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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 527381 times)

Online maylei

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4365 on: February 07, 2018, 08:40:40 AM »
If I apply for 2 AMEX cards at the same time from two diff browsers will it only be one pull once from credit report?

Online maylei

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4366 on: February 07, 2018, 08:43:34 AM »
On a diff note the delta platinum card the $100 delta purchase credit does that work if you book a refundable flight and then cancel ? (I know you can’t use that method anymore to get the sign up bonus but does it still work for the delta purchase credit?)

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4367 on: February 07, 2018, 08:50:52 AM »
If I apply for 2 AMEX cards at the same time from two diff browsers will it only be one pull once from credit report?
One pull.

Offline PillanSmye

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4368 on: February 07, 2018, 10:12:18 AM »
One pull.

Unless AMEX peeks at TU also.  They used to do that to me on my 3fors

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4369 on: February 07, 2018, 10:40:58 AM »
On a diff note the delta platinum card the $100 delta purchase credit does that work if you book a refundable flight and then cancel ? (I know you can’t use that method anymore to get the sign up bonus but does it still work for the delta purchase credit?)
Just pay for someones taxes on an award fare.
(Quit) pulling out the flowers, and watering the weeds. -Peter Lynch

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4370 on: February 07, 2018, 11:07:59 AM »
Just pay for someones taxes on an award fare.
Thank you but that didn’t answer my question

Offline BP16

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4371 on: February 07, 2018, 11:15:26 AM »
Thank you but that didn’t answer my question
it should work they will just reverse it eventually

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4372 on: February 07, 2018, 11:17:44 AM »
it should work they will just reverse it eventually
What do you mean by “reverse it”

Offline Mr. CC

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4373 on: February 07, 2018, 11:32:16 AM »
What do you mean by “reverse it”
charge you $100

Offline MasterAmex

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4374 on: February 07, 2018, 11:45:44 AM »
On a diff note the delta platinum card the $100 delta purchase credit does that work if you book a refundable flight and then cancel ? (I know you can’t use that method anymore to get the sign up bonus but does it still work for the delta purchase credit?)
when did it stop working for the signup?

Offline MasterAmex

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4375 on: February 07, 2018, 11:46:16 AM »
What do you mean by “reverse it”
Delta Gift cards work.

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4376 on: February 07, 2018, 11:50:17 AM »
Delta Gift cards work.
Thank you that’s good and it stopped working when Amex changes their terms which o think was in September 17 and do you do if it works to buy delta sky miles ?

Offline MasterAmex

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4377 on: February 07, 2018, 12:49:06 PM »
Thank you that’s good and it stopped working when Amex changes their terms which o think was in September 17 and do you do if it works to buy delta sky miles ?
are you saying that based on any DPs?
See here

Offline YesThatsMe

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4378 on: February 23, 2018, 08:21:09 AM »
Any card that I can add myself to that would “age” my credit to when that card was opened? My credit history is to recent, want to age it somehow...

Offline davidrotts63

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4379 on: February 23, 2018, 09:41:35 AM »
Any card that I can add myself to that would “age” my credit to when that card was opened? My credit history is to recent, want to age it somehow...
It's YMMV on pretty much all big banks aside from Amex. I've had good success with Discover.
(Quit) pulling out the flowers, and watering the weeds. -Peter Lynch