Other Starter Credit Cards
Not a full-time student? You can still find many good starter credit cards. If you have some established credit history , check out the best credit cards for young adults and young professionals. If youve never had a loan or credit card before, you may need to start with a secured credit card.
Not sure you want a student credit card? Finding the right credit card for you is much simpler if you know your credit score, and can narrow your search to only the cards you know youll get approved for. Weve made it easy for you. If you dont already know your score, use our quick and free then find the perfect card for you!
|Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card||Six months of 0 percent APR introductory financing on both new purchases and qualifying balance transfers||3% cash back rewards on all gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first six months after opening your account, and 1% cash back on all other purchases||700+|
*5% cash back categories have a $1,500 max spend and require quarterly activation
Student credit cards offer a low-risk way for young people to establish a before entering the real world. Building up your credit history may seem unimportant when you have things like finals or finding a summer internship to think about, but starting early and building up your credit history is one of the best things you can do for your future self.
Best For Cash Back: Bank Of America Customized Cash Rewards For Students
$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
|Rewards Earning Rate||Earn 3% cash back in the eligible category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Youll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined categories each quarter, then 1%.|
|INTRO PURCHASE APR||0% for 15 Statement Closing Dates|
|INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR||0% for 15 Statement Closing Dates|
|Balance Transfer Fee||Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.|
|Foreign transaction fee|
- Why We Chose This Card:
- Pros & Cons:
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards for Students is our pick for best student cash-back card because it offers a strong cash back rewards program, along with a compelling one-time bonus , and a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfersall with no annual fee. Its cash-back rewards program is competitive with the best non-student cash back cards. As an added benefit free FICO scores are provided, which students can use to track how they are doing at improving their credit which will potentially allow them to qualify for a broader range of cards in the future.
Foreign-transaction fee is less than ideal for those studying abroad
Highest rewards earnings are capped
Relatively high spending required for $200 introductory one-time bonus
Are College Student Cards Different From Regular Credit Cards
Student cards are different from regular credit cards in that they are typically issued with lower credit limits and have easier approval odds than credit cards marketed to people with more extensive credit histories.
Since students generally have less experience managing credit products, card issuers tend to compensate for that risk by keeping credit limits low. Once you prove yourself more creditworthy over time by paying on time every time and keeping your balance under control you can ask your issuer to upgrade you to another card, request a credit limit increase on your existing card or apply for a new card altogether.
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Best Student Credit Cards Of December 2021
*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated November 30, 2021 . Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
Our top pick for the best student card is the Discover it® Student Cash Back. This card charges a $0 annual fee and comes with a generous cashback rewards program.
|Best Student Credit Cards of December 2021|
|Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card|
As if college exams and the post-graduation job hunt arent enough to think about while youre a college student, theres another thing that should be on your radar building a great credit score.
A good credit score can help you get approved for your first apartment lease or the best interest rates on a car loan. The easiest way to build credit during college is to open a student credit card, although you must be at least 18 years old and have a source of income to qualify.
Weve chosen the best student credit cards through a review of cards available on LendingTree and from major issuers. We highlight the pros and cons of each card, and will also answer some common questions about student cards.
Can You Apply For A Credit Card Without A Job
In short, yes, you can apply for a student credit card without a job. Some credit card providers may require proof of income along with your application , but if you dont have full- or part-time work, you can provide them with an alternate form of income to prove youd be able to pay off any accumulated expenses. This may come from a student loan, personal savings, or help from a parent or guardian.
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What Do I Do If I Get Denied For A Credit Card
Getting denied for a credit card can be disheartening, but it certainly shouldnt be the end of your credit journey. Issuers technically have 30 days to respond to a credit card application. Still, theyll often respond in a few weeks by mailing an official notice of your denial with a reason why you were not approved. For students, the primary reason will likely be an insufficient credit history, especially if you choose to apply for a credit card thats not specifically marketed with students in mind. However, there may be other common reasons that young people may be denied, such as a mismatch between the information on your application and the information that the credit bureau has on file.
Related: How to maximize your chances of being approved for a credit card
If youre denied for a credit card, I recommend that you call the credit card issuer and see if you can speak to a representative about their decision. Banks have a reconsideration line, where customers may challenge their decision on a credit card application.
Before calling, make sure to have your correct identification and income information on hand to field any questions that the representative might have. The worst that can happen is that the issuers decision is not overturned. In that case, your credit score will likely fall by only a few points due to the hard inquiry on your credit, but these are temporary drops, and scores typically rebound quickly.
How To Get A Credit Card As A Student
To apply for a student credit card is quite simple all you have to do is research the credit card youre interested in, and click on the big Apply Now button.
There are some things to keep in mind, however.
Some credit card companies may require proof of independent income to show that youll be able to pay back what you charge to your card. A part-time job is usually enough.
Worst case scenario, you might have to become an authorized user on your parents credit card before you can apply for your own student credit card to build up your credit history. If this is the case, check with the credit card issuer in question to ensure that your payments as an authorized user are being reported on your own credit report.
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Understanding Your Student Credit Cards Features
There are a number of moving parts to a credit card, for example:
The annual percentage rate is the interest you will be charged on balances carried from month to month.
The credit limit is the maximum dollar amount you can charge at any point. For most student credit cards, the limit is $1,000 or less.
Rewards Many credit cards, student cards included, offer rewards to the user. Rewards include cash back, points, and sign-up bonuses. Cash back is simply a percentage of the charges you make credited back to your account. Rewards points can usually be redeemed for travel, gift cards, electronics, and other prizes.
There are also fees to be aware of, including:
- Annual fees. Though most student credit cards do not have annual fees, many rewards cards typically do. This fee is usually $50-$500.
- Balance transfer fees. These fees can run 3%-5% or $5-$10, whichever is greater.
- Cash advance fees. Users can pull cash from their credit card, usually with an extremely high APR.
- Foreign transaction fees. Typically about 3%, these can put a crimp in your plans to travel abroad for Spring Break or to study, so check for this.
- Convenience fees. Occasionally charged by the merchant, you can end up paying about 3% for tuition by using your credit card, so ask your school first.
There are also penalty APRs that can come into effect when minimum payments are not met. Penalty APRs are usually the highest interest rates credit cardholders will experience.
How Parents Can Help Their Student Better Understand & Manage Credit
Parents have an excellent opportunity to teach their children about the importance of credit and how to use and manage the credit allotted to them properly. While getting approved for a credit card for the first time can be exciting to a young adult, it can also quickly turn into a financial disaster if misused or mismanaged. So youll want to make sure to have several discussions with them on how credit works beforehand.
Go over the importance of credit and how properly managing their credit score can give them the financial foundation to have more financial choices rather than less. In addition, reflecting on your own experiences with credit cards may give great insights that your child can use.
Discuss Budgets & Implications of Poor Money Management
Talk to them about managing credit, including what cosigning means, budgeting tips and responsible spending habits. Without these insights, it could leave them vulnerable to making crucial mistakes with their credit.
Keep in mind as the parent or guardian, if you decide to become a cosigner, that there are risks.
- The largest risk is that if the person who is the primary cardholder is unable to pay their statement, the cosigner is equally responsible for paying the balance.
- And if the primary cardholder were to default, debt collection agencies can contact you and place an unfavorable mark on your credit report.
Common Questions Parents Have About Student Credit Cards
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Bank Of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card For Students
- Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, from online shopping to off-campus dining and more
- 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
- 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
- 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Youll earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%
This is a flexible card with a generous cashback rate that allows you to select a cashback category based on your spending. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% back on all other purchases.
For your 3% category, you can select from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. Cash back can be redeemed in several ways:
- Statement credit, deposit directly into a Bank of America® checking or savings account, or for credit to an eligible account with Merrill Lynch® or Merrill Edge®. No minimum redemption amount.
- Contribution to a qualifying 529 college savings account with Merrill Lynch® or Merrill Edge® or for a check, starting at $25.
About the card
For your 3% category, you can select from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. Cash back can be redeemed in several ways:
Who’s This Card Best For?
Best Student Credit Card For Travel Rewards
TD Rewards Visa* Card
Earn a $50 valueâ in TD Rewards Pointsâ to use at Amazon.ca with Shop with Points. Plus, get a 9.99% promotional interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months with no annual feeâ . Conditions Apply. Must apply by May 29, 2022.
go to site
- No annual fee
- Apply by May 29, 2022 to get a 9.99% promotional interest rate on purchases for the first 6 months with no annual feeâ . Plus, earn 15,152 TD Rewards Points by keeping your Account open, active and in good standing for the first 90 daysâ .
- Earn 3 TD Points per $1 on travel through ExpediaforTDâ
- Earn 2 TD Points per $1 on groceries, restaurants, and regularly recurring bill paymentsâ
- Earn 1 TD Point per $1 on everything elseâ
This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For Quebec residents, please click here
- Terms and conditions applyâ .
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Should I Add A Credit Card
With all the cards available today, you can build points and cash back, earning for spending every day. Additionally, pairing cards with different utilities can be a great way to capitalize on all that credit cards offer. They can even reward you for your loyalty to your favorite airline or hotel. Also, credit cards are one of the fastest ways to a great credit score, unlocking doors to new opportunities. Look at our best credit cards to see if there is one that suits you.
Can You Apply For Multiple Student Credit Cards At Once
Students should take their time to determine the student credit card that best fits their needs instead of applying to several cards at once. Although you technically can apply for more than one student credit card at a time, you likely wont need to have more than one especially if youre trying to avoid going into too much debt.
Each time a credit card application is submitted, it creates a hard inquiry on the students credit report. When too many hard inquiries appear on a credit report over a short period, creditors could consider you too much of a risk and may decline your application. To avoid problems, research how long you should wait to apply for another credit card.
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Why Should A Student Consider Getting A Credit Card
While the idea of a student credit card may raise concerns about debt and interest payments from apprehensive parents and students alike, the fact is a credit card is an easy and straightforward way of establishing a young adultâs credit history as he or she transitions into financial independence. By paying off a credit card bill on time every month, students can develop a positive payment history, and in turn, a good credit score.
A good credit score can have a profound impact on a personâs financial future and can make it easier to get approved for everything from rental applications to loans with favourable interest rates. And when used responsibly , credit cards can also be an effective way to save on everyday purchases through the earning of rewards. With that being said, missing payments or carrying over a balance can result in costly interest charges and a lower credit score, so itâs critical that students understand that credit cards should be used to buy things that can be paid for in full at the end of each billing cycle.
Top Student Credit Cards Compared
The BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* for Students lack of annual fee is a great catch for broke students who cant add another expense into their budget. That, plus its generous welcome bonus points and easy-to-meet eligibility requirements make it a great starter credit card.
It offers some fun and more practical discounts, too, like purchase protection and entertainment offerings, so there really is something for every student with this card.
- Welcome bonus: 5% cash back on all eligible purchases for the first 3 months .
- Rewards structure: 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.
- Additional perks: purchase protection, extended warranties, discount on National and Alamo car rentals, and Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada and Las Vegas.
- Annual fee: $0
The CIBC Dividend Visa Card for Students is, as the name says, created for students. Naturally, it functions well for student lifestyles. With no minimum income requirement, no annual fee, and a credit limit of just $1,000, students can learn financial responsibility without building up too much debt.
You earn 2% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases, 1% on eligible gas, transportation, dining and recurring payments, and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases. This will help you earn a little back on necessities you already need to spend on!
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