Best Credit Cards for Young Adults [2022]

As a young adult, it’s easy to feel intimidated by credit. However, credit is a helpful tool and can make your life a lot easier when used responsibly. Learning healthy financial habits early on can save you headaches later in life, so it’s wise to start now.

Whether you have no credit, have a lower credit score, or are just starting in the working world, there are credit cards designed for beginners that want to build their credit the right way. I created this list to help you find the best credit cards for young adults.

What is the Best Credit Card for Young Adults?

  • Chase Freedom Flex
  • Discover IT Student Chrome
  • Discover IT Chrome
  • Discover IT Cash Back
  • Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

1 – Chase Freedom Flex

As a young adult, you want a card that you can grow your credit with while earning rewards and staying on top of your credit health. Chase Freedom Flex allows you to do all those things and more.

With perks you’d expect from a card geared toward those with more credit experience, the Chase Freedom Flex card makes it easy to grow your score. Features like free credit monitoring and credit score updates ensure you’ll be aware of issues that require your attention before they become real problems.

The cash back benefits of this card make it highly desirable: you’ll get a $200 cash back sign-up bonus when you spend $500 in your first 3 months, 5% cash back on bonus categories (up to $1,500 each quarter), 5% back on travel, and 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases. Select merchants reward up to 15% cash back when shopping through Chase Ultimate Rewards, and all other purchases automatically earn you 1% back. 

Other features of the Chase Freedom Flex include 0% APR for your first 15 months, no annual fees, cell phone protection insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and travel and emergency assistance. Chase Freedom Flex has more than earned its spot on the list of best credit cards for young adults! 

Awards and Ratings

Forbes Advisor and The Motley Fool each give the Chase Freedom Flex card 5 stars, while Business Insider gives it 4.65. For a credit card that’s relatively new to the market, it’s already earning respect!  

Top 5 Benefits of Chase Freedom Flex  

1 – Peace of Mind – Free credit monitoring and credit score help you keep your finances on track!

2 – Earn While You Spend – Multiple ways to earn cash back on everyday purchases, plus a $200 bonus when you spend your first $500!

3 – Keep Your Hard-Earned Cash – No annual fee or APR helps you save even more!

4 – See More of the World – 5% back on travel makes it easier to do what you love.

5 – Stay Connected – Phone protection ensures you’ll never miss a beat!

Ready to start earning massive cash back rewards? Get started here.

Pricing

There’s nothing to report here — the Chase Freedom Flex card comes with no annual fee. Even the APR is non-existent for the first 15 months, with a low adjustable rate of 15%-24% after that! See here for details.

What People Are Saying

Chase Freedom Flex users love this card for its ease of use, huge reward potential, and lack of annual fee. Cardholder Brian A. had this to say about his experience:

“This is a great card for beginners or those establishing credit history for the first time. I love that it has no annual fee, offers rewards, and is easy to track and manage through Chase’s website! I also love the tap and pay feature for quick, easy, contactless payments!”  

As you can see, the Chase Freedom Flex card helps people build credit with its many convenient features. Sold yet? Go here to get started.

Want to Know More?

Check out this informative video to find out why Chase Freedom Flex is the best credit card for young adults:

ProsCons
Earn rewards on everyday purchases, plus 5% back on travelNo APR becomes adjustable (15%-24%) after first 15 months
$200 bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months
Credit monitoring and credit score included
No annual fee
No APR for first 15 months
Phone protection

Chase Freedom Flex helps you earn massive rewards on everyday purchases. Get started on yours here. 

2 – Discover IT Student Chrome

Beginning your credit journey is easier than ever with the Discover IT Student Chrome card — you don’t even need a credit score to apply! As long as you can verify your student status, you’re welcome to apply to join one of the largest credit card networks in the country.

With this card, you’ll get 2% cash back up to $1,000 each quarter on everyday purchases like gas and dining, and 1% back on everything else you spend. In other words, you’re automatically racking up points as long as you’re using the card. However, the most attractive perk of this card by far is the cash back matching guarantee. That’s right, after your first year Discover will match you dollar for dollar on all your cash back, and your rewards never expire!

Other great features of this card include free credit monitoring and $0 fraud liability. You’ll also get free overnight shipping on card replacements, the option to freeze your account instantly if needed, and a free Credit Scorecard to keep you informed on your credit health. 

In addition, the Discover IT Student Chrome card includes free pay-by-phone services, 24/7 US-based customer service, no late fee on your first late payment, no foreign transaction fees, and no over-limit fee. Starting on your credit journey is much less intimidating when you have all this support to help you succeed!  

Awards and Ratings

Discover IT Student Chrome received 5 stars from over 900 satisfied customers! It also got 4.1 stars from CreditCards.com, 4.5 from The Motley Fool, and another 4 stars from Business Insider. This card is making people happy everywhere! 

Top 5 Benefits of Discover IT Student Chrome 

1 – More Savings to Love – No annual fee lets you keep more of your money!

2 – Your Rewards, Your WayYou choose how to spend your rewards, plus Discover will match you dollar for dollar your first year! 

3 – Stay Informed on Your Finances – Free Credit Scorecard keeps you in the know, avoiding any unwanted surprises!

4 – Keep What You Earn – No expiration date on rewards means you can spend or save how you like!

5 – Perfect for Credit Beginners – No credit score required to apply!

Ready to become a credit superstar? Start your journey here.

Pricing

Discover IT Student Chrome has no annual fee and zero interest for your first 6 months. You won’t even be charged a late fee on your first late payment! Find out more here.

What People Are Saying

Students everywhere love that Discover IT Student Chrome rewards them while helping build healthy credit scores. One cardholder who goes by Gabe15 shared several other reasons here:

“Since becoming a card holder, Discover customer support has answered countless questions I’ve had, and they’ve been super kind while doing so. The interest rate is comparatively low to other cards I have along with great cash back perks. I also love the easy-to-use Discover app that lets me keep up with my actual FICO Score. Five stars all around!”

Financial smarts come easily with the Discover IT Student Chrome card. Get yours here.

ProsCons
No credit score needed to applyZero intro APR only for first 6 months, 13%-22% after
No annual feeMust be a student to qualify
Zero APR for first 6 months
Free credit score monitoring with option to freeze account and free alerts on activity
Choose how you redeem rewards
No expiration date on rewards
Dollar for dollar match on cash back after first year
2% cash back up to $1,000 per quarter, 1% on all other purchases
$0 Fraud liability
Free pay-by-phone, with 24/7 US-based customer service
No over limit or foreign transaction fees 
No late fee on first late payment
Free overnight shipping on replacement cards

Sold on Discover IT Student Chrome? Start earning rewards here!

3 – Discover IT Chrome

Discover IT Chrome is another of Discover’s best credit cards for young adults. You don’t have to be a student to apply for this particular card, but it’s equally as great for helping beginners to build their credit. The application process is quick and easy, taking only minutes to complete — which is just the beginning of all the conveniences this card has to offer.

Discover IT Chrome offers 2% cash back on gas and dining up to $1,000 each quarter, 1% back on all other purchases, and expiration-free rewards. And yes, if you’re wondering, the cash back matching guarantee is on this card’s benefit list, too. Unlimited, dollar-for-dollar matching after your first year!

You’ll get free pay-by-phone service, free Credit Scorecard, an account freeze option, and credit monitoring. This card also has no annual fees and offers 0% APR for your first 15 months. Discover IT Chrome expands your financial horizon and supports you while you grow your credit, rewarding you as you go! 

Awards and Ratings

Discover IT Chrome has been rated 4.5 stars by The Motley Fool, 4.1 by Business Insider, and has a 4.8-star average rating from over 900 Experian consumer reviews. Yet another reason it belongs on the list of best credit cards for young adults!

Top 5 Benefits of Discover IT Chrome

1 – Rewards When You Want Them – No expiration date means you can spend or save your cashback as you please!

2 – Confidence You Can Count On Credit monitoring keeps you informed, protecting your credit from suspicious activity.

3 – Save Money Effortlessly – No annual fee means more money in your pocket!

4 – Double Your Earnings – 2% cash back up to $1,000 per quarter, plus unlimited cash back matching after your first year!

5 – Less Hassle Simple application process takes just minutes to complete!

Ready to see what all the fuss is about? Get started now. 

Pricing

Discover IT Chrome doesn’t charge you an annual fee, and there’s no APR for your first 15 months! To get in on this deal, see details here.

What People Are Saying

Discover IT Chrome proves it’s the best credit card for young adults through its many benefits, great reward potential, and solid ratings. Cardholder Lyle said it all in his review:

“You spend money, then you get money back. You spend more money, you get more money back!”

Ready to start earning double cash back on your purchases? Go here.

ProsCons
2% cash back up to $1,000 per quarterAPR increases to 12%-23% after 15 months
Dollar for dollar cash back matching after first year
No APR for first 15 months
Credit monitoring included
No expiration date on rewards
No annual fee
Accepted at 99% of retailers nationwide
Easy, quick application process

There’s no time like the present to start your credit journey. To do that with amazing rewards potential and no annual fee, go here.

4 – Discover IT Cash Back

While Discover is already quite generous with cash back on other cards, the Discover IT Cash Back card goes above and beyond — you’ll get a nice 5% cash back on bonus categories, up to a purchase maximum of $1,500 per quarter. Your earnings potential is through the roof with this feature alone, plus you’ll get 1% back on all other purchases, too.

Other great features of this card include the unlimited cash back matching guarantee at the end of your first year, no annual fee, and 0% APR for the first 15 months. As always with Discover, you’ll have access to your most current credit score, free credit monitoring, and no expiration date on your rewards earnings. The other conveniences are all here, too, like free pay-by-phone, no late fee on your first late payment, no foreign transaction fees, and no over-limit fee.

Discover IT Cash Back has been aptly named for the primary service it provides: to help you earn as many rewards as possible. Add this awesome quality to all the other features available to you, and you’ve got a rewards-earning, credit-building, powerhouse of a credit card!  

Awards and Ratings

Discover IT Cash Back has an average rating of 4.8 stars from over 32,000 happy customers! Forbes Advisor gives it 4.3 stars, CreditCards.com gives it 4.1, and The Motley Fool gives it 5 stars! A highly rated card with all these benefits? No-brainer. 

Top 5 Benefits of Discover IT Cash Back 

1 – Huge Rewards For You – 5% cash back on everyday purchases like gas, restaurants, Target, and Amazon.com!

2 – Double Your Money – Dollar-for-dollar cash back matching your first year!

3 – Protect Your Credit Health – Credit monitoring and credit score updates included.

4 – Save Your Cash – 0% APR for the first 15 months and no annual fee.

5 – Rewards You Can Keep – No expiration date on cash back means you can save for as long as you like!

Ready to get 5% cash back on everyday purchases? Get started here.

Pricing

There’s no annual fee with Discover IT Cash Back, so save your money for something that makes you happy. You also get 0% APR for your first 15 months — another way to save! Go here for details.

What People Are Saying

Discover IT Cash Back rewards people while simultaneously helping them build their credit. Check out what customer Klawzy87 had to say:

“I have been using my Discover card for almost two months and I have noticed immediate increases in my FICO score, and it improves my credit overall. I love how the card has rewards and matches your cash. The card itself is beautiful. I’d recommend this card to others.”

Ready to become another happy customer? Start here.

Want to Know More?

Check out this explainer video on why Discover IT Cash Back is the best credit card for young adults:


ProsCons
Huge cash back potential — 5% on select categories, 1% on all other purchasesAPR increases to 12%-23% after first 15 months
Double rewards with cash back matching after first year
Credit monitoring and credit score updates
No expiration on rewards
No annual fee
No APR for first 15 months

Go here to begin your credit journey with Discover IT Cash Back!

5 – Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

A card made for students, the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards card is a helpful tool for building credit from scratch. Its benefits are unique, though it also shares many of the perks of other beginner-friendly cards. One of the cool features of this specific card is that it allows you to check for pre-approval before applying, saving you from a hard inquiry on your credit report (which can hurt your score if you have too many).

Perks of this card include access to exclusive music and entertainment events that only Capital One cardholders can enjoy. Also, select restaurants where reservations can be hard to come by are more easily accessed with this card — giving you more options for your special occasions. Rewards are complication-free with the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards card: every purchase earns a standard 1.5% cash back, plain and simple.

You’ll enjoy features like no annual fee, no foreign transaction fee, and no expiration date on your hard-earned rewards with this card. You’ll also have access to 24/7 travel assistance, travel accident insurance, no-cost extended warranties on select purchases, and instant purchase notifications to help you keep your finances on track.

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards card proves itself as one of the best credit cards for young adults, thanks to all its conveniences and helpful benefits. 

Awards and Ratings

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards earned 4 stars from The Motley Fool, and 4.1 stars from Business Insider. Also, WalletHub users rated it 4.8 stars, showing that this card is a popular choice among students!

Top 5 Benefits of Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards 

1 – You’re Always Earning – Get 1.5% cash back on all your purchases!

2 – Build Your Credit the Right Way – Increase your score and get rewarded for doing it!

3 – Explore Without Penalties – No foreign transaction fees when you travel.

4 – Keep Your Rewards – No expiration date on the cash back you earn!

5 – Perfect Fit For Your Lifestyle – Specifically geared toward students who want to grow their credit.

Want to increase your credit score while earning 1.5% cash back? Get started here. 

Ready to start building your credit? Go here.

Pricing

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards has no annual fee, so you can save your money for more important things! For details, go here.

What People Are Saying

Since the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is less than a year old at the time of this writing, no current quotes describing its benefits. However, with the ratings above looking so promising, there are sure to be plenty of positive stories soon! 

ProsCons
1.5% cash back on all purchasesHigher interest rate than some cards (26.99%)
No annual feeNo cash back bonus available
Great for building creditMust be a student to qualify
No foreign transaction fees
Designed for students
No expiration date on rewards
Access to exclusive entertainment events and restaurant reservations
Travel insurance
Extended warranties on select purchases

To grow your credit while earning 1.5% cash back with Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards, get started here.

Common Questions About Credit Cards for Young Adults

Do Young Adults Need Credit Cards?

If young adults want to start building their credit early to enjoy a healthy credit profile as time goes on, credit cards are a good way to do this. When used responsibly and paid on time, credit cards can be great tools for building credit successfully.   

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Credit Card?

18 is the minimum age to get a credit card, though younger teens can be added as authorized users to their parent’s cards. However, until the age of 21, unsecured credit (credit without a required deposit) isn’t easy to come by, so having a co-signer is helpful in these situations.

What is the Best Credit Card to Get at a Young Age?

The best credit card for young adults is the Chase Freedom Flex card. It’s designed to help build your credit and comes with a lot of perks that make it easy to earn rewards while spending responsibly.  

What is a Credit Card Company That Gives Credit to Young Adults?

Chase gives credit cards to young adults. The Chase Freedom Flex card is a smart choice for beginners that are new to the credit scene. It helps build your credit from the ground up, rewarding you with perks like cash back in the process.

Best Credit Card for Young Adults with No Credit History?

For young adults with no credit, Discover IT Student Chrome is your best bet — it doesn’t require a credit score to apply. If you’re not enrolled in school, your next best choice would be the Discover IT Chrome. This card makes applying easy and has great rewards and credit-building potential.

Best First Time Credit Card?

Chase Freedom Flex is the best credit card for credit beginners. It helps build credit history and financial experience, and also offers many perks and bonuses as rewards for responsible use.

Best Credit Cards for Students?

The best credit card for students is Chase Freedom Flex. Though it’s not only for students, it’s still the top pick as far as rewards potential, credit-building support, and allowing young adults to become responsible credit cardholders.   


Post-Game Report: Best Credit Cards for Young Adults

  • Chase Freedom Flex
  • Discover IT Student Chrome
  • Discover IT Chrome
  • Discover IT Cash Back
  • Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Disclaimer: Rewards, interest rates, and fees are up to date as of 05/08/2022, and are subject to changes.

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Scott Lieberman is founder of Touchdown Money. Scott has been making money online for over 20 years. It's allowed him to travel the world while working remotely. Scott is an expert in online business, digital marketing, credit card reward programs, and content marketing strategies.

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