A short credit history is better than none, especially when it comes to getting approved for an unsecured credit card. Even a few months of positive credit history can spare you from having to tie up hundreds of dollars in a deposit on a secured credit card. With an unsecured card — that is, a card that doesn’t require cash collateral — you can also get higher credit limits, lower fees and more valuable rewards than you would with a secured one.
To find the best unsecured credit cards for people with short credit histories, Nerd Wallet surveyed cards for those with fair or average credit profiles (FICO scores of 630-689) that offered the best rewards and benefits. Here are the cards that topped the list.
Benefits of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard®
- The card doles out decent rewards and has a $0 annual fee, a rare combination among cards for people with thinner credit profiles.
- There are no quarterly spending caps for earning rewards, and points never expire.
- You’ll get a free FICO score and, in some cases, a credit line increase after you make five monthly payments on time.
- There’s no penalty APR. That means that if you fall behind on payments, you won’t have to pay a higher interest rate. (Even so, make it a priority to pay on time, as late payments can hurt your credit score. When your credit file is already thin, the damage from a late payment could be even greater.)
Surveys and Money
If you want to join a survey network that rewards you with points that you can use to enter into various sweepstakes, MySurvey.com might be a good fit. Their interface is pretty easy to navigate and if sweepstakes entries are what you want, you’re not going to be disappointed.
However, if you’re going in with the assumption that you can make cash and generate a part-time or full-time income, you’re going to be upset. Even though many people promoting MySurvey say you’ll make money, they’re withholding some truth so that they can earn a commission off of you (they get paid when you join through their link). You earn sweepstakes entries by completing surveys, you only earn points that can be redeemed for gift cards/cash through PayPal by referring friends (proof in the full review below). You get paid the equivalent of less than $1.50 per friend that you refer, so unless you’re referring people in droves you’re very unlikely to make any kind of real money with this program.
Be careful before you join any new survey website and make sure that you do thorough research before you decide to invest your time in them.