General Question

onesecondregrets's avatar

What is the best store credit card to apply for when trying to build credit?

Asked by onesecondregrets (2591points) June 10th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

21 Answers

MrGV's avatar

Gas cards, pump gas with your card and pay it right away.

SirBailey's avatar

The first store card I got was in a department store. They used to chase after you to get you to sign up. One day, out of annoyance, I lied about my personal info including salary. I got the card! Used it. Always paid right away. From that, I got Visa, then Amex, etc.

augustlan's avatar

The first one I ever got was a JC Penney card. I think I was 18 years old. I’m 41 and I still have it, for sentimental reasons. :)

SuperMouse's avatar

@Augustlan, I got a JCPenney card first too! I think that is a pretty good place to start.

@MrGeneVan, when I was first getting credit gas cards were among the hardest to get. Is it still that way?

LC_Beta's avatar

I thought you had to already have a “major credit card” to qualify for store credit. I’ve never bothered – my first CC was through my bank. My favorite is my Priority Club card, though.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Apply to your own bank instead of a store. Go and ask about creating a secured line of credit, one where you put up a fixed amount of money which becomes the card’s maximum credit line until you establish a history of making the monthly payments on time. Used to be after 6–12 months, the bank would extend you an unsecured card with a larger limit and no money required up front. This works well for people just building credit for the first time in their own names, no co signors or joint accounts and also for people re building damaged credit. In the future, you’ll want credit in order to be granted personal loans maybe for school, car, home, travel and a credit history established with a major credit card issued by your bank is going to count for more than a handful of store cards.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Go through your own bank. If you have a undesirable credit score they will likely offer you a secured credit card. After a year of using a secured card, you can get an unsecured one.

Don’t spend a lot of money on these cards but use it a little bit every month.

MrGV's avatar

@SuperMouse I got my Chevron card pretty easily.

cak's avatar

I wouldn’t go with a store card first, their interest rates are ridiculous and if you aren’t credit savvy, you could wind up in over your head. My very first card was through Citibank. I would try through my bank first, before anything else.

I think a lot of store cards are getting tighter on their requirements.

For the record, I had a JcPennys card for years, I used it when they had their white sales – but canceled it after I realized that I just didn’t use it enough.

Facade's avatar

i really like The Limited card. Check it out.

Bagardbilla's avatar

I would suggest going to a credit union. They are very adept at offering various financial instruments to help re-establish credit.
Good luck.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

A store that someone is familiar with. A no name store would not be helpful and a bankrupt one would not be either. Many people build credit by putting a down payment down on a car. Rent to own places will build your credit too. Just stick with something that is not too expensive and make all of the payments.

nayeight's avatar

Well I dont know if you shop at Pier 1 imports but they have a credit card through Chase and the interest rate isn’t too bad. We usually have good no payments, no interest specials going on when you spend a certain amount. You get 4 points for every $1 you spend and after 2,000 points = $500, you recieve a $20 gift certificate to spend in the store (the points last for about 2 years). You get a 20% welcome coupon when your card comes in the mail and lots of special offers throughout the year. Also you can make payments on the card in the store as soon as you open it. Lots of people open it up to save the 10%, pay it off instore and then use their coupon when they come back. Then (if you’re smart), you can pay it off in the store right after you purchase something so you can earn the points.

We are also having really good sales right now!

augustlan's avatar

@nayeight I love Pier 1!

Joe_Freeman's avatar

Though this may no longer be true, it was a well-known “fact” 35 years ago that the best card to start off with — if your goal was to build good credit — was Sears. However, Sears is hardly the company now that it was in 1974, so my guess would be that the card for a large store like Macy’s would probably be the best to build credit. Of course, you’d have to pay your bills on time and all that if you expected to build credit.

nayeight's avatar

@augustlan Yea, I don’t know what I will do without my 25% discount when I stop working there oneday! We’re definitely getting more awesome stuff in now than we had a few years ago.

guesswho's avatar

Never cancel your credit card of any kind! Apply through your bank, and always build slowly with amounts you can pay in full. Always pay the amount due and avoid minimum payments. Capitol one sucks- and remember that you have the right to check your credit score through the government without having to jump through loop holes with websites like It pays to be knowlegable on this topic-so do your research before signing up with any credit card. Also- try to pay in cash for all your purchases and avoid borrowing money on credit for food or bills. Credit cards should be used for building a good financial foundation to allow you to borrow money for things that you need to pay over time such as a house or car. Credit may not be everything- but it’s a good measurment of your ability to keep your financial promises

walterallenhaxton's avatar

Avoid credit as much as possible and save all that you can. If you have a computer you should put away money on a regular basis to make sure that you continue to have one. Do this with all of your appliances and your car. Also put away money to keep your body maintained. Food Medical care and clothing.

Once you have these expected expenses covered by saving insure for unexpected expenses that might not happen but could. That is hard to do with a regulated insurance system but try to work around that the best that you can. Some insurance policies you will not be able to buy because regulation has priced them out of your price range. Medical insurance is bad that way. If you have an accident have it in the car. Your accident insurance policy there is the correct price. Other accident policies have inflated prices. Buy the good insurance policies before you mess with the junk. At least you will be insured as much as you can afford to be.

LC_Beta's avatar

I disagree with @walterallenhaxton‘s view that you should entirely avoid credit. I applied for my first credit card right after turning 18, charged to it regularly, paid it off in full every month and never missed payments. My credit score built slowly from there, and now it’s higher than anyone else’s that I know. I encourage you to do the same, and give yourself a leg up in the future.

walterallenhaxton's avatar

@LC_Beta I did not say that. I do say the credit is not wealth and you should be building your wealth. It is better to have that in a economic emergency that it is to have credit. You don’t have to pay it back and you don’t have to pay interest on it either.
Forget the credit card and go rent to own something. When you own it take that information to the bank and get your card. Most jobs are in jeopardy today. The bank has to access your likelihood to loose yours. The rent to own place needs to know where you live and whether you are likely to stay there. They also require security from you as well as continuing to own the property until it is payed for They also have the people to come get it back.
If they require credit cards then they must not have much business.

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