Looking for the best credit cards for 18 year olds can initially seem like an impossible job. Getting a credit card that offers a reasonable APR without any credit score or history can seem like an impossible task.
Luckily, a few credit card providers have spotted a gap in the market and have created credit cards 18 year olds can get which offer them low annual fees and great benefits. These cards typically involve a higher APR than normal, but this is to be expected for a card that doesn't require a steady history and high credit score.
Read below to discover our pick of the top 4 best cards for 18 year olds to apply for:
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The Petal 2 Visa Credit Card
One of the best credit cards 18 year olds can get is the Petal 2 Visa card. This card had no annual fee, will pay you 1 to 1.5% cashback on your purchases, and you can start to build your credit rating with monthly reporting to credit bureaus.
To apply for this card, you need to be at least 18 years old, and a legal US resident with either a TIN (Taxpayer Identification Number) or a Social Security Number. You will also need to prove you have enough income or assets to cover your monthly bill payments.
The Petal 2 Visa was launched in 2018 and is issued by a relatively new organization, WebBank which operates out of Utah. The card does have a high-interest rate, but by paying your debts in full quickly, you can avoid the worst of this.
- $0 Annual Fee for new applicants.
- No fees for foreign transactions.
- Between 1-1.5% cash back on your eligible purchases.
- There is no signing-on bonus with the card (but this is not to be expected with most cards of this type.
- APR ranges from 16.74% to 30.74%. The rate you will be offered will depend upon your current credit history, credit score, and your income each month.
- You will have a credit limit of between $300 to $10,000. For most starter cards this is likely to be closer to the $300 than the upper limit.
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
Another of the best credit cards 18 year olds can apply for is the Capital One Platinum Credit Card. If you have no credit history, you can apply for this $0 annual fee card. And like the Petal 2, your credit will be reported to the major credit bureaus every month, allowing you to build up your credit score ranking.
However, as with the Petal 2 card, you need to make sure to pay your bills promptly each month and make sure you don't exceed your credit limit. This is a terrific way to start building up your credit history up.
- $0 Annual Fee.
- The card issuer reports to the bureaus every month.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- No minimum credit score requirement (but not available if you have already built up poor credit.)
- You can activate and manage your card online.
- High 29.74% APR on credit, so you need to make sure to pay your balance on time each month and not carry negative balances to the next billing cycle.
OpenSky Visa Secured Card
This card has a high approval rate and OpenSky does not undertake credit checks, so this makes it one of the easiest credit cards 18 year olds can apply for. You need to pay a $35 annual fee (whereas both Petal 2 and Capital One Platinum Card offer $0), but the amount is a lot lower than some credit cards and you may decide it is worth it so you can start building up your credit.
To be considered without a credit check, you need to be over 18 years old, provide a $200 security deposit and prove you have enough income to cover your monthly bills.
- No credit check when you apply.
- 21.14% interest rate.
- You need to provide a $200 security deposit.
- $35 Annual Fee.
- 3% foreign transaction fees.
- Is a great option for building a good credit history.
- If you are late with your payments, you will be charged a late fee which can be up to $38.
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
This student credit card has been designed especially for young people who are just starting on their financial journey and offers some of the best benefits and features. By applying for these credit cards 18 year olds can enjoy a high reward rate on their spending, with 1.5 points for every dollar spend with the card.
However, as with the other credit card issuers we have detailed above, Bank of America charges a high APR on this starter credit card.
- $0 Membership Fee.
- 20.74% - 30.74% (V) depending on your monthly income, credit score, and credit history.
- 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers in the introductory 18 months.
- 1.5 points for each dollar you spend and 3 points for every dollar spent with the Bank of America Travel Center.
- Redeem your points against hotel stays, flights, vacations, restaurants, and rental cars.
- 3% balance transfer fee (minimum of $10)
- A late fee of up to $40 on outstanding payments.
Summary - Best Credit Cards for 18 Year Olds
Our pick of the best credit cards 18 year olds can apply for will allow you to become a card owner without having a credit history. However, as you can see, in exchange for not having a credit score, you will face higher APR changes, to begin with. If you are diligent with your payments and make sure not to exceed your credit limits, you should be able to access lower APR later down the line.
To get started on finding the best credit cards 18 year olds can get, take another look through our picks above and assess which choice fits you best. The best card for 18 year olds will be the one that allows you to build up good credit quickly, with the lowest possible associated costs.
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