Credit Card Guide
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Credit Cards for Students

 

Student credit cards can help students build their credit history. Some cards let students earn reward points that can be used at places where students shop. Some student cards from our partners also offer 0% introductory interest rates, rewards and cash back.

 
     

     
 
Discover it® chrome for Students
Discover it® chrome for Students

Discover it® chrome for Students

 

  • No annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee*.
  • 2% cash back automatically on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter—no sign-ups needed*. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months—then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 12.99% - 21.99%.
  • APR won't go up if you pay late.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on your monthly statement so you can track your score's progress*.
  • Free text alerts can remind you when your payment is due. And free mobile app helps you stay on top of your account.
  • U.S. based customer service—anytime, day and night.
  • *Click "Apply" to see rates, rewards and other information.
PurchasesBalance TransfersRegular APRAnnual FeeCredit Needed
Intro APRIntro PeriodIntro APRIntro Period
0%
6 monthsSee TermsSee Terms12.99% - 21.99% Variable*$0Fair Credit

Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus
Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus

Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus

 

  • Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And paying late won't increase your APR.*
  • 5% cash back at gas stations on up to $1,500 in purchases from July through September 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.*
  • Human. Talk to a real person any time with 100% U.S.-based service.
  • Looks out for you-since each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.*
  • Experience our cash rewards with $20 Cashback Bonus® when you make your first purchase within 3 months of approval.*
  • *Click "Apply" to see rates, rewards and other information.
PurchasesBalance TransfersRegular APRAnnual FeeCredit Needed
Intro APRIntro PeriodIntro APRIntro Period
N/A
N/ASee TermsSee Terms12.99%-21.99% Variable*$0Fair Credit

Discover it® for Students
Discover it® for Students

Discover it® for Students

 

  • Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And paying late won't increase your APR.*
  • 5% cash back at gas stations on up to $1,500 in purchases from July through September 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.*
  • Human. Talk to a real person any time with 100% U.S.-based service.
  • Looks out for you-since each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.*
  • 0% intro APR* on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99%.
  • *Click "Apply" to see rates, rewards and other information.
PurchasesBalance TransfersRegular APRAnnual FeeCredit Needed
Intro APRIntro PeriodIntro APRIntro Period
0%
6 monthsSee TermsSee Terms12.99%-21.99% Variable*$0Fair Credit

JourneySM Student Rewards from Capital One®
Journey<sup>SM</sup> Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey<sup>SM</sup> Student Rewards from Capital One®

 

  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, every month—and pay no annual fee
  • For every month you pay on time, you receive a 25% bonus—that's a total of 1.25% cash back
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Brighten your financial future with responsible credit use—and get rewarded along the way
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • There's no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards don't expire
  • Pick the monthly payment due date that works best for you
PurchasesBalance TransfersRegular APRAnnual FeeCredit Needed
Intro APRIntro PeriodIntro APRIntro Period
N/A
N/AN/AN/A19.8% (V)$0Average*

American Express Serve®
American Express Serve®

American Express Serve®

 

  • Your Full Service Reloadable Prepaid Account (American Express Serve is not a credit card.)
  • No credit check. No minimum balance. No hidden fees.
  • Enjoy American Express service and security 24/7. Shop online or off and get access to membership benefits like Purchase Protection.
  • Add cash for free across 19,500 CVS/pharmacy®, Walmart®, and participating 7-ELEVEN® locations.
  • Free ATM withdrawals at over 24,000 ATMs nationwide.
  • Use the Mobile App* to deposit checks on-the-go, manage your money, pay bills and more.
  • *Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.
PurchasesBalance TransfersRegular APRAnnual FeeCredit Needed
Intro APRIntro PeriodIntro APRIntro Period
N/A
N/AN/AN/AN/A$1 Monthly Fee (no fee NY, TX & VT)*No Credit Check

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

 

  • Earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of cardmembership.
  • 2 ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment.
  • 1 ThankYou® Point on other purchases.
  • Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points
  • Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, cash and more
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology
  • No annual fee*
PurchasesBalance TransfersRegular APRAnnual FeeCredit Needed
Intro APRIntro PeriodIntro APRIntro Period
0%
7 monthsN/AN/A13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)$0Good Credit

First National Bank Secured Visa Card
First National Bank Secured Visa Card

First National Bank Secured Visa Card

 

  • Your stepping stone to credit that can grow with you.
  • You provide an upfront deposit - from $300 to $5,000 - and that sets your credit limit, subject to our credit approval.
  • How you use your card will reflect on your credit rating with the three major credit bureaus.
  • There is no charge for receiving your FICO® 8 Bankcard Score.
  • You could qualify for additional unsecured credit - without sending an additional deposit - in as few as 6 months.
  • As soon as 15 months after opening your account, you could be eligible to apply for an unsecured card from First National Bank — and get your deposit back!
  • Use your Kickstart Secured Card anywhere Visa credit cards are accepted.
PurchasesBalance TransfersRegular APRAnnual FeeCredit Needed
Intro APRIntro PeriodIntro APRIntro Period
N/A
N/AN/AN/A20.99% (Variable)$29N/A

Citi® Dividend® Card for College Students
Citi® Dividend® Card for College Students

Citi® Dividend® Card for College Students

 

  • Build credit while earning cash back fast
  • Earn 5% Cash Back in categories every quarter. Right now, on eligible purchases within the Hilton Portfolio, car rental agencies, movie theaters and theme parks from 7/1/14 – 9/30/14
  • Enrollment each quarter is quick and easy.
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • The total cash back earned with the card is $300 per calendar year. See Citi Dividend Card Reward Program Information.
  • Choose your payment due date
  • No Annual Fee
  • Click Apply Now for pricing details
PurchasesBalance TransfersRegular APRAnnual FeeCredit Needed
Intro APRIntro PeriodIntro APRIntro Period
0%*
7 months*N/A*N/A*13.99% - 23.99%* (Variable)$0*Good Credit

 
     

Student Credit Cards Tips
 

Credit cards for students offer numerous advantages in addition to providing easy access to cash and credit. They enable you to earn cash back or rewards on your expenditures. They also allow you to start building a good credit history, which will be a real plus later in life when you are looking to take out loans to buy a car or house.

The cash back or reward earnings on college student credit cards vary from 1% to as high as 5% for different types of purchases. To compare credit cards, read through the terms and conditions to determine which card will give you the highest rewards on your most frequent expenditures. Some student credit cards even reward you points for maintaining a good GPA and paying on time.

Points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including cash back, plane tickets, concert tickets, gift cards, and in some cases exclusive mtvU Rewards, like VIP passes to Spring Break, Studio Tours, and more. Again, to compare credit card offers, look for the card that offers the rewards that you find most exciting.

Most credit cards for students come with a 0% introductory interest rate for six months. Depending on the card, this rate may apply only to purchases, but in some cases it also applies to balance transfers and cash advances. In short, if you will be using your card for cash advances or balance transfers in addition to purchases, look for a card that offers a 0% introductory rate on these services.

College credit cards offer great advantages if you pay the balance in full every month. It is best, however, to avoid using your card as a supplemental student loan. Once the introductory rate expires, student credit cards charge a fairly high APR, from 12.99% and up.

 
     

 
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Questions About Student Credit?

Watch our Google Hangout
Aired on Tuesday, June 18th 2013

On our panel, we had Martin Dasko from Studenomics, Rebecca Barry from the University of Arizona’s Credit-Wise Cats, and Susan Knox, author of the book “Financial Basics: A Money Management Guide for Students.” Our credit expert-at-large Erica Sandberg (you know her from our Ask Erica column) moderated the panel.

Topics we discussed include:

  • How students can know if they're ready for a credit card
  • What college students find most confusing about credit
  • Risks of co-signing credit cards

 

 
     

 
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