Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students review |

Deserve® Edu Card for Students review

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Explore a student card that offers cash back, no annual fee and an Amazon Prime Student credit.

30-second take

  • Get this card if you want cash back and like shopping at Amazon.
  • Consider another card if you’ve already established strong credit.
  • Customers new to credit are welcome to apply.
Product NameDeserve® Edu Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases20.74% variable
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Late Payment FeeUp to $25
Returned Payment FeeUp to $37
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age

The basics

Is the Deserve® Edu Card a good student credit card? Absolutely: It hits the high notes of its competitors, such as cash back, no annual fee and even has no foreign transaction fees.

Silicon Valley-based Deserve also offers a big benefit that differentiates its student card:

Non-traditional customer screening. When considering your application, Deserve looks at factors like your education, future employability and projected earnings — not just your credit score. And if you’re an international student, you don’t need a Social Security number.

The perks

  • Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases.

    The Deserve® Edu Card isn’t the only student product that offers rewards, but its 1% cash back is comparable to what you’d get from big-bank cards.

  • Annual fee: None.

    A $0 annual fee is an excellent benefit, especially if you’re on a shoestring budget.

  • Credit for an Amazon Prime Student subscription.

    When you use your Deserve® Edu Card for an Amazon Prime Student subscription, Deserve reimburses you. The lifetime maximum reimbursement is $59. This is a valuable perk that sets the Deserve® Edu Card apart from the competition. However, treat it like a signup bonus, as you won’t receive this Amazon Prime Student credit once you hit the cap.

How much cash back rewards can I earn with the Deserve® Edu Card?

Suppose you spend $1,000 per month. That will return a $120 cash back every year. Also, if you pay for an Amazon Prime Student subscription, Deserve will reimburse you up to $59 — which is the cost for an annual subscription. This will make your rewards for the first year $179.

You’ll also like …

  • No deposit required.

    Sometimes you won’t qualify for a “normal” credit card — or what the industry calls an unsecured card. Your options may get limited to secured credit cards, meaning you’ll put down a deposit before you can start using it.

    The Deserve® Edu Card doesn’t require a deposit. This can be very helpful, since you won’t have to lock down $200 or $300 just to use your card.

Secured vs. unsecured cards: What’s the difference?

  • You don’t need a cosigner.

    Some banks require cosigners for credit card applicants younger than 21. Deserve doesn’t, but you may need to prove you can independently pay your card bill.

The “under 21” guide to credit cards

  • No foreign transaction fees.

    When you use a credit card abroad, most banks add a foreign transaction fee of 3% for everything you buy. While it’s a small percentage, it can add up over many purchases.

    The Deserve® Edu Card comes with no foreign transaction fees. That makes it a great choice to bring with while studying abroad or on your upcoming summer trip.

  • No Social Security number required if you’re an international student.

    Getting a credit card as an international student can be challenging, especially because many banks require a Social Security number.

    Deserve waives this requirement if you’re an international student. Just provide your student visa, passport ID, I-20 form and proof of a US bank account balance.

Other benefits

  • No penalty APR.
  • No over-the-credit-limit fee.
  • Car rental collision damage waivers when you book car rentals with your card.
  • Travel assistance services for lost luggage and medical assistance. Valid when you’re more than 50 miles from home.
  • Extended warranties on eligible products you buy with your card.
  • Roadside assistance.
  • Price protection that partially reimburses you if you find lower prices on items you’ve purchased.

What to watch out for

  • Relatively high APR.

    Interest rates for student credit cards are typically high, since students might not have strong credit scores. A lower score will likely land you with higher interest rates.

    The Deserve® Edu Card has a purchase APR of 20.74% variable — not unheard of by student credit card standards, but still relatively high. The average credit card APR is around 16%. Consider paying off your balance each month, which will save you from accruing interest on your purchases. This is a great habit to start now that can serve you well in the future.

  • No balance transfers or cash advances.

    Balance transfers let you move debt from other sources to your credit card. Cash advances let you draw cash from your credit card. Most cards let you make these transactions, but the Deserve® Edu Card doesn’t.

    Though that technically limits your options, it might not be a bad thing. Consumers often get in trouble with balance transfers and cash advances, accumulating debt on their credit cards that eventually becomes difficult to manage. You can keep things simple by sticking to purchases only.

Consider other cards if …

  • You want to look into other student cards.

    It’s a great idea to shop around. Consider the Discover it® Student Cash Back, which has no annual fee, rotating cash back, a cashback match at the end of your first year and a Good Grades Reward. Another strong option from the same provider is the Discover it® Chrome for Students.

    Another card worth considering is the Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One®. It has no annual fee and good cash back for a student product: 1% on all purchases and, after each on-time monthly payment, an extra 0.25% back on all rewards earned during the billing cycle. After you make your first five monthly payments on time, you’ll receive a higher credit line.

  • You have poor credit.

    If your credit is too low, you might not qualify for this card. A secured card might be a better choice. More providers will be willing to accept you as a customer, and you can steadily rebuild your credit.

  • You have good to excellent credit.

    If you’ve already established credit — perhaps by spending time as an authorized user under your parents’ card accounts — you may qualify for a more powerful card. Look into excellent no-annual-fee cashback products like the Citi® Double Cash Card or Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card. If you want travel rewards, consider the solid Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card.

Wells Fargo Cash Back College℠ Card review

Updated November 21st, 2018
Name Product Annual Fee Maximum Credit Limit APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
14.99% to 23.99% variable
Earn 2% cash back on gas and dining on your first $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. After that earn 1% in these categories and on all other purchases.
16.49% to 26.49% variable
Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of account opening.
26.99% variable
Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month.

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What should I know before I apply?

To apply for the Deserve® Edu Card, you must be at least 18 years old. You must also currently be enrolled in a US college or university.

You can apply for the card even if you’re an international student.

Information you’ll need

  • Your full name and contact information.
  • Your residential status.
  • Your annual income, source of income and employment information.
  • Your Social Security number if you’re a US citizen or permanent resident.
  • Your student visa, passport and I-20 form if you’re an international student.
  • Your current bank account information.

What credit score do I need?

You don’t need a credit history to apply for the Deserve® Edu Card. If have a credit score already, you’ll increase your chances of approval the higher your score is.

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What do customers say about the Deserve® Edu Card?

Many cardholders say this is a good starter credit card. International students particularly seem to like this card, as it doesn’t require a Social Security number.

Deserve is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB). There are currently six complaints on its profile; however, the BBB says these have been answered or resolved.

How to apply for the Deserve Edu Student Credit Card

  1. Go to the Deserve website and click Apply for Edu.
  2. Complete the application with details like your name, contact information and student status.
  3. Continue with the application by adding your address, academic information, Social Security number, employment status and monthly income.
  4. Connect your bank account. This allows Deserve to read and analyze your financial records to determine an appropriate credit limit — it can’t make any changes to the connected account.
  5. Review and submit your application.

When will I get my Deserve® Edu Card?

Because conditional approval is automated on the Deserve website, you’ll often get a decision within 60 seconds. In some cases, you’ll need to wait a few business days to a few weeks to receive a response.

Upon approval, you’ll get your card in the mail within 7 to 10 business days.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Set up autopay or make a one-time payment online at the Deserve website.
  • Avoid interest. After the close of each billing cycle, you have a grace period of 23 days to pay your balance. If you do, you won’t pay interest on your purchases.
  • Avoid fees. Late payments come with fees of up to $25.
  • Contact customer service. If you have questions, contact Deserve customer support at 1-800-316-7258. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

How do I redeem rewards from Deserve® Edu Card?

Your cash back will be automatically redeemed as a statement credit in increments of $25.

Bottom line

It doesn’t offer much that the Discover it® Chrome for Students and Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One® don’t, but the Deserve® Edu Card is still a solid student card. Cash back is a nice touch, as is the credit for your Amazon Prime Student subscription. And, if you’re having trouble getting approved by other banks, Deserve may be the provider that welcomes you.

Still not sure this is the right card for you? Take the time to compare your options with our comprehensive guide to credit cards.

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