Suggestions for a first credit card?

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4 posts
JohnnyCrawl
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Location: Georgia

Suggestions for a first credit card?

Postby JohnnyCrawl » Wed Jan 08, 2014 6:32 pm

Hey guys, I need some help on picking out my first credit card to improve my credit score. I'm thinking of getting a travel credit card that can get me good points/mileage on sign up or over time with purchases. I would like to travel the world and a travel credit card seems like the best card to help pay for the ridiculous prices of airline tickets.

I'm a college student in my Sophmore year and also a soldier in the National Guard. My credit score from using Credit Sesame is 684 and the only things I understand that could establish my credit score is my job as a National Guardsman, student loans, and a mall store credit card I accidentally signed up for, but paid of the balance in full and then canceled. Other than that I have no other means to establish my credit score (I live at home with the parents and everything down to my car is paid for by my parents).

I need suggestions on the best travel credit cards, or student cards, or even any other credit cards with great rewards/cash back benefits for a guy with a 684 credit score.

Thanks!


mathman314
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Location: Texas

Postby mathman314 » Thu Jan 09, 2014 1:17 pm

The Citi Advantage card does 1 mile for every dollar spent. That's one of the best mileage cards that I know of but then again, I'm new to the credit card game so I only know what is out there based upon what I've seen people having.

I wouldn't rely on Credit Sesame (CS) for your credit score. CS provides what is called a FAKO score (fake FICO). Sites like CK (Credit Kama), CS, and the like are good sites to use to get an idea of what your Credit Score will look like. CK provides TU and CS provides Experian. The only good way for getting your true FICO is purchasing it.

That being said, the Discover IT card provides a free TU FICO score on each statement to help you stay on top of your credit. Along with that, the Discover IT provides 1% cash back on all purchases including an extra 4% on purchases in certain categories in a certain quarter.

Chase Freedom is a good card I've heard. I wouldn't want to provide any details on it as I don't have mine yet.
Cards:
1FBUSA: 5.75k
Discover IT (for students): 4.6k
Chase Freedom (signature): 5k
Target REDcard: 1.5k
AmEx BlueCash Everyday: 5.5k

FICOs:
TU - 785 (December 2015)

samhradh
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Location: United States

Postby samhradh » Thu Jan 09, 2014 2:17 pm

JohnnyCrawl wrote:Hey guys, I need some help on picking out my first credit card to improve my credit score.


Step one: Request your free credit report from each of the agencies (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). Purchase your FICO score from myFICO to get an idea of where you stand. Make sure your report is accurate. Figure out where your score places you on the credit scale. Only then will you be able to know what kind of cards you can expect to be approved for.

JohnnyCrawl wrote:I'm a college student in my Sophmore year

Step two: Spell Sophomore correctly. This was begging to be called out ;)

JohnnyCrawl wrote:Everything down to my car is paid for by my parents

Step three: Ask your parents to be make you an Authorized User on one or some of their credit cards.

JohnnyCrawl wrote:I'm thinking of getting a travel credit card that can get me good points/mileage on sign up or over time with purchases. I would like to travel the world and a travel credit card seems like the best card to help pay for the ridiculous prices of airline tickets.


My first personal card was as a senior in college. My expenses were so low that having a credit card didn't make sense up until then. Do not be in a rush to join the credit arena. Follow the steps outlined above and you will be off to a good start. ALWAYS pay in full and by the due date (goes without saying but needs to be said).

We cannot recommend anything specific without having a better sense of your report & FICO. Generally the recommendation will be to get a student card earning cash or point rewards (Citi Forward and the Discover it are popular right now). You are likely to be rejected for travel cards until your score increases and you have more credit history. Since you are in the Guard, look into the USAA credit union. I would also carefully consider whether it truly makes sense for you to get a travel card right now. It sounds to me like cash back would positively impact your finances more.
Citi Forward ($10.1K), AmEx Blue Cash Everyday ($30K), Chase Freedom ($12.4K), Discover it ($5.5K), Barclaycard Arrival ($12.5K), L.L. Bean Visa ($5K). FICO 806 (TU), 812 (EQ), 806 (EX).

takeshi
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Location: US

Postby takeshi » Fri Jan 10, 2014 8:51 am

JohnnyCrawl wrote:I need suggestions on the best travel credit cards, or student cards, or even any other credit cards with great rewards/cash back benefits for a guy with a 684 credit score.

That criterion really doesn't help with the process. For rewards you really need to look at your spend and how redemption affects the value of the rewards. What are your major spend categories?



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