Top Credit Cards for Students in 2018

Getting a right credit card at the young age is often crucial for your financial future since you just start to build your credit history and still elaborate a good financial behavior. Here we picked a list of our favorite credit cards that will help students properly manage their finances while providing lucrative benefits and juicy perks.
Getting a right credit card at the young age is often crucial for your financial future since you just start to build your credit history and still elaborate a good financial behavior. Here we picked a list of our favorite credit cards that will help students properly manage their finances while providing lucrative benefits and juicy perks.
Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® photo Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® See terms on Capital One’s secure website.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase APR:
20.99%
Sign-Up Bonus:
$0
Rewards Rate:
1%

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

This card is your choice if you want to elaborate responsible credit behavior. With the Journey® Student Rewards card you get 1% cashback on all purchases. Each month you can boost cashback rate to 1.25% if you pay on-time. Cashback amount is not limited and has no expiration date.

After 5 month of on-time payments your credit line increases. With the Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® you also have a free access to GoodWise® credit monitoring tool, which helps you track your credit line and score.

If you want to elaborate responsible credit behavior and enjoy joyful rewards, this card is for you. It also fits for students with average credit score. However, this card has a relatively high APR of 20.99% as compared to other students cards.

  • Unsecured card,
  • No annual fee,
  • 1% of cashback rate with the possibility to increase up to 1.25%,
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • High APR.
Discover it® Secured Credit Card photo Discover it® Secured Credit Card See terms on Discover’s secure website.
Card usage cost:
$0

This includes one-time fees as well as all regular maintenance fees you have to pay within the first year of using the card.

Regular APR:
23.74%
Minimum deposit:
$200
Qualification:
For fair, poor, no credit score.

Discover It® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card helps you build good credit history even if you have poor credit score. This card also grants you joyful cashback rate of up to 2%. This is secured card which requires $200 deposit and provides you credit line of the same amount.

If you pay on-time, your credit limit might be increased. 7 months of use of this card triggers automatic monthly review of your credit history to check whether you are eligible to be upgraded to the unsecured card.

Even in details the Discover it® Secured Credit Card helps you be a responsible borrower. You will receive e-mail and text alerts to reduce the chance of late payments.

With the Discover it® Secured Credit Card you also will get your credit score with your monthly statements. Ultimate choice for customers who are willing to obtain secured credit card with no fees and additional perks and benefits. Great option to start building your credit history.

  • 2% cashback on purchases at restaurants and gas stations, 1% cashback on all other purchases (maximum on $1,000 each 3 month),
  • No annual fee,
  • No fees on first missed monthly payment, no penalty APR for late payments,
  • Qualifies with low credit score.
  • High APR.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase APR:
14.99-24.99%
Sign-Up Bonus:
$25

Earn 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of account opening.

Bonus ThankYou Points are not available if you have had a ThankYou Preferred, ThankYou Premier or Citi Prestige card opened or closed in the past 24 months.

Rewards Rate:
1%

2 unlimited points per $1 spent on dinning

1 unlimited points per $1 spent on all purchases

Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

The Citi® ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students is a must for young people who are movie goers or often dine at restaurants. This card rewards you with 2 ThankYou® points for each dollar spent on dining and entertainment, and 1 point on all other purchases. Additionally, you get 2,500 ThankYou® points bonus after you spent $500 on this card.

Your ThankYou® points do not expire and you can redeem them virtually on anything, including travel, gift cards, books, movies through ThankYou® Portal, etc. This card also gives you $25 signup bonus, which is rare for student cards.

3% fee for foreign currency exchange transactions makes this card bad choice for students studying abroad. You also must have excellent (minimum 720) credit score to be approved for this card.

Overall, this card is a good solution for young people who like entertainment and go out often. Bad choice for students with credit score below excellent or with no credit history.

  • Unsecured card,
  • No annual fee,
  • 2 ThankYou® points per $1 spent on entertainment and dining, 1 ThankYou® point per $1 spent on other purchases,
  • $25 signup bonus,
  • 0% intro APR for the first 7 months.
  • 3% foreign currency exchange fee,
  • 720 minimum credit score is required.
Discover it® Student Credit Card photo Discover it® Student Credit Card See terms on Discover’s secure website.
Annual Fee:
$0
Purchase APR:
13.99-22.99%
Sign-Up Bonus:
$144

Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Rewards Rate:
1%

5% unlimited cash back on dinning

5% unlimited cash back on gas

5% unlimited cash back on groceries

1% unlimited cash back on all purchases

0% unlimited cash back in rotating categories

5% Cash Back Rewards in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms Apply.

Discover it® Student Credit Card

This card is very similar to the Discover It® Secured Card but provides you with wider range of cashback categories and higher cashback rate. It grants you 5% cashback at restaurants, gas stations, wholesale clubs and many other options among Discover partners.

What is more important for students is that your study efforts will be awarded. With this card you get $20 cashback each school year when your GPA is equal to or higher than 3.0.

Moreover, the Discover It® for Students Credit Card grants you with 5% cashback on purchases at Amazon, and therefore, you can get your college textbooks cheaper there. You can get this card with average credit score. Note, that this card has limited acceptance if you are planning to study abroad.

In general, this card is a good option for young people who want to obtain credit card with good rewards and who are dedicated to their educational process.

  • Unsecured card,
  • No annual fee,
  • 0% foreign transaction fee,
  • 5% cashback on wide range of purchases (up to $1,500 each 3 month),
  • 0% intro APR for first 6 month,
  • No fees on first missed monthly payment, no change in APR if you pay late,
  • 630 minimum credit score to be approved,
  • No expiration period for cashback redemption.
  • Limited acceptance outside of US.

The bottom line

Student credit cards provide you an acces to affordable short-term financing, and help you make a first step towards good credit history that is crucial for your financial future. As of today credit cards market is ready to provide you wide range of student cards according to your income, needs and consumer preferences.

If you are a newbie on a market of credit cards, just define your consumer category and credit card perks you are interested in and make your choice according to the list of credit cards provided above.

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