🚀 Our new App is live!  Signup

🔥  300,000 bonus miles!!!  See details

Advertiser Disclosure

Advertiser Disclosure

Although we put in a lot of effort to give our readers unbiased information, and we include many credit card offers on our website for which we do not get paid any compensation, we are legally required to notify you that we may be receiving compensation from some of the credit card companies mentioned on our website.

Some of the credit card offers which appear on helpmebuildcredit.com are from credit card companies from which this site possibly receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where credit card offers appear on this site. This site possibly does not include all available credit card offers.



Good Credit Cards To Choose For Starting To Build Credit

- Feb 7, 2023 credit, Credit Card Info, First Credit Card0 comments

Applying for your first credit card can seem daunting. There are so many cards to choose from and there is always the risk of getting declined.

Here are some points to consider when choosing your first credit card and also some direction of which cards to choose to help you build credit the right way.

1. The fancy cards are not for beginners

When you’re applying for your first credit card, you probably don’t have much credit yet. Therefore, you may want to look for a card that is easy to get approved for. At this point, it’s not the time to look for fancy travel cards which are typically tough to get approved for. 

Later in this post I’ll list some good cards to try.

2. Choose cards with no annual fees

The first three credit cards that you apply for should be credit cards that don’t have an annual fee. The reason for this is because in order for you to build credit properly, you need to build up a proper credit history. That being understood, it’s important that the first three credit cards you open should never be closed. That will give your credit strong legs to stand on. This will definitely help you in the long run to build proper credit.

 If you make the mistake and apply for a first credit card which does have an annual fee, what will you do if in 5 years from now you don’t want to pay the annual fee anymore? Therefore, it is smart to just apply for a credit card with no annual fee (for your first three credit cards), so that you never have to worry about keeping them open. 

3. Don't sweat about your credit limit

For your first credit card don’t be too focused on getting approved for a high credit limit. Higher credit limits do not help you build credit. They just give you bigger spending power. Be happy even with a lower credit limit and just make sure to spend below 9% of your credit limit. 

High credit limits come with time. First, you need to prove yourself credit-worthy. Climb the ladder but don’t skip any steps. First focus to get approved for a card even with a small credit limit and eventually after making a few months of on-time payments (usually six months) you can request for the bank to increase your limits.

4. Split up the cards between different banks

The first three credit cards you apply for should be split up between three different banks. The reason for this is, first of all, in the long run it will be easier for you to get approved for higher credit lines by these banks as you will have had a longer relationship. 

Second, because it is so important for you to never close these credit cards and that these credit cards should never get closed down. So it is beneficial not to keep all your eggs in one basket. Just in case this bank decides to close you down (if you ever have a bounced check, etc.), you won’t lose all of your first few credit cards.

5. Choose cards that report payments to all three credit bureaus

Your first three credit cards should be cards that will help you build credit history with the credit bureaus. Choose a card that reports your payments to all three credit bureaus. 

Most big banks report on-time payments to all three credit bureaus. But, they only report on-time payment for personal cards, not business cards. When applying for your first few cards make sure to choose personal cards not business cards as the business cards will not help you establish proper credit.

6. Getting denied for a credit card sounds scarier than it really is

When applying for your first credit card even the smartest consumers can get a denial. Don’t take it personally and don’t sweat too much about it. 

Getting declined for a credit card does not get reported to the credit bureaus and does not affect your credit in any way. I will rephrase it as my words might be a bit misleading. 

When applying for a credit card the bank will always pull your credit report to check your credit. This is called a credit inquiry. Credit inquiries are done regardless if you get approved for the card or declined. A credit inquiry has a slight effect on your credit score. But, there is no additional effect for when the application ends up getting declined. 

Good first credit cards

Here are the credit cards to start with and some instructions about each one. Good luck!

Capital One Journey ($0)

The Capital One Journey card approves very easily even newcomers to credit. I literally see 99% of applicants get approved without any credit history. 

If you get declined for the card then try again 30 days later. You should get approved at that point.

Get the card>>

Amex Blue Cash Everyday ($0)

Amex can often approve you if you’re new to credit but you’re already an authorized user on an Amex credit card for 3-6 months. 

When you apply for the Amex Blue Cash* card, Amex will only do a soft pull to your credit at which point they will tell you if you’re approved for the card or not. Only if you accept the approval will they do a hard pull to your credit. So it might be worth trying for the card.

Get the card>>

Discover It ($0)

It is easy to get approved for the Discover It card if you write on the application that you’re a student. However, they will almost always ask for a student letter, so you have to be able to prove that you’re a student.

Get the card>>

TD Cash Secured ($29)

The TD Secured card  has a 100% approval rate. I have never seen them decline anyone for any reason. They will require you to set up a TD Bank account. The card has a small annual fee of $29 but if you tried all other cards above and nothing worked for you, then this one is foolproof.

Get the card>>


*The new application experience is currently available for individuals applying for U.S.Personal Card Via HelpMeBuildCredit, at AmericanExpress.com/us/credit-cards, or by calling American Express, and is not available if you apply for a card after you log into an existing CardMember Account.

Frequently asked questions
I have credit cards but I don't use them often. My mortgage broker pulled credit and he says I don't have a credit score. Does it make sense?
If you have not used your credit cards within the past six months then you are not going to have a credit score
If I keep a credit card in my drawer and do not use it, will it help me build credit?
No. In order for a credit card to help you build credit it needs to be used minimum once in six months

Was this article helpful?

Sam Sam has nearly a decade's worth of experience educating his many readers on everything credit. Sam spends his days checking out credit cards for a full report, from the minute benefit details to the shebang of welcome bonuses. Plus studying the ins and outs of building proper credit. It’s his favorite pastime and he loves sharing it with others.

Leave A Comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Recent Posts

Follow us

Click here to subscribe to
our WhatsApp channel

best offers

Capital One Venture X Business

Expiring 03/11/24! Earn a total of 300,000 miles. Earn 150,000 miles after spending $20,000 within the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional 150,000 miles after spending a total of $100,000 within the first 6 months.

more info

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Expiring 03/11/24! Earn a total of $3,000. Earn $1,500 after spending $20,000 within the first 3 months. Plus, earn an additional $1,500 after spending a total of $100,000 within the first 6 months.

more info

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

Earn 100,000 points after spending $8,000 within the first 3 months.

more info

The Platinum Card from American Express

Earn 80,000 points after spending $8,000 within the first 6 months (terms apply).

more info

You May Also Like

Why It’s Important To Have A Two-Card Strategy

Why It’s Important To Have A Two-Card Strategy

Credit cards come along with different forms of rewards, different types of benefits, different redemption options, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes I feel that the banks are using a strategy similar to “if you can’t prove him then confuse him”. They make it so...

read more
Best Credit Cards For Construction And Home Improvement

Best Credit Cards For Construction And Home Improvement

Lowe’s and Home Depot are just two of many home improvement retailers. If you are renovating or refurbishing your home, save yourself money by using a credit card that earns rewards on home improvement purchases and construction. Check out the best credit card...

read more
Do Utility Or Phone Bills Help Build Credit?

Do Utility Or Phone Bills Help Build Credit?

Getting a bill in the mail is not one of the most exciting times in life. Responsible, timely people, though, make sure that their utility and phone bills get paid on time. That’s why I get asked this question very often: How come I don’t have credit? I pay my rent...

read more
How Long Do Marks Stay On My Credit Report?

How Long Do Marks Stay On My Credit Report?

Even if you mess up your credit due to hardship, your credit is not messed up for life. You still have a second chance! The FCRA has set rules for how long negative marks are allowed to stay on your credit report. Here is a list according to each type of mark for how...

read more

Download link sent

Got it * please check your promotional inbox

Error sending download link

Try Again