Written by Chad ZollingerChad Allen Zollinger is a Content Management Specialist for Best Company. Majoring in Writing Studies, Chad is an avid reader, a lifelong writer, and once completed the Rubik's Cube in 34 seconds.
Before students even think about getting a credit card, they need to understand how to use one responsibly. Just like student loans, credit cards can either help students build credit or ruin their credit scores for years to come. A recent U.S. News survey asked 1,427 students about their credit card knowledge. The survey revealed that about 44 percent of the students hadn’t been educated about credit card use before going to college. If you’re a parent, consider teaching your child the importance of using a credit card correctly. If you’re a student, educate yourself or ask your parents to tell you how to use a credit card. Once students have done their research and understand the implications of getting a credit card, they can pick from one of these credit cards made just for students.
Discover It Card for Students
The Discover it Card for College Students is likely the most popular card for college students. Parents love it because the card can be frozen (controlled from the Discover app) on and off in the case of theft or loss. The card carries no annual fee, has a zero percent introductory APR for the first six months, and gives students cash back rewards for good grades. Students who score above a 3.0 will receive $20 each school year, but only up to five years. The card does carry a 14.23 percent to 23.24 percent APR after six months. For students looking to be considered for a job or just to build credit, the Discover it Card for College Students is a great choice.
Capital One Journey Student Rewards Card
Nerd Wallet recently ranked student credit cards and named the Journey Student Rewards Card a preferred card for responsible students. There is no annual fee, a 24.99 percent variable APR, and students can earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases. If payments are made on time, cash back rewards are increased to 1.25 percent. Although these cash back rates are low compared to some other cards, the Journey Student Rewards Card from Capital One does not have a limit to how much money can be earned back.
Bank of America Cash Rewards
This card from Bank of America was made specifically for students with low credit scores. The card comes with fraud protection, ShopSafe service, overdraft protection, text banking, and no annual fee. On the other hand, it does carry a 29.99 percent penalty APR, a 3 percent balance transfer fee, and a 3 percent foreign transaction fee. If students are Bank of America customers, they can qualify for a 10 percent bonus every time cash is redeemed into a Bank of America account. Additionally, students get 1 percent cash back on every purchase, 2 percent cash back at grocery stores, and 3 percent cash back on gas for the first $2,500. If students make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days, they qualify for a $150 online cash reward.
Spending is a necessary occurence for adults, so it’s important that students learn to spend wisely. Student debt is a scary thing to consider for both students and parents, but can actually be the best teacher for young adults. Like student loans, credit cards can help students get through college prepared for the life of responsibility ahead.