Harzog suggests this card, since Citi will invest the money you use to back your credit into an 18-month certificate of deposit with a high interest rate (around 4%).
“It’s nice that your money isn’t just sitting there,” Harzog says, adding that most secured cards don’t let cardholders earn interest from their deposit.
At around 18.24%, the card’s APR is a bit high, but it has a fairly standard $29 annual fee and NerdWallet agrees the card is a good choice for anyone planning to put a lot of capital upfront. The credit line can be anywhere from $200 to $5,000, and Citi offers cardholders the opportunity to graduate to a unsecured card after 18 months.
“The point is to get a card with training wheels, then graduate to the big bike,” Harzog adds.
Discover Open Road Card
If you managed to build good credit while completing your higher education (or had a co-signer), then CardRatings.com suggests you apply for the Discover Open Road Card, which offers all the perks and benefits a new grad needs. This includes a 0% introductory APR rate for the first 12 months—helpful if some time elapses between graduation and your first steady paycheck. After the first year, the APR will be between 11.99% - 20.99%, depending on your credit worthiness.
Cardholders also get 1% cash back on all purchases and added rewards on purchases made at gas stations and at restaurants. Also, students will be spared an annual fee with this card.
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