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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 490362 times)

Offline Dan

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2009, 04:35:34 PM »
Gap
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline zalman123

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2009, 09:50:36 AM »
try capital one they just approved my b-i-l after getting rejected from 10 other cc

Offline eli1571

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2009, 01:38:56 PM »
I'd suggest if u have some money u don't need right now or better said u can spare for the next 18 month's then open a citi secure card i started off like that about 5 yrs ago it works amazingly within 2-3 months i was getting offers for other secure card's which i of course didn't apply for cause i didn't need it and after a couple of more months i got a pre approved capital one so i'd certainly recommend going  this way to start off credit

Offline Dan

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2009, 02:11:46 PM »
You can also get added as a joint account holder or an authorized user on a parent/siblings credit card to improve your own credit.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline mancunian

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2009, 07:05:56 PM »
if you get a student card from a bank they'll be quicker to approve you for their regular cards afterwords, ie citi/chase

Offline eli1571

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #35 on: October 15, 2009, 07:09:12 PM »
You can also get added as a joint account holder or an authorized user on a parent/siblings credit card to improve your own credit.
  didn't they stop that. Iow that it doesn't help for ur own score

Offline eli1571

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #36 on: October 15, 2009, 07:10:35 PM »
if you get a student card from a bank they'll be quicker to approve you for their regular cards afterwords, ie citi/chase
its almost as hard to get approved for a student card as a regular card for someone that has no credit at all

Offline Dan

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #37 on: October 15, 2009, 07:25:17 PM »
  didn't they stop that. Iow that it doesn't help for ur own score
Joint account holder has always worked, but I've read that authorized used works again as well.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline eli1571

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #38 on: October 15, 2009, 07:27:38 PM »
Joint account holder has always worked,
just btw how do u open a joint account cc whos credit do they check ?

Offline mancunian

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Re: credit card for beginers
« Reply #39 on: October 18, 2009, 07:04:38 PM »
its almost as hard to get approved for a student card as a regular card for someone that has no credit at all

everyone i know did it that way no prob - could be if you have a bank account with them its easier

Offline aussiebochur

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Secured credit card help
« Reply #40 on: May 06, 2010, 04:30:23 AM »
First off, BIG fan of dansdeals and all the guys that post.
New in the states and id like to be able to get a credit card. As I've quickly learned you need CREDIT which I have non of.  :(
I've read through most of the forums and seen the various suggestions like:
1. Apply for Gap card. I applied for a Gap card-REJECTED!! Macys CARD-REJECTED!!
2. Joint card holder/Authorised user on parents credit card-They don't have american credit cards.
I guess that leaves secured credit cards as my only option, so does anybody know of/ had experience with a certain one which was good (no crazy hidden fees, proper reporting to credit agencies etc.)?
Amazing how in Australia the banks are asking me to take $18,000 credit cards and here I can't get a penny.
Thanks in advance for any help.

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #41 on: May 06, 2010, 09:49:21 AM »
I had the same problem, I got rejected from a few cards. I would assume from ur user name that your in yeshiva or school, so try applying for the student forward card from citi bank, the # is 1888-citicard, I just got a $4000 limit. (i had a card before for about 3 months, but a friend of mine had NO credit & got approved for 1800 which is pretty good) if u apply let me know i'll tell u what to do after u process the application.

Offline hocker

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2010, 10:30:13 AM »
i also have the citi forward i got approved for $2000 w/o any credit history. while discover student approved me for only $250.
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Offline aussiebochur

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2010, 03:10:59 PM »
Just applied for the Citi forward card. Got a message that my application requires futher investigation and ill receive an email within a week. First time that I wasn't rejected immediately but should I get my hopes up of getting approved?

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Re: Secured credit card help
« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2010, 03:32:25 PM »
good they did the same thing to me, they say to call back in a week but I called after 2 days, call 888-201-4523 follow the prompts that u didn't recive a letter..... they should tell u you status or transfer u, they asked me my school name, & I got approved 4000. hope it works out for u