Searching for intro credit card

Incoming S&T analyst. Expected TC 150k, savings of 20k, no debt. Don't have my own card but am an authorized user on my parents' -- think this counts for my credit score.

Will be in MCOL city and am heavy saver with limited expenses.  Expect to spend 1300/month on rent and utilities, and then the rest on some basic furniture, groceries, dining/drinks, Target runs, and occasional plane tickets (say 4-6 times/year).  Think I'll forgo a car this year and see how it turns out.

What cards do you recommend?  Just starting to do introductory research and haven't worked out the math yet but torn between (1) cards with no annual fee/cash back and (2) Amex Gold.


Try something like the Chase Freedom or Citi Doublecash- both are very straightforward with no annual fee, and they should approve someone with limited credit as well. Get one, then get the other after a few months just so you have a few cards to establish credit history with. 

Amex Gold is definitely worth the annual fee once you start spending over 6k a year on groceries and use the other benefits, but I'm not sure you will be approved given your limited credit histoy.


Thanks for the response.  I think the Chase Freedom is the best among the cashback cards (3-5% back on everything within the first 12 months).  Was also considering the Prime card as I'll be living next to a Whole Foods this upcoming year.

Even if I were to be approved for the Amex Gold (or another rewards card like the Chase Sapphire), do you think it'd be worth the annual fee?

Also am confused re: how many cards to have and how often I can cancel them.  Tend to find the credit score manipulation gimmicks pretty annoying.

Most Helpful

Don't cancel whatever card you open first. Your credit score is good. Like the above poster said, Amex is good for Groceries, and it gives, I think, 3% back on eating out. If you want to save, Amex has a cash blue preferred card, but the Chase Freedom is better and accepted more. Chase is a visa, so any Costco-type store will accept it. We just booked a summer rental, and they didn't take Amex due to the company's cost when a person uses Amex. I'd say get the Chase now and maybe the Amex in 6 months. 

If you don't mind forgoing the new member benefit, you can always call Chase and ask them to upgrade you, and you don't lose your credit history. 

Sounds like you'll have a good credit score, but Amex won't give you a high limit without a credit payment history. You have an emergency fund, but I always use my card to pay for something big get the points or cash back and then once it posts, pay it off in full. Some credit card hacking isn't detrimental if you are disciplined. In Finance/RE/M&A/Big4 Consulting, you'll find a wide array of people who are disciplined. You'll find the analyst making 150k have more in savings than a VP making 350k based on habits. 

Also, both Chase and Amex have pre-approval soft credit pulls that you can do on their websites to see if you would be approved. 


You wouldn't swap cards out, but instead you could have both the Chase Freedom and the Sapphire Reserve at the same time, while getting the welcome bonuses on both. Chase does auto-deny you from getting any more credit cards if you have opened more than 5 in the last 24 months though. Don't worry about being loyal to Chase or AMEX, plenty of people maintain lots of open cards from both companies. If you were to open the Chase Freedom now, but wanted the Amex Gold later, then you should just leave the Chase Freedom open to get those perks and maintain the open line of credit. It doesn't hurt you to leave a no annual fee card open forever. I plan on getting my first credit card from Chase on the day after my birthday and leaving it open forever. 


Sapphire preferred and freedom plus combo and get a BILT card to earn points on your rent

down the line consider an amex plat if you travel alot


By Freedom Plus do you mean the Unlimited or the Flex?

Also is there anything special about the Chase package?  I feel like Amex Gold would suit me better than Sapphire Preferred looking at the rewards.


personally I got the CSR+CFU combo and it's been decent enough, but need to revisit it and see if a flat cashback card is better

Quant (ˈkwänt) n: An expert, someone who knows more and more about less and less until they know everything about nothing.

Aut dolorem ipsum molestiae qui deleniti fugiat placeat. Quisquam est culpa fugiat reiciendis id. Non dolor voluptas earum iusto eos sint omnis. Sit officiis et fugiat doloribus illo.

Career Advancement Opportunities

June 2024 Investment Banking

  • Jefferies & Company 02 99.4%
  • Perella Weinberg Partners New 98.9%
  • Lazard Freres 01 98.3%
  • Harris Williams & Co. 24 97.7%
  • Goldman Sachs 16 97.1%

Overall Employee Satisfaction

June 2024 Investment Banking

  • Harris Williams & Co. 19 99.4%
  • Lazard Freres 06 98.9%
  • JPMorgan Chase 09 98.3%
  • Morgan Stanley 05 97.7%
  • Moelis & Company 01 97.1%

Professional Growth Opportunities

June 2024 Investment Banking

  • Lazard Freres 01 99.4%
  • Jefferies & Company 02 98.9%
  • Perella Weinberg Partners 18 98.3%
  • Goldman Sachs 16 97.7%
  • Moelis & Company 05 97.1%

Total Avg Compensation

June 2024 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (5) $648
  • Vice President (22) $375
  • Associates (94) $260
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (14) $181
  • Intern/Summer Associate (33) $170
  • 2nd Year Analyst (69) $168
  • 1st Year Analyst (206) $159
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (151) $101
16 IB Interviews Notes

“... there’s no excuse to not take advantage of the resources out there available to you. Best value for your $ are the...”


redever's picture
Betsy Massar's picture
Betsy Massar
Secyh62's picture
BankonBanking's picture
GameTheory's picture
dosk17's picture
kanon's picture
CompBanker's picture
DrApeman's picture
Linda Abraham's picture
Linda Abraham
From 10 rejections to 1 dream investment banking internship

“... I believe it was the single biggest reason why I ended up with an offer...”