Student Credit Cards and the Importance of Building a Credit History

It’s very crucial to build a good credit history as soon as you start college. It will be very beneficial for the future. For example, when renting an apartment, applying for a car loan, setting up utilities and getting hired at companies can all include a credit check. If you have a good credit score than you can qualify for lower interest rates and reduced or no down-payments. Student cards are for users under the age of 21 that have trouble otherwise qualifying or getting authorized user status on their parents’ credit cards.

The following are some important components to consider when selecting a student credit card:

  • The card should report to at least 2 of three credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax
  • Avoid cards with an annual fee
  • Interest Rates (Introductory 0% interest periods are sometimes offered)
  • Rewards (1% or higher is good for a starter ; incentives may be offered)
  • Foreign Transaction Fees and Usage. If you need to make purchases outside the country usually there is a 1-3% charge. Discover and Capital One typically don’t charge these fees. Make sure that your card can be used in other countries.
  • Look into Secured Credit Cards: These are good if you cannot qualify for a student credit card. They do require a security deposit, but these can be earned back when you upgrade it to a “regular” credit card.

Discover it® Student Cash Back
The Discover it® Student Cash Back gives students the same excellent rewards as the regular Discover it® Cash Back — notably, bonus cash back in rotating categories that you must activate. Rewards are good, but will require additional work keeping track of the categories.

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is good because it is easier to get approved given that there is no security deposit or co-signer requirements. 1% back on all purchases as well.

Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card
The Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card offers is a good option for getting rewards despite only using your credit card for doing several small purchases.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students
1.5X points per $1 spent on all purchases, and no foreign transaction fees. 25,000 bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening, which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases

Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card
There is 6 months of 0 percent APR and a 3% balance transfer fee. There is also a 3% cash back rewards on all gas, grocery, and drugstores purchases for the first 6 months and 1% cash back on other purchases. All this comes with no annual fee for the card.

Published by Magda Wojtara

Magda Wojtara is Junior at the LSA Honors College at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor on a pre-med track with a major in Neuroscience. In her free time, she write articles, volunteers at a chronic pain outpatient facility with UM Medicine, does research, competes in HOSA, and, of course, enjoys photography and singing. In her spare time she manages her own travel and lifestyle blog: @journeythedestiantion on instagram and journeythedestination.weebly.com

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