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Is a particular credit card provider more favorable than another to build up my credit score?

As a side note, it has been asked in the context of United States.

  • I'm afraid not. – keshlam Oct 12 '16 at 19:15
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    @keshlam I disagree - at minimum, the fact that some lenders may not report to all three bureaus is relevant here. – Joe Oct 12 '16 at 19:40
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    True, but who reports what where may change without notice at any time, so I am not convinced it's practical to try to shop on that basis. – keshlam Oct 12 '16 at 23:23
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Not really.

The credit score formula is a proprietary secret, but some of the factors that go into calculating the credit score are known. Some of these factors that relate to a credit card account are:

  • Debt-to-credit limit ratio
  • Types of credit (revolving, installment, mortgage, etc.)
  • Number of open accounts
  • Average age of accounts
  • Age of oldest account

I've never read anything to indicate that the credit score formula has a bias for one particular bank or brand of credit card over another. Given two identical credit card accounts (identical in age, credit limit, balance, and payment history), they should have equal effect on the credit score.

3

As far as affecting just credit score, the issuer does not matter. That includes both the payment network (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, AmEx) and the issuing bank (e.g., Chase, Citi, etc).

On a practical level other factors will come into play such as the likelihood of approval. If your credit score is low either due to derogatory marks or because you are new to credit, credit cards from credit unions usually offer more favorable terms and greater likelihood of approval than the cards from big banks.

2

There are several things that could make a difference here.

First off, a provider that reports your credit is superior to one that does not. Not all small providers will regularly report your credit history. It's voluntary on their part, after all. And in fact, many smaller ones will only report to one or two bureaus, not all three of hte major ones. If they only report to Equifax, but Transunion is what your (future) mortgage lender uses, you may be out of luck. This is the most important factor here, I think. Ask the lender before you borrow, or search online to see what bureau(s) they report on.

Second, a provider that is more forgiving of minor transgressions would be superior. If you're working on building credit, odds are either you're not used to paying off credit cards as you've not had them, or (more often) you've made some mistakes in the past. A lender who will not charge late fees or report short-term lateness is probably safer for you - you might forget one month a year to make a payment and end up a few days late, after all.

Similarly, a lender that allows you to have an automatic debit for the minimum payment due will save you significantly compared to one that you have to remember and/or have less flexibility in automatic payments.

Beyond differences like that, though, the credit bureaus won't treat lenders differently - Chase vs Citibank vs Discover will all have an equal effect on your credit, assuming they report it equivalently and have similar terms.

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