Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card
2,500 Bonus Points After the First Purchase
- Regular Purchase APR 13.99% to 22.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 13.99% to 22.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Annual Fee None
- Credit Needed Good , Fair
- Intro Purchase APR 0% for 6 months from account opening date
- Processing Network Visa
- No annual fee
- 1.5X points on everyday purchases
- No cap on points, plus 5 years to redeem
- Visa Signature protection and perks
- Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 6 months from account opening date
- Regular Purchase APR: 13.99% to 22.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 6 months from account opening date
- Balance Transfer APR: 13.99% to 22.99% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer Transaction Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Cash Advance APR: 23.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each advance, whichever is greater
- Foreign Transaction Fee: Up to 3% of the transaction amount in U.S. Dollars
- Late Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $39
- Return Payment Penalty Fee: Up to $35
At a Glance
The Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card is a versatile rewards card for students looking to boost their credit score – and earn rewards at the same time.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Already bank with Comerica Bank or have family that bank with them
- Want to have a six-month, 0% APR cushion to purchase books or dorm supplies
- Prefer to earn a flat-rate 1.5X points over confusing reward structures
- Don’t want to pay an annual fee
Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card Review
The Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card is a basic-yet-effective rewards card that will serve Comerica banking customers well with everyday use. The card charges no annual fee and earns a respectable flat rate of points with every purchase.
Ideal for College Students
As the name implies, the College Real Rewards Card is designed with students in mind. And it is this group that will be most impressed with the rewards and perks on offer.
The point of student credit cards is building a positive credit history. In many ways, they are like secured cards, which also seek to perform this task. Student cards, however, are unsecured versions of the existing credit card offers from banks – in this case, the Comerica Visa Real Rewards.
The main difference with student credit cards is that they are available to those with a limited credit history. With typical cards, those with fair credit scores, with no credit history, may struggle to find approval from issuers. With college cards, however, that threshold is lowered, making these cards much more accessible.
How to Earn Points
The Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card earns 1.5X points on every net dollar spent. That points-per-dollar rate is the same as the regular Real Rewards Card. The 1.5X points on every purchase place the card ahead of the Discover It Chrome, which earns 2% back on gas and restaurants, but 1% back on other purchases.
The Comerica student card also compares favorably to the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card. That card earns 3% cash back on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases – but only for the first six months. Once that six-month introductory period ends, the card only earns 1% back, inferior to the 1.5X points from Comerica.
While the 1.5X the card earns is solid, it doesn’t match up to some other student options, including the Discover It Cash Back for Students or the Chase Freedom Student Card. These cards earn 5% back in rotating categories, with every other purchase gaining 1% back.
How to Redeem Points
Comerica credit cards are issued through Elan Financial Services, a leading card issuer with over 1,700 different products throughout the United States.
Points in the Elan Rewards Program apply towards the usual redemption options from a rewards program. Award options for students include gift cards and merchandise, or travel savings. Travel savings take the form of bookings on airfare, hotels, and rental cars, plus other similar options.
Points also apply to cash back rewards. Cash back rewards come as statement credits to the Comerica card account, or as a direct deposit to any Comerica Bank debit, savings, or wealth management account. Points are valid for five years.
Introductory Bonus Points Offer
The Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card comes with the same 2,500-point bonus offer that comes with the standard version of the card. Students receive 2,500 points when they make the first purchase – a cash value of $25.
No Interest for the First Six Months
The Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card also comes with the same 0% intro APR for six months as the standard Real Rewards Card. Students enjoy zero-interest for the first six months on balance transfers and purchases.
No interest on balance transfers probably isn’t something that will entice students, as many are new to credit. The 0% intro APR on purchases, however, is a great perk that provides real value. Students can use the card to purchase books or anything else, and have six months to pay down the balance.
Of course, the intro APR doesn’t mean students should max out their cards in the first six months. Students must pay the balance off for fear on large interest payments, plus the prospects of default. Also, a balance above 30% of the credit line can lower a credit score. This is the opposite of what a student card is designed.
A Competitive Typical APR
Once the introductory APR period ends, the typical APR with the card is competitive, but not great. The rate will be a full percentage point below the average minimum for a student card – currently around 16.5%.
As mentioned, the introductory interest-free period on purchases is enticing, but once that six months ends, the balance will accrue interest at around 15% or higher. Because of this, students need to pay their entire balance every month – and only spend what they can afford to pay back.
Other Card Features
The Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card is a Visa Signature product. Because of this, the card benefits from Visa-specific perks and protections. Students receive Visa’s Zero Fraud Liability protection and emergency card replacement. These help if they lose their card or suffer fraud on their account.
Students also have access to travel perks, such as Auto Rental Collison Damage Waiver for additional rental insurance, plus Visa’ Roadside Dispatch. While the rental insurance is only useful for those over the age of 23, Roadside Dispatch offers pay-per-use roadside assistance if any cardmember breaks down on the side of the road.
Should You Apply for the Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card?
Student cards are unique in that they provide the rewards of a regular card, but with a lower credit threshold to allow access to students. In this subset, the Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card is a worthy addition.
The 1.5X points on every purchase aren’t exceptional. The HSBC Cash Rewards Student Account, and Bank of Missouri College Real Rewards, for example, also earn 1.5X points. The Capital One Journey offers similar rewards, with students earning 1.25 cash back when paying their balance on time. Still, the rewards on offer with the Comerica Student Card are respectable – and even beat out other cards from larger issuers, like the State Farm Student Visa or the Citi Rewards+ Student Card.
Overall, the Comerica Visa® College Real Rewards Card is a solid – but unremarkable – student card. It’s a card that will appeal to those who already have a bank account with Comerica. For everyone else, however, there may be better offers elsewhere.