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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 605879 times)

Offline mmgfarb

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4260 on: February 08, 2017, 01:41:54 PM »
AU helps only for age factor
And total CL
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Offline a good yeshiva bachur

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4261 on: February 08, 2017, 02:33:16 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?

call them, some reps will waive the fee

Offline LoLo

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4262 on: February 08, 2017, 11:04:05 PM »
call them, some reps will waive the fee
Pretty hard on the sapphire.

Offline myi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4263 on: February 09, 2017, 02:16:43 AM »
Pretty hard on the sapphire.
if you have the time and patience it's possible(definitely going to take time if you don't get the right rep), just curios which is a better way to go for a AF reversal or waiving it, with Secure message or calling the recon department?   
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Offline mochjas

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4264 on: February 09, 2017, 06:17:45 AM »
if you have the time and patience it's possible(definitely going to take time if you don't get the right rep), just curios which is a better way to go for a AF reversal or waiving it, with Secure message or calling the recon department?
calling

Offline myi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4265 on: February 09, 2017, 10:41:36 AM »
calling
I meant retention dept.
Don't know why the rep would tell me to sm chase and he will leave some notes in the account so I should be able to get a refund or a retention bonus, weird.
Don't try to be someone else , be who you are because everyone else is taken.

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4266 on: February 09, 2017, 11:32:36 PM »
How can I get closed au accounts removed from my credit report?

Offline mochjas

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4267 on: February 09, 2017, 11:33:48 PM »
How can I get closed au accounts removed from my credit report?
file a dispute with the credit bureaus

Offline hide4

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4268 on: February 09, 2017, 11:35:09 PM »
file a dispute with the credit bureaus
What's my reason for dispute? Cause it's closed is good enough? And will I be able to remove some and not all?

Offline mochjas

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4269 on: February 09, 2017, 11:37:06 PM »
What's my reason for dispute? Cause it's closed is good enough? And will I be able to remove some and not all?
tell them you were not responsible for that account and you don't want it on your report

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4270 on: February 09, 2017, 11:39:17 PM »
tell them you were not responsible for that account and you don't want it on your report
Thanks

Offline myi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4271 on: February 10, 2017, 12:11:44 AM »
tell them you were not responsible for that account and you don't want it on your report
Without doing anything how long does an AU stay on your account? After shutting them all?
Don't try to be someone else , be who you are because everyone else is taken.

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4272 on: February 10, 2017, 12:15:01 AM »
Without doing anything how long does an AU stay on your account? After shutting them all?
I have one on my account for what must be close to 2 years now...
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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4273 on: February 10, 2017, 12:15:12 AM »
Without doing anything how long does an AU stay on your account? After shutting them all?
I imagine the regular 7 years. cmiiw.

Offline myi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4274 on: February 10, 2017, 12:30:01 AM »
I have one on my account for what must be close to 2 years now...
I imagine the regular 7 years. cmiiw.
That means one would never know if a decrease in your credit score is because of your au as you have no clue what they do with their personal cards?   
Don't try to be someone else , be who you are because everyone else is taken.