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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 598379 times)

Offline shulem92

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4245 on: January 31, 2017, 01:34:48 AM »
Unfortunately right now age is my current problem.
I understand. But you're at the point where you should have an established credit portfolio. So with access to higher revolving credit, the banks should be more lenient

Offline as2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4246 on: February 01, 2017, 09:41:22 AM »
Random question, is there somewhere in my Amex account where I can see how much spending categories earn me? Also aside from contacting Amex is there a way to see on your account how much your welcome bonus is? While I know the answers, I want to be able to confirm them if needed.
Memories last forever, make them while you can.

Online mochjas

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4247 on: February 01, 2017, 09:46:57 AM »
Random question, is there somewhere in my Amex account where I can see how much spending categories earn me? Also aside from contacting Amex is there a way to see on your account how much your welcome bonus is? While I know the answers, I want to be able to confirm them if needed.
should be under benefits

Offline as2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4248 on: February 01, 2017, 09:48:29 AM »
should be under benefits
I looked, but it only shows me my BP benefits not any of my Blue for biz.
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Online mochjas

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4249 on: February 01, 2017, 09:50:56 AM »
I looked, but it only shows me my BP benefits not any of my Blue for biz.
you have to switch to the card you want to see

Offline as2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4250 on: February 01, 2017, 09:52:31 AM »
you have to switch to the card you want to see
I did. Still seems to be showing the other benefits.
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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4251 on: February 01, 2017, 09:58:22 AM »
I did. Still seems to be showing the other benefits.
thats weird. What card do you want to know about?

Offline as2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4252 on: February 01, 2017, 10:01:42 AM »
thats weird. What card do you want to know about?
Specifically the blue for business. I know the terms I signed up on, but like to be able to see it. Also being that the bonus points per dollar decrease after a set time or spending, I want to be able to se it.
Memories last forever, make them while you can.

Offline hide4

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4253 on: February 01, 2017, 02:34:48 PM »
Did Chase stop the fairmont card??

Offline mmgfarb

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4254 on: February 01, 2017, 03:30:07 PM »
Did Chase stop the fairmont card??
Yes
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Offline tanipollak

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4255 on: February 07, 2017, 11:34:38 PM »
I opened the sapphire prefferred last year and I just got charged the annual $95 fee. I already have 5 personal cards, Freedom, IHG, 2 amex, and this sapphire. I am an AU on my wife's freeedom unlimited and I use her reserve card as well, so how do I get rid of the $95 fee as I do not use my sapphire card anymore.. What are suggestions? Would cancelling hurt me?

Offline ckmk47

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4256 on: February 07, 2017, 11:40:10 PM »
I opened the sapphire prefferred last year and I just got charged the annual $95 fee. I already have 5 personal cards, Freedom, IHG, 2 amex, and this sapphire. I am an AU on my wife's freeedom unlimited and I use her reserve card as well, so how do I get rid of the $95 fee as I do not use my sapphire card anymore.. What are suggestions? Would cancelling hurt me?
If you cancel within the first 30(?) days, you get the AF back.
Cancelling shouldn't give you a major credit score hit.  I won't hurt at all if you move your credit line to another card.

Offline mmgfarb

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4257 on: February 08, 2017, 12:14:02 AM »
I opened the sapphire prefferred last year and I just got charged the annual $95 fee. I already have 5 personal cards, Freedom, IHG, 2 amex, and this sapphire. I am an AU on my wife's freeedom unlimited and I use her reserve card as well, so how do I get rid of the $95 fee as I do not use my sapphire card anymore.. What are suggestions? Would cancelling hurt me?
Downgrade to a freedom or freedom unlimited.
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Offline David Smith

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4258 on: February 08, 2017, 12:33:40 AM »
From what I was reading this really doesn't exist anymore.
That would be inaccurate info.
Who do you think you are fooling? You think you are going to pull a quick one on your Creator? Good luck with that.
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Offline Mr. CC

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4259 on: February 08, 2017, 01:29:24 PM »
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
AU helps only for age factor