The best first credit card is Discover it Secured because it offers 2% cash back on the first $1,000 spent per quarter at gas stations and restaurants and 1% everywhere else. Those are the best rewards you’ll find on any credit card for first-timers. Plus, Discover will match all the rewards earned during the first year on the first account anniversary. Discover it Secured has a $0 annual fee, but it does require a refundable $200 + security deposit to open the account. The credit limit is equal to the amount of the deposit, up to $2,500.
If you’d rather not put down a deposit, there are some good unsecured first-time credit card offers as well.
Best for no deposit: Capital One Platinum is the best unsecured credit card for first-timers because it has a $0 annual fee. The downside is that Capital One Platinum does not provide rewards.
Best for rewards with no deposit: Capital One QuicksilverOne offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases but has a $39 annual fee.
Like all Capital One cards, both of those options do not charge foreign transaction fees. Some of the best first credit cards are targeted specifically toward students. Only people enrolled in school can get them, but they provide some of the best terms and rewards.
Best for students: The Bank of America Travel Rewards Card for Students is the best credit card for first-timers who are still in school in large part because it offers a bonus of 25,000 points for spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. It also gives 3 points per $1 spent at the BofA Travel Center and 1.5 everywhere else. And, you get a 10% bonus on your points if you have a BofA checking or savings account. To top it off, the annual fee is $0.
Even if you’ve never had a credit card before and don’t have a credit history, you should have high chances to qualify for any of these cards if you have an income.