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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 533247 times)

Offline mochjas

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4305 on: June 30, 2017, 04:30:51 PM »
Will it count as 1/5 for 5/24? Also, will it effect my ability to receive a bonus for the "new card" (within 2 years of closing the new card)?
tell us which card you are talking about and it will make everything easier

Offline JACKBLUE

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4306 on: June 30, 2017, 04:37:22 PM »
tell us which card you are talking about and it will make everything easier
Exactly!

Online mmgfarb

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4307 on: June 30, 2017, 05:47:09 PM »
Will it count as 1/5 for 5/24? Also, will it effect my ability to receive a bonus for the "new card" (within 2 years of closing the new card)?
No and no, bonus goes by getting the actual bonus, not opening or closing the card. This would he easier if you would just say what the card is....
"JS [is] a fetid cesspool of unvarnished linguistic manure, with lots of useless drivel and post-padding." -Moishebatchy

Offline mochjas

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4308 on: June 30, 2017, 06:00:58 PM »
No and no, bonus goes by getting the actual bonus, not opening or closing the card. This would he easier if you would just say what the card is....
not true for Amex

Offline JACKBLUE

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4309 on: June 30, 2017, 06:08:18 PM »
not true for Amex
op said it's a chase card.

Offline Yeah

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4310 on: August 15, 2017, 12:18:47 AM »
I want to open a secured credit card to build up credit, and I'm debating between Citi's secured vs capital one, does anyone have any experience with any of these two? (I do plan on using it to rent cars so I would prefer one with better cdw)
Thanks i advance!

Offline Mordyk

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4311 on: August 15, 2017, 12:58:45 AM »
I want to open a secured credit card to build up credit, and I'm debating between Citi's secured vs capital one, does anyone have any experience with any of these two? (I do plan on using it to rent cars so I would prefer one with better cdw)
Thanks i advance!
I have experience with capital one.  Was very good and i got credit pretty fast.  But no idea regarding car rentals

Offline pixi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4312 on: August 15, 2017, 08:18:46 AM »
I want to open a secured credit card to build up credit, and I'm debating between Citi's secured vs capital one, does anyone have any experience with any of these two? (I do plan on using it to rent cars so I would prefer one with better cdw)
Thanks i advance!
I have experience with capital one.  Was very good and i got credit pretty fast.  But no idea regarding car rentals
Capital one pulls your credit 3 times, try Bank of America first.
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Offline LoLo

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4313 on: August 15, 2017, 09:37:56 AM »
Is moving credit between two Capital one cards a simple process? do they pull the credit, or anything else to be aware of?

Offline LoLo

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4314 on: August 16, 2017, 01:44:07 PM »
Is moving credit between two Capital one cards a simple process? do they pull the credit, or anything else to be aware of?
BUMP

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4315 on: August 29, 2017, 09:37:33 PM »
Any list of CCs for someone with no credit?
 If I remember correctly when I started we called them collage cards

Offline JACKBLUE

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4316 on: August 29, 2017, 10:44:43 PM »
Any list of CCs for someone with no credit?
 If I remember correctly when I started we called them collage cards
capital one journey is very easy to get approved.
They pull all 3 bureaus though....

Offline Yammer

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4317 on: August 29, 2017, 11:50:36 PM »
capital one journey is very easy to get approved.
They pull all 3 bureaus though....
He's not working yet...

Offline JACKBLUE

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4318 on: August 29, 2017, 11:52:05 PM »

Offline Yammer

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4319 on: August 29, 2017, 11:56:11 PM »