If you have never used a credit card before, it’s very important you get it right the first time as this will affect your chances of building a good credit history. If you choose a high rate card, chances are you will become delinquent soon enough. That’s why you need to go through this list of the best first-time credit cards before you make a decision;
01 Best for Overall: Discover it | Best First-time Credit Cards
Discover it® Card is arguably one of the best first-time credit cards. It gives users the opportunity to earn five percent cashback rewards on purchases in rotating categories. Plus, you’ll enjoy zero percent APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months. Of course, you won’t have any balances to transfer, with this being your first credit card. The long introductory period gives you time to get used to having a credit card without having to pay interest.
Discover It’s reward program allows you to earn five percent on up to $1,500 on purchases in categories that rotate each quarter. You’ll have to be sure to register prior to each quarter to receive the five percent cashback bonus. All your other purchases will earn one percent cashback. As a bonus, at the end of your first year, Discover automatically matched all the cash back you earned since your account opening.
You’ll enjoy a few other perks such as Freeze it on/off switch which helps prevent unauthorized purchases on your credit card by allowing you to temporarily freeze your credit card. Each of your monthly statements will include your FICO score – a great benefit for you to see how you’re building a good credit score with your first credit card.
Important Pricing: A zero percent introductory APR applies to purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months. After that, the regular APR is 13.99 to 24.99 percent, based on your credit history. There’s no annual fee.
02 Best Sign-Up Bonus: Chase Freedom | Best First-time Credit Cards
Apply for Chase Freedom and enjoy a warm welcome with a sign-up bonus of $150 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of opening your account. Chase only pays the signup bonus to cardholders who haven’t earned a bonus in the previous 24 months – a restriction you won’t have to worry about with your first credit card.
Additionally, you’ll have the ability to earn five percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchase categories that rotate each quarter. Similar to Discover it, you’ll have to activate to earn the five percent rewards. You’ll earn one percent cash back on all your other purchases.
Important Pricing: Zero percent introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, the regular APR is 17.24 to 25.99 percent. There’s no annual fee.
03 Best for Flat-Rate Rewards: Capital One QuicksilverOne
The Capital One QuickSilverOne credit card pays a flat 1.5 percent cash back on all your purchases. This is great if you don’t want to keep up with rotating categories and you think you might forget to register or activate for the bonus rewards. Your cashback rewards never expire and you can redeem your rewards at any time.
Being responsible with your first credit card is important for building your credit. Capital One will reward you for paying on time by automatically considering you for a credit limit increase if you make your first five monthly payments on time.
Important Pricing: The Purchase APR is 22.97 to 26.97 percent and the annual fee is $39.
04 Best for Fair Credit: Capital One Secured | Best First-time Credit Cards
Getting approved for the first credit card can be tough, especially if you have a negative item in your credit history. A previous late loan payment or debt collection account can make it harder to get approved. If this applies to you, consider a secured credit card, one that allows you to pay a deposit to secure the credit limit for your account.
With the Capital One Secured MasterCard, you may be able to make a minimum security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 for a $200 credit limit. If you like, you can make an additional security deposit for a higher credit limit before your account opens.
Just like the Capital One QuicksilverOne, Capital One will consider you for an automatic credit limit increase after you make your first five monthly payments on time.
Important Pricing: The APR is 26.99 percent and there’s no annual fee.
05 Best Rewards for Fair Credit: Discover it Secured | Best First-time Credit Cards
The Discover it Secured credit card allows you to secure your credit limit with a security deposit but offers rewards on your purchases.
You’ll earn two percent cash back at restaurants or gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. All other purchases will earn one percent cashback. You’ll want to keep your credit card open for at least a year because Discover matches the cashback you earn at the end of the first year, dollar for dollar.
You can redeem your rewards at any time for any amount. You can even use your rewards automatically at Amazon.com to discount purchases or pay for the full purchase.
Important Pricing: The regular APR is 24.99 percent APR and there’s no annual fee.
06 Best for No Credit Check: OpenSky Secured Visa Card
The OpenSky Secured Visa doesn’t require a credit check at all, which means you’re virtually guaranteed to be approved. The only condition is, you need to make a minimum $200 security deposit. You can deposit up to $3,000 to secure your credit limit for the credit card.
Unlike most other secured credit cards, you don’t have the option of converting to an unsecured credit card by making timely payments. But it does report your account history to the credit bureaus. That means your responsible use will help you build your credit history and qualify for an unsecured credit card. You’ll receive a refund of your security deposit within four to six weeks after closing your account.
Important Pricing: The APR is 19.39 percent. The annual fee is $35.