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MintLife Blog > Credit Info > Credit Card Top Picks: Based on Your Life Stage

Credit Card Top Picks: Based on Your Life Stage

Credit Info Credit Card top picks_ Based on your life situation
From the Mint team: Mint may be compensated by some of the links that appear in this article, including Chase. Our partners do not endorse, review or approve the content. Any links to Mint Partners were added after the creation of the posting.  Mint Partners had no influence on the creation, direction or focus of this article unless otherwise specifically stated. 

It seems like every day, a new credit card arrives on the scene. But how do you know if the card is worth applying for? It’s easy for consumers to become inundated and confused by all the cards available to them. 

Here’s a list of cards that fit each type of consumer – and why they’ll work for your particular situation.  

Credit Cards for the Recent Grad 

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card 

This credit card is perfect for the recent grad who wants to build a credit history and earn rewards.  

Users earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases and a $150 bonus when they spend $500 in the first three months. There’s no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. Cash-back can be redeemed at any time and rewards never expire. 

Credit Cards for the Avid Traveler 

Capital One® Venture® Card 

The Capital One Venture card, like its name, was designed for those bitten by the traveling bug. The Venture offers 50,000 bonus points when customers spends $3,000 in the first 90 days. This bonus offer is worth up to $700 when redeemed for travel expenses. It can be also be redeemed as a $500 statement credit. 

Cardholders earn 2x miles for every dollar they spend. Miles never expire and can be transferred directly to more than a dozen travel partners.  

Users also get an $100 statement credit if they purchase Global Entry or TSA Pre®. There are no foreign transaction fees, and the card comes with 24-hour travel assistance services, travel accident insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver. There is a $95 annual fee, waived for the first year.  

Credit Cards for the Urban Dweller 

Capital One® Savor® Rewards 

This new card provides user a $500 cash bonus when they spend $3,000 in three months. Cardholders earn 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, perfect for the urbanite who spends their days and nights eating out and going to concerts and movies. The card also provides 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.  

The annual fee is $95, but is waived the first year. There are no foreign transaction fees and no minimum requirement for redeeming cash rewards.  

Other card perks include 24-hour travel assistance services, complimentary concierge service and extended warranty on certain items. Savor also provides price protection for 120 days. If you buy an item and it goes on sale, you can get the difference refunded on your card. 

Chase Freedom Flex

Cardholders earn $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Users earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. Also, earn 5% cash back on the first $1500 spent in rotating categories that change each quarter, 5% cash back on travel booked through, 3% cash back at drugstores, 3% cash back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services. Consumers will earn 1% cash-back on all other purchases. Rewards can be used for travel, at or redeemed for cash.

There is 0% APR for 15 months for purchases.

There’s no annual fee. Card benefits include extended warranty protection and price protection for 120 days. 

How to Use a Credit Card Wisely 

No matter which card you use, you should utilize the same practice to increase your credit score and not rack up a balance. Set your payments on autopay, so you never miss a payment. Making payments late can have the biggest effect on your credit score. 

Also, be cognizant of how much of your available credit you’re using at any one time. Using too much of your credit (like more than 30%) could flag for lenders that you don’t have enough cash on hand. It is also important to pay off your credit balance in full every month. Any revolving debt means paying additional interest – potentially negating any benefits or rewards you’re getting for that card.  

Lastly, don’t open too many cards in a short span of time. Every new application results in a hard inquiry, which will also lower your score. 


These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


Comments (14) Leave your comment

  1. You may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve card. The $450 annual fee is offset by $300 in automatic travel credits (as in, take a cab or a flight and it gets credited back to your account until you hit $300). It also reimburses for TSAPre (or that other one), and gives 3% instead of 2%. The redemption bonus is also worth $750, as opposed to $625. Points are transferable to Southwest Rapid Rewards, which maximizes value and no other card does that.

    If don’t want to be limited by having to redeem your rewards for travel (through a specific portal to maximize or as a transfer to another airline), you absolutely cannot go wrong with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card. 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% and grocery stores, and $500 to sign up.

  2. Disappointed in this list – most have annual fees and were probably paid promotions

    Uber Card is my current favorite – no fee, 4% at restaurants/bars, 3% on hotel/Airbnb/flights (no foreign transaction fees, 2% online purchases, and some other perks like credit for streaming services, and I think some sort of insurance on your cell if you pay your bill through them.

    And I forget what card my parents have, but they get 2% cash on everything with no fee, which again seems better than some of the cards listed here.

    Credit cards should be long term commitments (bad for your credit score to close them) – hyping cards with annual fees for the one time signing bonus is short sighted.

    1. Ditto on the Uber card! Definitely using it for the phone insurance as well! Love that you can convert the points straight to cash 1:1!

  3. Consider the Bank of America Cash Rewards Card. You get 3% on your choice of gas, dining, drug, home, online, or shopping, every month, 2% grocery store/wholesale club, and 1% otherwise.

    If you have 50k in the bank (investments + savings/checking) you get a 50% reward bonus. That’s 4.5%, 3%, and the minimum betting 1.5% on everything else.

    Pair this with Wells Fargo propel, which earns 3x on restaurants, travel (gas, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, car rentals), and streaming services and cell phone protection and you’re pretty much set.

    If you’re on Amazon Prime (who isn’t), you’ll get 5% at, 2% gas, restaurants, and drug store and 1% else, but it’s really about the 5% at Amazon at this point.

    That makes everything pretty much between 3-5%.

  4. I’m surprised that CitiBank’s Double Cash Back card wasn’t mentioned. One percent on all purchases and another one percent on on payments, for a steady two percent. No gimmicks like quarterly 5% on limited categories to try to keep up with.

  5. I must admit that I’m a bit biased. Being a single parent and enduring the financial woes I’ve faced, I am supportive of the debt free, credit card free life. Even more so for college students, I think avoiding credit cards until gaining financial intelligence is super important. I discuss this topic a lot with my group members.

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