The best credit card for 18 year olds is the Capital One Platinum card because it has a $0 annual fee. The minimum starting credit limit is $300, and there’s no security deposit required to open the account. Accounts are considered for a credit limit increase after 6 months. Young people who want to earn rewards and don’t mind paying a small annual fee may opt for the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards card. It offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and the annual fee is $39.
The best credit cards for 18-year-old students are the Capital One Journey Student Rewards, Discover it Student Chrome and Discover it Student Cash Back cards. They all offer $0 annual fees and solid cash back rewards on all purchases. A student’s age and earning potential are an attractive prospect for credit card issuers, so they’re willing to extend offers not readily available to non-students.
Some of the other best credit cards for 18 year olds are secured credit cards, which offer the easiest approval. They require a security deposit, typically around $200. The security deposit sets the credit limit and serves as collateral for the lender. It’s fully refundable after closing the account in good standing. The Discover it Secured card and Capital One Secured Mastercard are two of the best secured credit cards for 18-year-olds.
Here are the best credit cards for 18-year-olds:
Capital One Platinum: $0 annual fee. Eligible for a credit limit increase if you pay your bill on time for the first five months. 26.99% (V) APR.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards: $39 annual fee. 1.5% cash back on all purchases. $400 minimum starting credit limit. 26.99% (V) APR.
Capital One Journey Student Rewards: $0 annual fee. 1% cash back on all purchases; 1.25% for each month you pay your bill on time. 26.99% (V) APR.
Discover it Student Chrome: $0 annual fee. 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 spent each quarter and 1% on all other purchases. First year’s cash back matched. $20 statement credit for a 3.0 GPA or better each school year. 12.99% - 21.99% (V) APR.
Discover it Student Cash Back: $0 annual fee. 5% cash back on $1,500 spent per quarter in categories that rotate. 1% back on all other purchases. First year’s cash back matched. $20 statement credit for a 3.0 GPA or better each school year. 12.99% - 21.99% (V) APR.
Capital One Secured Mastercard: $0 annual fee. $200 initial credit limit with security deposit of $49, $99 or $200, based on creditworthiness. 26.99% (V) APR.
Discover it Secured: $0 annual fee. 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 each quarter and 1% on all other purchases. First year’s cash back matched. 22.99% (V) APR.
Citi Double Cash: $0 annual fee. 2% cash back on all purchases, 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill. 0% balance transfer APR for 18 months with 3% transfer fee. 13.99% - 23.99% (V) regular APR. For 18-year-olds who have already built good credit as an authorized user.
Keep in mind that the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility And Disclosure (CARD) Act of 2009 places limits on credit cards for 18-year-olds. Under the law, consumers younger than 21 years old must have either a co-signer or proof of a steady income to be a credit card’s primary accountholder. If you can meet one of these two requirements, you’ll have a pool of cards to choose from that will help you establish credit.
Another option is to become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. You can become an authorized user on any type of credit card, and you’ll enjoy any benefits the card offers while you establish your credit. The primary cardholder is financially responsible for the account, and his or her card activity will also be reflected on your credit report. However, any negative information such as late or missed payments will cause a drop in both of your credit scores.
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