Student Credit Cards

Following is a list of credit card offers designed for students. Compare offers from our partners and apply online with a student credit card application.

New Federal laws impose restrictions on issuing credit cards to individuals under 21 unless the applicant has the independent ability to repay debt, or has an adult co-signer who agrees to accept joint liability for the account. Learn More.

See offers from our partners below.

 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year automatically—only for new cardmembers*
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter—no sign-ups needed.* 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on first late payment & paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on statements, online & by mobile app.* 100% U.S.-based service any time. Text alerts when payment is due & a free mobile app to stay on top of your account.
  • New Freeze It℠ on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app & online.*
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.
  • 0% intro APR* on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99%.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms & other info by clicking "Apply."
  • See complete Discover it® chrome for Students details
 APPLY NOW

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Purchases
    Intro APR
    0%
    Purchases
    Intro APR Period
    6 months
    Balance Transfers
    Intro APR
    10.99%
    Balance Transfers
    Intro APR Period
    6 months
    Regular
    APR
    12.99% - 21.99% Variable*
    Annual
    Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Fair Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Double all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year automatically—only for new cardmembers*
  • 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter like gas, restaurants, Amazon.com and more—up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up.* 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on first late payment & paying late won't raise your APR.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on statements, online & by mobile app.* 100% U.S.-based service any time. Text alerts when payment is due & a free mobile app to stay on top of your account.
  • New Freeze It℠ on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers on misplaced cards in seconds by mobile app & online.*
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card
  • 0% intro APR* on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99%.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms & other info by clicking "Apply."
  • See complete Discover it® for Students details
 APPLY NOW

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Purchases
    Intro APR
    0%
    Purchases
    Intro APR Period
    6 months
    Balance Transfers
    Intro APR
    10.99%
    Balance Transfers
    Intro APR Period
    6 months
    Regular
    APR
    12.99%-21.99% Variable*
    Annual
    Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Fair Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Good Credit
  • Earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of cardmembership.
  • 2 ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment.
  • 1 ThankYou® Point on other purchases.
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points with this card
  • Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, cash and more
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology
  • No annual fee*
  • See complete Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students details
 APPLY NOW

at Citi's
secure site

Credit Needed
Good Credit
  • Purchases
    Intro APR
    0%*
    Purchases
    Intro APR Period
    7 months on Purchases*
    Balance Transfers
    Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers
    Intro APR Period
    N/A
    Regular
    APR
    13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)
    Annual
    Fee
    $0*
    Credit Needed
    Good Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a 25% bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time, for a total of 1.25% cash back
  • There's no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards don't expire
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Pay no annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get free access to your credit score and learn how everyday decisions can affect your score using Capital One® Credit Tracker
  • See complete Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® details
 APPLY NOW

at Capital One's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Purchases
    Intro APR
    N/A
    Purchases
    Intro APR Period
    N/A
    Balance Transfers
    Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers
    Intro APR Period
    N/A
    Regular
    APR
    19.8% (Variable)
    Annual
    Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Fair Credit
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Tips for choosing a student credit card

A student credit card can be a meaningful first step toward financial independence, a way of building the kind of credit that can help secure loans, housing, even employment. It can also be the first step toward the kind of debt that leads to collection calls and sleepless night. Your choice.

Because credit cards can have immediate and long-term consequences, lawmakers have restricted the eligibility of young adults to secure them.

Under the Credit CARD Act of 2009, if you're younger than 21 years old, you need one of two things: proof of financial independence (i.e. income or savings) or a co-signer at least 21 years old.

If you meet those requirements, you can be eligible for a student credit card, which are targeted to the first-time cardholder. They come in two styles -- secured or unsecured.

Unsecured student cards are just like traditional credit cards -- only smaller. They look the same, but with miniature credit lines compared to their grown-up counterparts. As with any credit card, you receive a line of credit for purchases that can be repaid in full each month or through minimum monthly payments. You'll also see the usual array of perks such as cash-back rewards, sign-up bonuses and a 0 percent introductory APR.

As a first-time cardholder, expect to be treated as a high-risk customer until you prove you can handle a card responsibly. That means in addition to the low credit limit, you can expect a high interest rate that will make carrying a balance very costly.

The other option is a secured card, which requires a deposit to secure your line of credit. It can be a good option. Without a credit history, you're more likely to be approved for a secured card than an unsecured card. Establishing credit history with a secured card can also improve your chances of being approved for an unsecured card later on.

If you choose a secured card, make sure the financial institution reports to all three credit bureaus -- Experian, Equifax and TransUnion -- and try to avoid fees as much as possible. Fees on secured cards can be the usual ones all consumers face, such as annual fees or over-limit fees. Secured cards also tend to sport some creative fees not found elsewhere, such as a preapproval application fee.

Whichever option you choose, try to apply for only one card because each new credit card application lowers your credit score. Once you own the card, don't go crazy. Stay under your credit limit to avoid over-the-limit fees and stay away from cash advances, which charge interest from the moment the money is in your hands. And here's a lesson as important as any you'll learn in school: To stay out of financial trouble, pay off your monthly balance in full and on time.

More student credit card news

Starter card

Getting beyond
the 'starter card'

For a top credit score, get a mix of credit ... See Starter card

Working through college

Working through
school may not pay

Don't delay graduation with low-pay job ... See Working

GAO urges changes on college cards

GAO urges change
in college cards

New breed of college cards can carry fees ... See GAO


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