A good APR for a first credit card is anything below 20%. The best low interest first time credit card is the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students because it offers introductory APRs of 0% for 15 months on purchases and 0% for 15 months on balance transfers, with a regular APR of 14.74% - 24.74% (V). It also has a $0 annual fee and a 3% (min $10) balance transfer fee. But there is a 3% foreign transaction fee. With non-student first time credit cards, it’s hard to find a regular APR below 25% and nearly impossible to get a 0% intro rate.
Most first-timers have no credit history, so they need to prove themselves as responsible borrowers before getting a really low APR. But there are exceptions. One way to get a good APR for a first credit card is to apply for a secured card. But because these cards require you to deposit the entire amount they allow you to spend, it doesn’t make sense to carry a balance. You would in effect being paying interest to borrow money from yourself. Student cards also give lower rates, but naturally only to students.
Therefore, the very best APR for a first credit card is one that never affects you. Since you’re unlikely to get approved for a low APR, you should pay your balance in full every month. And if you do that, you won’t have to pay interest. Still, it’s worth knowing what rates are available, just in case.
First-Time Credit Cards with Good APRs:
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students: 0% for 15 months. 14.74% - 24.74% (V) regular APR. $0 annual fee.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: 26.99% (V). $39 annual fee.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card: 26.99% (V). $0 annual fee.
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card: 26.99% (V). $0 annual fee.
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card: 17.64% (V). $35 annual fee.
First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card: 14.74% (V). $39 annual fee.
First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card: 10.74% (V). $49 annual fee.
If you’re in the market for your first credit card, you probably don’t have much credit history, unless you’ve been able to build some as an authorized user on someone else’s card. So you probably won’t get a low APR. As a result, your aim should be to find a card with no annual fee that you can get approved for (rewards are a bonus). Then, pay in full every month by the due date to avoid interest. Paying your bill on time will also help you build credit and graduate to a card with a lower APR.
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