Best College Student Credit Cards of February 2019

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Last updated on January 31, 2019

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Our pick for

Cash-back rewards

Discover It for Students Credit Card

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.24% - 24.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

No credit history and international students

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

on Deserve's secure website

on Deserve's secure website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

20.99% Variable

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Incentives for responsible use

Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

on Capital One's secure website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

26.96% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Gas and restaurant rewards

Discover it Chrome for Students Credit Card

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Rates & Fees
Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

15.24% - 24.24% Variable APR

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Limited credit

State Farm Student Visa Credit Card Credit Card

on State Farm's secure website

on State Farm's secure website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

17.24% - 25.24% Variable

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Our pick for

Secured card

Capital One Secured Mastercard Credit Card

on Capital One's secure website

on Capital One's secure website

Annual Fee

$0

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Intro APR

N/A

recommended credit score

Summary of Best College Student Credit Cards of February 2019

Credit CardBest ForIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeLearn More
Discover It for Students Credit Card

Discover it® Student Cash Back

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Cash-back rewards

0% on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

15.24% - 24.24% Variable APR

$0

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

on Deserve's secure website

No credit history and international students

N/A

20.99% Variable

$0

on Deserve's secure website

Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

on Capital One's secure website

Incentives for responsible use

N/A

26.96% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

Discover it Chrome for Students Credit Card

Discover it® Student chrome

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Gas and restaurant rewards

0% on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

15.24% - 24.24% Variable APR

$0

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

State Farm Student Visa Credit Card Credit Card

State Farm® Student Visa® Credit Card

on State Farm's secure website

Limited credit

N/A

17.24% - 25.24% Variable

$0

on State Farm's secure website

Capital One Secured Mastercard Credit Card

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

on Capital One's secure website

Secured card

N/A

26.99% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

Credit CardBest ForIntro APRRegular APRAnnual FeeLearn More
Discover It for Students Credit Card

Discover it® Student Cash Back

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Cash-back rewards

0% on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

15.24% - 24.24% Variable APR

$0

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students

on Deserve's secure website

No credit history and international students

N/A

20.99% Variable

$0

on Deserve's secure website

Capital One Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

on Capital One's secure website

Incentives for responsible use

N/A

26.96% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

Discover it Chrome for Students Credit Card

Discover it® Student chrome

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

Gas and restaurant rewards

0% on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

15.24% - 24.24% Variable APR

$0

on Discover's secure website, or call (800) 347-0264

State Farm Student Visa Credit Card Credit Card

State Farm® Student Visa® Credit Card

on State Farm's secure website

Limited credit

N/A

17.24% - 25.24% Variable

$0

on State Farm's secure website

Capital One Secured Mastercard Credit Card

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®

on Capital One's secure website

Secured card

N/A

26.99% Variable APR

$0

on Capital One's secure website

Who should apply for a student card

Student credit cards are designed for college students — but simply being enrolled as a college student is not enough to qualify for a student credit card.

Eligibility for student credit cards

  • Federal law limits who can get credit cards under age 21. Issuers are prohibited from providing cards to people under 21 unless they have proof of independent income or a co-signer — someone who agrees to be responsible for the debt if the primary cardholder doesn't pay the bill. This can be a roadblock since most major credit card issuers don’t allow co-signers.
  • Most issuers, but not all, require you to be a student to apply for a student card. Check the card's terms and conditions on the issuer's website for application eligibility. For example, the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® does not have an explicit student requirement, while the rules for the Discover it® Student Cash Back say, "You must be a college student."

Alternatives to student cards (and options for non-students)

  • If you're under 21 and can't qualify on your own: Have a parent add you as an authorized user on one of their cards. You'll get a card with your name on it that you can use for purchases. Your parent is legally responsible for the debt. Authorized user status can also help you build a credit history.
  • If you're over 21 and still have trouble qualifying: Even with a full-time income, it can be hard to qualify for a traditional credit card if you lack a credit history.
    • Some startup companies have begun offering credit cards for people with no credit or limited credit. These issuers use alternative methods to evaluate applications — looking at income, employment status and assets rather than credit history, for example.
    • Secured credit cards are another excellent option. They're easier to qualify for because they require a security deposit, which reduces the risk for credit card issuers. Use one to build a credit history, then move up to a better card.
  • If you've already established credit and have independent income: Consider bypassing student cards entirely. You might qualify for a credit card that offers better rewards, a generous sign-up bonus or lower interest. If you’re not, these are some of the options you can look forward to as you establish good credit.

How to choose a student credit card

If you can meet the requirements to qualify for a student credit card, consider these factors in your search:

  • Annual fee: When a card has no annual fee, it doesn't cost you anything to keep the account open after you move on to better offers. That can have a positive effect on the portion of your credit score tied to the length of your credit history.
  • Sign-up bonus and rewards: Rewards and bonuses on student cards, when offered at all, may be smaller than on regular cards, but every little bit helps as a student.
  • Reporting to credit bureaus: You want your good payment history to show up on credit reports produced by Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. That can happen only if your issuer reports to the bureaus. Our recommended cards report to all three bureaus, with the exception of the  Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students, which says it reports to Experian and TransUnion.
  • Foreign transaction fees: If you plan to travel or study abroad, look for a card that doesn’t charge extra fees on purchases made abroad.
  • Upgrade opportunities: Check whether the issuer allows student cardholders to upgrade to a "regular" card when ready.

For more, see our guide to choosing a student credit card

How our favorites stack up

Card Our pick for ... Key benefits
Discover it® Student Cash Back Cash-back rewards • 5% cash back in rotating categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending
• 1% cash back on all other purchases
• $20 annual statement credit available for good grades
Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students No credit history and international students • 1% cash back on all purchases
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® Incentives for responsible use • 1% cash back on all purchases
• 1.25% cash back for any month when you pay on time
Discover it® Student chrome Gas and restaurant rewards • 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter
• 1% cash back on all other purchases
• $20 annual statement credit available for good grades
Capital One® Secured Mastercard® Secured card • Potential access to a higher credit line without additional deposit after making your first five monthly payments on time.
• Reports to all three credit bureaus
State Farm® Student Visa® Credit Card Limited credit • 3 points per $1 spent on insurance premiums
• 1 point per $2 spent on other purchases

Methodology

cheatgame.info's credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.

Last updated on January 31, 2019

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cheatgame.info's Best College Student Credit Cards of February 2019

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