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It’s no secret that Millennials have the most buying power of any generation right now. It’s also no secret that Millennials are also credit card shy, whether it’s from the after-effects of the Great Recession, or the reluctance to take on more debt with the rising costs of student loans.
One important aspect of building a good credit score however is maintaining revolving credit accounts (like credit cards) by paying them on time and keeping utilization low. Payment history and credit utilization account for 35% and 30% of your credit score respectively. As Millennials are looking to buy homes, their credit scores become more important, so having at least one or two credit cards and managing them responsibly can help them go a long way in building a good credit score and getting better interest rates.
Here are some of the best credit cards for Millennials to consider.
Best Credit Cards for Millennials Building Credit: OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
- Build Your Credit fast with our monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus.
- Choose your credit line as low as $200 up to $3000, secured by a fully-refundable* security deposit.
- Security deposit needs to be submitted before the credit card can be issued.
- No credit check necessary and no checking account required; apply in less than 5 minutes.
- Extra credit when you need it, increase your credit line up to $5000
- Access to online financial education.
- *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card. Click the Apply Now button to get to the application page.
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The OpenSky Secured Visa offers accessibility and a good interest rate for anyone trying to build credit. For Millennials who may be wary of credit cards, this is a good option for building credit. You can be approved for this secured credit card with a deposit as low as $200 up to as high as $3,000, which gives you options. There is a $35 annual fee, but that’s not too bad for the chance to build some credit. You can also access extra credit when you need it, with an increase in your credit line up to $5,000.
For Rewards: Chase Freedom
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
- Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
- Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
- No annual fee
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If you’re searching for rewards, look no further. Chase Freedom is a flexible rewards card that offers cash back for all sorts of purchases. Cardholders earn 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back revolving quarterly purchases from different categories such as gas stations, restaurants, or even Amazon.com. This is ideal for the tech-savvy Millennial generation because this card can be linked to Chase Pay, making it convenient to use. What’s even better is the card is included in the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program, so you can pay with your points, saving you money on purchases. The card also offers a sign-up bonus of $150 after you spend $500 within the first three months of opening the account.
For Travel: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Millennials like traveling and tend to value experiences over things. If this describes you, then the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card may be just what you need. This card offers 1.25 miles on every purchase and there is no limit to how many you can earn. Plus you can earn a sign-up bonus of 20,000 miles if you spend $1,000 on purchases within three months from the account opening, which is equal to $200 in travel. There are no blackout dates and you aren’t restricted to any airline or hotel chain, making this a very flexible travel rewards credit card. There is no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees.
For Low Interest: Barclaycard Ring Mastercard
Barclaycard Ring® Mastercard®
- Enjoy a 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable 14.24% APR will apply
- Low 14.24% variable APR on purchases and cash advances
- No annual fee
- No foreign transaction fees
- International Chip and PIN
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Millennials who want to build credit but are worried about debt may want to consider a low APR credit card like the Barclaycard Ring Mastercard. There is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and a low APR of 14.24% Variable. The card doesn’t offer rewards but if you’re prone to carrying balances month-to-month, this card may be the one for you.
For Eating Out & Entertainment: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
If you enjoy eating out and fun entertainment experiences, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card offers generous rewards. Cardholder earn 3% cash back on dining out and entertainment. The card also offers 2% cash back at grocery stores if you’re looking for a cozy night in, and 1% cash back on everything else. There’s also a one-time bonus of $150 after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of the account opening.
For Every Day Expenses: Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Credit Card
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
- Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
- Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
- No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
- Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
- 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 16.24%-28.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
- $0 Annual Fee
- Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions
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If you prefer to focus on rewards for every day expenses, Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Credit Card offers 1.5% cash back rewards on all purchases. The card also offers additional rewards – in the first 12 months of opening the account, cardholders earn 1.8% cash back on qualified mobile wallet purchases like Apple Pay or Google Pay. This is a great benefit for Millennials who enjoy using their mobile wallets. Another great feature of this card that Millennials will love? If you use your card to pay your monthly cell phone bill, you can receive up to $600 protection on your cell phone against covered damage or theft.
The Bottom Line
When choosing a credit card, you’ll want to know you’re getting the most out of it. You’ll also want to check your credit scores to see what types of credit cards you’re eligible for. Millennials may not trust credit cards, but the incentives they offer can be worthwhile in the end. What’s even more valuable however is how they can help build credit when used responsibly, such as when payments are made on time. When choosing a credit card, make sure it’s one that you can manage and that you won’t overspend just to get the rewards as this can be very expensive. Also, be sure to sign up for one that offers perks that are going to be meaningful to you.
At publishing time, the OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card, the Chase Freedom, Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, Barclaycard Ring Mastercard, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, and the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, these relationships do not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuers. Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuers.
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.