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Credit Cards for College Students

Student Credit Cards

College students have a variety of options in terms of credit card use. Many students who are new to credit get college student credit cards in order to build their credit history; others use them for the rewards or to strengthen their existing credit standing. Listed below you will find student credit cards from major credit card companies (some of which originate from CardHub advertising partners). Use the filters on the left to find the best student credit card for your particular situation. If you are unsure about how good your credit is, you can use our free credit check so that you don't waste your time applying for credit cards for which you will not get approved. However, it's unlikely that as a college student you have anything but limited credit, since you typically need to have had a credit card under your own name (not as an authorized user) for at least three years in order to be considered to have better credit. So start building good credit and responsible credit habits now by opening a student credit card and paying your bill on time and in full every month.

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    3.5

    JourneySM Student Rewards from Capital One®

    capital one student rewards credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES Not Offered
    • 0% TRANSFERS Not Offered
    • REGULAR RATE 19.8% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS Cash Back
    BONUS None
    BASE EARN 1%
    MAX EARN 1.25%
    • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, every month–and pay no annual fee.
    • For every month you pay on time, you receive a 25% bonus–that's a total of 1.25% cash back.
    • There's no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards don't expire.

     
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    3.5

    Citi® Dividend® Card for College Students

    citi visa credit card for college students
    • 0% PURCHASES 7 months
    • 0% TRANSFERS Not Offered
    • REGULAR RATE 13.99% - 23.99% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE $0*
    REWARDS Cash Back
    BONUS None
    BASE EARN 1%
    MAX EARN 5%
    • Build credit while earning cash back fast.
    • Earn 5% CASH BACK in categories every quarter. Right now, on eligible purchases within the Hilton Portfolio, car rental agencies, movie theaters and theme parks from 7/1/14 – 9/30/14.
    • Enrollment each quarter is quick and easy.
    • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
    • The total cash back earned with the card is $300 per calendar year. See Citi Dividend Card Reward Program Information.

     
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    3

    Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students - Earn 2,500 Bonus Points

    citi thankyou students credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES 7 months
    • 0% TRANSFERS Not Offered
    • REGULAR RATE 13.99% - 23.99% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE $0
    REWARDS Points
    BASE EARN 1 point / $1
    MAX EARN 2 points / $1
    • Earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of cardmembership.
    • 2 ThankYou® Points per dollar spent on purchases for dining at restaurants and entertainment.
    • 1 ThankYou® Point on other purchases.
    • Points do not expire and earn unlimited Thank You Points.
    • Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, cash and more.

     
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    3.5

    First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card

    Platinum Secured Credit Card from First Progress
    • SECURED CREDIT CARD Min Deposit of $300
    • ANNUAL FEE $29
    • MONTHLY FEE None
    • ONE-TIME FEES None
    • REGULAR RATE 19.99% (V)
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    4

    Wells Fargo® Cash BackSM College Credit Card

    wells fargo cash back college card
    • 0% PURCHASES Not Offered
    • 0% TRANSFERS Not Offered
    • REGULAR RATE 11.15% - 21.15% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS Cash Back
    BONUS None
    BASE EARN 1%
    MAX EARN 3%
    • Earn 3% cash back on gas, grocery and drugstore net purchases (purchases minus returns/credits) for 6 months and 1% cash back on all other net purchases.
    • Earn unlimited cash rewards with no complicated calculations, no minimum purchase requirements and no expiration dates.
    • Redeem your cash rewards your way. Cash rewards are redeemed in $25 increments and you can choose to have them automatically deposited into your savings or checking account or apply them as a principal payment to your qualifying personal loan. If you prefer, you can get them as a statement credit or check.
    • Boost your earning potential and find great deals at your favorite local and national stores at the Earn More Mall site.

     
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    3

    State Farm Bank Student Visa® Credit Card

    state farm bank student visa credit card
    • 0% PURCHASES Not Offered
    • 0% TRANSFERS Not Offered
    • REGULAR RATE 11.24% - 18.24% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS None
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    3

    Atlantic Stewardship Bank College Rewards Visa® Credit Card

    atlantic stewardship bank college rewards visa card
    • 0% PURCHASES Not Offered
    • 0% TRANSFERS Not Offered
    • REGULAR RATE 11.99% - 20.99% (V)
    ANNUAL FEE None
    REWARDS Points
    BASE EARN 1 point / $1
    MAX EARN 1 point / $1
    • Earn one point for every net purchase dollar.
    • Plus, you have five years to redeem points for rewards.
    • Redeem your points for a wide variety of valuable reward options including, cash back, merchandise, travel and gift cards from your favorite retailers and restaurants.
    • Earn 1,000 bonus points with your first purchase.

     
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    Ask our Experts
    EXPERT’S ANSWERS

    Why get a student credit card?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou Getting a student credit card is highly recommended, given that it represents the easiest and cheapest way to establish credit in your own name. Your credit history is directly linked to the loan rates you’ll qualify for later in life and could also affect things like your prospects for certain types of jobs and your insurance premiums. Being an authorized user on a parent’s card will help you build some credit, but it won’t provide nearly the same benefit as you being the primary accountholder.

    Gaining experience using common financial products is also essential to becoming financially literate and avoiding serious mistakes down the road. “High school is a good time to introduce credit cards to students, especially if they get parental, school or church guidance,” says Dr. Debby Lindsey-Taliefero, an associate professor of economics at Howard University who studies financial literacy in urban areas. “My research has shown more important than credit cards are checking accounts with a debit card. Students that have a checking account increased their financial literacy score by 19 points.”

    But if you don’t trust yourself to use a student credit card responsibly, just don’t use it. Even if you lock your card in a drawer right after opening it and never actually make any purchases with it, your credit history will still get beefed up, thanks to the fact that your credit card company will report your card as being in good standing on a monthly basis. If that’s the road you think you’ll wind up taking, we highly recommend getting a no annual fee student credit card in order to minimize costs.

    What do I need to get a student credit card?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou Regardless of your age, you need a valid Social Security Number (SSN) and a mailing address that cannot be a P.O. Box in order to get a college student credit card. [TIP: You can use the street address of where your university mailbox is located on a student credit card application and indicate your box number next to it, almost as if it’s an apartment number, in order to get around this requirement.]

    It’s important to note that if you are under 21, you need to indicate on your application that you have the income or assets (e.g. bank account balance, stocks, etc.) necessary to independently make the required monthly minimum payments on a new credit card (usually no more than $60). If you can’t do so, you’ll need a co-signer who is over 21 and is willing to accept financial responsibility in the event that you don’t pay back what you charge.

    Many folks are under the false impression that people under the age of 21 cannot access credit at all. That’s largely due to disparities between different versions of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 and misinformation being disseminated as a result. “Interestingly, every version of the Credit CARD Act of 2009 had strict protections for people under 21 (targeting college students), but the last version of the bill (the one actually enacted) weakened all those provisions, so it’s business as usual,” says Dr. Robert Scott, an associate professor of economics at Monmouth University. “People who only read the earlier versions of the bill assumed the protections for people under 21 were kept—but that is wrong. I followed the bill closely, since it’s my area of research and was shocked when I read the final version.”

    How should I use my student credit card?

    By: John Kiernan While it’s smart to take advantage of 0% APR offers and rewards, your ultimate objective in using a student credit card is to never miss a single payment and avoid both finance charges and debt. You’re not using a credit card at this stage in your life in order to spend beyond what you have in cash, after all, but instead to build a solid credit history. So set up automatic payment from a bank account (ACH) or set calendar reminders to pay your student credit card bill, and don’t let simply having a credit card lead you to spend more than normal.

    When can I qualify for a non-student credit card?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou General-consumer credit cards for people with good credit usually have better rewards and 0% offers than credit cards for college students. However, it’s difficult to determine whether your credit score has improved enough for you to qualify for such cards. As a general rule, you aren’t ready to graduate from a credit card for students, if you will, until you have a full-time job and start receiving offers for better cards in the mail. Until then, avoid the temptation of applying for a non-student credit card because each time you apply for a new card, your credit score will dip for about six months. That could actually delay you from upgrading your credit card.

    Why do college students need their own type of credit card?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou Credit card companies typically offer unique credit cards for college students for a number of reasons, the biggest being that students are a unique type of consumer. For the most part, they are beginning financial independence with a clean slate, starting fresh without any blemishes or red flags that would lead issuers to avoid them. College students also have years of financial maturity in front of them, not to mention the fact that they are on track to get college degrees, and banks want to get a foot in the door and establish long-term relationships so they can handle their future lending, investing, credit and retirement needs. As a result, college student credit cards are typically more rewarding than other credit cards for people with similar credit histories.

    What about students who aren’t in college?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou The student credit cards listed on this page are designed for college students. So what credit card options do you have as a high-schooler or graduate school student?

    If you are in high school, you likely cannot qualify for your own credit card thanks to requirements that you must be 18 in order to do so. If you are in this situation, being an authorized user on a parent’s account is a good start to a solid credit history, but you should get a credit card in your own name as soon as possible in order to truly take your credit to the next level.

    If you’re in graduate school and have a full-time income, you probably shouldn’t be looking for a student credit card, since you have the credit history and job status to warrant a credit card for good credit. If you are a graduate student without a full-time income, you’re in a tough spot because on the one hand your credit history might range all the way from limited credit to excellent credit, but your current income might not be sufficient to get a credit card for good or excellent credit.

    Student credit cards vs. Secured credit cards:

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou While not branded as such, a secured credit card actually makes a great credit card for college students for two reasons: 1.) they basically offer guaranteed approval (you still need a co-signer or proof of income if you’re under 21) and 2.) they prevent you from spending beyond your means. Students need credit cards that allow them to build credit cost-effectively, and because secured credit cards require a refundable security deposit that protects issuers against default, some have low fee structures. What’s more, since a secured credit card’s deposit acts as its credit line, students are unable to spend beyond their means while using them—a fact that can be a relief to many parents and of assistance to inexperienced students.

    With that being said, student credit cards undoubtedly have better rewards and various other perks than secured cards. They also do not require students to sacrifice liquidity for credit card use, which can be important considering the tight budgets many young people are on. Therefore, secured credit cards are well-suited to serve as credit cards for students who have already had difficulty using credit responsibly or who really don’t trust themselves to spend responsibly.
    COMMUNITY DISCUSSION

    Help others find the best student credit cards by sharing what your deciding factor was when choosing your card (customer service, interest rate, fees, convenience, rewards, etc.)

     
    July 22, 2014
    Photo of Lenny D.
    By: Lenny Deadski
    Credit cards are hard to keep track of for a grown adult; it can be especially difficult for a busy, struggling and young student. If one doesn't get a college job or work study even keeping up with the interest payments can be difficult. A student should have one or two credit cards max. One should be used for emergencies. The other will be used for day to day purchases that are easily paid back so the student can build their credit. If the student doesn't pay attention and really know the terms and fine print they can end up financially ruined. So students should only carry one or two cards at the max lest a teenage mistake leads to them being renter's for life.
    July 18, 2014
    Photo of Brian B.
    By: Brian Bartone
    At the moment, I, myself am a college student, however, I am a little bit older at 26 years old. That being said, I think it's reasonable for a college student to have just one credit card, as long as they are 100% sure to use it wisely. It should only be used for emergencies and college expenses, such as books and materials, such as computer software. A credit card could easily put anyone in debt, not just a college kid; but, at the same time, a young person could be attending their respected university, while also developing positive credit.
    July 8, 2014
    Photo of Logan H.
    By: Logan Hamilton
    I do not believe that a student should have any more than a single credit card these days. With the amount of student aid and loans available to students, it is foolish to pile your debt onto high-interest rate cards. Therefore, the only reason most students would need more cards like that is for emergencies. Having one to start building credit and learn how they work is not a bad idea, but it is very important to be careful with it and use it as sparingly as possible. And don't forget to pay off the balance as soon as possible!
    June 28, 2014
    Photo of Sarah M.
    By: Sarah Malpass
    Personally I think that a student should only have one, or at most 2 credit cards. They should make small purchases and they them off in full. This will help them build credit while they are still in school.
    June 21, 2014
    Photo of Margaret H.
    By: Margaret Howard
    I have recommended to my son who is a college student that he not get a credit card. He doesn't manage his money very well, and I fear the temptation to charge something as ephemeral as pizza would be too overwhelming for him to resist.
    June 18, 2014
    Photo of Jesheckah C.
    By: Jesheckah Coffin
    I think that every student should have at least one credit card. Maybe not a high limit one, but waiting until you are out of college to start earning credit will hurt you in life. I particularly like the student card offerings from Chase because they make it easy for me to pay on my card, and they let me monitor my credit through them. I like being able to raise my credit while being a student, and having the card comes in handy when it's the dreaded ramen month for everyone else.
    June 13, 2014
    Photo of Ryan A.
    By: Ryan Armentrout
    I do not believe that a college student should have any credit cards while they are in college. Most college students do not have a lot of money and having a credit card will most likely get that student into debt when they are unable to pay it back. Going to college racks up a lot of debt so adding another is not needed. If a college student needs or wants an item or to purchase something he or she should save up the money and buy it. That would make him or her more responsible instead of being able to buy something and later being faced with the bill that he or she was probably not thinking of when he or she made the purchase.
    June 10, 2014
    Photo of Tim S.
    By: Tim Shaw
    I had the Discover Student card when I was in college. You get 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% back on select categories that change each quarter. If you shop through the online mall you can get even more cash back. Assuming you pay the card off each month, it is a great way to get some cash back on the things you would normally buy anyways. It is also a great way to build your credit so you can get better interest rates in the future and be able to purchase a car or a house. Students need to be careful with credit cards not to put more on it than the can afford to pay at the end of the month. That will lead to hurting their credit score.
    June 5, 2014
    Photo of Aldric A.
    By: Aldric Alfonso
    I personally think a student shouldn't have a credit card since the temptation of it is sometimes too difficult. A student can get in trouble. But if they must, a student should only have one credit card. That way it is easier to keep a track on. It should also go without saying that it should only be used for emergencies.
    June 5, 2014
    Photo of Richard R.
    By: Richard Richards
    A credit card is a great item to have. I feel that a student should have one credit card. It should be used only for emergencies. When I was in college, my credit card saved me a lot of hassle when I had unexpected financial situations. You should just be careful and not charge more than you can afford. The card I had offered a low interest rate, late payment forgiveness, and reward offers. I made sure to make my payments each month and keep track of any interest charges I received.
    June 4, 2014
    Photo of Tera D.
    By: Tera Doa
    A card that I used while in school is the Capital One Platinum card. I’d highly recommend it to students because it is pretty straight forward. It doesn’t care about your credit situation as much. As long as you pay one time a certain amount of times your limit will be raised. I did not have to pay any initial annual fee or application fees either.
    May 28, 2014
    Photo of Melissa L.
    By: Melissa Lapila
    Credit cards and students should go hand and hand. I firmly believe 1 card and 1 card only is a great tool. College kids have the security of the card to use if needed and also it is a great way to establish credit. Credit worthiness is the basis for so many things these days. It also teaches self discipline ! Now the other side of the argument is they will run up the bill, and while that may be true, as the parent you need to closely monitor their usage. I suggest a written agreement between student and parent to outline the uses and expectations that go along with the ownership of the card. It can also be outlined that the student must pay the bill themselves, taking the lesson a step further. As the parent of 2 college children, they both have not yet disappointed me with the responsibility that comes along with their cards. For that I am just lucky !
    May 23, 2014
    Photo of Hart E.
    By: Hart Epps
    Having credit cards as a student is, in my opinion, a double-edged sword. On one hand, the more you can do to build up your credit history and good standing, the easier it will be for you down the road. There's nothing more frustrating as a young adult than going to buy a car or a house and being told you do not qualify due to no credit history. On the other hand, the inherent nature of being a student is that you don't have financial resources to support the spending habits younger people tend to develop. So, to me the answer is it's a personal decision. You have to understand yourself and what your tendencies are. If you think you will rack up credit, limit yourself to one or two cards with minimum available balances. If you know you are responsible and will not do anything you will regret, go ahead and get a few more and pay off the balances every month. It's all about knowing yourself and sticking to a plan.
    May 15, 2014
    Photo of Josh H.
    By: Josh Hill
    When I was in college, I did not get a student credit card, although I knew many others who did. I had a few reasons for this. First, my credit was already fairly poor, and I did not want to risk damaging it further by getting rejected for a card. Also, I felt that if I did receive a credit card, the terms would be terrible due to my credit. I also felt that if there was something I wanted or needed to buy, I would pay with cash. That would help me avoid accruing debt and I would be forced to decide if the item or service was something I really needed.
    May 9, 2014
    Photo of Bunny L.
    By: Bunny Lebowski
    The more credit cards a student has, the more credit he or she has. Using the cards and paying them off promptly generates a record of good bill paying, which increases the credit score. Sometimes cards will have promotions which give you free money for signing up. If there is no monthly fee, I always do it. I got $40 to use on an Amazon purchase just for signing up for the Amazon card.
    April 9, 2014
    Photo of Rachel B.
    By: Rachel Burton
    I think it is wise for students to have a limited number of credit cards at their disposal. When I attended college, there seemed to be a lot of predatory credit card offers. As a young student with extremely limited income, the credit card offers were often too tempting to resist. Representatives for credit card companies would be standing right outside of my classrooms offering candy or t-shirts to students who filled out applications. As a poor college students who didn't have two quarters to rub together in order to do laundry, a free t-shirt bought me another day before having to wash clothes, and a pack of skittles gave me a free snack. And, of course, I was immediately approved for several different credit cards within a short amount of time. Before I knew it, I had five credit cards, each with a $1000 limit and zero income aside from student loans and grants. The credit cards were easy to use, at that point, and I quickly ran up the charges on each card to stay afloat, borrowing from one card to pay another. Young college students often don't have the financial knowledge to adequately manage credit cards. And while I think it is extremely important to learn firsthand how credit cards can be beneficial, I believe it should be conservatively managed. One or two credit cards in college should be sufficient, and anything more is excessive. A versatile, low interest credit card is best, something like Discover or Mastercard, perhaps one tied directly to a checking account so students can learn how to use credit responsibly without getting in too deep very early in their lives and potentially damaging their future with poor credit.
    April 4, 2014
    Photo of Jessica W.
    By: Jessica Walls-Lavelle
    When I was in college I only had one credit card and I think that is a good number. It is important to have one card to use in emergencies, and for things that require you to use a credit card instead of cash or a check. It is also good to start building a credit score. However, it should only be used very sparingly and not for everyday purchases, like food or clothing. It should also have a very low credit limit, like $1,000, so you cannot overspend.
    April 1, 2014
    Photo of Monica N.
    By: Monica Nicole
    A credit card is a good way for students to gain independence and learn responsibility. One card should be enough for most students although if they think they handle more they probably should not own more than three. I realize several people about the age of 30 tend to discourage college aged persons from getting credit cards but they are better off learning good spending and saving habits while they're younger as opposed to when they get older - when expensive and bigger purchases are going to be frequent and the consequences of not paying bills are more severe.
    March 27, 2014
    Photo of Marissa B.
    By: Marissa Berlin
    Students should have at least one card, possibly two if they're responsible and understand how and when to use them. The bigger issue for me is how many of the "student" credit cards offer terrible APR and monstrous fees in exchange for a free beer koozie or something as a signing bonus. Credit cards for college students can and should be a great learning experience on how to manage money, but they have to actually be aware of that. Credit cards are not free money, and too many cards + reckless spending will quickly have dire consequences for them.
    March 20, 2014
    Photo of David R.
    By: David Rabenberg
    As a student, I am currently using the Discover "It card". Having virtually no credit history, I was a little worried I wouldn't get approved, but had read reviews that said it was a fairly easy card to get approved for....and it was! I was instantly approved, and what a great card it is!! Good rewards, good customer service, and you get your credit score shown on every statement, which is a nice bonus!
    March 19, 2014
    Photo of Chanel M.
    By: Chanel Mills
    I think students should have a least 1 credit card, so if they have an emergency when they are away from home, they will have something to fall back on. Parents should teach their children, before they go off to school how to use the card wisely.
    March 24, 2014
    Photo of Scott Daly
    Scott Daly
    I couldn't agree more. When I was in college, I had a credit card through the bank I used. That thing saved me I don't know how many times. I think it is very important to have a low-maximum credit card as a college student. Great for emergencies, it prevents abuse, and is amazing for building up credit.
    March 10, 2014
    Photo of Sam S.
    By: Sam Simmons
    I've been using my Wells Fargo Cash Back College Credit Card for about 6 months. It's a great card in that there are no fees, and the cash-back bonus is actually pretty high. I trust Wells Fargo -- they have excellent customer service. I called them recently to set up automatic transfers and they were able to help me with that in just a few short minutes. All in all, the card is great for someone like me who doesn't need a very high spending allowance and is just starting to build credit. I think I will stick with this card for all four years of my college experience!
    March 6, 2014
    Photo of Marcia S.
    By: Marcia SilveRose
    To be frank, I am not convinced college students should have any credit cards and certainly not more than one. It is just way too easy to go into debt, especially for those who already have student loans and such that they are obligated to pay back. Students need to learn to pay as they go. It's the framework for their future. One credit card for emergencies or serious jams is all they should need, and hopefully that's a credit card with a lower credit limit. College kids are not doing themselves any favor by turning to plastic before they have even really started living a professional life. Graduating from college owing thousands of dollars is not advisable.
    March 18, 2014
    Photo of Karrie Bauer
    Karrie Bauer
    I agree with you to a certain extent but I think it's a good idea for college students to have one credit card to use, so they can start building their credit.
    February 25, 2014
    Photo of Michael C.
    By: Michael Covarrubias
    There are great credit cards out there to help you build your credit. It's extremely useful as you get older and need to apply for an apartment or get a car. So should a college student start building up their credit? Absolutely, one of my personal favorite credit cards is Discover it for students, you get low interest, no annual fee and paying late won't increase your APR, what's not to like about it. Plus the nice thing about the card is you don't have to have an excellent credit score to apply.
    February 21, 2014
    Photo of Teresa C.
    By: Teresa Cron
    College students should have two credit cards. A college student should have a Costco American Express Card and a Visa card. The Costco American Express card is awesome because it is the best for fraud protection, it can be used for purchases at Costco, you earn cash back for purchases, and there's no annual fee with the purchase of a Costco membership. Costco has great deals for college students who are on a budget. Owning a Visa is ideal because Visa is accepted almost everywhere. Your Visa should be used where American Express is not accepted. Using your credit card builds your credit score if used responsibly and a high credit score will benefit the student in the future. Credit cards are also great for emergencies. I strongly believe that students should own two credit cards.
    February 19, 2014
    Photo of Charlie S.
    By: Charlie Shields
    I have the Citi Forward card and love it. I use my Discover card to get cash back on most of my purchases, but for certain things the Citi Forward card is a better deal. They give you bonus points for eating out and entertainment. So when I go to the movies, bowling, or out to eat, I put the charge on this card rather than my Discover. And the points build up fairly fast. I recently redeemed my points over about four months for a $50 Walmart gift card. It's a great deal. Plus, I like having a Visa in addition to my Discover because there are still a few places that only accept Visa and Mastercard.
    February 15, 2014
    Photo of Charles M.
    By: Charles McCoy
    I like the State Farm Bank Student Visa Credit Card because it gives a great APR percentage and many options for customization of payment plans.
    February 12, 2014
    Photo of Seth H.
    By: Seth Hughes
    Credit cards, no matter what kind, can be very useful and very dangerous at the same time. A student who is in college, working a part time job, maybe living in a dorm, doing what he can to get by, may find a credit card useful. This is only true if he is able to understand the consequences of his spending behavior. In my opinion, no student should have over two credit cards. He should use them occasionally and pay off his balance in full at the end of the billing cycle to build up a good credit history. The more credit and credit cards we have available to us, the more we tend to spend. This is why I highly suggest any student not accumulating too many cards. Over time, he or she may slowly creep them selves into a hole which is hard to get out of. I learned this in my college years. Credit cards are not free money. Get one or two for emergencies and to make ends meet, but nothing further.
    February 2, 2014
    Photo of Debra S.
    By: Debra Sepe
    As much as I believe college students need the freedom to really begin learning how to take care of themselves including financially, I have seen students get into serious trouble due to alcohol and other substances that they were able to purchase because they had a credit card and some with high limits. Working in a very busy Emergency Room I see on a regular basis such a case. The solution I think, is to allow the credit cards but with a smaller limit, once that limit is reached they would have to have more funds placed on it to continue to use the credit card. $300 per card in my opinion would be around the correct amount that will not be a hindrance on the purchases that they need to make, but would allow for more thought to be out into what they will purchase with less funds available.
    January 29, 2014
    Photo of Derek H.
    By: Derek Hicks
    I think it is pretty wise for a student to have one card, and one card only. With multiple cards the temptation to spend recklessly is higher. They may max out one card, and think to themselves that it's okay, because they've still got one (or more) cards left to use. With one card, it is easier to remain frugal and efficient with their spending choices. Their single card should have a lower credit limit, with cash-back rewards available for necessary purchases only, such as food, school supplies, and gas.
    February 12, 2014
    Photo of Phillip Cassidy
    Phillip Cassidy
    Yes, and you need to be sure that you can pay it off at the end of the month. Buy a small ticket item, that you can afford to pay off immediately. Do not pay the minimum amount, you can not afford to pay interest as a college student. Also, when you go out at night for dinner or drinks with friends, leave the card at home. You may wake up the next day with a $100 balance!
    January 28, 2014
    Photo of Roscoe H.
    By: Roscoe Hillman
    I was a student and got myself a visa credit card. It had a six hundred dollar limit and at the time I was not so responsible with my money. I used that credit card up and now I am in debt. My advice is don't get a credit card until you are ready for one.
    January 31, 2014
    Photo of Robert James
    Robert James
    I think it is a necessity to build credit when you are young, and you should have a parent help you along the way. Simply waiting until you're ready will not allow you to make mistakes if you are prone to financial mishaps, and you need to learn while you are young before it will become a bigger issue as an adult.
    January 16, 2014
    Photo of Samantha H.
    By: Samantha Hansel
    I believe that a student should have a credit card, but only if used with caution. Credit can be a dangerous trap, a way to buy now and procrastinate on pay off. A lot of students don't realize the consequences of credit card debt on the future, and that should be an area of education for any one obtaining a student credit card. On the other hand, having a student credit card can help establish some credit to assist with future loans and home-owning, plus it can teach about financial responsibility and management. If the student pays off the balance on the card each month and doesn't accrue interest, a credit card is a nice thing to have in case of financial emergencies or situations. In summation, a student should have a single credit card to use for emergencies and/or to pay off each month for the establishment of credit. Beyond that, it's just not worth it.
    February 16, 2014
    Photo of Scott Smith
    Scott Smith
    This could not be more accurate, and needs to be seen more. A credit card is a very useful way to build credit, but ONLY if handled responsibly. It's entirely too easy to just say "I'll do it later", but if you don't pay it off asap, you're spending so much more money than you need to, and you have the potential of screwing up the next 10+ years of your credit life.
    January 15, 2014
    Photo of Jovan A.
    By: Jovan Abrams
    A student should have a credit card, because it's a great way for them to build/establish credit on their own. I would advise a student to research which credit card works best for their uses and students who do not want to get their own credit card should consider becoming an authorized user on one of their parents' account. It's very important for a student to understand that not all credit cards are the same and if they're the sole owner of the credit card the responsibility of paying their credit card bill on time is theirs. As a student it's best to use your credit card for small purchases and avoid making large purchases on it. I would recommend either a retail credit card to a student, because it offers smaller benefits and a lower credit limit. A retail credit card when paid on time is a great way for a student to build credit. Also, if a student opts for a major credit card, I would advise a student to select one with no annual fee, low interest rates, cash back base on qualifying purchases, and a low credit limit. As a student never apply for more than one credit cards at a time, this increases the chance of using credit that you do not have the ability to repay on time.
    January 13, 2014
    Photo of Hollie B.
    By: Hollie Baker
    For A student choosing a credit card that will begin your credit journey can be daunting. I think that it is a wise choice not only to build credit but to have something to fall back on for purchases such as textbooks, food, and housing. I think having at least 2 cards is a good idea. Of course they should do their research and try and find a low interest rate that will suit their needs. There is no need for the bells and whistles of a card that comes with crazy rewards at this point, since most students are just trying to get by on what they have and need. I agree choosing a card with cash back for everyday expenditures is a great idea for students.
    January 10, 2014
    Photo of Derek H.
    By: Derek Hicks
    A credit card for a student is a tight-rope walk between freedom and restraint. I understand the temptation to go out and spend, spend, spend may be high for an individual getting their first credit card. That's why I think it is most important that a student credit card come with a low credit limit. It really should not be any higher than around $1,000. I am glad I never had a card in college, or else I'm worried I would not have the excellent credit I have today. Not all students would be such spend-thrifts, of course, but setting a low spending limit is a good way to insure that those who can not control themselves do not go out and cause irreparable harm to their credit. Interest rates on these student credit cards should be high enough that students are hesitant on spending when not necessary, but not so high as to trap them into only being able to pay the minimum each month. Finally, a student card should include cash back rewards, but only on purchases absolutely essential, such as clothing, gas, textbooks, and other school supplies.
    January 8, 2014
    Photo of Nina A.
    By: Nina Araneta
    I think that students need credit cards to help them learn how to manage their money. Student credit cards on the whole are easier to get and have for the most part, positive incentives compared to regular credit cards offered to those who have little credit history. You just gotta be careful about reading all the terms and be very selective as well. I got my first student credit card when I was in my late teens and I made sure that the terms were beneficial to me, like low APR, no annual fee, cash rewards, etc. It really helped me in the long run.So I think it's important for students to take advantage of this because the longer you wait for establishing credit, the more narrow your choices are, especially now that banks are much more selective in giving credit away.
    January 7, 2014
    Photo of Doug M.
    By: Doug MyVegas
    I think learning to manage credit correctly is one of the most important things a student can learn. I believe avoiding credit altogether is just as bad as using it in unwise ways. It makes sense for students to get credit cards while enrolled. I think students should have 2 or 3 credit cards. You need to learn how to manage multiple bills and how to be responsible. Also students tend to have very little credit history, and this will help begin to build it up.
    January 2, 2014
    Photo of Lisa W.
    By: Lisa West
    I think a student credit card should be created not only with younger people in mind, but anyone who may be going back to school and having special education-related expenses. Above all there should be cash back rewards on educational materials and related purchases. I know many students would use their card everywhere they go on campus or otherwise if they knew they could receive cash back on all of their purchases. Interest rates should be reasonable and affordable and there should be no annual fees and a grace period for late payments. Students with a credit card are typically using one for the first time and need the flexibility of a card as they are only just learning how to use responsibly. Making it easier for them to do that would help young people become responsible consumers in the future.
    December 26, 2013
    Photo of Sarah M.
    By: Sarah Marshall-Switcher
    I think the most important feature for a student card would be affordability- the card should be easy to use without costing an arm and a leg. So low interest rate, no annual fee. Most students do not have credit to speak of, so a card that is accepting of lower credit rating would be nice. All of these things would need to be coupled with a very low spending limit that you could gradually build up by making your payments on time. Any kind of cash back thing should apply to school purchases- so cash back for books, laptops, etc.
    December 19, 2013
    Photo of Doug M.
    By: Doug Miller
    I think the best feature on Student Credit Cards would be a categorized statement that showed where you spend your money. Also a very detailed breakdown of the true costs of not paying everything in full each month. Cash back that can be applied to the balance is also important, but I’d say the single biggest benefit would be no annual fee.