 26.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
This card comes with a useful mobile app that makes it easier to track your spending, pay your monthly bill, and watch your credit improve as you use it responsibly. When you first get your card, you can get 1% cash back on qualifying purchases, then 1.25% after paying your bill on time for six straight months. When you make 12 consecutive on-time payments, you’ll get 1.5% cashback. Lastly, you can qualify for up to a $10,000 credit limit, which is perfect for building your credit while maintaining a low utilization rate.
- Johnson, Holly. “Having ‘Average’ Credit Limits What Cards You Can Get Approved for, but That Doesn’t Mean You Can Earn Rewards and Cash Back.” Business Insider, Business Insider, 23 Mar. 2020, www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/best-credit-cards-average-credit-score?r=US&IR=T.