The 5 best credit cards for people who don't have great credit

Jul. 27, 2015, 11:00 AM

Have you ever missed a credit card payment (or a few)? If so, you're not alone — an uneven credit history is pretty common. Fortunately, there are still a lot of great cards you can be approved for.

NextAdvisor. a consumer information site that reviews credit cards from all major issuers to help consumers save money, has previously reviewed the best cards for excellent credit — and now they've identified the best cards for those trying to improve their credit.

Whether your credit score is considered "good" (between 660-724), "fair" (around 650 or as low as 600), or even worse than that, you still have a solid lineup of cards to choose from. According to NextAdvisor, here are the seven best credit cards for those who don't have perfect credit:

Best card for rebuilding your credit: Capital One Secured MasterCard

Your credit skews toward the "bad credit" side of the scale (below 600), and you need a card that can help you get your score up. This card is designed for those who may not qualify for other credit cards because of past or current credit issues; just be sure to use the card responsibly and make regular, timed payments.

What you should know:

  • Although there are no rewards, the Capital One Secured MasterCard is a secured credit card, requiring a security deposit of your funds into an account to "secure" the card.
  • The card includes a free credit score tracker that updates you on a monthly basis.
  • The minimum deposit is either $49, $99, or $200, depending on your credit history and application information. The minimum credit line is $200, but it can go as high as $3,000.

Best card for fair credit: Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard

Why you should get it: You want a strong rewards card with no annual fee, but have "fair" credit (a credit score of around 650 or as low as 600).

What you should know:

  • Earn an unlimited 2 points on each dollar spent on gas, groceries, and utilities and one point per dollar on all other purchases.
  • Earned points can be redeemed for statement credits against purchases you've already made or for gift cards.
  • You can check your FICO Score for free each month, which will help you keep a close eye on your credit and help raise that score.

Best cash-back rewards for good credit (runner up): Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why you should

get it: It's a terrific cash-back card with with a 0% introductory APR period and strong rewards — rivaling cards exclusively offered to those with excellent credit.

What you should know:

  • It features a $100 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months.
  • You can earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase; there are no rotating categories or signups required.
  • There's a lengthy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (but there is a 3% balance-transfer fee).
  • There's no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.

Best travel card for good credit: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Why you should get it: If you travel frequently (or hope to do more of it this year), the Capital One Venture Rewards card is a smart choice, especially for international travel since there are no foreign transaction fees. You'll get amazing rewards, even compared to cards available to those with excellent credit.

What you should know:

  • You receive a 40,000-miles intro bonus (worth up to $400 in travel) after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
  • Earn two miles for every dollar you spend on all purchases (equal to 2% cash back to spend on travel).
  • Book your travel with the card and then redeem your miles for a statement credit against the travel cost. You can travel whenever you want; there are no blackout dates.
  • Earn unlimited miles that don't expire.
  • There's a $59 annual fee, but it's waived the first year. For a similar travel rewards card with no annual fee, check out the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card .

Best business card for good credit: Capital One Spark Cash for Business

Why you should get it:
This business card has strong cash-back rewards, and it's easy to add employee cards to your account card to accrue more rewards — particularly if your employees travel often for business or make large purchases for your office or business.

What you should know:

  • You'll get a $500 bonus after spending $4,500 in the first three months.
  • According to NextAdvisor, it has the highest cash-back rewards rate of any major credit card: 2% cash back on all purchases.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.
  • The $59 annual fee is waived the first year.

Learn more about which credit card is right for you.

This post is based on an article originally published on NextAdvisor.

This post is sponsored by NextAdvisor .


Category: Credit

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