Wednesday, September 23, 2015

3 tips for your first credit card

One of my 50 in 500 goals was to get a credit card with benefits I'll actually use. I've had a credit card in some form or fashion since high school, but up until July it was only for emergencies and my parents always paid that bill. But in July I gave that up as I try to become more of an adult. Since I was now paying the bill and money doesn't grow on trees I wanted to make sure I was taking advantage of every perk I could. Even though my financial obligations are minimal I find that I spend a ton of my time thinking about money. My most popular post of all time is a financial post, so this is clearly something you're thinking about too. I know I had so many questions when I was trying to decide which card to apply for and I just couldn't find any information that I felt applied to me. In the end I realized there were 3 essential questions I had to ask myself before I could decide on one.



1. What fees are associated with this credit card? - I knew I absolutely did not want a card with an annual fee ever. You have to be careful because some cards waive the annual fee for your first year, but then charge you close to $100 a year. You want me to pay a fee so that I can pay you money each month? No thank you. Also it's important to know if you'll be charged an inactive fee or a canceling fee.

2. What type of rewards will this credit card give me? - This is when it's really important to be honest with yourself and what you'll actually use. A card that allows you to earn a million travel miles does you no good if you don't travel much. The card I had before this one was a Disney Visa that gave really generous points, however you could only use those points at Disney World/Land or in a Disney Store. It was great when my family went to Disney World and was able to cash in all those points to eat in the parks each day, but since that the points were just sitting there until being spent on random things in the Disney Store.

3. Will I actually qualify for this credit card? - Being young with a very limited credit history means not just anyone was going to give me a credit card. I was lucky in that I didn't have bad credit, I just didn't have much history to be based upon. Most major credit card companies offer a "student" credit card that is fairly easy to qualify for because it is designed to be for young 20 somethings either still in school or who have recently graduated. Also my bank has a student credit card, so that's a good option to look into as well.



Ultimately I decided to go with the DiscoverIt card because I felt like it met all my needs. I've been using it since June and I couldn't be happier. I've yet to find a place that didn't accept it, I'll never be charged an annual fee, and the rewards are really great (either statement credit or gift cards to places I actually got). Every quarter there is a special category that gives you 5% back and you receive 1% back on everything else. Plus they have something called Discover Deals which functions a lot like Ebates. They have a great app, easy to use website that let's you view your balance and pay, and even give you your credit score with each statement. Plus they have a refer a friend bonus! If you click this link to apply and are approved you and I both get a $50 bonus after your first purchase.


 photo signature_zpsvprlrk8z.png

1 comment:

  1. I'm one of those people that had a bad experience, and I will never open a credit card again. We have one for emergencies and plane tickets. That's it!

    ReplyDelete

I think of every blog post as a conversation. I hope you'll join in and leave a comment so I'm not just talking to myself.