[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here — Discover it, Citi ThankYou Preferred, Capital One VentureOne, Amex EveryDay and Barclaycard Ring.]
Spring is always a time for new beginnings, especially when you are graduating from college. New college graduates are about to begin the rest of their lives, and it’s often a time for them to make important decisions about their relationships, living arrangements and careers.
Graduating can also be a good time to give your personal finances a small makeover by opening up a new credit card account. New graduates on a budget will want to find a credit card that has simple terms, competitive rates, and no annual fee.
Here are six credit cards with no annual fee that can be ideal for new college graduates.
1. Discover it
This Discover it card (see full review here) offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on purchases at featured stores and merchant categories, and 1% cash back on all other purchases, and no annual fee. Other advantages include having your first late fee waived automatically and no penalty interest rate. New applicants also receive 12 months of 0% APR promotional financing on new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. The card doesn’t carry foreign transaction fees.
2. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card
This card offers 2x ThankYou points per dollar on dining and entertainment, and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, merchandise, and travel reservations, or you can request a check to help pay off a student loan or a home mortgage. Other benefits include extended warranty coverage, damage and theft protection and Citi’s Price Rewind program. There is no annual fee for this card. (Full Disclosure: Citibank as well as Discover, Capital One, Bank of America, American Express and Barclaycard advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
3. Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One VentureOne card (see full review here) offers 1.25 miles per dollar spent on all purchases, and miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards travel purchases including airfare, hotels, and car rentals. New applicants also receive 12 months of interest free financing on new purchases. There is no annual fee for this card, and as with all Capital One cards, there is no foreign transaction fees.
4. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card
This card also allows you to earn cash back without paying an annual fee. New applicants receive $100 in cash rewards after using their card to make at least $500 in new purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. You also earn 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back on groceries and at wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 in combined grocery and gas purchases each quarter. Customers also get a 10% customer bonus when they redeem their rewards into a Bank of America savings or checking account. You also receive 12 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. There is no annual fee for this card.
5. The Amex EveryDay Credit Card from American Express
This card offers double points at supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent each calendar year and one point per dollar spent elsewhere. You can also receive 20% more points each time you use your Amex EveryDay card to make 20 or more transactions in a statement period. New cardholders can earn 10,000 points after making $1,000 in purchases within three months of account opening. Membership Rewards points can be redeemed for merchandise, gift cards and travel reservations or transferred to frequent flyer miles with 16 different airline programs. There is no annual fee for this card.
6. Barclaycard Ring MasterCard
The Barclaycard Ring card (see full review here) is unique in that it is managed through feedback from its customer base. Cardholders can discuss the program online, track statistics for the card, and influence its policies through regular votes. Ring also features competitive terms including a low 8.25% variable APR that applies to purchases, balance transfers and cash advances. This card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no penalty interest rate.
Remember, it’s important to read the terms and conditions carefully when trying to decide whether a credit card is right for you. And, to get the best credit cards and the best interest rates, you must have good credit. If you don’t know where you stand, you can check two credit scores for free, updated every month, on Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Discover it, Citi ThankYou Preferred, Capital One VentureOne, BankAmericard Cash Rewards, Amex EveryDay and Barclaycard Ring card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.
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