Best Credit Cards for Students in USA

Updated on: 2021-10-16 - 5 mins read

Student credit cards are specifically designed for those pursuing post-secondary education and who are at least 18 years of age or the age of the majority in their province of residence. For making several major life decisions after graduation such as renting an apartment or applying for a loan needs a good credit score. Opening a college student credit card is a realistic way to initiate raising credit quickly while taking privilege of rewards and special financing offers. There are exuberant college student credit cards available, all offering various benefits for distinct type’s students – from travelers and foodies to commuters and international students. Some cards are forbearing with no credit history requirements, which means, you may be enabled without any credit history. You have to be 18 years of age and have a secured and fixed source of income. Here we have compiled few credit cards with their offers and best deals:

1. Discover it® Student Cash Back:

Discover it® Student Cash Back is best for cash back. This card offers college students designated in a two-or-four year college the chance to initiate credit and gain benefits. One must be over 18 and a U.S. citizen to apply. This card also provokes to maintain good grades by offering an annual $20 Good Grades Rewards statement credit each school year when you maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA (valid for up to five consecutive years).

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
Additional Features:
  • Intro APR is 0% for 6 months on purchases and Regular APR is 12.99% - 21.99% Variable. No Foreign Transaction Fee is charged.
Pros:
  • Cash-back program.
  • Generous welcome bonus.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
Cons:
  • Cash-back categories must be activated each quarter.
  • Cash-back program limits earnings: Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back in various categories on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases, then 1%.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen and college student to apply for this card.

2. Best of America® Travel Rewards for Students:

Best of America® Travel Rewards for Students is adequate preference for college students who intent on studying abroad or travel throughout vacation. The rewards are rigged towards travel, and cardholder receives 1.5 dollars spent on all purchases. Cardholder can retrieve rewards as a statement credit to cover the cost of qualifying travel purchases. One must be 18 or older and enrolled in school (college, vocational or trade school) to apply for this card.

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • Unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all purchases
Additional Features:
  • Intro APR is 0% for 6 months on purchases and Regular APR is 12.99% - 21.99% Variable. No Foreign Transaction Fee is charged.
Pros:
  • No limit or expiration on points.
  • You don’t have to be a U.S. citizen to apply for this card.
  • No fee charged on purchases made outside the U.S.
Cons:
  • Promotional 0% APR does not apply to balance transfers.
  • No student-centric benefits or incentives to practice responsible credit behavior.

3. Discover it® Student Chrome:

Discover it® Student Chrome is best for gas stations and restaurants. This card also provokes to maintain good grades by offering an annual $20 Good Grades Rewards statement credit each school year when you maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA (valid for up to five consecutive years). One must be over 18 and a U.S. citizen and enrolled in designated in a two-or-four-year college to apply for this card.

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • No student-centric benefits or incentives to practice responsible credit behavior.
Additional Features:
  • Intro APR is 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles on purchases and Regular APR is 13.99% to 23.99% variable. No Foreign Transaction Fee is charged.
Pros:
  • Cash-back program.
  • Generous welcome bonus.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years
Cons:
  • Cash-back program limits earnings: 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, then 1%.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen and college student to apply for this card.

4. Citi Rewards+ ℠ Student Card:

Citi Rewards+ ℠ Student Card is best for college students who make numerous small purchases. One must be 18 and must be enrolled in college to qualify for this card. The Citi Rewards+ Student Card is Citi’s only student card. One can earn 2X points per dollar at supermarkets and gas stations and get 10% of your points back on the first 100,000 you redeem per year. But the point roundup is the most interesting feature: Every purchase will round up to the nearest 10 points, even for small items of $1 or less.

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® points at supermarkets and gas stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X points on all other purchases.
Additional Features:
  • 0% for 6 months on purchases and Regular APR is 12.99% - 21.99% Variable. No Foreign Transaction Fee is charged.
Pros:
  • All purchases round up to the nearest 10 points.
  • Get 10% points back on all of your redemptions for the first 100,000 ThankYou® Points you redeem each year.
  • Welcome bonus worth $25 gift card.
Cons:
  • 3% fee on purchases made outside the U.S.
  • Short intro 0% APR period on new purchases.

5. Deserve® EDU MasterCard for Students:

Deserve® EDU MasterCard for Students is the rare college student card and is rigged towards international students. This card does not require any credit history it doesn’t require you to have a cosigner or make a security deposit. It provokes 1% cash back on all purchase cardholders do get a year of Amazon Prime Student after spending $500 in the first three billing cycles on their EDU card - valued at $59. Cardholders cannot make balance transfers or take out cash advances. You must be over 18, enrolled in college and have a U.S. bank account.

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • 1% cash back on all purchases.
Additional Features:
  • No Intro APR whereas Regular APR is 18.74% variable.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fee is Charged.
Pros:
  • No social security number needed to apply, perfect for international students.
  • No credit history required, great for credit newbies.
  • One year of Amazon Prime Student after spending $500 in the first three billing cycles (valued up to $59).
Cons:
  • No special financing offers.
  • No welcome bonus.

6. Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card:

The Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card is best for college students who want an uncomplicated card to reap rewards, without any concern about stimulating or keeping track of spending categories. The Chase Freedom Student card endeavour a flat 1% cash back rate on every purchase made. A Visa card, it has no annual fee, and has an easily achievable one-time offer. And, if you keep your account upright, you can qualify for a $20 reward for up to five years.

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases.
Additional Features:
  • The ongoing APR is 14.99% Variable APR - lower than on many other cards for credit newcomers.
Pros:
  • Bonus opportunities - $50 Bonus after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening, plus an annual $20 'good standing' bonus for up to five years.
  • You can earn a credit-limit increase with a pattern of on-time payment (see terms), and Chase has great cards to potentially upgrade to after you graduate.
  • You don't need a credit history to apply.
Cons:
  • Charges Foreign Transaction Fee.
  • Low cash back rate on purchases.

7. Secured Mastercard® from Capital One:

Despite the lack of a rewards program, the Secured Mastercard® from Capital One stands out for its low security deposit, reasonable fees, and shorter pathway to a higher credit line, making it a good option for users looking to build credit with responsible use. There is also the ability to pay the deposit in installments, along with a fast process for potentially increasing the card's credit line after that. It is a basic card with few frills but also few charges. Accepted at millions of locations worldwide.

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • N/A
Additional Features:
  • Regular APR is 26.99% (Variable).
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit.
Pros:
  • This is a secured credit card, so you must put down a deposit. But you might be able to get a $200 line of credit with only a $49, $99 or $200 deposit. You can also be automatically considered for a higher credit limit with no additional deposit in as little as six months.
Cons:
  • Although secured cards are easier to qualify for than regular unsecured cards, approval isn't guaranteed. You'll need to be able to show you can pay your bill, and, of course, you'll have to tie money up in a security deposit.

8. Journey Students Rewards from Capital One:

The Journey Students Rewards from Capital One offers students the opportunity to build credit with responsible use and earn cash back rewards for purchases. Journey Student Rewards from Capital One cardholders get fraud coverage, as well as text alerts and email reminders to stay on track of card activity.

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month.
Additional Features:
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen. No foreign transaction fees.
Pros:
  • New cardholders can get up to $60 in credits for streaming media. And you can be automatically considered for a higher credit limit with no additional deposit in as little as six months.
Cons:
  • The maximum rewards rate of 1% or 1.25% is lower than the top rate on some other student cards.

9. Petal®2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Credit Card:

The Petal®2 Cash Back, No Fees Visa® Credit Card offers outstanding features for building credit, such as increasing cash back, high credit limits and no fees. And because Petal looks at more than just a credit score, it is possible to get the Petal card with no credit history. Currently however, Petal cards are only available to legal U.S. residents of the 50 states with a valid SSN or ITIN.

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • Earn 1% cash back on eligible purchases right away, and between 2% to 10% cash back from select merchants.
Additional Features:
  • Regular APR range from 12.99% - 26.99% variable. No Foreign Transaction Fee.
Pros:
  • No deposits require.
  • Earn generous cash back reward within an introductory credit card.
Cons:
  • No balance transfer options.
  • No introductory bonus.

10. Petal®1 Cash Back, No Annual Fees Visa® Credit Card:

The Petal®1 Cash Back, No Annual Fees Visa® Credit Card is designed for those looking to build or rebuild their credit scores, offering a high credit line even if you are dealing with low credit scores. The Petal 1 credit card aims to bring the prime experience to borrowers with limited credit history; it is a card designed for consumers with poor to average credit scores, or no credit history at all.

Annual Fee: $0
Rewards:
  • Earn between 2% to 10% cash back from select merchants.
Additional Features:
  • No Intro APR whereas Regular APR is 19.99%-29.49% variable.
Pros:
  • Great rates and fees for an unsecured credit card if you have no credit history.
  • Initial $500-$5000 credit limit.
Cons:
  • No consistent ongoing rewards outside the Petal Perks program.
  • No additional benefits other than the standard Visa Features.