As you build your credit history for the first time, or are working to rebuild a bad credit score, you’re likely to reach a credit score range that’s kind of like being in limbo.

What Kinds of Credit Cards Can You Get?

When you have good or excellent credit, you have the most options available in terms of credit card APR, annual fees and rewards. When you have fair credit, you have more-limited choices.

The bad news is you’ll likely be granted a lower credit limit, as lenders will pay closer attention to your income and any credit card debt you already have.

The good news is that there are many credit cards available to those with fair credit from a number of major credit card companies. And even though you’re still proving your creditworthiness, these cards often come with rewards and other features worth looking out for.

Features To Look For in Credit Cards for Fair Credit

When shopping around for a credit card, pay attention to the features you’re offered. Pay attention to rewards, and look for a card that will maximize the return on your everyday spending. Different rewards cards offer different rewards structures. Some favor travel; others more routine expenses like gas and groceries. Some cards simply offer a flat rate “back”—say, 1%—on every dollar you spend. Other important things to consider are annual fees and APR, or annual percentage rate, especially as you look to raise your credit score even higher.

APR is the interest rate you’re charged any time you don’t pay your credit card bill in full and carry a balance or if you take a balance transfer or cash advance. If you carry a balance or think you might, note that APRs can be as high as 25% and can result in steep costs for borrowing.

Use Credit to Your Advantage

Since raising your credit score into the good or excellent range will give you even more credit card and loan options, think of this credit card as a way to propel you there. Looking for a card with an annual fee (or lack thereof) and APR that best matches the state of your finances is important.

By paying your credit card bills in full and on time each month, and avoiding too much credit card debt, you could become eligible for cards with lower interest rates, higher spending limits and better rewards.

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