If you are just starting your career, you may have already established a FICO score via student loans or even an auto loan. It can be overwhelming trying to select a credit card that will suit your needs for today and the near future, however Good Money Advice has attempted to ease your anxiety, and present our top five credit cards for young professionals (Age 22-34).
Citi Double Cash Credit Card
If you are looking for a cashback card and have established a fair to good credit score, entering the Citi ecosystem with their Double Cash card is a good option. The benefits are very clear: You earn 1% cash back on every single purchase that you make, regardless of category. You earn an additional 1% cash back after you pay it off. There is not another major card issuer that rewards it’s customer base to stay out of debt, which is why this kicks off our list.
In the event you do carry a balance, the annual percentage rate hovers around 25.99%. There is no annual fee, and if you currently own another credit card with a balance, you can transfer that to take advantage of the 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months. The only drawback is there is no sign-up bonus offer with the card.
American Express Cash Magnet Card
One of the overlooked cards in the Amex family, the Cash Magnet has no annual fee, and similar to the Double Cash Card, offers cash back regardless of categories. You earn 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases, and there is an attractive 0% introductory APR on both purchases and balance transfers. After that your rate could go up to 25.99%. The Cash Magnet has a welcome offer as of the time of publishing this post, where you can earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. The cash back will be in the form of statement credit.
If you find yourself using your card for gas station or grocery purchases a lot, you may be better suited for Amex’s Blue Cash Everyday Card.
Discover IT Student Chrome
If you are still an active college student and want to look at an alternative to build credit besides a secured credit card, consider the Discover IT Student Chrome card. This card was created with the student in mind, as it provides 2% cash back up to $1,000 on gas station or restaurant purchases per quarter, along with 1% cash back on all other categories. Discover will double all rewards you accumulate after your account has been opened one year, and if you maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher you will receive a $20 statement credit each school year.
There is no annual fee on the Discover IT Student Chrome, and the card offers an introductory 0% APR for the first 6 months on purchases, which then will convert up to 23.99%.
In our opinion, the Chase Freedom is the ideal credit card for young professionals to acquire when building a relationship with the largest bank in the country. The Freedom card offers a $150 bonus after you spend $500 in purchases within the first 3 months, and has no annual fee. You earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on categories that rotate quarterly, and 1% everywhere else. In the past, bonus categories have included grocery stores, gas stations, and ride share services. Some say the rotating category is the best and worst thing about the Freedom card. You never know from one quarter to the next if the categories featured will align with your spending habits. Should they not, you may find yourself using another card on this list.
The Freedom for many gets them in the Chase door, with plans to upgrade to the Freedom Unlimited after 12 months.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The only card on this list that has annual fee (after the 1st year) is Capital One’s Venture Rewards offering. If you find yourself traveling early on in your career, or perhaps are a weekend warrior and plan frequent adventures, the Venture Rewards card could be a fit. When you spend $3,000 within 3 months of opening your account, you will receive 50,000 miles, which has a cash value of $500 toward any travel related expense you charge with your card. You earn 2 miles for every dollar spent, and there are no foreign transaction fees.