Having access to a credit card as a student is important. Not only does it provide a sense of independence, but it can also serve as an invaluable learning tool. It teaches young adults how to become financially responsible. And at the same time, it enables students to buy the things they need in a college environment that’s becoming more and more expensive each year.
Student credit cards also allow students to build credit — a process they’d otherwise need to start after graduation. And to ensure the card is used responsibly, student credit cards usually offer lower limits than traditional credit cards. Note that, on the flip side, they often come with higher interest rates. In short, student credit cards can give college students the freedom to budget responsibly while still being able to make the most out of their non-tuition spending.
Here are the top 10 student credit cards of 2023:
Discover it Student Cash Back
The Discover it Student Cash Back card is an ideal card for college students looking to get rewards for their spending. With 5% cash back on rotating categories that change quarterly and 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases, you can start earning real rewards right away, all with no annual fee. Plus, you get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back received after your first 12 months of using the card.
After a year of use, students will see their rewards double thanks to this offer. Discover it Student Cash Back offers a standard purchase APR of 17% to 26%. So it’s important to pay off your statement balance every time in order to avoid getting yourself into debt. But if you’re a responsible college student looking to make your money work hard while you work hard in school, then the Discover it Student Cash Back card is definitely worth considering.
Chase Freedom Student Credit Card
In addition to the opportunity for college students to start building their credit, Chase Freedom’s Student card offers a bunch of attractive perks. Chase will welcome you with a $50 bonus offer after you make your first purchase within three months. After that, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all purchases. You’ll also get a $20 reward each year on the anniversary of your account opening, as long as your account is in good standing.
CapitalOne Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards
The CapitalOne Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards card is a superior student credit card for multiple reasons. As with most other student cards, there’s no annual fee. But CapitalOne Quicksilver also has a generous 1.5% cash back rate on every purchase. This offer provides students with an easy way to save money while they shop. Plus, you can use the cash back on almost anything — from groceries to travel and entertainment.
Another great perk of CapitalOne Quicksilver is that the card has no foreign transaction fees. So if you’re planning to study abroad while at university, CapitalOne Quicksilver is a great option.
CapitalOne SavorOne Student Cash Rewards
CapitalOne SavorOne Student Cash Rewards delivers a whopping 3% cash back on all the things that matter to most students: Dining, entertainment, and streaming services. Plus, you’ll earn a $50 bonus after spending $100 on purchases within the first three months.
Citi Rewards+ Student Card
The Citi Rewards+ Student Card is a points-based card that delivers serious rewards with proper usage. The card offers an automatic round-up feature that rounds up each purchase to the nearest ten points and uses the difference towards your rewards. On top of that, your points will never expire, and you’ll earn 2x points on the first $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1x points thereafter.
This card may be especially useful for commuter students who drive to and from school. The Citi Rewards+ card offers 2x points on gas, which can lead to some amazing cash back for those who drive every day.
Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students
Bank of America Travel Rewards for Students is the perfect choice for globetrotting college kids. With no annual fee, and a sign-up bonus of 25,000 points, this card allows you to enjoy deals on flights, hotels, and so much more. Plus, you get 1.5 points per dollar spent on all transactions and 2x points when you shop online or book travel through Bank of America’s travel center. You can redeem earned points to cover flight, hotel, and car rental expenses.
Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards for Students
The Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards for Students credit card is a great way to start managing your finances responsibly and wisely. With no annual fees and the chance to earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase, this card gives students a stress-free way to start building their credit score while also receiving great rewards. Additionally, if you make $1,000 worth of purchases within three months of account opening, you’ll earn $200 on your statement. It’s also convenient because you can use it everywhere Visa is accepted.
Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students
The Deserve EDU Mastercard is another no annual or foreign transaction fee card with accelerated rewards for students. The card comes with exclusive perks like Amazon Prime student and cell phone protection. The card also has no social security requirements to apply, so non-citizens are welcome. If you’re looking for an easy way to start building your financial future, the Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students is a top choice.
Discover it Student Chrome
Discover has another student credit card up its sleeve: The Discover it Student Chrome card.
This card comes with no annual fee, 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, and a 1% Unlimited Cashback Match on all other purchases. The Discover it Chrome card also offers 0% Intro APR for six months from account opening, which is rare for student cards.
Journey Student Rewards from CapitalOne
Everyone loves to feel rewarded for their hard work. And with Journey Student Rewards from CapitalOne, it’s easy to earn points that add up to great rewards! Earn 1% cash back on all purchases. And when you pay your bill on time, your cash back rewards will increase by up to 1.25%. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees. So you can journey around the world on your school breaks without worry.
What are the limits on student credit cards?
Most lenders will limit student cardholders to one account and will regard any purchases over the established credit limit as an unauthorized charge. There are also age restrictions in place for some cards. Eligibility is often limited to those between 18 and 21 years old unless a higher income or cosigner is provided.
What are the disadvantages of a student card?
The main disadvantage is that these cards often come with lower credit limits and higher interest rates. This means that if you miss a payment (or several), you could quickly dig yourself into a debt hole.
Is it easier to get approved for a student credit card?
Yes, it’s much easier because you don’t need to have any credit history in order to get approved.