Millennials get a pretty bad rep, and we’re not quite sure why. We’re not the ones who ruined the ozone and housing market. But, hey, we do come out on top in terms of student loans and credit card debt. 2 in 3 millennials have credit card debt, with just 13% of all millennials being debt-free.
While this might sound like a horrible statistic, it’s pretty understandable. Millennials have borne the brunt of the 2008 financial crisis and now, more recently, the economic crisis caused by the 2020 pandemic. In short, for this age group, personal financial management is a make or break topic.
If you’re a millennial that’s thinking about improving your credit in 2021 but aren’t quite sure what cards you qualify for based on your score or financial situation, this one’s for you.
It’s worth noting that the best credit card for you specifically depends on your financial goals, spending habits, and current credit score. We’d suggest getting our free financial guide first and then reading through this list. Regardless, here are our top picks for the best credit cards for millennials in 2021.
If your credit score is poor (no shame), Capital One’s Secured MasterCard might just be the solution. Most applicants that meet basic credit card eligibility requirements will get approved for this card.
In fact, if you’re struggling to meet the requirements to apply for any regular credit card, a secured credit card is a great option for you. The idea is that you “secure” it with a deposit when opening the account (usually around $200). The Secured MasterCard from Capital One offers a lower barrier of entry with a minimum deposit of $49, $99 or $200 (which they’ll eventually refund).
As long as you make the minimum required deposit of $49, you’ll receive a credit line of $200 that will slowly help you build your credit. Best of all, there’s a $0 annual fee with this card. Spend wisely for 6 to 9 months and they’ll review your account to see if you qualify for an upgrade to an unsecured (regular) card; if so, they’ll return your deposit!
Millennials love to travel and they do so more than any other generation. If you’re a travel-loving, jet-setting millennial, it’s wise to get a credit card optimized to help you earn points in order to build your wealth and savings.
TD’s First Class Visa Signature Card offers 3X first class miles on travel and dining purchases, including flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and dining. For everything else, you’ll earn 1x first class miles (and the points never expire!).
Travelers will also enjoy this card’s insurance feature in case of flight delays or lost baggage. Depending on the user’s credit limit, the card can provide up to $5000 in emergency cash advances.
If that doesn’t win you over, the card’s lack of foreign transaction fees will. Enjoy $0 in transaction fees when spending abroad on top of a 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles.
This card is also jam-packed with rewards that you can take advantage of as you travel. Although, do keep in mind that it comes with a $95 annual fee. Overall, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card has the perfect mixture of a somewhat low annual fee, a huge sign-up bonus, and great overall miles and rewards.
Earn 2x points for every dollar spent on dining and travel, 2x points for grocery purchases, and 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
The card is loaded with great perks for travelers, such as trip cancellation reimbursement up to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip, no foreign transaction fees, and other travel insurance perks. However, even for millennials who aren’t traveling a ton, the card offers some great opportunities to earn lots of points on dining and groceries.
Discover is renowned for its impeccable customer service and their cashback credit card has no annual fee; what more do you need as a millennial struggling to build wealth? If you are a moderate spender, you can earn big from the card’s 5% cashback policy on everyday things like gas, restaurants, and groceries.
The card comes with many other features such as free credit score reports and a tracker for everything you buy with the card. Plus, Discover will take whatever you earn in the first year and match it 100%! Tack on a 0% APR for the first 14 months and it’s easy to see what makes this one of the best credit cards for millennials, right?
For millennials with decent credit who are looking for a good credit card without an annual fee, this is definitely the best option. If you’re willing to pay an annual fee for more perks, then check out the...
Are you able to spend $95 to have a credit card? If so, opt for the Blue Cash Preferred by American Express. It’s an excellent choice for subscribers of streaming services (basically every millennial), thanks to its 6% cashback on select streaming sites.
Card owners can also earn a statement credit of $250 whenever they make purchases of $1,000 within the first three months of using the card. And, you can even earn up to $6,000 per year at US supermarkets. You'll get 6% cashback offer at grocery stores.
Building your credit score is about more than just getting the right credit card. There’s a lot that goes into increasing your score and managing your finances. Not sure where to start?
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