Are you looking to build or repair your credit score in the new year? Are you an inexperienced user trying to get into good financial habits for the first time? Whether you’re a seasoned consumer with damaged credit, a first-time adult trying to access more opportunities, or just someone interested in improving their long-term financial stability, obtaining and using a good credit card can be one of the most important steps. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best credit cards to build credit to help get your finances on track! In this comprehensive guide, our experts analyze different options and provide real advice about which programs may be right for each type of consumer.
Best Credit Cards to Build Credit
We have mentioned the best credit card to build credit and you can use them without keeping any doubt in your mind:
1. Discover it Secured Credit Card
Our Rating: 4.8/5
The Discover it Secured Credit Card is designed for those with a credit score between 300 and 669. This makes it ideal for those who are just starting out or trying to rebuild their credit score after past financial struggles. With responsible use over time, you can improve your score as long as you make your payments on time and keep balances low relative to your available credit limit.
This card also comes with an attractive rewards program in which you can earn 2% cash back when using the card for gas station and restaurant purchases, plus 1% back for all other purchases. You’ll receive a statement credit each quarter in which you can redeem your rewards points for cash back or gift cards from select retailers. Plus, there’s no need to worry about keeping track of rotating categories; instead, simply enjoy consistent rewards no matter what type of purchase you make!
The Discover it Secured Credit Card has no annual fee whatsoever and its APR is 25.99%. This means that if you carry a balance month-to-month, then you should try to pay off as much as possible each month in order to minimize interest charges. Additionally, this card does not have any foreign transaction fees so you don’t need to worry about getting hit with extra fees while traveling overseas. No doubt this is one of the best credit cards to build credit available today.
- 0 annual fee
- 2% rewards on “Gas & Restaurant”
- 1% reward on different purchases
- Get “Dollar-for-dollar” cash back
- You can freely access the FICO score
2. Prosper Card
Our Rating: 3.9/5
This card doesn’t require a deposit and also provides comparatively good options for borrowing. So, the introductory limit of your card is between $55 to $3000 and they will increase the limit by themselves. It has an annual fee which is $39 and it gets canceled after 1st year if you use autopay.
The Prosper Card requires users to have a credit score in the range of 300-669. This makes it one of the most accessible cards on the market for those with poor or no credit history. It’s also important to note that your credit limit will increase over time depending on how often you use it, so it’s worth considering if you don’t initially qualify for higher limits on other cards. This is why the Prosper card has its place among the best credit cards to build credit.
The purchase APR for this card ranges from 22.74% – 33.74% (variable). While this is higher than some competing cards, keep in mind that it remains a good option for those who may not qualify for lower rates due to their credit score or lack of history with bank cards and loans.
Unfortunately, there are no rewards associated with this card, but many of its features more than makeup for it. Notable benefits include free access to TransUnion Credit Monitoring and 24/7 customer support, as well as an array of digital tools like budgeting and financial planning resources to help you stay on track with your finances.
- It doesn’t require you to pay a security deposit.
- Zero fees for a cash advance.
- Speedy application.
- It will increase the limit after three months.
- You can do Foreign transactions.
3. Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
Our Rating: 4.2/5
Are you looking for affordable credit cards to help build credit? The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card is designed to do just that. With its reliable reporting to all three major credit bureaus and additional benefits such as zero annual fees, zero foreign transaction fees, and flexible due dates, this card offers a reasonable option for anyone looking to build their financial profile.
To qualify for the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card, you must have a credit score between 300 and 669. If your score falls within this range, then you are eligible for the card. This makes it an ideal option for those who are just beginning to establish their credit history.
This card has an introductory APR of 26.49% (variable), which is higher than average compared to other secured cards but still quite reasonable considering the potential rewards that come with it.
When you apply for this card, you must make a security deposit of anywhere from $49–$200 depending on your creditworthiness. The good news is that there are no annual fees or foreign transaction fees associated with this card, so all payments made on the account go toward your balance instead of being wasted on unnecessary costs.
- Zero annual fee
- The credit limit will increase after 6 months
- You can monitor your credit
- Easy deposit
4. Deserve PRO Mastercard
Our Rating: 4.0/5
The Deserve Pro Mastercard is an excellent credit option for those looking to build or repair their credit score. With no annual fees and cashback rewards, the Deserve Pro Mastercard offers a competitive offering among other credit cards to build credit. The Deserve Pro Mastercard does not require a secured deposit and also does not require a minimum credit score. That said, the card is most suited for those with a credit score between 580 to 739. For those with poor credit, it may be better to opt for another card that doesn’t have as stringent of requirements as this one.
The purchase APR on the Deserve Pro Mastercard ranges from 19.74% – 26.74% (variable) depending on your creditworthiness and other factors determined by the issuer. Fortunately, there are no annual fees associated with this card so you can save money in that regard. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees which are great news if you plan to travel abroad.
The Deserve Pro Mastercard offers generous rewards and perks that make it worth considering if you’re in the market for a new card. You will earn 3% cash back rewards on travel purchases, 2% cash back rewards on restaurant purchases, and 1% cash back rewards on all other purchases made with your card. This makes it an attractive choice for those looking to rack up points quickly while still keeping their spending limited to essentials like food and travel expenses.
- No need to deposit
- Zero annual fee/foreign settlement fees
- 1% to 3% rewards
- Accessible to professionals
5. OpenSky Secured Visa
Our Rating: 4.0/5
The OpenSky Secured Visa card is perfect for those of us who need to rebuild our credit rating and can be used anywhere Visa is accepted. When you use your OpenSky Secured Visa, it reports to all three major agencies (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax). This means that your financial activities are being monitored and reported on a regular basis. This helps to keep your credit score up and make sure that you are building up your credit history over time.
The OpenSky Secured Visa also offers flexible payment options so you can choose the due date that works best for you. That way, you can plan ahead and make sure that your payments are always made on time. This will help to build up your credit score even faster!
Another great thing about this card is that its annual fee is only $35 per year, which is quite reasonable compared to other best credit cards to build credit. Additionally, the deposit requirements are low; for this card, it’s only between $200-$3,000 depending on how much credit you need. That makes it very accessible for users with tight budgets.
- Less APR
- No need to check accounts
- Big approval chances
- Adjustable due dates
6. Discover it Student Cash Back Card
Our Rating: 4.6/5
The Discover it Student Cash Back Card offers some great rewards and benefits. It has a 0% introductory APR period of 6 months on purchases, which can be very helpful if you’re planning on making a big purchase in the near future. You’ll also get 5% cash back at different stores every quarter (up to $1,500 in combined purchases). There are no annual fees or late payment fees, so this card is perfect for students who want to start building their credit without worrying about hefty fees.
This card also offers some additional perks such as freeze-it protection and 24/7 customer service. Freeze it allows you to control your account by easily freezing or unfreezing your account if needed. This feature can also help protect your identity since all transactions must be approved by you before they can be processed. You’ll also have access to round-the-clock customer service so any issues can be quickly resolved.
The Discover it Student Cash Back Card is available for those with a credit score of 580–739, which makes it an excellent option for students who don’t yet have an established credit history but still want the convenience of using a student credit card. This card does not require an annual fee, which makes it even more attractive for students on a budget who don’t want to worry about high monthly costs.
- Zero annual fee & foreign settlement fees.
- You will get rewards.
- Get a welcome bonus in the 1st year.
- Initial offers for APRs & fees.
- No need to pay any fee for 1st late payment.
7. Petal 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa
Our Rating: 4.4/5
Are you a global worker looking for a card that doesn’t charge any fees and offers rewards? The Petal 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa is the ideal choice. Not only does it not require an SSN for applying, but it also offers cash back on purchases. When you apply, you will need to pass out a pre-approval procedure to determine if you are qualified.
In order to be approved for the Petal 2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa card, your credit score must fall within the range of 300 to 669. This is considered subprime credit, so it’s important to note that while this card may be more accessible than other cards with higher credit score requirements, it could still have high-interest rates associated with it.
The purchase APR associated with this card ranges from 15.99%–29.99%. It is important to note that this is variable based on your creditworthiness and market conditions when you apply for the card. This means that if market conditions change or your credit score drops after you are approved for the card, your purchase APR could increase significantly without warning.
One of the best things about this card that makes it the best credit card to build credit is that there is no annual fee associated with it! This can save you hundreds of dollars over time compared to cards with hefty annual fees. Additionally, because there is no annual fee associated with this card, it makes it easier for those who don’t want to pay recurring fees every year in order to keep their account open and active.
- Zero annual fee & foreign settlement fees.
- No need to pay any fee for 1st late payment
- Get rewards
- Accessible to users who don’t have SSNs
Do Credit Cards Help Build Credit?
Yes, with the help of credit cards, you can build credit as the issuer will provide the report of your activities to all the 3 agencies and they will upgrade the information in the credit report and then the lender will verify the credit. If you use your card with extra care and pay all your bills on time then you can easily build credit.
So, if you have 0 credit record or a poor credit score then once you start using the card, you can see a huge change in your credit score.
Which Type of Credit Cards Should I Use?
You may use secured or unsecured credit cards for building credit. You should look for credit reporting which is the most crucial point. Even though reporting is not done by lenders, many lenders report your activity to one or more agencies during the month. To check if the lender reports to the credit agencies or not:
- Give a call to the lender.
- Look at the terms & conditions of the card.
- You can verify their website.
- Rates and fees may be found on the card’s website.
How to Use the Best Credit Cards to Build Credit?
If you want to build credit by using a credit card you need to follow the instructions given below:
1. Pay the Bills on Time
If you want to build credit then you should always pay off bills on time as it will build your credit record. In case you fail to pay then they will charge you fees and also you need to pay a penalty which will destroy your credit score.
2. Select the Right Card
You should do proper research before applying for a card and be confident that you will get approval. Otherwise, it will create problems for you as you may get harsh inquiries about your card.
3. Keep Credit Accounts Open
You should always select the card which you are going to use for a long. Never open any account by thinking of closing it in 1 or 2 years as it will impact your credit score.
4. Don’t Borrow Too Much Credit
If you borrow much then it will create a negative impact so, try to borrow less. With the help of the “credit utilization rate”, one can find out how much you are borrowing at a particular period.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. How long does it take to build credit with a secured credit card?
It takes 1 to 2 months to build credit with a secured credit card.
Q2. How to use a credit card to build credit?
The ideal way to use a credit card to build credit is by paying off your bill on time.
Q3. How to build credit without a credit card?
- Get a credit builder loan
- Consider a car loan
- Rent & Utility payments
- Be an authorized user
Q4. How to build credit at 18?
- Go for a starter credit card
- Keep the balance low
- Take out a student loan
- Be an authorized user
Q5. How long does it take to build credit?
If you are building credit for the 1st time then it will take 6 months but, if you want to build fair credit then it can take more time than this.
In conclusion, credit cards are an essential tool to consider when trying to build good credit in 2024. With the right combination of knowledge and a careful approach, you can easily find one of the best credit cards to build credit. By paying bills on time and keeping balances low, you can begin building your credit history and improving your credit score. Shop around for the card that fits your budget and lifestyle needs and create the best opportunity for yourself to build a strong financial future.
It takes energizing commitment and dedication but it’s more than worth it in order to improve one’s long-term financial health. Remember that having good credit leads to new financial opportunities down the road and with determination and patience, everyone can ensure they will have greater accessibility when taking out loans or seeking higher levels of credit. Let’s start now by committing to building better credit in 2024.
- Elizabeth Jones is one of our editorial team’s leading authors on credit card offers, services & more. With over two decades of experience in the consumer credit industry and as a nationally recognized credit expert, Elizabeth provides in-depth analysis of both traditional & alternative forms of credit. Elizabeth regularly appears on many major media outlets including NBC Nightly News, Fox Business Network, CNBC & Yahoo! Finance. She is also a frequent contributor to Forbes Magazine. As a highly appreciated author for our exclusive Editorial Team, Elizabeth strives to provide readers with a trustworthy advice on how to manage their credit accounts while staying informed on the latest offers in the marketplace.
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