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Best cashback credit cards for average or bad credit

You can earn rewards while building credit.

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With an average or bad credit, your credit card options may be limited. Luckily, you can still find a decent card to earn cash back, build your score and graduate to a better card. But know that when applying for an unsecured card with average or bad credit, you’ll likely have to pay an annual fee. Still, it’s possible to find the best cashback credit card for your needs.

Our pick for a cashback card for bad credit

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

  • Seeing if you pre-qualify is fast, easy and secure
  • Get 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchase, terms apply
  • Rewards post automatically to your account each month
  • Automatic reviews for credit line increase opportunities
  • With $0 fraud liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Pick a card that fits your style. Multiple card designs are available, a fee may apply
  • Enjoy exclusive offers available to Credit One Bank card members through Visa® Discounts
  • Your card includes travel accident and auto rental collision insurance from Visa®
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Best cashback credit cards for average or bad credit

Best credit card for unlimited cash back
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card logo
Credit recommended (580-669)
Read review
Rates & fees

580
Min. credit score
$39
Annual fee
1.5%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
This can be a great choice for those with fair credit and those with limited credit history like students, people new to the US or those who've been authorized users to other's credit cards. The card offers you the chance to build your credit and earn cash back on all of your purchases at the same time.
  • Cash back. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all of your purchases.
  • Access to higher credit line. Pay your balance on time for five consecutive months and you'll be eligible for a higher credit line. If you keep using your card responsibly, Capital One may offer an upgrade to a better card.
  • CreditWise. Get free access to your credit score from TransUnion and monitor your credit-building progress.
Annual Fee $39
Purchase APR 22.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 22.99% variable
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Best unsecured cashback credit card for bad credit
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit logo
Credit recommended (300-669)
Apply now
on Credit One Bank®'s secure site
300
Min. credit score
$0 to $99
Annual fee
Up to 1%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
This card can be a decent choice if you have bad credit and you want to earn cash back. However, the card may come with hidden fees, so make sure you read the terms and conditions to avoid any surprises.
  • Cash back. Based on your creditworthiness, you can join one of four cashback reward programs. These include 1% cash back on categories such as gas, dining, groceries, mobile phone services, and Internet, cable and satellite TV services. Another program lets you earn 1% back on all purchases.
  • Free credit score access. Get free access to your Experian credit score and monitor your progress.
  • Potential credit line increase. Credit One automatically reviews your account for a credit line increase.
Annual Fee $0 to $99
Purchase APR 17.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards 1% cash back on all purchases on eligible purchases

Best cashback credit card for students
Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students

Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (580-850)
Read review
580
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 3%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
This card can be a great choice for students looking to build their credit and earn cash back. What's more, you get to earn a solid signup bonus and you get to save money on interest with a long 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers. This is a rare perk among student credit cards.
  • Cash back. Earn 3% cash back on one category you choose - online shopping, dining, gas, drug stores, travel or home improvements. Earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. However, you are capped at $2,500 every quarter in combined purchases on the 3% and 2% cashback categories. After that, and on everything else you buy, earn 1% cash back.
  • Signup bonus. Earn $200 online cash bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of card ownership.
  • Intro APR period. Get 0% intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. After the intro period expires, a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% applies.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer $200 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
Rewards 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category, grocery and wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%

How we selected our top cards

We compared all cashback credit cards for average and bad credit and we chose the cards that stood out from the crowd. We took notice of the rewards rate, the annual fee, whether you get to earn a signup bonus and whether you get a 0% intro APR period.

Types of cashback credit cards for average or bad credit

With an average or bad credit score, your choices are usually limited to:

  • Unsecured cards. If you have average credit, the Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card could be the better choice. But if you have bad credit, consider the Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit.
  • Secured cards. If you find it hard to get an unsecured card because of your credit score, consider the Discover it Secured card. You’ll earn cash back on your purchases and you get to build your credit.
  • Student cards. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students can help you build your credit and earn accelerated cash back on a category you choose.

How to build credit using credit cards

Compare cashback credit cards for average or bad credit

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® with Cash Back Rewards
1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
Credit One Bank® Unsecured Visa® for Rebuilding Credit
1% cash back on all purchases on eligible purchases
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
Credit One Bank® Visa® with Free Credit Score Access
1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
Get 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
Official NASCAR® Credit Card from Credit One Bank®
Up to 1% cash back on eligible purchases determined by Credit One and double cash back at the NASCAR Shop
17.99% to 23.99% variable
$0 to $99
Get up to 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases determined by Credit One and double cash back rewards at the NASCAR Shop.
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Bottom line

Having a bad or average credit score can limit your credit card options, especially if you’re looking for cashback cards. But there are cards designed with lower credit scores in mind, which can be secured or unsecured. And if you’re a student you might be able to get access to slightly better cards.

However, if none of these cards are what you’re looking for, feel free to check out other credit cards and compare your options.

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