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Sable Secured Vs Deserve EDU: Read This Before Applying

International students can have a difficult time adapting to life in the United States. Beyond the culture clashes, new dishes, and unique;y American slang, establishing credit in the U.S. can be extremely challenging. Fortunately, credit cards like the Sable Secured Credit Card and Deserve EDU Mastercard are ideal for helping students build credit – regardless of their nationality. 

Sable ONE Secured Mastercard or Deserve EDU Mastercard: Which Is Right for You?

Both the Sable and Deserve Mastercards enjoy popularity among credit-building consumers – but which is best? Here is the breakdown of the cards over key credit categories:

How to Apply

Here is all the information you’ll need to apply for both credit cards:

What Information Do You Need to Open a Sable Secured Mastercard Account?

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • SSN (for verification purposes)

If you don’t have an SSN, then the following will be required:

  • Copy of Passport
  • U.S. Address
  • U.S. Visa or Non-Tourist I94 entry of your U.S. visit

To apply for a Sable One Secured Card, applicants will need an existing Sable bank account. Sable accounts operate through the Sable mobile app (available through the Apple App Store and Google Play Store). Once a member, they simply need to navigate to the Sable One Card in the Cards screen of the Sable app and click ‘Increase credit limit.

What Information Do You Need to Apply for the Deserve EDU Mastercard?

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address
  • Phone number
  • SSN (for identification/verification purposes)
  • External bank account information

Deserve uses non-traditional cardholder screening to help make its credit card products more readily available to a wider proportion of eligible students. The Deserve application process includes linking your bank account to the application to provide additional factors to help improve application success odds.

International students should have the following information before applying:

  • Copy of passport
  • U.S. student visa
  • Most recent I-20 or DS-2019 form
  • Latest U.S. bank account statements

Credit Score Needed

Because both cards are designed for those new to credit, the typical FICO credit score for an applicant for the Sable Secured and Deserve EDU is around 580 to 640. Both credit cards are available for applicants with credit scores ranging from 300 to 850, thanks to their non-traditional application scoring.

Does the Card Build Credit?

Both cards are great for building credit when combined with financially-responsible habits. Despite that, how the two credit cards build credit differs significantly.

The Deserve EDU Mastercard, for instance, is an unsecured credit card for students. As a student credit card, the Deserve EDU offers students (both international and domestic) the chance to build credit in the traditional sense. This means that cardholders can make purchases and pay them off as they would with any credit card without a security deposit.

On the other hand, the able One Secured Mastercard is a secured credit card. The cardholder will need to stump a security deposit to open the card account. Fortunately, many secured cards like Sable feature low deposit minimums, making it easy to open an account and begin building credit.

Card Fees

Here is a quick breakdown fo some of the key fees with both cards:

Annual Fees

Neither credit card features an annual fee:

  • Deserve EDU – No annual fee
  • Sable ONE Secured Mastercard – No annual fee

Other Fees

Beyond no annual fees, both cards also feature no foreign transaction fees on international purchases. The lack of an international transaction fee is yet another reason why both cards are exceptional values for students of any nationality, but especially so for foreign students new to the United States and looking to build credit – both here and abroad.


Deserve EDU

The Deserve EDU credit card doesn’t offer exceptional rewards, but it does provide basic cash back on every purchase. Cardholders earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. Those rewards aren’t exceptional, but they are a great addition to the overall package.

Rewards with Deserve are redeemable s statement credits in intervals of $25. Statement credits allow you to pay down your card’s balance with cash back.

The complimentary Amazon Prime Student membership is equally enjoyable after meeting a minimum spending goal within the first three billing cycles. Prime offers free shipping, streaming videos and music, and more for members, meaning students enjoy real value with this bonus – a $59 value. Spend $500 in the first three months, and the Prime membership is yours.

Sable One

When it comes to building credit, Sable is king. But the card also provides exceptional rewards for students (or anyone else for that matter) with every purchase. Cardholders earn unlimited 2% cash back on purchases with the following select brands:

Amazon Spotify
Hulu Uber and Uber Eats
Netflix Whole Foods

Cardholders also earn an unlimited 1% back on all other eligible purchases, the same earning rate as the Surge Secured Mastercard. Cash back rewards are automatically credited to the cardholder’s Sable banking account that can be used to pay down the card’s statement balance.

Equally impressive is Sable’s cashback match after year one. Like Discover, Deserve offers EDU cardmembers receive a dollar-for-dollar match on all cash back at the end of their first year. Sable’s Double Cash Bonus is no small perk.

Other Card Perks

Here is a list of other key features of both credit cards:

Sable One

Sable One provides an exceptional selection of features for no annual fee. These perks and protections include premium Mastercard features like:

Cellular telephone protection for loss, theft, or damage when the bill is paid with the Sable Card

  • Mastercard Zero Fraud Liability protection
  • Purchase assurance and price protection coverage
  • Mastercard card rental insurance
  • Mobile wallet compatibility with Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay

Deserve EDU

The Deserve EDU also provides excellent features, including:

  • Mastercard featureslike Collision Damage Waiver, ID Theft Protection, and Zero Fraud Liability
  • Cellphone protection for up to $600
  • Three months of Text + Talk through Mint Mobile


Here is a quick recap of all the features of both cards:

Sable Secured Credit Card

Earn up to 2% cash back on select purchases

Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases

Cell phone protection included

No annual fee

No foreign transaction fees

Deserve EDU Credit Card

Receive one year of Amazon Prime Student on Deserve after spending $500 in the first three billing cycles with your EDU card (Lifetime Value of $59)

Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases 

Cell phone protection up to $600

No international transaction fees 

No Social Security Number required for international students to apply

Related Article: Who Can Apply for a U.S. Credit Card?

Featured image by Gam-Ol  / PixaBay
About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. Cory holds academic degrees in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.

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