3/2/2012 3:08 PM ET|
4 great cards for so-so credit
A low score can exclude you from the very best rewards and lowest interest rates, but you don't have to settle for subprime treatment while you raise your score.
Premium rewards cards and low annual percentage rates are typically reserved for the credit elite, but growing competition has led many issuers to widen their target market.
That means that credit card holders with so-so credit -- scores between 650 and 699 -- don't need to resort to using a subprime product to improve their score. MainStreet talked to experts to find out which cards offer the best terms for these cardholders.
1. Capital One No Hassles Cash Rewards Card
This Capital One card is notable for its rewards program, which offers 2% cash back on gas and groceries and 1% cash back on all purchases made by cardholders. The card does carry a variable APR of 17.9% to 22.9% and a $39 annual fee, but Beverly Harzog, a credit card expert with Credit.com, says that's reasonable for a rewards card in this category.
2. Orchard Bank Secured Card
If it's a low-interest card you're after, you might want to sign up for Orchard Bank's secured card, which features an APR of 7.99%. (Secured cards require customers to put down a sum of money upfront to cover the line of credit and thereby minimize the risk of default.)
"That's pretty low among all credit cards," says Anisha Sekar, vice president of credit and debit products with credit card ranking site NerdWallet. The card carries a $35 annual fee, but it is waived for the first year.
3. Visa Platinum Preferred Credit Card from Associated Credit Union
Another option for people not interested in paying a sky-high interest rate is this Visa card from Atlanta-based Associated Credit Union, which allows new members to apply online. According to Sekar, those with a FICO score higher than 680 can qualify for a fixed 9.9% APR offered by the credit union, while those with a score of 600 will qualify for a 12% fixed APR.
Additionally, the card carries no annual fee, and there is no charge for balance transfers.
4. Journey Student Rewards Card from Capital One
"This is a good card for students working on their credit," Harzog says, explaining that it allows cardholders to earn extra rewards when they use the card wisely. Students get 1% cash back on all purchases, but get a 25% bonus on their cash-back rewards each month when they pay their bills on time. The card carries no annual fee but features a high APR at 19.8%.
More from MainStreet.com:
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Excessive interest rates on these cards.
That one thing will damage you further.
Put your dollars into an interest bearing savings and wait - use temporary debit cards until you are solvent then apply for low interest cards IF you must have one.
Orchard will only waive the $35 the first year, they hope that you will run a balance because you are making minimum payments and then they will charge you an annual charge of $35, plus if you are late on a payment they will stick you with a late charge and up the interest, sometimes up to 27.99%...
@unknown4ever... did not "knock" secured cards, just offered up some insight... if you actually read my comment, you would read that I suggested a secured card from a local credit union. The reality is that the corporate banks do not care about anyone who has less than 100k in one of their accounts. If you are trying to rebuild credit, stay away from the large banks that are going to beat you up financially if you make a mistake, plus the idea of keeping the money in a community instead of entitling the overly wealthy fat cats... best advice, don't live beyond your means and keep chasing your dreams, a little discipline now will be worth it in the long run... for example, if you have five credit cards, start paying them down, focus on the one with the smallest balance. Pay more towards that one until it is paid off, then start on the next smallest balance... before you know it, you could be credit card debt free!!! Simple but effective...
I have been denied credit!, But the free credit score.com site says' after getting all of my information that my credit reports' and scores' cannot be given to me! they say that they
cannot verify my Idenity! I JUST GAVE THEM A CREDIT CARD TO GET THE REPORTS"!
Does that seem to be WRONG! OH! they kept the money for the transaction1 "BUT I"M
unverified!" RIP OFF!
Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.
RECENT ARTICLES ON CREDIT SCORES
You don't always have to sacrifice quality when you buy secondhand.