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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 598381 times)

Online mochjas

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4230 on: January 16, 2017, 08:52:31 PM »
I'm 18 and have a discover student credit card with good credit score  what's some good credit cards for me to apply to
do chase cards first then once you are over 5/24 move on to other banks. I would start with the freedom and try to get the reserve before the bonus goes down to 50k

Offline dovid1375

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4231 on: January 16, 2017, 08:53:45 PM »
I heard a British airways card is very good

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4232 on: January 16, 2017, 08:57:22 PM »
I heard a British airways card is very good
you heard wrong. You always want your oldest card that you will keep to have no annual fee and the British airways card has an AF. Also chase points are flexible and can be used on several airlines and hotels. BA points only good for one world bookings which has had very bad availability lately.

Offline dealtastic

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4233 on: January 17, 2017, 01:34:55 PM »
I heard a British airways card is very good
Beware of their fuel surcharges for trips to Europe. They can be as high as 2/3 the ticket price at face value.

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4234 on: January 25, 2017, 04:05:07 PM »
what does DDMS stand for?

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4235 on: January 25, 2017, 04:16:10 PM »
what does DDMS stand for?
Dan's Deals Main Site - AKA http://www.dansdeals.com

For future reference, you can find most acronyms used in the Forums on the Acronyms Thread for the Uninitiated wiki (there also the less common Airline And Travel Related Acronyms)
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Offline a good yeshiva bachur

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4236 on: January 25, 2017, 04:17:19 PM »

Offline emjee

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4237 on: January 26, 2017, 05:00:15 AM »
always new it as DD
As in dunkin doughnuts ?

Ddf = DansDealsForums
DDMS = DansDealsMainSite

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4238 on: January 27, 2017, 02:08:05 PM »
As in dunkin doughnuts ?

Ddf = DansDealsForums
DDMS = DansDealsMainSite

DD is on the list http://forums.dansdeals.com/index.php?topic=10531.0

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4240 on: January 31, 2017, 01:13:52 AM »
What can I use to make my credit history older? My oldest card is six months old, and I never had a loan, lease, or mortgage.
Sorry if I ask so many questions, but life is short and there is so much to learn! Let's help each other be great!

Offline shulem92

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4241 on: January 31, 2017, 01:19:49 AM »
What can I use to make my credit history older? My oldest card is six months old, and I never had a loan, lease, or mortgage.
There's a thread for this. Which AU's backdate

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4242 on: January 31, 2017, 01:25:29 AM »
There's a thread for this. Which AU's backdate
From what I was reading this really doesn't exist anymore.
Sorry if I ask so many questions, but life is short and there is so much to learn! Let's help each other be great!

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4243 on: January 31, 2017, 01:26:55 AM »
From what I was reading this really doesn't exist anymore.
Makes sense. I haven't really read up on that thread. If so, ur question is still up for answering... Although adding AU's from big credit accounts definitely helps, even if not for the age factor

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4244 on: January 31, 2017, 01:32:38 AM »
Makes sense. I haven't really read up on that thread. If so, ur question is still up for answering... Although adding AU's from big credit accounts definitely helps, even if not for the age factor
Unfortunately right now age is my current problem.
Sorry if I ask so many questions, but life is short and there is so much to learn! Let's help each other be great!