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dopekidjay

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I have decent credit, looking to get my first credit card. How do I know which one is best to get?

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where you already do your banking

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If you've never had a credit card, what's your credit based on?  Mortgage?  Car loans?

Once you have a couple of credit cards, you become a more attractive prospect to the credit card companies, you'll start receiving offers for credit cards that give you bonuses for signing up with their credit card as well as rewards for making purchases.

For now, you just want a credit card without an annual fee, preferably with a higher credit limit.  As long as you're planning on paying your balance in full each month (which should be your plan), you won't care about the interest rate.  To maximize the chance that your application will be approved (without going to the subprime credit card issuers), apply for a card at the financial institution where you have your checking or savings accounts.  If you have an account at a credit union, that's best, because credit unions almost always have more consumer-friendly policies, even though they may not have the best incentives.

You might consider opening up accounts at other institutions to help you get another couple of cards.  Once you've had a couple of cards open for at least a year, then you can start applying for new cards on a regular basis, about once every 6 months.  Remember, aside from the problem of tracking all the accounts, more credit cards (and a higher combined credit limit) is all to the good, but you want to pace it so that don't find yourself with a dozen or more credit inquiries, because that can affect your credit score.  Applying for a new card every 6 months means that you'll max out at 4 inquires over the last 2 years, the time these inquiries stay on your credit report.

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