The best credit cards for students can be a major asset to young adults new to the world of credit. Young adults can have a convenient way of buying necessities like groceries while also learning how to manage their money.
In recent years, credit card companies have been required to scale back on-campus marketing to college students. That’s because if the cards are used improperly with a high APR, they can get a student into a debt cycle that’s difficult to escape.
Many credit card companies do still offer credit cards that are designed specifically for young people who are still learning the pros and cons of having a credit line.
What to Consider in Looking for a Student Credit Card
One of the first things to think about when applying for a student credit card is whether you will be accepted. It’s not a good idea to apply to several credit cards at once because this can negatively impact your credit score.
When shopping for a student credit card, having a high credit limit should not be important. New accountholders should be using these cards as way to practice having a credit line and establishing a credit history. You shouldn’t be making large purchases or going into debt with a student credit card.
Look for credit cards that offer a lower APR. Many student credit cards also provide perks like travel rewards or cash back. So, finding a card that matches your spending habits could benefit your finances with returns.
How to Apply for a Student Credit Card
Applying for a student credit card is a straightforward process. Many companies can approve you in a matter of minutes.
Remember, just being a student does not automatically qualify you for a credit card. The key to applying for a student card is to try to get pre-approval first. This way, you can avoid officially applying for multiple cards at once, which can damage your credit score.
5 Best Credit Cards for Students
- Discover it Student Cash Back
- Discover it Chrome for Students
- Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students
- Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
- Deserve EDU Student Credit Card
- Citi Rewards+ Student Card
Secured Credit Cards for Students
Other cards to consider are secured credit cards like Capital One Secured Mastercard or OpenSky Secured Visa Credit Card.
A secured credit card can help you build credit without the dangers of the potential to go into debt. These cards are ideal for people with iffy credit history.
With a secured credit, you must first put a deposit down and then you can spend that amount as your credit line. For example, if you put down $300, you would be able to spend $300 on your secured credit card. You would be responsible for making a payment monthly.
If you carry any amount to the next month, you will have to pay an APR on that balance, just as you would a non-secured credit card.
Essentially, a secured credit card functions similarly to a debit card in that you are really spending your own money. However, if you make timely payments, they will be reported to credit agencies. So, that can help boost your credit score.
The Bottom Line
Student Credit Cards can be a valuable tool to help young adults learn how to manage credit and build credit history. They can provide a convenient payment method for purchases like food and essentials.
Not all student credit cards are the same, so it pays to shop around. Compare credit cards’ interest rates, terms, reward and penalties before applying.