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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 527335 times)

Offline mord1

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4500 on: September 05, 2019, 05:47:23 PM »
does she have any prior credit history?
AU for years,  i never realized she didnt have any of her own cards,  been on a mortgage,  good score,  I think she would be able to get anything.  I was thinking sapphire reserve, united explorer and freedom unlimted, to start-  will chase approve all 3 in a short time span?

Offline Joel2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4501 on: September 05, 2019, 06:56:24 PM »
AU for years,  i never realized she didnt have any of her own cards,  been on a mortgage,  good score,  I think she would be able to get anything.  I was thinking sapphire reserve, united explorer and freedom unlimted, to start-  will chase approve all 3 in a short time span?
Go easy with chase start with the preferred then citi premier. After 3 months go for another chase card depending on what you can benefit most then an amex card after that another chase. Dont go to quick with chase and pop in a few other applications in beetwine

Offline mord1

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4502 on: September 05, 2019, 07:09:46 PM »
Go easy with chase start with the preferred then citi premier. After 3 months go for another chase card depending on what you can benefit most then an amex card after that another chase. Dont go to quick with chase and pop in a few other applications in beetwine
I hear, but she will hit 5 with non chase cards- it just seems like a waste

Offline Joel2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4503 on: September 05, 2019, 07:19:29 PM »
I hear, but she will hit 5 with non chase cards- it just seems like a waste
If you go to quick with chase you will end up being shut down.
Its recommended to wait 3 months between chase cards.
That's why I'm saying to pick up some other cards along the way.

Offline mord1

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4504 on: September 05, 2019, 07:27:36 PM »
If you go to quick with chase you will end up being shut down.
Its recommended to wait 3 months between chase cards.
That's why I'm saying to pick up some other cards along the way.
I hear,  2 in 1 shot is ok though?

Offline Joel2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4505 on: September 05, 2019, 07:31:46 PM »
I hear,  2 in 1 shot is ok though?
2 different banks yes

Offline mord1

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4506 on: September 05, 2019, 07:38:10 PM »
2 different banks yes
you wouldnt do 2 chase in 1 day anymore?   

Offline Joel2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4507 on: September 05, 2019, 08:55:37 PM »
you wouldnt do 2 chase in 1 day anymore?
shutdown risk IMO

Offline isthmus

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4508 on: September 09, 2019, 07:26:02 AM »
Going through this thread, it looks like previous links to an Amex Consumer card now route to business card offers. So question for you guys: are there any good amex consumer card offers? TIA!

Offline mord1

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4509 on: September 11, 2019, 12:20:21 AM »
would you go with sapphire preferred for 60,  or reserve for 50k? I would think for the extra 10k its worth not having the reserve benefits. thoughts? do you have to wait a year to pc?

Offline Muhammad

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4510 on: September 11, 2019, 08:13:55 AM »
would you go with sapphire preferred for 60,  or reserve for 50k? I would think for the extra 10k its worth not having the reserve benefits. thoughts? do you have to wait a year to pc?
it depends on how you gonna use the card
And yes one year for PC

Offline justmeha

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4511 on: September 11, 2019, 11:22:22 AM »
is there a risk to app first chase card for a biz card

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4512 on: September 11, 2019, 12:54:53 PM »
is there a risk to app first chase card for a biz card
No
(Quit) pulling out the flowers, and watering the weeds. -Peter Lynch

Offline justmeha

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4513 on: September 11, 2019, 01:01:07 PM »
No
what about a double (inkcash/unlimited)

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4514 on: September 11, 2019, 01:02:03 PM »
what about a double (inkcash/unlimited)
Yes
(Quit) pulling out the flowers, and watering the weeds. -Peter Lynch