Saturday, November 26, 2022

Where To Get First Credit Card

Don't Miss

Things To Know Before Getting Your First Credit Card

Getting Your First Credit Card

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list ofour partnersandhere’s how we make money.

Getting your first credit card is a huge milestone and a big adjustment. You might already have a sense of how credit cards work and how to handle a credit card responsibly, but the devil is in the details. Understanding those ins and outs before diving in will save you money and help you build good credit more quickly.

NERDWALLET’S GUIDE TO YOUR FIRST CREDIT CARD

What is a Schumer box and how do you read it?

Paying Late Comes At A High Cost

Missing your due date can get expensive quickly. Depending how late your payment is, you could face:

  • Late fees. The legal limits on these fees are adjusted annually. But generally, the first time costs well over $20, and subsequent violations can be close to $40.

  • Penalty APRs. Most credit cards no longer charge penalty APRs, but some do. A penalty APR kicks in when you pay late, and can increase your interest rate to 30% or more right away for new transactions. And if the payment is more than 60 days late, that penalty APR can also be applied to your outstanding balance.

  • Damage to your credit. Paying a day late wont hurt your credit. But if you pay 30 or more days late, your payment will also be recorded as late on your credit reports, hurting your credit scores.

Consider setting up automatic payments from your bank account. Or, if youre worried about overdrawing your account, note your due dates on a calendar as a reminder.

The Amex Everyday Credit Card From American Express: Best For Getting Started With Amex

Welcome offer: 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you spend $1,000 within the first three months of account opening. These points are valued at $200 based on TPG valuations. However, be sure to check CardMatch to see if youre targeted for a higher bonus offer.

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: Earn 2x at U.S. supermarkets

Why this is a great first credit card: This is a credit card for points-and-miles beginners because it earns valuable Membership Rewards without charging an annual fee. It earns 2x at U.S. supermarkets and 1x on everything else plus you get a 20% bonus if you swipe it 20 times or more in a billing cycle.

The fact that it earns Amex Membership Rewards points is a large part of its appeal. Like Citi ThankYou Points and Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you can pool your rewards once you start earning more rewards with more premium Amex cards and Amex points are some of the most valuable out there.

For example, you can transfer your Amex points to Delta, which frequently has flash sales to destinations all over the world, so youre looking at an easy way to jump-start your free travels. You can also transfer your Amex Membership Rewards points to 19 airline and three hotel programs, including Delta and to really get a lot of value out of them.

The information for the Amex EveryDay card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Don’t Miss: Comenity.net Ashley Stewart

How Do I Get A Credit Card If I Have No Credit History

Regardless of your age or student status, if you dont have any credit history yet , you may have a hard time getting approved for any traditional credit card.

Secured credit cards are an exception to this rule, and theyre the best way to build credit for the very first time.

At first, a secured card works more like a debit card you deposit money into a bank account before you can use the card.

The difference, however, is that the secured credit card will report your responsible use of the card to credit bureaus and help you build credit in a way that debit and prepaid cards do not.

Learn more about ways to build credit for the first time or check your credit report to see if youve begun building credit yet.

Best First Credit Cards For 2021

How Do I Get My First Credit Card?

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Card

  • 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.

$95

This page includes information about the Discover it Secured Credit Card that is not currently available on The Points Guy and may be out of date.

Now that youve seen a snapshot of these cards lets take a closer look at each one.

Don’t Miss: Ulta Credi Card

Dealing With Credit Card Fraud Isnt As Difficult As It Sounds

If fear of fraud has made you reluctant to pull the trigger on your first credit card, understand that credit cards actually offer you more protection against fraud than debit cards do.

If crooks gain access to your debit card information, they could empty your bank account in an instant. You can report the fraud to your bank and recover your money, but that will take time to straighten out and in the interim, you could be strapped for cash.

When your credit card information is used fraudulently:

  • It’s the credit card company’s money at stake, not yours. Youll have plenty of time to dispute any fraudulent charges and remove them from your outstanding balance, typically right away.

  • You dont have to pay. Federal law minimizes your liability for unauthorized credit card purchases, and zero-liability policies of credit card networks like Visa and Mastercard generally bring your liability down to $0.

  • Getting a replacement card is relatively easy. After you call your issuer to alert them about fraud on your account, theyll cancel your card and send you a new one with a new number. No one will be able to make transactions using your old card number.

Blue Cash Everyday Card From American Express

Our pick for: No-deposit starter card foreign credit histories

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express pays elevated rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. The rewards aren’t as rich as on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but this card doesn’t charge an annual fee. New cardholders get a decent bonus offer and an introductory 0% APR period. If you’re buying groceries regularly but not necessarily all the time, it’s worth a look. Read our review.

» BUSINESS CREDIT CARD

Read Also: Cabelas Club Master Card

What Do You Need To Get A Credit Card Without Credit

You don’t need a credit history to get a starter card. In some cases, you won’t need a Social Security number. But generally, you’ll need:

  • A U.S. mailing address.

  • A checking or savings account.

Depending on your age, you might have to meet stricter income requirements to qualify:

If youre under 21: To qualify for a credit card, you’ll need to show that you can make payments on the account independently or get a co-signer, someone 21 or older who assumes the responsibility of your debt if you cant pay the bill.

If youre over 21: Youre still required to report your income if youre over 21, but you have the option to list any income to which you have reasonable expectation of access.

Other requirements can vary depending on the type of starter card. Some examples:

Top Credit Cards To Help You Get Started

How do I get a credit card for the first time?

While many credit cards exist for beginners, it’s important to note that you likely won’t have a high when you just start out.

This is because a lot of the credit cards that you’ll be able to qualify for with very little credit history are secured credit cards. These cards differ from traditional credit cards in that they typically require cardholders to make a security deposit upfront that acts as your credit limit. For the bank, this deposit acts as collateral in case you don’t pay your bills each month. Some of the best secured cards include the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One for a low deposit requirement and the Citi® Secured Mastercard® for low interest from a major bank.

But not all are secured cards or require the means to put down a security deposit.

The Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card is a great option for applicants with no credit history at all and the Deserve Digital First Card is perfect for international applicants since you don’t have to be a U.S. citizen to qualify.

And for those currently enrolled in school or planning to go back, college student credit cards are a smart choice for students looking to establish credit. The Citi Rewards+ Student Card is best for making small purchases and supermarket shopping, while the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is best for international students with no credit history.

Read Also: Does Quickbooks Charge A Fee For Credit Card Payments

What If You’re Not Ready To Apply For Your First Credit Card

If youre not ready for the responsibility of having your own credit card or if youre under 18, you could become an authorized user on someone elses card. For example, you might become an authorized user on your parents account if you meet the cards age requirements for authorized users. Some credit cards allow authorized users as young as 13.

Being an authorized user can also help you build credit with responsible use,* however, keep in mind the accounts credit history may appear on your credit report. If the primary account holder misses a lot of payments, for instance, it could hurt your credit score.

Discover reports the account credit history to the three major credit bureaus as to you and as to the Authorized User. This can help build the Authorized Users credit history if used responsibly. Late payments, delinquencies or other derogatory activity with your credit card accounts and loans may adversely impact yours and the Authorized Users ability to build credit.

Originally published May 26, 2015

Builds credit with responsible use: Discover reports your credit history to the three major credit bureaus so it can help build your credit if used responsibly. Late payments, delinquencies or other derogatory activity with your other credit card accounts and loans may impact your ability to build credit.

How We Picked These Cards

Getting a good credit card when youre new to credit or have a limited credit history isnt easy. As we researched the best first credit cards, we looked at various features, including fees, rewards and incentives designed specifically to help you build credit.

We also focused more on unsecured credit cards, which dont require that you put down a security deposit in order to qualify. We still listed a secured card for people who are having a hard time getting an unsecured card, and we chose that one in particular because of its deposit requirements.

Also Check: Credit Card Companies Use Transunion

First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard Secured Credit Card

  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application No credit inquiry required!
  • Includes Free Real-Time Access to Your Credit Score and Ongoing Credit Monitoring powered by Experian
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Try our new Mobile App for Android users!
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI ** See Card Terms.
  • Get a fresh start! A discharged bankruptcy still in your credit bureau file will not cause you to be declined.
$39

Can I Get A Credit Card If Im Under 21

How To Get Approved For Your First Credit Card

Good question. In 2009, the U.S. CARD Act created new laws designed to prevent some abusive practices in the credit card industry. Among these is a law that regulates companies issuing credit cards to minors. Today, you must be at least 18 years old to get a credit card.

Applicants under 21 need to prove their financial independence via either income or assetsin other words, your ability to repay the debt. In many cases, even a small part-time job may be enough to qualify you for a credit card with a modest credit limit.

If youre under 21 and do not have enough independent income, youll need a cosigner to apply for a credit card.

In either case, remember that you will have the financial responsibility to pay your credit card every month. If you cant afford it, dont apply!

Also Check: How To Cancel Jcpenney Credit Card

Qualifying For Your First Credit Card

So now you understand why credit cards are useful. But how do you actually get your first credit card? You’ll need to meet a few basic criteria to qualify for most credit cards:

  • Be at least 18 or older
  • Be a U.S. citizen or a resident with a Social Security Number
  • Have your own checking account
  • Have an independent source of income

The first and last points do require some extra attention. You can qualify for your own credit card at 18 if you have an independent source of income. However, allowances or gifts won’t count as income. If you don’t have your own verifiable income, you’ll need to have a cosigner over the age of 21 with good credit or be over 21 yourself.

Provided you meet these basic requirements, you can apply for your first credit card.

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard Secured Credit Card

  • Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
  • No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
  • Quick and Complete Online Application No credit inquiry required!
  • Includes Free Real-Time Access to Your Credit Score and Ongoing Credit Monitoring powered by Experian
  • Full-Feature Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card Try our new Mobile App for Android users!
  • Good for Car Rental, Hotels Anywhere Credit Cards Are Accepted!
  • Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
  • Just Pay Off Your Balance and Receive Your Deposit Back at Any Time
  • 24/7 Online Access to Your Account
  • Nationwide Program though not yet available in NY, IA, AR, or WI ** See Card Terms.
  • Get a fresh start! A discharged bankruptcy still in your credit bureau file will not cause you to be declined.

Also Check: Cancel My Chase Credit Card

Full List Of Editorial Picks: Best Starter Cards For No Credit

» SECURED CREDIT CARDS

Secured credit cards can be a good option for those with no credit who want a starter card from a major issuer. These cards require an upfront refundable deposit, usually equal to the card’s limit. That cash collateral is returned to you if the card is upgraded to an unsecured account or closed in good standing.

Mbna True Line Gold Mastercard*

Getting your first Credit Card

People looking to reduce the amount of interest they pay should consider a low-interest credit card like the MBNA True Line Gold card. You wont earn anything for your spending on the card, but the interest rate is just 8.99%, which is significantly lower than the average of 19.99% most other credit cards charge. If youre currently carrying a balance on a credit card with a higher interest rate, then you should also consider taking advantage of the optional balance transfer at the time of application. Balances transferred wont be charged interest for a full six months, which could save you bundles.

  • Annual fee: $39
  • Purchase interest rate: 8.99%
  • Balance transfer offer: Optional balance transfer at 0% interest for the first 6 months

NOTE: this offer is not available for residents of Quebec

Don’t Miss: Citibank Bestbuy Visa

How To Decide: What Is The Best Credit Card For Me

To decide which credit is the best for you, you need to look at your priorities. If you normally carry a balance or you want to reduce your debt, then a low-interest or balance transfer card should be the only types you consider.

People who always pay off their full balance every month need to decide whether a travel or cash-back card makes more sense for them. Travel cards can offer lucrative rewards, but if you dont like to travel, theres no point in you getting a travel credit card. If this sounds like you, then a cash-back card may be the way to go.

Now that youve got your category of card selected, take a look at the earn rate, additional, benefits and which type of points you earn for each card. If you happen to spend a lot on gas and groceries, then look for a card that has a high earn rate for those categories.

The annual fee should also be a consideration in your decision making, but if you think youre getting good value out of your additional benefits and youre making more back than you paid with the fee, then it shouldnt be a big deal.

Check Your Credit Report Once A Year

Now that you’re actively building credit via your first credit card, it’s a good idea to monitor it. Three major credit bureaus keep track of your credit history: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You’re entitled to a free report from each of them once a year. To get your free credit report, simply visit annualcreditreport.com or call 877.322.8228. Check your report to make sure there are no mistakes, since errors can hurt your credit score. If you find an error, we’ve put together some tips on what to do if you find a mistake in your credit report.

Read Also: Credit Score For Cabelas Card

More articles

Popular Articles