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Compare the Best Credit Cards for Students

The best credit cards for students prevent young cardholders from getting into debt while they build up their credit. Explore options for student credit cards by reading BestCards.com’s detailed reviews below. You can find the best credit cards for college students today, including Visa student credit cards, Mastercard student cards, Discover student cards, and more:

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Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students
  • Regular Purchase APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 16.99% to 26.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Fair , No Credit Required
  • Intro Purchase APR 0% for 15 months
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • Build credit with responsible use
  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months from account opening
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 15 months
  • Regular Purchase APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months for transactions made within 60 days of account opening
  • Balance Transfer APR: 13.99% to 23.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 16.99% to 26.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $29
Credit Card Deals
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

Deserve® EDU

Deserve® EDU
  • Regular Purchase APR 18.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • 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 with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning cash back on all purchases
  • Feel secure with cell phone protection up to $600
  • No international transaction fees on purchases abroad so you can travel with confidence
  • No Social Security Number required for international students to apply
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 18.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $25
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $37
Credit Card Deals
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Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
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33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
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Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
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FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
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50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
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Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
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Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
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Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

SoFi Credit Card

SoFi Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 12.99% to 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 12.99% to 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 26.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Processing Network Mastercard
Best Benefits
  • Earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases. When you redeem it to pay down eligible debt, save, or invest with SoFi, you'll earn an additional 1% cash back
  • Get a 1% lower APR when you make 12 on-time payments
  • No annual fee
  • Earn additional rewards when you spend with Lyft, ShopRunner, and Boxed
Rates & Fees
  • Regular Purchase APR: 12.99% to 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR: 12.99% to 24.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
  • Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
Credit Card Deals
card
Over 150,000 hotels in top destinations. Book now! Reservations.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2023 See Details
card
33% + Extra 10% off Hotel Stays Longer Than 7 Nights. OYO Hotels Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Bundle Sale: Get 35% off Tuffy Stereo Security Console and $75 off Alpine Radio. Morris 4x4 Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
FREE Shipping and returns with any MOLECULE purchase. MOLECULE Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
New Customers Offer - 15% off Your First Order of Contacts Plus Free shipping. Coastal.com Offer Expires on Jun 06, 2025 See Details
card
50% off Starter Kits. Candid Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2050 See Details
card
Shop New Textbooks with Free Shipping! AbeBooks Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Special Offer 49% Off an Annual Membership! Receive 12-Months for Only $59.95! ABCmouse.com Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2099 See Details
card
Save 5% AVIS Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details
card
Save 5% Budget Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2030 See Details

Valparaiso Alumni Visa® Rewards Credit Card

Valparaiso Alumni Visa® Rewards Credit Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Intro Purchase APR 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Earn 1% cash back on uncategorized purchases
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas and traditional dining
  • Earn 3% cash back for ridesharing and fast food, including at cafes
  • Get a low introductory interest rate and flexible rewards redemption
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 of 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 of 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 27.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction in U.S. dollars; 2% of the transaction amount in other currencies
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
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Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Signature Card

William & Mary Alumni Association Visa® Signature Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Intro Purchase APR 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 3% cash back at coffee shops and fast food restaurants and through rideshare services
  • Earn 2% at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% everywhere else
  • Enjoy a reduced APR for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 27.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars; 2% of the transaction amount in other currencies
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

UVM Alumni Visa Signature®

UVM Alumni Visa Signature®
  • Regular Purchase APR 18.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 18.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 26.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Intro Purchase APR 0% for 12 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Get 3% cash back at cafes and fast food restaurants, plus on rideshares
  • Get 2% cash back on gas and dining
  • Get 1% on uncategorized purposes
  • Donate $50 to UVM the first time you use the card, and $.25 per $100 spent thereafter
  • Get a free University of Vermont coffee table book
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 18.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 12 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 18.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 28.74% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars; 2% of the transaction amount in other currencies
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

UMSL Alumni Rewards Visa® Card

UMSL Alumni Rewards Visa® Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Intro Purchase APR 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • 3% back on fast food, coffee shop, and rideshare purchases
  • 2% back on gas and restaurants
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • Rewards expire after 3 years
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 27.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of each transaction in U.S. dollars; 2% of each transaction made in currencies other than U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

Tulsa Alumni Rewards Visa® Card

Tulsa Alumni Rewards Visa® Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Intro Purchase APR 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • 3% back on fast food, coffee shop, and rideshare purchases
  • 2% back on gas and restaurants
  • 1% back on all other purchases
  • Rewards expire after 3 years
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 27.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 1% of each transaction in U.S. dollars; 2% of each transaction made in currencies other than U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

CCSU Alumni Rewards Visa® Card

CCSU Alumni Rewards Visa® Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Intro Purchase APR 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • Earn 3% cash back with fast food restaurants, rideshare services, and coffee shops
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other net purchases
  • Flexible redemption opportunities and payment features, such as toggle®
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each balance, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 27.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 2% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

Bryant University Alumni Visa® Rewards Card

Bryant University Alumni Visa® Rewards Card
  • Regular Purchase APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer APR 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance APR 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Annual Fee None
  • Credit Needed Excellent , Good
  • Intro Purchase APR 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Processing Network Visa
Best Benefits
  • No annual fee
  • Earn 3% cash back on coffee, fast food, and rideshare purchases
  • Earn 2% cash back on gas and dining
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Low introductory APR for 6 months on purchases and balance transfers
Rates & Fees
  • Intro Purchase APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Regular Purchase APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Intro Balance Transfer APR: 1.99% for 6 months from account opening date
  • Balance Transfer APR: 15.24% to 25.24% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
  • Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
  • Penalty APR: 27.24% variable based on the Prime Rate
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 2% of the transaction amount in U.S. dollars
  • Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $40
Credit Card Deals
card
Save up to 30% on prescription refills 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Buy now, pay later with PayPal. Buckle Offer Expires on Sep 09, 2021 See Details
card
Save 20% off sitewide 1800flowers.com Offer Expires on Jul 07, 2022 See Details
card
Enjoy free standard shipping when you spend $49+ 1-800-PetMeds Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2022 See Details
card
Save 5% at La Quinta Inns & Suites La Quinta Inns & Suites Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details
card
Get 10% off when you book online GO Shuttle Offer Expires on Oct 10, 2021 See Details
card
Save 3% on all purchases Boost Mobile Offer Expires on Jan 01, 2022 See Details
card
Rent a Wheels pedal-less E-Bike for safe and efficient Wheels Labs, Inc. Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 8% on all purchases Godiva Offer Expires on Aug 08, 2021 See Details
card
Save 1% on all purchases over $40 Red Robin Offer Expires on Dec 12, 2021 See Details

What Is a Student Credit Card?

Student credit cards are a unique type of card designed specifically for college students. Student cards are an ideal option for those that are over the age of 18 and new to credit. Because student cards are similar to other credit cards, they sometimes offer rewards points, interest-free periods, and introductory bonuses. Despite their similarities to different types of credit cards, however, student cards differ in a few key areas.

How Does a Student Card Differ from Other Credit Cards?

Because student cards are designed with the college student in mind, they typically have lower requirements when it comes to credit score and credit history. Most college students have minimal experience with credit cards – or credit in general. That’s because most credit card issuers require cardholders to be at least 18 years old.

Student credit cards, therefore, need to be more lenient on their credit requirements. This makes them an excellent option for those who have never had a credit card before. Using their credit card responsibly, students can build up their credit history and credit score and move up to a better rewards credit card when they graduate.

Student cards usually have lower credit limits than other types of credit cards. This is due to the lesser credit restrictions. Lower credit limits isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however, as it can help the cardholder learn the ropes of credit and practice keeping their credit utilization ratio low. Keeping that ratio below 30% is essential to building credit.

Despite the lower limits, however, student cards offer more than enough financial might to purchase textbooks, dorm snacks, or anything else that college kids need to survive campus life.

What To Expect from a Student Card

Here’s what should you look for when shopping around for a new card:

  • Rewards Programs: While not common, there are plenty of good student rewards cards on the market. Many student credit cards feature lesser benefits in comparison to general rewards credit cards, but that’s not always the case. As with all credit cards, pay attention to the qualifying categories that reward points for purchases, mainly if they rotate each quarter, like the Discover It Cash Back for Students.
  • Debt Forgiveness: When learning how to use credit cards and navigate debt, especially at a young age, it’s essential to look for a card that offers debt forgiveness. You’ll want a card with debt forgiveness to prevent your credit score from being negatively affected. This is especially important if you are seeking financial independence. Spending within your means can help in this regard, but just in case, it’s comforting to know that you have at least one opportunity to keep your slate clean with debt forgiveness.
  • No Annual Fee: Generally speaking, signing up for a credit card without an annual fee makes financial sense. This rule doesn’t apply, though, if the benefits that you earn while using the credit card are higher than the cost you’re paying each year.
  • Academic Incentives: This is a perk unique to credit cards for students. Some cards offer cardholders account statement credits if their grades meet a certain threshold. That means that with the right credit card in your wallet, you may be entitled to a credit on your balance for merely keeping your grade point average above 3.0, for example. This isn’t always the case, however, so finding a student credit card that offers a financial reward for being a good student is critical.

Credit Cards for College Students with No Credit History

One of the most significant differences between student credit cards and non-student versions is that students typically don’t have the credit history needed to get other unsecured credit cards. Because of the easer credit requirements, student cards are attainable by most students.

Secured Cards: The Perfect Student Credit Cards for Bad Credit

Students that don’t qualify for a student card can also apply for a secured credit card. Secured cards differ from other credit cards in that they require a security deposit to open. This deposit acts as both the collateral and the line of credit. Using these types of cards is a great way to boost your credit score and quickly move on to a student or other type of credit card.

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Cards with a Cosigner

For students seeking a credit card that does not require a cash deposit, there are options. One such option is to become an authorized user on their parent’s credit card accounts. This allows them to build their credit off of the good credit habits of the primary cardholder.

Another option is to get a credit card with a cosigner. Cosigners help get student credit cards with no credit – or even non-student credit cards.

What Is a Cosigner?

A cosigner is a person who signs a credit card application with someone and agrees to take on the burden of their debt, should they not be able to make their payments. A cosigner is – in essence – a guarantor of the credit card application, ensuring that lenders don’t have as much to worry about when it comes to a risky applicant – such as a student.

Cosigners make student credit card applicants much more attractive. They have the added benefit of the opening up more enticing credit card offers to those who would normally not have qualified. These attractive offers can include rewards credit cards, such as cashback or travel rewards cards, which can help students save money on everyday purchases or even visits back home during the holidays.

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The CARD Act of 2009

Federal law mandates that those under the age of 21 must provide proof of independent income adequate to cover and potential credit card debt. According to the Credit CARD Act of 2009, there are strict federal limits on how much credit was available to those under the age of 21, as well as the marketing practices of credit card lenders who previously were accused of preying on students that lacked the financial education to make informed decisions.

Per the CARD Act, anyone between the ages of 18 to 20 must provide valid proof of income to cover their credit card obligations. This income must be independent of any family money (including allowances, birthday presents, etc.)

Because of the difficulty of those under the age of 21 encounters when it comes to proving enough income to cover potential credit card debt, it can be challenging to get accepted for all but either the most basic of credit cards or secured credit cards. Fortunately, students also have the option of using a parent, guardian, or other trusted loved one as a cosigner.

Specific School & Alumni Cards

A unique subset of student credit cards are cards for specific colleges and universities. These cards, issued through Commerce Bank, provide students and alumni the ability to show their pride with every purchase.

Some of the more popular options currently include:

Student Credit Card FAQs

There are plenty of questions that pop up about college credit cards. Here are some of the most commonly asked questions:

  • Student cards are similar to other credit cards. These cards differ in that they are meant for college students. Because of this, student cards require specific information. Some of this information is the same as what all credit card applications require:
    • A Social Security Number is required whenever you apply for a credit card. Despite this, some applications have no impact to your credit score.
    • Proof of enrollment is another requirement for many student cards.
    • Income or savings information might be required.
    • Some issuers require a student card applicant to have a student loan with the bank.
  • Students are required to be 18 years or older to get a student card.
  • Yes. Student cards are an excellent option for establishing a good credit history.  Student versions of credit cards offer lower interest rates than secured cards. These varieties of cards also provide rewards, cash back, and other perks.
  • Most credit cards come with an easy to use app, which allows you to track your spending, set automatic payments, or even check your credit score in minutes. Other cards offer good grade discounts, free subscriptions (like a free year of Amazon Prime student), or other on-campus perks.
  • International transaction fees are charges for using your credit card for purchases outside the United States. These charges can be in foreign countries or even non-U.S. websites. Each bank charges a different fee, with some having no foreign transaction fees at all.

The Best Credit Cards for College Students 2021

Trying to find the best credit cards for students? BestCards has comprehensive and impartial reviews of the top credit cards for college students on the market today. Scan our hundreds of reviews, use our comparison tool and take advantage of our extensive credit card resources and advice. Ready to get started? Let’s find your best card today!

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