What Credit Cards Do I Qualify For?

June 11, 2013, Written By Bill Hardekopf

Looking for a credit card but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you should focus on your credit score. This score is going to put you into a bracket of applicants, and it will determine which cards are accessible for you. The higher the score, the more opportunities you have.

To answer the question, “what credit cards do I qualify for?”, we need to take a look at the cards available under different credit profiles. This should give you a good idea as to what you should apply for.

Bad Credit

If you have bad credit, your options for credit cards are somewhat limited. Most companies will not trust you with a lot of money – if any – because your history shows that you cannot be depended on to make payments. You can qualify for a prepaid debit card, but that will not help you build your credit score. All it will do is give you a place to store money and use it without carrying cash.

If you want something a little more beneficial for your long-term credit standing, you could invest in a secured credit card. You will have to put down a deposit that acts as your line of credit. You make payments toward the card every month you have a balance, just like you would with a traditional credit card. When you close the account, your deposit comes back, minus any fees. Anyone can qualify for a card like this, and using it will give you a legitimate chance to rebuild your credit. However, you can qualify for unsecured cards in the future.

No Credit

If you do not have any credit, you should try to qualify for an introductory credit card from one of the major issuers. Capital One, Chase, Bank of America and other providers all have cards to help someone start to build credit. These cards usually have small credit lines, which means you may not be able to spend more than $500 on your card. If you use the card consistently and manage to pay it off well, you may be able to boost that line of credit in the future. You may also qualify for all of the credit cards we listed for bad credit, in case you are looking for something a little different. Just don’t expect to get a big rewards card right away.

Fair Credit

With fair credit, you may be allowed to get some low-balance introductory cards that offer limited options. You may gain access to small rewards programs or cash back opportunities. Most of the cards that fall into this category are purely designed to help you build back your credit. Card companies do not feel that you are quite ready enough for the best programs they have to offer. Fortunately, it may not take an extremely long time to prove yourself in this category, and then you can move up to the options below.

Good Credit

If you have a good credit score, you will find yourself with a variety of credit cards to choose from. You won’t receive the lowest APR offered–that is reserved for consumers with excellent credit. But there will be quite a number of cash back cards, travel cards, fuel cards and airline cards available to you. If you would prefer a basic credit card with a decently high credit limit, you could probably find a card like that as well. Just make sure you look over the fees before applying.

Excellent Credit

If you are one of the fortunate people with excellent credit, you can have just about any card you apply for. You will have an opportunity to get a credit card with the lowest interest rates offered on the market. In addition, the top reward cards will be available to you.

But a word of caution: some high-end reward credit cards have high annual fees to cover the extra rewards. If you think you can get more out of the card than what you will pay, it may be worth applying. If not, you need to find a card with a low interest rate. The last thing you need is a credit card that hurts your score instead of helping it.

Other Factors That Determine Which Credit Cards You Qualify For

Your credit score will have a lot to do with the kinds of credit cards you can get, but that is not the only factor issuers will consider. The length of your credit history and your current income will also play into the decision. If you do not make much money, you may not qualify for a high line of credit, no matter how high your score may be. If your credit is good but still new, you may have to apply for cards for lower credit scores until you have a longstanding history to back your applications.

As long as you focus on keeping your credit score high and unflawed, you will eventually be able to quality for the best cards on the market.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 11, 2013. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.