If you’re new to the world of credit cards, you may find choosing the perfect card for you a daunting task. After all, a credit card may be the first tool you acquire to build your credit history.
Enjoy student-specific credit card perks
Are you interested in getting rewarded for all the hard work you do? The following cards offer perks that can help make your life as a student a little easier.
Discover it® Student chrome and Discover it® Student Cash Back
With the Discover it® Student chrome and Discover it® Student Cash Back, you have the opportunity to earn a $20 statement credit each year your GPA is 3.0 or higher. The perk lasts up to five years, covering a four-year program (with a little wiggle room).
As far as rewards structures go, the Chrome earns you 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1 percent) and an unlimited 1 percent on everything else. The Student Cash Back earns you 5 percent cash back on rotating categories, up to $1,500 per quarter and 1 percent on everything else (activation required).
For both cards, you don’t need great credit (or any credit) to qualify, making it ideal for students will little to no credit history. To sweeten the deal, Discover automatically matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year of card ownership.
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
On top of the 1 percent cash back you earn on all purchases, the Deserve EDU card offers a one year of Amazon Prime Student after spending $500 in the first three billing cycles with your EDU card (Lifetime Value of $59). You can choose to be issued a monthly or one-time annual credit.
With this perk, you can take advantage of all that Amazon Prime Student has to offer, including free two-day shipping, unlimited photo storage and Amazon Prime Video.
This no annual fee card is a great option for international students, as you don’t need a credit history or Social Security number to qualify. And if you take the card internationally, you won’t be charged foreign transaction fees on your purchases.
Boost your rewards (and earn a higher credit limit)
As a student, you’re constantly learning. The following credit cards gamify good financial habits by offering higher credit limits and rewards structures for responsible behavior.
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One rewards for paying your credit card bill on time each month by boosting your rewards rate and credit limit.
Normally, you receive 1 percent cash back on every purchase, but each month you make your credit card payment on time, your cash back rewards are boosted to 1.25 percent for that month. You can automatically be considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months (which can potentially lift your credit score).
The Journey Student Rewards doesn’t charge an annual fee — meaning a portion of your rewards won’t be eaten up by the yearly payment — and offers unlimited access to your credit score via CreditWise® from Capital One®.
Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card
Though not technically a student credit card, the Petal® 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa® Credit Card has the makings of one (and offers a way to boost your rewards-earning potential).
The card earns you 1 percent cash back on eligible purchases as a new card member, and after making six on-time monthly payments, enjoy a heightened 1.25 percent cash back. After 12 on-time monthly payments, your rewards increase even further to 1.5 percent cash back on eligible purchases.
This is a no-fee card, meaning you won’t owe an annual fee. You also won’t be charged foreign transaction fees on purchases made abroad or late payment fees (should you slip up or forget to pay your bill one month).
As a student, you may have a limited credit history (or none at all). Thankfully, the Petal 2 card doesn’t require a credit score or upfront deposit to qualify.
Pay off debt
In many cases, credit cards come with a learning curve — and sometimes that curve is steep. If you’ve accumulated credit card debt as a student and are looking to pay it off, the following card is one of the best student cards available to help you do so.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card for Students
For a student card, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card for Students offers an exceptionally long 15-billing cycle introductory APR period on balance transfers made in the first 60 days (variable 15.49 percent — 25.49 percent). With this offer, you can take 15 billing cycles to pay off your debt without acquiring additional charges in interest. You do, though, owe a balance transfer fee of 3 percent of each transaction (minimum $10).
Along with being a no annual fee card, you have some flexibility when it comes to where you earn your rewards. Similar to the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, you can choose between gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores and home improvements/furnishings to earn 3 percent cash back on. You also receive 2 percent back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined 3 and 2 percent category purchases each quarter, then 1 percent) and 1 percent on everything else.
The information about the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card for Students has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.