ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Biggest Mistake You'll Make With Your New Credit Card

Updated on June 17, 2009
Photo by Steve Woods
Photo by Steve Woods

Most people know that they should be watching their credit score, keeping on top of payments, and generally keeping an eye on their finances. But did you know that the very first purchase you make with your brand new credit card can have an influence on your future credit line for that card?

Companies use your first purchase with your new card as an indicator for how you will be using the card:

Luxury, brand-name store like Starbucks? Great.

Casino or liquor store? Red flag!

This is just one of the many ways that your bank determines whether or not to raise your credit limit, but it's the one least known to the general public and it's the easiest one to control! All you have to do is make a conscious purchase the first time you use your card.

What Not to Buy

The following is a list of places and types of things you should steer clear from when making your first purchase on your new credit card. Remember, buy whatever you want after the first transaction; they only use the first purchase to profile your buying habits as risky or safe.

  • Fast food like McDonald's or Taco Bell
  • Lottery tickets, cigarettes, or porn
  • Liquor stores
  • Casinos, especially the "cash cage"
  • Telemarketers or infomercials
  • Low-end retail like Wal-Mart or dollar stores
  • Gasoline (this is debatable, since some cards have extra rewards for gas)

Purchases at these types of places indicate to the bank or credit card company that you may be a risky buyer, and they will be less likely to increase your credit limit, or if they do, they will increase it less than they would have otherwise.

To be safe, you also want to avoid making huge purchases (laptops, dinner for 10, etc) as your very first transaction on a new credit card.

Join HubPages!

You can write a "hub" like this and make money from the advertisements! Just join the HubPages community (it only takes a few seconds), and start writing about whatever moves you. It's that simple!

What to Buy

Now that we know what to avoid, let's look at some good ideas for a first-time purchase with your new card. These are not guarantees that your credit limit will shoot up, but they will indicate to your credit card company that you have spending money in your pocket and that you don't go around blowing it on liquor and lottery tickets.

  • Starbucks or another higher-end food brand
  • Gap, Victoria's Secret, etc (under $100)
  • A meal for two at a local restaurant
  • Bookstores or media stores (DVDs, etc)

Please note that these purchases should be in person and not online or over the telephone.  We can all use any help we can get with keeping our credit scores up, and having a higher credit limit (without using it) can be a major boost to that. So buy a cup of Starbucks coffee and make your credit card company believe that you will be a responsible spender. Once you know the system, you can use it to your advantage!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image

      Alvin Morris 

      7 years ago

      Thanks for the recommendations on credit repair on all of this web-site. Some tips i would advice people is usually to give up a mentality they will buy today and pay back later. Being a society many of us tend to do this for many factors. This includes family vacations, furniture, and also items we would like. However, you should separate the wants from all the needs. When you're working to fix your credit score make some trade-offs. For example you'll be able to shop online to save money or you can turn to second hand retailers instead of highly-priced department stores with regard to clothing.

    • MikeNV profile image


      10 years ago from Henderson, NV

      The goal is to use some of your credit and keep it paid off. If you make a large purchase on your card you want to be able to pay that purchase off. One good trick is to get a card that offers cash back. Then save the money to pay for the purchase, but put it on your card for the cash back. But do pay it off so you don't get the interest charge.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)