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Do I Need Good Credit to Get a Rewards Credit Card?

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U.S. credit card users are fortunate to enjoy a strong market full of reward cards that offer generous returns in the form of points, miles or cash back. But for many credit card users, the most attractive reward cards remain out of reach as they are offered only to those with “excellent” credit. Thankfully, there are some solid reward credit cards available to those with less-than-perfect credit. (If you’re not sure where your credit stands, you can get an idea from Credit.com’s free credit report summary.)

For Applicants With ‘Fair’ Credit

Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard. This card offers 2x rewards on all gas, grocery and utility purchases, and 1x on all other charges. Rewards are earned in the form of points that can be redeemed for cash back, statement credits or gift cards, starting at 1,000 points for $10. Points do not expire so long as the account is open and in good standing. Cardholders also receive complimentary FICO scores each month so that they can watch their credit improve as they make on-time payments. The standard interest rate is 24.99% APR and there is no annual fee for this card.

CapitalOne QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards cardThis card features 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit. Rewards earned can be redeemed for cash back at any time and in any amount. This card offers new applicants a modest line of credit, but once cardholders make their first five payments on time, they are eligible to receive a credit line increase under the card’s Credit Steps program. New cardholders also receive a 0% APR introductory financing offer until June 2016, followed by a (variable) interest rate of 22.9%. Benefits include access to Capital One’s Credit Tracker app, which offers 100% free unlimited access to your credit score, and a what-if simulator to get an idea of how your credit score would change based on different actions. There is a 20% discount on Uber rides purchased with the card through April 2016. The card has a $39 annual fee.

For Applicants with ‘Good’ Credit

Chase FreedomFreedom features 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter at select stores and categories of merchants, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. New cardholders receive $100 cash back as a sign-up bonus after spending $500 within three months of account opening. This card also offers new customers 15 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance-transfer fee. It has a variable interest rate, currently 13.99% to 22.99%. Another great feature is access to Chase’s innovative Blueprint program, which allows cardholders to save money on interest charges by paying off some purchases in full while carrying a balance on others. Blueprint also contains valuable budgeting and goal-setting tools. There is no annual fee for this card.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards cardThis card offers new applicants a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles after new cardholders spend $1,000 within the first three months of account opening. Cardholders also receive 1.25 miles per dollar spent on all purchases with no limits. There is a 0% APR introductory rate for new purchases until September 2016 and a standard rate of 11.9%  to 21.9%, depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. There is no annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees imposed on charges processed outside of the United States.

NFL Extra Points card from BarclaycardThis is the official credit card of the National Football League, and it offers new cardholders 10,000 points after they spend $500 in new purchases within three months of account opening. Cardholders earn 2x points for all NFL and team purchases including game tickets, in-stadium purchases, and at team pro shops. Points can be redeemed for a penny each as statement credits, or can be used for game tickets or exclusive experiences that vary by team. For example, rewards can include a visit to the sidelines during a game, or attending the post-game press conference. Other benefits include 15 months of interest-free financing on balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee), and six months of 0% APR promotional financing on new purchases. Interest is variable, currently 14.99% to 24.99%, depending on creditworthiness. There is no annual fee for this card.

At publishing time, the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard,  CapitalOne QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards cardChase Freedom cardCapital One VentureOne Rewards card and NFL Extra Points card from Barclaycard are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com will be compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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