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Compare Student Credit Cards

Are you a college student looking to build your credit, but credit card companies keep turning you down? And when you do get approved, are the terms exorbitant? Building credit is tough, especially if you're starting out with no credit. Fortunately, there's a solution: student credit cards. Student credit cards are a useful gateway to the credit world. The right student credit card can help you sidestep high costs so you can build your credit without breaking the bank.

What are student credit cards?

Most college students have a limited or nonexistent credit history, which holds them back from getting approved for credit. And even when they do qualify for a credit card offer, they face high APRs, minimal benefits, and expensive fees.

Luckily, student credit cards are here to help. Student credit cards are designed for college students with limited or no credit. They offer the opportunity to build your credit while enjoying attractive terms, features, and benefits.

How do I compare student credit cards?

In general, students should pursue student credit cards with the lowest possible annual percentage rate (APR), and low or no penalty APR. Other recommended perks vary based on your preferences. When comparing different student credit cards, you should ask the following questions:

How expensive are the fees?

All credit cards come with fees, but you can minimize costs by choosing a card with as few fees as possible. Most importantly, check for an annual or monthly service fee (which you'll pay just for having the card). Annual fees typically range from $0 to $100 for regular credit cards. But many student cards don’t charge this fee. As such, you should seek out a student credit card with no service fee.

Other fees to check include:

  • Late payment penalty: A late payment fee is charged when you pay your bill late. Of course, you intend to make your payments on time, but accidents happen. And when they do, it's important to know how much the consequences will cost you. Late penalty fees often range from $35 to $40 per occurrence.
  • Returned payment fee: If your payment doesn’t clear, many card issuers will charge you a returned payment fee. This fee usually costs about the same as a late fee, ranging from $35 to $40.
  • Overlimit fee: If you exceed your credit limit, your card issuer may charge you an overlimit fee (typically $25 to $35). However, many student credit cards don’t charge this.
  • Foreign transaction fees: If you are going to use your credit card outside of the U.S. or with foreign merchants, each transaction may incur a foreign transaction fee. This fee is typically a percentage of the purchase amount, and ranges from 1% to 3%.

Fees add up over time and raise a credit card's overall cost. As such, be sure to look at all of the fees which apply to student credit cards when shopping around.

Where can you find the list of fees for a student credit card? Check out SuperMoney’s in-depth credit card reviews, and confirm the fee schedule on each card issuer's credit card agreement. Compare offers to find the best deal.

[dcb id=60120]

What annual percentage rates (APRs) are available to you?

The primary cost of a student credit card is the interest you pay on balances that carry over past a billing cycle. The cost of that interest depends on the APR that the card issuer offers you.

Your APR represents how much you pay in interest over the course of one year. For example, if you have an APR of 20%, you divide 20% by the number of days in the year (365) to get the daily interest rate of 0.055%. If your balance carries over past a billing cycle, that balance will be multiplied by the daily interest rate, and the product will be added to your balance owed.

For example, if you are carrying a balance of $500 with an APR of 20%, your daily interest rate would be $0.28. Over the span of one month, that would cost you $8.25. If you carry that balance for a year, it would cost about $100.

The lower your APR, the less you'll pay for the money you borrow. So you should prioritize credit card offers with relatively low APRs.

What types of APR are there?

There are four types of APRs:

  • Purchase APR. Purchase APR is applied to purchase transactions that are not paid in full by the end of a billing cycle. The purchase APR is usually the most important, as most people use their credit cards primarily for purchases.
  • Balance transfer APR. If you transfer a balance from one credit card to another, this APR will apply to the amount transferred.
  • Cash advance APR. A cash advance APR applies to amounts that you withdraw through a cash advance.
  • Penalty APR. If you are 60 days late on your minimum payment, credit card issuers can apply a penalty APR to your balance. This fee is higher than the standard (purchase) APR.

Look for the lowest available APRs on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. The APR that is most important to you will depend on how you plan to use the card. As for penalty APRs, while you may not plan on incurring this fee, it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies. Look for a card without a penalty APR, or with the lowest possible penalty APR.

To save even more, look for a card offering a 0% APR for the duration of a promotional introductory period (typically three to 12 months).

What rewards are available?

Credit card rewards are benefits that reward credit card users for their spending behavior. They can come in various forms, including:

  • Cashback: A percentage of your purchases is credited to your account. For example, if the card offers 2% cashback, you would get $20 back on a $2,000 purchase.
  • Points: The points you earn on your purchases can be redeemed as cashback, gift cards, travel savings, or merchandise.
  • Bonuses: These may include a sign-up bonus, matching cashback earned in the first year, crediting services like Amazon Prime Student, and higher cashback rates for paying on time.

When comparing credit card offers, it's important to consider rewards, as they can add value to the card. For example, if you earn 2% cashback and you spend $24,000 in the first year, you could earn $480 back. If the company offers to match that, you are looking at $960. Not only will this help cover the cost of the card, it can also put money in your pocket.

What benefits come with the card?

In addition to rewards, many cards offer benefits which increase their value. Below, find common examples of credit card benefits:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Collision insurance coverage when you rent a car using your credit card.
  • Emergency support: Emergency roadside services such as jump starts, towing, locksmiths, or fuel delivery.
  • Extended warranty protection: An extended warranty on qualifying purchases, such as an additional year warranty on a television.
  • Fraud liability protection: No liability if your card is used fraudulently.
  • Price protection: Get reimbursed if you make a purchase for an item that you find advertised at a lower price within a set time period (often 60 to 120 days).
  • Travel assistance: Receive assistance with travel needs such as replacing tickets, emergency transportation, and finding lost luggage.
  • ID theft protection: If your identity is stolen, the card issuer helps you to issue an ID Theft Affidavit and inform the credit bureaus.
  • Reports to major credit bureaus: Credit card issuers report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). This can help you to build your credit, which is very important, since students with student credit cards typically have limited credit history.

Benefits like these will save you money, time, and headaches.

How high is the card’s credit limit?

Each credit card has a credit limit which caps your spending. The right credit limit for you depends on your situation and preferences.

To most effectively build your credit, you should keep your usage of your credit card around 30%. For example, if you have a credit line of $1,000, you should keep your outstanding balance at $300 or less. To find your ideal credit limit, estimate your expected monthly balance and then multiply that by three.

Check the maximum credit limit that a card offers, as well as the limit that it will offer you. These limits will probably differ, because the credit line you're offered depends on your personal credit history. Look for a card with a credit limit that suits your needs.

How hard is it to qualify?

No matter how good a student credit card is, it won’t matter if you can’t qualify. So check each card's eligibility requirements to confirm that you fit the bill. Credit card companies may look at your credit score, location, income, and more. Further, some cards may allow cosigners to help you get approved, while others won’t.

Does the card have a good reputation with past customers?

Are past customers happy with their credit cards? Did the card issuer hold up their end of the deal? Were customers surprised by hidden fees? Did the company offer support when needed? Read real user reviews to find out how the cards fare with past and present customers.

Student credit card comparison checklist

In summary, here’s what to look at when shopping for a student credit card:

  • Low or no annual fee.
  • Competitive purchase, balance transfer, and cash advance APRs.
  • 0% introductory APR.
  • No penalty APR for late payment or exceeding the credit limit.
  • Valuable rewards programs.
  • Readily available customer support (email, phone, live chat).
  • Fraud detection and identity theft protection.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Helpful benefits.
  • Suitable credit limit.
  • Fitting eligibility requirements.

How do I find the best student credit card for me?

To find the best student credit card for you, you need to shop around. Luckily, SuperMoney makes that easy. Check out the cards listed below and compare them using this guide.

Compare Student Credit Cards

Are you a college student looking to build your credit, but credit card companies keep turning you down? And when you do get approved, are the terms exorbitant? Building credit is tough, especially if you're starting out with no credit. Fortunately, there's a solution: student credit cards. Student credit cards are a useful gateway to the credit world. The right student credit card can help you sidestep high costs so you can build your credit without breaking the bank.

What are student credit cards?

Most college students have a limited or nonexistent credit history, which holds them back from getting approved for credit. And even when they do qualify for a credit card offer, they face high APRs, minimal benefits, and expensive fees.

Luckily, student credit cards are here to help. Student credit cards are designed for college students with limited or no credit. They offer the opportunity to build your credit while enjoying attractive terms, features, and benefits.

How do I compare student credit cards?

In general, students should pursue student credit cards with the lowest possible annual percentage rate (APR), and low or no penalty APR. Other recommended perks vary based on your preferences. When comparing different student credit cards, you should ask the following questions:

How expensive are the fees?

All credit cards come with fees, but you can minimize costs by choosing a card with as few fees as possible. Most importantly, check for an annual or monthly service fee (which you'll pay just for having the card). Annual fees typically range from $0 to $100 for regular credit cards. But many student cards don’t charge this fee. As such, you should seek out a student credit card with no service fee.

Other fees to check include:

  • Late payment penalty: A late payment fee is charged when you pay your bill late. Of course, you intend to make your payments on time, but accidents happen. And when they do, it's important to know how much the consequences will cost you. Late penalty fees often range from $35 to $40 per occurrence.
  • Returned payment fee: If your payment doesn’t clear, many card issuers will charge you a returned payment fee. This fee usually costs about the same as a late fee, ranging from $35 to $40.
  • Overlimit fee: If you exceed your credit limit, your card issuer may charge you an overlimit fee (typically $25 to $35). However, many student credit cards don’t charge this.
  • Foreign transaction fees: If you are going to use your credit card outside of the U.S. or with foreign merchants, each transaction may incur a foreign transaction fee. This fee is typically a percentage of the purchase amount, and ranges from 1% to 3%.

Fees add up over time and raise a credit card's overall cost. As such, be sure to look at all of the fees which apply to student credit cards when shopping around.

Where can you find the list of fees for a student credit card? Check out SuperMoney’s in-depth credit card reviews, and confirm the fee schedule on each card issuer's credit card agreement. Compare offers to find the best deal.

[dcb id=60120]

What annual percentage rates (APRs) are available to you?

The primary cost of a student credit card is the interest you pay on balances that carry over past a billing cycle. The cost of that interest depends on the APR that the card issuer offers you.

Your APR represents how much you pay in interest over the course of one year. For example, if you have an APR of 20%, you divide 20% by the number of days in the year (365) to get the daily interest rate of 0.055%. If your balance carries over past a billing cycle, that balance will be multiplied by the daily interest rate, and the product will be added to your balance owed.

For example, if you are carrying a balance of $500 with an APR of 20%, your daily interest rate would be $0.28. Over the span of one month, that would cost you $8.25. If you carry that balance for a year, it would cost about $100.

The lower your APR, the less you'll pay for the money you borrow. So you should prioritize credit card offers with relatively low APRs.

What types of APR are there?

There are four types of APRs:

  • Purchase APR. Purchase APR is applied to purchase transactions that are not paid in full by the end of a billing cycle. The purchase APR is usually the most important, as most people use their credit cards primarily for purchases.
  • Balance transfer APR. If you transfer a balance from one credit card to another, this APR will apply to the amount transferred.
  • Cash advance APR. A cash advance APR applies to amounts that you withdraw through a cash advance.
  • Penalty APR. If you are 60 days late on your minimum payment, credit card issuers can apply a penalty APR to your balance. This fee is higher than the standard (purchase) APR.

Look for the lowest available APRs on purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. The APR that is most important to you will depend on how you plan to use the card. As for penalty APRs, while you may not plan on incurring this fee, it’s important to be prepared in case of emergencies. Look for a card without a penalty APR, or with the lowest possible penalty APR.

To save even more, look for a card offering a 0% APR for the duration of a promotional introductory period (typically three to 12 months).

What rewards are available?

Credit card rewards are benefits that reward credit card users for their spending behavior. They can come in various forms, including:

  • Cashback: A percentage of your purchases is credited to your account. For example, if the card offers 2% cashback, you would get $20 back on a $2,000 purchase.
  • Points: The points you earn on your purchases can be redeemed as cashback, gift cards, travel savings, or merchandise.
  • Bonuses: These may include a sign-up bonus, matching cashback earned in the first year, crediting services like Amazon Prime Student, and higher cashback rates for paying on time.

When comparing credit card offers, it's important to consider rewards, as they can add value to the card. For example, if you earn 2% cashback and you spend $24,000 in the first year, you could earn $480 back. If the company offers to match that, you are looking at $960. Not only will this help cover the cost of the card, it can also put money in your pocket.

What benefits come with the card?

In addition to rewards, many cards offer benefits which increase their value. Below, find common examples of credit card benefits:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: Collision insurance coverage when you rent a car using your credit card.
  • Emergency support: Emergency roadside services such as jump starts, towing, locksmiths, or fuel delivery.
  • Extended warranty protection: An extended warranty on qualifying purchases, such as an additional year warranty on a television.
  • Fraud liability protection: No liability if your card is used fraudulently.
  • Price protection: Get reimbursed if you make a purchase for an item that you find advertised at a lower price within a set time period (often 60 to 120 days).
  • Travel assistance: Receive assistance with travel needs such as replacing tickets, emergency transportation, and finding lost luggage.
  • ID theft protection: If your identity is stolen, the card issuer helps you to issue an ID Theft Affidavit and inform the credit bureaus.
  • Reports to major credit bureaus: Credit card issuers report your payment history to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax). This can help you to build your credit, which is very important, since students with student credit cards typically have limited credit history.

Benefits like these will save you money, time, and headaches.

How high is the card’s credit limit?

Each credit card has a credit limit which caps your spending. The right credit limit for you depends on your situation and preferences.

To most effectively build your credit, you should keep your usage of your credit card around 30%. For example, if you have a credit line of $1,000, you should keep your outstanding balance at $300 or less. To find your ideal credit limit, estimate your expected monthly balance and then multiply that by three.

Check the maximum credit limit that a card offers, as well as the limit that it will offer you. These limits will probably differ, because the credit line you're offered depends on your personal credit history. Look for a card with a credit limit that suits your needs.

How hard is it to qualify?

No matter how good a student credit card is, it won’t matter if you can’t qualify. So check each card's eligibility requirements to confirm that you fit the bill. Credit card companies may look at your credit score, location, income, and more. Further, some cards may allow cosigners to help you get approved, while others won’t.

Does the card have a good reputation with past customers?

Are past customers happy with their credit cards? Did the card issuer hold up their end of the deal? Were customers surprised by hidden fees? Did the company offer support when needed? Read real user reviews to find out how the cards fare with past and present customers.

Student credit card comparison checklist

In summary, here’s what to look at when shopping for a student credit card:

  • Low or no annual fee.
  • Competitive purchase, balance transfer, and cash advance APRs.
  • 0% introductory APR.
  • No penalty APR for late payment or exceeding the credit limit.
  • Valuable rewards programs.
  • Readily available customer support (email, phone, live chat).
  • Fraud detection and identity theft protection.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Helpful benefits.
  • Suitable credit limit.
  • Fitting eligibility requirements.

How do I find the best student credit card for me?

To find the best student credit card for you, you need to shop around. Luckily, SuperMoney makes that easy. Check out the cards listed below and compare them using this guide.

Loading results...

Product

Reviews

Purchase APR

Balance Transfer APR

Credit Score Range

Annual Fee

Additional Details

Product Website

Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students

Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students

Rating not yet determined

1 total votes
In our efforts to provide the community with the most accurate information, recommendation rating is not determined until a sufficient number of SuperMoney users cast their vote
Purchase APR 20.49% Variable APR
Balance Transfer APR N/A Balance Transfer APR
Credit Score Range 680 - 850     600 850
Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Co-signing Allowed
  • Extended Warranty
  • Fraud Liability
  • No SSN required
  • Travel Insurance
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
Show More
Show Additional Details
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Co-signing Allowed
  • Extended Warranty
  • Fraud Liability
  • No SSN required
  • Travel Insurance
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
Discover it Chrome for Students

Discover it Chrome for Students

10
4
 
14 total votes
Purchase APR 15.24% - 24.24%
(Variable APR)
    12% 26% Variable APR
Balance Transfer APR 15.24% - 24.24%
(Variable APR)
    10% 26% Variable APR
Credit Score Range 640 - 850     600 850
Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee
  • Fraud Liability
  • Free FICO Score
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
Show Additional Details
  • Fraud Liability
  • Free FICO Score
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students

7
4
 
12 total votes
Purchase APR 14.49% - 24.49%
(Variable APR)
    12% 26% Variable APR
Balance Transfer APR 14.49% - 24.49%
(Variable APR)
    10% 26% Variable APR
Credit Score Range 650 - 850     600 850
Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Support
  • Extended Warranty
  • Flight Insurance
  • Fraud Liability
  • Travel Insurance
  • No Annual Fee
Show More
Show Additional Details
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Support
  • Extended Warranty
  • Flight Insurance
  • Fraud Liability
  • Travel Insurance
  • No Annual Fee
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card

Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card

5
3
2
10 total votes
Purchase APR 11.65% - 21.65%
(Variable APR)
    12% 26% Variable APR
Balance Transfer APR 11.65% - 21.65%
(Variable APR)
    10% 26% Variable APR
Credit Score Range 600 - 850     600 850
Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Support
  • Extended Warranty
  • Fraud Liability
  • No Annual Fee
Show Additional Details
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Support
  • Extended Warranty
  • Fraud Liability
  • No Annual Fee
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

2
 
3
5 total votes
Purchase APR 26.46% Variable APR
Balance Transfer APR 26.46% Variable APR
Credit Score Range 640 - 720     600 850
Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Support
  • Extended Warranty
  • Flight Insurance
  • Fraud Liability
  • Free FICO Score
  • Travel Insurance
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
Show More
Show Additional Details
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Support
  • Extended Warranty
  • Flight Insurance
  • Fraud Liability
  • Free FICO Score
  • Travel Insurance
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
State Farm Student Visa

State Farm Student Visa

Rating not yet determined

2 total votes
In our efforts to provide the community with the most accurate information, recommendation rating is not determined until a sufficient number of SuperMoney users cast their vote
Purchase APR 11.74% - 18.74%
(Variable APR)
    12% 26% Variable APR
Balance Transfer APR 11.74% - 18.74%
(Variable APR)
    10% 26% Variable APR
Credit Score Range 600 - 850     600 850
Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Support
  • Fraud Liability
  • No Annual Fee
Show Additional Details
  • Car Rental Insurance
  • Emergency Support
  • Fraud Liability
  • No Annual Fee
Discover it Student Cash Back

Discover it Student Cash Back

Rating not yet determined

1 total votes
In our efforts to provide the community with the most accurate information, recommendation rating is not determined until a sufficient number of SuperMoney users cast their vote
Purchase APR 15.24% - 24.24%
(Variable APR)
    12% 26% Variable APR
Balance Transfer APR 15.24% - 24.24%
(Variable APR)
    10% 26% Variable APR
Credit Score Range 640 - 850     600 850
Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee
  • Fraud Liability
  • Free FICO Score
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
Show Additional Details
  • Fraud Liability
  • Free FICO Score
  • No Annual Fee
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee
BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students
Purchase APR 15.99% - 25.99%
(Variable APR)
    12% 26% Variable APR
Balance Transfer APR 15.99% - 25.99%
(Variable APR)
    10% 26% Variable APR
Credit Score Range 600 - 850     600 850
Annual Fee $0 Annual Fee
  • Co-signing Allowed
  • Extended Warranty
  • Fraud Liability
  • Free FICO Score
  • No Blackout Dates
  • No Annual Fee
Show More
Show Additional Details
  • Co-signing Allowed
  • Extended Warranty
  • Fraud Liability
  • Free FICO Score
  • No Blackout Dates
  • No Annual Fee