Check out how to know which student credit card to choose
Check out how to know which student credit card to choose

In recent years, some new players have emerged in the student credit card market. Chase launched the Chase Freedom® Student, the first credit card Chase designed for students, in 2019, and Capital One launched two competitive student cards in August 2021. These new additions bring a lot of benefits, but can make choosing an entry-level credit card more difficult.

Student credit cards provide a great opportunity to test the card’s capabilities to see if they fit your lifestyle, but they can vary widely. So how do you decide which one is best for you?

Student cards are designed with new borrowers in mind, so they typically have more modest yields and higher interest rates. Still, many offer valuable benefits that can help you pay on time, build your credit history, earn points, and earn points or cash back.


Determine which function is best for you

Choosing the features that are most important to you is the first step in choosing a student ID. To get you started shopping with a credit card, some offer rewards programs that let you earn points or cash back, while others offer more acceptable rates and fees. Unfortunately, student cards tend to perform well in only one of these areas, not both.

Student ID function needs to pay attention to:

  • Rewards: Cash back, points or airline miles are huge incentives to use your card responsibly, especially when you collect it for the most common purchases like groceries or fuel. Sign-up bonuses are also worth considering.
  • Late Fee Waiver: Most credit cards charge late fees, but some student cards waive one or more late fees.
    No International Transaction Fees: If you plan to travel or study abroad, you can save money with a card with no international transaction fees.
  • Automatic payments or payment reminders: If you’re worried about forgetting to pay your bills, the ability to set up automatic payments can reduce the stress. Payment reminders are also helpful.
  • No APR: Most credit cards trigger an APR that is higher than the regular APR if you delay paying your bill by the number of days. If you’re concerned about late payments, a card with no penalty interest can be a good cover.
  • Low interest rate: If you pay your bill balance in full each month, your interest rate doesn’t matter. However, if you have a balance, you should look for a card that minimizes interest costs.
  • 0% introductory APR: If you don’t want to worry about months of interest charges when paying for a large purchase, or get into the habit of paying on time, a card with a 0% introductory APR will work in your favor.
  • Automatic credit limit check: Most student credit cards start with a low credit limit, usually under $1,000. Some student ID card issuers will automatically review your account for growth after a few months, which can improve your credit score.
  • Financial literacy resources: Budget management tools and credit monitoring are common resources on student cards that may help if you focus on building healthy habits.

Best Student Cards for Low Prices and Fees

If you’re looking for an introduction to how to have a credit card that won’t charge you high fees when you’re used to making monthly payments, the following student cards may be best for you.

Card Rewards rate Other features
Discover it® Student chrome
  • 2 percent cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on up to $1,000 in purchases per quarter, 1percent thereafter)
  • 1 percent cash back on general purchases
  • Matches cash back at end of first year
  • No penalty APR
  • 0 percent intro APR on new purchases and 10.99 percent on balance transfers for first 6 months (14.49 percent – 23.49 percent variable APR thereafter)
  • No fee for the first late payment (up to $41 thereafter)
BankAmericard for Students* None
  • 0 percent APR on balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening and new purchases for 18 billing cycles (13.74 percent – 23.74 percent variable APR thereafter)
  • No penalty APR

Both cards offer great introductory APRs, so you can get used to paying without worrying about high interest charges. Plus, neither charges penalty interest, so if you miss a payment, your interest rate won’t skyrocket. One of the cards, while offering a rewards program, isn’t particularly lucrative.

Best Rewards Student Card

If you don’t care too much about price and fees and expect card rewards, there are also many cards that introduce students to the rewards card world. Whether you prefer flexible Chase Ultimate Rewards, Citi Appreciation Points or cash back, there are many student cards that offer good accrual rates.


These cards are all great options for rewards seekers as they offer good reward rates or introduce some of the best value card rewards programs. On the other hand, many cards have higher APRs or fees than cards without a rewards program.

Card Rewards rate Other things to know
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase
  • 5 percent on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Extended warranty coverage for purchases
  • Price protection
  • Automatic consideration for a higher credit line after six months
  • Access to CreditWise, Capital One’s credit monitoring service
Discover it® Student Cash Back
  • 5 percent cash back on rotating categories that you must enroll in each quarter (on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, then 1 percent)
  • 1 percent cash back on other purchases
  • Matches cash back at end of first year
Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Unlimited 3 percent cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target)
  • 5 percent on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel
  • 8 percent cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Automatic consideration for a higher credit line after six months
  • Access to CreditWise, Capital One’s credit monitoring service

What if you are not eligible for a student card?

If you don’t have a credit history and aren’t eligible for one of these student credit cards, you have a few other options. If a parent is willing to add you as an authorized user to one of their credit cards, this is a way to improve your credit score without qualifying yourself for the credit card.

Many secured credit cards are also available to users without a credit history. While these cards usually don’t have a rewards program and require a deposit, they can help you steadily improve your credit history, making you eligible for a better card later.

bottom line
While there aren’t as many student cards as generic rewards cards, there are still plenty of great options for new cardholders. Whether you’re looking for a card that builds good credit habits and lower fees, or a card that gives you rewards, you’ll find a student card that fits your lifestyle.

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