Our pick for international students: Deserve® Edu Card
Cash back on all purchases
- No credit score or SSN required
- Amazon Prime Student subscription
- No annual fee
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We’ve compiled a list of the best cards for international students to help you find the best card for your needs.
We looked at all credit cards for students and compared features such as rewards rate, annual fee, intro APR period and the ability to apply without a US Social Security number. We chose the cards that offered the optimal combination of these perks.
Best credit card for international students without an SSN
|Purchase APR||18.74% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||N/A|
|Welcome offer||Amazon Prime Student subscription credit up to $59|
|Rewards||1% cash back on all purchases|
Best credit card for US students abroad
|Purchase APR||0% intro for the first 12 billing cycles (then 14.99% to 22.99% variable)|
|Balance transfer APR||14.99% to 22.99% variable|
|Welcome offer||25,000 points after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days|
|Rewards||1.5x points on all purchases|
Best credit card for international students for highest rewards on purchases
|Purchase APR||0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% to 21.99% variable)|
|Balance transfer APR||10.99% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99% to 21.99% variable)|
|Welcome offer||Discover will match cash back at the end of your first card year|
|Rewards||5% back in rotating categories each activated quarter up to $1,500, then 1% after that and on all other purchases|
Best credit card for international students for everyday purchases
|Purchase APR||0% intro for the first 15 statement closing dates (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)|
|Balance transfer APR||0% intro for the first 15 billing cycles (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)|
|Welcome offer||$200 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days|
|Rewards||3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category, grocery and wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%|
Best for no fees
|Purchase APR||12.99% to 23.99% variable|
|Balance transfer APR||N/A|
|Rewards||Up to 10% cash back from select merchants, on other purchases earn 1% back, 1.25% after six on-time payments and 1.5% after 12 on-time payments|
When choosing a card for you, consider the following:
While a credit card can be helpful, you might not even need one. Here’s why you might reconsider:
Yes. To apply for an SSN you must:
Note: A letter of authorization to work on- or off-campus by your school can be used to get your SSN. But if you don’t have permission to work, you can apply for an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN), which you can often use instead of SSN to apply for a credit card.
If you meet the requirements, visit a Social Security Administration office and fill out an SS-5 form. You will also need original ID documents, such as your passport.
Here’s a quick summary of our top international student credit card picks.
|Credit card||Annual fee||Rewards||Welcome offer||Intro APR|
|Deserve® Edu Card||No||Yes||Yes||No|
|Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Discover it® Student Cash Back||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Bank of America® Cash Rewards for Students||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Petal® Visa® Credit Card||No||Yes||No||No|
Looking to compare these cards side by side? Select your credit score below and click “Show Cards” to browse and compare your options.
International students studying within the US — or US students studying abroad — could find solid credit cards that can help them earn rewards or save money on interest. But know that most credit cards require a US Social Security number or an International Tax Identification Number to apply.
However, if none of these cards seem right for you, compare other student credit cards until you find a fit for your financial needs.
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