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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 527217 times)

Offline as2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4425 on: January 06, 2019, 03:19:31 PM »
Asking for a friend. What's the best cards to try to obtain with high utilization?

Current cards/balances
Chase 83% utilization
Chase 64% utilization
Discover 8K limit 0 util
Honda/Citi 77% util
Average utilization is 54%
Business cards that don't report to your credit...
Memories last forever, make them while you can.

Offline Savingsbeast

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4426 on: January 06, 2019, 04:10:11 PM »
Business cards that don't report to your credit...
But which lenders will approve for new accounts even with those utilization numbers.

Offline shmielyosef

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4427 on: January 06, 2019, 04:25:07 PM »
But which lenders will approve for new accounts even with those utilization numbers.
Whats the applicant's credit score?

Offline Willie

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4428 on: January 06, 2019, 04:25:20 PM »
There is an opportunity for referral.  Did u get the sapphire preferred in the last 24 months?
NOPE first chase card. how would someone refer

Offline shmielyosef

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4429 on: January 06, 2019, 04:26:35 PM »
NOPE first chase card. how would someone refer
By having the card and referring by email or with a link

Online jose34

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4430 on: January 06, 2019, 04:51:55 PM »
There is one cc that have that I really really hate the cc company. Card has no fee. Is it foolish of me to cancel the card, is it better not use it and wait for cc company to cancel it due to non usage?

Offline Savingsbeast

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4431 on: January 06, 2019, 07:02:24 PM »
Whats the applicant's credit score?
Edited:
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 08:00:28 PM by Savingsbeast »

Offline shmielyosef

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4432 on: January 06, 2019, 07:04:04 PM »
Considering that he has +65K, youngest card older than a year, no inquires in a year, low utilization etc. I'd say it ain't bad.

The question isn't so much if he'll get approved, it's practically a given that he will. What I want to know is, which lender is most likely to give a high starting CL.
Thought u said he has high utilization

Offline justaregularguy

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4433 on: January 06, 2019, 07:14:27 PM »
There is one cc that have that I really really hate the cc company. Card has no fee. Is it foolish of me to cancel the card, is it better not use it and wait for cc company to cancel it due to non usage?
keep it open and maybe charge 1$ once in a while. it looks good to have an old account.
they wont close your account for non usage to the best of my knowledge. I have a Cap1 card I havent used in years

ETA: even if you dont charge 1$ its still better to keep open
nothings impossible- the word itself says Im possible

Offline Savingsbeast

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4434 on: January 06, 2019, 07:59:34 PM »
Thought u said he has high utilization
My bad, you're right. I thought you replied to another one of my posts.

His score is around 670.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2019, 08:16:09 PM by Savingsbeast »

Online jose34

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4435 on: January 07, 2019, 09:00:36 AM »
keep it open and maybe charge 1$ once in a while. it looks good to have an old account.
they wont close your account for non usage to the best of my knowledge. I have a Cap1 card I havent used in years

ETA: even if you dont charge 1$ its still better to keep open

Account is only a open a year and has under 2K credit limit. Have other cards open for way longer. Still worth it?

Offline justaregularguy

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4436 on: January 07, 2019, 02:34:06 PM »
Account is only a open a year and has under 2K credit limit. Have other cards open for way longer. Still worth it?
I personally would keep it open as leverage if I want another card and they wont approve it so Id ask if I could move over credit or close the card to open the new one....
nothings impossible- the word itself says Im possible

Offline rr1

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4437 on: January 11, 2019, 12:50:57 AM »
I'm looking to open a 1st timer CC
I made them AU a few months ago
Score is now about 800

Will they get approved for Chase freedom or Cap1 journey?

Thank you

Offline Naftuli19

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4438 on: January 11, 2019, 12:52:30 AM »
I'm looking to open a 1st timer CC
I made them AU a few months ago
Score is now about 800

Will they get approved for Chase freedom or Cap1 journey?

Thank you
Are u a AU to a chase account?
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Offline myi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4439 on: January 11, 2019, 02:59:47 AM »
I'm looking to open a 1st timer CC
I made them AU a few months ago
Score is now about 800

Will they get approved for Chase freedom or Cap1 journey?

Thank you
Go for the freedom unlmtd,unless they plan on maxing the 5x categories each month?always good to keep open that very first card.
 There's a bonus if you refer them for the chase freedom and if you don't have one, there's a $200 offer out there and lastly you can use dans, but why lose out on the $50.
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