Here Are The Best Starter Credit Cards

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Credit cards are pretty ubiquitous these days; it seems like everyone has at least one, and probably more than one. And there’s a good reason for that: a credit card is a nearly indispensible financial tool if you want to have the ability to make purchases online, reserve rental cars, and pay things off over a period of time.

But if you’ve never had a credit card before, it might be hard to know which one to start out with. For one thing, if you have no credit history, you might not be approved for the card you’d like to have. It’s important to apply for a card that’s meant for folks just starting to establish their credit history. There are plenty of these cards out there – it’s just a matter of knowing what to look for.

Here, then, are the hallmarks of a great starter credit card:

The card is from a reputable bank and credit card issuing network. A card that’s accepted widely, like MasterCard or Visa, is the best bet when you’re applying for your first credit card. Likewise, you’ll want to stick with cards from big banks like Chase, Citi, Bank of America, or Barclays. Stay away from store credit cards or cards issued by networks and banks you’ve never heard of.
It has a reasonable APR and no yearly fee. There are times when it’s worth paying an annual fee for a credit card, but for your first card, you won’t likely be eligible for those elite travel credit cards that make an annual fee worthwhile. Look for a low-APR credit card that doesn’t charge an annual fee, and once you’ve established some credit history, you can think about upgrading to a more elite credit card.
It has some perks. Many people think that for their first credit card, they won’t be able to get any of the great cash back or miles rewards cards. While it’s true that there are some limitations to what you’ll qualify for with no credit history, you can still get a card that offers something – maybe a little cash back, maybe no late fee for the first time you miss a payment due date, or possibly even a travel rewards program. Don’t settle for a card that doesn’t offer anything beyond the basics.

If you pay attention to the terms and conditions of the card you’re applying for, look at student cards and other low-limit cards, you’re sure to find a great starter credit card.

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