It can be tough to get approval for credit cards, even with a good credit history. However, it is even more difficult when you are a teenager applying for your first credit card. One of the reasons that you may not get a credit card is poor credit. Although, as a teenager, you may not have a credit history at all. When getting a credit card is tough, one often settles for any credit card company that approves their application. You should be wise while making such choices, especially at early ages like these.
If you build credit from a young age, you will have a strong credit history as you enter adulthood. Such credit scores make it easier for the authorized user to qualify for future loans, get a lower interest fee, etc. However, you may miss out on several of these benefits if you don’t select the right credit card. Instead, you might get an unsecured card with a low credit line and higher interest rates. You should look for credit card companies that offer acceptable APRs and annual fees while also helping you build credit.
Moreover, many companies even guarantee to double your credit. While most employers do not ask for your credit report, some may conduct a background check on you. In that case, a good credit score could even get you a job.
If you are a parent who wants to give their teen an early start in life, you must select carefully. This article has the best credit cards for teens and their reviews to help you. We made this list after conducting thorough research to provide you with the best results. Read further and discover the benefits, features, and drawbacks of using each credit card on the list.
Top 5 Credit Card Companies For Teens
- First Access VISA Card – Overall Best Credit Card For Teens, Editor’s Pick
- FIT Mastercard – Top Credit Card Brand For Teenagers
- Indigo Mastercard – Most Recommended For Building Credit Score Among Young Adults
- Milestone Gold Card – Prime Brand To Get Credit Cards For Youngsters
- Destiny Mastercard – Most Popular Brand For Credit Card For Teens
#1. First Access VISA Card – Overall Best Credit Card For Teens, Editor’s Pick
The Bank of Missouri issues the First Access Credit Cards. This card is ideal for users with poor or no credit. First Access is an authentic and trustable credit card with a quick application process. Moreover, millions of customers use First Access VISA cards to repair their financial credit.
The company sends your credit reports to some major credit bureaus to help increase your credit. So, if you want to get your teen a credit card account, First Access should be your top choice. This card would serve the purpose of helping them build their credit and teach them to manage their finances.
The card also offers you complete security against fraud. If your card was stolen or lost, you would not be held responsible for any payments made during that time. Moreover, you may have trouble with a product and wish to return it, but the merchant may not comply.
In such cases, you reserve the right to withhold the payment on that purchase. Further, the card has an initial credit limit of $300. However, you can qualify for a higher credit limit by avoiding late payments on your credit card bills. After a minimum of 12 billing cycles, you can apply for an increment.
Lastly, the First Access VISA card also lets you choose the card design of your preference. There are a couple of choices for a free card design. However, you can select a premium card design if you want something more unique. According to the official website, premium card designs cost up to $10. The company will add this charge to your credit card bill.
Annual Fee and Opening Fee: The only drawback is its high fees. The card requires an initial program fee and an opening fee during application. When you apply for the card, First Access requires you to pay an initial program fee of $95. Moreover, the annual fee for the first year is as high as $75, though the amount may vary. The card also charges monthly and foreign transaction fees after the first year.
However, the annual fee reduces significantly starting from the second year. The annual interest rate for First Access VISA cards can go as high as 35%. You can avoid paying interest on your new purchases by making on-time payments. The minimum interest charge is $1.00. You can get a refund on your initial program and opening fee if you have not made any new purchases with the card.
Quick Responses: Application processes for unsecured cards generally take less time than a secured credit card. However, even without a secured card, you must wait a couple of days before receiving a response to your application from most credit card issuers. According to the official website, First Access offers instant responses. After you finish your application, you can get a reply from the company in under a minute.
Efficient Customer Service: You can learn much about a company and its product from user reviews. Feedback from other customers generally highlights the company’s pros and cons. So, we scrolled through various user reviews. We discovered that most customers are delighted with the company’s customer care.
First Access offers its services 24/7. Customer support responds instantly if you have doubts or queries regarding their company or application process. Moreover, users also mention that the customer care officials are polite and patient.
- Quick and responsive application process
- Refundable fee payment
- Does not require a security deposit
- Credit reporting to the major credit bureaus
- Follows the Fair Credit Billing Act
- High annual fees and interest rates
- Requires a one-time initial program fee
#2. FIT Mastercard – Top Credit Card Brand For Teenagers
The FIT Mastercard is one of our top choices. This credit card allows you to quickly build your credit within a short time. Hence, FIT is ideal in case of emergencies. You should apply for the FIT Card when you can not qualify for a secured credit card or loan. It has high expenses and charges and may not be the best in the long run. Although, once you achieve your ideal credit score with that card, you can switch to a secured credit card. The company also charges an initial fee after approval. However, this is a one-time payment. After that, you would only have to pay the annual fee and some monthly charges.
Moreover, Continental Finance Company, a highly reputable financial institute, services this card. Under the Continental Credit Protection act of the company, you can receive a full refund for purchases you cancel. However, you must cancel your order within 30 days of purchase. In most cases, you will receive this refund as a statement credit. Statement credit is a form of cash return by merchants or issuers. Issuers could also offer it as rewards and bonuses. Lastly, other conditions may apply to the refund.
The company also has several restrictions that may restrict you from using the card for certain purposes. For example, you can not use your FIT card to engage in illegal activities. You may receive a penalty or even lose your credit card services.
Double Your Credit Line: The FIT Platinum Credit Card offers you an initial credit of $400. However, if you continue to clear all your credit bills on time, you can increase your credit line. If you make timely payments for the first six months, the card company can increase your credit allowance to double the amount. Hence, with FIT Mastercard, you can go from a credit of $400 to as high as $800. A higher line of credit comes with several benefits. For example, you can make larger purchases at once and divide the total cost into small amounts.
Wide Acceptability: The FIT Platinum Mastercard uses one of the most popular payment networks in the United States. Nearly every merchant across the U.S., and even globally, accepts Mastercard’s services.
Credit Reporting: Credit-building cards like the FIT Platinum Mastercard can be very useful to users with bad credit. Similarly, the FIT Credit Card is the top choice for teens with little to no credit for their name. The Continental Finance Company, FIT’s servicers, sends a monthly credit record to the three major credit bureaus. Hence, if you stay on top of your payments, you will get increased credit along with positive records in the top credit agencies.
Low Penalty Fees: Cards often charge higher interest rates and penalty charges for overdue payments. Sometimes, the penalty fees can multiply and become even larger than the original due amount. Like most cards, the FIT Platinum Card is very strict about timely payments.
However, since the card offers help to those with poor credit, it does not charge as much as others would. FIT Mastercard has a low penalty fee. For every $100 you owe the company after the billing cycles close, they charge you $0.99.
- Low fees for late-payments
- Credit reporting to major credit agencies
- Credit limit can double in 6 months
- Refund on purchases within 30 days if canceled
- Eligible for various rewards and statement credit
- High foreign transaction fees
- High annual fee
#3. Indigo Mastercard – Most Recommended For Building Credit Score Among Young Adults
The Celtic Bank issued the Indigo Platinum Mastercard during this past decade. The Genesis FS Card Services manages and services this card. Moreover, the Indigo credit card also uses the Mastercard payment network. The company offers you several offers and security policies to help its users quickly build credit. One of these policies includes easy approval with no security deposits.
Unsecured Card for Poor Credit: A secured credit card issuer usually does not approve applications by users with poor credit. However, the Indigo Mastercard, an unsecured credit card, can help you quickly build credit with its speedy approval. The approval process for the Indigo Card is fairly simple and quick. You must provide the card company with sufficient information, and you could qualify without a check on your credit.
Interactive Website: A company’s web page needs a friendly interface in today’s world. In recent times, people tend to perform most of their tasks online. If a customer visited the card issuer in person, they could clear any doubts they may have. A website can not provide the same amount of clarity. Therefore, if users visit the company website, making the process as easy as possible is vital.
The Indigo Mastercard’s official website is very interactive for the ease of the users. If you are new to credit cards and are unfamiliar with all the credit terms, this website can be helpful. Further, it is very well explained and also contains a list of FAQs. The company has thoroughly answered all the questions to clear any doubts the customers may have.
Quick Pre-Qualification Offer: The Indigo Mastercard offers its users a special pre-qualification offer. Pre-approval offers are a very common marketing strategy amongst credit card agencies. Similarly, the Indigo Credit card allows you to qualify for the card through an easy approval process. If you apply for pre-qualification, you can get the Indigo Credit Card without any inquiry on your credit.
- Quick pre-approval process
- No impact on credit score during application
- Requires no collateral or deposit
- User-friendly website
- Effective credit building
- No rewards or benefits
- A lower line of credit than most cards
#4. Milestone Gold Card – Prime Brand To Get Credit Cards For Youngsters
The Milestone Gold Card is another valuable addition to this list of top credit cards for teens. It is an unsecured card ideal for all credit types and legal age groups. Issued by the Bank of Missouri, the Genesis FS Services, Inc. service Milestone Gold.
If you choose to pre-qualify, your annual fee and APRs may vary depending on your credit type.
No Credit Check: Most issuers do a background check during application. The background check involves your credit score history, past delinquencies, and identity confirmation. However, the issuer may perform a hard inquiry on your credit record if they find insufficient information. Such inquiries may cause your credit score to drop a few points. However, the Milestone Gold credit card requires no credit check. Therefore, your credit score will not take any hit as you apply.
Low Charges: Credit cards usually include several different charges. Many cards have a monthly fee, foreign transaction fee, maintenance charge, etc. Moreover, if it is not a secured credit card, these charges become even higher since the issuer does not need a deposit. However, the Milestone Gold Card offers relatively low charges for your benefit.
Available to All Credit Types: One of the top features of the Milestone Gold Card is its easy availability. Getting credit card approval from the issuers can often be tough. Moreover, as we mentioned previously, they may make a hard inquiry on your credit reports. They may even reject you for lack of income. However, the Milestone Gold Card is available for all credit types and persons. The only requirement is that you must be over the legal age and residing in America. Hence, you can use this credit card whether you have good, bad, or zero credit.
- Card available to all types of credit scores
- No inquiry on credit score required
- Requires no collateral or deposits
- Low annual fee and maintenance costs
- Can not register another authorized user
#5. Destiny Mastercard – Most Popular Brand For Credit Card For Teens
The Destiny Credit Card is a legit and safe credit card from reputable makers. The First Electronic Bank issues the card. Moreover, it is serviced by a top financing company: Genesis FS Service, Inc. The card helps you build credit quicker by sending your credit records to top credit agencies like Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. Hence, you can get your teen their Destiny credit card to secure their future credit score.
100% Fraud Protection: The Destiny Mastercard offers full security against fraud. If you ever lose your card to theft, you do not need to pay for any purchases you have not made. There are exceptions to this clause, and you may have to pay up to 50 dollars. Lastly, if the company discovers you are responsible for the fraud, you will face serious penalty fees.
Friendly Interface For Beginners: The company website and customer service is very friendly and ideal for newcomers. The webpage has a list of various credit terms with their meanings. Destiny Mastercard is the best choice for your first card if you are new to credit cards and are unfamiliar with the terminology.
Wide Acceptability: Credit cards are currently among the most popular forms of payment. However, several stores do not accept credit cards from companies and payment networks for security reasons.
No Security Deposit: A secured credit card requires a security deposit during approval. Moreover, this security deposit is usually accepted only in cash. This refundable security deposit reduces the risk of non-payment for the issuer. However, the milestone gold card is not a secured credit card. That means the card does not require any collateral or security deposit to qualify.
Secured Application Process: The Destiny Credit Card also offers a highly secure application process. All the information you input while filling out the online Destiny Card form will be secured using data protection softwares.
- High security for user’s data
- Fair annual fee
- Useful in emergencies
- No minimum spending fee
- Make other purchases at any point with Mastercard support
- No rewards program
- High annual fee
How We Made This List Of The Best Credit Cards For Teens?
Owning a credit card has become a necessity. As people grow economically aware, thousands of parents have gotten their teens credit cards to teach them financial responsibility. Moreover, some surveys tell us that people currently use over one billion credit cards in the United States. The report also mentions that the average American owns 2.7 credit cards. This colossal demand has turned the credit card market into a place for flourishing businesses. Hence, several new credit card issuers and servicing companies have entered the market lately. This variety of choices for these cards could make it tough to select one amongst them. So, we examined several unsecured and secured credit cards before making this list.
Every item on our list passed an intricate reviewing process. Further, all the contenders for the “best credit cards for teens” were required to meet the standards listed below.
What We Looked For?
- Popular Payment Networks: There are several payment networks and services present globally. We selected cards with payment networks and popular brands in the U.S. and worldwide. The cards on this list are either from VISA or Mastercard, two of the most widely used payment networks.
- No Credit Check: When a company can not find enough information about you or find your credit score very low, they might do a “hard pull” on your credit history. This credit check can cause your credit score to take a dip. So, we selected credit cards that require no credit check during the approval process. These companies focus mainly on helping you build credit.
- Follow Legal Guidelines: All the card companies on our list abide by strict guidelines. They ensure that only authentic and legal applicants can get credit cards. For most of them, you must be over 18 years with a valid social security number, U.S. IP address, and physical address. However, the age limits for becoming an authorized user are more flexible.
- No Fraud Liability: These credit cards have complete protection from fraudulent activities. You will not be held liable for the transactions you have not made from your credit cards. However, specific terms and conditions apply to this rule.
- Quick Application Process: Application processes for both unsecured and secured cards can take much of your time. We chose companies that have a fully secure and transparent application process. Further, some companies on the list may even respond to your application in as little as a minute.
- APRs and Annual Fees: Most credit card companies charge an annual fee for their services. They also have a yearly interest rate for all the purchases you make. We selected cards with lower interest rates and charges.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Your Credit Card As A Young Adult
Credit cards have become a vital part of every economic and financial aspect of our lives. Hence, it is very important to be careful while selecting a credit card. Moreover, if you are choosing a card for your teen, you must be even more cautious about making the correct choice. So, weighing the pros and cons of all your options is essential before deciding. All products on our list are the top credit cards for teens, and each has unique features. You can select between these cards depending on your needs. Here is a list of the most important features you should look for before choosing a credit card:
- Reputable Companies
Before selecting a card, it is crucial to ensure the companies handling it are trustworthy. It is vital to ensure the authenticity of anybody that controls your finances. These companies need experience, honesty, and efficiency.
The credit card handlers include three institutions: the issuers, the servicers, and payment networks. Hence, most of the cards on our list are issued and serviced by decade-old companies from the financial market. Financial lenders and agencies have trusted the companies for several years. So, there is no risk of fraudulent activities from the makers. Moreover, the cards on our list are either Mastercard or VISA cards, ensuring wide acceptability.
Lastly, you should ensure the company’s transparency. Most makers refrain from revealing the downsides of their products. However, if the makers explain their product’s cons and solutions, they will not mislead you.
- Unsecured or Secured Credit Card
Another important factor is to examine your needs to pick your credit card type. If you are of legal age and have a steady income, you should select a secured card. Generally, it is better to get a secured card for teens. It is because a secured card typically has lower interest rates and charges but more significant rewards. However, it is possible that an 18-year-old may not have a very good credit score. It might be challenging to qualify for a secured card in such a case. Unless you are willing to pay a deposit, you should select an unsecured card and build your credit.
- Additional Charges
The cost of a product is usually the most serious concern for a user. However, due to high costs, you should not settle for a lower quality product. You should look for unsecured and secured cards that charge a low annual fee and interest rates. However, if you want to improve your credit score quickly, you need to settle for high charges. While most cards charge an annual fee, unsecured cards have an annual fee and, in some cases, a monthly fee. You should try to avoid cards with unnecessary expenses like that.
Some cards may even charge you foreign transaction fees for international purchases. Hence, if you use your credit card to buy anything outside of the U.S., you would have to pay extra foreign transaction fees.
Hence, look for cards that have lower charges. However, slightly higher interest and the annual fee are acceptable for credit-building cards.
- Credit Limit Increase
Credit cards help you achieve a higher credit line over time. If you make on-time payments and clear your dues regularly, you will get a credit line increase. A higher credit line can help distribute the costs of large purchases into smaller amounts.
- Efficient Customer Support
Before buying a credit card, you should read through its reviews and try to learn more about its customer support. Financial services generally take a lot of time to resolve any issues. So, before applying anywhere, you should make sure the company stays on top of customer issues and gives quick responses.
- Open to All Credit Types
You should also look for a credit card issuer that accepts people with all credit types. That would make it very easy to qualify for the card. Moreover, companies like these do not require a hard pull on your credit report. So, it will have no impact on your credit score. Whether you have good, bad, or no credit, you would qualify for the card.
Frequently Asked Questions About Credit Cards
- What is a credit card, and how does it work?
Credit cards are cards made from plastic or metal. Financial institutes issue them to the public to let them make purchases. Moreover, the users make these purchases using money that they “borrow” from the company. The company requires them to return this money at regular intervals of time.
You can use credit cards to make online purchases with your card number and PIN. However, you need to insert the card into a card reader to make purchases in person.
- What is a credit limit?
A credit limit is the limited amount of money with which you can make purchases on a credit card. Once you reach the credit limit, you can no longer make purchases. Although, after you have paid your previous credit card dues, you can once again make purchases or borrow up to your limit. Suppose you have a limit of $100. If you made a purchase worth $90 with your credit card, you would be left with only $10. Hence, you can not spend over $10 using your credit card until you pay for the $90 purchase. A credit limit is also known as a credit line.
- When should a teenager get a credit card?
Getting them their credit card is a great way to teach your teens some financial responsibility. So, you can start by making them an authorized user on your credit card account at an early age. This way, you can monitor their payments for a while, guide them, and help them build credit. Later, when they turn 18 and have their income, they can qualify for their own credit card. However, many credit card issuers do not give credit cards to applicants under 21. This is due to the Credit Card Act of 2009. The act requires users under 21 to prove their capability to get a card.
- How can I get my teen a low credit limit?
You could get a new credit card for your teen and ask its issuer for a lower limit to keep their expenses in check. However, you can also allow them to use limited credit without applying for a new card in their name. You could get a credit card with a lower limit for yourself and add them to it as an authorized user. Instead of your regular credit card with a higher credit line, they can use this card and build a credit score with it.
- Why can I not get a credit card?
There are several reasons why a credit card issuer may reject your application. The primary reason for rejection is a bad credit score. No lender would let you borrow money from them if you can not assure them of its return. Further, other reasons for you not being able to qualify for a credit card are also related to the lender’s security. For example, you would not be approved if you have a low income or are unemployed. Along with bad credit history, insufficient or no history could also be a reason for rejection. A few other reasons include recent bankruptcy and due payments.
- Why do I have a bad credit score?
You could have a bad credit score due to multiple reasons. However, the most likely cause for a dip in your credit score is late bill payments. Your payment history makes up for nearly 35% of your credit score.
- What is a credit card for bad credit?
Regular credit cards are given to you in exchange for a huge security deposit if you have poor credit. In most cases, the issuer may not approve your form at all. However, credit cards for bad credit are specifically aimed at those with poor credit scores. The issuers do not require a credit score check, security deposit, etc. It is very easy to get approval for these cards. Moreover, they can even help you build your credit score. You could quickly bring up your credit if you make timely payments for this card.
- How can I avoid trouble with my teen’s credit card?
You should constantly monitor your teen’s credit card activities. In the beginning, it is better to add them as authorized users to your account. Firstly, you can keep track of their expenditure. Secondly, you can guide them and teach them the correct ways to use credit cards. However, you can speak to the issuer if they already have their card. You can ask them to set a lower limit on the credit card. You can also let them make smaller or combined purchases and make sure they pay their bills on time. This way, they can quickly build credit.
- What are secured credit cards for teens?
A secured credit card is a good option when you want your card without a consignor. They are also a great way to bring up your credit score. However, if you do not have a consignor or collateral, you would have to pay a refundable security deposit. The amount of the deposit varies from card to card.
- What information do I need to apply for a credit card?
Credit card applications have become much simpler to fill. If you apply online, most websites have forms you can complete within ten minutes. However, the application time and information may vary on the credit card type. Most forms require basic information like your full name, address, and your social security number. Some records may require proof of your income and other financial documents. Lastly, you may even need an address proof for your primary address. You can use your school or college ID for verification if you are a minor or a student. Similarly, you can use your driver’s license if you are an adult.
- How long does it take to get a credit card?
Applying for a credit card and waiting for approval can take some time. However, the process becomes much faster once the issuer approves your request. After approval, the bank will mail your new credit card to you within seven working days. You will receive the card at the address you filled out in the application form. Moreover, most companies allow you to track your card status online or through apps. Some banks may even send you regular alerts through SMS or e-mail regarding your application and card progress.
- What is a student credit card?
Student credit cards are specially for school or college students. A student credit card can help young adults develop healthy financial habits. These cards also help students to build credit and enter adulthood with a positive credit history.
Conclusion: Best Credit Cards For Teens On The Market In 2022
Credit cards are currently a critical financial service in everybody’s lives. So, teaching your kid about managing them early in life is better. You can start by making them an authorized user on your card. Later, when they turn 18, you can give them a jumpstart in life by getting them a credit card. Unique teen credit cards and credit-building cards are available for young adults.
Moreover, these cards can benefit your teen by giving them a strong credit score as they enter adulthood. Select any of these cards from our list of the best credit cards for teens. You can select between these credit cards by considering several factors like their issuing company, fees, types, etc.
Lastly, keep in mind that there is no always correct answer to choosing the right card. The perfect card for your teen depends on your and their needs. Therefore, before deciding on any card, the first step should be to evaluate your needs.