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The Best Credit Cards for New Grads

Here are the credit cards MainStreet thinks are worth it for new grads:

Orchard Bank Classic MasterCard

According to Harzog, the Orchard Bank card remains a popular choice for those with little to no credit since it allows users to apply for an unsecured card, and provides them with a backup plan if they’re denied the higher line of credit. Grads can fill out an online application that tells them almost immediately whether they qualify for any of the three MasterCards backed by HSBC. Interest rates can be high (7.9% - 19.9%), but the card offers a way to build credit quickly in order to qualify for lower rates down the line.

The card has an annual fee of $29 the first year, then $59 each year after. Customers need to put down a security deposit that’s a minimum of $300, as the credit limit will match the deposit’s amount. Orchard Bank reports to all three credit bureaus monthly.

Open Skye Visa Secured Card

Another card Harzog picks is the Open Skye Visa Secured Card, which carries a particularly low 9.75% APR and whose issuer reports to all three credit bureaus. The trade-off, she says, is that you must pay a $25 fee whenever you want to raise or lower your credit limit. The card’s annual fee is $50, but Harzog says that for those worried about carrying a revolving balance, the low APR can be helpful.

Capital One Secured MasterCard

This card carries a high interest rate (22.9%) and charges $24 in annual fees, but Harzog recommends it for its reputation of helping cardholders to build credit quickly. In fact, with this card, your credit line will increase every time you pay your bill on time.

Cardholders can track their credit using CreditInform, a free service that provides access to credit scores and other credit management tools.
Customers need to put down at least a $200 security deposit, and Capital One charges $19 for late payments. On the plus side, there are no overlimit fees.

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