2016’s Best First Credit Cards – Editors’ Picks
|Best For...||Card Name||Editors' Rating|
|College Students||Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®||5 Stars|
|No Annual Fee||Capital One® Platinum Credit Card||5 Stars|
|Cash Back||Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card||4.4 Stars|
|No Credit Check||Open Sky Secured Visa® Credit Card||4.0 Stars|
If you’d rather do your own homework than rely on our editors’ picks, the following tips will help guide you to a great first credit card.
How To Pick Your First Credit Card – 5 Tips
- Check your credit score. If you have no prior credit experience, you won’t have a credit score. So you can focus on cards designed for people with limited or no credit. But you will if you’ve used credit in the past, even as an authorized user. And how good (or bad) your resulting score is will dictate what cards you should consider.
- Get a student card if you can. Student credit cards tend to have the best terms of all the cards available to people with limited or no credit. And if you have an active college or university email address, you’ll be able to qualify for one.
- Focus on low fees. The best feature a first credit card can have is no annual fee. Most first credit cards simply don’t offer enough rewards or interest savings for paying a fee to make sense. So you’re better off saving your money for bill payments.
- Try to apply just once. Applying for numerous credit cards within a short period of time can hurt your credit score. So don’t apply in bunches or for a card that requires much better credit than you currently have.
- If rejected, get Open Sky: If you don’t get approved for your first choice, consider simply placing a refundable deposit on a secured credit card. The Open Sky Secured Visa is a great choice because it does not require a credit check.
So the moral of the story is that you should neither drag your heels when it comes to applying for your first credit card, nor think that your job is over once you’ve opened it. One of the best ways to learn about credit is to simply watch how your credit score changes over time in accordance with your spending and payment habits. And WalletHub is the best place to do so, as it is the only site that offers free credit scores and full credit reports that are updated on a daily basis. Your free WalletHub account will also provide personalized grades for each component of your credit score and customized recommendations for credit-card upgrades when the time comes.