What if I don't have a credit card
Our standard advice for people starting out in points and miles is to sign up for a Chase credit card, typically the Sapphire Preferred or the Sapphire Reserve. But Chase has more stringent credit requirements than some issuers and therefore not everyone who wants a CSR or CSP will be approved. Specifically, Chase wants to see a good credit score with a solid credit history of more than a year that includes a variety of accounts. For those who have been told that credit cards are evil, or who got in over their head in their youth and haven't had a card in years, a Chase card may not be in reach.
So where do you start? There are still plenty of options that can help you build some good credit history.
Option A: a Card that Earns 2% Cash Back on Everything
This card earns a total of 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% cash back when you make the purchase and an additional 1% when you pay for that purchase.
2% cash back is as competitive as any cash back card on the market, and will help you start earning rewards on purchases right away.
Option B: a Card that Earns up to 5% Cash Back
Another great choice is a card that earns 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter, and 1% cash back on everything else. If you can maximize the quarterly purchase categories, you could end up earning significantly more cash back.
This card also comes with a great promotion for the first year where the issuer will match your first year's cash back – so effectively you will earn a minimum of 2% on everything in your first year, although you will have to wait a while for the match.
Set yourself up for success by picking a card that will reward you for your spending so that once your credit history is established, you can really dive in. Check out these cards here.
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