How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card? (2024)

First-time cardholders at this age may be college students, in trade school or already working for a living. Having a credit card handy is useful not only for making everyday purchases but also for earning rewards like cash back. First-time cardholders should look for cards like student credit cards, secured cards or cards designed for people with little to no credit history—these will be easier to be approved for.

Get a Secured Credit Card

Secured credit cards are a useful option when no co-signer is available. Applicants will have to pay a security deposit to the issuer (fees as low as $49, but usually at least $200) which becomes the card’s credit limit. A secured card works much the same as a regular credit card—the cardholder can use it to make purchases up to the credit limit and must pay off the balance each month. Once the cardholder closes the account and pays off the entire balance (including interest and fees), the security deposit will be returned. Alternatively, the bank may review your history for unsecured credit eligibility after a record of making payments, then upon graduation to an unsecured card you’ll get your deposit back.

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2.0

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card? (3)

Forbes Advisor created additional star ratings so that you can see the best card for specific needs. This card shines for this use, but overall the star ratings may differ when compared to other cards.

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On Capital Bank's Website

Welcome Bonus

N/A

Annual Fee

$35

Regular APR

25.64% (variable)

Credit Score

No credit check

Editorial Review

OpenSky offers a solid path to rebuilding credit, with no credit check or bank account required. However, you’ll have to come up with a minimum of $200 for the security deposit.

Pros & Cons

  • No credit check
  • Relatively low APR for a “bad credit” card
  • No bank account required
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Has annual fee

Card Details

  • New feature! Earn up to 10% cash back on everyday purchases
  • No credit check to apply. Zero credit risk to apply!
  • Looking to build or rebuild your credit? 2 out of 3 OpenSky cardholders increase their credit score by an average of 41 points in just 3 months
  • Get free monthly access to your FICO score in our mobile application
  • Build your credit history across 3 major credit reporting agencies: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion
  • Add to your mobile wallet and make purchases using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay
  • Fund your card with a low $200 refundable security deposit to get a $200 credit line
  • Apply in less than 5 minutes with our mobile first application
  • Choose the due date that fits your schedule with flexible payment dates
  • Fund your security deposit over 60 days with the option to make partial payments
  • Over 1.4 Million Cardholders Have Used OpenSky Secured Credit Card To Improve Their Credit

N/A

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

Become an Authorized User

Becoming an authorized user is an easy way to get a credit card quickly without having to fill out a lengthy application. An authorized user usually gets his or her own credit card with the authorized user’s name on it. Ask a parent, guardian, friend or other family member who might be comfortable adding someone to his or her account to add you as an authorized user. Some card issuers charge a fee to add authorized users.

The primary cardholder is responsible for paying off any cards linked to the account. Be sure to make a spending and payment plan with the primary cardholder to avoid overspending and late payments. Make sure the card issuer reports authorized user activity to credit bureaus before taking on the risk—remember, a main goal for young credit card users is to build credit toward better cards.

Get a Student Credit Card

Student credit cards are designed specifically for the 18- to 22-year-old range who likely have little-to-no credit history. Discover it® Student Cash Back is a solid option for college students looking to snag a first credit card. This card offers 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 18.24% - 27.24% applies, 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and more, up to the quarterly maximum once activated. Plus, automatically earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases and an annual fee of $0.

Get a Co-Signer

Applicants aged 18 to 20 must have one of two things to be approved for a credit card: a co-signer (like a parent, guardian or other family member) or proof of employment or income. This information guarantees to the issuer that the cardholder can pay their bills on time and determines what the cardholder’s credit limit will be.

Make sure the co-signer has a decent credit history with a good chance of approval. Remember that a co-signer has equal legal and financial responsibility to pay off the balance of any card. If the cardholder falls into debt, it will negatively affect the credit score for both the cardholder and co-signer, so both parties need to be responsible and avoid overspending. Not all banks allow co-signers on credit cards.

How To Get a Credit Card if You’re at Least 21 Years Old

Prospective cardholders at least 21 years old can apply for a credit card on their own regardless of income status. These older applicants have better credit card options, especially those who spent their early years building credit through a student card or by being an authorized user on a parent’s account. Co-signers are not necessary but could still be a helpful addition to an application if the applicant has a low credit score or wants a high-end card with extra benefits, perks and reward potential, if the bank allows.

The best credit card options typically have the best rewards. Try looking for a card with no annual fee and generous cash-back rewards, like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The card offers 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on eligible dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases, plus an additional 1.5% cash back on the first $20,000 in purchases the first year

Featured Partner Offer

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Apply Now How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card? (5)

On Chase Bank USA, NA's Website

4.1

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card? (7)

Forbes Advisor created additional star ratings so that you can see the best card for specific needs. This card shines for this use, but overall the star ratings may differ when compared to other cards.

Apply Now How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card? (8)

On Chase Bank USA, NA's Website

Up to 6.5X Reward Rate

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 spent in the first year, after that 5% on ChaseRead More

Welcome Bonus

Up to $300 cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

20.49% - 29.24% Variable

Credit Score

Excellent, Good(700 - 749)

Editorial Review

A good overall spending card that allows you to hold a balance on new purchases with a low introductory APR, pay no annual fee, and still earn at least 1.5% cashback on all purchases

Pros & Cons

  • Generous welcome offer for a no annual fee card
  • Unlimited 1.5% minimum earn rate for cash-back rewards
  • No minimum redemption amount
  • Foreign transaction fee
  • Ongoing balance transfer fee is high
  • Requires a companion card to transfer points to travel partners

Card Details

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program thatlets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back.You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expireas long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% – 29.24%.
  • No annual fee –You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

Credit Score ranges are based on FICO® credit scoring. This is just one scoring method and a credit card issuer may use another method when considering your application. These are provided as guidelines only and approval is not guaranteed.

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card? (2024)

FAQs

How Old Do You Have To Be To Get A Credit Card? ›

You have to be at least 18 to open a credit card account. A potential way to access credit if you're under 18 is to become an authorized user on someone else's credit card account. If you're under 21, you have to prove your income and show the ability to make monthly payments when applying for a credit card.

What is the youngest age to get a credit card? ›

How old do you have to be to get a credit card? You can be an authorized user as young as 13, but you have to be 18 to sign up for your first credit card on your own. When you're ready for this step, you'll need to be prepared to show some documentation.

Can 12 year olds have credit cards? ›

A credit card is essentially a means of taking out a loan; as such, you must be 18 to get one. If your child is under 18, the only way for them to “get” a credit card is to add them as an authorized user to an existing account. An authorized user is allowed to use the card but isn't responsible for paying the bill.

Can 16 year old get credit card? ›

It is possible to get a credit card at 16 by becoming an authorized user on an adult's credit card account. To get your own credit card, you'll need to wait until you're at least 18, and even then, you'll need to prove you have independent income or get a cosigner.

How old do you have to be when you get your credit card? ›

Eligibility Requirements for Credit Cards

Firstly, you will need to be 18 or older. Once you've proved this (if necessary), your credit card provider will need to verify the health of your credit score, income, and debt history.

Can a 13 year old kid get a credit card? ›

Children under the age of 18 are not allowed to enter into credit card agreements, but many card issuers will allow minors to become authorized card users. Some issuers have minimum age requirements, that necessitate authorized users must be at least 13 or 16 years old.

Can I have a credit card at 13? ›

But the full answer isn't quite as simple as that. Read on to learn more about credit card age requirements. You have to be at least 18 to open a credit card account. A potential way to access credit if you're under 18 is to become an authorized user on someone else's credit card account.

Can 14 year olds have a credit card? ›

Bottom Line. It's possible to get a first credit card at a young age by becoming an authorized user on a parent's account, but the legal age to apply for your own credit card is 18. 18- to 20-year-olds must apply with a co-signer (which not all banks allow) or with proof of income.

Can I get my 10 year old a credit card? ›

And when we say “have their own credit card,” we really mean “get added to your credit card,” because those under the age of 18 cannot open their own credit card accounts.

Can I add my 12 year old son to my credit card? ›

You can add a child under the age of 18 to a credit card as an authorized user as long as the child meets any age restrictions set by the issuer. If your child is 18, then the field is wide open for adding them to your card.

Does your credit start at 0? ›

Since everyone's credit journey is different, there's no one standard credit score everyone starts with. And you can have different credit scores depending on the credit-scoring model—either FICO or VantageScore. You won't start with a score of zero, though. You simply won't have a score at all.

Can a highschool student get a credit card? ›

As you're researching credit cards for high school students, consider a few key basics that can set you up for success. Technically, it's possible to get a credit card at 18 years old. But applicants under 21 will also need to have an independent income or a co-signer to qualify.

Can my son get a credit card at 17? ›

Yes, you can get a credit card at 17 as an authorized user on someone else's account. But you have to be at least 18 years old to open a credit card account in your own name. And when you turn 18, you'll need to show that you have your own independent income to qualify.

What percent of 13 17 year olds have a credit card? ›

Nearly 1 in 5 American teenagers ages 13 to 17 now has a credit card, and the majority of them use their card at least once a week, according to research from TransUnion.

Can kids get credit cards? ›

And credit cards have even higher age standards: A person must be 21 to get a credit card on their own, unless they have an adult co-signer or can prove that their income is sufficient to make payments on the card.

Do people under 18 have a credit score? ›

Children typically don't have their own credit reports. However, some minors might have one due to a few potential situations; it could be as harmless as them being an authorized user on a parent's credit card, or a sign of identity theft or fraud in their name.

Can I get my 5 year old a credit card? ›

Because people under age 18 can't open their own credit cards, you can't technically open a whole new credit card in your child's name — but you can still add them to yours. Adding someone to your account turns them into an authorized user, which gives them many of the same perks you have as the primary cardholder.

Can I add my 2 year old to my credit card? ›

Most credit card issuers allow children under 18 years to be added as authorized users on a credit card and some don't have any age restrictions whatsoever. Adding your kids as authorized users on your credit cards may seem counterintuitive to the concept of financial independence.

Are there credit cards for 15 year olds? ›

Student cards, secured cards and cards designed for those new to credit can all be great ways to get started. For teens under 18, being added as an authorized user will be the only viable option. No matter what you choose, there's an option for everyone.

Can a 10 year old have a debit card? ›

Age requirements for debit cards

Many financial institutions offer teen checking accounts for teens around 13 or 15 years old, which come with their own set of unique features and perks. Some institutions may even offer checking accounts for children as young as six years old.

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