The best no annual fee credit card for no credit is the Capital One Platinum Card. In addition to its $0 annual fee, the Platinum Card has a $300 initial credit limit and gives access to a higher limit after the first 5 on-time payments. Capital One Platinum does not have rewards, but no annual fee and rewards are a tough combination to find if you have no credit.
You could consider secured cards, too. You’ll have to put up a security deposit to open the account and set your credit limit. But it’s fully refundable once you close your account with a $0 balance. One of the best secured cards is Discover it Secured. It gives 2% cash back on restaurant and gas purchases (first $1,000 spent per quarter). All other purchases get you 1% back. The minimum security deposit is $200.
Overall, the best no annual fee credit cards for no credit are student cards. There’s no security deposit, unlike with secured cards. And $0 annual fee student credit cards for no credit also come with better rewards and APRs than cards for non-students with no credit.
Discover has two great no-fee student card options. Discover it Student Cash Back offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in categories that rotate each quarter. You get 1% back on purchases outside of those categories. Discover it Student Chrome, on the other hand, gives 2% back on the first $1,000 spent per quarter at gas stations and restaurants and 1% everywhere else.
You might also like Journey Student Rewards from Capital One. It gives 1% cash back on all purchases, but that goes up to 1.25% if you pay your monthly bill on time.
You probably won’t be able to get a Walmart credit card with no credit history. The Walmart store-only credit card requires fair credit (640+ credit score), and the Walmart Mastercard requires good credit (700+ credit score) for approval.
Your best bet is to go for a card that’s explicitly open to people with no credit history. Capital One Platinum is one of the best choices. You might also consider secured cards like Discover it Secured or Capital One Secured.… read full answer
To get a credit card for the first time, you must be at least 18 years old and have enough income to afford monthly credit card payments, in addition to your other expenses. The minimum payments on a starter credit card usually are around $15 per month. The two basic steps involved in getting a credit card for the first time are to: 1) compare credit card offers designed specifically for people with limited or no credit history; and 2) apply for one with no annual fee, if available – rewards and APRs can be the tiebreaker.… read full answer
If you’re at least 21 years old, you can list household income and assets that you have reasonable access to on your credit card application. Younger applicants can only list independent income and assets. But even having a part-time job should provide enough income to get a credit card for the first time. Only people who are at least 18 years old can get their own credit card account. But there is no minimum age for being an authorized user on a credit card, in most cases.
High approval odds are one of the most important things to look for in your first credit card. The sooner you get approved, the sooner you can begin building your credit standing. Getting rejected for a credit card sets you back, both in terms of time and possible damage to your limited credit.
Low fees are another key feature to seek out when getting a credit card for the first time. Starter credit cards generally don’t offer rewards or interest rates worth paying high annual or monthly fees for. So it’s best to make your first credit card one with a $0 annual fee and always pay your monthly bill in full to avoid interest charges.
There are plenty of other things about the process of picking, applying for and getting your first credit that are also important to learn. We’ll walk you through them below, step by step.
How to Get a Credit Card for the First Time:
See if you have a credit report and score. You could have more credit history than you think, perhaps from being an authorized user on a family member’s credit card. This will help you determine how good of a credit card you should shoot for. Check your latest credit score and credit report for free on WalletHub.
Determine whether student credit cards are an option. College students can usually get better first credit cards than other people with no credit. Their youth and above-average expected income make them attractive to banks and credit unions. If you’re enrolled in school, check out the best student credit cards.
Compare secured and unsecured starter cards.Secured credit cards have the highest approval odds, but they require you to place a refundable security deposit. The amount of that deposit becomes your spending limit. Unsecured cards are harder to get but have no deposit.
Limit your search to cards with the lowest fees. Focus on weeding out cards with expensive non-refundable fees. A no annual fee credit card with no security deposit is best. But a low-fee secured card isn’t bad, either. You can get back your deposit when you close your account.
Choose the best remaining offer for your needs. If several credit cards are tied for the lowest fees and highest approval odds, consider the terms that are next most important to you. If you plan to pay your bill in full every month, that will probably be rewards. If not, you may want to focus on interest rates.
Submit your credit card application. Apply online for the fastest decision. You may even be approved instantly if you clearly meet the issuer’s criteria. You should receive your card within 7-10 business days of being approved.
Learning how to get a credit card for the first time is a rite of passage for young adults after turning 18 years old. And it’s a lot easier than you might think. The key is to choose wisely, by focusing on offers for people with limited credit and secured credit cards, which provide nearly guaranteed approval.
It’s also really important to remember that learning how to get a credit card for the first time and getting approved are only the beginning. You also need to use that card responsibly, which means spending within your means, paying your bill on time every month, and keeping your credit utilization below 30%.
If you can avoid racking up costly credit card debt and hurting your credit score with missed payments, your first credit card will be a huge asset. It will add positive information to your major credit reports each month. That will gradually improve your credit standing. And better credit will make it easier to rent an apartment, buy or lease a car, find a job, get approved for good loans and lines of credit and save on car insurance premiums, among other things.
You can track your progress for free on WalletHub, the only site with free credit scores and reports that are updated daily. We’ll even tell you exactly what you need to do to improve your credit score at a given time, plus provide personalized credit card recommendations. You can use them to find your first credit card and then graduate from it when the time is right.
You will have a difficult time getting the Amazon Store Card with no credit history. According to the Amazon.com website, you will need the following minimum credit scores to have a likely chance of being approved: Excellent (720+); Good (680); and Fair (640).
When you have no credit history, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have a credit score of 0. It means that you’ve yet to establish a pattern of borrowing money and paying it back on time. Payment history is one of the key factors issuers consider before they extend credit to a borrower. If you don’t have at least fair credit, your options of landing any unsecured line of credit with favorable terms and benefits will be limited.… read full answer
The Amazon Store Card is as advertised. You can only use the card only for Amazon.com purchases. If you don’t pay your credit card bill in full, you’ll be charged interest at a 27.74% APR on any unpaid balance.
To get an Amazon.com Store Card, you will need to come up with a plan to establish credit and build a solid credit profile. You can open a secured credit card account. Cards such as the Capital One Mastercard and Discover Secured card require a minimum initial deposit of $200 to secure your credit limit. With several months of timely payments, you may be eligible for a credit limit increase, a refund of your security deposit, or a transition to an unsecured credit card.
You may also sign on as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card. This allows you to build your credit based on the primary cardholder’s credit history. Be careful, though, if you choose to become an authorized user. Should the primary cardholder’s credit profile take a nosedive, any negative activity will also show up on your credit report.
Once your credit history reaches a healthy level, you may be eligible for the Amazon Rewards Signature Visa card. It’s a co-branded store card that can be used for purchases outside of Amazon.com. You’ll need at least a minimum good credit score (680+) to qualify.
Just try to resist the temptation and avoid applying for too many credit cards is a short amount of time, especially if you’re just starting out with credit. Multiple inquiries on your credit report will shave a few points off your credit score and stall your efforts to build good credit.show less
WalletHub Answers is a free service that helps consumers access financial information. Information on WalletHub Answers is provided “as is” and should not be considered financial, legal or investment advice. WalletHub is not a financial advisor, law firm, “lawyer referral service,” or a substitute for a financial advisor, attorney, or law firm. You may want to hire a professional before making any decision. WalletHub does not endorse any particular contributors and cannot guarantee the quality or reliability of any information posted. The helpfulness of a financial advisor's answer is not indicative of future advisor performance.
WalletHub members have a wealth of knowledge to share, and we encourage everyone to do so while respecting our content guidelines. Please keep in mind that editorial and user-generated content on this page is not reviewed or otherwise endorsed by any financial institution. In addition, it is not a financial institution’s responsibility to ensure all posts and questions are answered.
Ad Disclosure: Certain offers that appear on this site originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on an offer’s details page using the designation "Sponsored", where applicable. Advertising may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). At WalletHub we try to present a wide array of offers, but our offers do not represent all financial services companies or products.