Jumpstart your credit score with a credit card tailored for students. From cash back on good grades to discounts on streaming services, find the perfect card for your student life with the best student credit card offers from our partners below. 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.
See the best student credit card offers from our partners below.
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Updated: March 20, 2018
Student credit cards are tailored to the beginning consumer, giving you the opportunity to sign up when you don’t have the most robust credit file or when you have a thin file. There are also cards that offer no annual fee and even cashback rewards.
If you’re in college and starting your financial life, a good student credit card can give you a head start in building your credit. If you pay your bills on time and borrow responsibly, the positive credit history you build now will pay off when it’s time to buy a new car, finance your first home or apply for a more exclusive credit card. Some student credit cards include credit education tools and rewards and perks tailored to students attending classes on a campus (or in a country) far from home.
We analyzed over 25 credit cards specifically designed for students using criteria like: rates and fees, good student bonuses, rewards rates, customer service, and security. Below is our top picks and information on how to use your student credit card responsibly. Here, we look at:
Learn more about building your credit as a college student!
One the Discover it chrome for Students:
“Forgiveness and a little knowledge: Those are two things I could have used with my first credit card,” says CreditCards.com Editor-in-Chief Daniel P. Ray. “I got my first card in the days when card issuers gave away free hats, T-shirts and pizza to college students who filled out applications on campus. I got a free Mizzou hat, which when I failed to understand what credit cards really were, became the most expensive hat I ever wore.” The Discover it chrome for Students card helps students avoid such costly mistakes. For example, the “Credit Cards 101 online feature answers many of the questions first-time card users have,” says Ray. “Wish I had it when I got my first card.”
Personal finance journalist Lisa Gerstner notes that “The Discover it chrome for Students offers a decent payback on purchases the typical college student might make.”
Discover’s forgiving policy toward students’ first late payment was especially popular with our experts. “That’s a big deal,” says CreditCards.com senior industry analyst Matt Schulz. “Mistakes are bound to happen with your first card and the ability to slip up once without paying a fee takes a lot of pressure off the cardholder.”
On the Bank of America Cash Rewards Card:
“Since college students spend most of their extra money on food and gas, this earning structure can be advantageous for students who want to maximize their cash back,” says personal finance expert Holly Johnson.
A credit card is the easiest and fastest way to build your credit. It has to do with how the scoring models are set up. But college students can be limited in how they access a card. If you have an income, you can get your own card. If not, look at becoming an authorized user on an experienced consumer’s account. Either way, make sure the card’s paying habits are sent to the 3 major credit bureaus.
|Card||Summary||Favorite reward||Annual Fee|
|Journey Student Rewards from Capital One||Best for no foreign transaction fees and unlimited cash back||No foreign transaction fees and 1% cash back on all purchases||$0|
|Discover it chrome for Students||Best for high cash back rates on common student purchases||2% cash back at restuarants and gas stations up to $1,000 per quarter||$0|
|Discover it for Students||Best for rotating bonus categories||Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in various categories throughout the year||$0|
|Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students||Best for additional perks||1% cash back on all purchases and free Amazon Prime Student||$0|
|Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students||Best for sign-up bonus||2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in the first 3 months||$0|
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