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Just because you’re a student, doesn’t mean you have to settle. The best student credit cards typically offer cash back, rewards and other perks like low interest rates.

What’s more, these cards offer a way to build credit while still earning rewards geared towards college life. They may come with higher cash back on gas and restaurants or offer breaks on missed payments.

Here are the three best student credit cards, according to the experts at CreditCards.com.

Best student credit cards
Card Features APR
Discover it Chrome for Students 2% cash back on gas and restaurant purchases; bonus offered for good grades 13.99% to 22.99%
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card 3% cash back on gas, grocery and drug store purchases for the first 6 months 11.90% to 21.90%
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students 3% cash back on gas, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter 13.99% to 23.99%

1. Discover it Chrome for Students

This is one of the top student credit cards for cash back and perks. Plus, students can get a bonus for maintaining good grades.

Highlights:

  • Earn 2 percent cash back on gas and restaurant purchases up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter. On all other purchases, the card pays 1 percent.
  • Maintaining a GPA of at least 3.0 gets you an extra $20 cash back each school year for a maximum of five years.
  • During the first year, earn double the cash back on all purchases.

Who should get this card

The Discover it is best for students with good grades who would like to enjoy cash back and perks. It also works as a solid introduction to credit because it has no annual fee and allows for mistakes.

There is no penalty APR, no late fee on the first payment and no over-limit fee. You’ll be charged an APR of between 13.99 and 22.99 percent.

Take note, though: Discover isn’t widely accepted overseas. So while the card comes with no foreign transaction fees, it’s a less than optimal choice for studying abroad.

Read the full Discover it Chrome for Students card review>.

2. Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card

This card scores for its low APR and free budgeting tools, making it a great student card for those who carry a balance. And the cash back rewards are generous, too.

Highlights:

  • Earn 3 percent cash back on gas, grocery and drug store purchases for the first six months. You’ll earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchease.
  • Receive a visual spending report for purchases, streamlining budget tracking.
  • Pay no interest on purchases for the first six months.

Who should get this card

This card is best for students who typically carry a balance and would like assistance with budget tracking and money management. Free money management education courses and budgeting tools make this an ideal card for students learning how to build credit.

There is no annual fee and no penalty rate. After the introductory period ends, you’ll be charged an APR of 11.90 to 21.90 percent. You’ll have to have excellent credit to qualify for the lowest rate.

CARD SEARCH: Let Bankrate help you find the best student credit card today.

3. Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

This card offers generous cash-back rewards and a loyalty bonus for students with a Bank of America checking or savings account.

Highlights:

  • Earn 3 percent cash back on gas and 2 percent cash back on groceries and wholesale clubs with a $2,500 limit in combined spending per quarter. Students earn 1 percent cash back on other purchases.
  • Earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 within the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn a 10 percent loyalty bonus when you redeem rewards through a Bank of America savings or checking account.

Who should get this card

This card is best for students who rarely carry a balance and want to enjoy generous rewards. But you’ll probably also want to have a deposit account with Bank of America to earn the loyalty rewards.

This card comes with a no-interest introductory offer for 12 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers. The standard variable APR is 13.99 to 23.99 percent.

But the card card isn’t as forgiving as other student cards. You’ll get hit with a 29.99 percent penalty rate if you’re late with a payment and an up to $38 late fee. Read all the latest student credit card reviews from Bankrate.

This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by any of the referenced financial institutions or companies. Opinions, analysis, reviews or recommendations expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any financial institutions or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such entity. All products or services are presented without warranty. Bankrate.com is an independent, advertising-supported publisher and comparison service. This post contains references to our partners, and Bankrate may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on certain links posted on this website.

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