How to Get 您的 第一 信用卡

In many ways, getting 您r 第一 credit 卡 是成年后最重要的步骤之一。它在建立您的 credit 历史 and improving 您r credit score. Without it, 您r options will be 有限 和you’ll find it harder to build 信用; with it, 您 could be where 您 want to be in just a few short years.

Start raising 您r 信用 score today.


但是,任何旧的 credit 卡 won’t do 和how 您 use that 卡 is just as important as whether or not 您 acquire it in the 第一 place. Misuse it 和you’ll be setting 您rself up for failure later in life, joining the tens of millions of Americans in the clutches of 债务. Use it properly 和you could have a mortgage sooner than planned.

If 您’ve yet to acquire 您r first credit 卡 and have a few questions about how to approach it, this guide is for 您. 

Getting 您的 第一 信用卡

What follows is a detailed outline of what 您 need to do to get 您r first 信用卡,覆盖 card 发行人 (MasterCard, Visa), 费用s (late 费用s, cash advance fees) monthly 付款s, 和more. If 您 already have a few 卡s 和are 韩元dering whether another is necessary, skip to our section: 获得更多 Credit Cards 在本指南的末尾。

1. Check 您的 Credit Score

The 第一 thing the credit card issuers will do is check 您r credit report, so this is also the 第一 thing 您 should do. 您的 credit report 由三个 major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, TransUnion). It contains details of all current 和past 信用 帐户s, which are entered into an algorithm that builds a score.

你可以看到这个 credit report and credit score for free at least once a year, but we recommend using a 信用 check service to check it every few months 和monitor it for changes.

您的 credit score 范围将决定您的选择。显然,您的分数越好,收益越多, perks you’ll get 和the easier the application process will be. More importantly, 您’ll be 提供ed better 利率s if 您 have excellent 信用 and this could save 您 immensely. However, there are options for all types of credit score:

优秀信用 (750 or more)

你需要一个 good credit history to have an excellent credit 分数,这意味着’你极不可能’如果你能得到这么高的分数’re applying for 您r first credit 卡. But, it’并非闻所未闻,大约三分之一的借款人的得分都在此范围内,一个被定义为“Exceptional” or “Very Good” by FICO and “Good or Excellent” by VantageScore.

At this level, 您r creditworthiness is high, 和your options are limitless. You 能够 get low variable APR, often less than 17%, 和you 能够 also apply for premium reward 和 cash back 牌。寻找一个 new 卡, be sure to compare all possible options 和calculate any 利率s 和rewards against 您r likely spend.

例如,那里’支付250美元毫无意义 annual 费用 只是获得额外的1%或2% cashback if 您’re only going to be spending $500 a month. The 奖励 will simply not cover the 费用.

公平地 Good Credit (650 to 740)

While premium reward 信用卡s might be out of the question, 您 能够 still get very 好 cash back rewards as well as low rates of interest. Some of the best 卡s in the industry, including the Discover It 和Chase Freedom,适用于此级别的借款人。 


您的 options begin to thin out at this point, but unsecured credit 卡s are still within reach. Every point counts for a lot at this range, so if 您’re being rejected for the 卡s 您 want, it’s worth taking some time to build 您r 信用, using options like 信用 builder loans, or asking a parent to add 您 as an authorized user.

You may have more luck if 您 get a credit 卡 via 您r bank 帐户 provider, assuming 您 have been with them for at least a few years 和have established a degree of trust.

不良信用 (300 to 579)

你可以得到一个  固定的 credit 卡 差或 bad 信用. Unlike an unsecured 卡, which doesn’t use any assets or cash as collateral, a 固定的 卡 requires a security deposit, which the bank will release when the 卡 is closed 和take if 您 ever default on 您r 付款s.

These 卡s work just like their 无抵押 counterparts in nearly every other way—you 能够 use them to shop online 和offline, 您 能够  build 信用 that 您 repay, 和you’ll be given a 最低付费 见面。然而 credit limits are low, the requirements are lower, 和the 奖励 are minimal.

The great thing about these 卡s is that all activity is reported to the three main credit bureaus, so they will help 您 to build 信用. What’再过几个月, card issuer may 提供 您 an upgrade to an unsecured 卡 with a higher limit.


平均 cardholder will focus purely on how much a 奖励 scheme 能够 earn them 和will compare only the rate of 奖励. In doing so, they are overlooking many more important features, ones that could cost them more than a rewards program will ever earn.

例如,平均值 rewards credit 卡 user spends around $9,000 to $11,000 a year. Assuming an average spend of $10,000 和an average rate of 2%, that’仅节省200美元。许多常见的功能(例如:

  • Foreign transaction 费用s: These 费用s 能够 be as high as 3%, which means a spend of just $6,700 will offset the money earned through 奖励. However, many 卡s don’t charge any foreign transaction 费用s at all.
  • Annual 费用s: While these 费用s are commonly fixed at either $0 or $95, some premium 奖励 卡s charge as much as $550.
  • 利率:  Generally speaking, rewards programs 仅当您的余额不足时才有好处’t翻身。如果是这样,利息将抵消您的任何利润。而且,APR的每个百分比都可以大大增加您的支出。余额$ 5,000, interest rate 如果您仅满足以下条件,则27%的费用可能会使您支付$ 10,500的利息 minimum 付款 (利息+余额的1%)。您仅减少3%’ll pay $1,200 less.

Before 您 get excited by the 奖励 rate or any additional perks (gift 卡s, statement 信用) check the interest charges, late 付款 fees, 和 annual 费用. Calculate how 和where 您 spend 您r money over the course of a year 和compare these details to 您r shortlist of chosen credit 卡s. 

The one that earns 您 the most 和costs 您 the least is the one 您 should apply for.


您可以申请 credit 卡 在线或通过电话。如果它’s 您r 第一 time, we recommend the latter, as they 能够 answer any questions that still need to be addressed 和allay any concerns 您 have. Find the phone number of 您r credit 卡 company below:

  • 美国运通卡:1-800-223-2670
  • 美国银行:1-800-732-9194
  • 大写一:1-800-695-5500
  • 追逐:1-800-555-5555
  • 花旗:1-800-347-4934
  • 发现: 1-800-347-2683
  • 富国银行:1-800-932-6736

The easiest way to apply is to respond to one of the many unsolicited letters that 信用ors send. Contrary to what 您 might think, these are not sent at random in the hope they’ll lure a few 新 customers. 

信用卡 companies run soft 信用 checks on all applicants before these letters are sent. Known as pre-qualification 提供s, they are only sent to applicants who already qualify. If 您 have received one of these credit 卡 offers, it means 您 qualify for the 卡 being advertised 和can simply complete the 应用 to be accepted.

信用卡 offer or not, 您 will be required to meet certain criteria before 您 能够 apply for a credit 卡, including:

  • 至少年满21岁或与父母年满18岁’的许可或收入证明
  • 拥有稳定的收入来源(有担保或 student credit 卡s)
  • 有一个 社会安全号码
  • 有一个 US address

Online 应用s will be accepted or refused in a matter of minutes, but 您 may need to wait a little longer if applying over the phone or by mail.


If 您r 应用 is refused, simply try again. You may be hit 与 hard 信用 check, which 能够 reduce 您r score by between 2 和5 points, but this has a minimal long-term impact 和the benefits provided by a new card 值得一试。

To improve 您r chances of being accepted, ask the lender why 您 were refused 和take their advice on board. If they rejected 您 because 您r credit score was too low or 您r credit 历史 too sparse, apply for a 卡 with fewer requirements. 

If 您r 应用 is accepted, 您 just need to wait for it to arrive in the mail, which 能够 take anywhere from 5 to 10 days, 和then activate it. The 卡 will display specific activation information, but generally, this requires 您 to visit a web address or phone an automated number. 

How to Use 您的 First Credit Card

完成 credit 卡 application and receiving 您r new 卡 is the easy bit, now 您 need to use it properly. New cardholders 倾向于花费超出其负担能力的钱,过多地专注于 cash 奖励, 和quickly get themselves into 债务. 

In a few years, 您 may look back on this time 和wish 您 did things differently, as the 债务 您 accumulate today could impact 您r chances of getting a car loan or mortgage many years in the future.



您的 number 1 priority 与ny credit 卡 是在月底结清余额。 Credit 卡s work by allowing 您 to accumulate a balance that 您 then repay at the end of the billing cycle. If 您 don’偿还后,余额将结转, interest rate will kick in, 和you’ll be forever chasing 您r 债务.

许多 credit 卡 users begin with the best intentions. They spend sensibly, repay their balance in full every month, 和use a credit 卡 as it should be used. But then they hit a rough patch, miss one of those 付款s, 和from that moment on they are stuck chasing a 平衡。

When this happens, 您’需要做一个 minimum payment 每个月,其中大部分是利息。如果这 minimum 付款 is all 您 make, very little of 您r balance will clear, 和if 您’re still using the 卡 和accumulating 债务, 您’ll just dig 您rself deeper.

Try to limit 您r credit 卡 to 付款s 您 could afford to make with cash or debit 和don’t let the balance get too high. Compare 您r credit 卡 account to 您r bank 帐户 整个月,以确保后者的余额可以覆盖前者的余额。


奖励卡鼓励您花更多的钱,而且这种方法行之有效,因为研究表明,美国人在奖励卡上的花费是传统花费的两倍 信用卡。当然,这很大程度上可能只是消费者选择在自己的商品上购买商品的结果 cashback 卡而不是非卡 cashback 卡,但是这些卡肯定会激发鲁ck的消费。

The trick is to avoid looking at 您r points balance, don’t focus on how many points a specific purchase will earn, 和always base 您r purchasing decisions on whether 您 need something 和whether 您 能够 get it cheaper, not on how many points it will earn.

许多 cash back cards will earn 您 just 1% on common purchases. If 您 spend $1,000, that’s a saving of just $10. If 您’re paying $50 to $100 more just so 您 能够 use 您r credit 卡 and get some points, it means 您’再花$ 100只是为了节省$ 10,这是荒谬的。

Building 信用 and covering emergency bills is 您r main goal as a credit 卡 user. Focus on spending only what 您 have 和you’避免许多美国人陷入持续的债务循环。

3.使用 Balance Transfer Credit Card

如果事情失控并且您已经积累了很大的平衡 high-interest 率,可能是时候考虑 余额转介。这是一种 credit 卡 这样您就可以将余额从一张卡移动到另一张卡。您将支付 balance transfer fee 并可能受到更高的打击 利率,但在此之前您’ll have a 0% intro 您赢了的期间’不用支付您的余额和全部利息 monthly 付款 将去校长。

Again, this 能够 go wrong. If 您 use a balance transfer credit 卡 just to save 您rself a few bucks in interest every month 和don’t make a concerted effort to repay the balance, 您’ll find 您rself in a worse position than 您 were before applying. 

However, if 您 put all money 您 have towards clearing that balance during the intro 期间,是否意味着利用 savings 帐户, taking on 额外的兼职工作 or simply tightening 您r belt 和making sacrifices, 您 能够 make it work 和save 您rself a lot of money.


You probably know that 您r 信用or will charge 您 费用s for late 付款s and partial 付款s, but did 您 know 您’ll also be hit with 费用s for withdrawing cash from an ATM or using 您r 卡 to gamble? In both of these instances, 您r 信用or will hit 您 with cash advance fees.

用户与 limited credit card knowledge may fall victim to these 费用s, only realizing they exist when they’ve already made those 付款s 和see the resulting expense on their credit 卡 balance.

获得更多 Credit Cards

上面讨论的所有内容都适用于所有 credit 卡 users, 与n emphasis on those applying for the 第一 time. But what if 您 already have credit 卡s, should 您 apply for another, 能够 您 apply for another?

Lenders may refuse 您 if 您 have multiple credit 卡s 已经,但是通常,只有在那些 credit 卡s are carrying large balances or have seriously impacted 您r credit score. 

每次消费者提出这种关注时,我们都想提醒他们沃尔特·卡瓦纳(Walter Cavanagh),他累积了1,497个有效商品 credit 卡s 并赢得了绰号“Plastic Fantastic先生”, as well as an entry in the Guinness Book of Records, or Zheng Xiangchen, who accumulated 1,562 卡s to claim the record in the summer of 2019.

Yes, 您r credit score will take a small hit when 您 apply for a 新 帐户, but as long as 您 have a 好 付款 历史 和信用 utilization ratio, this impact will be minimal 和will disappear before long. 

Lenders generally 韩元’t care how many 卡s 您 have, unless 您r sole reason for applying for a new 卡 is because 您 have maxed out 您r other ones. If this has happened, 您r 第一 step should be to apply for a 余额转介 卡 和see if 您 能够 clear those balances quickly. 

If 您 能够 ’t get a balance transfer credit 卡 with a credit limit large enough to cover 您r 债务, look into 债务 consolidation, 债务 management or 债务 settlement instead.

Simply adding 债务 on top of 债务 is never a 好 idea 和will only compound 您r misery. For more information, take a look at our guide to 显成效 credit 卡 debt.