7 Best Credit Cards for College Students – Reviews & Comparison

Most college students have limited experience with credit cards and other forms of credit. Accordingly, their credit histories are often thin or nonexistent. Therefore, the single most important reason for students to apply for credit cards is to build a positive credit history.

Students keen on building credit quickly need to look for cards that report timely payments to one or more (ideally all three) consumer credit reporting bureaus – and then keep up their end of the bargain by making in-full, on-time payments. The best student credit cardsgenerally have low fees, reasonable APRs, and perks that specifically appeal to college students. A few even have cash back programs that reward spending on gas, groceries, dining out, and other routine purchases. Here’s a look at some of the best options on the market today.

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Best Student Credit Cards

1. Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

1% Cash Back on All Purchases; 1.25% Cash Back Each Month When You Pay on Time

capital one journey student rewards credit cardJourney® Student Rewards from Capital One® is a low-fee student credit card that’s ideal for students with decent credit and a penchant for cash back rewards. Its biggest benefit is definitely the cash back program. You’ll earn 1% cash back on all purchases and get a 0.25% cash back bonus each month that you pay your statement on time. You can redeem your rewards as a statement credit or check at any time, in any amount.

Other perks include an automatic credit line increase after 5 months of on-time payments, minimal fees, and the perks associated with the Capital One CreditWise feature – a great credit education tool.

  • Early Spend Bonus: There’s no early spend bonus.
  • Rewards and Redemption: You’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. When you pay your statement balance on time, you’ll get a 0.25% cash back bonus. Redeem your accumulated cash back in any amount, at any time. You can also set your rewards balance to redeem at $25, $50, $100, or $200, or on a pre-determined date.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Late payments cost up to $38. Cash advances cost $10 or 3%, whichever is greater.
  • Introductory APR: There’s no introductory APR.
  • Other Perks: The Capital One CreditWise feature includes a “what-if simulator” that you can use to predict changes in your credit score and debt load based on hypothetical financial actions and events.

2. Discover it® Student Cash Back Card

$20 Annual Cash Back Bonus for Good Grades; Double Cash Back Rewards in the First Year

discover-it-studentsThe Discover it® Student Cash Back card has similar benefits to the standard Discover it® Cash Back card. In particular, it has a nice cash back rewards program, unlike many student credit cards. All purchases earn 1% cash back, with no spending caps or restrictions. Purchases in quarterly rotating spending categories (such as department store or gas station purchases) earn 5% cash back, up to a $1,500 quarterly limit across all active categories. Quarters begin January 1st, April 1st, July 1st, and October 1st.

Another nice benefit: at the end of your first year as a cardholder, Discover automatically doubles all the cash back you earned over the previous 12 months. Plus you get an additional $20 cash back every year your GPA stays above 3.0, for up to 5 years.

One downside is that Discover it for Students is meant for students with good to excellent credit. If you have poor credit or a spotty credit history, you’ll have trouble qualifying.

  • Sign-up Bonus: There’s no traditional sign-up bonus. However, Discover automatically doubles all the cash back earned during your first year, with no caps or limits.
  • Rewards and Redemption: Earn 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories, up to $1,500 in qualifying category spending per quarter. All other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back, including on 5% category purchases above the quarterly spending threshold. You can redeem your accumulated cash back in any amount as a statement credit, bank account deposit, check, or Amazon purchase credit.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. Balance transfers cost 3% of the transferred amount. The cash advance fee is the greater of $10 or 5% of the advanced amount. There’s no foreign transaction fee or late fee for your first late payment ($35 for subsequent late payments).
  • Introductory APR: 0% purchase APR for 6 months and 10.99% balance transfer APR for 6 months from the date of your first transfer, which must be made within 3 billing cycles of your account opening date.
  • Other Perks: Discover it for Students comes with a free FICO credit score every month. Also, Discover’s Freeze It feature lets you turn off many account features, including the ability to make new purchases and cash advances, at the click of a button.

3. Discover it® Chrome for Students

$20 Annual Cash Back Bonus for Good Grades; Good for Students With Average Credit

discover-chrome-studentsDiscover it® Chrome for Students is very similar to the regular Discover it Chrome card. Its cash back program is a bit different from the Discover it Cash Back card’s, though: dining and gas purchases earn 2% cash back, up to $1,000 in spending per quarter. Dining and gas purchases above this spending cap earn an unlimited 1%. All other purchases also earn an unlimited 1%.

Like Discover it for Students, Discover it Chrome for Students pays you $20 cash back every year your GPA stays above 3.0, for up to 5 years.

  • Sign-up Bonus: There’s no sign-up bonus, though Discover does automatically double all the cash back you earn during your first year.
  • Rewards and Redemption: Earn 2% cash back on dining and gas purchases, up to $1,000 in spending each quarter. All other eligible purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back, as do dining and gas purchases above the $1,000 quarterly spending cap. You can redeem in any amount as a statement credit, check, bank account deposit, or Amazon purchase credit.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers cost 3% of the transferred amount. The cash advance fee is the greater of $10 or 5% of the advanced amount. There’s no late fee for your first late payment ($35 for subsequent late payments).
  • Introductory APR: 0% purchase APR for 6 months and 10.99% balance transfer APR for 6 months from the date of your first transfer, which must occur within 3 billing cycles of your account opening date.
  • Other Perks: Enjoy a free FICO credit score and Freeze It account lock.

4. Wells Fargo Cash Back College? Card

3% Cash Back on Gas, Grocery, and Drugstore Purchases for the First 6 Months; Then Unlimited 1% Cash Back 

The Wells Fargo Cash Back College? Card is a student-friendly cash back card with, arguably, the most valuable rewards program of any card on this list. For six months after you open your account, you’ll earn 3% cash back on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases, plus 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases. After the introductory period expires, you’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

That’s not the only introductory promotion for the Cash Back College Card. For 12 months after you open your account, you’ll enjoy 0% APR on all eligible purchases — the longest 0% APR introductory promotion on this list.

  • Sign-up Bonus: There’s no sign-up bonus.
  • Rewards and Redemption: Earn 3% cash back on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months your account is open. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases from day one. You can redeem your cash back for statement credits, bank account deposits, paper checks, and non-cash items such as travel and entertainment, generally at a $0.01-per-point rate. Cash redemptions must occur in $25 increments.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. See Wells Fargo’s terms and conditions statement for additional fees.
  • Introductory APR: 0% purchase APR for 12 months.
  • Other Perks: Wells Fargo banking customers enjoy special account holder perks. See Wells Fargo’s website for details.

5. State Farm® Student Visa®

3 Points Per $1 Spent on Insurance Premiums, Up to $4,000 Annually; 1 Point Per $2 Spent on All Other Eligible Net Purchases

State Farm® Student Visa® is a rewards credit card from State Farm, the ubiquitous insurer. If you’re looking for a spending aid that can meaningfully reduce your premiums costs for your auto and renters’ insurance policies, this card should be high on your list.

Although there’s no sign-up bonus here, the rewards program is pretty nice for State Farm policyholders: you’ll earn 3 points per $1 spent on insurance premiums, up to $4,000 annually. Earnings on other purchases aren’t impressive at all — just 1 point per $2 spent.

  • Sign-up Bonus: There’s no sign-up bonus.
  • Rewards and Redemption: Earn 1 State Farm Loyalty Rewards point for every $2 spent on eligible net purchases. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on insurance premium payments with State Farm, up to $4,000 annually. Points are redeemable for gift cards, general merchandise, travel, and eligible State Farm products.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 3% of the total transaction amount. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $10 or 3%.
  • Introductory APR: There’s no introductory APR.
  • Other Perks: This card comes with Visa-backed benefits such as complimentary loss and damage coverage for rental cars paid in full with the card.

6. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

No annual fee; Credit-building benefits with responsible card use

[plugs category=As a secured credit card, Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is different from the credit cards listed above – and not just because membership isn’t limited to registered students. Before you start spending, you need to make a cash deposit of $49, $99, or $200. The deposit entitles you to a credit limit of anywhere from $200 to $1,000, depending on your creditworthiness. You can subsequently raise your credit limit by making an additional deposit.

However, deposits can’t be credited against your purchases – you still need to pay your bill every month, just as you would with a normal credit card. If you demonstrate a pattern of timely payments over several months, Capital One may raise your credit limit without requiring an additional deposit.

The biggest drawback of this card is its purchase APR, which is significantly higher than many other student credit cards. However, its fees are manageable, it’s available to students with poor or spotty credit, and the value-added benefits of Capital One CreditWise are definitely useful for students who want to track and build their credit over time.

  • Early Spend Bonus: There’s no early spend bonus.
  • Rewards and Redemption: This card has no rewards program.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 3%. Late payments cost up to $38 each.
  • Introductory APR: There’s no intro APR.
  • Other Perks: This card also comes with Capital One CreditWise…….Read more>>

 

Source:- moneycrashers

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