The credit cards you obtain during your college years should reimburse you at a lucrative rate in order to maintain wallet relevancy after graduation. The following options have staying power, as in zero or justifiable annual fees and can be kept active. Holding onto the same cards for a while lengthens your average age of open accounts. I think that having 2 to 3 for everyday spend will optimize your cash back. Additionally, multiple cards increases your overall spending limits, or the amount of credit available to you, and thus decreases your utilization ratio.
The ultimate credit card for college and after is the U.S. Bank Cash+ Card. You can elect two picks for 5% earning and one additional pick for 2% earning every quarter. All categories listed here.
- 5% Bookstores: For textbooks. Don’t hold me to this but I believe Amazon transactions fall under this category.
- 5% Car Rental: Useful for hauling all the stuff you think you’ll use. And you can drive yourself from the airport and sponsor day trips with frands without having to teleport your car from home.
- 5% Furniture Stores: Get a slouch-inducing bean bag, fire hazard spider lamp and futon/daybed/sofabed; whichever you feel will best display stains and abuse.
- 5% Electronics: Laptop, gaming set, Skype webcam, Blu-Ray DVD player, TV and whatever additional niceties you need to make you feel at home at school.
- 5% Fast Food: For pizza.
- 5% Sporting Goods Stores: To buy sweats/loungewear from Under Armour, Lululemon, Nike :’)
- 5% Cell Phone, Movie Theaters, Gym etc. and
- 2% at Restaurants, Gas or Groceries.
No Annual Fee and Visa Signature Benefits.
If this is your elephant, you have a shot.I was approved with a 707 score, my oldest credit line being 15 months old and with all open accounts averaging 10 months.
Next up is the only Annual Fee card on my list. But it is godly. My first year, my greatest expenditure outside of clothes was food. Only wizards honor the compulsory $5000 freshman meal plan and fuel up exclusively on bagels and cold salads.
I am not a wizard. I ate copious amounts of sodium and fat that I went out of my way to purchase.
Everyone should carve a space for the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. 6% Supermarkets and 3% Gas Stations and Department Stores. $75 Annual Fee and Amex Benefits.
This card is legendary. Supermarkets stock everything these days. You can buy shampoo, cold medicine and even gift cards at 6% rewards earnings. And while yes, that is cash back on drinks and smokes, think about your mom for a sec. before you do what you need to do.
The No Annual Fee runner-up to the Blue Cash Preferred is the Bank of America BankAmericard Cash Rewards with 3% Gas Stations and 2% Groceries. Open a Checking/Savings account with Bank of America and earn 3.3% and 2.2%. No Annual Fee and Visa Signature Benefits.
The Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students will go out with you night after night. 2x Restaurants and 2x Entertainment. ThankYou points are worth somewhat more when you redeem for travel, so the 2x earn is a 3% valuation. No Annual Fee and Citi Services such as Price Rewind.
And I recommend the Chase Amazon.com Rewards card to my fellow dormits (dorm hermits). 3% Amazon.com and 2% Gas, Groceries and Drugstores. No Annual Fee.
If you hate leaving your twin bed, you can get a small lifetime quantity of instant noodles and laundry detergent shipped to your campus mailbox. You might have to skateboard everything back to your room from there. But, you can watch movies on Amazon Instant Video!
The Chase Freedom and Discover it are 5%ers but with changing reward categories every quarter. These are back-up cards that sulk in the recesses of your pocket until their 5% categories supersede your other cards’ 2% to 3% earn rates and then they’re something special. No Annual Fee.
I personally have the Discover it card and intend to pick up the Chase Freedom later. Because Discover offers a boost when redeeming gift card amounts, I would value the cash back at 5.5%.
The Citi Double Cash Card earns a flat 2% everywhere and with No Annual Fee. This card is an excellent sweeper for any uncovered bases.👍
Coming up Marc and I will teach you how to establish and build credit pre-18. Until then,