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The 6 Best Credit Cards for Beginners (High Rewards)

credit cards Dec 02, 2020

Personally, I love credit cards. In fact, I currently have 7 credit cards that allow me to get free cash back, travel more, build credit, and get many other benefits. Today I'm going to go over the top 6 credit cards with high rewards for beginners. Keep in mind, all of these cards are free to carry, meaning they have zero annual fees. Now let’s get started.

  1. Chase Freedom Flex -

In my opinion, one of the best credit cards Chase has to offer. This card comes with flexible and diversified cash back categories, an entrance into Chase's amazing ecosystem of points, and does not require a ridiculously high credit score to be approved.

Benefits:

  • 5% cash back on grocery stores (not including Target and Walmart) for up to $12k spent for first year
  • 5% cash back on up to $1500 spent per quarter for rotating categories
  • 5% cash back for travel purchased through cash travel portal
  • 3% on dining and drugstores
  • 1% on all else
  • Earn points to spend on the chase site, travel, statement credit, and more
  • $200 bonus when you spend 500 in 3 months
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases
  • NO annual fees
  • Doordash and Lyft benefits

This card is honestly a great card for beginners to enter the Chase ecosystem. The Chase Freedom Flex includes my favorite type of rewards to earn because there is so much flexibility to using them and is also extremely good for travel. Pair this with Chase Reserve for a 1.5 times redemption, meaning all Chase points worth 1.5 times more when used for travel. I have used this system to travel for free the last 5 years! Overall, a great card with high rewards on travel, dining, and drugstore purchases. Also includes a $200 sign up bonus!

  1. Citi Double Cash -

One of the most popular everyday cash back cards. Most people in the credit card community will probably have this card as very few credit cards are able to match the high cash back rewards on everyday spending.

Benefits:

  • 2% cash back on everything (1% when you purchase & 1% when you pay statement)
  • NO cap on cash back amount, great news for high spenders and easy to use because there are no categories to keep track of
  • Get cash back as statement credit, direct deposit, check or convert to points
  • 0%. Intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • NO annual fee
  • Includes purchase protection
  • Great customer service

Overall, get this card if you want simple cash back. With a 2% rebate on everything, this card is great for beginners and will save you a ton. This card is great for spending on miscellaneous items that don't fall into dining or travel, as there are cards with better rewards for those categories. Keep in mind Citi does not offer the best travel programs. I would use this for spending on furniture, random purchases on amazon, and camera equipment.

  1. Discover It Cash Back -

Another great card for beginners as it includes rotating high cashback categories and is popular amongst all age groups.

Benefits:

  • 5% cash back on up to 1500 per quarter for rotating categories – Amazon, Walmart, Target, grocery stores, Walgreens, CVS, gas stations, wholesale clubs, streaming services, and restaurants.
  • 1% on all else
  • Sign up bonus isn't in the form of money or points, they will match all cash back you've earned at end of first year, no max.
  • NO annual fee

Note: Discover cards aren’t accepted as widely Visa, but 99% of places that take cards will accept it.

Overall, great card from Discover that you can't go wrong with. If you are able to use this card for the rotating categories, you can get up to 10% cashback for the first year. That is ridiculously good. Note that there is a cap, but still if you max it out each quarter that’s $600 cash back on $6k spending.

  1. Amex Blue Cash Everyday -

A great everyday card from Amex and is one of their most popular credit cards.

Benefits:

  • 3% cashback for supermarkets up to 6k spend per year
  • 2% cashback for gas stations and department stores
  • 1% all else
  • Cashback in the form of reward dollars that can be used for statement credits
  • Awesome $200 sign up bonus when spend 1000 in 3 months
  • 0% APR for 15 months on purchases
  • NO annual fees
  • Auto rental insurance, special Amex perks, purchase protection, and more.

Great card for beginners if you want an Amex card. Welcome offer and perks may not be as strong as other Amex cards such as the Amex platinum, but this card offers much lower fees.

  1. Chase Freedom Unlimited -

Another one of Chase's best card offerings for beginners that is perfect as an everyday card. Similar to the Freedom Flex card but has better minimum cash back percentage.

Benefits:

  • 5% cashback on everything – I use this card a lot for everyday spending since I do not need to keep track of categories and I am very happy with 1.5%
  • New updates with this card now give it improved rewards for travel dining and drugstores.
  • 5% travel portal
  • 3% cashback on dining and drugstores
  • $200 bonus when spend 500 in 3 months, quite high for a no annual fee card.
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to 12k spent in first year.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases
  • Purchase protection, travel insurance, extended warranty, and more.

Note: Has foreign transaction fees

New updates to this card make it a really great everyday card, and in my opinion should be better than Citi Double Cash for a lot of spenders. It really depends on what you spend your money on and how you want to redeem it. Chase is almost always better for travel, plus they have a sign-up bonus.

  1. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card -

One of Capital One's best beginner cards with easy cash back and a relatively attractive sign-up bonus.

Benefits:

  • 5% cash back on everything
  • NO categories to track
  • Attractive sign-up bonus of $200 when you spend $500 in 3 months
  • NO annual fee
  • NO foreign transaction fee
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 15 months

Capital One is not as good as Chase or Amex if you like to travel, but it is still a good card that I have had good experiences with. That's why this card made the list of top beginner credit cards.

Being financially responsible

I don't talk about credit card normal APR because those only apply if you aren't able to pay your balance on time. In this case, I do not recommend credit cards as the rebates and perks will be overshadowed by the insane amounts of interest you'll be paying.

Don't get credit cards if you know you will not be able to be financially responsible and tend to spend more than you can afford. Stick to a debit card for now if that is the case. However, for those of you who want to get into the credit card game, I highly recommend it. Instant perks like purchase protection and cash back is a no brainer, and credit cards can help you boost your credit score when used correctly.

I hope you find this article helpful! If you're looking to get into the credit card game, I HIGHLY recommend one of these cards to start off. Happy credit card shopping!

-Charlie

 

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