Student Credit Cards

A student credit card can be a useful step toward improving your credit rating if you’re going through college or you’re emerging from the other side and need some financial assistance.

These cards don’t always have the best rates, nor are their reward schemes as generous as other rewards credit cards. But you don’t need a huge credit rating to get these cards because while most credit cards require a “Good” or “Excellent” score, student credit cards often require a score in the “Average” range.

Best Credit Cards for Students

If you have terrible credit or no credit at all, check with our guide to credit cards for bad credit instead. These cards aren’t a given, even if you’re a student. You still need a decent score. In other words, they are the step before “real” credit cards, but they are not necessarily the first step.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Student Credit Card

The Journey Student Rewards card from Capital One is a student credit card created with credit building in mind. It offers a number of incentives to get you to spend and is built around helping you to grow your credit score.

You can check your credit report for free, upgrade following responsible use, and choose a payment date that best fits your schedule.

The only downside is the high APR, which is set for everyone. But the truth is, unless you’re a student with a high credit score, which is a rarity, then you will always end up with the upper end of the APR you see advertised.

It’s a card that adapts to the customer from a lender that has clearly put some thought into creating it, and that’s why it’s top of our list of the best student credit cards.

What are the Benefits?

  • Gain access to a higher line of credit following five months of punctual payments.
  • Free credit checks and alerts.
  • $0 fraud liability.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • 24.99 APR variable.

What are the Rewards?

  • 1% cashback on purchases.
  • 1.25% cashback if you meet repayments on time.

Do You Qualify?

You don’t need to be a student to apply for this card. It can be used by anyone with Poor to Good credit who is looking to improve their score and get a higher line of credit with a trusted lender.

Discover It for Students

Student Reward Credit Cards

We have covered the Discover It card in some of our previous guides. It’s a Discover card, which isn’t as widely used as Visa, MasterCard or even American Express, but it has benefits that greatly favor students and it can be used at most major retailers, including Amazon.

In fact, when you get the discover It for Students you will get up to 5% cashback on many purchases and these can be earned and redeemed through Amazon. If you limit all of your purchasing to this big store as many students do, then this will come in handy.

There are a number of other rewards and benefits too, and these come with a 14.49% to 23.49% APR and no annual fee.

What are the Benefits?

  • 0% APR on purchases for 6 months.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • No late fees.
  • 10.99% on balance transfers for 6 months.
  • Free credit report.
  • No penalty APR.

What are the Rewards?

  • Get $20 in credit every year that your GPA is 3.0 or more.
  • Earn 5% limited cashback at select retailers.
  • Earn 1% unlimited on everything else.
  • Get twice the amount of cashback in your first year (paid out at the end of the year).

Do You Qualify?

If you have a credit score of more than 600 then you should be able to get this card. If your score is anywhere in or above the “Good” range, there will not be an issue.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Card for Students

The Best Student Credit Cards

Every student wants to travel to see the world, and with the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card you can build toward that dream. Got your eye on a gap year? Fancy a blow-out Spring Break? See what this card can offer you.

It has all of the usual benefits that you would expect from a top credit card, including fraud protection, a respectable APR range, free access to your FICO score and overdraft protection.

Where it differs from other student credit cards is that the rewards program is geared towards travel benefits—the more you spend and the quicker you pay, the more of the world you can see.

What are the Benefits?

  • $0 annual fee.
  • 0% APR for first 12 billing cycles.
  • 0% on balance transfers for first 60 days.
  • 14.74% to 24.74% APR.
  • Great card for building your credit score.

What are the Rewards?

  • 3% cash back on gas for first $2,500.
  • 2% cashback on groceries.
  • 1% cashback on all other purchases.
  • $150 bonus after spending at least $500 during first 3 months.
  • Eligible for benefits in the Preferred Rewards program.
  • 10% bonus on points when redeemed into a BoA checking account.
  • Points can be redeemed on travel and more.

Do You Qualify?

If you have an “Average” score or above then you may qualify for the Bank of America Travel Rewards Card.

Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students

Credit Cards for Students

The ThankYou student credit card rewards you for having fun and taking time away from your studies to chill and socialize. It has a rewards program that gives you extra points when you pay for dining and entertainment, which means a trip to the cinema or theatre followed by a meal will earn you twice as many points as the same amount of money spent on bills or groceries.

This card may require a higher credit score, but with a generous reward scheme and some great signup benefits, it’s well worth taking a chance.

What are the Benefits?

  • 0% APR on purchases for first 7 months.
  • 15.99% to 25.99% after introductory period ends.
  • No annual fee.

What are the Rewards?

  • Earn unlimited points on all purchases.
  • Double points for dining and entertainment purchases.
  • 2,500 free points when you spend more than $500 in first three months.
  • Points do not expire.

Do You Qualify?

You will need a higher credit score to qualify for this student credit card than you will need for the others listed on this page. Typically, anything above 650 is accepted, but that is no guarantee that a higher score will be accepted or that a lower one will be refused.