Crashem wrote:Actually given that Descension has income, he should qualify for some student credit cards. If he can get a parent with good credit history, he can even skip the student cards. He should skip some crappy secured card that will offer no credit line increases and annual fees. Ideally he should get 2 cards. Get ones with good rewards (whatever kind he wants). And/Or card with low APR if he is planning to keep balance (which he shouldn't be). By the time he graduates he will have a solid credit history with 2-3 cards to build on. Student cards, given the Card Act 2009, isn't as easy to get as they used to be. Now if Descension doesn't trust himself with credit..., he should do scenario 2.
1) Scenario 1 Trust himself:
Consider the following: Citi Forward Card for Student (Reward card), Capital One Journey Card for Students (cash back with credit montioring features), Go to local Credit Union and see if they have card for student, if you have bank account go talk to them. Remember NO ANNUAL FEE and some kind of reward. Don't carry both cards. Pay in Full and treat your credit not credit but spend as you would if it was a debit card.
2) Scenario 2: Don't Trust himself with credit:
Still go and get VISA/MC student card but go ahead and leave card at home/hide it. Whatever. Just use it once it a while. Remember bad credit history is worse than no credit history. Instead of a debit card, go get a PASS card from AMEX. While the pass card won't build history with credit bureaus, AMEX will track it and has some program to invite you to convert to regular AMEX if you use the pass card regularly.
The OP should not be concerned with rewards or points for now. It is about making priorities.
His primary focus/objective should be in building his credit history; not earning rewards or points. Piggy backing with other people's credit isn't really recommended. Once the parents' credit goes bad, the OP's credit history will also get a blow. Point in case, the OP needs to begin on his own so he can practice financial responsibility.
That said, student credit cards are fine as long as the OP is a student. There are student cards out there that offers rewards anyway. Although the OP should not focus on earning rewards at this time but building his credit. It is better though that he build his credit to good standing and later reap the benefits - applying for better credit cards.
Also, secured credit cards are also fine even though credit limits on those are usually low. The OP just needs to pay the balance before the billing cycle closes so credit utilization is kept to minimum.