We chose the Discover it® Secured Credit Card as the best teen card because it’s easy to obtain if you’re new to building credit. It has a $0 annual fee and earns cash back rewards on every purchase which means you’ll save money as you build credit as a teen.
Earn up to 2% cash back
The Discover it® Secured Credit Card comes with a $0 annual fee and the opportunity to earn cash back rewards. Plus, you don’t need a credit score to apply. Your security deposit acts as your credit line, which is perfect if you’re starting to build credit.
After seven months, Discover will conduct monthly account reviews to see if you’re eligible to graduate to an unsecured card and have your deposit refunded.
If this happens, your card will transition to a Discover it® Chrome. Note, Discover will evaluate your behavior across your credit cards and loans from Discover, as well as those from other issuers or lenders. You can also get your deposit back if you choose to close your account and pay any remaining balance.
Helps build credit by reporting to the major credit bureaus
Build your credit with responsible card use
A no-frills credit card for teens, the Capital One Platinum Credit Card comes with a $0 annual fee and reviews for a possible credit line increase in as little as six months. The card reports your credit usage to the three major credit bureaus, which helps in building credit.
After showing responsible use of your card, you may be able to request to move to a Capital One card that offers rewards. Capital One has many great rewards card options for young cardholders, like the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card.
Security deposit as low as $49
You may be able to put down a deposit of $49, $99 or $200 to fund a $200 credit line
The Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card offers the possibility of a very low deposit to secure a $200 credit line. Depending on your credit score, you’ll need to put down a deposit of $49, $99 or $200. There’s a $0 annual fee and when it comes to a foreign transaction fee, there is None.
It doesn’t offer a rewards program, but for now your main concern should be to raise your credit score. By using your card responsibly, Capital One may upgrade you to an unsecured card or you can apply for other rewards credit cards.
No credit check required
Qualify for this card with a poor credit score
The OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card doesn’t require a credit check to be approved and reports your payment history to the three credit bureaus. You’ll pay a reasonable $35 annual fee and a refundable $200 security deposit. You can find no-annual-fee credit cards, but this is a small tradeoff if you want to avoid a credit check when you apply for the card.
Plus, there’s an option to graduate to an unsecured card in as few as six months with responsible use of the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card.
Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories
The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers teens who are college students a chance to build credit while earning rewards on their purchases. No credit is required to apply, there is a $0 annual fee and a generous rewards program.
You’ll earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. Discover also matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
Cardholders even get a 0% Intro APR for 6 months on purchases, then an ongoing 18.24% - 27.24% Variable APR. This makes it helpful for financing a new laptop or dorm room furniture.
The card also comes with an intro offer on balance transfers: 10.99% Intro APR for 6 months on balance transfers, then a 18.24% - 27.24% Variable APR.
Earns rewards for travel
Earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases
Cardholders of the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students earn points that can be used as a statement credit towards travel purchases including flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees.
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is an ideal card for students who study abroad, as it has a $0 annual fee and a foreign transaction fee of None.
There’s a 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, after which a regular 18.24% - 28.24% Variable APR applies. The intro offer is helpful in financing large purchases, like plane tickets or furniture for your new apartment.
Cardholders can earn 1.5 points per $1 spent on all purchases. Plus, the card offers 25,000 online bonus points after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening - that can be a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases.
Earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases
The Chase Freedom Rise℠ Credit Card credit card is a natural choice for teens who have an account with Chase and want to keep their banking all in one place. The $0 annual fee, rewards program and potential credit limit increase make it a very appealing first-time card.
You have better odds of qualifying for the card if you have a Chase checking account with a balance of at least $250. You also earn a flat-rate 1.5% cash back on all purchases plus $25 statement credit after signing up for automatic payments within the first three months of opening your account.
Cardholders can track their credit score through the mobile app and may be evaluated for a credit line increase in as little as six months.
Good for going abroad because there’s no foreign transaction fee
When it comes to foreign transaction fees for this card, there are None.
With a simple cash back program and credit-building tools, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is an ideal card for college students beginning their credit journey.
It offers 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply).
The lack of an annual fee means that you can keep the card for the duration of your college career. And it’s foreign transaction fee is None, so the savings go even further if your studies take you abroad.
The card lacks an intro offer for financing new purchases or balance transfers, so be sure you can pay off your entire statement balance on your payment date to avoid excess interest charges.
Charlotte Zhang is a staff writer focusing on credit cards.
Prior to becoming a personal finance writer, Charlotte Zhang spent more than 15 years as an English as a Foreign Language teacher in small-town China after receiving her education degree from Martin Luther College. She taught thousands of students across all levels; from preschoolers to C-suite executives, with middle school being her favorite age group.
She’s written personal finance content for Joy Wallet, Save, Insurify, The Penny Hoarder, Money Under 30, RBC Wealth, Next Advisor, Credit Sesame, The Simple Dollar, Work+Money, Capital One, Incomes Abroad and International Living. Additionally she’s ghostwritten content for real estate investing and insurance blogs.
When she’s not scanning receipts to earn cash back rewards or giving personal finance tips to friends, she enjoys knitting woolen socks (not a frugal hobby), cooking (a great way to save) and hanging out with her husband and two kids.Read More
The above offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available. Check the Issuers’ website for more details.