The 8 best credit cards for college students of 2019

The 8 best credit cards for college students of 2019

Most college students have limited experience with credit cards and other forms of credit. Consequently, your credit histories are often scarce or non-existent. Therefore, the most important reason for students to apply for credit cards is to build a positive credit history.

Students interested in accumulating credit quickly should look for cards that report timely payments to one or more (ideally all three) consumer credit reporting offices, and then keep their share of the deal making full payments on time.

The best student credit cards generally have low rates, reasonable APR rates and benefits that specifically appeal to college students. Some even have cash back programs that reward spending on gas, groceries, dinners and other routine purchases. Here is a look at some of the best options in the current market.

The best credit cards for students

These are the best credit cards for students in the market today.

1. The Edu Student credit card deserves

Unlimited 1% cash back; Amazon Prime Student free year ($ 59 value)

The Deserve Edu student credit card is a student credit card with no annual fee that earns an unlimited 1% refund on all eligible purchases. It is the only card on this list that comes with a free one-year subscription to Amazon Prime.

For students, an annual Amazon Prime subscription (known as Amazon Prime Student) is worth $ 59. Be sure to maximize this benefit by registering with Amazon Prime Student and paying a one-year membership, not a monthly membership, with your Deserve credit card Edu Student You will see the annual subscription fee reimbursement on your Deserve Edu card statement after your free trial ends (if applicable). Due to its higher monthly cost, choosing to pay Amazon Prime Student monthly generates only nine monthly refunds.

  • Bonus upon registration: There is currently no sign-up bonus here, but check with Deserve for information on limited-time promotions.
  • Earn rewards: All eligible purchases get an unlimited refund of 1%. There is no limit to your income potential.
  • Reward Redemption: You can redeem cash in any amount for credits on the account statement, direct deposits to a linked bank account and credits against Amazon purchases. You can also redeem for gift cards, merchandise and other items, but the redemption values ​​for those options may vary.
  • Introductory APR: Any.
  • Key rates: This card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
  • Other advantages: Beyond the free one-year subscription to Amazon Prime Student, this card has a number of benefits, including a generous price protection policy that reimburses the difference between the purchase price of certain covered items and any lower advertised price on identical items for 60 days from the date of purchase (some restrictions apply); cell phone protection up to $ 600 per claim; and extended warranties of up to 12 months on eligible products purchased with the card.

See our Deserve Edu student credit card Review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply. here.

2. The Petal Cash Back Visa Card

Innovative subscription procedures; Up to 1.5% cash back

Petal Cash Back Credit Card

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The Petal Cash Back Visa card is not your typical student credit card, especially since it is not marketed specifically for students. But, because it is designed in part for users without a significant credit history, in fact, you can apply for this card without a credit score, it is ideal for college students who are just beginning their path to credit creation.

After establishing a pattern of timely payments, you can earn up to 1.5% cash back with your Visa Petal Cash Back card, while avoiding fees commonly charged by other student cards, such as annual fees and transaction fees at the Foreign.

Petal stands out for other reasons, which include:

  • A non-traditional subscription process that makes the card ideal for first-time credit card users and those without FICO credit scores, disproportionately represented groups in the university student population. Applicants without FICO scores are assessed based on non-credit factors, such as income. However, the Petal card is not for applicants with impaired credit.
  • Credit limits vary from $ 500 to $ 10,000. This is higher than is typical for entry-level credit cards.
  • APR lower than most other entry-level credit cards. Keep in mind that it is always better to pay the full balance.
  • No fees. The petal card does not charge annual fees or transaction fees abroad, for example.

The petal card is not perfect, and it may not be for you. But if you are looking for an entry-level credit card that does not charge an annual fee, you can consider non-credit factors and offer cash reimbursement in daily transactions, it is worth taking a closer look. Again, remember that the Petal Card is not for people with bad credit, nor for those looking to rebuild damaged credit.

  • Bonus upon registration: There is currently no sign-up bonus. Check with Petal for updated information on limited time promotions.
  • Earn rewards: The Petal Card cash back program distinguishes it from many other entry-level credit cards. Cardholders start earning an unlimited 1% refund on all eligible purchases. After 6 monthly payments on time, the cashback rate increases to 1.25% on all eligible purchases. After 12 monthly payments on time, the cashback rate increases to 1.5% on all eligible purchases, where it remains indefinitely.
  • Reward Redemption: The refund does not expire while your account remains open and in good condition. You can redeem any amount for a statement credit and paper checks once your cash return balance reaches $ 20 (the minimum size of the redemption check is $ 20).
  • Key rates: The petal card does not charge any fees.
  • Introductory APR: Any.
  • APR: The regular purchase variable APR varies from 14.99% to 25.99%.
  • Other advantages: The Petal Card participates in the Visa Local Offers program with Visa and Uber. With local Visa offers, you earn Uber credits for spending with thousands of participating local merchants, such as restaurants, independent retailers and chain stores. Petal also offers some complementary Visa-backed benefits, including 24-hour roadside assistance, 7 days a week, and car rental insurance when you pay full rent with your card.

3. Capital One® Journey® Student Rewards

1% cash back on all purchases; 1.25% cash back every month when paying on time

Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

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Journey Student Rewards is a low-cost student credit card that is ideal for students with decent credit and a penchant for cash rewards. Your biggest benefit is definitely the cash back program. You will get a 1% cash refund on all purchases and receive a 0.25% refund bonus each month that pays your statement on time. You can redeem your rewards as a statement or check credit at any time, for any amount.

Other benefits include an automatic credit line increase after 5 months of timely payments, minimum fees and the benefits associated with the Capital One CreditWise feature, an excellent credit education tool.

  • Early Expense Bonus: There is no bonus for anticipated spending.
  • Rewards and Redemption: You will get an unlimited 1% refund on all eligible purchases. When you pay your account balance on time, you will get a 0.25% cashback bonus. Redeem your accumulated cash refund for any amount, at any time. You can also set the balance of your rewards to redeem at $ 25, $ 50, $ 100 or $ 200, or at a predetermined date.
  • Key rates: There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost $ 10 or 3%, whichever is greater.
  • Introductory APR: There is no introductory APR.
  • Other advantages: The Capital One CreditWise feature includes a “hypothetical simulator” that you can use to predict changes in your credit score and debt burden based on hypothetical events and financial actions.

See our Capital One Journey Student Rewards Card Review for more information. Find out how you can request this card here.

4. Citi Rewards + Student Card

2 points in purchases in supermarkets and service stations, up to $ 6,000 in combined annual expenses

Citi Rewards student credit card

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However, the Citi Rewards + student card rewards students who spend a lot on gas and groceries, however, with rounded points to the nearest 10 on each purchase and the first 100,000 points redeemed each year subject to a bonus of 10%, other types of expenses go well here too.

Don’t ignore the 7 month purchase promotion, 0% APR, either. Providing school supplies is never easy, but charging that interest-free expense eliminates part of the sting.

  • Bonus upon registration: When you spend at least $ 500 on eligible purchases on your card within 3 months after opening your account, you will receive an additional 2,500 points of thanks. That’s enough to redeem for a $ 25 gift card.
  • Rewards and Redemption: Earn 2X points on eligible purchases of supermarkets and service stations, up to $ 6,000 in combined category expenses per year. All other eligible purchases earn 1X unlimited points, including purchases in supermarkets and service stations above the category limits. Citi rounds to the nearest 10-point increase in each purchase (for example, converting a 46-point purchase into a 50-point purchase) and increases exchanges by 10%, to the first 100,000 points redeemed.
  • Key rates: There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
  • Introductory APR: 0% APR purchase for 7 months from the date of opening your account.

See our Citi Rewards + Student Card Review for more information. Find out how you can request this card here.

5. Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

No annual fee; Benefits of creating credit with responsible use of the card

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As a secured credit card, Capital One® Secured Mastercard® is different from the credit cards mentioned above, and not only because membership is not limited to registered students. Before you start spending, you must make a cash deposit of $ 49, $ 99 or $ 200. The deposit entitles you to a credit limit of $ 200 to $ 1,000, depending on your creditworthiness. You can subsequently increase your credit limit by making an additional deposit.

However, deposits cannot be credited against your purchases: you must still 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 can increase 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, their rates are manageable, available to students with poor or irregular 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 Expense Bonus: There is no bonus for anticipated spending.
  • Rewards and Redemption: This card has no rewards program.
  • Key rates: There is no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost more than $ 10 or 3%.
  • Introductory APR: There is no introduction APR.
  • Other advantages: This card also comes with Capital One CreditWise.

See our MasterCard Secured Capital One Review for more information. Find out how you can request this card here.

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6. Citi® Secured Mastercard®

APR and reasonable rates; Relatively high credit limit; Good for students with bad credit

Citi Secured Card

Citi Secured Mastercard is another secured credit card with student benefits and, without an annual fee, is quite profitable.

Before you can use this card, you must first make a deposit of only $ 200 or up to $ 2,500, subject to credit approval. That deposit is equal to your credit limit and cannot be credited against your purchases. If you display timely payment patterns for 18 months, Citi may return your deposit and allow you to continue using your card as an “unsecured” normal “credit card.

Citi Secured Mastercard has relatively lax credit approval standards. If you have poor or irregular credit, this is probably the best student card for you. And because Citi automatically reports its payment patterns to the 3 main consumer credit reporting offices, it is also an excellent card to accumulate credit. If you make timely payments, your credit score is likely to increase over time.

  • Bonus upon registration: There is no registration bonus.
  • Rewards and Redemption: This card has no rewards program.
  • Key rates: There is no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 3%.
  • Introductory APR: There is no introductory APR.
  • Other advantages: The benefits of this card are similar to those of Citi Rewards + Student Card, including the Citi Private Pass.

See our Citi Secured Mastercard Review for more information. Find out how you can request this card here.

7. Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card

3% cash back on purchases of gas, groceries and pharmacies during the first 6 months; Then unlimited 1% cash back

The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card is a student-friendly money back card with possibly the most valuable rewards program of any card on this list. During the six months after opening your account, you will get a 3% cash refund on purchases of gasoline, groceries and pharmacies, plus a 1% cash refund on all other eligible purchases. After the introductory period expires, you will get an unlimited 1% refund on all other eligible purchases.

That is not the only introductory promotion of the Cash Back College Card. For 12 months after opening your account, you will enjoy 0% APR on all eligible purchases, the longest introductory 0% APR promotion on this list.

  • Bonus upon registration: There is no registration bonus.
  • Rewards and Redemption: Get a 3% cash refund on purchases of gasoline, groceries and pharmacies during the first 6 months when your account is open. Get an unlimited 1% refund on all other eligible purchases from day one. You can redeem your cash reimbursement for credit on your statement, bank account deposits, paper checks and non-cash items, such as travel and entertainment, usually at a rate of $ 0.01 per point. Cash refunds must occur in increments of $ 25.
  • Key rates: There is no annual fee. See the Wells Fargo statement of terms and conditions for additional fees.
  • Introductory APR: 0% APR purchase for 12 months.
  • Other advantages: Wells Fargo bank customers enjoy special benefits for account holders. See the Wells Fargo website for more details.

8. State Farm® student visa

3 points for every $ 1 spent on insurance premiums, up to $ 4,000 annually; 1 point for every $ 2 spent on all other eligible net purchases

State Farm student visa is a credit card from State Farm, the ubiquitous insurer. If you are looking for help with expenses that can significantly reduce your premium costs for your car and renters insurance policies, this card should be prominently listed.

Although there is no sign up bonus here, the rewards program is pretty good for State Farm policyholders: you will earn 3 points for every $ 1 spent on insurance premiums, up to $ 4,000 annually. The earnings on other purchases are nothing impressive: only 1 point for every $ 2 spent.

  • Bonus upon registration: There is no registration bonus.
  • Rewards and Redemption: Earn 1 State Farm Loyalty Rewards point for every $ 2 spent on eligible net purchases. Earn 3 points for every $ 1 spent on insurance premium payments with State Farm, up to $ 4,000 annually. Points can be redeemed for gift cards, general merchandise, travel and eligible State Farm products.
  • Key rates: There is no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 3% of the total amount of the transaction. Cash advances cost more than $ 10 or 5%. Balance transfers cost more than $ 10 or 3%.
  • Introductory APR: There is no introductory APR.
  • Other advantages: This card comes with Visa-backed benefits, such as damage coverage and courtesy losses for rental cars paid in full with the card.

Final word

You’ve heard all the clichés about hungry students. While, hopefully, you will not go without regular meals while working and studying at school, you probably do not have as much income available as you would like.

Credit card issuers know that, on average, college students have less money than older people with full-time jobs. Consequently, they tend to strictly restrict how much their student customers can spend on their cards. Do not expect your first student credit card to come with an extremely high credit limit, especially if your only source of income is a stipend or a study and work assignment.

The good news is that if you make regular payments, create a positive credit history and look for ways to earn additional income, your credit limit and spending power are likely to increase over time. Within a few years, when you think about your time as a student, you could identify your first student credit card approval as a decisive milestone in your personal finance trip.

What is your favorite student credit card? Please let us know in your comments below.

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Stacey Hawk

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