“I had this thought a few days ago, I have 2 credit cards (that I keep paid off, woo!) and my woman who just graduated college is thinking about getting one. Now the question I had was, I got my cards without too much thought involved as to what would be the best option for me, they are OK cards, maybe the best, but i don’t know this. When I read your “10 commandments of credit“, I realized that consumerist would be the perfect place to ask the question: what credit card is best for a first time CC? Are there other cards that are more fitting for someone with more established credit history? What is the consumerist card of choice?!”
It really depends on what your goals are with your credit card – low interest vs reward points vs cashback rewards, etc.
I would think, in general, that a beginner would want a low-APR, no-fee, credit card. That way, if you get behind on your payments, the punishments are minimal.
Someone more comfortable with paying off their credit cards in full every month might opt for a card with more cashback and “points” rewards. Still, keep in mind that these reward programs will incentivize spending, and you might find yourself being more liberal with the plastic than if you paid everything on a debit card, so stay disciplined.
As far as our “favorite” credit card, we like our USAA AmEx card. USAA is only for people in the armed forces, or their family, but you get one of the most amazing customer service experiences from a financial institution. We get all the usual AmEx perks, plus 5% cashback on gas, grocery and dining (GGD). What we don’t like about it is that the GGD program only lasts for 6 months, so that’s something we’ll have to look into soon.
In searching for a credit card to suit your needs and wants, Bankrate offers a comprehensive and searchable online database to help get you started.