August 20, 2023

Top 5 Types of Credit Cards to Build Credit

Discover how to use credit cards to build credit. Learn about different types of credit cards, how to use them responsibly, and how to monitor your credit.

In the world of personal finance, credit cards often get a bad rap. They're seen as debt traps, luring unsuspecting consumers into a cycle of high-interest repayments.

But what if we told you that credit cards, when used responsibly, could be powerful tools for building a robust credit profile? Yes, you read that right. The small piece of plastic in your wallet can help you build credit and pave the way for a secure financial future.

This article aims to answer two crucial questions: Can credit cards build credit? And Which credit cards build credit? We'll dig into the mechanics of credit building, debunk some common myths, and shine a spotlight on the types of credit cards that can help you improve your credit score.

In the United States, as per the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, around 44% of households carry credit card debt. However, a significant number of consumers are leveraging the power of credit cards to build their credit scores. By the end of this article, you'll understand how they're doing it and how you can too. Let's start.

How can Credit Cards Build Credit?

A credit card is a powerful tool in your credit-building arsenal. But, like any tool, its effectiveness depends on how you use it.

Credit cards can be used to build credit. Yes, you heard it right! Using a credit card to build credit can significantly improve credit scores.

Every time you use a credit card, you're essentially borrowing money that you promise to pay back. When you repay consistently and on time, you're showing lenders that you can be trusted with credit. This history of on-time payments contributes to about 35% of your FICO score, making it the most significant factor in your credit score calculation. You can understand this process better by reading this article.

Responsible credit card usage also means not applying for too many new credit cards at once, as this can lead to hard inquiries on your credit report, which can temporarily lower your credit score.

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Best Credit Cards To Build Credit

Navigating the world of credit cards can be daunting, especially when your goal is to build credit. With countless options available, how do you choose the right one?

Let's break down the different types of credit cards that can help you build credit and take a closer look at some specific cards that could be your ticket to a higher credit score.

1. Secured Credit Cards

Secured credit cards are often the go-to choice for those starting their credit journey or rebuilding from past mistakes. These cards require a security deposit, which typically sets your credit limit.

One standout in this category is the Discover Bank of America Secured Credit Card. With no annual fee, cash-back rewards, and automatic reviews for upgrading to an unsecured card, it's a solid choice for credit-building.

The card also reports to all three major credit bureaus, ensuring your responsible usage is recognized.

2. Credit Cards for Bad Credit

If your credit score has taken a hit due to financial missteps or unforeseen circumstances, don't despair. Certain credit cards are designed specifically to help you rebuild your credit. These cards, often referred to as credit builder cards, offer a second chance to those with bad credit.

One such card is the Credit One Bank Visa for Rebuilding Credit. This card offers a unique set of features aimed at helping you improve your credit. For starters, it provides free online access to your Experian credit score, allowing you to monitor your progress as you work to improve your credit. Additionally, these cards offer automatic reviews for credit line increases.

This means that as you demonstrate responsible credit behavior, you may be rewarded with a higher credit limit, which can further improve your credit score by reducing your credit utilization ratio.

3. Student Credit Cards

For students, a credit card can serve dual purposes if used correctly: a means to handle emergencies and a tool to build credit. The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One® is a popular choice, offering cash-back rewards and a credit limit increase after making the first six monthly payments on time.

Such cards also offer bonus rewards for paying on time, encouraging good credit habits from the get-go.

4. Store Credit Cards

Store credit cards can be a viable option for building credit, especially for frequent shoppers at specific retailers. These cards are often easier to qualify for than regular credit cards and can help you establish a credit history.

For example, the Walmart Credit Card, issued by Capital One, offers rewards for shopping at Walmart and affiliated stores, along with special financing options – benefits that can add up for regular Walmart shoppers. Similarly, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, issued by Chase, provides cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, along with other perks like no foreign transaction fees.

These cards offer additional discounts on purchases, free shipping for online orders, and an extended return period – benefits that can add up to significant savings for regular Target shoppers. But beyond these shopping perks, these cards also report to the major credit bureaus. This means your responsible usage – keeping your balance low and making payments on time – can help you build credit.

However, store credit cards often come with high-interest rates, so it's crucial to pay off your balance in full each month. This way, you can enjoy the benefits while building your credit score.

5. Prepaid Credit Cards

Prepaid credit cards can be a useful tool for those who want to avoid the risk of debt while building credit. With these cards, you load money onto the card and then use it for purchases, similar to a debit card.

While such cards don't offer rewards or cash back normally, they do report to the three major credit bureaus, helping you build credit with responsible use. It's a good option for those who want to control their spending while working on their credit.

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Alternative Credit Building Methods

While credit cards are powerful tools for building credit, they are not the only means to achieve a solid credit profile. In addition to responsibly using credit cards, consider these alternative methods to bolster your creditworthiness:

  1. Credit Builder Loans: Credit builder loans, offered by some financial institutions, are designed specifically to help individuals build credit. These loans work by holding the loan amount in a savings account or certificate of deposit, which you can access once the loan is repaid. On-time payments are reported to credit bureaus, contributing to your credit score. Bright Builder can be your guide to a better credit score.

  1. Become an Authorized User: If you have a trusted friend or family member with a good credit history, ask them to add you as an authorized user on one of their credit cards. Being an authorized user can allow you to benefit from their positive credit history and improve your own credit score.

  1. Secured Personal Loans: Similar to secured credit cards, secured personal loans require collateral, such as a savings account or certificate of deposit. Making timely payments on a secured personal loan can demonstrate creditworthiness and positively impact your credit score.

  1. Rent Reporting Services: Some companies offer rent reporting services that report your rent payments to credit bureaus. Timely rent payments can be factored into your credit score, providing an additional credit-building opportunity for renters.

Build Your Credit Responsibly - Explore Bright App's Credit Builder Loans and take steps towards a brighter financial future!


As we've journeyed through the world of credit cards and credit building, one thing is clear: credit cards, when used responsibly, can be powerful tools for building a robust credit profile. From secured cards to student cards, from cards designed for bad credit to store cards, there's a credit card out there for every credit-building journey.

However, the card itself is just a tool. Its power lies in how you use it. Making payments on time, keeping your balance low, understanding your card's terms, and regularly monitoring your credit - these are the keys to unlocking the credit-building potential of your credit card.

Building credit isn't just about securing a loan or getting a credit card. It's about creating financial opportunities and securing your financial future. So, take that first step. Choose the right credit card, use it responsibly, and watch your credit profile grow. Your financial future is in your hands. Furthermore, understanding your credit report is a crucial part of this journey. Bright App can help you stay informed, stay proactive, and be on your way to a strong credit profile.

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