Best Student Credit Cards in 2021

[Fees, Bonuses, & Rewards]

The best student credit cards are the ones that offer the lowest fees on foreign transactions and that give the ultimate bonuses or rewards. If you’re struggling to find an ideal credit card, then today’s article will assist you. We’ll be reviewing the top 7 student credit cards. Find out how we conducted our research by checking out our methodology and take a look at the buyer’s guide and the benefits of signing up for a student credit card below.

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Top 7 College Student Credit Cards in 2021

1. Discover it® Student Chrome

Students who want to save money and have financial freedom will benefit from Discover It. This company has excellent rewards and cashback programs that encourage students to do well in college. You can get $20 cashback every year simply for maintaining a 3.0 GPA. Full Review

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Has no annual fees
  • 0% APR for the first 6 months
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Students who want to save money and have financial freedom will benefit from Discover It. This company has excellent rewards and cashback programs that encourage students to do well in college. You can get $20 cashback every year simply for maintaining a 3.0 GPA. Full Review

Bank Requirements

★★★★★ 5/5

Application Process

★★★★☆ 4/5

Bonuses and Rewards

★★★★★ 5/5

Rates & Fees

★★★★☆ 4/5

2. Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

With Deserve EDU Mastercard you can build up your credit history and get excellent cashback rewards at the same time. If you want to save on shipping costs from Amazon, the Deserve EDU Mastercard will reward you with $59 after you spend $500 on credit. This credit card is suitable for foreign students too. Full Review

  • One of the student credit cards with guaranteed approval
  • 0% annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
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With Deserve EDU Mastercard you can build up your credit history and get excellent cashback rewards at the same time. If you want to save on shipping costs from Amazon, the Deserve EDU Mastercard will reward you with $59 after you spend $500 on credit. This credit card is suitable for foreign students too. Full Review

Bank Requirements

★★★★★ 5/5

Application Process

★★★★☆ 4/5

Bonuses and Rewards

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Rates & Fees

★★★★☆ 4/5

3. The Jasper Mastercard

If you’re looking for a credit card company that will give you instant approval, then Jasper Mastercard is the best choice. You don’t need to have credit history to sign up. This means it's perfect for students who want to build credit history from scratch. Full Review

  • One of the student credit cards with an easy approval process
  • Straightforward terms and fees
  • No social security number required
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If you’re looking for a credit card company that will give you instant approval, then Jasper Mastercard is the best choice. You don’t need to have credit history to sign up. This means it's perfect for students who want to build credit history from scratch. Full Review

Bank Requirements

★★★★★ 5/5

Application Process

★★★★★ 5/5

Bonuses and Rewards

★★★★☆ 4/5

Rates & Fees

★★★★☆ 4/5

4. Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students

Bank of America is ideal for students who travel frequently because there are no foreign exchange fees and you get bonus rewards when you travel. You can get up to a $250 bonus that can go towards travel expenses when you spend $1,000 or more on your card. Full Review

  • 25,000 bonus points if you make a $1,000 purchase
  • Best travel student credit cards
  • No foreign transaction fee
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Bank of America is ideal for students who travel frequently because there are no foreign exchange fees and you get bonus rewards when you travel. You can get up to a $250 bonus that can go towards travel expenses when you spend $1,000 or more on your card. Full Review

Bank Requirements

★★★★☆ 4/5

Application Process

★★★★☆ 4/5

Bonuses and Rewards

★★★★★ 5/5

Rates & Fees

★★★★☆ 4/5

5. Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card

Chase Freedom is one of the best student credit cards for college because of the 0% annual fee, bonus, and cashback rewards you get. One of the perks of this credit card is that your points don’t expire. Your cashback rewards are paid into your account automatically. Full Review

  • No expiration date on points
  • Has no annual fees
  • 1% cashback on purchases you make
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Chase Freedom is one of the best student credit cards for college because of the 0% annual fee, bonus, and cashback rewards you get. One of the perks of this credit card is that your points don’t expire. Your cashback rewards are paid into your account automatically. Full Review

Bank Requirements

★★★★☆ 4/5

Application Process

★★★★☆ 4/5

Bonuses and Rewards

★★★★☆ 4/5

Rates & Fees

★★★★★ 5/5

6. CapitalOne Quicksilver Cash

CapitalOne Quicksilver has an excellent payment network so you’ll get your cashback rewards automatically every month. There’s also an excellent $200 signup bonus and no annual fees. This credit card is suitable for students who travel abroad regularly because there are no foreign transaction fees. Full Review

  • 0% intro APR for the first 15 months
  • $200 sign up bonus
  • No annual fee
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CapitalOne Quicksilver has an excellent payment network so you’ll get your cashback rewards automatically every month. There’s also an excellent $200 signup bonus and no annual fees. This credit card is suitable for students who travel abroad regularly because there are no foreign transaction fees. Full Review

Bank Requirements

★★★★☆ 4/5

Application Process

★★★★★ 5/5

Bonuses and Rewards

★★★★☆ 4/5

Rates & Fees

★★★★☆ 4/5

7. OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

With OpenSky, you can get preapproved for a credit card even if you have a poor credit score. This credit card company offers fraud liability and auto insurance. It’s also one of the best student credit cards with the highest limit on credit which is ideal for building an excellent credit score. Full Review

  • Provides credit tips to students
  • No credit checks
  • No need for a bank account
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With OpenSky, you can get preapproved for a credit card even if you have a poor credit score. This credit card company offers fraud liability and auto insurance. It’s also one of the best student credit cards with the highest limit on credit which is ideal for building an excellent credit score. Full Review

Bank Requirements

★★★★★ 5/5

Application Process

★★★★☆ 4/5

Bonuses and Rewards

★★★☆☆ 3/5

Rates & Fees

★★★★☆ 4/5

How We Created This List – Our Methodology

In this section, we discuss how we evaluated each student credit card. Additionally, you’ll find out what you need to sign up for a student credit card and what fees are involved when you do. Below is the information you can expect to find in each company review:

  • Requirements.

When opting for one of the best student credit cards you must first look at what is required for approval. Most credit card companies require you to be 18 years or older to apply. Furthermore, you must be registered as a full-time student and have a minimum income or allowance of $800.

  • Application and preapproval process.

Some credit card companies will allow you to sign up for your card online. You’ll have to fill in all your details on the company website to get approved. You can get instant approvals if you meet the requirements of the company. Preapproval means that the company has run a soft inquiry credit check but you’ll still need to hand in a full, detailed application in order to qualify for your student credit card.

  • Fees, APR, annual fees, limits, and foreign transaction fees.

Some student credit card companies offer low interest expenses and annual fees. You must look at foreign transaction fees to see whether you’ll be able to afford them if you travel with the income or allowance you get. See if the company has a low annual percentage rate (APR). There are companies that have 0% APRs.

  • Bonuses and rewards.

The best credit cards for students will offer cashback rewards and other types of bonuses. See which one of the top 7 student credit card companies on our review list offers the best rewards.

Detailed Reviews

Discover it® Student Chrome
Discover it® Student Chrome

Best if You Want to Prequalify for Student Credit Cards

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  • 0% APR for the first 6 months
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Has no annual fees
  • You must be a US college student to apply
  • Cashback must be activated every quarter

Discover It is one of the top college student credit cards on the market. If you’re looking for a way to fund food for your dormitory or go on field trips, you’ll appreciate the financial freedom this card provides.

Cashback Reward

With Discover It, you get 5% cashback rewards on everyday purchases when you pay for services at a gas station or buy from Amazon. For other types of purchases, you get 1% automatic cashback.

Bonus Offer

The Discover It card encourages you to get good grades by offering a $20 Good Grades Rewards each year. As a cardholder, you must get a 3.0 GPA or higher to qualify for this bonus offer.

APR (standard/penalty)

Discover It has a regular APR between 12% and 21.99%. Additionally, there’s a 0% APR for the first 6 months of being a cardholder with the company.

Annual Fees

One of the benefits of using Discover It is that there are no annual fees. So you can use your money on more important tasks such as repayments or putting cash into savings.

Late Payment Fee

The maximum late payment fee for Discover It is $39. On the other hand, you won’t be charged a late payment fee for your first offense. You have a 25-day grace period to pay your fees which is an excellent feature if you’re having financial troubles.

Minimum Credit Score

You’ll get the best offers if you have a minimum credit score of 670. But this is a credit card company that caters to students. Therefore Discover It also offers the best student credit cards for bad credit.

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

Best Student Credit Cards With No Deposit

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  • One of the student credit cards with guaranteed approval
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • 0% annual fee
  • No welcome bonus
  • Has no special finance offers

Deserve EDU Mastercard is one of the top student credit cards after graduation. If you need extra funds for college, then you’ll appreciate the cashback and bonus rewards Deserve offers you. This card is also geared towards international college students so it doesn’t require any credit history.

Cashback Reward

With Deserve EDU Mastercard for students, you get 1% cashback on all purchases. Once you’re approved and you start using your card you’ll immediately start earning cashback rewards. You can earn points every time you swipe to buy groceries, clothes, or other items you need.

Bonus Offer

When you spend $500 or more in the first three billing cycles you get a year of Amazon Prime Student that’s valued at $59. This is an excellent perk that allows you to save on shipping costs when you buy on Amazon.

APR (standard/penalty)

There is 0% intro APR but the standard APR is 18.74%.

Annual Fees

There are no annual fees on the Deserve EDU Mastercard making it ideal for students on a budget. You can save your money or use the cash towards repayments.

Late Payment Fee

The late payment fee for this card is $25 which is quite high for a student credit card. Nevertheless, it does encourage you to make payments on time to save money.

Minimum Credit Score

The reason why Deserve EDU Mastercard is the ideal credit card for students is that you don’t have to have a credit score to apply. This guarantees your approval when you apply for your credit card.

The Jasper Mastercard
The Jasper Mastercard

Best Unsecured Student Credit Cards

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  • One of the student credit cards with an easy approval process
  • High late payment fees
  • No balance transfer offer
  • No social security number required
  • Straightforward terms and fees

The Jasper Mastercard is one of the best cash back student credit cards on the market. It’s suitable for young adults who are new to building credit and need to do so from scratch. This credit card is ideal for exchange students because you don’t need a US social security number to apply.

Cashback Reward

You’ll get 1% cashback on all purchases. The benefit of Jasper Mastercard is that you’ll get your cashback rewards automatically every month. So the more you spend, the more cashback rewards you’ll receive, which is an ideal way to accumulate funds.

Bonus Offer

Jasper Mastercard currently doesn’t offer a welcome bonus. But you can get other benefits from using this credit card. The company offers shopping and travel protections. The Jasper Mastercard Travel and Lifestyle services offer discounts at hotels and airlines.

APR (standard/penalty)

There are no penalty APRs but the standard APR is between 15.49% and 24.99%.

Annual Fees

There are no annual fees to pay so you can put that money into savings instead or use it to make repayments.

Late Payment Fee

If you fail to make a repayment you will be charged a $27 late fee. It’s advised that you check what the company’s charge offs terms and conditions are to ensure you don’t get blacklisted.

Minimum Credit Score

This is one of the best student credit cards for easy approval because the company doesn’t require you to have a credit history or a social security number.

  • 25,000 bonus points if you make a $1,000 purchase
  • You need an excellent credit score to be approved
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Best travel student credit cards
  • No incentives to practice good financial habits

Bank of America has the best student credit card offers. It’s an ideal credit card if you want to travel during school breaks or if you want to study abroad. This is because the awards program is structured for students who travel.

Cashback Reward

You can earn 1.5X points for every $1 you spend on all your purchases and your cashback will be transferred to you automatically each month.

Bonus Offer

With Bank of America, you can earn 25,000 points if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days of being a cardholder. You can redeem these points with a statement credit of $250 that will go towards travel.

APR (standard/penalty)

There is a 0% intro APR for the first 12 billing cycles. The regular APR is between 16.49% and 24.49%.

Annual Fees

There’s no annual fee charge or foreign transaction fees. So you can purchase goods from another country without the extra charges on your card. This makes it ideal for travel.

Late Payment Fee

The late payment fee is $40 which is one of the highest late payment fees you can get. To avoid late penalty fees consider signing up for automatic withdraw services from the company.

Minimum Credit Score

The downside to the Bank of America card is that you’ll need an excellent credit score of 750. This can make it difficult for students who don’t have a credit history yet to sign up for a card.

  • 1% cashback on purchases you make
  • No expiration date on points
  • Has no annual fees
  • 3% foreign exchange fee
  • Won’t be approved unless you have a minimum length of credit history

Chase Freedom is another student credit card that’s suitable for college students. It seeks to maximize cashback earnings across purchase categories. The Chase Freedom student credit card offers purchase protection that covers damages or theft for the first 120 days after buying your products.

Cashback Reward

You can get the best student credit card deals with Chase Freedom. The company offers a 1% cashback on every purchase you make. Your cashback rewards will automatically be added to your account every month.

Bonus Offer

If you keep your account up to date and you pay your bills on time you can earn $20. You’ll also get a $50 bonus when you make your first purchase with your credit card.

APR (standard/penalty)

Your regular APR on the Chase Freedom student credit card is 14.99%. There’s no introductory APR.

Annual Fees

There is no annual fee for the Chase Freedom student credit card. This makes it ideal for students who are on a tight budget and don’t have extra expenses to pay for annual fees.

Late Payment Fee

You can expect to pay up to $39 on late payment fees. But the company does give you a 21-day grace period to pay your account in full.

Minimum Credit Score

Chase Freedom Student’s credit card requirements include having a 700 or more credit score before you can be approved.

CapitalOne Quicksilver Cash
CapitalOne Quicksilver Cash

Best Credit Card for High School Students

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  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 0% intro APR for the first 15 months
  • $200 sign up bonus
  • No annual fee
  • High regular APRs
  • High acquiring bank credit scores

CapitalOne Quicksilver Cash is one of the top student credit cards for high school. This is because it’s a straightforward way to earn cash. The perk is that there are no rotating cashback categories that need quarterly enrollments.

Cashback Reward

You get 1.5% cashback rewards on every purchase you make with your CapitalOne Quicksilver credit card. On other student credit cards comparison reviews, there are some companies that only give you cashback rewards on certain purchases. But with CapitalOne Quicksilver you can get your reward on any purchase you make with your card.

Bonus Offer

Get a $200 cash bonus when you spend more than $500 in the first three months.

APR (standard/penalty)

There is a 0% APR for the first 15 months. The regular APR is between 15.49% and 25.49%.

Annual Fees

There are no annual fees and no foreign exchange fees. This means you can still earn rewards and not get charged when you make purchases overseas.

Late Payment Fee

For the first late payment fee, you can expect to pay $29. If you fail to pay on time thereafter you will pay $40.

Minimum Credit Score

CapitalOne Quicksilver requires a credit score of 700 which is quite high for students.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card
OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

Best Credit Card for Poor Credit Scores

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  • No need for a bank account
  • Provides credit tips to students
  • No credit checks
  • High annual fees
  • A $200 deposit is required

Since this is a secured credit card it’s the only one on our review list that doesn’t offer cashback rewards. On the other hand, this card is best suited for credit building.

Bonus Offer

There is no signup bonus or any type of reward on the OpenSky Secured Visa. But the company does offer 0% on fraud liability coverage.

APR (standard/penalty)

The regular APR for OpenSky is 17.39%. There is no intro APR.

Annual Fees

You can expect to pay $35 annually for your account and a 5% cash advance fee.

Late Payment Fee

OpenSky charges $38 for late payments. The company also offers a 25-day grace period so you can pay your account without being charged for the late fee.

Minimum Credit Score

The Open Sky Secured Visa offers student credit cards with no credit history or poor credit scores.

Student Credit Card – Buyer’s Guide

As you can see in our reviews there are quite a few college student credit cards on the market. So how do you pick one that’s ideal for your requirements? If you’re still unsure perhaps the following buyer’s guide can help you make a decision when picking a credit card with the best unsecured loans.

How to Choose the Best Student Credit Cards

When looking for student credit cards, make sure to take these factors into consideration:

Purpose (for purchases, for building credit history, for travels, etc)

Before you pick a student credit card you must decide what you want it for. Do you need to make lunch purchases? Or perhaps you stay on campus and need to buy food for your dormitory? Some students use credit cards to build credit history so they can optimize their score. You can also use your student credit card to pay for travels or clothing for events.

There are college student credit cards that allow you to pay for further education or for extracurricular activities. So when you opt for your card decide what you want to use it for so you can budget for repayments accordingly.

Is There an Income Threshold?

You must have an income or an allowance to apply for a student credit card. If you don’t have a monthly income you can allow a parent or guardian to open up a joint account to make monthly repayments. There isn’t a set amount that you need to earn in order to be approved for a student credit card. But a higher salary can assist with getting approved.

Additionally, students are liable for income tax but you have to earn a certain amount before you start paying taxes. If your income threshold is $12,200 or lower then you don’t have to pay taxes.

Bank Requirements (minimal credit score)

For you to apply for a student credit card you must be 18 years or older. You also mustn’t have a negative FICO score. Some banks will approve a student credit score if you have a minimum credit score of 620. Here is a list of additional bank requirements you must have for your student credit card to be approved:

  • You have to be a US citizen
  • You have to have a social security number
  • You have to have proof of income
  • You have to in fact be a part-time or full-time student

Annual Fees

Since students earn less than people who work full time there are some companies that don’t require annual fees. These are the best student credit cards to build credit because you don’t have to pay any extra fees.

There are different types of interests you may have to include in your repayments. Check each company and compare their rates to find one that’s budget-friendly. You must ensure that you can afford repayments every month, so pick one with the lowest interest rates.

Rewards/Bonuses on Offer

Some of the best credit card companies for students offer cashback rewards and bonuses. You can get up to 1% cashback on purchases and a credit limit of $300. For first-time cardholders, you can get a cash bonus of $50 or more.

Additional Perks and Advantages

It’s easier to get approved for a student credit card than it is for a standard credit card. There are credit cards young adults can use to build up their scores and they don’t have to worry about high fees. Companies offer free credit reports so you don’t have to pay unnecessary costs to be approved for your card.

Advantages of Student Credit Cards – Student Credit Cards vs Regular Ones

Do you want to know how your student credit card can help you in the present and in the future? Let’s take a look at the advantages of a student credit card and the type of security it can offer you.

Building Credit History

It’s difficult to build a strong credit history especially if you have a low income. Some people can’t afford credit cards as adults because of low income or financial stress. But student credit cards give you an opportunity to build an excellent credit score with low fees.

Additionally, if you have an excellent payment history it will optimize your credit score so you can make bigger purchases in the future. If you want to take out a home loan or a personal loan for a car you’ll need a high credit score. Having a student credit card is the ideal way to increase your score.

Building Financial Habits

Low-interest student credit cards allow you to build good financial habits. You’ll learn when to make repayments on time and you’ll minimize your spending. If you make late repayments some companies may charge you extra fees. Therefore, you’ll quickly learn the importance of paying bills on time.

With a credit card you’ll learn how to manage your finances effectively. This will minimize your stress as an adult because you’ll know exactly how to budget for all your expenses.

Make sure you read your repayment terms before signing up for your student credit card. These terms will give you a complete guide of what’s expected of you when you make repayments and what the consequences are should you fail to make the payment.

Gaining Financial Independence

You don’t want to be dependent on your parents for money. Sometimes you’ll want to travel, see a movie, buy clothes, or even pay for extra studies. A student credit card provides financial freedom so you can make your own decisions on what you want to spend your money on.

Best Student Credit Cards in 2021 at a Glance

Pick a student credit card company that has the best operating costs. You also want a credit card with a low interchange fee. Other perks of a student credit card are cashback rewards and signup bonuses. So make sure that the one you pick offers automatic cashback payments and excellent bonus rewards. To help you save on cash, a credit card company should have no annual fees. If you travel often, then pick a company that doesn’t charge for foreign transactions.

The reviews in today’s article cover the best student credit cards on the market. Which one will you pick for your purchases?

FAQ

What credit cards offer pre-qualification?

The credit cards that offer pre-qualification are Capital One, Discover It, American Express, and Bank of America. What’s more, you can opt for a free preapproval on all of these credit card websites.

Pre-qualification is an excellent way to see whether you have a chance of getting approved for a credit card. When you’re preapproved, it means that some or all of your details matched the eligibility criteria.

What is the easiest student credit card to get?

The easiest student credit card to get is OpenSky. That’s because they don’t conduct a hard credit check if you’re a first-time applicant. The company’s annual fees are also decent, charging only $35. OpenSky is a secured student credit card so it stops you from spending more than you can afford to pay back on the card.

What is the best credit card for students?

The best credit card for students is Discover It, especially if you want an excellent cashback reward. You can earn 5% cashback on purchases from shops like Amazon and even restaurants. The company has 0% annual fees and no foreign transaction fees. Discover It also offers a generous $50 welcome bonus.

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

If you are a student then you should get a student credit card. These types of credit cards have a lower credit limit. Furthermore, these are unsecured credit cards which means you don’t need a deposit for one. Interest rates are low and some companies don’t charge annual fees. If you’re a first-time applicant, you may get a cash advance reward such as the one Discover It offers.

What is the best credit card for a college student with no credit?

OpenSky is one of the best student credit cards you can get if you have a bad credit score or none at all. You can also qualify for a card without a credit check so it’s suitable for those who want a fast approval. The credit card company has a low annual fee and APR so it’s perfect for college students who need a financial boost.