10 Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit with High Limits

10 Best Credit Cards for Fair Credit with High Limits

credit card advice

Ray FitzGerald
By: Ray FitzGerald
Posted: November 20, 2017
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Site may be compensated through the issuer affiliate programs.

I spent the first hour of a recent trip in a rental car line. While a man nearby taught me a few new interesting words, the customer at the counter struggled to complete a reservation she made months before.

Most companies place credit card holds during a rental period. The security measure is released after the vehicle returns. This lady’s hold was $750, but the limit on her credit card was $500. She offered cash or her debit card, but the clerk couldn’t accept it. She called the card issuer, but her limit couldn’t increase because her account was too new. Eventually, she left without transportation for her trip.

Too often, consumers are locked out of purchases because of low credit limits. In an age where plastic payments are the norm, shouldn’t your credit card be as flexible as you are?

Highest Overall | Rewards | No Annual Fee | Business | Student

Best “High-Limit” Credit Card for Fair Credit

The definition of Fair credit varies depending on the credit scoring agency. In most cases, scores in the 600s will fall into the Fair category. Those scores should open borrowers to rates slightly better than subprime, but still a step below consumers with Good credit.

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a best of both worlds option because it allows higher potential limits (reportedly up to $5,000) with the ability to eventually upgrade to the regular Quicksilver® Cash Rewards card that sports no annual fee and higher potential limits. And unlimited 1.5% cash back rewards push this card to the front of the fair-credit pack.

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your QuicksilverOne card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited

Initial credit limits vary depending on creditworthiness, but Capital One® reviews all accounts after the first five months of membership. With a clean payment history in that time, limits are typically raised, and continue to increase every six months if you have no late payments or your credit score doesn’t decrease from outside factors.

Best “Rewards” Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Rewards cards are all the rage among consumers who want to get the most bang for their buck. Recent surveys show as many as 86% of Americans have a rewards card in their wallet. Those numbers seem to increase each quarter, as issuers challenge each other to increase perks. Benefits are no longer reserved solely for applicants with excellent credit.

Issuers like Credit One Bank carved a niche in the rewards market with unsecured options for consumers rebuilding their credit history. These cards are far superior to the average subprime card that offers higher rates and no rewards. Reviews show Credit One cardholders with Fair credit start with a limit between $500 and $750, but see an increase after regular payments.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your QuicksilverOne card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited
Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
3.7

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • Receive 1% cash back on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment date. Terms apply.
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Zero fraud liability protects you from unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit with free online access to your credit score
  • Show off your style with a premium card design, a fee may apply
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Bad Credit
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Platinum Visa® Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
3.7

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • Credit One Bank automatically monitors every account for credit line increase opportunities each month. We'll let you know as soon as you're eligible for a higher credit line. A fee may apply.
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score. Find the card that's right for you in less than 60 seconds.
  • Eligible purchases will automatically get you 1% cash back, terms apply.
  • This is a fully functional, unsecured credit card—not a debit, prepaid, or secured card. No need to load funds or tie up cash in deposits. There are no out-of-pocket costs to open your account.
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Email and text alerts remind you when your bill is due, your payment posts, or your available credit is running low
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Poor

Despite the popularity of rewards cards, 31% of cardholders don’t redeem the rewards they earn. Those numbers are alarming when you consider that many of these cards charge an annual fee for access to the benefits. It’s like paying for your groceries and leaving them at the register.

Best “No Annual Fee” Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Rewards are great if you make regular charges to your account and pay them off that month. Your day-to-day spending can earn a small stockpile of savings that builds over time — and, hopefully, negates any annual fee. If you’re the frugal type and don’t use your card outside of emergencies, you’re better off skipping the rewards and going with a card that doesn’t charge you simply to own it.

Annual fees are an annoying part of being a cardholder. It’s hard to remember each year when they’re due, and an unexpected $75 charge can dampen your plans for the weekend really fast. Our expert-rated picks below won’t charge you an annual fee for the pleasure of being a cardholder.

Fingerhut Credit Account Review

at Fingerhut'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Holiday gifts they'll like, payments you'll love! Use your line of credit to shop over 550,000 items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Take advantage of low monthly payments if you apply and are accepted for a Fingerhut Credit Account issued by WebBank, who determines eligibility and qualifications for the terms of credit
  • Fast, easy online application process and a quick decision
  • Not an access card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
See Issuer Website
$0
Poor Credit

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
3.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • 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
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

Through the Fingerhut Fresh Start program, consumers that typically wouldn’t qualify have the ability to earn a line of credit through the company with no annual fee and regular credit limit increases. While many fair-credit consumers won’t need this program, it’s a handy offering for anyone teetering on the fine line between Fair credit and Poor credit.

Reviews from Capital One® Platinum cardholders report multiple credit limit increases — some by as much as $1,000 at a time — within the first year of membership.

Best “Business” Credit Card for Fair Credit

A revolving line of credit is paramount to the functioning of any business today. Unexpected expenses arise that tight budgets don’t always account for. Lower credit limits won’t cut it when a computer dies or a last-second meeting is called three thousand miles away.

Don’t fall into the thinking that your business has to be a large corporation to qualify for a business card. Some cardholders of the Capital One® Spark® Classic for Business say they had low expectations for approval, due to their business being new and their credit score in the low end of the Fair range. Despite those hurdles, reports of credit limits that start between $1,000 and $2,000 are common.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Enjoy no annual fee
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Build business credit with responsible use
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy business benefits including Year-End Summaries, employee cards at no extra cost and experienced small business customer service
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

Access to credit not only helps you with emergencies, it can take your business to the next level with the ability to purchase upgrades or new equipment to keep things running smooth. For most businesses, a low credit limit just won’t cut it. Make sure that any card you apply for meets your needs and offers the flexibility to grow alongside your enterprise.

Best “Student” Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Nothing is worse than showing up on the first day of class to find a professor that requires multiple books that you know you’ll never use. Still, the expense won’t go away. Students spend, on average, $1,168 on textbooks and materials each year. Most of those expenses happen early each semester, which boosts the need for credit at certain times of the year.

Several issuers offer student-based cards that provide features young consumers need. For example, some offer APR breaks based on GPA, while others offer discounts on cellphones or cash back rewards for everyday necessities. Examine each card closely and decide which is best for your needs.

Discover it® for Students Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
13.99% - 22.99% Variable
$0
Fair
Discover it® chrome for Students Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter - no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
13.99% - 22.99% Variable
$0
Fair

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.2/5.0
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • There's no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards won't expire for the life of the account
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Pay no annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
24.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

Higher education is expensive. Besides the in-class costs, pizza, beer, and Pop Tarts can get really expensive over a four-year period. Student credit limits often start small but can increase quickly with responsible usage. The most important step in building your credit score is to make on-time payments and keep your expenses limited to what you can afford to pay off each month.

Higher Credit Scores Mean Higher Limits

It’s easy for many consumers to think they’re stuck with lower credit limits because they have a limited or tarnished credit profile. Moving up to good — and eventually excellent — credit takes time, but it’s achievable. Credit card issuers face steep competition from banks and outside companies, like Paypal. In an effort to earn your business, cards are created that meet the needs of the full gamut of credit-seekers.

Higher limits also increase your purchasing power and help you improve your credit standing over time. Issuers like Capital One® make requesting credit limit increases easy with a simple questionnaire in the online portal that can be filled out as often as you’d like. Limit increases, though, are typically only granted about once every six months after an introductory increase, and often require a hard credit inquiry.

If you’ve read to this point, it’s obvious you’re serious about improving your financial well being. That dedication will pay off over the long haul with credit limit increases that give you the security and peace of mind that you’ll need when emergencies pop up. It’ll also protect you from grumbling old men that invent new curse words every time the line at the rental car counter slows down.