Best Credit Cards For 18-Year-Olds

It should come as no surprise that there are credit cards available to 18-year-olds. With the expansion and development of the globe, more teenagers are learning to accept personal responsibility.
When your children reach the age of 18, they begin to experience the world of miles, points, credit cards, and financial responsibility, as well as the necessity of taking control of their life.
Of course, each child and family is unique, but the following are general guidelines for what you should prepare your children for before they obtain credit cards for 18 year olds.

Indeed, the majority of the cards listed will lack the massive sign-up bonuses and advantages associated with the premium cards that many of us with established credit histories often apply for.

This is a marathon, not a sprint, and it will take time to grow your child’s credit to the point where they qualify for higher rewards cards.

Because the average age of your accounts is critical to your overall credit score, you’ll want to assist your child in selecting at least one or two no-annual-fee cards that they can keep in the long run.

Having one or two older cards will benefit their credit score in the long run, so continue reading this post to learn more about credit cards for 18 year olds.

Let’s begin this article by outlining several of the best credit cards for 18-year-olds. There are numerous credit card companies that will assist you in developing your credit as a teenager.

They also offer excellent rewards and cash back, and some even offer sign-up bonuses. Based on our research, we’ve decided to highlight three of the best and explain why they’re so special and unique.

We recommend three credit cards for your 18-year-olds: Discover it Student Cash Back, Capital One Journey Student Rewards, and OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card.

Now, let’s discuss three of the best credit cards for 18-year-olds.


Discover it Student Cash BackĀ 

The Discover it student cashback credit card is the first credit card we’ll discuss in this article about 18-year-old credit cards. This credit card is ideal for cash-back categories that change often.

There is no sign-up incentive, but Discover will match your first year’s cash back earnings.

When you activate, you’ll earn 5% cashback on everyday purchases in chosen rotating categories, up to $1,500. Earn an unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Additionally, you get a $20 statement credit for each school year in which your GPA is at least 3.0, for a maximum of five years, so maintain those grades.

Because the Discover it Student Cash Back Card is geared for students, you may be able to apply without a co-signer depending on your financial position.

Enroll each quarter to earn 5% cashback on purchases up to $1,500 purchased in a variety of categories throughout the year.

For the first year of card ownership, Discover will double all cash back earned. Additionally, receive 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Capital One’s Journey Student Rewards

Capital One’s Journey students reward credit card is another excellent option for 18-year-olds, especially for on-time bill payments. Additionally, it does not give a registration incentive.

Earn 1% cashback on all purchases, with a maximum of 1.25 percent reward for on-time monthly payments. Plus, when you pay on time for 12 months on select streaming subscriptions, you’ll receive $5 every month.

One-of-a-kind benefit: There are no international transaction costs if your 18-year-old decides to study abroad.

The Journey Student Rewards card is designed for those with little or no credit history.

While it may not yield the highest rewards on the market, it has a number of advantages that promote appropriate payment behaviors and may be a useful tool for earning small rewards while developing a positive connection with money and credit.

Make sure to browse Capital One’s entire selection of student credit cards, all of which are fee-free and give the potential to earn rewards.


Secured Visa Credit Card from OpenSky

The last credit card for 18-year-olds that we will explore in this post is the OpenSky Secured Visa, which is also the best for people with modest income.

It does not give sign-up incentives or rewards rates, which implies that there are no sign-up bonuses or rewards earning chances with the OpenSky Secured Visa card.

Rather than that, this card is intended for folks with minimal (or no) credit history, and your 18-year-old may qualify even if they are now unemployed.

This is a secured credit card, which means you’ll need to make a deposit (as low as $200) to establish your credit limit.

This seems paradoxical, but it enables you to make payments on the card that are recorded to credit agencies, so assisting in the development of your credit score.

Once your credit score improves, the security deposit is totally refundable as you go to higher credit cards. Take note that the OpenSky card comes with a $35 yearly charge.

Unusual benefit: No credit check is required. To qualify, you must be at least 18 years old, present your Social Security number, and pay a refundable security deposit that will serve as the basis for your monthly credit limit.

Applying for a Credit Card at the Age of 18


The Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility, and Disclosure Act of 2009 altered the terms and conditions under which individuals may get credit cards.

The majority of the modifications were beneficial to customers, including providing them with sufficient time to pay their payments and making debt repayment easier.

Another modification to the Credit CARD Act? Without proof of independent income, eighteen-year-olds are no longer eligible to apply for a credit card.

This basically ended the formerly prevalent “sign up for this card using your parents’ income and receive a free T-shirt” scenario on university campuses.

If your 18-year-old is enrolled in college, they may instead apply for a student credit card. If your 18-year-old is not enrolled in a two- or four-year college, he or she may apply for a secured credit card with a refundable security deposit.

Include your children as authorized users even before they reach the age of 18

Another viable alternative is to add your children as authorized users until they can independently qualify for other rewards cards, which allows them access to your credit card in their name.

Because you are liable for all of their charges, most parents limit their children’s usage of their cards to emergencies.

However, it’s an excellent method to begin teaching your children the value of money early on, and you’ll receive all of their points as the primary cardholder.

I’ve enrolled my children as authorized users and informed them that I control their credit until they become 21, and it is one of my parental responsibilities to teach them about proper credit usage and to ensure they have a good credit score by the time they turn 21.

Oh, and how to maximize their fantastic credit score in order to get gobs of free trips. They have all been content with that arrangement thus far.

Certain issuers impose age limitations on authorized users (American Express requires that your child be 13 years old), while others have no such restrictions.

This implies that you may add your child as an authorized user even if they are a newborn. You’ll just need to consider the appropriate moment for your child to be added as an authorized user, which can occur well before they reach the age of 18.

Credit Term Is Critical


Another reason to begin applying for credit cards for your 18-year-olds as soon as they turn 18 (or adding them as authorized users to your existing credit cards) is that the average age of accounts is a significant component in determining your credit score.

Thus, obtaining and maintaining a credit card while still young can significantly increase your credit score as you age.

Be Wary of Targeted Offers

One final point to make in this post on credit cards for 18 year olds is to be cautious of targeted mailers.

American Express has targeted my friend’s 18-year-old daughter with mailings for the Delta SkyMiles Gold American Express Card.

However, I have discovered in the past that the marketing offices of the majority of credit card issuers do not always communicate with the issuing and underwriting departments.

Even with these targeted mailings, it is doubtful that her daughter, who has limited credit, employment history, and income, would be accepted for a card like the Delta SkyMiles, which normally needs strong or exceptional credit.

Therefore, start modest with the cards indicated above and your child can progress to other credit cards as their credit history improves over time.