How Does LendingTree Get Paid?
| Advertising Disclosure
| American Express Disclosure

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Advertising Disclosure

LendingTree is an advertising-supported comparison service. The site features products from our partners as well as institutions which are not advertising partners. While we make an effort to include the best deals available to the general public, we make no warranty that such information represents all available products.

American Express Disclosure

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Best Student Credit Cards of July 2022

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s 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 July 1, 2022 . 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 cash back rewards program.

As if college exams and the post-graduation job hunt aren’t enough to think about while you’re a college student, there’s 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.

We’ve 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.

Discover it<sup>®</sup> Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Apply Now
on Discover's secure site
Intro Purchase APR 0% Intro APR for 6 months on purchases
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 14.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

As long as you remember to activate the quarterly categories, this card offers one of the highest cash back rates you can earn with a student card.

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

There’s also a unique sign-up bonus for new cardmembers. Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match. For example, the maximum cash back potential if you max out the $1,500 cap in the 5% categories each quarter will net you a total of $600 in cash back the first year thanks to the match.

There’s a spending limit on the 5% cash back rate. Once you spend $1,500 in the current quarter’s category, your earning rate drops to 1% until the next quarter.

Also, you must activate the 5% categories each quarter, otherwise you’ll earn just 1% cash back.

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is designed for students looking to establish and build their credit through responsible card usage, and they can monitor their progress with Discover’s free Credit Scorecard tool. With Credit Scorecard, scores are refreshed every month, and it sends alerts for any unusual activity.

  • Easily redeem cash back as a statement credit, a deposit, to pay with rewards, for gift cards, or as a charitable donation
  • Freeze your card in seconds with the Discover app or online, preventing new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers.
  • Get alerts (after opting in) if a new account has been listed on your Experian credit report or if your Social Security number appears on the Dark Web
  • 24/7 access to customer service based 100% in the U.S.
  • No penalty APR, so paying late won’t increase your APR (but you should still make a point to always pay on time)
  • No late fee on your first late payment, so think of it as a reminder to set up autopay or reminders for your payment due dates

As long as you remember to activate the quarterly categories, this card offers one of the highest cash back rates you can earn with a student card.

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

There’s also a unique sign-up bonus for new cardmembers. Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match. For example, the maximum cash back potential if you max out the $1,500 cap in the 5% categories each quarter will net you a total of $600 in cash back the first year thanks to the match.

There’s a spending limit on the 5% cash back rate. Once you spend $1,500 in the current quarter’s category, your earning rate drops to 1% until the next quarter.

Also, you must activate the 5% categories each quarter, otherwise you’ll earn just 1% cash back.

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is designed for students looking to establish and build their credit through responsible card usage, and they can monitor their progress with Discover’s free Credit Scorecard tool. With Credit Scorecard, scores are refreshed every month, and it sends alerts for any unusual activity.

  • Easily redeem cash back as a statement credit, a deposit, to pay with rewards, for gift cards, or as a charitable donation
  • Freeze your card in seconds with the Discover app or online, preventing new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers.
  • Get alerts (after opting in) if a new account has been listed on your Experian credit report or if your Social Security number appears on the Dark Web
  • 24/7 access to customer service based 100% in the U.S.
  • No penalty APR, so paying late won’t increase your APR (but you should still make a point to always pay on time)
  • No late fee on your first late payment, so think of it as a reminder to set up autopay or reminders for your payment due dates

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Highlights
  • 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
  • You’ll 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%

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students is a flexible card with a generous cash back rate that allows you to select a cash back category based on your spending. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishing.

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.

Automatic redemption is available only for deposits to an eligible Bank of America®, Merrill Lynch® or Merrill Edge® account and start at $25. However, if you manually redeem rewards into these accounts, there’s no minimum redemption amount. New cardmembers can also earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening

When in college, it’s a good idea to get a head start on building a positive credit history. A $0 annual fee student card, such as the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students, can help you do that while earning rewards. It is geared to those with good credit. Plus, new cardholders are eligible for an intro APR on purchases of 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account. After, a variable APR of 14.74% to 24.74% Variable will apply.

Finally, there’s also an intro APR on balance transfers: 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account for transactions made within 60 days of opening your account. After, a 14.74% to 24.74% Variable variable APR will apply. The balance transfer fee is 3% of each transaction (minimum $10).

  • $0 fraud liability
  • Overdraft protection
  • Account alerts
  • Contactless chip technology
  • Free access to your FICO® Score

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students is a flexible card with a generous cash back rate that allows you to select a cash back category based on your spending. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishing.

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.

Automatic redemption is available only for deposits to an eligible Bank of America®, Merrill Lynch® or Merrill Edge® account and start at $25. However, if you manually redeem rewards into these accounts, there’s no minimum redemption amount. New cardmembers can also earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening

When in college, it’s a good idea to get a head start on building a positive credit history. A $0 annual fee student card, such as the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students, can help you do that while earning rewards. It is geared to those with good credit. Plus, new cardholders are eligible for an intro APR on purchases of 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account. After, a variable APR of 14.74% to 24.74% Variable will apply.

Finally, there’s also an intro APR on balance transfers: 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account for transactions made within 60 days of opening your account. After, a 14.74% to 24.74% Variable variable APR will apply. The balance transfer fee is 3% of each transaction (minimum $10).

  • $0 fraud liability
  • Overdraft protection
  • Account alerts
  • Contactless chip technology
  • Free access to your FICO® Score
The information related to the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a solid cash back rate on general purchases. Cardholders earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply). This is a competitive rate on everyday purchases, and is better than the 1% rate you may see on some other cards.

There are four ways to redeem your cash back: as a statement credit, a check, as credits towards previous purchases or gift cards.

You can also set up automatic redemptions, either at a set time each calendar year or whenever your rewards reach a certain threshold ($25, $50, $100, $200, $500 or $1,500).

Rewards don’t expire (though if your account is closed, you’ll lose rewards you haven’t redeemed) and there’s no limit to how much you can earn on purchases.

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good credit card for students who want to build credit, take advantage of a simple cash back program and carry a card with a $0 annual fee. But make sure you can pay off the card in full every month, because the 16.49% - 26.49% (variable) APR is quite high, meaning that you could incur expensive interest charges by rolling over a balance.

  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Lock your card in the Capital One mobile app if it’s misplaced
  • Access to a complimentary concierge service

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a solid cash back rate on general purchases. Cardholders earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day; 5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply). This is a competitive rate on everyday purchases, and is better than the 1% rate you may see on some other cards.

There are four ways to redeem your cash back: as a statement credit, a check, as credits towards previous purchases or gift cards.

You can also set up automatic redemptions, either at a set time each calendar year or whenever your rewards reach a certain threshold ($25, $50, $100, $200, $500 or $1,500).

Rewards don’t expire (though if your account is closed, you’ll lose rewards you haven’t redeemed) and there’s no limit to how much you can earn on purchases.

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a good credit card for students who want to build credit, take advantage of a simple cash back program and carry a card with a $0 annual fee. But make sure you can pay off the card in full every month, because the 16.49% - 26.49% (variable) APR is quite high, meaning that you could incur expensive interest charges by rolling over a balance.

  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Lock your card in the Capital One mobile app if it’s misplaced
  • Access to a complimentary concierge service
Deserve<sup>®</sup> EDU Mastercard for Students

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

Apply Now
on Deserve's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 20.24% variable

Whether you’re an American student with no credit history or a foreign student studying at a U.S. college, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is aimed at applicants with excellent-good-limited credit, and doesn’t require an SSN number for international students to apply — though you won’t build credit until you link one.

You’ll also earn 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases.

College students looking for a simple cash back card and the ability to try Amazon Prime Student can benefit from the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students. The cas hback program is straightforward — no rotating categories or activation required, simply earn 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases.

Plus, this card has a great Amazon Prime Student subscription offer that will pay for your membership for a year. And finally, it’s a great choice for international students studying in the United States, because it doesn’t require a Social Security number (SSN) to apply and it has a foreign transaction fee of none. However, it won’t build credit history without an SSN linked to the account.

  • Check if you prequalify without hurting your credit score
  • Up to $69 reimbursement for an Amazon Prime Student subscription
  • Cellphone protection up to $600 per claim (there’s a $50 deductible)
  • Collision damage waiver

Whether you’re an American student with no credit history or a foreign student studying at a U.S. college, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is aimed at applicants with excellent-good-limited credit, and doesn’t require an SSN number for international students to apply — though you won’t build credit until you link one.

You’ll also earn 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases.

College students looking for a simple cash back card and the ability to try Amazon Prime Student can benefit from the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students. The cas hback program is straightforward — no rotating categories or activation required, simply earn 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases.

Plus, this card has a great Amazon Prime Student subscription offer that will pay for your membership for a year. And finally, it’s a great choice for international students studying in the United States, because it doesn’t require a Social Security number (SSN) to apply and it has a foreign transaction fee of none. However, it won’t build credit history without an SSN linked to the account.

  • Check if you prequalify without hurting your credit score
  • Up to $69 reimbursement for an Amazon Prime Student subscription
  • Cellphone protection up to $600 per claim (there’s a $50 deductible)
  • Collision damage waiver
Chase Freedom<sup>®</sup> Student credit card

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 15.74% Variable

Earn a $50 bonus after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening.

For ongoing rewards, earn 1% cash back on all purchases plus $20 Good Standing Rewards after each account anniversary for up to 5 years.

The annual fee  is $0 and the APR is a reasonable 15.74% variable .

While many credit cards require you to spend a certain amount on purchases within a specific time frame to earn a sign-up bonus, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card keeps things simple. Since this card just requires that you make a purchase within three months of opening the account, and doesn’t have a spending target you have to hit, it’s a great choice for students who are on a budget and are trying to limit their risk of overspending.

Plus, the interest rate is lower than you might find on some other student cards. We always recommend paying your card off in full every month to avoid incurring interest — but if for some reason you have to roll over a balance once in a while, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card‘s 15.74% variable APR is lower than many other student cards.

Be aware of the foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars, however. If you’re planning to study abroad, this might not be the card to take with you.

  • Free access to your VantageScore with Credit Journey
  • Chance to earn a credit limit increase after making five monthly payments on time
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Earn a $50 bonus after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening.

For ongoing rewards, earn 1% cash back on all purchases plus $20 Good Standing Rewards after each account anniversary for up to 5 years.

The annual fee  is $0 and the APR is a reasonable 15.74% variable .

While many credit cards require you to spend a certain amount on purchases within a specific time frame to earn a sign-up bonus, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card keeps things simple. Since this card just requires that you make a purchase within three months of opening the account, and doesn’t have a spending target you have to hit, it’s a great choice for students who are on a budget and are trying to limit their risk of overspending.

Plus, the interest rate is lower than you might find on some other student cards. We always recommend paying your card off in full every month to avoid incurring interest — but if for some reason you have to roll over a balance once in a while, the Chase Freedom® Student credit card‘s 15.74% variable APR is lower than many other student cards.

Be aware of the foreign transaction fee of 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars, however. If you’re planning to study abroad, this might not be the card to take with you.

  • Free access to your VantageScore with Credit Journey
  • Chance to earn a credit limit increase after making five monthly payments on time
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Trip cancellation/interruption insurance

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Highlights
  • Intro 0% APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases, then 14.24%-24.24% variable APR
  • $0 annual fee
  • 25,000 online bonus points offer

For students who want a travel card with decent flat-rate rewards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is a good choice. Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases.

The sign-up bonus lets you earn 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening. This can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel and dining purchases, and is a great value for a student card.

It’s never too early to build credit, and starting during college is a great way to establish a good credit score. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is a $0 annual fee student card that can help you build credit and earn rewards on every purchase. And since the foreign transaction fee is 0%, this card is a good one to take if you’re planning to study abroad at some point in your educational journey.

This is a flat-rate rewards card, so there are no rotating bonus categories to select every quarter for a higher cash back rewards rate. This can be a good fit for students who may be forgetful or don’t want to deal with changing rewards. Plus, on purchases, the card offers a 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account. After, a 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR applies.

  • Free access to your FICO Score
  • No blackout dates or restrictions and points do not expire

For students who want a travel card with decent flat-rate rewards, the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is a good choice. Earn 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases.

The sign-up bonus lets you earn 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening. This can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel and dining purchases, and is a great value for a student card.

It’s never too early to build credit, and starting during college is a great way to establish a good credit score. The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is a $0 annual fee student card that can help you build credit and earn rewards on every purchase. And since the foreign transaction fee is 0%, this card is a good one to take if you’re planning to study abroad at some point in your educational journey.

This is a flat-rate rewards card, so there are no rotating bonus categories to select every quarter for a higher cash back rewards rate. This can be a good fit for students who may be forgetful or don’t want to deal with changing rewards. Plus, on purchases, the card offers a 0% Introductory APR for the first 15 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account. After, a 14.74% to 24.74% variable APR applies.

  • Free access to your FICO Score
  • No blackout dates or restrictions and points do not expire
The information related to the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has been collected by LendingTree and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply.
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now
on Capital One's secure site
Intro Purchase APR N/A
Annual Fee $0
Regular Purchase APR 16.49% - 26.49% (Variable)

Earn 3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment; 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services; 3% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats.

For a card with a $0 annual fee, those cash back rates are hard to beat. Beware that the APR is high at 16.49% - 26.49% (variable).

Whether you like to dine out at restaurants or cook at home, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card will reward you for that while also helping you build credit. Plus, if you enjoy going out for entertainment, you’ll appreciate that this card’s entertainment rewards category includes the following:

  • Ticket purchases made at movie theaters
  • Sports promoters (professional and semi-professional live events)
  • Theatrical promoters
  • Amusement parks
  • Tourist attractions
  • Aquariums and zoos
  • Dance halls
  • Record stores
  • Pool halls and bowling alleys
  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Lock your card in the Capital One mobile app if it’s misplaced
  • Access to a complimentary concierge service

Earn 3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment; 3% Cash Back on popular streaming services; 3% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats.

For a card with a $0 annual fee, those cash back rates are hard to beat. Beware that the APR is high at 16.49% - 26.49% (variable).

Whether you like to dine out at restaurants or cook at home, the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card will reward you for that while also helping you build credit. Plus, if you enjoy going out for entertainment, you’ll appreciate that this card’s entertainment rewards category includes the following:

  • Ticket purchases made at movie theaters
  • Sports promoters (professional and semi-professional live events)
  • Theatrical promoters
  • Amusement parks
  • Tourist attractions
  • Aquariums and zoos
  • Dance halls
  • Record stores
  • Pool halls and bowling alleys

  • Foreign transaction fee: None
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Lock your card in the Capital One mobile app if it’s misplaced
  • Access to a complimentary concierge service

Student credit card FAQs

Legally, you must be 18 years old and have a source of income to be able to qualify for a credit card. For college students who meet these requirements, a credit card can be a useful tool to build credit — which will be important after graduation for renting an apartment, getting a car loan and even for some job applications.

Get a credit card and follow these best practices:

  • Use your card regularly. It’s important to show regular charging and repayment behavior that gets reported to the credit bureaus. That means using the card for small purchases and paying the balance in full every month. You can even set up autopay so you never forget to pay on time.
  • Make timely payments. Paying on time is the most important action you can take to build good credit history, accounting for 35% of your FICO Score.
  • Keep your balance under control. Avoid maxing out your card. Your utilization is how much of your credit limit you’re using at a given time and accounts for 30% of your credit score. Personal finance experts recommend using no more than 30% of your limit — for example, on a credit card with a $200 limit, spend no more than $60 each month on the card.

 

To make sure your credit is on the right track, it’s good to keep an eye on your credit score. There are a variety of ways to check your credit score for free.

If you aren’t ready for the responsibilities of having your own credit card, another way to build credit is to ask a family member to add you as an authorized user on one of their cards. However, make sure it’s a card with a good payment history and without a lot of debt.

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.

Student cards are unsecured cards geared toward applicants who are college students. Secured cards are available to any applicant, college student or otherwise and require you submit a security deposit to the credit card issuer, protecting them in case you don’t pay back what you charge to the card. Typically, the amount of your security deposit will become your credit limit.

Many student cards may indeed earn cash back or points. However, with a student card, it’s better to focus on building credit than earning rewards. You don’t want the temptation of rewards to encourage overspending and lead to debt.

While the credit cards with the best benefits and rewards typically require good or excellent credit history, there are cards for people with no credit.

Cards designed for college students, like the cards listed in this article, are a good place to start.

Many of the cards listed in this article are fine choices for your first credit card. For more options, see our list of best credit cards for beginners.

Be aware that no card offers a guaranteed approval. When you apply, the issuer will consider a variety of factors, including your income, how much debt you’re carrying and your credit score.

Credit scores for young adults tend to be low, and a short credit history means potential creditors and lenders don’t have much information on timely payments. LendingTree researchers looked at the anonymized credit reports of more than 250,000 cardholders between the ages of 18 and 22 and found that having an active credit card or being an authorized user on someone else’s credit card can make a substantial difference in their credit scores.

Methodology

To determine the best student credit cards, we considered rewards programs, sign-up bonuses, and accessibility for students with no credit or limited credit histories.

All of the cards on this list are aimed at college students and can help cardholders built credit history (assuming your account is tied to your Social Security number), and none charge an annual fee.

Finally, any useful features a card might have — such as cellphone protection — was factored in as well.

Glen Luke Flanagan

  • Expertise: Personal finance, credit scoring, credit cards
  • Education: Radford University, East Carolina University

 


 

Glen Luke Flanagan is a senior credit card writer for LendingTree. He joined the team in June 2019, and covers topics including new credit cards, how your credit score works and what you need to know about credit card interest.
 
Before joining LendingTree, Glen worked in journalism and government communications. As a journalist at newspapers in North Carolina and South Carolina, his reporting won awards from the North Carolina Press Association and the South Carolina Press Association, respectively.
 
Glen earned his bachelor’s degree in media studies with a concentration in journalism from Radford University, graduating summa cum laude in May 2014. He also earned a master’s degree in English with a concentration in technical and professional communication, as well as a graduate certificate in marketing, from East Carolina University in May 2022.

Read More

The above offers and/or promotions may have since changed, expired, or is no longer available. Check the Issuers’ website for more details.