Best “Capital One” Card for Beginners (3 Expert Picks)

By: Linsey Knerl • 7/7/2016

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Establishing a healthy credit history is one of the best first steps a consumer can take to building a secure financial future. Choosing the best card, however, is not always easy, especially when not all cards are created to be friendly to first-time cardholders.

We’ve broken down some of the top choices for beginners available from Capital One, along with advice for getting the best bang for your borrowed buck.

1. Best Card for Students

Marketed as a solution for students and young adults, the Journey Student Rewards card not only provides a standard cash-back rate even for those with a limited credit reputation, but it also rewards on-time payments with an additional .25 percent back for the month the payment is made.

After making five monthly payments on time, you may request a higher credit limit, and there is never an annual fee for this card. Like most Capital One cards, it has fraud protection that covers unauthorized purchases and access to your credit score via the Capital One Credit Tracker service.

2. Best All-Around Card for Everyday Use

The Capital One Platinum is similar to the student card, but is designed to be an everyday use card for non-students. With no annual fee and the same access to higher credit limits after five months of on-time payments, it’s designed to encourage responsible spending and propel your credit score upward over time.

The flexible payment options allow you to access your account online, at a bank branch, or via the intuitive mobile smartphone app. Capital One’s signature Tracker service and fraud protection are standard for this card, as well.

3. Best Card for Those Who Love Perks

Boasting some unique benefits, such as a 20-percent statement credit on Uber rides purchased with this card, the Capital One Quicksilver lives up to its reputation as a seamless way to get rewarded for your purchases. This card also totes extra-special perks like 0-percent intro APRs and no annual fee.

You won’t have to remember to “sign up” for your reward categories, either; cardholders earn cash-back rewards on every purchase without special action required. Rewards never expire and can be redeemed for cash back at any time.

Final Thoughts

Getting your new card is just the beginning of a lifetime of new but exciting responsibility. We recommend that you always do the following when using your credit cards:

  1. Pay special attention to purchase and balance transfer offers that may come your way when opening a card. While some offers may promise low or no interest, the fees for such transfers may be too high to justify the offer.
  2. Pay your card in full each month to avoid finance charges and possible late fees. If you do find yourself missing a payment, contact your creditor immediately to arrange for payment. Many cards will give you a day or two grace period before the default rate or late charges are incurred.
  3. Always pay more than the minimum. If you are unable to pay in full, try to pay as much as you can. Interest accumulates quickly!

All of the cards featured in this list are easy to manage and make a great first step into the world of responsible consumer credit use.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

About the Author

Linsey Knerl

Linsey is a finance blogger, author and public speaker with a passion for helping everyday families earn more and live better. In addition to covering the credit card industry in depth on CardRates, she shares her expertise for parents who want to start budget-friendly businesses from home at