This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

TPG reader Martine asked me on Facebook:

“I just completed paying off my consolidated debt and am looking to build my credit, if possible with some type of rewards credit card. My credit score is 694 with Transunion, but 744 with Experian.  Do you have any recommendations?”

Maintaining a high credit score is critical if you want to earn lots of miles and points through credit cards.

TPG reader Martine just finished paying off her debt, and is wondering what card she should use to continue building her credit while simultaneously earning points and miles. Her current credit score of 694 with Transunion and 744 with Experian should qualify her for most card offers.

If you’re using a credit card, make sure it’s one that earns rewards. (Image courtesy of Shutterstock)

The first thing I would suggest is to visit the CreditBoards website. They have a credit database of user-reported information on which card issuers pull from which of the three major credit reporting agencies. Generally, credit card companies will pull just one score, though some companies (like Capital One) will pull from all three bureaus.

It usually varies by state, so American Express may pull from Experian in New York, but Transunion in California. After obtaining this information from the website, I would recommend applying for cards from issuers that pull from the agency where you have the highest score. In Martine’s case, that would be Experian.

Another tip is to start off by applying for less premium cards. For example, don’t start with the American Express Platinum card right away, as it’s targeted toward high end consumers and is more difficult to get. You could very well be approved (many different factors are involved), but your chances are better if you start small and work your way up.

Some great starter cards include the Chase FreedomCiti ThankYou Preferred Card, or Amex Everyday card. If you start off with these entry level, no annual fee cards, you can begin building up your credit to later apply for more premium cards.

For more information, check out this post on how card issuers get your credit report, and why it matters.

If you have any other questions, please tweet me @thepointsguy, message me on Facebook, or send me an email at

Chase Freedom®

It's a stellar Cash Back card on its own, but when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom's 5x Category Bonuses let you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, transferrable to partners or redeemable via the portal.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.49-24.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
0% for 15 months
Regular APR
15.49% - 24.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.