There are hundreds of credit cards on the market, all competing for your business. The most popular credit cards offer enticing signup bonuses, high rewards, and valuable travel and shopping benefits.
However, the popularity of those cards also make them harder to get. To qualify for a strong rewards credit card, you’ll likely need a high credit score. More basic cards have lower requirements, so it’s easier to get approved for a card.
Below, find out what credit score you need to qualify for five popular credit cards.
What is a credit score?
Your credit score is a number that has a big impact on your life. Lenders and credit card companies look at your credit score when deciding whether or not to issue you new credit. It also affects what interest rate you get. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate will be.
Many companies look at credit score ranges, rather than an exact score, because your score can fluctuate slightly day to day. For TransUnion Vantage Scores, the following ranges apply:
- Excellent: 750-850
- Good: 700-749
- Fair: 650-699
- Poor: 550-649
Most services charge you to see your credit score, but it’s possible to get it for free. Credit Soup® allows you to check your TransUnion Vantage Score at no cost to you.
Necessary credit scores for 5 popular credit cards
Each credit card has its own unique eligibility requirements. In general, credit card companies will look at your credit score, income, and current debt levels when deciding whether or not to approve you for a card.
In general, cards with the strongest rewards programs will demand higher credit scores. If your credit is less-than-great, you may only be able to qualify for a more barebones card until your credit improves.
Review the credit score requirements for these five popular credit cards before submitting your application.
1. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Good to excellent
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular credit cards available, and it’s easy to see why. With it, you’ll earn 60,000 bonus points — a $750 value — after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening an account. And, you’ll earn 2X points per $1 spent on travel and dining, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers outstanding rewards and benefits, so it’s only available to those with good to outstanding credit. That means you should have a credit score between 660 and 850.
2. Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Good to excellent
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card is another excellent rewards card. You can earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. You'll also earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
There’s no annual fee, and you can also get 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on new purchases and balance transfers. After that, your APR will be 16.74 - 25.49% Variable. This card comes with a 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5. After that 60-day period, the balance transfer fee is either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you’ll need good to excellent credit to qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card. Your credit score should be between 660 to 850.
3. Capital One® Platinum Credit Card: Fair
If your credit score is 600 or above, you may be able to qualify for the Capital One® Platinum Card. A great card for someone looking to establish a strong credit history, the card has no annual fee. After making your first five monthly payments on-time, you’ll get access to a higher credit line.
4. First Access Visa® Card: Poor to fair
If you have trouble qualifying for a credit card, the First Access Visa® Card may be a smart option. Available to those with poor credit — scores as low as 550 — the card does have an annual fee and higher-than-average APR. However, it can be a useful tool. As your credit improves, you can upgrade to a more competitive card that offers lower fees and more rewards.
5. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: Poor to no credit
If you don’t have a sufficient credit history, it can be difficult to qualify for any credit card. That’s where a secured credit card like the Capital One® Secured Mastercard® can be a great asset. There’s no annual fee, and after making your first five monthly payment on time, you’ll get access to a higher credit limit.
Know your credit score
Your credit score is an important number to know. If you’re not sure where you stand, you can check your credit score for free through Credit Soup®.
Editorial Disclaimer: Information in these articles is brought to you by CreditSoup. Banks, issuers, and credit card companies mentioned in the articles do not endorse or guarantee, and are not responsible for, the contents of the articles. The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted; however, all credit card information is presented without warranty. Please check the issuer’s website for the most current information.