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Best Beginner Credit Cards of 2024

If you’re new to credit, it can be challenging to get approved for traditional credit cards. That’s where starter credit cards come in — they’re designed for people with limited or no credit history.

In this guide, we’ll introduce the best credit cards for beginners and go through the factors you need to consider to find the right fit, including:

  • Basics of starter credit cards
  • Types of beginner credit cards
  • Choosing a starter credit card

Our top picks for the best credit cards for beginners

Advertiser Disclosure

Best for college students who spend primarily on restaurants, groceries and entertainment

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 10% Reward Rate

Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% back on all other purchases. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases. Earn 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$50
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Limited, Fair/Good (580 - 740)
Why we like it
The Capital One SavorOne Student credit card offers college students a way to build their credit while earning rewards on purchases in everyday categories like restaurants, grocery stores, and entertainment.
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Card Details

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  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • No foreign transaction fees or hidden fees
  • Earn up to $500 a year by referring friends and family when they’re approved for a Capital One credit card
  • Build your credit with responsible card use
  • Whether you’re at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you
Pros
  • Good cash back rewards & welcome bonus
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
Cons
  • Highest cash back requires booking through Capital One
  • Possible high APR depending on credit worthiness

Best for people with a limited but positive credit history

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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Up to 6.5% Reward Rate

Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
Up to $300 cash back
Regular APR
20.49%-29.24% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
You probably won’t qualify for the Chase Freedom Unlimited if you haven’t established a positive credit history yet, so it’s likely better as a second credit card. If you have established that positive history, this card could make a great addition to your wallet. With no annual fee, a solid reward structure, and a nice welcome offer, the Freedom Unlimited has the potential to be your “everything card.” While some people get different cards for different purposes— one for travel, another for dining, another for flat-rate cash back, etc.— the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers generous rewards to cover all of your bases.

Best for earning and redeeming rewards on travel purchases

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 5X Reward Rate

Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on all purchases and 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
20,000 miles
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Capital One VentureOne Card isn’t the highest-earning travel credit card out there, but its lack of an annual fee, intro APR offer, and simple rewards make it a good beginner travel card.
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Card Details

More card info

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, then 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR.
  • Balance transfer fee of 3% for the first 15 months; 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time
  • Miles won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • Intro APR offer
  • Low spending requirement for welcome offer
Cons
  • High APR
  • Good or excellent credit recommended
  • Few travel perks

Best for college students with varied spending habits

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 5% Reward Rate

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel platform.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$50
Regular APR
19.99% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Limited, Fair/Good (580 - 740)
Why we like it
For college students just entering the world of credit cards, tracking bonus categories may seem overwhelming or unnecessary. The Quicksilver Student Card takes away a piece of that guesswork by providing flat-rate rewards on all purchases.
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Card Details

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  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • No foreign transaction fees or hidden fees
  • Lock your card in the Capital One Mobile app if it’s misplaced, lost or stolen
  • Earn up to $500 a year by referring friends and family when they’re approved for a Capital One credit card
  • Build your credit with responsible card use
  • Whether you’re at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you
Pros
  • No annual fee / no foreign transaction fees
  • No penalty APR
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Cons
  • High APR depending on creditworthiness
  • Limited cash back bonus categories
  • No intro APR offer for purchases

Best for earning rewards in everyday categories

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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Up to 3% Reward Rate

Earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000/year spent at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year at U.S. gas stations (then 1%), 3% back on up to $6,000/year on online retail purchases (then 1%), and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
$200
Regular APR
19.24% to 29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
Good/Excellent (670 - 850)
Why we like it
The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express is one of the most solid no-annual-fee cash-back credit cards. With rewards in categories many people can benefit from, this card would be a great beginner cash-back credit card (if you’ve already established a good credit score).
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Card Details

More card info

  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months after account opening, then 19.24% to 29.99% variable APR.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Everyday® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy up to $15 back per month when you purchase a Home Chef meal kit subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your enrolled Blue Cash Everyday® Card.
  • Terms Apply.
Pros
  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR on eligible purchases for 15 months
  • Generous rewards at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations & online shopping
Cons
  • Rewards cap on spending at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and online retail purchases
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee
  • Low rewards rate outside of bonus categories

Best for building or repairing credit with a low security deposit

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

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No Rewards

This card doesn’t earn any rewards.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
If you’re looking through these cards and realize you don’t have an established enough credit history or a high enough score to qualify, the Capital One Platinum Secured could give you the chance to start building or repairing your credit so you can eventually get one of these better cards.
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Card Details

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  • See if you’re approved in seconds
  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free for everyone
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking to access your account from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One’s mobile app
Pros
  • Easy approval
  • $49, $99 or $200 flexible security deposit opportunities
  • No annual fee
Cons
  • High variable APR
  • No rewards structure
  • Requires a security deposit

Best for earning cash-back rewards while building credit

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Up to 5% Reward Rate

Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 5% back on hotels and rental cars booked through the Capital One Travel platform.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
29.99% variable
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
If you’re still working on building or repairing your credit but like the idea of earning rewards, the Quicksilver Secured lets you earn 1.5% cash back on everything and is easier to qualify for than traditional credit cards.
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Card Details

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  • Put down a refundable $200 security deposit to get a $200 initial credit line
  • Building your credit? Using a card like this responsibly could help
  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It’s free for everyone
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
Pros
  • Can qualify with limited credit
  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Cons
  • High APR
  • Limited cash back bonus categories
  • Requires a security deposit

Best for people who struggle to get approved for secured cards

Self - Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa® Credit Card

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No Rewards

This card doesn’t earn any rewards.

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Annual Fee
$25
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
28.74% variable
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
When getting approved for a secured or unsecured card proves to be difficult, the Self Credit Builder Visa could help. Its unique structure contributes to a stronger credit mix than other cards, helping to effectively boost your credit score with responsible use.
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Card Details

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  • Start with a Credit Builder Account, make at least 3 monthly payments on time, have $100 or more in savings progress in your Credit Builder Account, and be in good standing. Then, you’ll be eligible for the Self Visa® Credit Card, without a hard credit check.
  • Your savings progress from your Credit Builder Account acts as your security deposit for your secured Credit Card.
  • No credit score or hard credit check is needed to get started.
  • Can pay as little as $25/month
  • Reports to all 3 credit bureaus.

Credit Builder Accounts & Certificates of Deposit made/held by Lead Bank, Sunrise Banks, N.A., SouthState Bank, N.A., First Century Bank, N.A., each Member FDIC. Subject to credit approval.

Self Visa® Credit Card issued by Lead Bank or SouthState Bank, N.A., each Member FDIC. See self.inc for details.

*Sample loans: $25/mo, 24 mos, $9 admin fee, 15.92% APR; $35/mo, 24 mos, $9 admin fee, 15.97% APR; $48/mo, 24 mos, $9 admin fee, 15.72% APR; $150/mo, 24 mos, $9 admin fee, 15.88% APR. See self.com/pricing

Pros
  • No upfront deposit
  • No credit score requirement
  • Contributes to credit mix
Cons
  • Can’t use the card immediately
  • Have to commit to 2 years of payments
  • Doesn’t earn rewards

Best for opening a secured card with no credit check

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card

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No Rewards

This card doesn’t earn any rewards.

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Annual Fee
$0
Welcome Offer
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Recommended Credit
No Credit History
Why we like it
The Chime Credit Builder Card works differently than most credit cards— you move money around like you would with a debit card, but unlike a debit card, Chime helps to build your credit score. This structure also helps to make the credit-building process safer, with less risk of you going into debt.
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Card Details

More card info

The Chime credit card works like other secured credit cards in the sense that it requires a security deposit. However, it offers several features that put it in a league of its own. Chime essentially works like a prepaid card. You simply add money to your Chime Builder secured account from your checking account and can spend until your card balance reaches $0.00. This is great for people trying to build or rebuild credit**, as it works similarly to a debit card (It’s not a debit card, but Chime does offer a debit card— use code SAVE10 to get $10 when you activate your Chime Debit Card within 30 days of enrollment).

However, unlike a debit card, Chime reports to all 3 credit bureaus, so you build credit while you spend. Other noteworthy features of the Chime Credit Builder card include not requiring a credit check at sign-up or a minimum security deposit (Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.)

To qualify for the Chime Credit Builder card, all you need is to open a Chime Checking Account and receive a qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more. After receiving that direct deposit you can apply for a secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card!

*No Interest: Out of network ATM withdrawal fees and over the counter advance fees may apply. See here for details.

**No Minimum Security Deposit: Money added to Credit Builder will be held in a secured account as collateral for your Credit Builder Visa card, which means you can spend up to this amount on your card. This is money you can use to pay off your charges at the end of every month.

The secured Chime Credit Builder Visa® Credit Card is issued by The Bancorp Bank, N.A. or Stride Bank, N.A., Members FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and may be used everywhere Visa credit cards are accepted. Please see the back of your card for its issuing bank.

To apply for Credit Builder, you must have received a single qualifying direct deposit of $200 or more to your Chime Checking Account. The qualifying direct deposit must be from your employer, payroll provider, gig economy payer, or benefits payer by Automated Clearing House (ACH) deposit OR Original Credit Transaction (OCT). Bank ACH transfers, Pay Anyone transfers, verification or trial deposits from financial institutions, peer to peer transfers from services such as PayPal, Cash App, or Venmo, mobile check deposits, cash loads or deposits, one-time direct deposits, such as tax refunds and other similar transactions, and any deposit to which Chime deems to not be a qualifying direct deposit are not qualifying direct deposits.

**Safer Credit Building - On-time payment history may have a positive impact on your credit score. Late payment may negatively impact your credit score. Chime will report your activities to Transunion®, Experian®, and Equifax®. Impact on your credit may vary, as Credit scores are independently determined by credit bureaus based on a number of factors including the financial decisions you make with other financial services organizations.

Pros
  • No annual fee
  • No credit check required to apply
  • No annual interest charges
Cons
  • No credit limit greater than your deposit
  • Need direct deposit account with Chime
  • No option to upgrade

Credit cards for beginners compared

Advertiser Disclosure
Card name
Best for
Annual fee
Reward rate
Learn more
Best for college students who spend primarily on restaurants, groceries and entertainment
$0
1%-10% cash back
Best for people with a limited but positive credit history
$0
1.5%-6.5% cash back

Best credit cards for beginners: Editorial reviews

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

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The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is available to students. It comes with unlimited cash-back rewards — 3% on restaurant, entertainment and grocery store purchases, and 1% on all other eligible purchases — and doesn’t have an annual fee. This card requires fair credit, so you must have at least some credit history to be approved.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card has a $0 annual fee and a solid rewards program, which is why it’s one of the best beginner credit cards. You can earn 3% at restaurants and drugstores, plus 1.5% on all other purchases. It’s good for travelers; book through Chase Travel to earn 5% back. Unlike many starter credit cards, the Freedom Unlimited also has an intro annual percentage rate (APR) offer. It has the potential to be a one-stop shop, but if you spend a lot in specific categories, another card may provide more value.

Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

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The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is designed for people with excellent credit. It doesn’t have an annual fee, and it offers a 0% intro APR. You can earn a welcome bonus of 20,000 miles if you spend a minimum of $500 in the first three months. This card is best if you’re a traveler — you’ll earn 1.25 miles per dollar spent, which you can redeem for bookings made through the Capital One Travel portal or other travel purchases. Other travel cards can easily provide more value, but if you don’t travel often and/or don’t want to pay an annual fee, the VentureOne could be a good option.

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

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The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card has a $0 annual fee and offers cash-back rewards. It has a simple rewards structure where every eligible purchase earns 1.5%. Choose from flexible redemption options, including cash back and gift cards. You must be a college student to apply. If you’re willing to keep track of bonus categories, a different card may provide more value (depending on what you spend the most on).

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express helps you earn rewards on ordinary purchases. You can earn 3% cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. online retailers and U.S. gas stations up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), plus 1% on everything else. The card has no annual fee and comes with a solid intro APR offer. You’ll already need to have a decent credit history and a good credit score to qualify, but if you’ve already done that hard work, this could be a good bridge into the world of cash-back credit cards.

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

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If you can’t get approved for a traditional credit card, the zero-annual-fee Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card could be a good option to help you build your credit history. You must make a security deposit of $49, $99 or $200 to open the card with a $200 limit. In as little as six months, Capital One will conduct a credit-line review. If you’re eligible, the bank may refund your deposit and move you up to a standard Capital One Platinum Credit Card. It doesn’t earn rewards and has a very high APR, but it could be a decent way for you to work on building up that credit score.

Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card

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The Capital One Quicksilver Secured Cash Rewards Credit Card has a minimum deposit of $200 and is geared toward people with limited or fair credit. Purchases earn 1.5% cash back — an unusual perk for a secured credit card. Quicksilver Secured cardholders are also eligible for automatic credit-line reviews, so you could be upgraded to a standard Quicksilver card.

Self - Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa® Credit Card

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The Self - Credit Builder Account with Secured Visa® Credit Card offers one of the most unique beginner credit cards on the market. To get it, you’ll need to open a Self Credit Builder Account and make at least three on-time deposits. Once you have at least $100 in Self savings, you can open the Self Visa card without a hard credit inquiry. This process takes time, but it may be worthwhile if you don’t qualify for another card.

Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card

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The Chime Credit Builder Secured Visa® Credit Card is a standard secured card that doesn’t require a credit check. However, you’ll need to open a checking account with Chime and make direct deposits of at least $200. Move money into your Credit Builder account to determine the credit limit. Chime doesn’t charge interest or annual fees.

Find the right credit card for you. Answer a few questions to get matched with your perfect credit card in 60 seconds or less, with no impact on your credit score. Credit Cards with Mouse Cursor GET STARTED
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What is a starter credit card?

A starter credit card is intended specifically for people who have limited or no credit history. Most come with relaxed approval criteria, making them easier to get than standard credit cards. The best starter credit cards give you access to credit, but more importantly, they help you build a credit profile.

How do beginner credit cards work?

Beginner credit cards give you access to a line of credit. You can charge purchases up to the credit limit and pay them back later. If you carry a balance, most card issuers charge interest on the unpaid sum. The interest depends on your annual percentage rate (APR) — the amount you pay to use credit.

Since beginner credit cards tend to have higher APRs than other cards, it’s a good idea to pay off your balance every month. That way, you won’t get hit with large interest fees. If you qualify for a card with 0% intro APR, remember that it will increase after the introductory period ends.

As you use your first credit card, the issuer reports your activity to the major credit bureaus — Experian, TransUnion and Equifax. If you make payments on time, stay within your credit limit and minimize the amount of credit you’re using, you can increase your credit score.

Pros and cons of starter credit cards

Thinking about opening a credit card for beginners? Make sure you’re aware of the pros and cons:

Pros
  • Helps build credit
  • Easier to qualify for
  • Usually have no annual fees
  • May offer a 0% introductory APR
  • Certain cards earn rewards
Cons
  • High APRs
  • Irresponsible use can damage your credit
  • Low credit limits
  • May require a security deposit or a minimum credit score

Why should I get a beginner credit card?

You might consider a beginner’s credit card if you’re new to credit; these cards are ideal if you’ve never had a credit card or a loan. They can also be useful if you need to rebuild your credit.

The goal of starter credit cards is to establish a solid credit history. That way, it’s easier to get approved for home loans, auto loans and have access to the best credit cards.

Better credit can also help you:

The best beginner credit cards also come with additional perks such as rewards and fraud protection. Many include car rental insurance, extended warranties and purchase protections.

Types of starter credit cards

If you’re searching for a first-time credit card, there are a few types to consider.

Student credit cards

Student credit cards are exclusively for students and you may be able to qualify with a very limited or nonexistent credit history. Shop around — credit card companies know that students can turn into long-term customers, so they often offer special products and perks.

Secured credit cards

Secured credit cards require you to put up a security deposit in cash. This money serves as collateral; if you don’t make payments, the card issuer keeps your deposit. These cards are relatively easy to get even if you have a low credit score or a spotty credit history. As long as you make payments on time, they offer an effective way to build credit.

Unsecured credit cards

Unsecured credit cards don’t require a security deposit. However, the issuer will assess your credit score, credit history, income and debt before making an approval decision. Starter cards often have fewer approval requirements, but they may have high APRs and lower credit limits.

How to choose the best starter credit card

To help you choose the best first credit card for your needs, keep the following factors in mind.

Credit building features

Make sure the card issuer reports to all three credit bureaus — that way, making timely payments will have the biggest impact on your credit score. While you’re at it, check to see if you can upgrade to a better card with the same issuer after a period of responsible use.

APR

The APR on starter cards is usually higher than the rates charged on standard cards, but it’s still a consideration. After all, the APR will have a big impact on how much you pay to carry a balance. If you have a good credit score, look for cards that offer lower rates for well-qualified applicants.

Fees

Read the card terms to understand the fees you’ll pay if you take a cash advance, make a late payment or transfer a balance from another card. Most beginner cards have a $0 annual fee, but it’s a good idea to verify the amount. If you’re a traveler, make sure to check foreign transaction fees; they can add up over the course of one vacation.

Rewards

Does the card offer a rewards program? If so, does it match your spending patterns? Look at redemption options carefully — some rewards cards will send a check or give you statement credits, while others have more limited options. It’s also important to look at welcome offers; if you can meet the spending threshold, these offers can pay off in extra rewards.

Benefits

Check the benefits that come with the card. Common options include:

How to apply for a beginner credit card

You can apply for starter credit cards online — our card comparison tool, CardMatch, is a great place to evaluate offers and start the application process.

Here’s what you can expect to provide during the application process:

Every application you submit results in a hard credit pull; applying for multiple starter credit cards can hurt your credit score.

How to use a starter credit card

If you don’t use a credit card responsibly, having one can cause more harm than good.

Here are a few best practices to help you get the most value from your beginner credit card:

1

Only use the card for purchases you can afford.

This helps you avoid excess debt; it also reduces your risk of defaulting or missing payments.

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2

Pay your balance in full.

By doing so, you’ll avoid interest charges — a must, since your APR will likely be high.

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3

Set up auto-pay.

By authorizing the card issuer to withdraw funds from your checking account automatically, you won’t have to remember to make payments on time.

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4

Monitor your credit score.

This lets you see how different actions, such as reducing credit utilization and making on-time payments, can impact your score.

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Alternatives to credit cards

If you’re struggling to qualify for a starter credit card, there are a few other ways to manage your finances.

Debit cards

A debit card lets you make purchases with a card using the funds in your bank account. However, it won’t help you build credit.

Store credit and charge cards

These cards can be used at a single retailer or family of brands. They’re easy to get approved for, but often have high interest rates. As long as you make your payments regularly, they can help you build credit.

Personal loans

Making payments on a personal loan is a good way to build credit. Your bank or credit union likely offers several options. If you can’t get approved, look for credit-building loans through brick-and-mortar and online banks.

Becoming an authorized user

Becoming an authorized user on a family member’s or friend’s credit card can help you build credit. However, the cardholder’s actions can impact your credit — missed payments or a high credit utilization rate can affect you negatively.

FAQs: Credit cards for beginners

What is the best first credit card to build credit?

If you have no credit history, look for cards designed for building or repairing credit. Applying for a secured card can also be a great way to start building credit.

How do I choose the best starter credit card?

To choose the best starter card, evaluate the interest rate, welcome offer and rewards program. If you need to get a secured card, look at the minimum deposit requirements and opportunities to increase your credit limit in the future.

Which credit card is the best for first-timers?

The best credit card for a first-time applicant depends on your history. If you’re a college student, look for student cards — they make it easy to get approved, even if you’ve never had a credit card before. If you’ve had a loan or another form of credit in the past, look for cards that require a fair or good credit history.

What is the easiest credit card to get approved for?

It’s usually easiest to get approved for a secured credit card. Some assess your credit score, but many simply require that you make a security deposit.

What do you need to qualify for beginner credit cards?

To qualify for a beginner credit card, you likely need at least some type of income. Certain cards also require you to have some credit history.

About the Author

Elizabeth Smith
Elizabeth Smith Personal Finance

Elizabeth Smith is an experienced travel and finance writer who specializes in topics including credit cards, travel insurance, and personal finance. Travel insurance, in particular, has both professional and personal significance for Smith. She’s traveled to 73 countries, and has extensive experience choosing and using various policies — she understands how valuable the right plan can be in an emergency, and loves to help readers find the perfect fit.

Smith comes to the world of finance from a scientific and technical background. She spent more than 10 years writing about engineering, science, and technology for universities and private companies. When she’s not writing or traveling, Smith can usually be found hiking or Nordic skiing.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

All products or services are presented in this content without warranty. The information, including card details such as rates and fees, is accurate at the time of publish. Please visit each bank's website directly for the most current information.

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