The best credit cards and lowest interest rates are typically reserved for those with excellent credit scores, which begin at about 725. That said, you can still get a good deal on a credit card with a credit score in the high six hundreds.
Overview of the best credit cards for 650-699 credit score
|Credit Card||Best For|
|Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||Cash rewards|
|Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards||Credit line increases|
|Capital One Platinum Credit Card||Building credit|
|Indigo® Platinum Mastercard||Recent bankruptcy|
What we like:
1.5% cash back on all purchases
Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
No foreign transaction fees and a modest $39 annual fee
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
- Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
- Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
- Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
- $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
- No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
- Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
- Get customized alerts and manage your account with the Capital One mobile app
What we like:
1% cash back on all eligible purchases
No annual fee. Terms Apply
No security deposit required; and your credit score is not affected when you pre-qualify
- See if you Pre-Qualify in less than 60 seconds–without affecting your credit score. It's fast, easy, and secure.
- Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV. Terms apply.
- This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card–not a debit card, prepaid card, or secured credit card with deposit requirements.
- Credit One Bank evaluates every account for credit line increase opportunities. We'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line.
- Take advantage of free online access to your Experian credit score and credit report summary so you can track the key factors impacting your credit health. Terms apply.
- Zero Fraud Liability protects you if your card is ever lost or stolen. Rest easy knowing you won't be held responsible for unized charges.
- Access your account easily from your computer, smartphone, or tablet at CreditOneBank.com or the Credit One Bank Mobile App. You can make payments, see recent transactions, and update your account preferences all at the click of a button.
- Carry a card that makes you smile by choosing from over 20 unique card designs in Credit One Bank's card gallery. A fee may apply.
- See Rates & Fees
What we like:
Only average / fair / limited credit is required for approval
Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
No annual fee or foreign transaction fees
- Pay no annual fee
- Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
- Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
- Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
- Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set.
- Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
- Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Help build your credit through responsible use of a card like this
What we like:
$0 – $99 annual fee
Easy pre-qualification process
Previous bankruptcy is OK
- Pre-qualification available with no impact to your credit score
- Previous bankruptcy OK
- Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
- Free online account access (mobile friendly)
- Protection from fraud, if your card happens to be lost or stolen
- Accepted at over 35 Million Locations Worldwide!
In-depth analysis of the best credit cards for 650-699 credit score
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card – Best for cash rewards
- Annual fee: $39
- APR: 26.99% (Variable)
- Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
- Other features: $0 fraud liability, free credit score monitoring, and auto rental collision damage waiver
Why the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good option for those with average credit
The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card has a very attractive cash rewards offer for consumers with average credit. You can earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and there are no rotating spending categories requiring you to adjust your activity every quarter. The card also comes with $0 fraud liability, free credit score monitoring, and auto rental collision damage waiver. If you start with a low credit limit, you will be eligible for automatic increases after making just six on time monthly payments.
How to use the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Make your payments on time every month, and Capital One will begin reviewing your credit limit after just six months. This will not only provide you with a good credit reference, but the potential for a higher credit limit may improve your credit utilization ratio.
Why you might not want to consider the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The major drawback of cash back credit card—ironically—is that they can cause you to spend more money than you otherwise would. That can lead to not only excess spending, but also an unmanageable credit balance. See card details/apply or read our full Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card review.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards – Best for credit line increases
- Annual fee: $0 - $99
- APR: 17.99% to 23.99% Variable
- Rewards: 1% cash back on eligible purchases including gas, groceries, and services such as mobile phone, internet, cable and satellite TV. Terms apply.
- Other features: Receive regular account reviews for credit line increases and $0 fraud liability
Why the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards is a good option for those with average credit
The Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards lets you work toward building your credit score with every dollar you spend. Not only can you monitor your score for free, but they will also notify you when your credit has improved enough that you qualify for a credit line increase.
Additionally, the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards lets you earn 1% cash back when you spend on items like groceries and gas.
How to use the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards
Within seconds of applying for the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® Cash Back Rewards card, you’ll know whether your application has been approved. Once you receive your card in the mail, start spending and earning cash back.
Continue to monitor your credit score as you pay off your balance each month. You’ll find you soon start to see a difference.
Why you might not want to consider the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards
The annual fee can be up to $99 which is on the high end for a credit card, but receiving cash back puts it ahead of competing cards that charge a high annual fee.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card – Best credit card for building credit
- Annual fee: $0
- APR range: 26.99% (Variable)
- Rewards: None
- Other features: $0 fraud liability, and auto rental collision damage waiver benefits
Why the Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a good option for those with average credit
The Capital One Platinum Credit Card is a no-frills credit card for those on the lower end of the average credit score range, who are mostly interested in either rebuilding or improving their credit score. The card doesn’t offer cash back rewards or points. But it does offer $0 fraud liability, and auto rental collision damage waiver benefits. In addition, there is no annual fee for this card.
How to use the Capital One Platinum Credit Card
This is really a card designed for those with fair credit, but in the credit card universe, even a credit score in the mid-600s could be considered fair. If you’ve been unable to get a credit card elsewhere, this one is an excellent choice. As long as you pay off your balance monthly, it will be a cost-effective way to improve your credit score, particularly since there’s no annual fee.
Why you might not want to consider the Capital One Platinum Credit Card
The only reason you might avoid this card is because you qualify for a card that also includes cash back rewards or points. Otherwise it’s an excellent card to rebuild or improve your credit score. See card details/apply or read our full Capital One Platinum Credit Card review.
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard – Best credit card for recent bankruptcy
- Annual fee: $0-$99
- APR range: 24.90%
- Rewards: None
- Other features: Master RoadAssist services, Travel assistance services, Master rental insurance, Extended warranty coverage, and Price protection
Why the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard is a good option for those with average credit
The Indigo® Platinum is great for those with average credit, and even no credit at all! You won’t have to pay a downpayment, even if you have poor credit, and Indigo reports to all three credit bureaus, so you can start building your credit as soon you get your card.
Finally, those with a recent bankruptcy can also qualify for the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard.
How to use the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard
The application process for the Indigo® Platinum is quick and easy. The online application is just a few questions. If you have your personal and bank info on hand, you can qualify in just a few minutes.
As always, pay off the balance of your card in full each month, and you can quickly build credit.
Why you might not want to consider the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard
We don’t like it when low-credit credit cards have an annual fee, and this card unfortunately does, and it’s a high one, at $99.
How we came up with this list
In the list we present in this guide, we focused on cards requiring average credit, though both excellent and fair also offer possibilities. Other criteria we considered include:
- Upfront and ongoing rewards.
- Low or no annual fee.
- Competitive interest rate range.
- Offering the ability to increase your credit line as your payment history warrants.
- Other card benefits.
The cards we selected satisfied our requirements as they offer the best combination of these features.
Learn more in this article:
- What is average credit?
- How to find the best credit cards if your FICO score is 650 to 699
- The most important features of credit cards if your FICO score is between 650 and 699
- How to properly use a credit card for average credit
- Tips to improve your credit
- Alternative cards for people with credit scores between 650 and 699
- Compare more recommended credit cards
What is average credit?
Average credit actually floats somewhere in the unspecified zone between the upper reaches of “fair” and the lower end of “good” credit. In other words, between 650 and 699. When it comes to credit cards, average credit is very subjective. One credit card company might consider it 675 to 724, while another may decide it’s 640 to 679. But it’s safe to say if you fall somewhere between 650 and 699, you’ll be considered to have average credit with most banks.
What factors affect your credit score?
Your credit score is comprised of five factors: payment history, amounts owed, length of credit history, new credit, and credit mix. When you’re in the average credit score range, your credit score can be affected by any of these five factors. In fact, your payment history may not even be a major issue. Even though your payment history is flawless, your credit score can still fall below 700 if you owe too much on your credit cards, or if you have too much new credit.
How to find the best credit cards if your FICO score is 650 to 699
A FICO Score between 650 and 699 is where options do begin to open up. One type of card that is less important is a secured credit card. These are much more common and are often completely necessary when your credit score is below 650, and especially when it’s below 600. In the average credit score range, you should be able to find unsecured cards with very little effort. What you won’t find are the cards with the best terms. For example, you won’t qualify for the lowest interest rates, nor will you be eligible for the cards with the most generous rewards programs. But you can still get a card with an adequate credit limit, and at least some cash back rewards. And if you pay your balance off monthly—as we will recommend throughout this guide—the high interest rate won’t matter so much.
The most important features of credit cards if your FICO score is between 650 and 699
Shopping for credit cards in the average credit score range is highly specialized. The ability to actually get a card is less in doubt than it is for those with credit scores below 650. This is the range when you start to look for the perks that a card offers. Here are the factors we consider most important in this credit score range:
Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
In this credit score range, you start to see lower interest rates on credit cards. A card may offer 14.99% to 24.99%.
There are more credit cards available in this credit score range that have either low or no annual fee. Naturally, you want to avoid an annual fee if you can. But if you’re at the lower end of the credit score range, it may be worth it to take a card with the fee, and use the credit line to improve your score. After you do, you’ll be eligible to apply for credit cards with no annual fee.
These begin to appear in the average credit score range. You may see them show up as bonus points or cash rewards for spending X amount within the first three months. This will kickstart your rewards program. Another popular introductory offer—though not as common in this credit score range—is the 0% introductory offer. A credit card may offer this for the first 12 months or longer after your credit line is approved. It may be available for both balance transfers and purchases.
Credit card rewards
These are the ongoing rewards, like 1-1.5% cash back on standard purchases. In the second case, a credit card may offer you enhanced cash back rewards or points on certain categories. These categories usually change on a quarterly basis and can apply to gas, groceries, restaurant meals, or other spending categories.
Secured vs. unsecured cards
Credit cards can be either secured or unsecured, though unsecured is by far the most common type. If your FICO Score is 650 to 699, you will most likely get unsecured cards. But a brief discussion of secured cards is worth doing, since it may apply to a few consumers in this credit score range who are unable to get unsecured cards.
Secured cards are just what the name implies. The amount of your credit line is based on the security deposit you put up. For example, if you make the $300 deposit, you’ll have a $300 credit limit. Other than the security deposit, secured cards work just like unsecured cards. You run charges and make monthly payments. The payment history is reported to the major credit bureaus, which will impact your credit score. And even though there is a security deposit, you will still be charged interest on outstanding balances. Secured cards often come with no annual fee or a very low one. Most will also increase your credit limit based on your on-time monthly payments. And some will convert your card to unsecured after a certain amount of time.
Naturally, no security deposit is required. But the annual fee may be higher than it is for ac secured card. If your credit limit is very low, the annual fee could represent a major cost. The table below summarizes the difference between secured and unsecured credit cards:
|Secured Cards||Unsecured Cards|
|Work like regular credit cards||Yes||Yes|
|Report to all 3 credit bureaus||Yes||Yes|
|Charge annual fee||None, or very low ($35)||Yes, can be as high as $99
|Interest rate||Mid-20% range||Mid-20% range|
|Automatic credit line increases||Yes||On some only
|Convert to unsecured||Generally, yes||N/A|
How to properly use a credit card for average credit
When you’re in the average credit score range, one of your main goals with any credit card should be to help you move into the good/excellent range. That will only happen with proper use of your credit card. Good practices include:
Pay off your balance quickly and regularly
In the average credit score range, it’s still very likely you’ll pay the maximum interest rate. If that’s 24.99% this will have obvious implications if you carry a balance. The interest rate will make having the card more expensive.
Charge no more than you can easily repay when the bill comes in
In order to be able to pay your balance in full each month, you should avoid charging more than you’ll be able to repay the next month. A credit card is not a blank check. No matter what the credit limit is, you need to set your own budget for that card. If the credit limit is $2,000, but you can afford to repay only $400 the following month, then $400 needs to be your credit limit.
Rewards can lower the cost of your credit card
One of the advantages of being in the 650 to 699 credit score range is that some cards offer rewards. If a card pays 1.5% cash back, and you charge an average of $500 per month, you’ll earn $7.50 per month or $90 per year. If you don’t carry a balance—and don’t pay interest—it’ll be like earning an extra $90 per year. Or at a minimum, it will cover the annual fee, making the card essentially free to use.
Tips to improve your credit
Improving your credit score is a strategy you need to be aware of when you’re in the average credit score range. Moving your credit score to above 700 can bring you a lot of attractive credit offers. But to do that, you’ll have to successfully manage your credit card usage.
Monitor your credit score from now on
You don’t want to become obsessive about this, but you do need to have a general idea where your credit score is at any time. At a minimum, a serious negative change in your credit score can indicate either an error on your report or even fraudulent activity. Only by knowing what your credit score is on a regular basis will you be able to detect and deal with either situation.
Dispute any errors
One of the major purposes for monitoring your credit is to correct errors. If you monitor your credit on a monthly basis, you’ll detect those errors shortly after they happen. That’s important because you’ll have both better recollection of what really happened, as well as documentation. You’ll need both to correct the error. If you do detect an error, contact the creditor immediately and dispute it. You’ll have to provide written documentation of your case. If the creditor agrees that the entry is an error, have them confirm that in writing. Also, request they report the corrected information to all three credit bureaus. Wait 30 days, then check your credit again. If the information continues to appear on your credit report, mail a copy of the letter from the creditor to each of the credit bureaus, and request they correct the information.
Pay ALL your bills on-time
This should be completely obvious, but it bears repeating. A single late payment could drop your credit score 20 or 30 points. That can drop you from average to fair credit in a matter of weeks. It’s not just about repaying your creditors on time either. If you get behind with a utility company or a landlord, they may report the unpaid balance to the credit bureaus. That will also drop your credit score. This is why it’s critical to pay all bills on time, all the time.
Pay off any past due balances
If your credit report reflects any unpaid balances, pay them off. If you believe the balance to be an error, you’ll have to dispute it and provide written documentation of your claim. If you can’t, it’s best to pay it and be on your way. A paid collection or charge-off is always better for your credit score than an unpaid one.
Go slow applying for new credit
Even once you get a credit card approved, you should let plenty of time pass before applying for another. At least six months is recommended.
Alternative cards for people with credit scores between 650 and 699
Alternative cards are less of an issue in the average credit score range than they are with fair or poor. But there may be circumstances where you will want to have one or more of those alternative cards.
A debit card is a virtual necessity these days because it gives you direct access to your bank account. It’s also an excellent way to manage your finances. You can’t spend any more than you have in your account, which puts a natural limit on spending. And if nothing else, having a debit card will reduce your dependence on your credit card. That will help to avoid running up your credit card balance.
A debit card doesn’t help you build credit
As valuable as debit cards are, they don’t contain a payment feature, so they are not reported to the credit bureaus. These are strictly financial management tools and not credit builder cards.
A debit card can help you manage your finances
This is probably the most important benefit of having a debit card. If you maintain your budget primarily through your checking account, the account balance will serve as a natural limit on your debit card spending.
From a standpoint of having a credit card-like card, prepaid cards are usually not necessary if your credit score is at least 650. But they do have a purpose and may be worth having.
How do prepaid cards work?
Prepaid cards are available everywhere these days. You buy a card by adding a certain amount of money to it. The amount of money you add is your spending limit. You’ll pay a small fee for the purchase of the card. You can then use the prepaid card the same way you would a credit or debit card. You can add money to the card on an ongoing basis by recharging it, which will also require the payment of a small fee each time.
The benefits and limitations of prepaid cards
The two biggest limitations of prepaid cards are:
- They do nothing to improve your credit score
- They have to constantly be recharged
But they have one benefit that’s not available with either credit cards or debit cards. When you use a prepaid card, it leaves no record of account information. That eliminates the possibility of identity theft. They’re well-suited to making purchases online, or even in person, with vendors you don’t entirely trust. You can make your purchase, and not have to worry about leaving a paper trail behind. But the absence of a paper trail points to another disadvantage. Prepaid cards lack the type of buyer protection benefits available with debit cards and especially with credit cards.
Store charge cards
If your FICO Score is 650 to 699 you shouldn’t have too much trouble getting general credit cards. But if the credit limit on your card is on the low side, you may want to supplement it with a store card.
How store cards work
Store cards are issued by individual merchants. You may have a credit card issued by Sears, JCPenney, Macy’s, or other retailers, but they’re not credit cards in the usual sense. They can only be used to charge purchases through that merchant. You will not be able to use the card to make other purchases, like groceries and gas.
Are store cards a good idea?
Store cards can make sense if you do a lot of business with a certain merchant. But they’re subject to all the limits of general credit cards. For example, you should avoid carrying the balance, which will avoid the necessity of paying interest. That’s important because interest rates on store cards can be excessive. You should be aware that the entire purpose of store cards is to encourage you to spend with a certain merchant. That can work against your ability to avoid carrying the balance.
The advantages and disadvantages of debit, prepaid, and store cards
|Debit Cards||Prepaid Cards||Store Cards|
|Require credit approval?||Limited||No||Yes|
|Report to credit bureaus?||No||No||Yes|
|Work like credit cards?||Yes||Yes||Limited to issuing merchant only
|Help you manage your finances?||Yes||Yes||No|
|Will improve your credit score?||No||No||Possibly|
|Provide buyer protection?||Limited||No||No|
In the table below, we summarized the main information for each of the four cards we presented as the best cards if your FICO Score is between 650 and 699:
|Card/Category||Annual Fee||APR Range||Credit Line Increases?||Sign On Bonus Offer||Rewards|
|Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||$39||26.99% (Variable)||Yes, reviewed after six months||N/A||1.5% unlimited cash back all purchases|
|Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards||$0 - $99||17.99% to 23.99% Variable||Yes||N/A||1% cash back on eligible purchases|
|Capital One Platinum Credit Card||$0||26.99% (Variable)||Yes, reviewed after six months||N/A||N/A|
|Indigo® Platinum Mastercard||$0-$99||24.90%||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Compare more recommended credit card
Is your credit score not 650, 660, 670, 680, or 690? Find more top credit cards for your credit score (FICO score) range:
Note: According to our research, these credit cards offer the best chance of approval for applicants with credit scores of 650, 651, 652, 653, 654, 655, 656, 657, 658, 659, 660, 661, 662, 663, 664, 665, 666, 667, 668, 669, 670, 671, 672, 673, 674, 675, 676, 677, 678, 679, 680, 681, 682, 683, 684, 685, 686, 687, 688, 689, 690, 691, 692, 693, 694, 695, 696, 697, 698 and 699. This does not mean guaranteed approval as credit decisions take into factors other than FICO score.