W hen choosing the best credit cards for 18-year-olds, there are certain things to look out for.
You want to make sure you’re choosing a credit card that offers better than average chances of approval for customers with recent credit histories, and also do not charge excessive fees.
Young adults have little to no credit history, and this makes it hard for them to shop for credit cards.
Interestingly, there are options to help solve this issue, and we will be reviewing the best credit cards for 18-year-olds in this blog.
Ideally, companies that offer incentives like cash sign-up bonuses, 0% introductory APRs, and generous rewards programs to entice new creditworthy customers, are great options.
Let’s go over the 3 best credit cards available for young adults in the United States.
Table of Contents
Top 3 Credit Cards For 18-Year-Olds
#1: Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Consider the Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card if getting a secured credit card seems like the best choice for you as a first credit card.
Although there aren’t many benefits or opportunities to earn rewards with this card, there is a $0 annual fee and 1.5% cashback on all purchases which is highly rewarding without encouraging non-essential purchases. .
This card is best for 18-year-olds building credit, and also because neither a significant credit history nor good credit are necessary.
Additionally, you could begin with a security deposit as low as $49. Within six months of the account’s opening, automatic credit line reviews could start.
Your security deposit will be returned to you as a statement credit if you are approved for an unsecured card.
There is no sign-up bonus for the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card. The card’s lack of signup bonuses isn’t necessarily a glaring flaw, similar to how it lacks rotating reward categories.
If you’re new to the world of rewards credit cards, you should be aware that signup bonuses typically require you to spend a certain amount of money within a specific time frame and aren’t automatic (typically thousands of dollars).
Advantages Of The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Below are the advantages of this credit card:-
(i) The card will age with you
You can still keep your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card even if you no longer qualify as a student.
Even if you are not a student, the reward rates are the same, and rewards never expire.
(ii) Sign up bonus
One of the few student credit cards with a sign-up bonus is the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, which gives you $50 after spending $100 in the first three months.
You’ll get this card’s $50 bonus as soon as you meet the minimum spending requirement, unlike other student credit cards that offer smaller (or no) bonuses or that match cash back earned in the first year. There is no easier way to put it.
(iii) No charges on foreign transactions
The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, like many travel rewards cards, doesn’t charge transaction fees for purchases made outside of the United States, so you don’t have to worry about getting nickel-and-dimed for every transaction.
(iv) $0 fraud liability
Capital One will not hold you responsible for any fraudulent charges made with your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card (just make sure to report your card as soon as it is stolen!).
(v) Travel accident insurance
Your Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card automatically insures you and your dependents for up to $100,000 for loss of life, limb, sight, speech, or hearing while at the airport or on the aircraft if you use it to pay for a trip. Sure, it’s highly unlikely to occur, but it’s still nice to have.
Disadvantages Of The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
The only disadvantage of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card is the eligibility requirements. The following criteria are necessary to qualify:-
- You must be accepted or enrolled as a full- or part-time student at a university or community college that has received accreditation.
- You must be in possession of a Social Security or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number.
- You must have 630 and 689 on the FICO credit scoring system.
- You must be at least 18 years old.
- You must have documentation showing that your monthly income is at least $425 more than your rent or mortgage.
Many prospective international students will be turned away because of these requirements.
Additionally, because Capital One does not accept co-signers, students who receive financial aid from their parents but do not have a source of independent income will not be eligible. Students without credit histories are also ineligible.
#2: Discover it® Student Cashback Credit Card
Discover it® Student Cash Back might be the ideal product to get you started if you’re earning a little money while you’re in school and want to build your credit history.
You can build credit in ways that a debit card cannot with the help of Discover it Student Cash Back or another student credit card.
Additionally, every time you use this Discover student credit card, you will receive actual cash back.
With Discover it® Student Cash Back, you can get unlimited 1 percent cash back on all other purchases in addition to 5% cash back on a variety of recurring categories, including gas, dining out, Amazon, and more, up to a maximum of $1,500 per quarter.
Advantages Of The Discover it® Student Cashback Credit Card
Below are the advantages of this credit card:-
(i) Outstanding rewards
The benefits are far superior to almost every other option for students without credit histories.
You can receive 5% cash back in categories with a $0 annual fee on up to $1,500 in quarterly spending and 1% back on all other purchases.
The 5% categories, which you must choose to participate in each quarter, usually represent regular expenses.
(ii) Student friendly ways to earn bonuses
With the Discover it® Student Cash Back, there is no requirement for high spending to secure a sign-up bonus.
It doubles all of the cash back you received during your first year instead. This flexibility is beneficial for students who don’t spend a lot of money.
(iii) Credible recognition
Discover maintains a wholly US-based customer service team and has consistently won awards for customer satisfaction in the credit card industry.
When you have a significant query about a charge on your card, that is a competitive advantage that shouldn’t be undervalued.
(iv) Introductory 0% APR for six months on purchases
With a six-month introductory 0% APR offer on new purchases, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card gives you time to pay off a new laptop or textbooks without worrying about interest fees.
The variable APR for this card will be 17.99%-26.99% variable after the promotional rate has ended.
The Student Cash Back card stands out among other student credit cards thanks to its 0% APR promotion.
(v) Access to your credit scores
Additionally, Discover offers free access to your FICO® Credit Scores online and on your statement, which is great for tracking how your credit score changes as a result of responsible card use.
Disadvantages Of Discover it® Student Cashback Credit Card
There are certain reasons why you might not want to use this credit card, let’s go over some of the disadvantages.
(i) There’s a cap on how much you can earn
There is no cap on the 1% cash back you can get. However, the first $1,500 in purchases in the bonus categories each quarter—equaling $75 in cash back—are the only ones that qualify for the 5% cash back; after that, your cash back rate drops to just 1%, as it does for all other purchases.
(ii) Limited acceptance abroad
Even though there are no foreign transaction fees with the Discover it® Student Cash Back, you shouldn’t travel for a semester abroad with just this card in your wallet.
(iii) Not an option for international students
Although a credit history is not a requirement to be approved for the Discover it® Student Cash Back, Discover confirms that a Social Security number is.
You might not be eligible for this credit card if you don’t have a Social Security number or a history of good credit in the United States.
#3: Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card
Why we like it:
Why we like it:
College students who want a straightforward card to earn rewards without having to worry about activating or monitoring spending categories should use the Chase Freedom® Student card.
You will always receive 1% cash back on all of your purchases. There is no minimum amount required to redeem your rewards for cash, and they never expire.
This credit card comes with $0 annual fee, and a $50 Bonus after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening.
Advantages Of The Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card
Below are the advantages of using the Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card:-
(i) No credit history required
One of the best credit cards for 18-year-olds with no credit history is the Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card.
To qualify for this credit card, you must be enrolled in school, though, and Chase may check your status.
Additionally, it’s crucial to remember that not getting approved for a student credit card is simply a matter of being a student.
Additionally, if you’re under 21, you must apply with documentation of your independent income.
(ii) Purchase protection
In the event that something you purchased with your Chase Freedom® Student card is harmed or stolen, you are covered by purchase protection insurance.
You are protected up to $500 per claim and up to $50,000 per account with this coverage, which is valid for up to 120 days after the date of purchase.
This kind of coverage could be a lifesaver given how much the typical student spends on pricey items like textbooks and electronics.
(iii) Extended warranty coverage
Manufacturers’ warranties of three years or less can be extended by one additional year for items bought with the card.
This feature would give you a two-year warranty on anything you purchased with the card, which should give you a little more peace of mind.
(iv) Enjoy numerous bonuses
When you’re trying to balance the cost of books, tuition, rent, and other daily expenses, every little bit of value helps.
On purchases, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card offers 1% cash back.
Additionally, if your account is in good standing, you might be eligible for an additional $20 after each anniversary of your account for the first five years.
And while it’s not common for student credit cards to offer sign-up bonuses, this one does. While not the richest thing available, it is fairly simple to obtain.
Receive a $50 Bonus after your first purchase within the first three months of opening your account.
You can obtain it without having to meet a minimum spending requirement, unlike with some other cards.
(v) Credit limit increase
Additionally, after making five timely monthly payments within the first 10 months of account opening, the card extends an automatic credit limit increase to eligible cardholders.
Rules apply. Because it can lower the percentage of available credit you’re using, an increase in your credit limit can help your credit score.
Disadvantages Of The Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card
The disadvantages of this credit card include:-
(i) 3% foreign transaction fees
Pay attention to foreign transaction fees if you travel outside of the US.
The Chase Freedom® Student credit card levies a 3% foreign transaction fee on each transaction.
In the long run, those fees can add up and end up costing you hundreds of dollars, especially if you’re participating in a study abroad or summer internship program.
Consider applying for a credit card that doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee if you intend to travel abroad.
(ii) Other cards offer more bonuses
Consider the Discover it® Student Cash Back, which has no annual fee and offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in quarterly rotating categories that you activate (1% cash back on all other purchases), for more substantial ongoing rewards.
(iii) No introductory APR
The Chase Freedom® Student card doesn’t have an introductory 0% APR offer for purchases or balance transfers, but it does offer a $50 bonus for your initial purchase.
This is a significant disadvantage if you need to purchase an expensive item, like a couch or a laptop.
As a teen, deciding to apply for a credit card is a great choice. It will help in building credit early enough, mastering money management skills, and providing you with emergency cash when needed.
As we reviewed the above credit cards, we checked the cashback rewards, foreign transaction fees, APR percentages, eligibility requirements, and other necessary benefits. If you found this blog helpful, subscribe to our newsletter so you’ll be notified when a new blog drops.