Best cash back card for someone with little/no credit history

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ajs
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Best cash back card for someone with little/no credit history

Postby ajs » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:20 pm

Really appreciate any help on this issue!

I am recent law school grad wanting to get my first credit card. I plan on paying the entire balance every month (the concept of paying interest annoys the hell out of me), and I have a secure job lined up paying $65k/year with good long term prospects. I also have no debt/loans/etc. However, I also have little to no credit history, which got me rejected from the card I had wanted, an AMEX blue preferred cash back.

In any event, I'd love some recommendations on some cards I should look into/might get accepted for considering my profile. I would prefer cash back, as I don't use one airline/hotel/etc. and rewards seem a bit restricting. I have a backup visa check card, so could go with any brand for this one.

Thanks for any help!


DarrellEW
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Postby DarrellEW » Tue Jul 19, 2011 2:55 pm

I would suggest the Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards card. It's geared towards people with average credit, but it still gives 1% cashback across the board and 2% on groceries/gas. There are a couple other cards for people with little/no credit history, but this seems to have the best rewards.

After you've had this one for a year or so, I'd suggest going after a few slightly better cards, like the Chase Freedom, Citi Forward, Discover More, or whatever else is popular a year from now. Then after another year you can go for the big ones like the Amex Blue Cash or Chase AARP (if they still exist).

One other suggestion would be to get any Amex card you can get approved for, even if it comes with no rewards. The reason for this is because Amex has a strange way of reporting to credit agencies, in that every card you have with them shows it has been opened since you got your first card from Amex.
For example, if you get a card today, then three years from now you get the Blue Cash, it will show that both cards are three years old, even though the Blue Cash is brand new. This won't have any immediate impact on your credit history, but it will increase your average age of credit later on if you get more Amex cards.

ajs
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Postby ajs » Tue Jul 19, 2011 3:17 pm

So would you recommend not even applying for those second tier ones (chase/citi/discover)? Not sure if applying hurts my credit, but would obviously prefer the best card I could get.

Meltdownblitz
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Postby Meltdownblitz » Tue Jul 19, 2011 4:56 pm

I agree with Darrell. No I don't suggest going for second tier cards, you have a very slight chance if any of getting them because most require around a 700 credit score and as you said your just starting out. And yes applying for credit cards hurts your score, not sure about when you don't have any history though but once you do, yes they hurt your credit. Maybe applying for a discover more student or any student card for that fact would get you good rewards and you have a higher chance of getting accepted rather then a normal card. Good luck!

ajs
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Postby ajs » Tue Jul 19, 2011 5:27 pm

Anyone else know about whether it would hurt me in my situation? Also any other suggestions appreciated.

DarrellEW
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Postby DarrellEW » Tue Jul 19, 2011 6:48 pm

ajs wrote:Anyone else know about whether it would hurt me in my situation? Also any other suggestions appreciated.


Credit card companies will see that you've been applying for a lot of credit recently and don't have any open accounts, so it will make them hesitate to give you a card, since they don't know you're just trying to get good rewards

My girlfriend got that Capital One card with no credit history, and I'm not sure you'll find a better one for someone with no credit history.

Like Meltdown said, if you can still qualify for a student card, some of them will be pretty decent. I think they have a higher APR version of the Citi Forward and Discover More just for students with little/no history.

craigm1
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reward card

Postby craigm1 » Tue Jul 19, 2011 7:34 pm

If you have a relationship with a bank for some time, I have had a bank of america checking account for almost 10 years and got approved for a visa signature card with a 1.25% cash back this was just after begging capital one and chase to raise my limits with no luck, first place I would apply is a bank you have maintained checking or savings accounts with

craig
Current Cards: American Express:Grandfathered Blue Cash CL 34k member since 89
Chase Freedom CL 7.5k member since 04
Chase Marriot Rewards Premier CL 20k member since 13
Chase Sapphire Preferred CL 25K member since 13
Bank Americard Cash Rewards Signature Visa CL 14k member since 11
Discover Cashback Bonus $10.5k member since 11
US Bank Cash + Signature Visa 19k member since 12
Citibank Thank You Preffered World Mastercard $16.5k member since 14

Meltdownblitz
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Postby Meltdownblitz » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:22 pm

craigm1 wrote:If you have a relationship with a bank for some time, I have had a bank of america checking account for almost 10 years and got approved for a visa signature card with a 1.25% cash back this was just after begging capital one and chase to raise my limits with no luck, first place I would apply is a bank you have maintained checking or savings accounts with

craig


Agreed, that's another very good option.

ajs
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Postby ajs » Tue Jul 19, 2011 8:42 pm

I just have Wachovia/Wells Fargo, which I believe is just a 1% card unfortunately

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Mogul of Pineapples
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Postby Mogul of Pineapples » Tue Aug 02, 2011 11:00 pm

Household Bank recently came out with this 2% cash back card for no credit/bad credit. However no reviews by actual cardholders have been posted yet.
Disclosure: I am a moderator/paid staff of this site, which does have advertising relationships with some credit cards that are discussed and linked to. Regardless, anything I say is my honest opinion.

Current Cards:
American Express: Blue Cash, Simply Cash Bank of America: WorldPoints Platinum Plus Chase: Amazon, British Airways, Cash Plus Rewards, Freedom, Ink Cash Citi: Thank You Premier, Dividend Platinum Select Discover: More
Primary Everyday Card: American Express Blue Cash
Primary Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred



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