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Last updated on December 17th, 2020
Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card
Earn 2,500 Bonus Points
- Regular Purchase APR 14.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Balance Transfer APR 14.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance APR 25.99% 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
- Earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent
- Earn 2,500 bonus points on your first purchase
- Enjoy 0% introductory APR on balance transfers and purchases
- Intro Purchase APR: 0% for 6 months from account opening date
- Regular Purchase APR: 14.49% to 23.49% variable based on creditworthiness and the Prime Rate
- Intro Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 6 months from account opening date
- Balance Transfer APR: 14.49% to 23.49% 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: 25.99% variable based on the Prime Rate
- Cash Advance Transaction Fee: Either $10 or 4% of the amount of each cash 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 $40
At a Glance
The Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card earns cardholders 1.5 points for every dollar they spend. Additionally, new cardholders earn 2,500 bonus points on their first purchase. What’s more, new cardholders can take advantage of 0% APR for six months on purchases and balance transfers. All of these credit card benefits are available for no annual fee.
Ideal for Those Who:
- Are new to credit cards but do not need a secured card
- Would like to earn points on their purchases
- Want to earn bonus points on their first purchase
- Don’t want to pay an annual fee
- Like having 0% APR for 6 months on purchases
- Need to transfer a balance they plan to pay off in 6 months
Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card Review
The Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card can be an ideal credit card for young people, especially those who are just entering college. The features of this card are almost identical to those of the regular Real Rewards Card.
Cardholders earn 1.5 points for every dollar they spend. There’s no limit to ho many points you can earn. However, you are limited on how long you have to redeem your points. New cardholders also earn 2,500 bonus points when they make their first purchase with this card.
Additionally, new cardholders can take advantage of 0% APR for six months on purchases. This feature can help college students pay off purchases without having to pay anything extra.
This card also offers 0% APR on balance transfers for six months. However, this deal may not be so great, as you’ll learn further down in this review.
What distinguishes this card from the regular Real Rewards Card are the qualifications to get approved. Since this credit card is geared towards college students, your credit history doesn’t have to be as good when you apply for this card.
Learn more about the details of this card in the review below. As well, you can determine whether this is the right credit card for you or the college student in your life.
A Good Starter Card
The Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card can be a great starter card, especially for young adults who don’t have much of a credit history. As the name of this card implies, this is an ideal credit card for college students.
In order for many banks to approve credit card applicants, they need to have decent credit ratings. Many young people haven’t held onto credit for long enough to qualify for these cards. As such, many may end up forgoing applying for a credit card until they graduate.
Alternatively, many young consumers might apply for a secured credit card. These require you to pay an up-front security deposit that equals the credit limit. These cards typically have low credit limits, feature annual fees and high APRs, and place restrictions on how you can use your card.
If you haven’t previously messed up your credit, then applying for a student credit card may be a better solution for you. The College Real Rewards Card from SNB features many of the same benefits as a regular credit card. In fact, you can even earn points with it.
What makes this card so appealing to college students is that the requirements for getting approved are slightly softened. This means that you don’t need to worry about having an excellent credit rating or extensive credit history for SNB to approve you for this card.
The Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card earns cardholders 1.5 points for every dollar they spend. This is half a point higher than the bare minimum most rewards cards offer cardholders. While there are other credit cards that may offer more points for your purchases, these typically feature high annual fees. Furthermore, these may not be appropriate for college students and young adults.
Additionally, credit cards that offer more points on purchases tend to feature tiered points systems. This means that you only earn increased points on certain types of purchases. This can work for some people, but others may find that their rewards card will only earn them extra points on things they don’t really buy. And you don’t want your credit card dictating how you should spend your money.
What’s great about a simple rewards program like the College Real Rewards Card is that you know exactly what you’ll earn on your purchases.
New cardholders can get a pretty nice bonus, too. When you make your first purchase, you earn 2,500 bonus points.
There are some exceptions to the transactions you’ll earn points on, though. Like with many rewards cards, you will never earn points on cash advances and balance transfers. Rewards cards like this one only earn you points on purchases.
Redeeming Your Points
Unlike some other rewards cards, the Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card doesn’t award you points as soon as you make a purchase. Rather, you receive your points on your total net purchases at the end of each monthly billing cycle.
Points have a cash value of about $0.01 (one cent) per point. As such, the 2,500 bonus points you earn on your first purchase are equal to $25.
You can redeem your points for merchandise, gift cards, or travel on the Elan Rewards Program site. Elan is the company that manages SNB’s credit card rewards. Unfortunately, you cannot browse the rewards catalog before signing up for this card. This can make it difficult to determine how many points you need to obtain an item from the catalog or if there’s even anything available that you want.
However, you also have the option of redeeming your SNB Visa® points for cash back. You can opt for either a cash deposit or a statement credit. The former requires you to have an SNB checking or savings account. You also only have seven days to redeem your points for a cash deposit from the date you earned them.
You have a little more time to redeem points for a statement credit, though – up to two months. Additionally, you don’t need to have a checking or savings account with SNB for this option.
There is no limit to how many points you can earn. However, your points do expire after five years.
0% APR on Purchases
One of the great benefits of the Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card is its introductory 0% interest promotion. For the first six months after opening an account, none of your purchases will accrue interest.
This can be a huge boon for college students who need to make a large purchase early on. If you need to furnish a dorm room, for instance, you can get everything you need and have six months to pay it off with no interest.
Just make sure that your purchase total is within your means to pay it off. For instance, if you spend $6,000, your monthly payments will come out to $1,000 if you want to pay off that balance before it accrues interest.
That’s right. After the six-month introductory period ends, any remaining balance will automatically accrue interest.
0% APR on Balance Transfers
The Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card also offers a 0% APR introductory period on balance transfers. You have 186 days to transfer a balance and take advantage of this offer.
For six months from the date that you transfer a balance, you can take advantage of 0% interest. This may sound just as attractive as the 0% interest offer on purchases. However, it may not serve people who have large balances they wish to transfer.
Six months may not be enough time to pay off a $10,000 balance, for instance, without causing a significant strain to your finances. Additionally, you have to pay a fee every time you transfer a balance. You may want to consider other balance transfer cards if you need more time to pay off a balance.
Should You Apply for the Sterling National Bank Visa® College Real Rewards Card?
This can be a great credit card for young people who are just getting started with credit. This card provides a lower APR, higher credit limits, and more perks than a secured card. So, if you have decent credit, you may want to consider this card over a secured card.
The points rate is slightly above the baseline that many rewards cards offer. For a no-fee card, this is pretty satisfactory.
The 0% APR offers can help you pay off a large purchase over time without extra charges. However, the balance transfer promotion may not be valuable to you if you have a large balance to transfer.