At a Glance

Credit cards have become an essential financial tool in today’s world. They offer convenience, flexibility, and the opportunity to build a credit history. If you’re considering getting a credit card for the first time, you may have some questions and concerns. Here are tips on obtaining your first credit card, its benefits, how to use it wisely, and some of the best credit cards for beginners.

In this article, you’ll learn:


18 to 20

is the average age of first-time credit card holders.

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How to get a credit card for the first time?

Obtaining your first credit card may seem daunting, especially if you have little to no credit history. However, there are several steps you can take to increase your chances of approval:

  • Check your credit report: Before applying for a credit card, it’s crucial to review your credit report. You can request a free copy of your credit report from credit bureaus like Equifax, Experian, or TransUnion. This will give you an idea of your credit standing and help you identify any errors or discrepancies that must be addressed.
  • Build your credit history: If you have no credit history, getting approved for a credit card can be challenging. Consider starting with a secured credit card or becoming an authorized user on someone else’s credit card to begin establishing credit.
  • Research different credit card options: There are various types of credit cards available, each catering to different needs and financial situations. Look for credit cards specifically designed for beginners or individuals with limited credit history. Compare their features, fees, and interest rates to find the best fit.
  • Apply for a credit card: Once you’ve researched and chosen a suitable credit card, you can proceed with the application process. You can typically apply online or visit a local bank branch. Fill out the application form accurately, providing all necessary personal and financial information.
  • Demonstrate responsible financial habits: Lenders want to see that you can handle credit responsibly. Pay your bills on time, avoid carrying high balances, and keep your credit utilization ratio low. These habits will help you build a positive credit history and improve your chances of obtaining future credit.

Compare: Best Credit Cards

Reasons to get a credit card

While it’s important to use credit cards responsibly, there are several benefits to having one:

  • Convenience: Credit cards offer a convenient and secure method of payment. You can use them for online shopping, travel bookings, and in-store purchases, eliminating the need to carry cash.
  • Building credit history: Responsible credit card usage can help you establish and build your credit history. A good credit score opens doors to better borrowing opportunities in the future, such as getting approved for loans or qualifying for lower interest rates.
  • Rewards and perks: Many credit cards offer rewards programs, cashback incentives, or travel benefits. By using your credit card for everyday purchases, you can earn points, miles, or cashback, which can be redeemed for various rewards.
  • Purchase protection: Credit cards often provide additional protection for your purchases. They may offer extended warranties, price protection, and fraud liability protection, which can be valuable in unexpected events or disputes.

How to use a credit card wisely?

To make the most of your credit card and avoid potential pitfalls, follow these tips:

  • Stick to a budget: Create a monthly budget and track your expenses to ensure you can pay off your credit card balance in full each month. Avoid overspending and accumulating high-interest debt.
  • Pay on time and in full: Make it a habit to pay your credit card bill on time and in full to avoid late payment fees and interest charges. If you can’t pay the full amount, at least make the minimum payment required to avoid negative impacts on your credit score.
  • Monitor your statements: Review your credit card statements regularly for unauthorized charges or errors. Report any discrepancies to your credit card issuer immediately.
  • Keep your credit utilization low: Aim to keep your credit utilization ratio below 30%. This means using no more than 30% of your available credit limit. A lower credit utilization ratio demonstrates responsible credit usage.

Best credit cards for beginners

Here are some credit cards that are often recommended for individuals new to credit:

  • Capital One Platinum Credit Card: This card is designed for beginners with limited or average credit history. It has no annual fee, and with responsible use, you may qualify for a credit limit increase after six months.
  • Discover it Secured: Ideal for those with no credit history or a limited credit score, this secured credit card offers cashback rewards and the opportunity to build credit.
  • Citi Secured Mastercard: With a refundable security deposit, this card allows you to establish or rebuild your credit history while offering fraud protection and flexible payment options.


Getting a credit card with no credit history can be challenging. Still, options like secured credit cards or becoming an authorized user on someone else’s card can help you establish credit.

When choosing your first credit card, consider factors such as credit score requirements, fees, interest rates, rewards programs, and benefits that align with your financial goals and lifestyle.

No, being denied a credit card does not directly hurt your credit score. However, the hard inquiry associated with the application can have a minor impact. It’s best to research and apply for cards you’re likely approved for to minimize the risk of denial.

In most countries, the legal age to apply for a credit card is 18 years old. However, some issuers may require applicants to be at least 21 years old or have a cosigner if they are under 21.