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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 533253 times)

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4335 on: December 16, 2017, 10:26:21 PM »
Is there anything I need to do to accept an eCheck?

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4336 on: December 16, 2017, 10:28:15 PM »
Is there anything I need to do to accept an eCheck?
Nope
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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4337 on: December 16, 2017, 10:29:41 PM »
Nope
What info do I have to give to the sender of the eCheck?

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4338 on: December 16, 2017, 10:35:06 PM »
What info do I have to give to the sender of the eCheck?
Email address
(Quit) pulling out the flowers, and watering the weeds. -Peter Lynch

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4339 on: December 17, 2017, 09:39:07 AM »
Sorry if this is a very newb question but is there a page that has a list of credit cards and does which cards are best to use at certain store to get the most points?

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4340 on: December 17, 2017, 10:10:08 AM »
Sorry if this is a very newb question but is there a page that has a list of credit cards and does which cards are best to use at certain store to get the most points?
A little dated
https://www.dansdeals.com/credit-cards/do-you-maximize-your-credit-card-spending-heres-where-should-you-be-using-each-of-your-credit-cards/

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4341 on: January 08, 2018, 09:05:39 AM »
how long after getting first credit card (discover student card)
can one apply for one of the bigger cards and chances of getting approved (chase sapphire or Barclay or the like) 

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4342 on: January 08, 2018, 09:08:28 AM »
how long after getting first credit card (discover student card)
can one apply for one of the bigger cards and chances of getting approved (chase sapphire or Barclay or the like)
YMMV.
Don't go for a Barclay, go for Chase products first.
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Offline Freecountry

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4343 on: January 09, 2018, 09:25:50 AM »
how long after getting first credit card (discover student card)
can one apply for one of the bigger cards and chances of getting approved (chase sapphire or Barclay or the like)
I applied for a discover card as my first card and got accepted and about a month later applied for the amex blue cash everyday and chase sapphire preferred at the same time on two different browsers and got accepted

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4344 on: January 09, 2018, 09:29:59 AM »
I applied for a discover card as my first card and got accepted and about a month later applied for the amex blue cash everyday and chase sapphire preferred at the same time on two different browsers and got accepted
The CSP is a little early, were you an AU before?
(Quit) pulling out the flowers, and watering the weeds. -Peter Lynch

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4345 on: January 09, 2018, 02:11:09 PM »
I just applied for a sapphire preferred after getting pre approval from chase.
The response after applying was I would receive a letter in the mail in 7-10 days. I have a pretty good score and have a perfect payment history. Would any one know of my chances of getting approved in such a case ? Thank you in advance

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4346 on: January 09, 2018, 02:23:23 PM »
I just applied for a sapphire preferred after getting pre approval from chase.
The response after applying was I would receive a letter in the mail in 7-10 days. I have a pretty good score and have a perfect payment history. Would any one know of my chances of getting approved in such a case ? Thank you in advance
You are declined, been that you were preapproved, it possible that all they need is some sort of documents.
(Quit) pulling out the flowers, and watering the weeds. -Peter Lynch

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4347 on: January 09, 2018, 02:27:13 PM »
DS just applied for a Chase Freedom card. He is an AU on a few of my cards (Amex, Citi) but this was his first attempt to get his own card. He got denied right away. He is a student with minimal income.
Did we make a mistake by applying for Chase Freedom?
What is the minimum income requirement?

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4348 on: January 09, 2018, 02:47:02 PM »
If I was declined , then why would they need more documents from
Me ? Thank you for replying!

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4349 on: January 09, 2018, 02:55:10 PM »
If I was declined , then why would they need more documents from
Me ? Thank you for replying!
Declined because they need documentation, if that's the case (you'll see when you get the letter) send them in and you'll be approved
(Quit) pulling out the flowers, and watering the weeds. -Peter Lynch