Best Travel Credit Cards For Fair Credit

Dreaming of exotic vacations or exciting getaways but worried your credit score might hold you back? Fear not, traveler! There are fantastic travel credit cards available specifically for those with fair credit. These cards offer exciting rewards and benefits to help you stretch your travel budget further, from earning points towards flights and hotels to enjoying travel insurance and airport lounge access.

Travel Credit Cards For Fair Credit

However, with a variety of options on the market, finding the right card for your travel style and creditworthiness can be tricky. This guide will explore the top travel credit cards for fair credit, highlighting their perks and drawbacks to help you choose the perfect companion for your next adventure.

What to Consider When Choosing a Travel Credit Card with Fair Credit

  • Rewards Programs: Cashback is a straightforward option, while travel-specific points programs can offer redemption flexibility for flights, hotels, and other travel expenses.
  • Annual Fees: Some cards with premium rewards have annual fees, so weigh the potential rewards against the cost.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: If you travel internationally, look for cards that waive these fees.
  • Travel Benefits: Airport lounge access, travel insurance, and baggage delay coverage can add value to your card.
  • Spending Habits: Choose a card that aligns with your travel spending. For example, if you mostly book hotels through travel portals, a card with bonus rewards for those purchases might be ideal.

Benefits of Travel Credit Cards for Fair Credit

Even with fair credit, travel credit cards offer a treasure trove of benefits:

  • Earn Rewards: Redeem points, miles, or cashback for flights, hotels, car rentals, and travel experiences.
  • Travel Perks: Enjoy airport lounge access, travel insurance, baggage fee waivers, and more.
  • Build Credit: Responsible credit card use, like on-time payments, helps improve your credit score over time.
  • Flexible Spending: Many cards offer rewards on everyday purchases, making them a versatile travel companion.

Qualifying for Travel Credit Cards with Fair Credit

Understanding the application process is key:

  • Credit Score Requirements: Fair credit cards typically target a range between 640-699 FICO score.
  • Beyond the Score: Lenders consider factors like income, debt-to-income ratio, and credit history length.
  • Improving Approval Odds: Maintain low credit utilization, address credit report errors, and consider secured cards to build credit history if needed.

Best Travel Credit Cards for Fair Credit

This curated list highlights top travel credit cards for fair credit, categorized by their unique strengths:

1. Cash Back Champions

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Earns a solid 1.5% cash back on all purchases, making it a flexible choice. Offers travel accident insurance and extended warranty protection.

Citi Double Cash® Card

Earn 1% cash back when you buy and an additional 1% cash back when you pay your balance, effectively offering 2% cash back on all purchases.

2. Points Powerhouses

Capital One Venture One Rewards Credit Card

Earns unlimited 1.25X miles on all purchases, redeemable for travel statement credits or transferred to travel partners. No foreign transaction fees.

Discover it® Miles

Earns unlimited 1.5X miles on all purchases automatically doubled at the end of your first year.

3. Perks for the Savvy Traveler

Credit One Bank Wander Card (Annual Fee)

Earn 10X points on hotel and car rental bookings made through Credit One’s travel partner, plus 5X points on other travel, dining, and gas. Includes travel accident insurance and auto rental collision coverage.

Barclays Arrival® Card (Annual Fee)

Earn 2X miles on all travel purchases, redeemable for statement credits towards travel booked directly with airlines or travel agencies. No foreign transaction fees.

Building Credit with Travel Credit Cards (Fair Credit)

Responsible credit card usage is crucial for building good credit:

  • Pay Your Balance in Full: Avoid carrying a balance, which can incur high-interest charges and negatively impact your credit score.
  • Maintain Low Credit Utilization: Keep your credit card balances well below your credit limit (ideally under 30%).
  • Make On-Time Payments: Timely payments significantly improve your credit score. Set up automatic payments to avoid missed due dates.


What is considered fair credit?

Fair credit typically falls within the range of 640 to 690 on the FICO score.

Can I get a travel rewards card with bad credit?

There are a limited number of travel rewards cards for bad credit (below 640). Secured cards can be a good first step to building credit before applying for a travel rewards card.

How can I improve my credit score to qualify for better travel cards?

Making on-time payments in full and keeping your credit utilization ratio low (amount of credit used divided by credit limit) are two key ways to improve your credit score.


Travel credit cards for fair credit open a world of possibilities, allowing you to earn valuable rewards and elevate your travel experiences. By understanding the benefits, application process, and responsible credit card usage, you can unlock the world and build credit simultaneously. Remember, compare different cards, choose the one that aligns with your travel style and spending habits, and enjoy the journey.