How to Qualify for a Rewards Credit Card

Cash back, a credit card statement credit, flights, hotel stays – these are all nice perks that come from a rewards credit card. How can you get one so you start enjoying these incentives?

Credit card issuers reserve rewards credit cards for the most creditworthy consumers. So how is your credit score looking? The higher your credit score, the more likely you are to qualify for credit cards with high value rewards. Some credit card issuers disclose a recommended credit level and their matching rewards structure so you can check before applying.

If you have good credit

Premium rewards cards are offered to people with a credit score of at least 760. These are really attractive with its high reward payouts but it also comes with higher annual fees. In general, if your score is at least 700, you will qualify for most rewards credit cards.

If you have fair credit

All those previous late payments, high credit card balances, multiple credit inquiries, and old delinquencies will start to haunt you now. Your options for rewards cards slim down with a score around the 600s. Needless to say, it will be challenging to get approved for credit cards with the highest reward rates. The best thing you can do is seek cards with lower payout rates and fewer perks. If you are a student, look for a credit card that is particularly marketed towards your demographic.

If you have bad credit

Should you even bother shopping around for a rewards card if you are on the road to rebuilding your credit? Yes. Having poor credit below 600 severely limits your options but it is not impossible to earn rewards. There will be specific products for you that come with special terms. Maybe you will need to make a security deposit against your credit limit and so. But you eventually get your deposit back after several months of timely payments and still earn puchase rewards.

Credit score matters a lot in getting approved for a rewards credit card. But this is not the only indicator. Your income, the amount of debt you have, how many credit cards you have open, and any recent delinquencies all play a role. So do your best to keep your credit in the best shape to enjoy the best rewards, perks, and more!