No Credit Score, No Problem. Here are Graham Stephan's Top Credit Cards for Beginners

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KEY POINTS

  • Most credit cards are only available to consumers who already have a credit score.
  • Popular YouTuber Graham Stephan recently provided a list of credit cards for beginners.


Trying to build credit for the first time? Here's help.

When it comes to establishing credit, everyone starts at the same place. There won't be many credit cards you can qualify for at first, since you don't have much or any credit history. As your credit score improves, you'll have far more options available.

YouTuber Graham Stephan, who is a popular source of financial advice, recently made his picks for the best credit cards for beginners. These include cards you can get with no credit score at all, as well as some beginner-friendly cards that require a moderate credit history.

1. Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card comes in first, and it's a great choice for those starting from scratch. Since this is a secured credit card, you need to pay a refundable security deposit to open it. The deposit is protection for the card issuer, so it can approve consumers who have no credit history.

There's no annual fee for this credit card, which is an important perk for a first credit card. It offers cash back rewards and a sign-up bonus, two features that most secured credit cards don't have.

2. Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

One of the more unique card options, the Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card doesn't require a security deposit or a credit score. If you don't have any credit history yet, you can let Petal use your banking history instead during the application process. That way, Petal can check that you pay bills regularly and approve you based on that.

Another nice thing about this starter credit card is that it's entirely fee free. It doesn't have an annual fee, foreign transaction fee, late payment fee, or any other extra charges. It also pays you cash back on your purchases.

3. Amazon Visa

For Amazon shoppers, an Amazon credit card is a good way to build credit and earn lots of cash back. Stephan put the Amazon Visa on his list, which is Amazon's card for consumers who aren't Prime members. But if you have a Prime membership, you can apply for the Prime Visa, which has a better cash back rate.

Both cards have relaxed approval guidelines. Applicants with a FICO® Score of about 640 or higher have a strong chance of being approved.

4. Chase Freedom Flex℠

This is where the list shifts to cards that are a bit harder to get. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a fantastic credit card for beginners because of its beginner-friendly benefits. It has:

  • A substantial sign-up bonus with a low spending minimum
  • High cash back rates across several bonus categories
  • A 0% intro APR offer
  • No annual fee

However, it's not an option if you have zero credit history. Chase normally only approves applicants with what's considered good credit, meaning a FICO® Score above 670. It's a card to check out after you've been working on boosting your credit for a year or two.

5. Citi Double Cash® Card

The Citi Double Cash® Card is another beginner card that's easy to use and packs a ton of value. It earns 2% cash back on purchases, paid out as 1% when you make the purchase and the other 1% when you pay your bill by the due date. This card also has:

Once again, the approval requirements are stricter with this card. You'll most likely need a FICO® Score above 670 to get it.

Honorable mentions

There were also two other credit cards Stephan included as honorable mentions. Like the Chase and Citi cards above, they're intended for consumers with good credit:

Stephan's list has some great options for credit card beginners. If you're starting fresh, the Discover card or Petal card are the easiest ones to get. If you have some credit history, then you may also qualify for the other cards he mentioned.

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