What's a good first Rewards CC

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ttdun314
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What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby ttdun314 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:14 pm

Hi all.

I've been floating around the blog and forums for a couple of months and thought I'd finally leave a post of my own.

My goals are to start gathering some rewards CC, preferably travel cards for flights and hotels. Currently I only have one credit card, a Capital One student Journey Card. It has a low CL of $300 and I've only had it for 3 months. Never missed a payment. No derogatory marks on my reports.

Here are my "scores":

Capital one's credit monitor: 727
Credit Karma: 670
Credit Sesame: 670

Obviously my low CL and short history are holding my scores back, and I've heard that the Journey card's CL doesn't goes up until other companies start giving you some higher CLs.

I was wondering what rewards cards you think I might qualify for. It'd be great to get something with a decent sign up bonus, like Chase Saphire Preferred, but I'm not sure if I could get that right now. Would going for the Freedom card first, and then the CSP in a couple of months be a good move? Or can I go straight for the CSP?

Today, I also got a brochure for Discover it cash back card in the mail. I'm not sure if that's a guarantee that I'd get the card, but if it is, having it could increase my chances of getting some good cards in the future.


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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:10 pm

You would probably be declined for both (non-student) Discover and CSP at this time. Discover likes to see a little more history (for the non-student version, at least) and CSP usually requires someone to have an existing CL in the $5k ballpark (as in maybe $3.5k+).

You have a reasonable chance of getting a Freedom with a $500 or $600 CL.

Are you a student? Discover offers a student version of the It. I think the card is identical - they just give a low starting CL. You might qualify for that.

Have you applied (and been declined) for any other credit?

Are you a Chase checking customer? I was and got Freedom with zero history (just a $600 CL to start, but it's now $4k).

Your odds for Discover and Freedom will be higher once you have a full 6 months of history.

Discover, CSP, and Freedom are all great cards and definitely worth getting!
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

kdm31091
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Re: What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby kdm31091 » Fri Jun 05, 2015 11:12 pm

CarefulBuilder14 wrote:You would probably be declined for both (non-student) Discover and CSP at this time. Discover likes to see a little more history (for the non-student version, at least) and CSP usually requires someone to have an existing CL in the $5k ballpark (as in maybe $3.5k+).

You have a reasonable chance of getting a Freedom with a $500 or $600 CL.

Are you a student? Discover offers a student version of the It. I think the card is identical - they just give a low starting CL. You might qualify for that.

Have you applied (and been declined) for any other credit?

Are you a Chase checking customer? I was and got Freedom with zero history (just a $600 CL to start, but it's now $4k).

Your odds for Discover and Freedom will be higher once you have a full 6 months of history.

Discover, CSP, and Freedom are all great cards and definitely worth getting!


When someone's considering Discover and Freedom especially when they have no other cards, I usually say don't get both. The cards are very similar. Identical rewards. Same categories during the year albeit different times. For someone who has many cards, it's not as big of a deal but if those are your only cards I would think you want cards with different features.

ttdun314
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Re: What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby ttdun314 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:26 am

No, I'm not a student. I've shunned all types of credit for far too long, paying with cash for everything. I had just heard that people with no credit can get the Journey card, despite not being a student. My annual income right now is ~70,000, but that's going to go down in the next month or so, as I'm leaving my job for something that pays less but is far more enjoyable. That's kind of why I was thinking of applying now, but if you think waiting six months, when my income will be closer to 50k, I could wait to apply then.

Unfortunately, I don't have any history with chase. I'm with a local credit union right now, which does offer credit cards but not any rewards cards.

I agree that CSP is probably out of my range. What about the AMEX Everyday CC? Do I have a decent chance of getting either the Freedom or ED if I apply for both?

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Re: What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby Vermonster » Sat Jun 06, 2015 10:32 am

First, I would ignore Capital One's credit score. It tends to be very different from your real score. The CK scores are Vantage which is also different than FICO, but tends to be closer.

Like Carefulbuilder said, I think you're a long way away from a CSP. You can easily build to it, and I would start with a Freedom. Chase wants to see other $5k limit cards, but they would be ok with a lower limit freedom. Plus they will let you know when they are ready to give you a CSP by bombarding you with offers.

Discover offers are really not worth anything unless they give you a specific APR. If it is a range (like 12.99%-22.99%) it is nothing more than a trap. It is very rare to get an offer from Discover worth apping for. The good news is that Discover has the student version, and worst case they have a secured version.

I think you should wait until you hit at least 6 months on your Cap One. That will take a bit of the sting off the hard pull too.
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

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CarefulBuilder14
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Re: What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 11:51 am

ttdun314 wrote:No, I'm not a student. I've shunned all types of credit for far too long, paying with cash for everything. I had just heard that people with no credit can get the Journey card, despite not being a student. My annual income right now is ~70,000, but that's going to go down in the next month or so, as I'm leaving my job for something that pays less but is far more enjoyable. That's kind of why I was thinking of applying now, but if you think waiting six months, when my income will be closer to 50k, I could wait to apply then.

Unfortunately, I don't have any history with chase. I'm with a local credit union right now, which does offer credit cards but not any rewards cards.

I agree that CSP is probably out of my range. What about the AMEX Everyday CC? Do I have a decent chance of getting either the Freedom or ED if I apply for both?

Considering that you will be in the realm of low CLs for a while, I don't think that a lower income will be a constraint. I think you'll be in a better position with $50k of income and more history than with $70k and less history. Banks usually ask for your updated income before they offer a CLI, anyway.

You'll probably be turned down for any Amex-issued card with less than 6 months of total history.
Wallet: Prestige CSP SchwabPlat Freedom It Hyatt SallieMae AAPlat
SD: Arrival BrooksBros BCE ED IHG
Letting new accounts cool off since May
Really not sure what I'll add next or when

ttdun314
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Re: What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby ttdun314 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 8:32 am

Thanks for all the information, everyone.

One point of confusion for me is that you all are saying that the Freedom should be easier for me to get than the Everyday, when pretty much everything I've read says Chase is more conservative than AmEx.

So it looks like at the minimum, I'm looking at a 3 month wait before I apply for some of these cards that I want. Is simply waiting enough? Should I put another, non-rewards card in my wallet? Would that help me out?

If so, I bet my best bet would be to go to my Credit Union. They will probably give me the highest credit limit out of anyone as I've been there for many years and have a pretty substantial savings account with them.

Vermonster
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Re: What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby Vermonster » Sun Jun 07, 2015 9:18 am

Chase freedom is easier to get than almost any Amex. Mostly because the Freedom you can get a SL as low as $500 where I think Amex is $1000. You also have to be careflu when making statements like "Chase is more conservative than AmEx"

Amex charge cards are probably easier to get than most cards. They offer very little risk for Amex as you must pay in full each month. I doubt they would care too much about closing a new account if you didn't PIF. Amex credit cards are much harder to get. Chase has a full spectrum of credit cards running from the Freedom to the CSP or Ritz. Each card has it's own underwriting so it is tough to say "Chase is more or less conservative than X". It just depends on the specific cards.
Chase Freedom $9k~~Chase Sapphire Preferred $6.5k~~Amex Blue Cash Preferred $12.4k~~Citi Double Cash $4.7k

ttdun314
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Re: What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby ttdun314 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 11:27 am

Vermonster wrote:Chase freedom is easier to get than almost any Amex. Mostly because the Freedom you can get a SL as low as $500 where I think Amex is $1000. You also have to be careflu when making statements like "Chase is more conservative than AmEx"

Amex charge cards are probably easier to get than most cards. They offer very little risk for Amex as you must pay in full each month. I doubt they would care too much about closing a new account if you didn't PIF. Amex credit cards are much harder to get. Chase has a full spectrum of credit cards running from the Freedom to the CSP or Ritz. Each card has it's own underwriting so it is tough to say "Chase is more or less conservative than X". It just depends on the specific cards.


Got ya. Makes sense

MemberSince99
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Re: What's a good first Rewards CC

Postby MemberSince99 » Sun Jun 07, 2015 7:11 pm

I kind of question the whole concept that Amex charge cards are lower risk than revolvers. Case in point - I last checked my spending ability on the Amex site for my charge card about a month ago. I put in 10k and it said it would be approved. What it would approve may be higher than that, I don't know. But the point is, that's a whole lotta burning that Amex could get.

Maybe from the standpoint of statistically it's been determined that the customers of Amex charge cards are less likely to burn Amex, but as far as it being harder to burn them, once you get a high NPSL, it's really not that much different than a revolver.



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