Establishing good credit early is one of the best things you can do for your long-term financial situation. There are credit cards for college students that can help you build your credit --- and even help you develop good overall financial habits. Remember that if you are under 21 and you can’t prove your income can handle the payments, you need a co-signer on your student credit card.
Student credit cards have come a long way in recent years. In the past, many student cards didn’t include rewards programs. Now, there are rewards programs to choose from with student cards. Additionally, most student cards also come with reasonable interest rates. You might still pay a higher rate on a student credit, but if you use your student card responsibly, you’ll be able to use it as a stepping stone to a better credit card later.
If you qualify, here are 4 of the best credit cards for college students:
1. Capital One Journey Student Rewards
Capital One has long been known for its “no-hassle” rewards program. This program has been extended, to some degree, to college students. With this credit card for college students, you receive 1% cash back on all purchases. This card also comes with the additional benefit of providing you with a 0.25% cash back when you make your payment on time. This bumps up your total to 1.25% cash back, providing you with an incentive to be responsible by making on-time payments. This is important since your payment history is the biggest factor influencing your credit score.
This card comes with no annual fee and you don’t have to worry about your rewards expiring.
2. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students
If you are looking for a bonus for being a new card member, the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students can be a good choice. This card comes with a smart chip, which is important for those traveling overseas. This is a points card, where you can redeem your points for a variety of rewards, including cash back and travel. You receive one point per dollar on most of your purchases, but you get twice the points when you spend on dining and entertainment.
The sign-up bonus for this card is 2,500 points, but you have to spend $500 during the first three months of card membership.
3. Discover it for Students
With the Discover it credit card, you can get 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter, up to $1,500 spent in a quarter. You also get 1% unlimited cash back for other purchases. This card avoids the penalty interest rate, and it will waive the late payment fee the first time you pay late. You don’t want to make late payments a habit, though, since you’ll have to pay the fee after the first time. This card also comes with no foreign transactions fees, which can helpful when you travel.
4. Discover it chrome for Students
Like the Discover it card, the chrome version offers no foreign transaction fees and a flexible late payment policy for your first late payment. However, the rewards program is a little bit different. Instead of getting cash back on rotating categories, you get a flat 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000, with 1% cash back on everything else.
Before deciding amongst credit cards for college students, consider your spending habits. Which rewards program is likely to benefit you the most? Make your decision based on where you are likely to get the best bang for your buck.
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