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.

Ad Choices Image
 APPLY ONLINE

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Discover matches all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year - automatically. Only for new cardmembers.
  • Earn 5% cash back in new bonus categories each quarter like gas, restaurants, Amazon.com and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements & online.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.24% - 22.24%.
  • See additional Discover it® for Students details
 APPLY NOW

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    0% for 6 months
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    10.99% for 6 months
    Regular APR
    13.24%-22.24% Variable
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Fair Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Discover matches all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year - automatically. Only for new cardmembers.
  • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter—no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements & online.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.24% - 22.24%.
  • See additional Discover it® chrome for Students details
 APPLY NOW

at Discover's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    0% for 6 months
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    10.99% for 6 months
    Regular APR
    13.24% - 22.24% Variable
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Fair Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at Capital One's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • 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
  • See additional Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® details
 APPLY NOW

at Capital One's
secure site

Credit Needed
Fair Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    N/A
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    20.24% (Variable)
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Credit Needed
    Fair Credit
 APPLY ONLINE

at Citi's
secure site

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 earned with this card do not expire and there is no limit to the amount of points you can earn.
  • 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 additional Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students details
 APPLY NOW

at Citi's
secure site

Credit Needed
Good Credit
  • Purchases Intro APR
    0%* for 7 months on Purchases*
    Balance Transfers Intro APR
    N/A
    Regular APR
    14.24% - 24.24%* (Variable)
    Annual Fee
    $0*
    Credit Needed
    Good Credit
Show More Results


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 (that is, 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

Students build credit

10 ways students
can build credit

It comes down to being responsible ... See Build credit

Tuition on a credit card

Paying for tuition
with a credit card

Acceptance is high, but so are fees ... See Tuition

Best student credit cards

Best credit card
for college students

Our panel of judges names best in class ... See Best


Join the Discussion


We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, we ask that you do not disclose confidential or personal information such as your bank account number, phone number, or email address. Keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by the card issuers or advertisers. Additionally, the card issuer or advertiser does not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.