Opening a student credit card is a great way to build credit early and learn the ins and out of financial responsibility. Given the vast amounts of student cards on the market with varying features, it can be hard to settle on one. If you’re looking for a credit card suited to your needs and wants, you’re in the right place. Read on to see our selection of some of the best student credit cards.
Best for flat-rate cash back rewards: Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
Rewards rate: 1% cash back on all purchases, with an additional 0.25% cash back each month if payments are made on time
Welcome bonus: Access to higher credit line after making punctual payments for the first 5 months
Annual fee: N/A
The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One is a cash back rewards card designed specifically for college students. It offers 1% flat-rate cash back on all purchases, plus a bonus 0.25% in cash back for every month you pay your bill on time. With the bonus, the card gives students, who may not have much credit history, a better-than-average rewards rate for demonstrating punctuality and smart money management. After paying back your first five monthly bills on time, you can even request a higher credit line, getting a headstart on building a strong credit score.
The Capital One Journey card has no annual fee nor foreign transaction fees and is accepted worldwide by any merchant that takes VISA. Without the burden of hefty fees, you can focus on building your credit and your studies (abroad or in the U.S) all while earning rewards for it.
Best for no credit history and international students: Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students
Rewards rate: 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases
Welcome bonus: N/A
Annual Fee: N/A
The Deserve EDU Mastercard is a great beginner’s credit card for college students with no credit history. They can build their credit profile while simultaneously earn rewards for it; the card gives students 1% unlimited cash back on all purchases as statement credits in $25 increments.
The opportunity to build credit from scratch is perhaps the most rewarding aspect of the Deserve EDU Mastercard. You do not need to provide a co-signer or cash deposit when applying. International students can also apply because they don’t need to supply a Social Security Number to qualify for the card. Instead, Deserve will ask for other materials, like identification and proof of a U.S. bank account balance. For international students struggling to build credit in America, this can be a huge leg up.
Other perks and rewards of the Deserve EDU Mastercard include a free one-year membership to Amazon Prime Student, $100 off a Feather subscription (a furniture rental company), and three months of talk & text through Mint Mobile. With the added benefit of $0 annual fee and foreign transaction fees, the Deserve EDU Mastercard is one to keep in mind.
Best for cash back bonus rewards: Discover it Student Cash Back
Rewards rate: 5% cash back on rotating categories for up to $1,500, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
Welcome bonus: Discover automatically matches all the cash back match you earned at the end of your first year
Annual fee: N/A
The Discover it Student Cash Back card is best for college students who want a high bonus rewards rate and don’t mind working a bit to get it. The card gives students access to graduate-level earning rates without having to provide any credit score, making it especially lucrative for those with limited or no credit. You’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in categories that rotate quarterly upon activation. Past categories include common expenses at places like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and online stores. Purchases made after the cap or that are ineligible for the bonus rate get you 1% cash back.
The bonus rewards do not stop there. Discover will double all of the rewards you earn during the first year your card is open, which could be worth a few hundred dollars. You’ll even earn extra rewards in statement credit every year for up to five years when you maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher. For no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, the benefits you’ll reap from the Discover it Student Cash Back card are pretty hard to beat.
Some other competitive student credit cards that you can look into are:
Our full list of the best student credit cards can be found here.