Which Credit Card Should I Get?

Updated on June 30, 2011
V.W. asks from Chisago City, MN
11 answers

My boyfriend and I have each decided to get a credit card. We are planning on using the cards for small purchases like gas, and paying them off every month. We are hoping it will improve our credit score so that when we go in to get a loan from the bank to buy our house, we'll get approved. So, the question is... Which one do we get? We'd like something with cash back rewards, low interest rates, and low annual fees. What's your recommendation?

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answers from Seattle on

Look into Capital one for their rewards, I have a chase and been semi-happy with that too.
Stay away from Citi, I've had a Citi cards for years and even though I never have a revolving balance, they are constantly hiking up my rates - not how I expect to be treated as a reliable customer.
Good luck!

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Step AWAY from the application!

Seriously, the last thing you'll ever need if you're interested in life of 'financial freedom' is a credit card.

"Credit" as you use the term, is largely an American myth.

I'm a fiscal conservative (GASP!) and truly believe in living on less than you make.

Did you know that you CAN get a mortgage without credit cards in your name? That getting cards with high limits will actually HURT you when you apply for a mortgage?
Did you know that paying your rent early or on-time, and staying current or early on utilities HELPS your "score"?

So...my answer is "NONE!!!!!!!!!!!"

You don't need them.
Rarely do people "pay them off religiously" every month. And that is how it all starts. Pretty soon your minimum payments equal so much that you can't afford a house payment anyway.....

You sound young. You're a credit card "virgin" and best to remain that way.

The "rewards" are a sham. People spend something like 27% MORE when using credit cards as compared to using cash....so sure--they can give you 5% back without batting an eye.

Credit card companies aren't in business to help people, they're in business to make money. Lots of money. And they do.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

We had a Citi card and they notified us recently that our information had been hacked. We cancelled it because although our info is already out there, we were angry that they couldn't do a better job protecting it. Not sure which ones are really the best, but would not get a Citibank card.

Added: My husband and I do have credit cards. I have a Kohls and JCP. Together we have a GM card and a Cabelas card. We pay off all of our credit cards every month. We would rather take money out of savings to cover a card payment than pay the ridiculous interest. I think people get in trouble because they buy too much without thinking about whether or not they will have the money to pay the bill when it comes. If you don't have the money in the bank to cover the charge, don't buy it.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

OOOh V......

I wish I could tell you NONE OF THE ABOVE!!!! Stay cash only.....but I understand the need for credit to buy a home...

My first credit card was a Wells Fargo Visa...then a Citibank Mastercard, then a Discover card then an American Express card....oooh the money I would have today if I had not had ANY credit cards!! :)

If you intend it to be for gas only - then get a gas card from Exxon or Shell...ensure you pay it off each month...

Since you are just starting out however, you most likely will not get low rates and fees....so instead of going to Capital One - use a credit union and start there.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

If you can be responsible about it and pay it off monthly (as you except to) there's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't have one. If you spend what you can afford and not a penny more, you'll be absolutely fine!

I recommend the Target card but only if you shop there (obviously!). You'll get rewards points that you can use at Target and if you're a mom, I'm sure you shop plenty at Target or Walmart or something along those lines, right?

I'm not totally blown away by the amount of rewards I get back on my Capital One card HOWEVER I was very impressed with a recent customer service issue I had. I used rewards to book a hotel in Rome and I booked the entirely wrong one! I felt like an idiot. I knew that there were no cancellations or transfers under the booking but I called Capital One and they gave me ALL of my points back! They absolutely did not have to do that. So that's my shout out to them.

Just make sure that you don't sign up for any card that has an annual fee. You should never need to pay an annual fee with all of the fabulous and free cards out there. And don't let anyone bully you into being scared to have a credit card. When used responsibly (and paid off monthly) there's absolutely no reason NOT to have them.

PS- with the Capital One card I could even get a card with a picture of my baby on it. Call me crazy but I LOVED IT!



answers from Los Angeles on

Target card and Amazon card are my faves. No annual fee and you get discounts on your purchases @ Target (target card) and rewards (Amazon). Just be sure to pay off that balance every month!



answers from Jackson on

We just got a chase at 9% no annual fees oh and not discover they after I have been with them almost 20years started charging me 28% and we are always on time and mostly paid off. No loyalty with them!



answers from Los Angeles on

I wouldn't get Discover. I had a Discover card I used on a regular basis. They sent me a check for $47.xx. I went to cash it at Sams and Sams said I missed the expiration date. (by one day) Sams wouldn't cash it. I called Discover and they said take it to Sams and they can cash it. Sam's wouldn't. Round and round I went.

I still have that check on my bathroom shelf. Its now 4 or 5 years old. Every time Discover calls me to ask why I haven't been using their card I tell them about the check. The refuse to make it good. So I refuse to use their card. I used to charge $15k to 20k each year. They gave up that revenue over a $47.xx check.

What card do you get? I have an airline credit card, a cruise ship credit card and a cash back credit card. I wouldn't get a credit card that charged a fee. There are too many that have no fees.

I use USAA for cash back. I use Southwest for airline points. I use Carnival for cruise points.

Good luck to you and yours.



answers from Phoenix on

Not sure where Denise P. is getting her information, but every financial planner and expert I have ever spoken with recommends getting a credit card in order to establish good credit (take note, I said credit card, not cards. They usually recommend only having 1-2, not 6-7. That's when people get into trouble). High limits on credit cards actually is seen as a good thing because banks raise the limits when you have established a good history with them. Of course they want to make money off of you, but the biggest way they do that is by high interest rates. If you pay off your balance every month, you don't have to worry about that.

I do have to say that consumer advocates do not recommend credit cards with rewards (particularly airline miles). From what I've read, they're very difficult to redeem and usually so much of a hassle that customers never take advantage of them.

Before you apply for a credit card, really ask yourself about your discipline level. Other posters are right, you can get into BIG trouble with credit cards if you treat them like play things. If you don't think you can control yourself, wait. If you think you can, go for something like an American Express where they have options where you HAVE to pay your balance every month. This will help you get into a routine of paying your balance off.

We live in the 21st century in the USA. It's not practical not to have a credit card. I know TONS of fiscally responsible people who have credit cards and live within their means. They simply are disciplined people. That's what you have to be when you have a credit card.



answers from Cleveland on

discover card for sure my boyfriend has one anda every purchase gets 1% cash back and every month there are different cash back promos to get 5% or more towards a purchase and if you buy online every thing is atleast 5% cash back and you use the cash back to buy rewards with its nice and they are VERY SECURE when you apply they call you and veryify your info and when you get your card you talk to a person instead of an automated voice


answers from Dallas on

Getting a credit card can be very devastating to someone if you are not diligent about what you are spending, why, and paying it in FULL each month.

Your best option is to NOT use a credit card for purchases like gas and small items. That adds up very quiclky and will leave you spinning out of control.

We are believers in delayed gratification and living below your means.

That said, we do run our business and we do use a credit card for business entertainment and expenses. These expenses are PAID IN FULL each month BEFORE a statement even cuts. I can't even tell you any intererest rates on our cards because we pay in full and it is no option to not pay in full.

We use Chase and get money back. No fee because we have business banking with them

Again, getting a credit card can put you on a slippery slope to financial devastation. You can get a mortgage without a credit card. You mention small purchases like gas and that sounds good but the temptation to use it when there is something you "want" will drive you nuts if you are not strong financially and keep your head straight about finances. EX: you reallly want to go out to eat but are low on cash so you justify the dining out. You justify everything in your head and before you know it, you owe thousands to the credit card company and have no option for a mortgage.

We are very detailed oriented financially and we do not justify any purchases other than our basic business expenses for our company. Live below your means and learn delayed gratification....

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