Best Credit Cards for College Students

When it comes to making big decisions in life after college, such as buying an apartment or requesting car financing, having a solid credit score is important. Getting a college student credit card is an incredible strategy one can use to begin building credit while also taking advantage of incentive programmes and other unique financing options throughout college years.

There are a variety of college student credit cards on the market, each with its own set of incentives for various types of students ranging from travellers and food connoisseurs to locals and international students. Some cards have flexible credit history requirements, allowing you to qualify even if you have no credit history. You must be at least 18 years old and have a consistent source of income in order to apply for a credit card.

Don’t worry if you’re feeling stressed by all the options. We performed all of the legwork for you. In this article, we will examine the 5 best college student credit cards, examining the benefits and downsides of each to identify the one best for your personal finances.


Best College Student Credit Cards for Cash Back: Discover it® Student Cash Back Card

Rewards

Each quarter, earn 5% cashback at a variety of locations, including Amazon.com, supermarkets, eateries, petrol stations, and when you checkout with PayPal, up to the quarterly limit when you register. Plus, receive an endless 1% cashback on other transactions instantly.

Welcome bonus

After your first year, Discover will give you back all the cashback you’ve accrued in the form of a bonus.

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% for 6 months on purchases

Regular APR

12.99% – 21.99% Variable

Balance transfer fee

3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

Foreign transaction fee

None

Credit needed

Fair / New to Credit

If you want all of the benefits of a Discover card but don’t want to bother with redeeming bonus points categories every quarter, the Discover it® Student Chrome is a good option. It boasts a powerful rewards programme for college students who load up their fuel tank or eat out regularly, with 2% cash back at gasoline stations and eateries on up to $1,000 in total purchases per quarter, followed by 1%. Plus, you’ll get automatic 1 percent cash back on all other transactions.

Cards like the Discover it Student Chrome have no international transaction fees, making it a popular option for students studying overseas.

If you want to fund textbooks or other college dorm necessities, you can enjoy the benefits of the promotional 0% APR on purchases made for the first 6 months. After the introductory phase, the variable APR ranges from 12.99 percent to 21.99 percent. To minimise interest costs, we always suggest paying your debt in full and on schedule.

To be eligible for this card, you have to be a Citizen of the United States over the age of 18 and accepted to a two- or four-year university.

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Best College Student for Small Purchases and Supermarkets: Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

Rewards

For the first $6,000 every year, you’ll get 2X ThankYou® points at supermarkets and gas stations, followed by 1X points. Additionally, all additional purchases will earn you 1X points.

Welcome bonus

To redeem a $25 thankyou.com gift card, spend $500 on eligible products within the first three months of your new account to earn 2,500 bonus points.

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% APR for the first 7 months on purchases

Regular APR

14.49% – 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Balance transfer fee

3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum

Foreign transaction fee

3%

Credit needed

Good

The Citi Rewards+SM Student Card, which features a unique “round up” feature, is a good option for college students who make numerous minor purchases. Points are rounded up to the nearest ten points for every purchase you make. So, a $2 coffee gets you 10 points, while a $21 dinner gets you 30. This innovative feature helps you to optimize your earnings without taking any additional steps.

For the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points that you redeem each year, you get 10% of your points back in addition to the rounding. You earn 2,500 points back if you redeem 25,000 points in a year, which is enough for a $25 gift card. You may exchange points for gift cards, travel rewards, or to shop on Amazon and Best Buy using them.

Cardholders get 2 ThankYou® Points each dollar spent at supermarkets and service stations, up to a $6,000 yearly limit (then 1 point per dollar spent).

To be eligible for this card, you must be at least 18 years old and currently enrolled in college.

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Best College Student for Travel: Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students credit card

Rewards

Unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases

Welcome bonus

After spending $1,000 in the first 90 days after account opening, you’ll receive 25,000 bonus points, which you may redeem for a $250 statement credit against qualified travel expenditures.

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles on purchases

Regular APR

13.99% to 23.99% variable

Balance transfer fee

Either $10 or 3%, whichever is greater

Foreign transaction fee

None

Credit needed

Good/Excellent

For college students who plan on studying overseas or travelling during their holidays, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students Credit Cards is a fantastic idea. Cardholders earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on all transactions, and the rewards programme is tailored toward travel.

You may use your rewards as a statement credit to pay for approved travel expenditures, making it a simple way to save money on a spring break getaway or an airline ticket home. It has no foreign transaction charges, making it an excellent card for international students.

This card offers further value to customers who have a Bank of America checking or savings account. Simply having a Bank of America account entitles you to a 10% reward in customer points. This raises the reward rate to 1.65 points for every dollar spent. Rewards can be used at any time and for any amount, including when buying on Amazon.

This card also comes with a unique financing offer of free interest for 12 billing cycles, which is longer than typical (then 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR). A full year of no interest is a terrific method to spread out the cost of new purchases and avoid interest costs.

To be eligible for this card, you must be 18 years of age and currently enrolled (university, occupational, or technical college).


Best College Student for International Students and No Credit History: Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

Rewards

1% cash back on all purchases

Welcome bonus

None

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

None

Regular APR

18.74% variable

Balance transfer fee

N/A, balance transfers are not available

Foreign transaction fee

None

Credit needed

N/A

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a one-of-a-kind college student card designed specifically for international students. It also doesn’t require applicants to have creditworthiness or a social security number, making it a viable choice for students who don’t meet the standard application standards. You must be at least 18 years old, attend college, and possess a bank account in the United States.

While this card features one of the more basic rewards schemes, with 1% cash back on all purchases, users do enjoy a year of Amazon Prime Student after spending $500 on their EDU card in the first 3 billing cycles – worth $59. This is a fantastic money-saving benefit that entitles you to free two-day, same-day shipping, Whole Foods savings, Prime Video, and other Amazon Prime benefits.

This card is particularly suitable for those with a poor credit history, as it does not require a guarantor or a security deposit.

Balance transfers and cash advances are not available to cardholders.

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