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Millennials have distinct spending tastes. They like to eat out with friends, they travel regularly, they’re big online shoppers, and they prefer to spend money on experiences rather than things. That said, it makes sense for millennials to carry credit cards that fit their lifestyle.
For a more comprehensive list, see our best credit card bonuses here.
We have created a series of guides for the best credit cards for points and miles by spending category. In this guide, we’ve rounded up eight rewards cards below that match well with millennials and their spending habits.
Why Millenials Should Use Credit Cards
Some millenials don’t want to open credit cards because they’re concerned about racking up debt. But using them appropriately yields three great results: establishing or rebuilding credit, earning points, miles or cash back, and having enhanced fraud protection.
Establishing or rebuilding credit. Credit cards have a bad reputation. But if you use them correctly, they’re great tools for financial planning and money management, like funding big purchases and in case of an emergency.
Earning points, miles or cash back. Some credit cards will reward you for your spending. For some, this is the best reason to open a credit card. Just remember, don’t overspend to earn the rewards. It’s not worth it!
Having enhanced fraud protection. Credit cards have better fraud protection than debit cards. If someone steals your debit card, they have access to everything in your checking account until you and your bank can sort it all out.
Best Types of Credit Cards For Millennials
There’s no one card that’s a good fit for all millennials. It really depends on your financial situation. For example, if you’re trying to establish or rebuild your credit, go for a secured credit card. They don’t come with any bells or whistles, but using a secured card responsibly can help you earn good credit and open doors to better cards.
If you have good credit, but you don’t want to get too crazy into the points and miles world, a simple cashback card with no annual fee is an easy way to earn rewards without all the headache.
If you want to make a big purchase, opening a credit card can help you budget for large expenses without making a huge dent in your savings account. Look for a card with a 0% introductory APR, which will give you time to pay off that big ticket item without having to pay interest. Just make sure to pay your balance in full every month.
If you have good credit, and you want the most bang for your buck, then you’ll want a card with spending bonuses on certain categories. These usually come with additional perks, but they also come with higher annual fees.
Best Credit Cards For Millennials
Now that we’ve gone over why you should use credit cards and what types of credit cards might be good for you, here’s a list of the credit cards we think are a great fit with millennials:
Details of Each Card
Let’s get into more detail with each card below:
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a longstanding reputation as a great premium travel rewards card, and for good reason. Its welcome bonuses are always generous, and it comes with a variety of benefits that make frequent travel easier and more comfortable. But of course, all that comes with a very high annual fee.
We recommend Chase Sapphire Reserve® for millennials who travel a lot and want to be rewarded for it, but they’re not ready to pledge loyalty to a specific travel brand.
For those that spend most of their budget on food and travel, the American Express® Gold Card is a no brainer. It offers points at restaurants worldwide, supermarkets in the United States and on flights. You’ll also get dining and airline credits annually. But make sure your spending is worth the card’s high annual fee.
We recommend Amex Gold for millennials who spend plenty on food and airfare to make up for the steep annual fee.
The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is a simple travel card that offers a flat earning rate on all purchases, easy redemption options and the ability to transfer to partner loyalty programs. The welcome bonus isn’t as generous as other cards, but you also don’t have to pay an annual fee.
We recommend Capital One VentureOne for millennials seeking a low-cost card who spend lightly and only travel once in awhile.
The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a simple rewards card that offers a flat cash back rate on dining, entertainment, and on groceries. This card doesn’t come with an annual fee, so the welcome bonus isn’t too generous either.
We recommend Capital One SavorOne to millennials who want a low-cost rewards card for going out and enjoying the nightlife.
With the Citi Premier® Card, you’ll get a handsome sign-up bonus, generous rewards on travel and the ability to transfer to partner loyalty programs. Plus, the card’s definition of travel is very broad. Besides airfare, hotels and car rentals, it includes gas, public transportation, tolls, parking and much more.
We recommend Citi Premier for millennials who travel moderately and want to be rewarded for it as well as their commute.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers a hugh cash back rate on Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases, and a descent rate at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores. The card doesn’t come with an annual fee, but you do need to be an Amazon Prime member to apply.
We recommend Amazon Prime Rewards to millennials who are existing Prime members that do a lot of their shopping on Amazon and at Whole Foods.
While we focused on credit cards for Millennials in this post, you may want to consider other cards with additional earning potential that matches your spending behavior. Click here for our guide on the best credit cards in other categories or check out these other posts: