2017 Best Credit Cards for Millennials

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Less than one-third of millennials have a credit card, according to a 2016 survey from Bankrate.com. That means millennials are missing out on some great credit card perks as well as the chance to start building their credit. Millennials are a unique generation, not just any credit card will suit their love for travel and Sunday brunches. Here are the best credit cards for millennials.

Best for Restaurant Lovers: Uber Visa Card Issued By Barclays

With the Uber Visa Card, you’ll earn a $100 bonus (equivalent to 10,000 points) after spending $500 on purchases within the first 90 days.

The bonus is redeemable for an Uber credit, statement credit, or gift cards.

The Uber Visa Card has a fairly attractive rewards program. Cardholders will earn 4 percent back on dining, including Uber Eats; 3 percent back on hotel and airfare; 2 percent back on online purchases, including Uber and music streaming services; and 1 percent back on everything else. 

There’s no annual fee, which is an excellent perk for a rewards credit card, and there’s no foreign transaction fee for the credit card. That means purchases you make in other currencies won’t be charged an additional fee.

In addition to the rewards and sign up bonus, you’ll get a $50 credit for online services after you spend $5,000 or more on your credit card in a year. On top of that, you’ll receive $600 for mobile phone damage or theft when you pay your bill with your credit card. That means you could ditch your cell phone carrier’s insurance plan and save money.

(Plus earn rewards by paying your phone bill with your credit card.)

Redeem your points for Uber credits, gift cards, or cash back. Uber credit start at 500 points for $5. Only the primary cardholder can redeem points for Uber credits via the app.

There’s no limit in the rewards you can earn and they don’t expire as long as you keep your account in good standing.

Points can be transferred or sold.

Pricing: The variable APR is either 15.99 percent, 21.74 percent, or 24.74 percent, depending on your creditworthiness. The APR for cash advances is 25.99 percent. Balance transfers are charged a 3 percent fee and cash advances are charged a 5 percent fee.
 
Apply for the Uber Visa Card starting November 2, 2017.

Best for Travel Lovers: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Millennials love travel.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve pays 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. The bonus is worth $750 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Cardholders receive $300 annual travel credit redeemable for travel purchases made on the card.

You’ll earn 3 points per dollar on travel, including hotels, taxis, and trains; 3 points per dollar on dining worldwide; and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Points you’ve earned are worth 50 percent more when you redeem them for travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, Chase’s booking tool. There are no blackout dates or restrictions on when you can redeem your rewards.

Chase Sapphire Reserve has a few other perks for cardholders:

  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck
  • Access to airport lounges
  • Special rental car privileges National Car Rental, Avis, and Silvercar when you book with your card

At $450 per year, the Chase Sapphire Reserve has one of the higher credit card annual fees. You’ll also have to pay $75 per year for each authorized user. The signup bonus and the travel statement credit make up for the annual fee for at least the first two years. For financial reasons, you need to be able to pay the annual fee in full the first month if you’re approved. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying interest on the fee.

Pricing: The purchases and balance transfer APR ranges from 16.9 to 23.99 percent based on creditworthiness. The cash advance APR is 25.99 percent. Balance transfers are charged a fee of $5 or 5 percent and cash advances are charged $10 or 5 percent.

As with all rewards credit cards, you should pay your balance in full and avoid cash advances so you’re not paying additional interest and fees.

There’s no foreign transaction fee.

Best No Annual Fee Travel: Blue Delta Skymiles American Express

The Blue Delta Skymiles American Express pays 10,000 bonus miles after making $500 in eligible purchases within the first three months of opening your credit card. Note that you may not be eligible for the signup bonus if you own another Delta Skymiles credit card.

Cardholders earn 2 miles per dollar on purchases at U.S. restaurants, 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, and 1 mile per dollar on all other eligible purchases. Certain restaurant purchases may not qualify for the 2 point reward tier, e.g. restaurants inside of hotels.

As a cardholder, you’ll enjoy 20 percent savings on in-flight purchases. Savings made in the form of a statement credit.

If you’re approved for an instant account number (based on Amex’s ability to verify your identity), you’ll receive a minimum $1,000 line of credit to use at Delta.com.

Pricing: There's no annual fee. The purchases and balance transfer APR is 16.74 percent to 25.74 percent. The cash advance APR 26.24 percent. Balance transfers are charged a fee of $5 or 3 percent and cash advances are charged a fee of $5 or 3 percent. The foreign transaction fee 2.7 percent.

Best for Shoppers: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

A survey of millennial spending habits shows that the generation is a fan of spending money on clothes. Their favorite retailer, Amazon. That makes the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card a great choice.

When you’re approved, you’ll get a $60 Amazon.com gift card right away. There’s no spending requirement and you don’t have to wait 90 days to earn the bonus. Since your card is associated with your Amazon.com account, you can start using your credit card immediately once you’re approved.

Purchases made at Amazon.com earn 5 percent as long as you have an eligible Amazon Prime membership and an open Amazon.com account. Otherwise, Amazon.com purchases earn 3 percent back. Cardholders also receive 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; and 1 percent back on all purchases.

You can redeem rewards on Amazon.com purchases. There’s no minimum rewards balance necessary for redeem.

Other benefits of the Amazon.com Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card include travel and emergency assistance, lost luggage reimbursement, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection.

Pricing: The APR for purchases and balance transfers is 15.24 percent to 23.24 percent. For cash advances, the APR is 25.99 percent. The fee for balance transfers is $5 or 5 percent and the fee for cash advances is $10 or 5 percent. There’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.

Best for Simplicity: Citi Double Cash Card

Millennials who want to keep it simple and be rewarded for their purchases, will do well with the Citi Double Cash Card. The card pays 1 percent rewards on all purchases and then another 1 percent as you pay off your balance. No other credit card gives an incentive for paying off your credit card.

If you accidentally forget to make a credit card payment, Citi will waive the first late fee. After that, you could be charged a late fee of up to $38. You'll also have Citi Private Pass, which gives special access to event tickets, like presale concert tickets. And, with Citi Price Rewind, you'll get an automatic price adjustment if the price drops on an item you purchased with your credit card within the past 60 days.

The Citi Double Cash Card has an introductory 0 percent balance transfer offer for 18 months. After the promotional period, the balance transfer APR is 14.49 percent to 24.49 percent. The balance transfer is a great perk, but since the transfer won't earn rewards, it's best to use this card for purchases that you pay in full each month.

Pricing: The regular APR is 14.49 percent to 24.49 percent and the cash advance APR is 26.24 percent.

Disclaimer: Credit card terms are subject to change. Visit the credit card issuer's website for the most up to date rewards and pricing details.