If you’re 18 years old, you’re probably looking for your first credit card.

Congratulations! This is an important milestone in your financial life.

It’s essential to choose the right credit card for your needs, and that’s why we’ve put together this list of the best credit cards for 18-year-olds.

We’ll tell you all about each card’s features, benefits, and rewards so you can find the perfect one.

What Are the Best Credit Cards for 18 Years Olds?

Credit cards can be a great way for 18-year-olds to start building their credit history.

But with so many different offers and features, it can be hard to figure out which card is right for you.

Here is the list of the best credit cards for 18-year-olds, and we’ll discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each one.

Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One

journey student credit card form capital one

The Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One does not have any offers for new members.

However, there are many other rewards that you can get with other Capital One credit cards. For example, you can also earn travel miles on every purchase.

Book through any site or service and redeem for any flight, car rentals, hotels, ride-sharing apps, cruises, and more.

Cashback Rates

  • Capital One offers 1% cash back on all your purchases. So pay promptly to maximize your cashback and get an impressive 1.25% for the month!

Features

  • There is no annual fee

  • Purchase rate of 27.49% variable APR

  • Get access to CreditWise. Everyone is eligible to access their credit score and helpful tools for monitoring their financial profile, whether or not they are a Capital One user. Best of all? It’s free!

  • Capital One’s automatic credit line is a great choice for those striving to improve their credit score. Reap the rewards of potentially receiving an elevated limit in as little as half a year

  • Unlock a new experience with Eno, your 24/7 Capital One assistant. With a simple text message, you can check your balance, view recent transactions, pay your credit card bill, and much more. Get the convenience and access of having an account manager in the palm of your hand – anytime, day or night.

  • Say Goodbye to Foreign Transaction Fees – When you make purchases overseas, there’s no need to worry about paying a transaction fee.

Pros

The annual fee is zero, and the purchase rate is 27.49% variable APR., which is a reasonable amount for those with minimal credit history.

In addition, Capital One also provides unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit profile with CreditWise, and Eno assistant is available 24/7 for support.

Cons

There are no offers for new members, and cashback rewards are limited to 1% on all purchases.

Bottom line

Even if there are no offers for new members, you can still earn many rewards with this card.

You get 1% cash back on all your purchases, and you can also earn travel miles on every purchase.

Plus, your rewards won’t expire for the life of the account.

If you have a credit score that is less than perfect, this card could be a good choice for you because it offers automatic credit line reviews and no foreign transaction fees.

SavorOne Rewards for Students

savorone rewards for students

It is offered a one-time $100 cash bonus once you spend $100 on purchases within three months from account opening.

This is available to current students or those planning to enroll in the next three months at an accredited university, community college, or higher education institution. Even when graduation comes around, the Capital One SavorOne Rewards card will remain intact with all its rewards and benefits.

Cashback Rates

  • With the SavorOne Rewards for Students, users can reap unlimited 3% cash back on dining out, entertainment, popular streaming services, and groceries – 1% cash back on all other purchases

Features

  • No annual fee is required – the cost is zero

  • 0% transfer fees and a variable APR that ranges from 17.99%-27.99%

  • The credit card is exclusive for those who are enrolled in a four-year university, community college, or other higher learning institution

  • Rewards will never expire, with the option to cash out earnings of any amount

  • Convenient shopping experience abroad with no extra fees. When purchasing outside of the U.S., there are absolutely no foreign transaction fees associated

Pros

The most significant advantage is that it is available with no annual fee, making it an ideal choice for those who are just starting with credit cards or do not want to incur significant expenses.

Additionally, the reward structure provides generous rewards for dining, entertainment, streaming services, and grocery store purchases.

Finally, there are no foreign transaction fees, so you can use the card when traveling abroad without incurring additional costs.

Cons

This opportunity is only accessible to those currently studying at an accredited university, community college, or other educational institution.

Bottom line

With no annual fee and a limited offer of a one-time $100 cash bonus, this card can allow students to start earning rewards.

The card has a great cashback rate of 3% on popular spending categories like dining, entertainment, streaming services, and grocery stores.

Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees associated. It’s the perfect option for someone looking for easy, no-fuss student credit cards.

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

first progress platinum prestige mastercard secured credit card

The credit card does not have a welcome bonus, but it does have fast processing.

No credit history is necessary for approval, and the online application process is quick and straightforward – to top it all off, there’s no need for a credit inquiry.

Cashback Rates

  • Unfortunately, no rewards or cashback are available at this time

Features

  • Zero transfer fees and a Variable APR of 13.74% with no hidden costs

  • There is an annual fee of $49

  • Complimentary, real-time access to your credit score and continuous Experian-powered monitoring of finances

  • Achieving a favorable credit profile begins with the monthly credit report to the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax

  • Exclusive access with the Platinum Mastercard® Secured Credit Card, featuring a full range of benefits

  • From car rentals to hotels, get the most out of travel with a credit card accepted anywhere

  • Unlock a line of credit with only a hefty refundable security deposit ranging from $200 to $2,000

  • The deposit can be retrieved at any time

  • Access to the account with 24/7 online service

  • The comprehensive program is offered in all 50 states across the U.S., providing nationwide coverage

Pros

The credit card comes with a low variable APR, meaning it’s more affordable than many other secured cards on the market.

Additionally, you have access to your credit score and ongoing credit monitoring powered by Experian, giving you a comprehensive understanding of your financial situation.

This card also can upgrade after six months of on-time payments to an unsecured First Digital Mastercard.

Cons

While it has a variable APR of only 13.74%, it comes with an annual fee of $49, and sadly, there are no rewards or cashback opportunities available.

Bottom line

The First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card is a great tool to build or rebuild credit, as it comes with a relatively low APR, access to your credit score, and ongoing monitoring powered by Experian, plus the potential to upgrade to an unsecured card.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

bank of america customized cash rewards credit card for students

The credit card has a low introductory APR offer.

After opening the account, no interest rate is applied on purchases or balance transfers for the initial 60 days.

After the introductory offer ends, a variable APR from 17.74% to 27.74% will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) is applied to all balance transfers.

Cashback Rates

  • 3% cash back on many categories like gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. 1% cash back on all other purchases.

  • 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club every three months; then it’s 1%.

Features

  • Standard APR rate range between 17.74% and 27.74%

  • The annual fee is $0

  • Each transaction will be charged a standard balance transfer fee of 3%, with the minimum being $10

  • An online bonus of $200 cash back after at least $1,000 in purchases made within the first 90 days from account opening

  • Bank of America® offers an optional service to help prevent declined purchases, returned checks, or other overdrafts when connected to an eligible Bank of America® checking account

  • Free monthly FICO® score within the Mobile Banking app or Online Banking. Get access not only to your score but also to the key factors affecting it and other helpful information to help maintain a good credit standing

Pros

The $0 annual fee, a low introductory APR offer, generous cashback rewards on everyday purchases, and free access to a monthly FICO® Score.

This card also allows customized rewards and an online cash rewards bonus.

Cons

There is a balance transfer fee, but it’s still competitive with other credit cards.

Bottom line

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students is an excellent choice for 18-year-olds looking for a credit card.

With its 0% introductory APR offer, cashback rates, and other features, it is a great choice for newcomers to the world of credit.

Plus, with no annual fee, you can easily reap the benefits of this card without any extra costs.

Petal® 1 Visa Credit Card

petal 1 visa credit card

Credit card is designed to help young adults stay on the financial fast track and build credit.

The card is from WebBank, a Member of FDIC and one of the major credit card issuers, so it is a reliable financial service provider.

No welcome bonuses or intro APR periods are available, but plenty of other features make it a great option.

Cashback Rates

  • Get 2-10% cashback rewards when shopping at participating merchants in the local area

Features

  • Variable APR ranges from a low of 23.74% to a high of 33.24%

  • No annual fee or charges

  • No extra charges for international transactions

  • The credit limit program ranges from $300 to a maximum of $5,000

  • With AutoPay, all payments are made automatically so that every payment deadline can be taken care of without worries

  • Petal’s Leap program helps get the most credit possible in as little as six months. To qualify, it is necessary to make payments on time and keep the credit score within the set range

  • Practicing smart spending and paying bills on time will routinely update the three major credit bureaus with your Petal activity. All of this information can easily be accessed in the app for convenience

  • With Spend Planner, it is possible to set a budget and track how much to spend is left

Pros

No annual and foreign transaction fees make it an ideal choice for those who travel abroad or shop online frequently.

Furthermore, cashback rates of up to 10% and a credit limit ranging from $300 – $5,000 make it an attractive card for those looking for value.

Cons

The variable APR (23.74% – 33.24%) could be high if you are not disciplined in making timely payments.

Bottom line

Petal® 1 Visa Credit Card is an excellent choice for 18-year-olds looking to build their credit.

The card offers a range of features, rewards, and cashback rates, making it perfect for newcomers just getting started.

Plus, it’s an affordable and convenient way to use a credit card with no annual or foreign transaction fees.

Deserve® EDU Mastercard

deserve edu mastercard

Specifically designed for college students studying in the United States, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard offers a unique chance to receive rewards and benefits.

Subscribers can take advantage of Amazon Prime Student and receive an entire year free when they make $500 in purchases within the first three months.

Cashback rates

  • Earn 1% cash back on everything. The cashback is automatically redeemed as a statement credit. This happens every time $25 in cash is reached, which will be applied to your statement.

Features

  • APR starting at 21.74%, determined by creditworthiness

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • No annual charges are applied

  • Approval for limited credit history. The lender may examine other elements to determine the qualification for the card, such as student visa status or the amount of money in a U.S. bank account

  • Be eligible to receive up to a whopping $600 per claim in protective insurance coverage; if you paid for it with the card

  • Social Security Number (SSN) when applying isn’t required. This is ideal for all college students, including international students

Pros

It is suitable for all students, including international ones, without a Social Security Number (SSN).

With no annual fee and 0% foreign transaction fees, this card is an excellent choice for young people who may need to make occasional international purchases.

Cons

Unfortunately, this card comes with an APR starting from 21.74%, slightly higher than other cards available.

Bottom line

Deserve® EDU Mastercard is the perfect credit card for 18-year-old students looking to build their credit score.

It allows them to access the world of credit cards while earning rewards and cash back on their purchases.

The card offers a 1% cashback rate on all purchases and no foreign transaction fees.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

blue cash preferred card from american express

The credit card offers newcomers a great set of features, including 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the account opening date. $0 Buy Now, Pay Later intro Plan It fees on plans created during the first 12 months. The annual fee for the first year is $0.

Cashback rates

  • 6% cash back on every grocery purchase. There is a cap of $6,000 per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets

  • 6% cash back on U.S.-based streaming subscriptions

  • 3% cash back when using transit services, including taxis, rideshare companies, parking garages, and lots, tolls & bridges, trains, and buses

  • 3% cash back on gas purchases at any U.S. gas station

  • 1% cash back, with each purchase you make, in the form of Reward Dollars. Reward Dollars can be redeemed as a statement credit

Features

  • Variable Annual Percentage Rate ranging from 17.74% to 28.74%

  • Depending on the nature of the transaction, fees may range from 2.7% to 10%

  • An annual fee of $95 will be charged, beginning in the second year

  • With Return Protection from American Express, eligible purchases are covered up to 90 days after the date of purchase. If a seller doesn’t accept a return, American Express may offer you full reimbursement for the item (excluding shipping and handling costs) – up to $300 per piece with no more than $1,000 allowed per calendar year

  • With American Express® Card Fraud Protection, avoid responsibility for any fraudulent charges

  • By adding an Additional Card Member, cashback rewards can be amplified. Every time they make a qualified purchase with the card, the cardholder will receive the same amount of cashback in the form of Reward Dollars

Pros

This card has a generous cashback rewards structure – cardholders can earn up to 6% cash back on groceries and streaming, 3% cash back on transit and gas, and 1% on all other purchases.

Additionally, the card offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening, making it an ideal way to manage finances without paying interest.

Cons

There is a $95 annual fee after the first year, so it’s important to weigh that against the rewards.

Bottom line

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an excellent choice for 18-year-olds looking to establish their credit and take advantage of cashback rewards.

With a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first year, there are no up-front fees and no annual fee for the first year.

It also has a professional set of features, including fraud protection and return protection.

What credit card is best for an 18-year-old with no credit?

A secured credit card is likely the best choice for an 18-year-old with no credit.

Secured cards require the cardholder to deposit a certain amount of money upfront as security for any potential charges. This setup helps protect both lenders and users.

As payments are made on time, secured cards help establish good credit while avoiding excessive debt.

Many secured cards are available, with no annual fee and interest rates varying depending on the particular lender.

Some secured credit cards have additional features such as rewards programs or cash back.

Comparing secured cards and their fees can help find the one most suitable for each individual’s needs.

What is the best way for an 18-year-old to build credit?

Building credit is an important step that 18-year-olds should start taking early.

A credit score allows you to apply for credit cards, rent an apartment, and even get employers to consider you for a job.

While there are several ways to build credit, adding yourself as an authorized user on someone else’s credit card can be one of the quickest methods to gain access to credit.

Also, having credit accounts with long histories and good payment histories can help boost their credit scores quickly. 

Monitor your credit score along the way and be mindful of responsible card usage, as using too much credit or missing payments can cause more harm than benefit when building credit.

Choose Your First Credit Card

Now that you know more about credit cards, it’s time to choose your first one.

If you’re unsure where to start, look at our list of the best credit cards for 18 years olds and find one that fits your needs.

Applying for a starter credit card is easy and only takes a few minutes. Once approved, you can start using your new credit card immediately.

Just be sure to use it wisely and always make your payments on time.

Are you ready to choose your first credit card?