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3 rewards cards for people with less-than-stellar credit

Posted at 1:55 PM, Aug 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-20 13:55:30-04

Tired of hearing about credit cards with great perks… for which you know that you can’t qualify? Think all the good cash back or rewards points deals are saved for people with good credit? Think again.

We’ve already compiled good cards for people with not-so-good credit. Below you’ll find other top cards for people with less than stellar credit that offer rewards as well. We hope you can benefit from these three examples of rewards cards available to those with lesser credit:

    • Credit One® Platinum VISA® Cash Back Rewards Credit CardEarn 1% cash back on groceries and gas purchases while enjoying a relatively low APR (15.65% to 24.15% based on creditworthiness). Cash advances carry a slightly higher rate (17.90% to 25.15%). A “soft” credit pull is used for pre-qualification, meaning that you can check out your card options without getting dinged on your credit score. Alerts are available via e-mail or text, whichever you prefer.

The downside is an annual fee, anywhere from $0 to $99 depending on your creditworthiness with a cap of $75 in the first year. However, if your credit is still in good enough shape to warrant the lower rates and annual fee and you tend to carry a balance, this card is a great choice.

    • Credit One® Rewards Credit Card This offering from the CreditOne line can help build your credit through regular reporting to all three credit bureaus. Accounts are monitored for opportunities to increase your credit. Custom e-mail and text alerts can remind you of payment due dates or low account balances, helping you keep up regular payments. Meanwhile, you still get 1% cash back on gas and grocery purchases, along with zero-dollar fraud liability that protects you in the case of unauthorized charges.

The same potential for a low rate and a low annual fee applies here, just as it does with the Platinum Card above.

    • Barclay Rewards MasterCard A combination of rewards and no annual fee make this card an excellent choice. Purchases earn equal points, with double points awarded for a few types of purchases (gas, utility payments, and groceries at certain locations). Points are unlimited, do not expire as long as you properly maintain your account, and may be applied as credits to lower your bill. If you prefer, points may be directed to bank accounts or redeemed as gift cards. Security is enhanced by chip-card technology.

You may also access your FICO credit score for free and check progress through monthly updates and alerts, providing useful momentum as you rebuild your credit.

The APR of 25.24% variable is a bit higher than other cards in this category, but if you can keep your spending disciplined and carry the smallest balance possible, the rewards make the Barclay Rewards MasterCard worthwhile.

In this credit range, you constitute a greater risk to the card issuer, so read the terms carefully and expect some potential areas of concern in exchange for those rewards. Check all potential fees and penalties, and assess your likelihood of incurring those penalties. One card may provide you with a better safety margin than another based on your habits.

With time, diligence, and good spending and saving habits, you can leverage these cards to help you rebuild your credit and minimize your financial stress. However, we can’t overemphasize the need for diligence. Rebuilding your credit is analogous to rebuilding the engine in your car. The more times you have to do it, the more it is going to cost and the longer it will take — and eventually you may not be able to rebuild it at all. Make the most of your second chance.

If you want more credit, check out MoneyTips’ list of credit card offers.
Disclaimer: The editorial content on this site is not provided by the companies whose products are featured. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or evaluations provided here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). This content was accurate at the time of publication, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer affiliate program.

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