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Best Credit Cards For 2015 Graduates

Last update: May 15, 2015
Best Credit Cards For 2015 Graduates
It’s imperative that recent high school and college graduates begin building credit as soon as possible. And, of all the financial products that help consumers build credit, credit cards are the most efficient because they allow users to add positive information to their major credit reports on a monthly basis without necessarily having to pay a dime.

But all credit cards aren’t created equal, as available offers have drastically different approval requirements, rates, rewards and fees. Complicating the matter is the fact that a recent graduate’s personal credit experience may range anywhere from zero to four years. A given individual’s card choice ends up being rather straightforward, however. It all comes down to determining which of the following groups you fit into:

Grads with Good Credit: If you’re leaving school with an unofficial minor in personal finance, after responsibly managing your credit for close to four years, you’re now ready to graduate to the market’s big leagues.

Grads with Active .EDU Email & Limited/No Credit: Student cards tend to offer better terms than a young person’s credit standing would ordinarily merit, due to their age and above-average earning potential. An active university email address and a clean credit record are all that’s required.

Grads with Inactive .EDU Email OR Credit Missteps: A secured credit card is the next best option if you can’t qualify for an offer targeted to students. Secured cards offer what amounts to guaranteed approval since the security deposit you will be required to place also acts as your spending limit, thereby protecting the issuer against a lack of repayment and preventing users from getting in over their heads.

We kept those guidelines in mind when comparing more than 1,000 credit card offers – irrespective of advertising status – in order to ultimately select the Best Credit Cards for 2015 Graduates, however established their credit standing may be.
  • Grads with Good Credit

    (Rewards) – Offers 1.5% cash back across all purchases in addition to a $100 initial bonus for spending $500 in the first three months. You also get 0% on new purchases for eight months. There is no annual fee.
  • (Financing) – One of the best cards on the market, this so-called free balance transfer offer gives qualified applicants a 15-month 0% introductory interest rate on transferred debt as well as new purchases. It charges neither an annual fee nor a balance transfer fee.
  • Grads with Active .EDU Email & Limited/No Credit

    (Initial Bonus) – Spending at least $500 during the first 90 days that you have this card will score you a $100 cash bonus. You’ll also get 3% cash back on gas and 2% on groceries (on the first $1,500 spent in those categories each quarter) in addition to 1% on everything else on an ongoing basis. There is no annual fee.
  • (Cash Back) – This card is both lucrative and conducive to responsible money management. It offers 1% cash back across all purchases and provides a 25% cash back bonus in months that you pay your bill on time. This card does not charge an annual fee.
  • (Travel Rewards) – This student BankAmericard offers a 10,000-point initial bonus in return for spending $500 within the first 90 days as well as 1.5 points per $1 spent on travel. It has neither an annual fee nor a foreign transaction fee.
  • (0% Financing) – This student credit card gives users 0% financing on new purchases for the first 15 months their accounts are open. It does not charge an annual fee, but it does have a 3% balance transfer fee that students with existing debt should be aware of.
  • Grads with Inactive .EDU Email OR Credit Missteps

    (Partially Secured: No Annual Fee) – This is a partially secured card, which means you can get a credit line in excess of your security deposit, depending on your credit standing and disposable income. It has no annual fee.
  • (Secured: No Annual Fee) – This secured card, which requires a minimum security deposit of $300, stands out because it does not charge an annual fee and offers rewards – albeit those catered to bikers.
  • (Unsecured: No Missteps) – This card stands out because it does not require a security deposit or established credit history for approval. As a result, if you have any red marks on your credit file, you should probably opt for a secured card instead. And while this offer does not sport a first-year annual fee, a $19 annual charge kicks in year two.

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Our editors' recommendations for the Best Credit Cards For 2015 Graduates are a reflection of their own subjective opinions, and they should not be relied upon as the sole basis for choosing your credit card. We work hard to present you with the most accurate credit card information, however, the credit card terms and conditions do not originate from us and thus we do not guarantee the accuracy of the information. Before applying for a credit card we recommend that you verify the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card company's web site. Please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions.

Ad Disclosure: Certain offers originate from paying advertisers, and this will be noted on a card's details page using the designation "Sponsored Card", where applicable. Advertising status does not affect which cards show up on this page but may impact the order in which they appear. At CardHub we try to list as many credit card offers as possible and currently have more than 1,200 offers, but we do not make any representation of listing all available offers.
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