You're in your 20s, and the world is your oyster. The right credit card can be the perfect wingwoman on your journey of independence and adulthood. Part of the adventure is organizing your finances and building that all-important credit history. These credit cards aren't just pieces of plastic—they're your partners in building a successful financial future. A credit card is your golden ticket to financial adulthood, and if you're a woman in her 20s on the hunt for the perfect starter card, we've got you covered.
Why bother with credit cards? Well, there are many reasons other than buying that new makeup product you’ve been eyeing. A credit card—and a good credit score—is your ticket to a successful financial future, whether buying a car, starting a business, or getting a mortgage. Plus, there are so many benefits and rewards that mean extra discounts and cash back for your weekly groceries or even your yearly girl’s trip. Here are some of the best:
Starting the perks off with no annual fee, this card rewards you with 1.5% cash back on any and all purchases. You’ll also receive 5% back on travel purchased exclusively through Chase, as well as 3% back on dining and drug store buys. Plus, you’ll earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Along with other benefits such as purchase protection, 24/7 fraud monitoring, and rotating bonuses through the Chase app, this is the perfect all-around starter card to add to your wallet (or buy a new one with)!
If you’re always plotting your next adventure or are planning a special getaway soon, Chase has you covered with this card. It offers an appealing sign-on bonus—spend $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months after opening the card and you’ll get $750 dollars worth of points back. It does come with a $95 annual fee, but you’ll also get a $50 dollar credit annually for hotel stays, 5x points on travel purchased through Chase, 3x points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out, and 2x on other travel purchases. With this card, your dream trip to the Italian Coast is one step closer to reality.
Fair warning—this card does come with a hefty $250 annual fee. But, if you look at the benefits, this card might just be perfect depending on your needs and where you spend your money most. It offers a whopping 4x points on restaurants and grocery purchases and 3x points on flights. What’s more, you’ll receive $120 in dining credit and $120 in Uber Cash annually. As with other cards that offer sign-on bonuses, Amex Gold will give you 75,000 reward points if you spend $6,000 in the first 6 months of using your new card. Overall, if you can afford the annual fee, this is a generous card with great perks if you’re a big spender.
Another awesome card with no annual fee! With this card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on a multitude of places like Amazon, grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations along with 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover also offers an unlimited cash-back match for your first year—any amount that you earn, Discover will give the exact number back into your account. Awesome, right? And, for when you’re traveling, this card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, this is a great all-around card no matter where you’re spending your money.
No matter which card you choose, punctuality is key. Always pay your card in full and on time to avoid any late fees or less-than-stellar credit reports. Furthermore, it isn’t a race to rack up those points—always make a budget and stick to it, which includes keeping your card balance at a solid spot below the limit. Of course, don’t forget to reward yourself! Take advantage of cashback and rotating discounts to treat yourself to those new shoes or have some extra spending money for the upcoming family vacay. Used correctly, any card will lead you to a brighter financial future, one swipe at a time.