Best Rewards Cards for Average Credit

It’s great to hear about all the rewards you can earn (free hotel stays, award airline tickets,  cash back) using certain credit cards for your purchases but the reality is most of the top rewards cards require very good to excellent credit.  So what does this mean for the person with average (or even fair) credit who wants a credit card that offers real rewards and other perks?

We’ve researched hundreds of cards and come up with the following ones which are well-suited to people who have FICO credit scores in the 630-689 range.  So whether you’re just starting out in the credit card world or working to get your credit back on track, these cards may offer a good solution when you find yourself wanting a decent rewards card but only have average credit.

1)  Chase Slate 

chase_slateWhile Chase Slate does not offer rewards (miles, points or cashback) on purchases, it does have one of the best Balance Transfer offers currently available on the market.  For people who want to transfer an existing high-interest credit card balance to a new card – Chase Slate delivers.  Note:  This offer is for new account holders only.

Here are the highlights:

  • Intro Balance Transfer Offer – Pay no balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days that your account is open. After this time, the standard fee will be 3% of the total amount of the transfer or $5 (whichever is greater).
  • Low Introductory APR – 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles of your account. Once this promotional period expires, the variable APR will be 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99% based on your creditworthiness at the time of approval.
  • No Penalty APR – Making a late payment will not raise your APR to a typically high default rate (generally around 29%).
  • Free Access to FICO Score – Receive your monthly FICO score online complete with a summary of your credit report information.

Chase Slate has no annual fee.

2)  Barclay Rewards MasterCard

barclay_rewards_mastercardThe Barclay Rewards MasterCard offers members unlimited cash back rewards with no rotating categories or spending limits.  If a large portion of your monthly budget goes towards gas, groceries and utilities, this card is definitely worth considering.  It currently does not offer either a signup bonus or an introductory APR to new account holders.

Here are the main features:

  • 2X cash back rewards on gas, groceries and utilities.
  • 1X cash back rewards on all other purchases.
  • Cash back rewards are earned as points.
  • Points can be redeemed as a cash back statement credit or gift cards.
  • Point redemption starts at 1,000 points for $10.
  • Reward points do not expire as long as your account remains open, active and in good standing.
  • EMV chip technology for enhanced security.
  • Complimentary FICO credit score access.
  • Credit line increase review (after five consecutive on-time payments – increase not guaranteed).

This card charges a high variable APR on both purchases and balance transfers – 25.24%.  If you frequently carry a balance on your account, this card may not be the best choice.  But for overall cash back rewards, the Barclay Rewards MasterCard delivers solid value on everyday purchases.

There is no annual fee associated with the card.

3)  Capital One QuicksilverOne

capitalone_quicksilveroneThe Capital One QuicksilverOne allows account holders to earn cash back on every purchase, all the time.  There is no limit on how much you can earn plus you can redeem your cash back for any amount at any time.  This card keeps it simple – no rotating categories to keep up with and as long as your account remains open and in good standing, rewards never expire.

Here are the details:

  • New members only: 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers through your 09/2016 billing cycle.
  • After promotional APR expires, variable APR of 23.24% will be applied to purchases and balance transfers.
  • 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day.
  • No spending caps.
  • No changing categories.
  • Rewards don’t expire – plus they can be redeemed for any amount whenever you choose.
  • Minimum initial credit line of $300.
  • Access to a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time.

Unlike many other rewards credit cards, the Capital One QuicksilverOne MasterCard charges no foreign transaction fees.  Plus, through April 2016, members get a 20% credit statement every time you use your card to ride with Uber.

This card has an annual fee of $39 which is not waived for the first year.

4)  TD Cash Rewards

td_cash_rewardsThe TD Cash Rewards Visa is a rewards credit which allows members to earn cash back on everyday purchases (with an increased rate for dining transactions).  New members can take advantage of a low introductory APR on balance transfers as well as a signup bonus (online exclusive).

Note:  At the present time, the TD Cash Rewards card is only available in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington, DC.

Here are the specifics:

  • New members only – Earn $200 cash back when you spend at least $1,500 on net purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account. Important:  This is an exclusive online offer which expires February 29, 2016.
  • New members only – Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers during the first 12 billing cycles of your account. (Minimum balance transfer request is $250.)  A transfer fee of 4% of the total amount of the transfer or $10 (whichever is greater) is applied to all balance transfers which post to your account.
  • Variable APR of 13.24%, 18.24% or 23.24% on purchases based on your creditworthiness at the time of approval. The same rate will apply to balance transfers once the promotional time period ends.
  • 2% cash back on all dining transactions, including fast food establishments.
  • 1% cash back on all other transactions.
  • Rewards are not capped.
  • Rewards do not expire as long as your account remains open, active and in good standing.
  • Redeem cash back for statement credits, electronics, travel rewards and more starting at $25.
  • Minimum credit line of $500.

The TD Cash Rewards card charges no foreign transaction fees.

There is no annual fee for this card.