Wednesday, June 6, 2012

5 Refined Grad Credit Cards

Credit Card pitfalls…

Credit Cards specifically credit card debt is the number one way young college graduates get themselves into trouble. They are suddenly thrust into the real world and need to buy lots of things (new apartment furniture, food, pay utility bills and rent and of course go to the bar). All these expenses add up and can soon swallow the grad in a mountain of debt (not including student loans).

Do not be afraid Credit Cards can be great….
The refined college graduate is not afraid of credit cards and instead sees their usefulness in tracking expenses, building good credit history and most important keeping their money safe. The refined college graduate has a recent credit report and knows their score. These can be obtained at The refined college graduate pays off the entire balance of their card every month. The refined college graduate does not have more than two cards (why waste time keeping track of all of them). The refined college graduate knows they look really cool at the bar in front of the ladies when they pay with plastic.  
There will be more posts on credit, credit history and debt but for now here our five great cards we have researched and tried.

*note: keep in mind there are other great cards besides these five. These are just five cards we like.

Quick Rewards Glance
  • Earn 3% cash back at supermarkets.
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and department stores.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • No Annual fee! APR = 17.24%, 20.24% or 22.24%

*NOTE: Not all merchants accept AMEX, but this looks like a good reward program.

What makes this Credit Card great?
The refined college grad knows that one of their biggest expenses is groceries (including brews, unless they live in PA). That is why this is a great card, there are no revolving bonuses just 3% back on all groceries all the time. This is a great card with great rewards and highly recommended for all refined college graduates.

Ease of Acquirement
This can be a tougher one to get. AMEX has tightened down since the 2008 financial crisis and they seem to be especially strict with consumers that have little credit history (young college grads). If the college grad is rejected the grad calls AMEX and asks for reasoning and negotiates for another review to be done.

Quick Rewards Glance
  • Every 100 points = $1.00 towards your purchase.
  • Earn points on every purchase: 3 points for every $1 spent on, 2 points for every eligible $1 spent at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores, and 1 point for every other $1 spent.³

What makes this Credit Card great?

Who doesn’t shop on Amazon? The refined college grad knows that this is one of the best places to get anything and everything at low prices. The refined grad usually does not go for cards that do not offer cash back but in this case Amazon is about as good as cash. This is a great card especially if you are an avid reader (you should be).

Ease of Acquirement

The retail cards are typically easier to get than the big bank cards. This is a great one to have even if later you decide to get a big bank card. 

Quick Rewards Glance
  • 15% off all Target store purchases in the first 24 hour period of card being open.
  • 5% off all purchases in store and online with FREE shipping (FOREVER).
  • Donate 1% of purchases to your child’s school k-12 (hopefully not yet).
  • 5% off all pharmacy purchases.
  • Online easy management and bill pay.

What makes this Credit Card great?

Like Amazon, who doesn’t shop at Target? They have everything a refined college grad could need for a new apartment. If timed right the college grad can get 15% off all new furniture, kitchenware, linins and groceries (it can be a hefty bill especially with the housewarming refreshments).

Ease of Acquirement

As stated before retail cards are usually the easiest to get. This one must be applied for in a Target store. The application is simple and straightforward.

Quick Rewards Glance
  • After 15 month intro period no APR, after that a variable APR OF 11.99% - 22.99%
  • New 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants. It's free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • 1% back on all other purchases.
  • 10% back on certain online purchases through Chase

What makes this Credit Card great?

This is a classic big bank card. It will be accepted anywhere and Chase has good customer service. The rewards are good especially gas stations and grocery stores. The online rewards can be great with this card. Overall this is a good starter’s card.

Ease of Acquirement

The big bank cards are typically fairly easy to get. Like many other cards though they have tightened down on who they give cards to. With a good credit report/score and at least a few months of credit it should not be too hard to obtain this one.

Quick Rewards Glance
  • Earn 5% cash back at supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations & utilities for the first 6 months, 1% thereafter.
  • Earn 1% on other purchases and earn at least 2% cash back in popular, rotating categories, like department stores, jewelry, apparel, restaurants, hotels and more.
  • Purchase APR: 0% Intro APR on purchases for 7 months; after that the variable APR will be 12.99%-20.99%, based on your creditworthiness1

What makes this Credit Card great?

This is another big bank card. The rewards are not as good as the other four but are above many others. The introduction rewards on this card are fantastic and can really help out a recent college grad since all the categories above are major expenses for a young college graduate. This is another great one to start with.

Ease of Acquirement

This is a big bank card like the Chase card above. They are typically not all that picky with who they give cards to.  

Now the refined grad needs some place to keep all these cards. 


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