Quick Look at the Best Credit Cards to Build Credit:
- Best Overall: First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
- Best for Fraud Protection: Citi® Secured Mastercard®
- Best Online Access: Indigo Mastercard
- Best for a Low Deposit: Capital One Platinum Secured
Credit cards can help you earn cash rewards, pay off other debt or invest in a big purchase. Credit cards can also serve as a tool to build credit and boost your credit score.
In the market for a card to help you build your credit? Check out Benzinga’s guide to the best credit cards to help build credit to learn more about the different tiers of credit scores and the benefits of specific cards.
Best Credit Cards for Building Credit
Each card has its own qualities and associated perks that can help you towards your financial goals. Keep reading to find the best credit card for you that can help you build your credit.
1. Best Overall: First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card
- Regular APR
15.24% variable; 24.24% variable for cash advancesOne Time Fee$200-$2,000
The First Progress Platinum Mastercard® is a full-featured credit card with a revolving credit line based on a refundable security deposit. The credit limit is determined by the amount of your security deposit, not your credit score or history. It’s accepted for car rentals, hotels and millions of other transactions worldwide. This card offers the protection, convenience and prestige of the worldwide Mastercard system.
2. Best for Fraud Protection: Citi® Secured Mastercard®
- Regular APR
26.74% (variable) for purchases and balance transfers; 29.49% (variable) for cash advancesRating:
Citi’s Secured Mastercard is a great option if you have little or no credit history. The card provides free access to your online FICO score, so you can track your progress as you manage and grow your credit. Plus, you can get help staying on track with Auto Pay and account alerts.
Identity theft can happen to anyone, but Citi’s Identity Theft Solutions can help solve the issue in a snap and get your life back on track. You're completely protected against unauthorized charges on your card, and you won’t be responsible for any charge that you didn't authorize, whether it happens online or in-store.
3. Best Online Access: Indigo Mastercard
The Indigo Mastercard is a great opportunity if you have less-than-perfect credit. It’s designed for you to demonstrate responsible use of credit. The Indigo credit card also offers a customer experience equal to or better than major credit card issuers.
Best known for its accessibility, you can access your Indigo account at any time from your smartphone, desktop or tablet. Monitor your account activity, pay your bill, view transactions and check your balance all on the Indigo Account Management site. You can even activate your new Indigo Mastercard online before your 1st transaction.
4. Best for a Low Deposit: Capital One Platinum Secured
- Regular APR
Variable rate of 30.74% for purchases and cash advancesRating:
Capital One’s Platinum Secured card offers a no annual fee structure with refundable deposits so that you can build your credit on your terms. With a 26.99% variable APR and no hidden fees, your faithful use of the card will help you upgrade your credit limit, increase your buying power and experience more financial freedom.
What's Your Credit Score?
What exactly is a credit score? Your credit score is a calculation based on your financial history. Factors of your financial history, such as the debt you carry and how diligently you have paid your bills, help estimate how likely you are to handle credit in the future.
The table below gives you a quick snapshot of how your credit score is perceived.
|760 to 850
|700 to 749
|Average to Very Good
|650 to 699
|600 to 649
Lenders check your credit score to determine the risk involved in giving you a loan, the terms of a loan that works best for them and the loan’s interest rate. The higher your score, the better the terms of a loan will be for you.
Other Ways to Build Credit
If you find that you want to explore other ways to build credit, there are other options out there!
It’s a great idea to use the relationship you have with your bank to get a loan to help build your credit. A personal loan will likely do the trick. After you get a loan with reasonable terms, you can repay that loan on time to build creditworthiness.
Another option is to choose another responsible individual to cosign a loan with you. This can be any creditworthy adult, including your parents or significant other. When you have a cosigner with good credit history, you’re more likely to get approved.
Once approved, you can start to build your own credit with responsible on-time payments. Keep in mind that whoever cosigns on the loan is taking on a big financial responsibility. They’ll also be responsible for the debt if you run into issues down the road.
Causes of Bad Credit
Bad credit can prevent you from getting approved for loan applications, credit cards or signing on rented living spaces. Common causes of bad credit are late payment of bills, filing for bankruptcy, charge-offs and defaulting on loans.
Build Good Credit in a Snap
When used responsibly, credit cards can help you create a reputable credit history, earn rewards on everyday purchases, pay off debt or get funding for your next big purchase. Start with Benzinga’s list of recommended credit cards to build credit to find the right fit today.