4 Best Credit Cards for Young Adults

4 Best Credit Cards for Young Adults

After 20 hours of research evaluating 50 products, we picked Citi® Double Cash Card as our top choice.

Quick List: 4 Best

The top four picks on our list
Best Total Cash Back Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
  • Earn an industry-leading rewards rate, plus a sign-up bonus
  • Get a pass on your first late fee
  • No annual fee
Best for Flexible Redemption
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • It offers a large signup bonus compared with similar cards
  • You'll get a rewards boost if you use your points to book travel through Chase
  • Redeem points for airlines and hotels, without being tied to any specific companies
Best 0% APR Credit Card for Cash Back Rewards
Chase Freedom®
  • Unlimited cash-back rewards for qualifying purchases
  • Long 0% APR promotion
  • No annual fee
Best Secured Credit Card if You Want Bonus Offers
Discover it® Secured Card
  • Offers cash-back rewards, plus a bonus the first yaer
  • Refundable security deposit, potentially before you close your account
  • No annual fee


According to a study by Bankrate, 67% of millennials aged 18-29 do not have a credit card. This is partially because millennials do not like debt, according to Facebook research.

It also has to do with the fact that most millennials just don’t know how to handle credit cards.

That's why it's important to find the best credit cards for young adults, one that addresses their particular needs.

But that’s not all:

Under the law, people under the age of 18 cannot be considered for a credit card on their own, while according to the CARD Act of 2009, people under the age of 21 cannot obtain a personal credit card without proof of income or an adult co-signer with good credit standing.

Despite these things, you should still give this list of the best credit cards for young adults a serious look.

Here’s the deal:

According to Bankrate’s chief financial analyst Greg McBride, millennials are making a big mistake by not using credit cards. Millennials are spending more than previous generations, an average of up to $9,600 on groceries per year, and $2,800 eating out. When charged to the right credit card, this behavior can rack up rewards like rebates and dream vacations.

Having a credit card is also ideal for situations where you might need extra security when making payment. Debit cards are protected from fraud, but credit cards have stronger fraud protection. Credit cards can also offer insurance for big purchases.

Credit cards can also help you in emergencies, when you don't have cash, not to mention, make traveling abroad easier by not having to worry about bringing large sums of money. Most importantly, credit cards can help you build your credit score. There are certainly means for building your credit score without credit cards, but these options might take longer.

If you want to try a credit card but are scared of what you might do with it, try starting out with a secured credit card first.

What’s the bottom line?

There are plenty of options to choose from, but these are the best credit cards for young adults.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated June 18, 2018 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

Editorial staff

Last updated: June 18, 2018