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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 499498 times)

Offline myi

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4440 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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Offline Naftuli19

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4441 on: January 11, 2019, 09:20:12 AM »
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.
+1 if they were a chase AU. journey easier to get approved but they pull from all 3 credit bureau's

Offline as2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4442 on: January 11, 2019, 10:21:15 AM »
+1 if they were a chase AU. journey easier to get approved but they pull from all 3 credit bureau's
Can always freeze one.
Memories last forever, make them while you can.

Offline Savingsbeast

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4443 on: January 11, 2019, 02:49:54 PM »
Can always freeze one.
Not sure that still works.

Offline ludmila

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4444 on: January 11, 2019, 03:00:57 PM »
+1 if they were a chase AU. journey easier to get approved but they pull from all 3 credit bureau's
My daughter has been an AU on my Chase Unlimited and Amex Gold(PRG) for 5 years, she is 18 now and in college,Amex has her SSN but Chase never asked for SSN, will this hinder a Chase approval? Or better try Amex Everyday or a charge card? If I go with Chase I think Freedom is the easier to get approved for.
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Offline Naftuli19

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4445 on: January 11, 2019, 03:04:44 PM »
My daughter has been an AU on my Chase Unlimited and Amex Gold(PRG) for 5 years, she is 18 now and in college,Amex has her SSN but Chase never asked for SSN, will this hinder a Chase approval? Or better try Amex Everyday or a charge card? If I go with Chase I think Freedom is the easier to get approved for.
IME any AU on a good chase account they will approve u (it dosnt make a diff if they have the ssn) i would say go for chase

Offline Naftuli19

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4446 on: January 11, 2019, 03:06:07 PM »
My daughter has been an AU on my Chase Unlimited and Amex Gold(PRG) for 5 years, she is 18 now and in college,Amex has her SSN but Chase never asked for SSN, will this hinder a Chase approval? Or better try Amex Everyday or a charge card? If I go with Chase I think Freedom is the easier to get approved for.
Out of all their cards freedom will be the easiest since they will approve with low cl

Offline ludmila

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4447 on: January 11, 2019, 03:09:42 PM »
Out of all their cards freedom will be the easiest since they will approve with low cl
Thanks, I thought Freedom is the easiest , any idea on what is the easiest to go for with Amex, if any?
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
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Offline Naftuli19

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4448 on: January 11, 2019, 03:15:30 PM »
Thanks, I thought Freedom is the easiest , any idea on what is the easiest to go for with Amex, if any?
Not sure I've done the spg for a few people and they all got approved but was about 1year ago

Offline Naftuli19

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4449 on: January 11, 2019, 03:16:21 PM »
Thanks, I thought Freedom is the easiest , any idea on what is the easiest to go for with Amex, if any?
I'd say one of their basic cards

Offline as2

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4450 on: January 11, 2019, 03:19:29 PM »
Not sure that still works.
Just did it a month or 2 ago.
Memories last forever, make them while you can.

Offline ludmila

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4451 on: January 11, 2019, 03:20:54 PM »
I'd say one of their basic cards
Do you think with Amex ,a better chance is with a credit card and not a charge card?
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Offline Naftuli19

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4452 on: January 11, 2019, 03:27:19 PM »
Do you think with Amex ,a better chance is with a credit card and not a charge card?
Don't really have experience with new accounts on amex,

Offline ludmila

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4453 on: January 11, 2019, 03:29:41 PM »
Don't really have experience with new accounts on amex,
Thanks.
I was the Best,still the Best, and will always be the Best.
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Offline Savingsbeast

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Re: Credit Card For Beginners
« Reply #4454 on: January 11, 2019, 04:08:12 PM »
Just did it a month or 2 ago.
How many did you freeze and which one?