Best Student Credit Cards For Those In College

We’ve covered secured credit cards and 0% balance transfer credit cards. This time around, let’s check out the roster of top student credit cards available today.

Making the transition from high school to college is overwhelming. Suddenly there’s rent to pay, groceries to buy and classes to attend. Many times, this hectic schedule just doesn’t leave much time for work, and yet those darn student loans only go so far, thanks to loan limits. Before, you were able to let your parents handle the brunt of your financial responsibility, making sure you had enough money to cover your expenses (including what you spent to have a great time with your friends). But, my friends, those days are long gone.

So, just how do college kids bridge the gap between their expenses and their meager income? Most turn to credit cards. Some credit cards are designed with students’ lifestyles in mind. They can be used to pay for books, fees, groceries, utilities or even life’s little unexpected expenses like hospital bills or a car that won’t start. Those cards geared towards the college life are classified as student credit cards. The lenders behind these cards understand that most college students don’t have a lot of established credit and may have variable work histories.

Best Student Credit Cards For Those In College

While there are many student credit cards on the market today, choosing wisely can make a difference both now and in the future. Here is a list of several of the best student credit card offers available today.

The Discover Student Card

Discover® Student Card

The Discover Student Card is an excellent rewards card that is great for students who are trying to get a good credit history established. There are no minimum income requirements and the card offers cardholders 0% liability on unauthorized purchases. Here are a few other great features:

  • Earn 5% cash back on category purchases (read additional terms on this criterion).
  • Earn 1% cash back on purchases after your annual total purchases exceed $3,000. For purchases under $3,000, you earn .25% cash back.
  • Earn cash rewards for using the card and keeping the account in good standing. Cash back bonuses are available on travel, apparel, movies and more.
  • 0% APR for 6 months after opening the account.
  • Free online account management.
  • Multiple design options and monogram option.
  • No annual fee.

The main drawback here is that balance transfers will cost you. Discover will tack on an additional 3% to your balance for each balance transfer you process and these balances do not qualify for the introductory 0% interest option. You must also have good credit in order to qualify.

Discover Student Open Road Card

Discover® Open Road(SM) Card

Another Discover rewards card is the Discover Student Open Road Credit Card, which offers cash back bonuses when you spend on gas and dining. It’s a good card that’s geared for those on the go. Here are some of the particulars:

  • Cash back rewards are unlimited.
  • Earn a full 2% cash back on the first $250 in combined restaurant and gas purchases per billing cycle.
  • Earn a full 1% cash back on everything else after you reach and exceed a total of $3,000 in purchases.
  • Earn .25% cash back for all purchases if your total is under $3,000.
  • No annual fee.
  • There’s a 0% APR intro rate for purchases here as well, for the first 6 months of owning the card.

The Citi mtvU Platinum Select Card

Citi� mtvU� Platinum Select� Visa� Card for College Students

The Citi mtvU Platinum Select card is also a great student credit card choice. The interest rate is pretty reasonable and depends on your credit rating, plus you can actually earn rewards by just being a stellar student. Here is the run down:

  • Points rewards are given based on a few things:
    1. Spending in restaurants, movie theaters, bookstores, and record stores earns 5 points for every dollar spent.
    2. Spending in all other venues earns 1 point for every dollar spent.
    3. 2,000 points can be earned twice a year based on cumulative GPA.
    4. Receive 25 reward points per month for managing your credit well.
  • There are no co-signer requirements, meaning that your parents don’t have to sign.
  • There is no minimum income requirement.
  • Unauthorized transactions are covered by Citi’s Identity Theft Solutions program.

If you qualify, you can get 0% APR on purchases for the first 7 months. Plus there’s NO annual fee. You can also transfer your balance to this card, but it will cost you 3% per balance, with a $5 minimum. Also note that this card is an option for students with good credit only.

The Citi Forward Student Card

Citi Foward(SM) Card for College Students

The Citi Forward Student Card is one other student credit card from Citi that’s worth checking out. This card is modeled pretty similarly to the mtvU card, as it rewards students for good financial and economic behavior. Here’s how:

  • 100 ThankYou Points are earned each month that the account is paid on time and remains under the credit limit.
  • Up to 8,500 Points are earned after using the card for 3 months and if you elect to have paperless billing.
  • 0% APR for up to 7 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • There is no co-signer requirement.
  • There is no minimum income requirement.
  • Unauthorized transactions are covered by Citi’s Identity Theft Solutions Program.

One of the really nice features of this card is that Citi will voluntarily reduce the APR on your purchase balance when you use your card wisely. Of course, it would be nice if this courtesy was extended to cash advances as well, but hey, any break in the regular interest rate is more than welcome.

The Capital One Student Card

You didn’t think that Capital One would miss out on the opportunity to offer the next generation a credit card solution did you? This card is actually pretty plain jane when it comes to student credit cards. It doesn’t have the flash of some of the others, but it’s still a front runner when it comes to good student card offers. Let’s take a peek and see what Capital One has to offer:

  • No balance transfer fees.
  • Cash back bonus of up to 2% based on where purchases are made-restaurants, entertainment, cell phone bills and textbooks qualify for 2%, everything else is 1%.
  • No annual fee.

This is probably one of the best cards to obtain if your credit is a little less than stellar. Also, cash back is always a great perk, especially since the higher rate of return focuses on responsible spending (except the entertainment category).

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