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Deserve credit cards: How they work and how to apply

No credit score or SSN necessary to apply for this student credit card.

Deserve offers one credit card: the Deserve® Edu Card. Previously, it also offered the PRO and Classic.

With their removal, Deserve has placed its focus on students and those looking to just start building credit. With that said, Deserve has kept the features that made its cards stand out, including not requiring a Social Security Number or credit score to apply.

How do Deserve credit cards work?

The Deserve® Edu Card works similarly to other student credit cards, though Deserve slightly differs in how it determines whether you qualify for the card. When you apply for a Deserve card, the company uses its own algorithm to gauge your potential as a customer. Deserve will consider factors such as your:

  • Education
  • Current financial health
  • Projected earnings
  • Future employability

Many banks, on the other hand, simply look at traditional factors like your FICO score and current income. This makes Deserve a great choice if you have strong financial health but no credit history, as Deserve doesn’t strictly rely on your credit score to determine qualification.

How to apply for a Deserve card

  • Visit the application page for the application page for the Deserve® Edu Card
  • Complete the application form with your personal, contact and financial information
  • Connect your bank account
  • Review your information and submit your application

You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a Deserve card. Also, consider whether you’re comfortable giving Deserve read-only access to your bank account.

What credit score do I need to apply for a Deserve card?

If you have limited or fair credit — below 670 — consider applying for the Deserve® Edu Card.

Do I have to be a US citizen to apply for a Deserve card?

You may apply for a Deserve card even if you’re not a US citizen. If you’re an H-1B or L1 visa holder, you’re eligible for a card if you can provide sufficient employment and income information.

You can also apply for the Deserve® Edu Card as an international student. You’ll need the following information:

  • Proof of a US bank account
  • Student visa
  • Passport
  • I-20 form

Information you’ll need for a Deserve application

  • Personal information.
    Full name, email address, date of birth and citizenship status.
  • Contact information.
    Permanent address and primary phone number.
  • Financial information.
    Social Security number, monthly housing expenses, monthly income, available assets, employment status, occupation and employer name.
  • Bank account information.
    Deserve will look through your bank transactions during its approval process.

How long will it take to get my Deserve credit card?

It takes up to three business days for your Deserve application to be reviewed. If you’re approved, expect your card in the mail within 10 to 15 business days.

Compare cards like the Deserve® Edu Card

While Deserve is down to just one credit card offered, Deserve’s focus has always been on helping consumers build credit. Here are some additional credit card options that can help you build credit if the Deserve® Edu Card doesn’t suit your needs.

1 - 3 of 11
Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Minimum Credit Score
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
28.49% variable
1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 5% on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)
Capital One Platinum Credit Card
28.49% variable
Pay no annual fee, be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card
$49, $99 or $200
28.49% variable
New to credit
A no-annual-fee secured card that separates itself from the pack with a $200 credit limit after making a more affordable than average deposit of $49, $99 or $200.

Compare up to 4 providers

Does the Deserve® Edu Card offer rewards?

The Deserve® Edu Card offers 1% cash back on all purchases. Deserve will redeem cash back automatically for you and apply it to your balance as statement credit in $25 increments.

Standout benefits of the Deserve® Edu Card

  • Social Security Number not required.
    You don’t need a SSN to apply for this card, making it a great choice if you’re new to the US.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
    The Deserve® Edu Card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which is useful if you plan on studying abroad.
  • No deposit required.
    Secured cards are one of the most effective ways to build credit. However, they require security deposits. The Deserve® Edu Card is available to consumers who are new to credit, and doesn’t require a deposit.
  • Cash back.
    The Deserve® Edu Card offers cash back, which is redeemed automatically as statement credit.
  • Mastercard Platinum benefits.
    Enjoy Mastercard perks like price protection, extended warranties, car collision damage waivers, ID Theft Protection and access to Travel Assistance Services.

Bottom line

Deserve offers credit cards to consumers who otherwise might not be able to qualify. It offers impressive products that appeal to different customer segments.

If you’re not sure a Deserve card is right for you, compare the best secured cards and look into other rewards cards.

Frequently asked questions

  • How does Deserve keep my personal information secure?
    Deserve guards your data through physical security measures, as well as electronic measures, such as data encryption and firewalls. According to Deserve, it doesn’t rent or sell your personal information to third parties, thought it may share your information with certain parties to perform certain functions, such as process payments. You can access your personal information by logging on to your online Deserve account or by emailing
  • If I need to submit additional documents, how do I do that?
    Deserve will send you an email with a secure website link. There, you can upload PDF scans or photos of your documents.The company doesn’t accept documents through email or mail.
  • How does a Deserve card help me build credit?
    Deserve reports your payment history to consumer credit bureaus. If you consistently make on-time payments, you’re likely to see an increase in your credit score.
  • Will Deserve initiate a hard pull on my credit history when I apply for a card?
    Yes. You don’t need a credit history to apply for a card, but Deserve will check yours if you have it.

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