Student Credit Cards Interview with WTVN Radio Columbus
CreditCards.com Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz spoke on Thursday, August 27, 2015 with Joel Riley of WTVN Radio Columbus about the August 2015 Student Credit Cards survey. The interview and transcript are below.
Joel Riley: Lots of worries when your kids head off to college. You know, if they’re going to have a good roommate, if they’re going to be safe, if they’re going to crack the books and even try to get good grades. But one of the things we’ve always heard is to beware of those people that are on campus trying to get your young people to sign up for credit cards. Well, new wisdom out there now that maybe credit cards are not such a bad idea for college students. With comment now, it’s Matt Schulz, Senior Industry Analyst at CreditCards.com. Matt, tell me the new idea. Why now is a good time for college kids to have those credit cards?
Matt Schulz: Well, college credit cards have always had the reputation of having really high APRs and not really any perks that came along with them. And that reputation is largely justified, but things have really changed and today’s student credit cards have competitive rates and rewards and even come with some tools that help students handle their credit better.
Riley: So walk me through some of those tools, how will they learn about their credit by using a credit card?
Schulz: One of the best things that they’re doing is including text alerts when a payment is due because we all know that college students are attached to their smartphones. That’s a really good way to kind of speak their language and help them understand when their payment is due.
Riley: And what about some of the perks, some of the rewards?
Schulz: One of the things that we’re seeing is cash sign up bonuses, which we haven’t really seen before, including one Bankamericard Cash Rewards credit card for students gives students $100 sign up bonus when they spend $500 in the first 90 days. So that’s a pretty good thing.
Riley: Ok, I got you. Now you’ve mentioned a couple of times that it’s like a student credit card. Is there a way to identify that versus some other credit card? Or is that even crucial?
Schulz: Well, generally speaking if you see credit cards listed on the site, like ours at CreditCards.com or others, a lot of them will be labeled, you know, the Bankamericard credit card for students or the Discover It Card for students. So a lot of them are labeled that way.
Riley: And if I’m not a student, can I still qualify and get one of those cards if I like the rewards program?
Schulz: Yeah, you definitely can. There’s nothing in there that says that you have to be a student. It’s just the way they’re marketed.
Riley: I got you. It’s interesting stuff. Matt Schulz from CreditCards.com. And is that something widely- do you have to go find it or do they still do that kind of “Hey, here’s a row of representatives out pitching their wares” and credit card people might still be a part of that on some of our bigger campuses?
Schulz: No, federal regulations have changed that a lot. I know that when I was in college you couldn’t walk a block on campus without getting pitched a credit card, but it’s not that way anymore. But you can still go to sites like ours, CreditCards.com, and find a bunch of cards.
Riley: I tell you what, that’s interesting stuff, and I think the text alert really is the best part of it. One of the other nice things is that of the 11 cards reviewed in this study, not any of them charged an annual fee. So again some financial tools, working on credit, those kinds of things – you gotta decide for your own self and your own kid, but it might be a good way to “git er done.”