15 Best Credit Cards for a 600 Credit Score (600-650 Scores)

15 Best Credit Cards for a 600 Credit Score (600-650 Scores)
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Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Posted: April 22, 2019
Our popular “How-To” series is for those who seek to improve their subprime credit rating. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines.

When growing your hair from short to long, there’s often a transitional stage in the middle when it’s long enough to get in your eyes, but not so long it can be tied back.

A credit score of 600 to 650 is the financial equivalent of that follicular midpoint — it’s probably not good enough for a prime rewards card, but it may be too good to settle for expensive subprime cards.

In many ways, the cards you can get with a 600 credit score will depend on the nature of your score; if you’re building credit for the first time, a student or no annual fee card may be the right pick. If you’re rebuilding credit after some mistakes, a secured card may provide the best value.

Overall | Unsecured | Secured | No Annual Fee | Student | FAQs

Top Overall Cards for 600 to 650 Credit Scores

Although consumers with credit scores in the 600 range are hardly the lowest cardholders on the credit card food chain, they’re not exactly writing their own tickets, either. To easily qualify for the rewards-rich prime credit cards so popular these days, you’ll likely need a credit score north of the 670 mark.

What you can get with a 600 to 650 credit score is a solid unsecured credit card or a low-fee secured card that will allow you to build credit and, maybe, earn some rewards. Use your new card responsibly for six to 12 months, and your score should increase enough to get your hands on even better cards.

  • Easy application! Get a credit decision in seconds.
  • Build your credit history – Fingerhut reports to all 3 major credit bureaus
  • Use your line of credit to shop thousands of items from great brands like Samsung, KitchenAid, and DeWalt
  • Not an access card
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★★

4.8

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
5 Minutes See issuer website Yes 9.0/10

A popular alternative to traditional credit cards, a Fingerhut Credit Account can be obtained by consumers with a wide range of credit types. The card can only be used to make purchases at Fingerhut.com, an online retailer that offers thousands of items from hundreds of top brands. There is no annual fee, no application fee, and no monthly maintenance fees.

2. Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is a rarity: an unsecured card for fair credit that has no annual fee. It doesn’t offer rewards, but it does have the standard set of Capital One and Mastercard perks, including $0 fraud liability and an easy-to-use mobile app.

 Capital One® Platinum

  • Make the first five bill payments on time to unlock a higher credit limit
  • Unsecured card reports to all three credit bureaus
  • Pay $0 annual fee

Although starter cards like this aren’t known for their high credit limits, Capital One does offer the option to boost your credit limit if you make your first five payments on time. The card also comes with access to free credit score tracking to help you keep an eye on your progress.

3. Discover it® Secured Card

The Discover it® Secured Card is an all-around winner, offering purchase rewards, flexible credit requirements, and no annual fee. The minimum required deposit is just $200, and the credit line will be equal to the deposit.

Discover it® Secured

  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter
  • Minimum $200 deposit required
  • Pay $0 annual fee

Cardholders who pay on time each month and maintain healthy credit habits may be upgraded to an unsecured account and have their security deposit refunded. Closing the account with a $0 balance will also result in the deposit being returned.

Top Unsecured Cards for 600 to 650 Credit Scores

With a middling credit score in the 600 to 650 range, you have a few more options for unsecured credit cards than you would were your score much lower — but the easiest cards to get will still be the bottom-tier cards with annual fees and/or few perks.

If you’re concerned about being approved for a particular card, or simply want to explore your options, many issuers will let you check for pre-qualified card offers online. Of course, the easiest way to stack the approval deck in your favor is often by applying for a card known to accept low scoring applicants, such as the cards below.

  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Track your progress with free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
  • Stay in-the-know with customizable account alerts via email and text
  • Receive 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases, terms apply
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.3

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 20.24% - 26.24% Variable Yes 9.0/10

Cards from Credit One Bank® are exercises in variability, with everything from the annual fee to the APR you’re offered being dependent upon your specific credit profile. On the plus side, eligible cardholders can earn cash back purchase rewards, which can boost the value of this card.

  • Easy pre-qualification process with fast response
  • All credit histories considered
  • Online servicing available 24/7 at no additional cost
  • Unsecured credit card, no security deposit required
  • Account history is reported to the three major credit bureaus in the U.S.
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details.
★★★★

4.2

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 Minutes 24.9% Yes 8.0/10

Although this card is generally considered to be a subprime card, it has some of the lowest fees in the subprime card market, including a variable annual fee that will depend on your individual creditworthiness. The regular APR is pretty competitive for the cards on this list, but pay on time to avoid being charged a penalty APR.

6. Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is a regular unsecured credit card that can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted. The card is designed for consumers with fair or limited credit, and it charges no annual fee, program or processing fee, or maintenance fee.

 Capital One® Platinum

  • Make the first five bill payments on time to unlock a higher credit limit
  • Unsecured card reports to all three credit bureaus
  • Pay $0 annual fee

Most applicants will receive a modest credit limit to start, but making the first five payment on time can unlock a larger credit line. Be sure to pay more than the minimum each month — ideally, the entire balance — as the card’s APR is fairly high.

Top Secured Cards for 600 to 650 Credit Scores

The reason a low credit score makes it difficult to get approved for most types of credit is that a low score indicates a high credit risk. In other words, people with low credit scores are more likely to default on — i.e., stop paying — their debt, which means the creditor loses money.

Secured credit cards, on the other hand, require a cash deposit to open and maintain. That deposit acts as security for the loan, which reduces the risk to the issuer. This means secured cards are much easier to get than unsecured cards, and many secured cards will charge lower fees and/or offer purchase rewards, as well.

  • Credit lines available from $200 to $5,000. Super Low Fixed 9.99% interest rate on purchases - with no penalty rate.
  • No minimum credit score requirements. We invite all credit types to apply. No processing or application fees.
  • Helps strengthen your credit with responsible card use. Reports to three national bureaus.
  • Fast, easy application process. Choose your credit line and open your Personal Savings Deposit Account to secure your line.
  • See additional Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card details
  • Click here for official site, terms, and details
★★★★

4.0

Overall Rating

Application Length Interest Rate Reports Monthly Reputation Score
8 minutes 9.99% Yes 9.0/10

This card has a low, fixed-APR that may be quite valuable to anyone who frequently carries a balance (though, ideally, you should pay in full each month regardless of the interest rate). The card has a minimum deposit requirement of $200, but users can put down up to $5,000 for a higher credit limit. Cardholders will pay an annual fee, so this isn’t a long-term keeper.

8. Discover it® Secured Card

The Discover it® Secured Card is an affordable secured card that has no annual fee and a manageable minimum deposit requirement of just $200. Cardholders can put down as much as $2,500 for a larger credit line.

Discover it® Secured

  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter
  • Minimum $200 deposit required
  • Pay $0 annual fee

In addition to affordable fees, this card also comes with purchase rewards. Users can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined category purchases, and an unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.

9. Capital One Secured Mastercard

The Capital One Secured Mastercard is a no-frills secured card that charges no annual fee. For some users, the minimum deposit amount will be $200, but qualified applicants may be eligible for a partial security deposit based on their creditworthiness.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard

  • Get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Pay $0 annual fee

Similar to the Discover card, this card can potentially be upgraded to an unsecured card after your credit improves. Capital One will periodically check your eligibility and upgrade you automatically if your account qualifies.

Top No Annual Fee Cards for 600 to 650 Credit Scores

Although many people associate annual fees with fancy rewards cards, many cards at the other end of the spectrum also tend to charge annual fees. In fact, outside of your local credit union, it’s actually rare for starter and credit-building cards to have a $0 annual fee — rare, but not impossible to find.

If you want both a low-fee card and rewards, you’ll likely need to turn to a secured credit card. Otherwise, you can find some no-frills unsecured cards that won’t charge you a fee, so you can build credit without having to pay for the privilege of using your card.

10. Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

The Capital One® Platinum Credit Card is a solid starter card, requiring no deposit to open and charging no annual fee. It comes with a range of cardholder benefits, including personalized account alerts, autopay, and extended warranty coverage.

 Capital One® Platinum

  • Make the first five bill payments on time to unlock a higher credit limit
  • Unsecured card reports to all three credit bureaus
  • Pay $0 annual fee

The card’s APR is fairly high and starting limits low, so it isn’t a good idea to carry a balance on the card from month to month. Be sure to pay the bill on time each month to avoid interest. Making the first five payments on time will also unlock access to a higher credit limit.

11. Discover it® Secured Card

The Discover it® Secured Card charges no annual fee, but, as a secured card, it requires a cash deposit to open and maintain. Approved applicants will need to put down a deposit of $200 to $2,500 to get a credit lien of equal size.

Discover it® Secured

  • Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter
  • Minimum $200 deposit required
  • Pay $0 annual fee

This is also one of the few cards that will offer purchase rewards to fair-credit consumers, providing up to 2% cash back on eligible bonus purchases and an unlimited 1% cash back on everything else.

12. Capital One Secured Mastercard

The Capital One Secured Mastercard doesn’t offer rewards or bonuses, but it does provide a way to build credit without forking over a costly annual fee. The minimum deposit requirement is variable, with the exact requirement depending on your creditworthiness.

Capital One® Secured Mastercard

  • Get an initial $200 credit line after making a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200, determined based on your creditworthiness
  • Reports to all three major credit bureaus
  • Pay $0 annual fee

The card’s APR is competitive for a fair-credit card, but it is still quite high, so be sure to pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest fees. Keeping your account in good standing may also make you eligible for an upgrade to an unsecured account.

Top Student Cards for 600 to 650 Credit Scores

As a student just starting to build credit, it’s natural to have a low credit score — or not have a score at all (it takes six months of credit history to qualify for a FICO credit score). But, a low credit score probably won’t stop you from getting a good credit card so long as you’re a student.

That’s because student credit cards are purposely designed for young people who need to build credit, and student cards tend to have very flexible credit requirements and no minimum credit history requirements. Plus, student cards typically charge no annual fee and many also offer purchase rewards and other perks.

13. Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students is a competitive rewards card for college students with no annual fee that allows users to select their own 3% cash back bonus category from a list of six options.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students

  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice & 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • Earn 1% cash back on everything else
  • Pay no annual fee

In addition to purchase rewards, new cardholders can also earn a modest signup bonus, as well as enjoying an introductory 0% APR offer. Bonus cash back is limited to the first $2,500 in combined category purchases each quarter.

14. Discover it® Student Cash Back

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is good starter card for college students, providing high-rate bonus rewards in the form of 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in eligible bonus category purchases each activated quarter.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

  • Earn 5% cash back rewards for purchases on up to $1,500 in qualifying category purchases each activated quarter
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Pay $0 annual fee

In addition to purchase rewards, the card also offers Discover’s signature Cash Back Match signup bonus that doubles the cash back cardholder’s earn in their first year. Students who maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher can also earn a Good Grades Rewards statement credit.

15. Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card is a unique rewards card that offers at least 10X points per purchase by rounding up the rewards earned on each transaction up to the nearest 10X points.

 Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

  • Rewards for every purchase are rounded up to the nearest 10X points
  • Earn 2X points per $1 on gas and groceries
  • Pay $0 annual fee

Before rounding up, users earn a base of 2X points per dollar on up to $6,000 in gas station and grocery store purchases each year, and unlimited 1X points per dollar on everything else. New cardholders also get an introductory 0% APR offer and the opportunity to earn a small signup bonus.

Is a Credit Score of 600 to 650 a Good Score?

These days, you can get a free credit score from nearly every major credit card issuer and from dozens of third-party websites and mobile apps. But, all the numbers in the world won’t do you a lick of good if you don’t actually know what they mean.

To know where your score stands in the overall scheme of things, you need to know more about which scoring model was used to generate it. While creditors can use any number of the dozens of scoring models out there — or even their own internal models — most credit scores come from either FICO or VantageScore.

The most popular FICO credit score you’ll encounter is currently the FICO® Score 8, and the most common iteration of the VantageScore is the VantageScore 3.0. The nice part of these two types of scores is that they both have the same scoring range; namely, each model operates on a range of 300 to 850, with 850 being the best possible score.

At a quick look, having a credit score of 600 to 650 out of a possible 850 may seem like you’re doing OK — after all, 600 / 850 = 71%, and that would have gotten you a passing grade of “C” in school, right?

FICO & VantageScore Ranges

Sort of. The general cutoff for good or prime credit is the 670 mark. A credit score in the 600 range will often be considered “nonprime” — as in, it’s not a prime score, but it’s not a subprime score, either. In other words, your credit score is still considered to be risky, just not as high risk as someone with a score below 580.

However, it gets more complicated than that. For one thing, both scoring models have different ways they categorize credit scores. For the FICO scoring model, a credit score of 600 to 650 falls into the fair category, while the VantageScore model considers the same score range to be in the poor category.

And, of course, each creditor that checks your credit scores will also have its own rules — rules that may not have much to do with your credit score itself, and more to do with your actual credit history.

For example, some consumers have reported being approved for a prime credit card with a score below 650, while folks with scores above 600 may end up being declined for a secured card. Credit card issuers will look at everything from your payment history to your open accounts to your individual history with the specific bank; any or all of these can impact whether you’re approved for credit.

Can You Get a Credit Card with a 600 FICO Score?

One of the nicer things about the modern credit card market is that pretty much everyone can get some type of credit card, regardless of their credit scores. That said, the quality of the credit cards you can get will significantly vary based on your credit profile.

FICO Score Factors

Credit card issuers will look at all of the factors that go into your credit score — not just the score itself — when evaluating your application.

Notice here that we said “credit profile” and not just “credit score.” That’s because credit card issuers look at your entire credit profile — not just your scores — when it comes to evaluating your application. So, the issuer will pull one (or more) of your credit reports and look at everything from how many hard inquiries you have to your payment history for the last 10 years.

Because issuers look at the entire credit profile, score alone won’t tell if you’ll get approved for a given card. If you have a so-so credit score but a pristine payment history, for example, you may be approved for a card while someone with the same credit score but a past delinquent payment may be denied.

Consumers with credit scores in the 600 to 650 range tend to either be building credit for the first time or repairing their credit after making a few mistakes. No matter which group you’re in, issuers will see you as fairly risky, which eliminates most prime credit cards as options.

The easiest unsecured cards to get with poor to fair credit will either be starter credit cards — bare-bones cards from major banks or local credit unions — or subprime credit cards, the latter of which will typically be fairly expensive. Secured credit cards are also a good option, and secured cards may offer more perks like purchase rewards.

Although credit scores are not the only approval factor, because your credit scores are based on the information in your credit reports, you can use your scores as a way to gauge what types of credit cards to apply for in the first place. Choosing cards that tend to approve applicants with similar credit scores can help prevent wasted hard credit inquiries from failed applications.

For instance, a score in the 600 to 650 range is typically considered to be poor or fair, depending on the scoring metric. This means that, right away, you know an application for a credit card aimed at consumers with excellent credit scores — 750 FICO and up — will be unlikely to be approved.

Make the Most of Your Fair Credit

Having bad credit can feel a bit like a bad haircut; you spend a lot of time just waiting for it to grow. As you start inching into the fair credit range, your credit card options will start to expand — but it may not be quite as quick as you hope.

With fair credit, you may be able to leave the subprime cards behind, which can help make building credit a lot more affordable. At this point, the choice prime rewards cards are still more a goal than a realistic option, though you’ll likely get closer to that goal with every on-time credit card payment.