Have you ever considered getting a student credit card? If you need to make a major purchase, rent an apartment or apply for a loan after graduating, having good credit is essential; some companies even check your credit before offering a job. It can be challenging to build credit from nothing, and that’s why the student credit card system exists. Check out the best offers here.
A student credit card lets a student learn how to manage credit cards and start building credit while limiting risks — like a bike with training wheels. Spending limits are relatively low compared with a regular credit card. That means the chances for debt to balloon out of control, resulting in bad credit, are lower with a student card. There are a handful of great student credit cards out there, and this list — updated regularly — will help you figure out which is best for you.
The best student credit card overall
Discover It Student Chrome
Standard APR: 12.99% to 21.99% variable (0% intro APR on purchases for the first 6 months)
Penalty APR: None
Late payment fee: Up to $40
Annual fee: $0
Cash-back rewards: 2% on gas stations and restaurants, up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter; 1% on all other purchases
Foreign transaction fee: 0%
Standout feature: No late fee for first late payment (up to $40 thereafter)
Eligibility requirements: No credit history required, proof of income
The Discover It Student Chrome offers a winning combination of cash back and other rewards as well as lenient terms for first-time credit card holders. You won’t get dinged by the credit card company for a late payment — at least the first one — or have to deal with an exorbitant penalty APR. And, of course, getting 1 to 2% back in rewards each month is a welcome bonus. Note that Discover offers another similar student credit card, the Discover It Student Cash Back credit card, but the rotating bonus categories make things overcomplicated, especially for first-time cardholders.
Features and rewards
Most student credit cards offer 1% cash back. The Discover It Student Chrome card bests that with 2% cash back on gas stations and restaurants, plus a generous cash-back match at the end of the first year. The match effectively doubles your first year’s bonus rewards, so if you receive $75 in cash-back rewards during the first 12 months, Discover will chip in an additional $75. We also like that the Chrome student credit card incentivizes good grades: You can earn a $20 statement credit for each school year you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher (up to five years).
Rates and fees
Discover’s rates and fees are generally lower than competitors’. The APR charged on purchases ranges between 12.99 and 21.99% variable, and there’s an introductory six-month period with 0% APR. Students with the Discover It Student Chrome also don’t have to worry about a penalty APR, which some issuers will institute if a card holder misses a payment. There’s no late fee for the first late payment, but for the second instance the credit card company charges up to $40, which is comparable to what other cards charge…Read more>>