How to Choose the Best Credit Card for 2021 Grads

For 2021 college graduates, your cap and gown ceremony may be virtual, but your credit history will be very real. Building a healthy credit history is crucial as you look to buy a car, rent an apartment, and manage your expenses on your own.
Finding and earning the best credit card offers for students can be simple if you know where to look. Here’s a simple process to help you find the best credit card for students and grads.
1. Find your credit card offers
Before the Credit Card Act of 2009, credit card companies used to be poised on college campuses to sign up students in exchange for gifts like free pizza or t-shirts. Nowadays, credit card offers should only get to you by mail, by email, or through a credit card company site.
Instead of immediately “storing” your mailed offers in your recycling bin, start to gather them up so you can compare them. Then, search for “offers” in your inbox to find the offers you’ve already received (and previously ignored). Finally, navigate to a trusted credit card site to see if you can apply for pre-approved offers.
2. Compare your credit card offers
Most credit card offers will include three crucial elements:
Your offers will likely not yet include an available credit limit, as your limit will be determined after you submit an official application for the card.
Many credit card offers may also include an introductory offer. Common bonuses include doubling your rewards in your first year or a reduced APR for 6 or 12 months.
Some student credit cards will provide rewards or cash-back bonuses based on the types of spending you make on the card: where travel, dining, gas, and groceries are categories that could earn you accelerated rewards rates. Here, you will want to find the cards that match your spending budget. If you expect to spend online and at grocery stores, a student cash-back credit card can fit; if your post-grad job features a commute, bonus points for gas and restaurant spending will make sense.
3. Apply for the student credit card that fits and you can earn
Any official application you submit for a credit card lands on your credit history as a new credit request. While one new credit request won’t hurt your credit, many credit requests will. So it is important — especially as you are just beginning your credit journey — to only apply when you think you’ll be accepted.
This is where pre-approved or pre-qualified credit card offers are helpful. Most credit card issuers have seen your credit history at a high level and a pre-qualified offer means you have a good chance of earning approval when you apply.
Once you find that perfect student credit card that matches your spending needs with your likelihood for approval, you can feel confident when you apply and start building your own credit history.
Source: iQuanti, Inc.