Are you a student? Do you want to have your own credit card? If you don’t, let us tell you that there are a number of credit cards that are chiefly designed for students like you guys. There is a limited experience of college students using credit cards, so their credit histories are not that good. However, we will suggest you don’t neglect this matter which is really important to build a good credit history.
We know that students are also interested in building credit quickly; therefore, you need to apply for a credit card. Do you know there are many facilities in student credit cards that are available at a low price? It also comes with a reasonable APR, and it is specially created to fulfill the student’s requirements.
Best Credit Cards for Students – April 2021
Here, we have enlisted some of the finest options on the current market of the USA, whether it really suits the students-
1. Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students
The Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students is better than any credit card because it offers students a sturdy welcome bonus, easy rewards, and no annual fee. Every dollar spent on a purchase gives you 1.5 points. And if you spend $1000 in the first 90 days, you will get 25,000 bonus points.
Students can redeem bonus points to pay for travel, hotels, holidays package, rental cars, and many more. There are no charges on foreign transaction fees. Introductory APR is 0% for 12 billing cycles and 3% Balance Transfer Fee for a minimum $10 transaction.
- Digital Wallet Technology
- Online & Mobile Banking
- Contactless Chip Technology
- Paperless Statement Option
- Overdraft Protection
2. Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card
Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card offers a $50 bonus if you make a $500 purchase within the first 3 months. Students can get 1% cash back rewards on all purchases. For up to 5 years, you will get $20 Good Standing Rewards on every account anniversary.
There is a $0 annual fee on Freedom® Student Cards. It charges only 14.99% on variable APRs. You can access your credit score at any time.
- Zero Liability Protection
- Fraud Alerts
- Redeem Cash Backs and Rewards
- Offers Gift Cards
- Benefits on every purchase
3. Discover® Student Cash Back
Discover® Student Cash Back credit card offers a 5% cashback offer on everyday purchases. At the end of the year, Discover matches all cash backs so you can double every reward. You can get cash back rewards on grocery stores, gas stations, online stores, and restaurant bills using PayPal.
If your GPA is 3.0 or higher, you can claim a $20 statement credit every year up to the next 5 years. There is no annual fee and no APR for late fees. Plus 0% intro APR for 6 months and after that only 12.99% – 21.99% APR on standard variable purchases. This card is acceptable in 99% of the places nationwide.
- 5% cashback on every purchase
- Cashback Match
- Good Grade Reward
- No Annual Fee
- Get FICO Credit Score for Free
4. Discover® Student Chrome
Like Discover Cash Back, Discover Student Chrome is also one of the finest credit cards for college students. This card offers a student-friendly bonus category with a no-maintenance reward structure. With Discover Match, you can also double your cashback at the end of the year.
Get 1% cashback on every purchase and special 2% cashback at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1000 purchases each quarter. If your GPA is 3.0 or higher, you can claim a $20 statement credit every year up to the next 5 years. There is no annual fee and no APR for late fees. Plus 0% intro APR for 6 months and after that only 12.99% – 21.99% APR on standard variable purchases.
- 1% cashback on every purchase
- Cashback Match
- Good Grade Reward
- No Annual Fee
- Get FICO Credit Score for Free
5. Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card
Wells Fargo offers 3% cashback rewards for up to $2500 spent on gas stations, groceries, and medicines bills for the first 6 months. Students can also get 1% cashback on every purchase. You can use cash rewards on travel, goods, gift cards, and many more.
There is no annual fee on Well Fargo credit cards for college students. 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. You will be charged 11.15% to 21.15% APR based on your creditworthiness after that. Balance Transfer Fee is 3% for 6 months and after that 5% for each transfer.
- 1% cashback on every purchase
- Emergency Card Replacement
- Zero Liability Protection
- 0% Annual Fee
- Digital Payment Options
Why is it wise to build credit as a student?
If a student uses a credit card as a responsible person, it allows students to build a better credit history. Credit history can make life easier for students after college.
A student’s credit helps them qualify for loans with lower interest rates. Students with credit cards and better credit history can make their post-college life easier.
How Can Students Use Credit Cards?
A student’s life is full of expenses. Books, rent, groceries, college fees, restaurant bills, and many others are expenses that they have to bear. They can’t carry all these burdens on their own so that they can use credit cards with rewards and cashback.
Students can use these credit cards to fulfill their expenses, and at the same time, they will get amazing rewards and gift cards. Credit cards with a low credit limit can help students use money wisely. If you pay your bills on time, you can increase your credit limits.
What Should Students Know About Getting a First Credit Card?
There are various credit cards available with different purposes for students. So the first thing they have to keep in mind is that they choose credit cards that match their daily needs and expenses. And owning a credit card is a responsibility. Make sure you use credit cards within your limits and pay bills at times.
If you maintain your balance and pay your full bill on time, you will be out of debt and get an excellent credit score.
Students must know these things if they own a credit card:
- Borrowed Amount
- Available Balance
- Payment History
- Credit Score & History
- New Credit
- Source of Income
FICO score is the most important thing that matters. FICO score shows your credit rating that ranges between 300 to 850. It increases when you pay your bills on time. The lenders directly go for FICO scores to set your credit limits. So the higher your FICO score is, the better credit score you get.
Credit Card lenders set lower credit standards for students because they know your expenses and limits. Once your credit card gets approval, you will receive it within a week or two. In case you’re under 21 and unable to pay your debts, you will need a cosigner who will pay on your behalf. If you’re able to pay your bills on time, you will need written proof of your source of income.
What Card Features Are Essential to Understand?
Here are the most important pieces of stuff that you need to understand:
Total Balance: Total Balance is the amount that the issuer lends at the statement’s time. You will get an email every month with your bill’s amount and deadline. You can create an online account to view your bill online anytime.
Activity Summary: An activity summary is a report of your payments and credits you made every month. Activity Summary is an important aspect of your credit score.
APR: APR is the percentage of the cost you pay every year to borrow money. Every payment and transaction has its own APRs with different rates.
Minimum Payment Due: This the minimum payment of your bill to keep your account running and maintain discipline on a credit report. This needs to be paid on time to avoid penalty.
Payment Due Date: Bank gives you a grace period of 21 to 25 days that is the time between the end of your billing cycle and the date of payment is due. In this period, the bank must receive your dues to avoid carrying a balance subject to interest charges.
Credit Available: It shows how much credit you have left before you hit the Credit Line.
Free Credit Score: Some of the card lenders offer you either a current FICO score or an educational credit score. You can choose one of them as your need.
Rewards: The reward section allows you to see the cash back on purchases, gift cards, and rewards points you made.
What Are the Costs of Credit Cards?
Credits cards may be helpful, but owning one can be expensive. And if you’re a student with limited earning sources, you need to understand these terms before choosing a credit card.
Awareness of APRs: An APR is an interest that applies to your balance when your due date expires. Once your grace period is expired, you will start paying APR on your further expenses. APR is paid in compound interest, and it can be unhealthy for your pocket. So make sure you pay bills on time.
There are many types of APR, and every APR is variable according to the Federal Reserve System’s prime rate. That means whenever it goes up, APR interest also increases.
Some credit cards offer a 0% introductory APR on purchases. The offer period ranges from 6 to 21 months, depending on issuer policies. Some cards also charge a penalty APR if you fail to pay your bills within 60 days.
Credit Card’s interest: First thing you need to know is that you won’t have to pay any interest if you pay back your full bill on time.
If you only pay your part balance within the grace period, interest will be charged only with the balance you carry over. You can see the charged interest on your next billing statement. The same will happen to your full statement balance if you fail to pay your entire bill.
Cash Advance Fees: You can also withdraw money with some credit cards. But withdrawing cash charges more APR than usual, and you don’t get any grace period on cash advance transactions.
Annual Fees: Most companies do not charge annual fees on student credit cards. But credit cards with an annual fee typically have better rewards than cards with no annual fees. Normally credit card’s annual fees range from $25 to $550.
Foreign Transaction Fees: If you use a student credit card for a foreign transaction, you will be charged mostly between 1% to 3%. So if you’re looking for a student credit card, make sure you read all terms about foreign transaction rates.
Late Payment Fee: These fees will be charged by the issuer when you failed to make your least payment by the due date. Late payment fees don’t bode well for a good credit score.
What Types of Student Credit Cards Are Available?
Many types of credit cards available for students and each of them provides unique benefits. You can go for one that suits your needs. Let’s have a look at these student credit cards.
- Cash Back Credit Cards: Such credit cards give special cashback on particular purchases and bills. Some of them also offer you unlimited 1-2% cashback on every purchase. Credit cards like Discover give you a welcome bonus, a dollar-for-dollar match of all cashback you earned the first year.
- Travel Credit Cards: Now, if you are a travel freak, then Travel credit cards are best for you. These kinds of offer rewards and bonuses on your travel purchases. Like Bank of America, they offer 1.5X points on every dollar you spent. And if you spend $1000 within 3 months, you will receive 25,000 bonus points worth $250 statement credit.
- Credit Cards for Gas Stations and Restaurants: You can consider Discover Student Chrome credit cards if you love riding cars & eating. You can get up to 2% cashback on every purchase you made at gas stations and restaurants. And 1% cashback on all other purchases. They also reward you for your good grades.
- Credit Cards for Groceries and Small Purchases: These cards are best for those college students who like to spend on groceries and other needs. You can consider CITI Rewards Student Cards that offer a round-up reward on purchases. You can use reward points to claim gift cards.
- Cards with No Credit History: These credit cards are best for students looking forward to international studies. You don’t need any credit history to apply. The best part is that there are no charges on foreign transactions and balance transfers. You will also get 1% cash back on every purchase you made. You can consider the Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students if you’re looking for international studies.
What Are Credit Card Best Practices?
If you’re a student credit cardholder, you must follow these habits to live a debt-free life.
- Try to use your card only for your basic needs that you can pay after every month.
- Always try to pay off your balance within time.
- Don’t withdraw cash if not necessary.
- Always track your budget and expenses.
- Manage your account and check at least twice a week.
- Try not to use more than 30% of your available credit.
- Keep your credit score high.
- Try to pay your full bills to avoid unnecessary interest.
What to do with your student credit card after graduation?
You can keep using your student credit card even after graduation. If your credit score is good enough, you can upgrade your credit card into a regular or non-student credit card. With a higher credit score, you can get better features with great rewards.
If your student card charges you an annual fee or your lender cannot upgrade it, you should replace it with a better credit card. And if you’re not paying any annual fee or you can’t upgrade the card, then you must keep it for a better credit score.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Students can choose from a vast range of the best student credit cards. Before going for a student credit card, make sure that a credit card meets your needs.
You can go for the Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students if you’re looking for no credit. These credit cards are best for those students who are looking forward to international studies. The best part is that there are no charges on foreign transactions and balance transfers.
There are plenty of student credit cards to start with Discover, CITI Rewards, Journey Student, and Deserve EDU Mastercards are some great credit cards with plenty of rewards and offers.
If you’re under 21, you can try Journey Student Rewards from Capital One, Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students, Discover® Secured Credit Card for a start.
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