Best First Credit Card – 9 Best First Time Credit Card in 2021

Fact Checked by Gary McFarlane

Credit cards are the smart way to do shopping. People nowadays use credit cards for all of their purchases whether they are done at restaurants, grocery stores, or online. These cards can provide a lot of freedom to you when it comes to buying the things you need. You can make purchases using the card and then pay for them later on at the end of the month. The only issue with credit cards is that you need to have a fair to good credit history to apply for them. But, what if, you don’t have a credit history at all. What if, you are looking for your first credit card?

Getting your first credit card can be a little tricky. You won’t have any established credit history so it would be difficult to determine your creditworthiness. However, there is no need to worry. Even if you don’t have a credit history or have bad credit, you can still find best first credit cards with consummate ease. The real challenge is to decide which one to get. There are plenty of good cards available that can prove to be the best first credit cards for you. This guide will help you sort through the best first credit card and decide which one is most suited to your needs.

#1 Best First Credit Card – Credit Soup

 

Best First Credit Cards – Top 5 Picks

You should be careful when selecting your first credit card. A good first credit card can help you build your credit score and make it easy for you to secure approval for credit cards in the future. Here are some of the best candidates for first credit cards in our opinion.

  1. Petal® “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card
  2. Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
  3. Discover It® Secured Credit Card
  4. Petal® 2 “Cashback, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card
  5. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

What are First Credit Cards?

First credit cards are the credit cards that have little to no requirement of credit history. These cards are aimed at people who don’t own a credit card and are looking for one. This is why first credit cards offer a lot of benefits and rewards to the users. These incentives are given so that the user makes use of the credit card for all of his purchases. Since students and youngsters are mostly the target audience of first credit cards, the incentives and rewards are geared towards their interests.

Common Uses of First Credit Cards

You are most likely to use your first credit card for travel expenses if you are a student. Other uses of first credit cards include grocery shopping, purchases made at drugstores, and dining at restaurants. However, the most important use of first credit cards is to build up your credit history. People tend to pay off the balance at the end of each month to constantly improve their credit score. Sometimes people with bad credit also use the first credit cards to rebuild their credit history.

How to Qualify for First Credit Cards

The process of qualification for first credit cards is a little different than for other credit cards. People applying for first credit cards are mostly youngsters or students. They don’t have much of a credit history so credit checks aren’t that necessary. However, in cases where the applicants have a credit history, the card providers are most likely to perform credit checks. For most first credit cards, there is no requirement for credit history and some of the card providers don’t even need your social security number to grant you approval.

9 Best First Time Credit Card Options – Fully Reviewed

1. Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card

Petal® 1 Visa® Credit Card offers a variable APR rate that ranges from 19.99% to 24.99%. It doesn’t provide you with a welcome bonus but you will get cashback at the rate of up to 10% on your credit card purchases. However, this cashback can’t be availed at all the merchants. You can only get it at select merchants within the US. This credit card doesn’t charge an annual fee from you and also isn’t too concerned about your credit score. Whether you have bad credit history or no credit history, you can apply for this card and get quick approval. Another benefit you get from the Petal® 1 Visa® Credit Card is that you aren’t required to put forward a security deposit. You can build your credit easily with this amazing credit card.

APR Rate Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Star Rating
19.99% – 29.49% N/A $0 4.2

Pros

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • No security deposit
  • 2%-10% cashback rate
  • No credit history needed.

Cons

  • Lack of a welcome Bonus
  • Cashback not available at all merchants

The Petal® 1 Visa® Credit Card is ideal for people with bad or no credit history. It can be an excellent first credit card for you that can help build your credit.

2. Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

Are you a student looking for your first credit card? If yes, then the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is exactly what you need. It offers a slightly high APR rate of 18.74% but doesn’t charge you an annual fee. Also, it doesn’t need you to have a credit history to apply. Since this credit card doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee or require you to provide your social security number while applying, international students can benefit from it too. The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students provides a flat cashback rate of 1% as well so you can earn some cashback on your credit card purchases. In addition to the cashback, you get benefits like cell phone protection and refer a friend program with this credit card.

APR Rate Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Star Rating
18.74% N/A $0 3.0

Pros

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Useful benefits for students
  • No requirement for social security number
  • No credit history needed

Cons

  • High APR rate
  • Low cashback rate

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is the best first credit card for international students who don’t have a credit history.

3. Discover It® Secured Credit Card

Discover It® Secured Credit Card has a relatively high variable APR rate of 22.99% but it comes with a lucrative welcome bonus in the form of Cashback MatchTM. It doubles the cashback you earn for the entire first year. The cashback that you can earn with this card is calculated in two different ways. There is a 1% flat cashback rate on all your purchases. On top of that, a 2% cashback rate is applied on purchases made at restaurants and gas stations within the US. However, this extra cashback has a cap and can only be availed on purchases of up to $1000. The Discover It® Secured Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee but it will need you to put forward a security deposit of $200. The good thing is that this deposit is refundable.

APR Rate Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Star Rating
22.99% Cashback MatchTM $0 5.0

Pros

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Cashback MatchTM
  • Multiple cashback rewards
  • Cashback available at all US merchants.

Cons

  • Security deposit of $200
  • Cap on cashback rewards

The Discover It® Secured Credit Card is the best credit card for people looking to rebuild their credit score. It can also be an excellent first card for people with no credit history.

4. Petal® 2 “Cashback, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card

Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card offers a variable APR rate that ranges from 12.99% to 26.99%. You won’t have to worry about paying an annual fee with this credit card. That’s not all. It also doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fee, late fee, or over limit fee. Moreover, the Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card doesn’t require you to have credit history. You can get pre-approved for this card very easily even if you have limited credit. With this card, you can get cashback of up to 10%. However, this cashback isn’t applicable on all of your purchases. On the downside, this credit card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus and is not suitable for people with bad credit scores.

APR Rate Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Star Rating
12.99% – 26.99% None $0 4.6

Pros

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No late fee
  • No credit history needed.

Cons

  • No welcome bonus
  • Cashback only on selected merchants.

Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card is ideal for people that have limited or no credit history. It doesn’t charge you any annual or foreign transaction fee and can help you build up your credit.

5. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has an APR rate that ranges from 13.99% to 23.99%. It is a credit card that would be suitable for students studying abroad as it doesn’t charge you a foreign transaction fee or an annual fee. You also get a welcome bonus of 25,000 points with this card. In addition to this, you can earn extra points at the rate of 1.5 points per $1 of purchases. There is no spending cap as well so you can earn an unlimited number of points. You are provided multiple options for redeeming the points you have earned. With the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students, you are also given an introductory offer that lets you make purchases at 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles.

APR Rate Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Star Rating
13.99% – 23.99% 25,000 Points $0 3.7

Pros

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Welcome bonus of 25,000 points
  • Multiple travel redemption options.

Cons

  • High balance transfer fee
  • High penalty APR
  • Late fee

The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is tailor-made for students studying abroad who are looking for their best first credit card.

6. Chase Freedom FlexSM

Chase Freedom FlexSM comes with an APR rate range of 14.99% to 24.74%. It offers you a welcome bonus of $200 that can be claimed after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months. This card has an annual fee of $0 and offers cashback rewards of multiple types. For instance, on grocery shopping of up to 12,000, you get cashback at the rate of 5%. However, this cashback is only available for the first year. The 5% cashback rate is also applicable on quarterly bonus categories for a total spend of $1,500. In addition to this, the Chase Freedom FlexSM gives you 3% cashback on purchases made at drugstores as well as on dining at restaurants. You need to have a fairly good credit score to get approved for this credit card.

APR Rate Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Star Rating
14.99% – 24.74% $200 $0 5.0

Pros

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • $200 welcome bonus
  • 5% cashback on grocery shopping
  • 3% cashback on drugstore purchases.

Cons

  • Better rewards for existing customers.

The Chase Freedom FlexSM is an excellent first credit for families that spend mostly on groceries, dining, and drugstores.

7. Discover It® Cashback

Discover It® Cash Back has one of the lowest APR rates in the market that ranges from 11.99% to 22.99%. The annual fee charged by this credit card is $0. What makes it better for first-time credit card owners is the mouth-watering welcome bonus it offers. Called the Cashback MatchTM, the welcome bonus by Discover It® Cash Back doubles the cashback you have earned at the end of the year. So, the more cashback you earn throughout the year, the better the payout at the year’s end. This card offers a flat 1% cashback on all of your credit card spending. In addition to this, you are offered spending categories that change every quarter. You get 5% cashback for spending of up to $1,500 on these spending categories.

APR Rate Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Star Rating
11.99% – 22.99% Cashback MatchTM $0 3.6

Pros

  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Cashback MatchTM
  • 5% cashback on quarterly spending categories.

Cons

  • Spending cap of $1,500 on quarterly spending categories.

The Discover It® Cash Back is the perfect first credit card for people who want to earn back some money on their credit card spending.

8. Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card offers a variable APR rate that ranges from 13.99% to 23.99% depending on how creditworthy you are. It has a very simple to understand cashback structure. You get 1% cashback on making a purchase and a further 1% cashback when you pay for it. This cashback is applicable on all of your purchases and there is no spending cap for you to worry about as well. Although you don’t get a welcome bonus with this credit card, you get an introductory offer of 3% APR on balance transfers only. This introductory offer isn’t available for purchases, though. Also, the introductory offer is only for a period of 4 months. You will be charged 5% balance transfer fee for each transfer after the introductory offer expires.

APR Rate Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Star Rating
13.99% – 23.99% None $0 2.9

Pros

  • S0 Annual Fee
  • Up to 2% cashback
  • No spending cap.

Cons

  • Foreign transaction fee
  • High balance transfer fee.

The Citi® Double Cash Card is a good first credit card for people who have some established credit history and can payback their credit card bills on time.

9. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card has an APR rate of 26.99% which is one of the highest in the market. However, despite the high APR rate, this credit card might appeal to you because of the flat 1.5% cashback it offers on all of your spending. Since there is no cap on the spending too, you can earn unlimited cashback. Your cashback rewards don’t expire as well so you can withdraw them whenever you want. Another positive of this credit card is that even people with average credit scores can get approved. On the downside, you will have to pay an annual fee of $39 for this card. If you plan on going abroad, this card can be useful as it doesn’t charge any foreign transaction fee.

APR Rate Welcome Bonus Annual Fee Star Rating
26.99% N/A $39 2.1

Pros

  • Flat 1.5% cashback on all purchases
  • No spending cap
  • No foreign transaction fee.

Cons

  • High APR rate
  • $39 Annual Fee
  • No welcome bonus.

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a smart choice for people who don’t have a stellar credit history and are looking to rebuild their credit score.

 

Features of First Credit Cards

No two first credit cards are the same. They have their own set of rewards and benefits to offer you. However, there are some features that you will find in all first credit cards.

  • Annual Fee: The fee charged at the end of year by the card provider. Most of the first credit cards don’t charge an annual fee.
  • Welcome Bonus: The rewards offered for getting the card. These rewards can be in the form of redeemable points or cashback.
  • APR Rate: The APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is the interest rate charged on the credit card balance over the course of the year. First credit cards usually charge a variable APR based on your creditworthiness.
  • Recommended Credit Score: The credit score needed to get approved for the credit card. Most first credit cards don’t have a high recommended credit score.

Best First Credit Cards for Bad Credit

First credit cards are an ideal choice for people with bad credit. They give you the chance to rebuild your credit score. You just have to make sure that you pay off the credit card bill at the end of each month. People with bad credit aren’t likely to get approval for any kind of credit card or loan. However, first credit cards don’t consider the credit history of the applicants. So, even if you have bad credit, you have the chance to get approved. The only caveat is that first credit cards for people with bad credit usually have very high APR.

Get a first credit card for bad credit here >

Best First Credit Cards No Credit Checks

A credit check is an examination of a person’s credit history. Credit checks are considered compulsory by credit card providers since they want to check the creditworthiness of the applicants. The credit check is performed by a credit assessment agency. The result of a credit check is given in the form of a credit score. If you have a bad credit history, you will have a low credit score. In terms of best first credit cards, credit checks aren’t that necessary. Still, if you have a credit history, the card provider is well within its rights to do a credit check. However, you can’t do a credit check yourself.

Get a first credit cards no credit check here >

Glossary

  • Guaranteed Approval: It means getting an approval for a credit card irrespective of your credit history. Guaranteed approval is just a myth.
  • Low Interest Rates: It means having to pay low rates of interest on your credit card balance. First credit card generally charge low interest rates.
  • No Annual Fee: It means not having to pay a fee for using the card at the end of the year. Most of the first credit card don’t charge an annual fee.
  • Students: It means people who are currently studying. First credit card offer various incentives to students.

Best First Credit Card Vs Other Credit Cards

Credit Card Type Annual Fee Credit History APR Rate
First Credit Cards $0 Not needed Low
Other Credit Cards $400+ Needed High

Pros of First Credit Cards

  • No credit history is needed to apply for most first credit cards.
  • You can get a lot of lucrative incentives like cashback and redeemable points.
  • They can help improve your credit history and credit score.
  • You won’t have to pay any kind of annual fee.

Cons of First Credit Cards

  • The cashback rewards have caps and can’t be earned on all of your purchases for some first credit cards.
  • You need to pay off the credit card bill at the end of the month or pay late fees.
  • No offers are given for balance transfers by most first credit cards.

Conclusion – Best First Credit Card To Build Credit

In short, first credit cards are an excellent choice for students and youngsters who haven’t yet owned a credit card. They are also a good option for people with bad credit as they can help them in rebuilding their credit score. You can get a lot benefits and cashback rewards with first credit cards. However, you should be willing to pay your credit card bills on time if you want to utilize the maximum potential of first credit cards.

Request Your Best First Credit Card at our Top Rated Provider – Credit Soup

ALSO CHECK:

Credit Cards For Fair Credit

Prepaid Credit Cards

Credit Cards For Bad Credit

FAQs

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About Jayme Wium PRO INVESTOR

Jayme is a professional freelance writer specializing in personal finance, business, nutrition, botany and mental health. She has studied extensively in these fields and spends a considerable amount of her time creating content to help simplify complex concepts for the everyday person.