Fortunly's Guide
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Best Student Credit Cards - Top Picks

Written By
Julija A.
Updated
January 13,2022
Some or all of the products/services listed on this page are from our affiliate partners from which we receive commissions. This, however, does not influence the evaluations in our reviews. Learn more by reading our Advertiser Disclosure.

Applying for a student credit card is an important first step in establishing your credit history. Used responsibly, the best student credit cards can serve as a foundation to help you qualify to buy a house, apartment or finance a car, helping to improve your credit score while you're in school.

Here's our evaluation of some of the best cards on the market and what it takes to get them.

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Reviews of the Best Credit Cards for Students

Discover it® Student Cash Back Logo

Discover it® Student Cash Back

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Apply Now Read Full Review
CREDIT LIMIT: $500+
REWARDS RATE: 1%-5% cash back
APR: 12.99%-21.99% (variable)
ANNUAL FEE: N/A
KEY FACTS
PRODUCT DETAILS
Pros & Cons

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is one of the best credit cards for students who have just started building their credit profiles in our opinion. The card especially appeals to those who can't justify paying an annual fee and don't mind spending in quarterly bonus categories to maximize rewards.

Deserve®  EDU Mastercard for Students Logo

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

4.5 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Apply Now Read Full Review
CREDIT LIMIT: Up to $5,000
REWARDS RATE: 1% cash back
APR: 18.74% (variable)
ANNUAL FEE: N/A
KEY FACTS
PRODUCT DETAILS
Pros & Cons

The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is an excellent choice for those who aren't eligible for other options because they don't have a Social Security number or a US credit history. As one of the most popular student credit cards, it doesn't have security deposit requirements or annual fees. The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students offers 1% cash back on all purchases.

Petal 2 Visa® Credit Card Logo

Petal 2 Visa® Credit Card

4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Apply Now Read Full Review
CREDIT LIMIT: $300-$10,000
REWARDS RATE: 1%-1.5%
APR: 15.24%-29.24% (variable)
ANNUAL FEE: N/A
KEY FACTS
PRODUCT DETAILS
Pros & Cons

If you're hoping to avoid fees, the Petal 2 Visa could be the card for you. Unlike most student credit cards, the Petal 2 Visa doesn't require a security deposit. It offers high credit limits and delivers cashback rewards on all purchases.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One Logo

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Apply Now Read Full Review
CREDIT LIMIT: $300
REWARDS RATE: 1%-1.25% cash back
APR: 26.99% variable
ANNUAL FEE: N/A
KEY FACTS
PRODUCT DETAILS
Pros & Cons

Capital One's Journey Student Rewards card offers cashback rewards on all purchases and a bonus for on-time payments. The card is available to average-credit consumers, so you can consider it even if you've just left college.

Citi® Secured Mastercard Logo

Citi® Secured Mastercard

4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Apply Now Read Full Review
CREDIT LIMIT: $200
REWARDS RATE: N/A
APR: 22.49% variable
ANNUAL FEE: $0
KEY FACTS
PRODUCT DETAILS
PROS & CONS

The Citi® Secured Mastercard could be the right solution for those who haven't succeeded in getting other cards due to poor or nonexistent credit scores. One of the best credit cards for no credit, this secured solution allows you to focus on building your credit score with a set of carefully selected tools.

BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students Logo

BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students

4.4 stars Our Rating

Fortunly's Rating: Our editorial team determines the rating based on a set of evaluation criteria developed for each product and service category.

Apply Now Read Full Review
CREDIT LIMIT: $500
REWARDS RATE: N/A
APR: 0% for 18 months, after that 12.99%-22.99% variable
ANNUAL FEE: $0
KEY FACTS
PRODUCT DETAILS
PROS & CONS

The BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students is an excellent choice for those looking to cut their costs by applying for a card with minimum fees. It's available to students with limited to fair credit and has many convenient features for those just starting to build their credit.

Evaluation Criteria

Choosing the Best Credit Cards for College Students: Our Methodology

Even the best student cards generally don't offer the same rewards and premium benefits as "regular" credit cards - and that's fine. The main reason to apply for a credit card as a student or young adult is to start building your credit history so you can qualify for better cards and other financial products in the future.

Think of them as training wheels for bettering your credit score during your important education years. Look for a credit cards that reports to the three major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), rewards on-time payments, has favorable terms and saves you money through cashback programs and other benefits.

However, most companies required that you have a job and some revenue to show, but there are ways to open co-accounts with your parents or other family members and start building a healthy credit score on time even with no personal income of your own.

Here's a breakdown of the factors we suggest you consider while shopping around for the best student credit card.

Introductory and Ongoing APR

Cards designed for consumers who are new to the credit world tend to have higher-than-average interest rates. Staying responsible when it comes to your personal finance and paying your bill in full each month is the only way to avoid high interest charges, and that's exactly what we suggest you do.

Still, some student credit cards offer an introductory 0% APR period for six months or a year. We recommend these cards if you have big upcoming purchases you'll need more than a month to pay off.

Fees

When you're on a student budget, the last thing you need is high fees on college credit cards. While it's ideal to avoid these charges altogether, no-fee credit cards are very rare. However, there are options that will give you a chance to keep your costs low. Most credit cards for students don't have annual membership charges. If you decide to open a no-annual-fee card, you'll be able to keep the account open for a long time and improve your credit score as a result. 

Other costs to watch out for include foreign transaction fees, balance transfer charges, cash advance fees, and penalties. If you are on the hunt for travel credit cards for students, our advice is that you apply for a card that won't incur a surcharge each time you make a purchase outside the country.

Credit Limit

Much like the credit cards issued to applicants with fair credit, student cards and those targeted at young adults generally have low credit limits. Given that the maximum amount a credit card issuer will let you borrow depends on your creditworthiness, we suggest you choose a card that guarantees periodic reviews of your account and offers credit-line increases in less than a year. 

Rewards

If you think of the best first credit card for students as the one that will let you earn cash back or bonus points, look for a card that comes with a rewards rate of at least 1%. Although there are more generous student credit cards out there, we consider this a good starter rate. 

You may get more value if you choose a card that offers higher rewards on purchases in specific spending categories - restaurants and travel arrangements, for example. However, such cards won't do you any good if they don't align with your consumer habits. 

International Acceptance

If you're planning to study abroad for a semester or longer, you need to consider whether you'll be able to use your card internationally. The best student credit cards for you are likely to be the ones that are widely accepted worldwide.

Quick Breakdown

Best Student Credit Cards of 2022:

  • Discover it® Student Cash Back - Best for high cashback rewards.
  • Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students - Best for international travel.
  • Petal 2 “Cash Back, No Fees” Visa Credit Card - Best for avoiding fees.
  • Journey Student Rewards from Capital One - Best for rewards.
  • Citi® Secured Mastercard - Best for poor or no credit score
  • BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students - Best no-interest credit card for students

Detailed Student Card Reviews

Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

Discover it® Student Cash Back Review Logo Apply Now

On Official Website

Credit limit:
$500+
Rewards rate:
1%-5% cash back
Intro APR:
0% on purchases for six months; 10.99% on balance transfers for six months
Regular APR:
12.99%-21.99% (variable)
Annual fee:
N/A

Available to applicants with limited or no credit history, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card allows you to build your credit profile while delivering cashback rewards of up to 5%. As one of the most widely used credit cards for students, the Discover it® Student Cash Back is well known for offering a 0% introductory APR for six months and not charging an annual fee. 

APR and Fees

This Discover student card comes with a lower introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers. New cardmembers are welcomed with a 0% APR on purchases for the first six months and a 10.99% APR on balance transfers for six months counting from the date of the first transfer. After the promotional period on this student credit card expires, your APR will be 12.99% to 21.99% (variable) for purchases and balance transfers and 24.99% (variable) for cash advances. 

One of the most significant advantages of the Discover it® Student Cash Back card is that it doesn't have an annual membership fee. However, you'll be charged 3% of the amount of each balance transfer during the introductory APR period and 5% of the amount of each transfer after that. There's also a cash advance fee of $10 or 5%. Returned payment and late payment fees can go up to $40, while the latter is waived the first time you don't pay your bill on time.

Rewards Policy

As one of the best student credit cards, the Discover it® Student Cash Back card allows students to earn cashback rewards while helping them practice responsible credit habits. 

Cardmembers earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases in categories that are disclosed each quarter. To maximize your rewards, you'll need to be aware of the qualifying purchase types. Options include shopping at Amazon; making transactions at grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants; using services provided by Uber and Lyft; and making payments via PayPal. Keep in mind that the rewards on this first-time credit card are high but limited: There's a $1,500 quarterly maximum. But you'll still get 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Another great thing about the Discover it® Student Cash Back card is that it offers an unlimited dollar-for-dollar cashback match on the rewards you earn before your account's first anniversary. There are no minimum spending requirements or other strings attached. 

Redemption options include direct deposits, statement credits, gift cards, and donations. You get $5 extra if you redeem your rewards for a gift card. 

Reasons to Choose the Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card

There are quite a few factors that earned this Discover credit card a place among Fortunly's top credit cards for students. The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers 5% cash back on eligible categories and 1% on all other purchases. Moreover, there's a good grades rewards program that lasts up to five years. It gives you a $20 credit as long as your GPA is 3.0 or higher.

There are no annual charges, foreign transaction fees, or penalty APRs, and the card offers a low introductory APR for purchases and balance transfers. 

As a Discover cardmember, you can use the "Freeze it" feature, which works as an on-off switch for your account and helps you prevent unauthorized activity if you misplace your card.

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

Although it's one of the best student credit cards on the market, the Discover it® Student Cash Back has a few disadvantages. 

While the unlimited 1% cashback rewards are earned automatically, you won't receive the 5% rewards unless you activate the bonus categories every three months. Not only can this be a hassle for those who are just getting started with credit cards, but some of the purchase categories may not be a good fit for a student's spending habits. 

You should also keep in mind that while this credit card for students doesn't come with a foreign transaction fee, Discover isn't widely accepted outside the United States. If you are studying abroad, we suggest you explore other options.

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Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students Review

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students Review Logo Apply Now

On Official Website

Credit Limit:
Up to $5,000
Rewards rate:
1% cash back
Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
18.74% (variable)
Annual fee:
N/A

A rare college student credit card that is oriented toward foreign students, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a solid choice for those who lack typical application requirements. Its underwriting system is based on alternative criteria, so you can get approved even if you don't have a Social Security number or a US credit history. As it doesn't require a security deposit or a cosigner, the Deserve card is also a good option for young consumers with limited credit. To top it off, the Deserve EDU Mastercard doesn't have an annual fee and it offers 1% cash back on every purchase. 

APR and Fees

This credit card for no-credit-history applicants doesn't have an introductory APR. The ongoing APR for purchases is 18.74% (variable), which is slightly higher than the average rate charged by a student card. There are no annual percentage rates for balance transfers and cash advances, as Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students doesn't allow these transactions.

This card doesn't have an annual membership fee or foreign transaction charges. There are, however, penalty costs - late-payment fees can go up to $25 per item, while returned payments could set you back up to $37 per incident. 

Rewards Policy

As one of the credit cards for an 18-year-old with no credit history, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students offers 1% cash back on all purchases. Compared to the bigger rewards and welcome offers promised by competitors, this card's policy may seem fairly bare-bones. On the plus side, you won't have to worry about activating bonus categories or reaching a certain threshold to qualify for rewards. 

When it comes to redemption, the deal is simple. Once you have accrued a minimum of $25 in cash back, the rewards are redeemed for statement credit automatically. 

Reasons to Choose the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

Because it has a unique underwriting procedure and doesn't require a stellar credit history, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is one of the best credit cards for young people. To start the application, you'll need to be over 18 and enrolled in college. You must also have a US bank account in your name.

This card comes with a long list of valuable perks, which is quite unusual given the consumer group it targets. If you pay for your mobile phone using your Deserve card, you get up to $600 in insurance coverage should your device be damaged or stolen. New Deserve EDU card members receive 12 months of Amazon Prime Student membership after making their first purchases. Students also get a $100 subscription discount for Feather, a furniture rental service, and a $10 statement credit for Lemonade, a homeowners/renters insurance provider. 

This credit card for college students also offers standard benefits such as roadside assistance, price protection, and extended warranty protection. 

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

While the eligibility requirements for the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students are easy to meet, the APR is quite high. Moreover, there isn't an introductory purchase APR and the card doesn't allow cash advances or balance transfers.

While a 1% cashback reward on every purchase is quite generous, redeeming the rewards comes with a catch. You'll need to earn at least $25 in rewards to meet the redemption minimum, and that could take a while. 

While the Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students may be the best starter credit card to use as your history builds and your credit score improves, we suggest you also explore other options with higher rewards.

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Petal 2 Visa® Credit Card Review

Petal 2 Visa® Credit Card Review Logo Apply Now

On Official Website

Credit limit:
$500-$10,000
Rewards rate:
1%-1.5% cash back
Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
15.24%-29.24% (variable)
Annual fee:
N/A

If you've been on the hunt for fee-free college student credit cards, we're happy to inform you that your search has come to an end. The Petal 2 Visa credit card helps you build your credit, lets you earn cashback rewards, doesn't require a security deposit, and doesn't charge any type of fees. The Petal 2 is also relatively easy to qualify for, as WebBank - the card's issuing bank - doesn't rely solely on credit scores when determining creditworthiness.

APR and Fees

The Petal 2 Visa doesn't offer a lower introductory APR. The standard APR is variable between 15.24% and 29.24%.

As you have probably deduced from its name, this Visa student credit card charges no fees at all. Cardmembers don't have to worry about annual membership costs, foreign transaction charges, or late fees. 

You also won't be assigned a penalty APR if you don't pay your credit card bill on time. Bear in mind, however, that late payments may affect your credit score. To keep your credit profile in good shape and avoid interest charges, it is our recommendation that you pay your bill in full each month.

Rewards Policy

Most other credit-building cards don't offer much when it comes to rewards. On the other hand, as one of the best credit cards for a college student, Petal 2 has a unique cashback program that encourages you to make consistent on-time payments.

As a new Petal 2 cardholder, you'll start by earning 1% cash back on all purchases. If you make six on-time monthly payments in a row, the rate will increase to 1.25%. After paying your monthly bill on time for the 12th time, you'll qualify for the 1.5% cash back rate. This card also allows you to earn 2% to 10% in cash back rewards from select merchants. 

As one of the best student credit cards, the Petal 2 Visa makes redemption pretty simple. Provided that your account is in good standing, you can redeem your rewards as a credit anytime - or wait until you've accrued at least $20 and request a check. 

Your rewards won't expire as long as you keep your account open. But you can't redeem your rewards when your payment is overdue.

Reasons to Choose the Petal 2 Visa Credit Card

One of the things that landed the Petal 2 a spot among the best credit cards for student cardholders is that even if you have just started the clock on your credit history, you'll probably be able to qualify. Instead of looking only at an applicant's FICO credit score, the card's issuing bank employs its own proprietary algorithm when determining eligibility. Information about your income, spending, and savings will be assessed during your application process. 

Considering that it doesn't charge foreign transaction fees (or any other administrative or penalty fees), the Petal 2 is one of the most convenient credit cards for international students or those who frequently make transactions with foreign merchants. Additionally, because this is a Visa card, it's widely accepted internationally.

Unlike most other starter cards, which generally offer low credit lines, the Petal 2 Visa comes with a limit of up to $10,000. Not everyone gets a $10,000 credit limit, of course. It is your creditworthiness that will determine your credit limit. 

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

If you're new to credit, as most students are, building your credit profile should be more important to you than earning cash rewards. However, reward-earning programs are still a factor, and good credit cards for students should offer them. The rewards policy of the Petal 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa is quite basic - you earn 1%-1.5% on everything. While flat-rate cards are popular for minimal effort, a card that offers higher rewards in certain categories may be a better fit for your spending habits. Another rewards-related drawback of the Petal 2 is that it doesn't come with a welcome offer.

While holders of this Petal 2 Visa card don't have any fees to worry about, there's a potentially high APR to consider. You should also keep in mind that you can't draw a cash advance against this unsecured credit card for students.

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Read Full Review

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One Review

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One Review Logo Apply Now

On Official Website

Credit limit:
$300+
Rewards rate:
1%-1.25% cash back
Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
26.99% (variable)
Annual fee:
N/A

The Journey Student Rewards from Capital One allows you to begin your credit-building journey as a college student while earning flat-rate cashback rewards - no spending category acrobatics required. Offering bonus rewards to those who pay their bills on time, this card makes it easy to establish and maintain a good credit history. As one of the best credit cards for building credit, this Capital One card doesn't even require you to be a student to apply.

APR and Fees

Like most of the other credit-building cards on the market, the Capital One Journey Student Rewards card doesn't offer a lower introductory annual percentage rate. And the regular APR is quite high - 26.99% (variable) for all uses, including purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances. A late payment won't increase your APR, but that's small consolation when you're paying an interest rate that high.

If you are thinking about applying for this student credit card, you'll be happy to hear that you won't face annual membership or foreign transaction fees. Still, keep in mind that you'll be charged either $10 or 3% for cash advances and up to $40 for late payments. 

Rewards Policy 

This Capital One student credit card's starting rewards rate is 1% cash back on every purchase. However, that's just the beginning with this card's rewards program. Each billing cycle, cardmembers are presented with an opportunity to boost their rate by 25% (for a total of 1.25% cash back) if they pay their bills on time. As all good credit cards for college students should, the Journey Student Rewards incentivizes on-time payments and helps you save even more. 

Redemptions are very flexible. You can redeem any amount of the accrued cash back in the form of a statement credit, checks, or gift cards at any time. 

Reasons to Choose the Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

One of the best things about this credit-building card is that you can automatically be considered for a higher credit limit in six months, provided that you haven't missed a payment due date.

Moreover, you get free access to CreditWise, a Capital One credit-monitoring app for iOS and Android devices. Use the app to keep track of your credit score and you'll get notified of any changes to your profile - and possible threats to your personal data.

As the best international credit card for students, this Capital One card doesn't charge foreign transaction fees. It offers multiple travel- and retail-related benefits, including rental car insurance, travel accident coverage, 24-hour travel assistance services, and extended warranty protection. 

In addition to the rewards program, the Journey Student Rewards card allows you to earn a $5 credit every month toward streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify. The credits are awarded for 12 months, each time you make an on-time payment. 

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

The Journey Student Rewards card from Capital One offers a good deal, but it may not be the best credit card for all college students. Some of its biggest drawbacks include below-average reward rates and above-average interest rates.

Moreover, if you lack a US credit history, a Social Security number, or both, you'll be better off with a credit card whose issuer won't make you meet traditional credit score requirements. Although the Journey Student Rewards card is meant for young consumers who have just started their credit-building journey, you'll still need at least a fair credit score to qualify.

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Citi® Secured Mastercard Review

Citi® Secured Mastercard Review Logo Apply Now

On Official Website

Credit limit:
$200
Rewards rate:
N/A
Intro APR:
N/A
Regular APR:
22.49% variable
Annual fee:
$0

The Citi® Secured Mastercard is one of the best student credit cards to build credit. Typically, secured cards are the way to go if you're only beginning to manage your finances and have no credit score yet. With this type of card, which is easy to obtain, you get a credit limit equal to your deposit and a set of excellent tools to help you keep track of your progress. 

APR and Fees

This card won't burden you with high APR rates and fees. On the contrary, it's considered to be the best first-time credit card for a student because it comes with no annual fees. On top of that, it offers a decent variable APR rate of $22.49% for purchases and transactions. Customers would probably welcome a lower or zero introductory APR, but still, cards that do offer such benefits generally have much higher APR rates once the introductory period is over, so it balances out.

Rewards Policy

Unfortunately, this card doesn't offer much in terms of rewards. The only benefits are those that always come with having a Mastercard. We were hoping for some cashback rewards, travel points, or at least online credit points, as we've seen with some other credit cards for students with no credit, but this card doesn't offer any. However, the competition's cards that offer such rewards are typically much more difficult to obtain with no or low credit scores. 

Reasons to Choose the Citi® Secured Mastercard 

The main reason you should go with this card is that you can get approved for it easily, even with a poor or nonexistent credit score. It's an excellent first step toward becoming an expert in managing your finances responsibly. 

To help you achieve just that, this card offers an excellent selection of tools. Not only can you make payments on time with the help of an excellent notification system, but this card will report each of your payments to all three major credit bureaus. Whether or not a credit card for students does this is fundamental, as it's these reports that'll build your credit score. You can effortlessly track your FICO score online, which is bound to further motivate you, and besides, it protects you and your credit score from identity theft.

Other interesting benefits you get with this card are account alerts and the opportunity to choose your due date. You can set up custom alerts to keep track of your balance and due payments more effectively. The opportunity to choose a due date allows for certain flexibility and helps you organize your budget better.  

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

Unlike some other cards on this list of the best credit cards to build credit for students, this solution offers no particular perks, such as rewards or cashback deals. Piling up rewards on credit cards is an excellent way to stash up for a major purchase, and with this card, it's not an option.

Furthermore, with this card, your credit is limited to $2,500 and requires a security deposit in the same amount, meaning you won't be able to spend any money you don't already have. In case you need to borrow money for a large purchase, you're better off with some of the personal loans available. There is no such requirement with other credit cards for college students on this list - something our readers should consider if they already have a fair credit score.

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BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students

BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students Logo Apply Now

On Official Website

Credit limit:
$500
Rewards rate:
N/A
Intro APR:
0%
Regular APR:
12.99% - 22.99% variable
Annual fee:
$0

The BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students is an excellent way to start building your credit score and prepare for life after college. The main benefit of using this credit card is the introductory 0% APR for purchases and transfers, bound to help you kickstart your journey to a stellar credit score without worrying about interest. Furthermore, you don't have to cover any annual fees with this card - you can put this money to better use instead.  

APR and Fees

If you are a student looking at good student credit cards, you'll quickly notice that many don't offer introductory APR. This is where the BankAmericard®'s Credit Card for Students stands out with its 0% APR for purchases and transfers for the first 18 months. Even after the introductory period is over, its APR rates are significantly lower than the ones offered by the competition - the variable rate ranges between 12.99% and 22.99%.

Another bonus point for this card is that it doesn't come with any annual fees. On the other hand, it does carry a 3% balance transfer fee for transferring $10 or more and a 3% foreign transaction fee. Furthermore, you'll most certainly be motivated to pay everything on time because of its $40 late payment fee. 

Rewards Policy 

This Bank of America's student credit card's rewards fall short in comparison with some of the competing offers on our list. The only reward you could earn is the $100 statement credit online bonus. However, to earn this bonus, which will be used automatically toward your next bill, you'll have to spend $1,000 over the course of the next 90 days.   

Reasons to Choose the BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students

This card enables you to get started with the vital task of building your credit score without taking a big chunk of your income in fees and APR. Since you don't have to calculate these fees with this credit card for students, you'll be able to focus on building responsible and healthy spending habits and, ultimately, your credit score.

Furthermore, this Bank of America's credit card also has a $100 statement credit online bonus that you can earn if you make payments worth $1,000 within the first 90 days of opening the card. Since you don't have significant fees or interest to pay back, if you achieve this bonus, it's likely you won't be stressing out about paying your monthly bill either. 

This credit card also comes with an excellent mobile app which could also be beneficial for managing your finances and keeping track of your spending. Like many credit cards for college students, it gives you all the benefits of digital wallet technology, for example, shopping in-store and in-app with Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Google Pay. You can use it to set up account alerts, to help you keep track of your balances and remind you of due dates, and also to make payments and transfers. 

Through the same app, you can effortlessly check your FICO score, which is updated monthly. Monitoring your credit score could motivate you to stay on track with your financial goals.  

Reasons to Look Elsewhere

Some cards offer excellent rewards or cashback programs, but this is where this particular first-time credit card for students falls short. Even though it relieves you of the burden of paying the APR (for the first 18 months) and annual fees, we would like to see more rewards for students. A cashback program or travel rewards would really spice this offer up and make it more attractive. 

Now that we've mentioned travelling, it's not the best solution for that either. Once you get down to reading its terms and conditions and the general guidelines, you'll find out that this card incurs steep foreign transaction fees. All in all, it's not the best credit card for a student who plans on backpacking Europe on their spring break.

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Why You Should You Start Building Your Credit History Now

Amid the hustle and bustle of studying, exams, buying books, and socializing with interesting strangers, establishing your credit history may not seem like a top priority. But when it comes to credit, the sooner you start, the better. It's smart to apply for credit cards for students with no credit. Someday, when you're looking to take out a loan to buy an apartment, house or a car, you'll be glad that you started making small monthly payments when you were young. Adults with years of responsible use make companies trust them more which qualifies them for more loans with lower collateral requirements and at lower interest rates.

In order to apply you need to meet relevant requirements for the card of your choice, however general guidelines require you to be above 18 years of age, have a Social Security number or individual taxpayer identification number and you need to have some form of income to show. There are exceptions to this and the exact requirements vary greatly form card to card. Have a look at our FAQ section to find out how you can start building a credit score without any personal revenue.

Who will be impressed by your long credit history?

Banks and other lenders know that the best way to assess an applicant's creditworthiness is to look at how the applicant has handled money in the past. During their evaluation your credit history can impress the loan officers who decide if you get the money for a home, car, or other big purchase - and what interest rate they'll extend to you. The best student credit cards help you build a positive history so future lenders will know you can be trusted. 

When you start job searching it is important that you have a healthy credit score because employers sometimes run credit checks as part of their background investigations of potential employees. A good credit rating could help guide you towards getting that dream job.

Investors and business lenders may look at your history with other people's money before deciding whether to support a project you are working on.

Before renting out their property, a landlord will want to learn about your credit history as much as any financial expert. A poor credit rating prevents access to important purchases in life and can make things unnecessarily difficult.

FAQ

What is the best credit card for a student?

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We've completed our search and made a list of the best student credit cards for no credit:

  • Discover it® Student Cash Back: Best for high cash-back rewards
  • Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students: Best for international students
  • Petal 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa Credit Card: Best for avoiding fees
  • Journey Student Rewards from Capital One: Best for flat-rate rewards 
  • Citi® Secured Mastercard: Best for poor or no credit score.
  • BankAmericard® Credit Card for Students: Best no-interest credit card for students

Should I get a student credit card or a regular credit card?

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That depends on your credit profile and your goals. Regular credit cards can offer a valuable rewards rate, but they require higher credit scores and established credit histories. On the other hand, you can apply for the best student credit cards with no credit history and use them to build your financial identity. Have a look at all of the competing offers to find the card that suits your spending habits and way of life.

Can a student with no income get a credit card?

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If you don't have any form of income, you won't be able to apply for a credit card on your own. However, you can still open a credit card account in your name by having a parent or family member co-sign. A joint account is very useful in this regard and it can help establish your credit profile, while also giving you access to all the benefits that a student credit card provides. All the best student credit cards allow joint applications.