[UPDATE: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
With graduation around the corner, you’re probably looking for ways to build up your credit. After all, it plays a big role in many financial decisions.
You could always start with a secured credit card, which is ideal for those with a thin credit file or no credit. Or you could spring for one of the cards listed here, which were designed for new graduates. Whether you want cash back rewards or no annual fees, these cards have you covered as long as you swipe wisely.
BankAmericard Travel Rewards
Why We Picked It: Graduates eager to see the world will jump at the chance to earn 1.5 points for every dollar they spend. There are no blackout dates or restrictions, and points don’t expire. There are also no foreign transaction fees.
Other Perks: Swipe at least $1,000 in the first 90 days, and you’ll earn a 20,000-point signup bonus. Bank of America checking or savings customers can get a 10%-point bonus as well.
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% for the first 12 months, variable 15.74% to 23.74% thereafter
Why We Picked It: Geared toward those with average credit, this card offers access to a higher credit line after you make your first five payments on time. This card has no foreign transaction fees.
Rewards Details: With this card, grads earn 1% cash back on every purchase. If they pay on time, they can boost their rewards to 1.25% for that month.
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 24.99% (Variable)
Discover it® Student chrome
- INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
- 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter - no sign-ups needed. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
- Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
- No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
- Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
- Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.99% - 23.99%.
Card Details +
Why We Picked It: This card offers one of the highest rates of return and throws in some extras.
Rewards Details: Grads earn 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in dining and gas purchases each quarter, and an unlimited 1% on everything else. At the end of your first year, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned. For those heading to grad school, the issuer offers a $20 statement credit each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next five years.
Annual Fee: None
APR: Intro: 10.99% for 6 months and 0% for 6 months on purchases, then 14.99% - 23.99% Variable on purchases & balance transfers
Before You Apply
Remember, before you apply for any credit card it’s a good idea to check the terms and conditions to make sure it’s the right fit. Checking your credit is also another wise move, as you’ll want to know if you’re able to qualify. (You can view two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.) If the APR is too high or you struggle with making payments on time, it may be best to wait until your credit’s improved to apply or open a secured credit card designed for those with average credit.
At publishing time, the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card and Discover it Chrome Student Card are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
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.