Millennials have it rough, many coming into the weak job market with a heavy student loan load. This combination has lead many 18- to 30-year-olds to eschew credit cards entirely, with 16 percent of the demographic ignoring credit cards entirely. Choosing to live without credit impacts your ability to get good rates on car loans and mortgages in the future, so it's important to work on establishing a strong credit base when you're younger.
Additionally, many credit cards offer rewards points or cash back when you use them. When you pay your bills on time, you end up making money simply by choosing to use your credit card. It takes some self-discipline, as you aren't going to make money if you're paying interest on a balance, but you get to reap the rewards when you pay the balance off in full. Here are a few great credit card rewards programs, especially for millenials:
Discover it for Students
Discover it for Students offers five percent cash back in various categories that switch as the year goes on. If you don't put a lot of money into a particular category, wait it out until it's time for you to get rewards points on the switch. Additionally, you get one percent cash back throughout the year. This card has no annual fee, caters to newly established credit customers, has a variable APR of 13 to 22 percent and does not charge overlimit fees. In addition, if you mess up and pay late, the fee is waived the first time. You also don't get APR increases if you pay late. It has a $20 cashback promotion the first time you use the card.
Citi Forward Card for College Students
Citi Forward Card for College Students gives you a one point for $1 spent reward ratio to use on a variety of items, such as airfare, gift cards and other items. If you spend $500 on the card in the first three months, you get an additional 2,500 bonus points. When you make payments on time and within your limit for three months in a row, you have the opportunity to reduce your APR by two percent. You also get 1,200 points for accomplishing this. It does not charge an annual fee, starts you with a seven-month 0 percent APR period, then adjusts to 14 percent to 24 percent APR.
Upromise World MasterCard
Upromise World MasterCard has a tiered cash back structure that works out well if you frequent their top categories. This card gives up to 10 percent cash back when you purchase through specific online stores. The first time you use the card, you're getting $50. It has a list of restaurants where you get four percent cash back, three percent cash back on gas at Mobil and Exxon, two percent cash back at the movies and one percent on anything not covered under these categories. You have a year of 0 percent APR and balance transfers, no annual fee and a 13 percent to 21 percent APR.
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One revolves around teaching new credit customers how to responsibly use their credit cards. It comes with a credit score tool so you keep on top of your score, one percent cash back on your purchases and a bonus 25 percent cash back when you pay your bill on its due date. This card does have a high APR compared to other selections, however, at 19.8 percent.
Citi Dividend for College Students
Citi Dividend for College Students has revolving five percent cash back in various categories, which change every quarter. Any purchases outside of that category earns one percent cash back. You don't pay an annual fee, have a seven-month 0 percent APR and a 14 to 24 percent normal APR.
Signing on to a credit card can seem like a daunting process, however, when done correctly, the benefits are well worth the investment.
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