Tips For Choosing A Starter Credit Card

Starter credit cards are a great way to get a credit card for those getting their feet wet in the world of credit for the first time. They are distinct from secured cards which are for people who have a bad credit history and are looking to rebuild their credit.

Starter cards are typically issued to students and to those new to the work world that have no prior credit history. They provide a good way for these people to establish a credit history that if handled wisely, will allow them to obtain larger lines of credit at more favorable terms in the future, whether it be buying a car or a home for the first time.

Though beginner cards carry higher interest rates or fees, it doesn’t take long to move up to that higher level. The key is all in how well you manage the card once you get it.

The first step in managing the card is to decide how much you will put on the card from month to month. Most starter cards come with a limit of between $200-$500. A good rule of thumb is to allot only 10%-20% of the available credit for expenses you will put on the card. Many first-time card users make the mistake of maxing out their card every month, leaving them nothing for emergencies. Using too much of your credit limit each month is actually not what credit card companies want to see when they evaluate your credit worthiness. You can regulate your use of the card by trying to use it only for the same expenses every month, like gas or dinner out once or twice per month. By using this method, you shouldn’t be spending any more than you already do, at the same time building a positive credit score that can increase your opportunities for credit in the future. Before you know it, you will be eligible for credit cards that are not just for starters like you’ve been.

So where do you begin in selecting a good starter credit card? One good place is credit card comparison sites like which will let you compare the features and benefits of various cards. Many people are surprised to see that some starter cards even offer cash back or points benefits on things like gas stations and restaurants, two things college students definitely frequent quite a bit. The sites let you compare features and benefits of various cards side-by-side and even let you apply for the cards right on the site. They’re a great way to make an informed decision about the best card for your needs as you launch yourself into the wonderful world of credit, a world that can enhance your life and enable you meet all the goals you have set for yourself.

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