Choosing Your First Credit Card

It’s not always easy starting out on the road to great credit. In fact, there are plenty of things that can mess you (and your credit score) up along the way. Choosing a financial institution to do business with is important, but equally important is choosing a first credit card that’s going to be right for you. As I mentioned in my Credit Cards 101 post there are several things that you should look for when researching credit cards. If you choose the wrong one you may end up not getting any sort of cash-back or points rewards, or more importantly you may end up with an excruciatingly high interest rate which can be a difficult thing if you carry a balance. Naturally my recommendation is to never carry a balance, and only purchase things with your credit card that you can pay off within the month, but if an emergency ever arose that you are ill-prepared for you don’t want to be stuck paying it off with a 25% rate on your card.

Several Cards to Choose From

Anyway there are several options which you have when looking at different credit cards. Of course you have the more well-known card issuers such as Capital One, Citibank, Bank of America or Chase to choose from, but you shouldn’t discount your local Credit Union or any other local banks. These smaller institutions sometimes offer better rates and better service. A great place to compare cards is at or but to save you the hassle I’ve done a little research of my own and I’m going to recommend a few cards that I think might be a good choice for a first credit card. I’ll list the cards which require some form of good credit already in place and then those which don’t require any credit at all to be approved.

No Credit? No Problem

If you don’t have much (or any) credit your choices will be limited, even as a student. My recommendation is to first drop by your local credit union and ask them if they offer any student credit cards. If you live in Phoenix I can recommend a good one, just shoot me an e-mail. Don’t apply right away unless you know real well about all of the credit card terms and you feel comfortable with the terms that your credit union might be offering. If you’re unsure, just bring it home and e-mail me… I’ll help you out! Anyway if your credit union doesn’t offer anything for students (basically this means for young adults with no credit) then you might also consider the Capital One Standard Platinum for Young Adults.

Good Credit Required Here

There were several cards which I saw online that are catered to young adults and also offer rewards, but of course these require at least decent credit in order to get an approval. Again I recommend checking out your local credit union to see if they can offer a great credit card, but if not then here are three cards to choose from: The Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card for College Students; The Citi mtvU Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students and the Discover Student Card. These three cards all offer great rewards and competitive rates and include a 0% introductory rate for at least six months. Not a bad deal. Good luck on your search and if you have any questions about cards definitely contact me!

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