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My Recommended Credit Cards

Whether you want to pay off a balance faster or max out rewards, I’ve hand-picked credit cards that best fit our lifestyles in our 20s and 30s. To improve your chances of being approved for these cards, pay particular attention to the credit score data to make sure your score falls within the qualifying range.

Jump to credit cards for: Rewards (good credit), balance transfers (good credit), fair credit or poor credit.

Rewards Credit Cards (Good Credit – 700+)

Credit Needed: Excellent

Average Approved Score: 0*

Lowest Approved Score: 0*

  • 2% cash back automatically on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter-no sign-ups needed*. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months-then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • APR won’t go up if you pay late.
  • No annual fee, no overlimit fee, no late fee on your first late payment and no foreign transaction fee*.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement so you can track your score’s progress*.
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases
  • U.S. based customer service-anytime, day and night.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking “Apply.”
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0%*14 Months 0%*14 Months 10.99% - 22.99%* Variable $0

Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard®

Great For: Earning double miles on travel and dining

Credit Needed: Excellent

Average Approved Score: 730*

Lowest Approved Score: 678*

  • Earn 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $200 travel statement credit
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on travel and dining and 1X miles on all other purchases
  • Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Book the travel you want - airfare, hotels, cruises and more and earn miles on your purchase
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • Complimentary online FICO® Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
Intro APR Balance Transfer APR Regular APR Annual Fee
0% for 12 Months 0% for 12 Months 14.99% or 18.99%* Variable $0


Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Great For: Cash back with customized ways to redeem your rewards.

Credit Needed: Excellent

Average Approved Score: 714*

Lowest Approved Score: 642*

  • One-time $100 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories and no sign ups needed to earn cash rewards
  • Redeem the cash back you earn for any amount, any time
  • Your cash back doesn't expire
  • 0% intro APR on all purchases until May 2015
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR until May 2015, a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • No annual fee
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0%until May 2015 0%until May 2015 12.9% – 22.9%* Variable $0

Balance Transfer Credit Cards (Good Credit – 700+)

Discover it®

Great For: Saving money on large balance transfers

Credit Needed: Excellent

Average Approved Score: 731*

Lowest Approved Score: 687*

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%.
  • Rated 4.8 out of 5 Stars by over 4,000 cardmembers.*
  • No annual fee, no late fee for your first late payment - APR won't go up for us paying late, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements.*
  • 5% cash back at gas stations on up to $1,500 in purchases from July through September 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.*
  • 100% U.S.- based customer service--anytime, day and night.
  • See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking "Apply."
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0%6 Months 0%18 Months 10.99% – 22.99%* Variable $0

Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card

Great For: Balance transfers and low introductory rates.

Credit Needed: Excellent

Average Approved Score: 687*

Lowest Approved Score: 634*

  • Get 0% intro APR on all purchases until November 2015
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR until November 2015, a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Enjoy no annual fee
  • Get peace of mind with fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Enjoy extended warranty protection on eligible items purchased with your card
  • Fast and easy access, 24/7
  • Rent a car using your card and get collision, damage, and loss insurance
  • Feel secure with 24-hour roadside assistance
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0%until November 2015 0%until November 2015 10.9% – 18.9%* Variable $0

Credit Cards for Fair Credit (600-699)

Capital One® Platinum Credit Card

Great For: Balance transfers and a low annual fee.

Credit Needed: Fair

Average Approved Score: 607*

Lowest Approved Score: 554*

  • Start with no annual fee for the first year; $19 after that
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account - even from your smartphone with our mobile app
  • Pick the monthly payment due date that works best for you
  • Pay however you want–by check, online, or at a local branch, all with no fee
  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Start building for the future with features that can help you get there
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
N/AN/A N/AN/A 24.9%* Variable $0 intro for first year; $19 after that


Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Great For: Cash back rewards and low intro rates.

Credit Needed: Fair

Average Approved Score: 618*

Lowest Approved Score: 563*

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories and no sign ups needed to earn cash rewards
  • Redeem the cash back you earn for any amount, any time
  • No limit to the cash back you can earn
  • Your cash back doesn’t expire
  • 0% intro APR on purchases until May 2015
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud Coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
0%until May 2015 N/AN/A 22.9%* Variable $39

Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard® - Average Credit

Great For: Rewards for spending on gas and groceries

Credit Needed: Fair

Average Approved Score: 658*

Lowest Approved Score: 595*

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else
  • Use the points you earn like cash to pay for almost any purchases you've made.
  • No blackout date, no redemption fees, no limit on the points you can earn and no complicated set up.
  • Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus monthly providing you the opportunity to rebuild your credit score
  • Complimentary FICO® Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
N/AN/A N/AN/A 24.99%* Variable $0

Credit Cards for Poor Credit (Under 600)

Capital One® Secured MasterCard®

Great For: No processing fees or application fees.

Credit Needed: Limited

Average Approved Score: 574*

Lowest Approved Score: 514*

  • Build credit with responsible use with no processing or application fees
  • Regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Your security deposit can get you a line up to $3,000
  • You may qualify for a credit line increase based on your payment history and creditworthiness
  • Build a financial foundation you can stand on with a card that gets you started
  • Use it like any MasterCard credit card, accepted at millions of locations worldwide
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
N/AN/A N/AN/A 22.9%* Variable $29

USAA Secured MasterCard®

Great for: Building good credit.

Credit Needed: Any

  • It’s a real credit card — not a prepaid or debit card, that helps you build or improve your credit score.
  • When you apply — you’ll also be opening a USAA 2-year Certificate of Deposit, an interest-earning deposit account that has a two-year term and a $250-minimum initial deposit.
  • Your CD is a security deposit — the money you put in upfront, from $250 to $5,000, is the card’s credit limit.
  • Earn interest on your CD — your deposit is guaranteed to grow. Plus the money is yours to keep as long as you don’t default on your payments.
  • Start building your credit — opening a CD lets you get a credit card even if you don’t have a credit history or have bad credit.*
  • *View Rates, Fees and Other Cost Information.
Intro APR
Purchases
Intro Term
Purchases
Intro APR
Balance Transfers
Intro Term
Balance Transfers
Regular APR Annual Fee
N/A N/A N/A N/A 9.90% Variable $35

*This information is provided through a relationship with CreditKarma.com. Credit Karma members have received approvals with these TransUnion New Account credit scores. Please note that because other factors may affect credit card approval, these approval metrics are only guidelines and approval is not guaranteed.