Credit Card for 18 Year Old?

My son is graduated from high school and just turned 18. He got his first credit card offer in the mail yesterday. I initially told him to throw it away since a credit card is not needed…but then it got me thinking…

My son is very good with his money, he has his own budget and spends moderately. Should my son get a credit card? Should I just add my son’s name to my credit card? Will that build his credit if he’s an authorized user on my credit card? If we get him a card, which card is best for him?

Please give me your input, Thanks!

I think these will provide a great background. Cheers, Blake

In case you need a refresher on generations:

  • Baby Boomers: Baby boomers were born between 1946 and 1964. They’re currently between 57-75 years old (71.6 million in the U.S.)
  • Gen X: Gen X was born between 1965 and 1979/80 and is currently between 41-56 years old (65.2 million people in the U.S.)
  • Gen Y: Gen Y, or Millennials, were born between 1981 and 1994/6. They are currently between 25 and 40 years old (72.1 million in the U.S.)
    • Gen Y.1 = 25-29 years old (around 31 million people in the U.S.)
    • Gen Y.2 = 29-39 (around 42 million people in the U.S.)
  • Gen Z: Gen Z is the newest generation, born between 1997 and 2012. They are currently between 6 and 24 years old (nearly 68 million in the U.S.)
  • Gen A: Generation Alpha starts with children born in 2012 and will continue at least through 2025, maybe later (approximately 48 million people in the U.S.)

Thank you, I’ll get reading these!

We have a 14- and 16-year-old, @wipersnaz, so it’s a little bit different, but we’re very happy with the Visa Debit cards. The kids have freedom and autonomy to spend without the hassle, risk and complexity of making/missing(!) payments and running up debt.

If he’s responsible with his money and you’ve explained exactly how credit cards work (and don’t work), then it sounds like your son is a great candidate for a credit card! I always think it’s better for them to get experience with money as early as possible. It’s really great you talk to him about money!