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Compare student credit cards

A student card can help you build credit — if you pay off your balance each month.

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Compare student credit cards

Get the right student credit card and enjoy travel rewards or earn cash back on everyday purchases. But above all — start building your credit.

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
Deserve® Edu Card
N/A
18.74% variable
$0
580
Designed for college students to build credit history and earn rewards.
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Starting at $200
22.49% variable
$0
New to credit
A no annual fee secured card for people who are new to credit or have limited credit history.
Petal® 1
N/A
19.99% to 29.49% variable
$0
550
A high-limit no-annual-fee credit card that's ideal for rebuilding scores as low as 550. See if you prequalify with no impact to your credit.
Petal® 2
N/A
12.99% to 26.99% variable
$0
New to credit
Build your credit with rewards and no fees: Apply if you're new to credit or have a fair to good score of 600 or higher. See if you prequalify with no impact to your score.
Jasper Mastercard®
N/A
15.49% to 24.99% variable
$0
New to credit
A card for people who are new to credit in the US with 1% cash back on all purchases or up to 6% cash back by referring friends.
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Why get a student credit card?

  • Better odds of approval.
    Right now, you might have a thin credit report, which means you’ll have trouble getting approved for most credit cards. Student cards are an exception, however, as they’re geared toward those who are just getting started with credit.
  • Learn how to responsibly use credit.
    Now’s a great time to build strong credit habits. Try to keep your balance low — preferably, under 30% of your credit limit — and to pay off your balance in full each month. Most importantly, make every payment on time, which will go a long way toward protecting your credit score.
  • Start building your credit score.
    A good credit score is a valuable asset when you need a loan, as it could lead to lower interest rates. It’s also helpful when you’re applying for housing or a job. The earlier you start building your credit score, the better it may be by the time you really need it. Also, strong credit will help you get better cards, such as those that offer cash back or travel rewards.

How to get a student credit card

If you’re relatively new to credit cards, don’t be afraid to take it slow. Take the time to select a card that you might keep for the next few years. And above all, consider whether you’re ready to use credit responsibly.

  1. Compare features that are important to you.
    You can find many student products without annual fees. Compare major features such as rewards and signup bonus. If you want to make a fairly large purchase and pay for it over time with no interest, consider a card with an intro APR. But keep in mind you always have to pay back what you spend on your card. Now’s the time to take special care not to get into debt. If you think you’ll be traveling internationally — perhaps to study abroad — you might compare credit cards suited for international students. The best credit card will depend on your unique financial situation.
  2. See if you’re eligible for a credit card.
    Many providers require a Social Security number, and you must show income or assets that prove you can pay your card bills. You must be at least 18 years old to get a card on your own. If you can’t independently pay your card bill, consider applying with a cosigner.
  3. Apply for a credit card.
    On your card application, you’ll need information like your address, contact details, date of birth, total annual gross income, Social Security number, and monthly housing or rent payment. Also, submit other information that the card provider requires.
  4. Wait for approval.
    You may be approved instantly. If the provider needs to review your application, you may need to wait a few days to a few weeks to hear back. After approval, you’ll typically receive your card in the mail within seven to 10 days.

Credit cards for high school students

You can set yourself up for financial success by getting an early start on building credit. There are great benefits to having a good credit score, including:

  • Higher approval odds for an apartment application, car loan, etc.
  • Lower insurance rates.
  • Access to credit cards with better rewards and more benefits.

It’s slightly tougher to get your own credit card if you’re under 21, but it’s doable. You must be at least 18 years old. You must also prove your ability to pay your own card bill, or apply with a cosigner.

If you’re under 18, you can’t get a credit card on your own. But consider asking a parent to add you to their credit card account as an authorized user.

Do’s and don’ts of student credit cards

Start building great credit habits now to pave the way for a smooth financial journey ahead. If you’re still unsure whether you’re ready for a credit card, check out our full guide for more information.

How to properly use a card

  • See your card as a loan you must pay back — not as a blank check.
  • Always keep your credit utilization under 30%.
  • Pay your balance on time and in full each month.
  • Avoid loaning your card to friends.
  • Check your card’s pricing table and understand fees you might pay.

Mistakes to avoid

  • Getting too many credit cards.
  • Consistently maxing out your credit limit.
  • Not paying your card bill in full each month.
  • Paying your card bill late.
  • Applying without a reliable source of income.

Bottom line

To find the right student credit card, compare features such as rewards, signup bonus and student-focused benefits. Above all, look at your card as a chance to build great financial habits. Use it well and you’ll be well prepared for choosing a great second credit card.

If you’d like to get up to speed on credit cards, check out our beginner’s guide.

Frequently asked questions

  • What is a secured card?
    You must put down a security deposit before you can get a secured card. This is different than an unsecured card, which doesn’t require a security deposit.
    A secured card might be a good choice if your credit score needs work. Because your provider can take your deposit if you fail to pay your card bill, it may be more willing to take you on as a customer.
  • Do I have to keep my first credit card forever?
    No. However, you may want to keep your card for at least a few years to lengthen your credit history.
  • Does American Express offer a student card?
    No. However, you can still apply for an Amex card if you’re 18 or older with a good credit score.
  • Can I get a credit card if I’m a high school student?
    It’s slightly tougher toget your own card if you’re under 21, but it’s doable. You must be at least 18 years old. You must also prove your ability to pay your own card bill, or apply with a cosigner.
    If you’re under 18, you can’t get a credit card on your own. But consider asking a parent to add you to their credit card account as an authorized user.
  • Do I need to be a student to get a student credit card?
    Typically, you do need to be a student to get a student credit card. Your provider may ask you to show proof that you’re enrolled in a college or university.

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    2 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      CollegeSeptember 22, 2018

      Good morning. I’m trying to get some help while I’m attending school…I would like to afford things I need and I’m not sure which card to get…

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JoshuaSeptember 25, 2018Staff

        Hi there,

        Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

        Since I don’t completely know your unique situation, I may not be able to give you a specific recommendation. However, you might want to explore the table above. It gives you an overview of some of your options. You may then click on the “Go to site” green button or “More info” link to learn more about the specific card.

        Please do not forget to read the full T&Cs and PDS or details of the products before applying and making a financial decision.

        I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

        Have a wonderful day!

        Cheers,
        Joshua

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