6 Best First Credit Cards for 2018

Teens using their first credit card online
© P. Broze / ONOKY / Getty 

When you're applying for your first credit card, it's easy to get lost in the vast amount of choices available to you. The best first credit is different depending on where you are in life and your goals for using the credit card. This list of best first credit cards includes options for students, those with no credit, young adults and more. If you're trying to pick a great credit card for the first time, check out one that's listed here.

Best for Students: Discover It for Students

Discover it for Students is the best credit card for students getting a credit card for the first time. The credit card pays 5 percent cash back rewards on made in categories that rotate each quarter and and 1 percent back on everything else. You can maximize your rewards by doing the majority of your credit card spending in the 5 percent categories. At the end of the first year, Discover will match all the cashback you've earned, dollar for dollar.

On top of the rewards, you can earn an extra $20 cash back if you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher each year for up to 5 years.

Important Pricing: There's no annual fee. Receive a 0 percent introductory APR for 6 months. After that, the regular APR is 13.99 percent to 22.99 percent.

Best for Young Adults: Capital One QuicksilverOne

Your purchases on the Capital One QuicksilverOne Rewards earn 1.5 percent cash back.

There's no quarterly categories to think about and no signup required to earn rewards.

For young adults, cash back rewards is one of the most versatile types of rewards and because the Capital One QuicksilverOne doesn't require excellent credit, first timers have better odds of getting approved. Your cash back rewards never expire and you can redeem your rewards at anytime.

Since it's your first credit card, your initial credit limit may not be very high. Capital One will automatically consider you for a credit limit increase if you make your first five monthly payments on time.

Important Pricing: The Purchase APR is 24.99 percent and the annual fee is $39.

Best for Recent Graduates: Chase Freedom

New Chase Freedom customers earn $150 signup bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Then, you'll earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories that rotate each quarter (you must activate to earn 5 percent rewards). You'll earn 1 percent cash back on all your other purchases.

The spending bonus plus the long 0 percent APR introductory period makes this a great credit card for recent graduates who are getting accustomed to life outside of college and paying student loans for the first time.

Important Pricing: There's a 0 percent introductory APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers. After that, the regular APR is 15.99 percent to 24.74 percent. There's no annual fee.

Best for Travelers: Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students

Travelers will benefit from The Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students.

The credit card pays 20,000 bonus points if you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of having the credit card. The 20,000 bonus is worth a $200 statement credit toward travel purchases made on your credit card.

Purchases earn 1.5 points per dollar. If you have an active Bank of America checking or savings account, you'll earn a 10 percent bonus on your rewards. Your rewards can be redeemed anytime for any airline or hotel purchase.

As an additional perk, you can access your FICO score for free through the Mobile Banking app or online banking. Your FICO score is a measurement of how well you're doing with credit, not just with your Bank of America credit card, but any other credit accounts you have too, e.g. students loans or auto loans.

Important Pricing: Enjoy 0 percent introductory interest rate on purchases for the first 12 billing cycles.

After that, the regular APR is 15.99 percent to 23.99 percent. There's no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.

Best for No Credit: Capital One Classic Platinum

Capital One Classic Platinum has a history of approving applicants who are just starting out with credit. As long as you have your own income, your odds of getting approved for your first credit card are fairly good and you don't have to be a student to be approved. As with the Capital One Quicksilver One, if you make your first five monthly payments on time and Capital One will consider you for a credit limit increase.

Important Pricing: The Purchase APR is 24.99 percent and the annual fee is $0.

Best for Immigrants: Deserve Edu MasterCard

The Deserve Edu MasterCard is a great first credit cards for immigrants and permanent residents who don't have a social number—unlike the vast majority of credit cards on the market the credit card doesn't require a social security number to be approved.

Once you're approved, the Deserve Edu MasterCard will pay 1 percent unlimited cash back on all purchases made on the credit card. Students can also enjoy free Amazon Prime membership and gain access to free Video, Music, and reading.

After using the Deserve Edu MasterCard wisely, you may become eligible for the Deserve Pro MasterCard. This upgraded pays 3 percent cash back on travel and entertainment, 2 percent back on restaurants, and 1 percent back on all other purchases.