Credit Cards for a 600 Credit Score: Build Your Credit History

CREDIT CARDS - SECURED CARDS
If you have a 600 credit score, consider applying for one of these credit cards to build your credit history.
Updated May 21, 2024
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The Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card1 is one of our top picks if you have a 600 credit score because it has a $0 annual fee and offers cash back on eligible purchases.

If you’ve had trouble getting approved for credit cards, we recommend applying for a secured credit card with less strict requirements. One of our top choices is the Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card.23

Let’s explore our recommendations for credit cards for those who have a 600 credit score so you can find the best card option for you.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • We recommend the Petal 2 Visa and Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card for their low credit requirements and your chance to earn cashback rewards.
  • For options with less strict credit requirements, we recommend secured credit cards, such as the Secured Chime Credit Builder and Citi® Secured Mastercard®.
  • Credit cards for a 600 credit score are typically used for credit building so you can qualify for better credit accounts and products in the future. These types of cards don’t typically have many perks or benefits, such as high rewards rates or intro APR offers on purchases and balance transfers.

Credit cards for a 600 credit score

Compare credit cards for a 600 credit score

Card name Notable benefits Annual fee
Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Unlimited 1% cash back on eligible purchases; after 6 on-time payments, earn 1.25% cash back; after 12 on-time payments, earn 1.5% cash back $0
Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

No credit check nor minimum security deposit required $0
Capital One Platinum Credit Card

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

Get credit report alerts from CreditWise: a free monitoring tool that won't damage your score $0
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase; plus 5% unlimited cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel $39
Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Helps those with little to no credit history build their credit $0

Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Pros Cons
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earns cash back
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Need 12 on-time payments to reach the highest earning rate

The Petal 2 Visa makes sense if you want to earn cashback rewards while building your credit history.

Why we like it: You can earn unlimited 1% cash back on eligible purchases; after 6 on-time payments, earn 1.25% cash back; after 12 on-time payments, earn 1.5% cash back — all with a $0 annual fee.

Even better, you don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees, and your credit activity is reported to all three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion).

What we don’t like: You could earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on all eligible purchases after 12 on-time payments. That means it could take about a year before you can start earning at the elevated rewards rate.

Read our full Petal Visa credit cards review for more details.

Secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card

Pros Cons
  • $0 annual fee
  • No interest or minimum security deposit45
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Need to open a Chime® Checking Account with eligible direct deposit
  • Doesn’t earn rewards

The Secured Chime Credit Builder is a secured credit card. It makes sense for existing or future Chime members who want a low-risk way to build credit.6

Why we like it: There’s no credit check to apply, no minimum security deposit requirement, and no interest.

The Chime Credit Builder also has no foreign transaction fees, a $0 annual fee, and reports activity to all three major credit bureaus.

What we don’t like: You can’t earn any rewards on your everyday purchases with the Chime Credit Builder. You’re also required to open a Chime® Checking Account with eligible direct deposit to qualify for this card.

Read our full Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa review for more details.

Capital One Platinum Credit Card

Pros Cons
  • $0 annual fee
  • No interest
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Doesn’t earn rewards

The Capital One Platinum is a no-frills credit card designed to help you build your credit history.

Why we like it: The Capital One Platinum has a $0 annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no interest if you pay your statement balance in full each month.

You can also use CreditWise, a free credit-monitoring tool that doesn’t hurt your credit score. You could be automatically considered for a higher credit limit in six months.

What we don’t like: You don’t earn points, miles, or cash back with the Capital One Platinum.

Read our full Capital One Platinum Credit Card review for more details.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Pros Cons
  • Simple rewards rate
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $39 annual fee

The Capital One QuicksilverOne is a simple cash back card that can help you build your credit history.

Why we like it: You could earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase; plus 5% unlimited cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Your rewards can be redeemed for a variety of options, including:

  • Cash back in the form of a statement credit or mailed check
  • Cash back to cover a recent purchase
  • Gift cards
  • Capital One Travel purchases, including flights, hotel stays, and car rentals

If you like to travel, you can take advantage of the Capital One QuicksilverOne having no foreign transaction fees.

What we don’t like: You have to pay a $39 annual fee as a cardmember with the QuicksilverOne.

Read our full Capital One QuicksilverOne review for more details.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

Pros Cons
  • $0 annual fee
  • Has flexible payment dates
  • Doesn’t earn rewards
  • Requires a security deposit

The Citi Secured Mastercard is a no-hassle secured credit card that can help you build your credit history.

Why we like it: The Citi Secured Mastercard has a $0 annual fee and gives you the option to choose your monthly due date.

What we don’t like: You can’t earn rewards for eligible purchases with the Citi Secured Mastercard. You also have to put down a security deposit of $200 to $2,500 that acts as your credit limit.

Read our full Citi Secured Mastercard review for more details.

How to choose credit cards for a 600 credit score

Consider these factors to help choose a credit card if you have a 600 credit score.

Credit requirements

A 600 credit score is typically enough to help you qualify for some of the best credit cards for fair credit. That’s because a fair credit score is at least a 580 on the FICO scoring model.

Here is how the FICO scores are separated.

  • Excellent credit score: 800 to 850
  • Very good credit score: 740 to 799
  • Good credit score: 670 to 739
  • Fair credit or average credit score: 580 to 669
  • Poor credit or bad credit score: 300 to 579

According to this model, a fair score is a low credit score, but it’s not the worst.

Note that you likely wouldn’t qualify for credit cards that require a good or excellent credit score if you have a fair FICO score. But you can responsibly use credit cards with lower credit requirements and keep a solid payment history with no late payments to build your credit history and credit score.

And in the future, you could qualify for better credit cards.

Rewards

You don’t have as many options for earning rewards on credit cards with a 600 credit score. In fact, many cards in this credit score range don’t offer rewards programs at all.

But there are still a few options available, including cards that earn cash back. If possible, consider going for rewards cards over non-rewards cards. Most credit cards can help you build your credit history, but it’s an added bonus if you can earn valuable rewards at the same time.

Earning potential

If you’re comparing multiple rewards cards, consider whether their rewards rates align with your spending habits.

There are typically two types of rates you can find on rewards cards.

  • Simple rate: You earn the same rate on most or all of your eligible purchases. For example, some cards offer 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • Bonus categories: You earn a base rewards rate and elevated rewards on certain types of purchases. For example, some cards offer 3% at gas stations and grocery stores and 1% on everything else.

Credit cards for a 600 credit score often have simple rates.

Security deposit

Many credit cards that you could qualify for with a 600 credit score are secured credit cards that require security deposits. These types of credit cards often have less strict credit requirements, but you have to put down a certain amount of money if you’re approved.

In most cases, your security deposit acts as your available credit limit. For example, if you put down a $200 security deposit, your available line of credit is $200.

To get a credit limit increase, you would need to make a larger security deposit. You might also qualify for a credit line increase if you graduate to an unsecured card and have your security deposit refunded. Graduation requirements depend on the lender but typically require you to keep your account in good standing.

Secured credit cards work just like standard unsecured credit cards as you can still use them to make purchases and build your credit history. The primary difference is the security deposit requirement.

Tip
Keep in mind that it’s easy to go over the recommended credit utilization ratio limit of 30% if you have a low credit limit. For example, you would only need to use $60 of a $200 credit limit to reach 30% credit utilization. A high credit utilization could cause your credit score to go down.

Annual fee

An annual fee is what you have to pay each year as a cardholder on certain credit cards. Many credit cards don’t carry annual fees, which is helpful for avoiding an extra cost.

But don’t be completely thrown off if a card has an annual fee. In some cases, the benefits of the card, such as a high rewards rate, could merit paying an annual cost for card membership.

FAQ

Can I get a credit card if my credit score is 600?

It depends on the financial institution and various creditworthiness factors, but you could qualify for multiple credit cards with a 600 credit score. This is typically what’s called a “fair” credit score, which means you might qualify for cards that require fair credit. That could include many of the best secured credit cards.

What is the minimum credit score needed for a credit card?

It depends on the credit card and credit card issuer. Some cards require little or no credit history, which makes sense if you’re new to credit cards or are rebuilding credit. In general, a 700 credit score or higher will help you qualify for most credit cards.

What can I get approved for with a 600 credit score?

You could get approved for these credit cards with a 600 credit score.

Note that a credit score is a guideline and not a guarantee of approval. Credit card companies use multiple factors, including a credit score, to determine your creditworthiness.

Credit cards for a 600 credit score: bottom line

You don’t need perfect credit to get a new card. Our top choices for a new credit card if you have a 600 credit score are the Petal 2 Visa and Capital One QuicksilverOne because they’re easy to use and earn cashback rewards.

If you’ve had issues getting approved for credit cards, consider applying for a secured credit card like the Secured Chime Credit Builder or Citi Secured Mastercard. Secured cards tend to have less strict credit requirements but can still help you build your credit history.

Compare credit cards to discover the best credit card offer for you.

Methodology

The companies we chose for our credit cards for a 600 credit score list may be current or past FinanceBuzz partners. We did not review all companies in the market. When evaluating these companies, we considered factors such as annual fees, security deposits (if applicable), earnings rates, and overall benefits.

Great Starter Card for Those With No Credit

Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card
4.9

Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Current Offer

Reports to all three major credit bureaus

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Unlimited 1% cash back on eligible purchases; after 6 on-time payments, earn 1.25% cash back; after 12 on-time payments, earn 1.5% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.

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