- Myth #1: Student cards are out to get you. As with any type of credit, if used recklessly it will lead to problems. But the bottom line is that if you pay your balance in full each month, there won’t be any interest.
- Myth #2: They don’t offer rewards or worthwhile benefits. It's true that most do not, but the best credit cards for college students will give great rewards as well as other valuable benefits.
- Myth #3: You need to carry a balance to build up your credit. What’s reported to the credit bureaus is your balance at the end of a billing cycle (when the bill is issued). That means you don't need to carry a balance to build up your credit history. The amount due on the bill will still be reported whether you pay it in full or not. So pay your bill in full and avoid interest!
Top Pick: Discover it® for Students with $20 Cashback Bonus
What's so unique about this is that it's the student version of the popular Discover it card. It gives you the same 5% rewards program but unlike the original, students with limited credit history can qualify. And by way you should know that Discover cards are widely accepted; over 90% of US merchants now take Discover.
- No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee & no pay-by-phone fee. No late fee on your first late payment. And they won't increase your APR for paying late.*
- 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter when you signup each time. This year for the 3rd quarter (July 1st thru Sept 30th) when you signup you will earn 5% at gas stations on up to $1,500 in purchases. 1% cash back on all other purchases.*
- 100% US-based customer service.
- $20 Cashback Bonus - just make your first purchase within 3 months of approval to get this.
- *Click apply for Terms & Conditions.
Journey℠ Student Rewards from Capital One®
Tons of benefits, a nice rewards program, and no annual fee... sounds like a winning combo, right? As part of the Visa Platinum benefits, you will get access to the extended warranty program for eligible purchases and a 24-hour hotline for travel and emergency assistance. It’s the perfect credit card for college students because it offers access to your monthly credit score for free.
- All purchases will earn you 1% cash back. Plus when you pay your bill on time, you get a 25% bonus on the cash back earned each month.
- No annual fee.
- Get customizable text/email alerts for free to help you stay on top of your account.
- Free monthly access to your credit score and tools to manage your credit health.
Citi Forward Card® for College Students
Not only is this one of the top student cards from Citi... it's arguably one of their best credit cards ever. Why? Because it gives you 5 points per dollar on restaurants, fast food, music stores, movies (both theaters and rentals), and bookstores. Benefits include retail purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, travel accident insurance, collision damage waiver for eligible car rentals, and decent interest rates considering it's a student credit card.
- No cosigner required
- 5 ThankYou® Points for every $1 you spend at restaurants and on entertainment; 1 point per $1 on all other purchases.
- 100 ThankYou Points each billing period that you pay on time and stay under your credit line.
- APR reduction on purchases when using credit wisely
Reviewed and rated by Michael Dolen