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Earn extra credit with a rewards student credit card

By Ben Woolsey

Not so long ago, it was virtually impossible for a young person without a solid credit history and employment record to qualify for a new credit card. But, as the saying goes, times have changed. Nowadays, a student that is actively enrolled in an accredited four year college or university can apply and qualify for a wide range of cutting-edge credit card products from the nation's leading banks and issuers.

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And, the student credit card choices are not limited to those with high fees, high APRs and no benefits. Quite the contrary is true. Today's product offerings include reward credit cards that provide an opportunity to earn points for merchandise, cash back, airline frequent flier miles and entertainment rewards with each purchase dollar.

Some notable examples of these types of reward credit cards include the Citi mtvU Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students. This card offers 0 percent APR for 6 months and 5 ThankYou Points for every dollar spent at restaurants, bookstores, record stores, movie theatres and video rentals stores, all with no annual fee. These types of features have only recently become available to the general consumer credit card market, so the ability of a college student to receive these benefits is quite extraordinary.

Other amazing deals are available from premier issuers like Chase and Discover, including the Chase Student Flexible Rewards Card. This card also offers 0 percent introductory APR, with every eligible purchase earning the cardholder 1 point per dollar spent on the card.   

The advent of student rewards credit card offers is a testament to the value that major banks like Citi, Chase, American Express and Discover have placed on college students. Studies have shown that the first card acquired by a student in college is often kept for many years after graduation, thus providing a huge customer value return to the issuer.

And, the value certainly isn't all for the banks. Beyond harnessing the reward earning power inherent in everyday student life, like tuition, rent, books, food and road trips, there is the primary value of building a solid credit history. The college years are a great time to find yourself, grow up and choose a direction in life. But they are also a critical time to form a financial track record, which can be greatly augmented with the responsible use of a student credit card.

Published: December 21, 2005


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Updated: 09-30-2016


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