Topic Wiki

If you are here reading this forum/thread, you probably have heard, seen or know someone who has been leveraging credit card points for free or very low cost travel and want to get involved. While it may be very tempting to jump right in and apply for a bunch of credit cards, it is advisable to read through the forums before doing so.

For those who have no credit history, building your credit score is strongly recommended and may even be needed before applying for any credit cards.

Step 1 - Try and get added as an Authorized User (AU) on an established credit card. This card should be kept in good standing and preferably have a low credit utilization ratio.
Some have had success with Amex to get your card backdated to the primary cardholders "member since" date. Having this done will increase your credit history to that of  the account holders first Amex card.
UPDATE Amex no longer backdates any cards. Any authorized user card will show up on the AUs report as a new account, opened on the date that the AU was added. Amex is now one of the worse choices to get added as an AU to, for credit building purposes.
Chase, Citi, Bank of America and others are more likely to show the full history of the primary cardholder on the authorized user's report than Amex is.

Additional Option - In conjunction with being added as an AU, you can  sign up for a secure credit card.
A secured credit card works almost like a debit card (you need to lay out your credit limit), but this functions as a regular credit card and will help build your credit score.

Step 2 - Once you are setup as an AU, it is best to wait a few months before applying for your first card.

Your first card should be a store credit card, which are easier to get approved for, especially with very limited credit history.
Some of the store cards people apply for are Old Navy, Gap, Banana Republic, Kohl's, Macy's, Target etc. While these cards will not give you major signup bonuses to travel with, they do give you access to exclusive promotions and other perks when purchasing from the store.

Additional Options - The CapitalOne Journey card seems to be easier to get approved for, though understand they will pull your credit from all three agencies, while most banks only pull from one.

Discover has a student card you can apply for here. This can also be an easier option to getting approved for your first card. Their regular IT card (not student) seems to be pretty easy to get approved for with little to no credit history as well.

Step 3 - Pay your bill before your statement closes (cut off date), but leave a minimal amount remaining to be paid after your statement closes. This will help ensure that you have both a low CC utilization while establishing a good credit payment history. (This applies to new spending from this month.  Anything already 'due' should be paid in full.)

Step 4 - After using your first card for a few months, you will be ready to apply for the cards you will have read and heard so much about. Remember that getting accepted for a credit card is a combination of many factors like credit history and your credit score, but it is also dependent on the income that you claim* you make.  Income is not part of your credit report or score.

Step 5 - This is a brief synopsis of what to do when applying for credit cards. There are additional factors one should understand before applying for credit cards. DDF is a great resource and there are many people willing to answer your questions (which you should ask, albeit after attempting a search) 

*If you are under 21, you are legally only allowed to report personal income. Personal income, however, can include allowances and scholarships.
If you are over 21, you can claim any income which you have reasonable access to in order to pay back the bill, which includes the income of others in the household (spouse/parent), or anyone supporting you. Additionally, while most banks will not have you verify your income, it does happen and you should be prepared to show them. This is particularly prevalent with American Express, and is known as a Financial Review (FR).
« Last edited by S209 on September 09, 2018, 01:45:26 AM »

Author Topic: Credit Card For Beginners  (Read 540107 times)

Offline mords

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 46
  • Total likes: 5
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #180 on: February 14, 2011, 02:27:14 PM »
My wife was applying for her first credit card and kept on getting denied so if that happens apply for the secured card from capital one which is what we needed to do. Six months later my wife was approved for the chase one passplus.

Offline mancunian

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Posts: 1244
  • Total likes: 7
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #181 on: February 15, 2011, 12:40:19 AM »
why davka capital one, citi also has a secured card

Offline Crazy tools

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jan 2010
  • Posts: 2153
  • Total likes: 3
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Programs: United Club, Avis Presidents, Hertz Presidents Circle, National Executive Elite, SPG Gold
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #182 on: February 17, 2011, 04:48:49 AM »
Try the citi student forward card they usually approve with a nice credit line ($1,800) I have a couple of friends that recently got approved.

Offline farmerjoe

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 302
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Monsey,ny
  • Programs: Hertz #1 gold,HHonors Gold
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #183 on: February 17, 2011, 05:43:56 AM »
Try the citi student forward card they usually approve with a nice credit line ($1,800) I have a couple of friends that recently got approved.
whats the advantage of the citi card, over the  capital one card?

Offline hocker

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Posts: 3389
  • Total likes: 33
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #184 on: February 17, 2011, 09:15:24 AM »
Citi gives you an unsecured credit line of 1500+ dollars, while capitol1 will only give you $300 secured (generally speaking).
Car Rentals in Israel - http://www.rechev.rentals/

Offline elikay

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Presidential Platinum Elite
  • *********
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 5304
  • Total likes: 9
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 2
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #185 on: February 17, 2011, 11:29:36 AM »
unsecured on top of the secured?

Offline farmerjoe

  • Dansdeals Platinum Elite
  • ****
  • Join Date: Jun 2010
  • Posts: 302
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Location: Monsey,ny
  • Programs: Hertz #1 gold,HHonors Gold
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #186 on: February 17, 2011, 12:27:00 PM »
does the citi card have a annual fee? if the credit limit is not a issue which card would you say is a better choice?

Offline hocker

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Posts: 3389
  • Total likes: 33
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #187 on: February 17, 2011, 01:03:13 PM »
unsecured on top of the secured?
would you mind explaining? I wrote that they give you unsecured credit.
Car Rentals in Israel - http://www.rechev.rentals/

Offline mords

  • Dansdeals Bronze Elite
  • *
  • Join Date: May 2010
  • Posts: 46
  • Total likes: 5
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #188 on: February 18, 2011, 02:05:49 PM »
It seems like we are talking about two different things. To make it clear I was suggesting that if you have trouble with getting approved for regular unsecured credit cards like my wife then you forsure can get approved for the capital one secured credit card which has a $25 annual fee and reports to the three major credit beauros also side perk no foreign transaction fee. As I said 6 months later my wife got a regular unsecured card.

Offline hocker

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Posts: 3389
  • Total likes: 33
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #189 on: February 19, 2011, 09:10:11 PM »
we're both trying to help the OP. I suggested he apply for the Citi Student Forward card as they usually approve people without any history. You suggested he apply for Capitol One, which has an annual fee and is secured. My suggestion is unsecured without an annual fee with 12k opening bonus. Now i`m asking you what`s the OP`s BEST option?
Car Rentals in Israel - http://www.rechev.rentals/

Offline Cbs

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Sep 2010
  • Posts: 4513
  • Total likes: 9
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
  • Programs: Hertz President Circle, HHonors Gold, Platinum Medallion, United 1k, AA Executive Platinum
best first credit card
« Reply #190 on: February 20, 2011, 04:04:24 AM »
You suggested he apply for Capitol One, which has an annual fee and is secured.

Capital one has a nonsecure student credit card called "journey" and it has no annual fee and they gave me $300 credit with no credit history.

Offline mancunian

  • Dansdeals Lifetime Platinum Elite
  • *******
  • Join Date: Jul 2008
  • Posts: 1244
  • Total likes: 7
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #191 on: February 20, 2011, 10:07:54 PM »
whats the advantage of the citi card, over the  capital one card?
a. an internal history with citi
b. i don't know if capitol one is as good for your credit as citi

Offline intgesh

  • Dansdeals Gold Elite
  • ***
  • Join Date: Apr 2011
  • Posts: 201
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #192 on: April 17, 2011, 02:05:39 PM »
OK i know this has been quiet for awhile but this is my first time posting something
if anyone can help me ive been denied 3 times from capital one and would just like to move forward with something.
also im afraid these denials will come up on my credit line.
is there a sure-fire way of getting approved to something???

Offline hocker

  • Dansdeals Presidential Platinum Elite
  • ********
  • Join Date: Oct 2009
  • Posts: 3389
  • Total likes: 33
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 5
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #193 on: April 17, 2011, 02:07:53 PM »
I commend you for not starting another thread on this topic, as there are so many of them already.

Dan always advises signing up for the Store cards i.e. Gap Macy`s etc.
Car Rentals in Israel - http://www.rechev.rentals/

Offline intgesh

  • Dansdeals Gold Elite
  • ***
  • Join Date: Apr 2011
  • Posts: 201
  • Total likes: 0
  • DansDeals.com Hat Tips 0
    • View Profile
Re: best first credit card
« Reply #194 on: April 17, 2011, 02:23:35 PM »
its sure fire?