When it comes to establishing credit, students are in a unique position. As young adults, they have a very limited credit history, but as college students, they have a very bright future. So while adult students may not have the credit scores to be approved for many standard credit cards, there is a narrow segment of cards designed specifically for students.
These cards offer many of the features and benefits of other credit cards, but will have slightly higher interest rates and perhaps somewhat lower benefits to account for their shorter credit history and higher risk of default.
Discover it® chrome for Students
As a cash back card designed for students, Discover it® chrome for Students may be a great fit. This card offers 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on the first $1,000 spent each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Do you want to be rewarded for good grades? Students with the Discover it® chrome for Students card who have a GPA of 3.0 during the school year may apply for the Good Grade Reward, which offers a $20 cash back bonus. You can earn this reward for up to five years from the date you opened your account.
In addition, new cardholders will earn double rewards for all cash back accumulated in the first year of the account. Furthermore, you can redeem your rewards any time for any amount, and they never expire. Use cash back to pay for purchases on Amazon.com, Overstock.com, iTunes, Facebook, and more. You can also redeem cash back for gift cards and eCertificates where you will earn an extra $5 to $20 with the rewards transfer. For the social activist, you can donate your cash back rewards to a charity of your choice, and for the saver, you can deposit rewards into any bank account of your choice. You may also request cash back in the form of a statement credit. Discover it® chrome for Students also gives students the opportunity to freeze their card in case it is misplaced or stolen. Students can also be financially conscious by checking their FICO credit score for free at any time. This card has no annual fee.
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® card helps you to build your credit and give you cash back rewards. Cardholders will earn 1% cash back on all purchases, as well as a 25% bonus on the cash back that you earn each month when you pay on time for a total of 1.25% cash back on all purchases. Your rewards will not expire as long as the account is open, and there is no limit on amount of cash back you can earn. You can redeem rewards in the form of a statement credit or a check, and you can choose an automatic redemption for a specific time in the year or when an amount is reached. When you make your first five monthly payments on time, you will get access to a higher credit limit.
Through the Capital One Credit Tracker, you can check your credit score for free at any time, analyze your credit with a what-if stimulator and utilize other tools to manage your credit profile. This card is compatible with Apple Pay for easy purchasing power. You can set up alerts to help you stay on top of your balance and payment due dates, and Capital One also offers a financial education website to provide tips and tools to help you understand and manage your finances. This card also comes with Visa Signature benefits, including extended warranty on items purchased with your credit card. Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has no foreign transaction fees, which is great for when you study abroad, and no annual fee.
U.S. Bank College Visa® Credit Card
The U.S. Bank College Visa® Credit Card is another optimal choice to help college students build their credit. This card does not have a rewards program, but its services will help you learn to use a credit card and keep track of your spending. Cardholders will have the ability to set personalized mobile alerts in order to stay on top of upcoming payment due dates, the current balance, and more. With online account access, you can monitor your account and view statements at any time of day, even in the middle of an all-nighter. You will also be able to set up your own payment preferences to avoid late fees. For students learning to use a credit card for the first time, U.S. Bank's FlexControl can help you select your payment date, set up automatic payments, receive account alerts, and help you project your monthly savings when you pay in full each month or carry a balance. In addition, the Accelerator Calculator can show you how long it will take you to pay off balances more quickly. This card has a 11.99% to 20.99% APR for purchases and balance transfers with a 3% balance transfer fee. The U.S. Bank College Visa® Credit Card has no annual fee.
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students - Earn 2,500 Bonus Points
The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is a great option for someone looking to build credit and earn rewards. You will receive two ThankYou points per dollar on restaurants and entertainment, including take-out, bars and nightclubs, along with sports events, movie theaters and museums, as well as record stores and online video rental stores. You will earn one point per dollar on all other purchases. Points do not expire as long as the account is open, and ThankYou cardholders can redeem their points for exclusive experiences through Citi Private Pass, gift cards or travel. Citi Private Pass gives cardholders the ability to purchase tickets to concerts, sporting events, theatrical performances, and more. You can also pay with points through the ThankYou Rewards Center at your favorite online stores. New applicants can receive 2,500 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $500 within the first three months of opening the account. This card also has a range of services that will benefit college students. You can manage your account online and using the mobile app, and you can choose your own payment due date. Once you make a purchase, Citi will look for a lower price and refund you the difference if the price has changed within 60 days through its Price Rewind benefit. Cardholders can use the personal concierge service to find the best places to eat and shop, which might be useful in a new college town. This card has no annual fee and a 3% foreign transaction fee.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.