6 Credit Cards to Help Furnish Your First Apartment

Making the List

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Moving into your first apartment can be both thrilling and nerve-racking. It’s exciting to get a place of your own, but you’ve got to figure out how to afford all the stuff you need to make it a home—including furniture, appliances, and décor, not to mention the groceries.

The right credit card can help you earn cash back rewards, avoid interest on purchases, or do some combination of both.

Here are six credit cards to help you furnish your first apartment.

1. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi 

Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year; 3% cash back on dining and eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com; and 1% cash back on other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0 (with a paid Costco membership)

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for seven months on purchases, then variable 16.24% APR; variable 16.24% APR on balance transfers. (Balance transfers must be made within two months of account opening.)

Why We Picked It: Costco members can earn cash back as they stock up on apartment goods.

For Your Apartment: This card earns 2% cash back on all Costco purchases, including appliances, furniture, lighting, and many other goods you may need for your new apartment. Purchases get 0% APR for seven months.

Drawbacks: You need a Costco membership (an annual cost of about $60) to access this card.

2. Discover it – Cashback Match

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 per quarter for quarterly rotating bonus categories; 1% cash back on other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: Cash back match on all cash back earned in the card’s first year.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: The upcoming bonus category can help you save on home goods.

For Your Apartment: Cardholders earn 5% cash back on bonus categories that rotate every quarter. The upcoming bonus category is Amazon.com and Target purchases, so you can save big at those merchants as you fill up your apartment.

Drawbacks: Cardholders have to put in the effort of tracking and activating bonus categories. 

3. Citi Simplicity

Rewards: None

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR.

Why We Picked It: This card’s 0% APR offer is unparalleled.

For Your Apartment: While there aren’t any bonus cash back rewards with this card, purchases get 0% APR for 21 months—which means you’ll have almost two years to pay down your apartment expenses interest-free.

Drawbacks: You won’t earn any rewards with this card.

4. Blue Cash Preferred by American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual purchases at US supermarkets; 3% cash back at US gas stations and select department stores; and 1% cash back on other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of card membership, then $95.

APR: Variable 13.99% to 24.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Why We Picked It: Stocking your fridge and your home can earn you cash back.

For Your Apartment: Whether you’re stocking your fridge at the supermarket or picking up appliances and home goods at eligible department stores, you’ll be earning a lot of cash back with this card.

Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee after the first year.

5. Citi Double Cash

Rewards: 1% cash back for all purchases; an additional 1% cash back upon payment.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

APR: Variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases; 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR.

Why We Picked It: All purchases earn cash back.

For Your Apartment: All purchases earn 2% cash back once they are paid off. That provides a strong incentive to pay off your apartment expenses quickly. Plus, you get 18 months with 0% APR for balance transfers.

Drawbacks: You’ll have to wait until your purchases are paid off to get the full cash back.

6. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.

Why We Picked It: This card offers a flat cash back rate on all purchases and 15 months with 0% APR.

For Your Apartment: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back with no hoops to jump through or categories to track. Purchases have 0% APR for 15 months.

Drawbacks: There are better cash back rates available with other cards. 

Choosing a Card for Your First Apartment

Credit cards can help you furnish your apartment by earning you cash back or helping you avoid interest with 0% APR offers. You should evaluate these policies closely when choosing a card.

For cash back rewards, choose a card that offers the best return on your upcoming purchases. If you’re going to be spending a lot of time in your new kitchen, you may want a card that rewards grocery expenses. If you’re planning to buy most of your furniture at a specific merchant, find a card that specifically rewards those purchases. If you anticipate spending at a variety of merchants, choose a card with a flat cash back rate for all purchases.

Introductory 0% APR offers can help you avoid interest on your purchases for a set amount of time. If you’re choosing a card for its 0% APR offer, look for one that provides enough time to pay off your initial home purchases. Otherwise, you’ll get hit with interest when the time limit is up.

What Credit Is Required for a First Apartment Credit Card?  

Cards with cash back rewards and balance transfer offers often require good to excellent credit. When you find the right card, compare its credit requirements to your credit score before you apply. You don’t want to ding your credit score applying for a card that’s out of your reach. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

Image: sturti 

At publishing time, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, Discover it Cashback Match, Citi Simplicity, Blue Cash Preferred by American Express, Citi Double Cash, and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly. 

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