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What is the best first credit card?

If you are looking at getting your first credit card, you might be overwhelmed by the choices you have. There are hundreds of credit cards to choose from, but what is a good choice for your first credit card?

It’s probably a good idea to stick to a card that has no annual fee. You’ll want to be able to keep your first card around for a long time to establish your credit history length. Ideally, you’d also want a credit card that offers decent rewards. And benefits like extended warranties and cell phone protection are useful.

Here are three great choices for your first credit card.

Excellent first credit cards

If you’re looking for your first credit card, you have a lot of choices. But here are my top three picks. All of these cards offer solid rewards and benefits with no annual fee.

Rewards: Chase Freedom Flex
Chase Freedom Flex credit card
Chase Freedom Flex Card

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex card.

Simplicity: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Signature Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash

Learn more about the Wells Fargo Active Cash.

Groceries: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Savor One Rewards credit card
Capital One Savor One Rewards

Chase Freedom Flex card – Lots of rewards, no annual fee

Chase Freedom Flex card art
Chase Freedom Flex

The Chase Freedom Flex card offers has good rewards across places that most people do a fair amount of their spending. Plus it offers extended warranty and cell phone protection. And it earns points in what I think is the best rewards program for most people.

The card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at categories that rotate each quarter. Historically, these rotating categories have included gas stations, Target, Walmart, PayPal, groceries, and other useful spending categories.

The Chase Freedom Flex offers 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, takeout and delivery services and drugstore purchases. On all other purchases, the Chase Freedom gives you 1% cash back rewards.

The card also offers both an extended warranty benefit and cell phone protection. The extended warranty benefit gives you one additional year of warranty protection on many things you buy. And the cell phone protection can cover you if you accidentally break your phone or if it is stolen.

There is another variant of the Chase Freedom card worth considering. The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% rewards on all purchases, but does not come with cell phone protection. But if you want a card that gives you a flat rate of cash back on all purchases, take a look at our next pick.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card – Great for simplicity

Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Signature Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash

If considering spending categories makes your head spin and you want a credit card that gives you a flat rate of cash back on all purchases, look at the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card card. The card offers 2% cash rewards on purchases. As an added bonus, it offers cell phone protection. Like the Chase Freedom Flex card, the card offers cell phone protection. If you pay your monthly cell phone bill with the card, you can get a reimbursement from your card if you need to repair your phone or if it is stolen.

I like this card better than the Citi Double Cash. The Double Cash offers 2% back on purchases, but doesn’t protect your cell phone or offer an extended warranty benefit.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card welcome bonus:

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Getting $200 after spending $500 within 3 months makes this welcome bonus one of the easiest cash back welcome bonuses to get.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Signature Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® at a glance:
Annual fee: $0.
Rewards: 2% cash back on purchases.
Benefits: Cell phone protection. Secondary auto rental collision damage waiver.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card – Best for grocery stores

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card card art
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

How much people spend on groceries varies widely. If you’re a household of one, it’s likely that you spend only a minimal amount on groceries. But if you are buying groceries for a family of six, it is likely that groceries are the biggest item in your budget. If you spend a lot on groceries, consider prioritizing a card that earns 3% on grocery store purchases.

While the Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited currently both offer a welcome bonus on grocery spending, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card will be more rewarding long-term. This card makes our list of the best grocery store credit cards because it earns 3% cash back on groceries, plus 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services.


Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card card art

Learn more and apply for the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.


Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Discover it® Secured Credit Card card art
Discover it® Secured Credit Card

If you are establishing or re-establishing your credit, it might be difficult to get approved for a credit card. Unfortunately, there are many products out there that charge ridiculous fees to people who are trying to establish a credit card history. I like the Discover it® Secured Credit Card because it charges no annual fee, does not require a credit score to apply and can automatically convert to an unsecured credit card in as little as seven months.

You provide a refundable deposit starting at $200 to establish your initial credit line. After seven months, Discover automatically reviews your account monthly. If you qualify, they automatically convert your card to a standard, ‘unsecured’ credit card.

In addition, the Discover it® Secured Credit Card offers rewards. You get 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% cash back on everything else.


Apply for the Discover it Secured credit card to start building your credit history.