Ask Money

What’s a good first credit card?

Marketplace Staff Sep 16, 2013


I want to apply for a credit card and am looking for one that satisfies the following:
– no annual fee
– cash back
– at least a 20 day grace period for paying the bill

Recommendations for a first time credit card holder?


Carmen Wong Ulrich Sep 16, 2013 Former Host
Short and sweet wins the day!  I’ve got good news for you.  If that’s what you’re looking for, there are now more options for cash-back than ever.  However, a couple of things to consider:  1) If you’re new to credit cards, your interest rate may be higher than the one advertised because you have little or no credit history and 2) your spending limit will start out very low.  But, if you keep these two points in mind, you may not be disappointed with what’s out there.  Shop around for free at a couple of my favored sites:  NerdWallet wins out for ease of use and ability to search for features easily and clearly. has a deep well of credit card education as does  Happy shopping, and just make sure to work to not carry a balance and steer clear of fees.

We’re here to help you navigate this changed world and economy.

Our mission at Marketplace is to raise the economic intelligence of the country. It’s a tough task, but it’s never been more important.

In the past year, we’ve seen record unemployment, stimulus bills, and reddit users influencing the stock market. Marketplace helps you understand it all, will fact-based, approachable, and unbiased reporting.

Generous support from listeners and readers is what powers our nonprofit news—and your donation today will help provide this essential service. For just $5/month, you can sustain independent journalism that keeps you and thousands of others informed.