Credits Cards categorized by the issuing bank.
- Get the Discover It 5% card as your first card
- Use a referral link for $50 credit
- Mark your occupation as student to get the student card
- Make sure you list an income that is >=$10,000
- If rejected, apply for the secured card or the Capital One Platinum
- Get the Chase Freedom
- Use a referral link
- If rejected, get the PayPal Mastercard. I don't have a referral link for this.
- Or get the Capital One Quicksilver or Capital One Savor One using a referral.
The Discover It and Capital One Platinum cards are easier to get for people with no prior credit history. They also have some of the best US customer support. If you're uncomfortable listing an income >= $10,000 then you may apply for the Discover It secured instead.
Next, you want to get a Chase Freedom card so you can start building a reputation with Chase bank. Chase auto-rejects customers who have opened 5 or more credit cards within the prior 24 months so it is essential to get the Freedom as one of your first 5 cards. The best travel cards to get later on will be the Chase Sapphire lineup. These have great perks.
Finally, at the end you can get an American Express card. Be sure to get an MR points card which will enable you to take advantage of the frequent Amazon offers. The list of no annual fee MR cards from best to worst are: Blue Business Plus, Everyday, and finally Blue. American Express has a convenient preapproval system.
If you want a general purpose credit card, you can apply for the PayPal Mastercard issued by Synchrony Bank. Synchrony Bank is very generous with approvals and with credit limits so you can apply for this at any stage.
Amex cards earn MR points. MR points can be redeemed for cash at 0.6 cents per point. Ideally, they should be transferred to airline or hotel partners (e.g. Avios).
Do not apply for Amex cards as your first card. They will typically reject you. They're better for late-game since they will give you a card even if you've already opened a lot of cards.
Bank of America
- Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card
- 3% in a fixed category of your choice, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
- Capital One Quicksilver
- 1.5% Cashback
- Citi Double Cash
- 2% Cashback
Chase cards earn UR points.
UR points can be redeemed for statement credit at 1 UR point = 1 cent.
With the Sapphire Preferred or Reserve cards, they can be transferred or redeemed for travel for more value.
- Chase Freedom
- 5 UR points at rotating categories
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- 1.5 UR points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- 2 UR points travel and dining worldwide, $95 AF
- Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 3 UR points travel and dining worldwide, $450 AF
- 5/24 rule. If you've gotten 5 credit cards (from any issuer) within the past 24 months, you will get automatically rejected
Synchrony Bank is one of the more lenient lenders. I have yet to get rejected for a credit card from them. They also give the highest credit limits among banks I've applied to.
- eBay Mastercard
- 2% at eBay (first $1k eBay spending per year, then 3.33%)
- PayPal Cashback Mastercard
- 2% cashback
- Amazon Store Card
- 5% cashback at Amazon
- Rakuten Mastercard
- Wells Fargo Propel
- 3x on restaurants, gas, travel, No AF