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Deserve® Edu Card for Students review

Cash back, no annual fee and an Amazon Prime Student credit.

  • Get this card if you want cash back and like shopping on Amazon.
  • Consider another card if you’ve already established strong credit.
  • Customers new to credit are welcome to apply.
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Up to 1%

Cash back


Annual fee


Purchase APR (variable)


Recommended credit score


Annual fee$0
Welcome OfferAmazon Prime Student subscription credit up to $59 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Rewards1% cash back on all purchases
Purchase APR18.74% variable
Balance transfer APRN/A
Recommended minimum credit score580

Review by

Kevin Joey Chen is a credit cards, banking and investments writer whose work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report,, Lifehacker and He's passionate about helping you get your finances in order by expertly navigating cutting-edge financial tools — including credit cards, apps and budgeting software.

Expert review

The Deserve® Edu Card is a student card with a $0 annual fee. Though it has a relatively high 20.49% variable purchase APR, it offers 1% cash back on all purchases — a decent rewards rate for a student product.

You’ll find other benefits that separate the card from the competition. If you’re an international student, you’ll like that Deserve doesn’t require a Social Security number. You’ll also get reimbursed for your Amazon Prime Student subscription, up to a $59 lifetime total, if you charge the cost to your card.

Deserve leverages non-traditional cardholder screening

When you apply for a Deserve credit card, you may be asked to connect your bank account to give Deserve read-only access. This allows Deserve to consider alternative factors that suggest how responsible of a borrower you’re likely to be. It’ll look into details like your education, future employability and projected earnings — not just your credit score.

Apply now

How to apply for the Deserve® Edu Card

  1. Click Apply now.
  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.

Deserve Edu Student card application screenshot

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 seven to 10 business days.

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 tight 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. But treat it like a signup bonus, as you won’t receive this Amazon Prime Student credit once you hit the cap.

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

If you spent $1,000 per month, you’d earn $120 in cash back every year. Also, if you pay for an Amazon Prime Student subscription, Deserve will reimburse you up to $59 — the annual cost for the subscription. This will make your rewards for the first year $179.

You’ll also like …

  • No deposit required.
    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.
  • 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.
  • 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 strong choice to bring for studying abroad.

  • No Social Security number required if you’re an international student.
    Getting a credit card as an international student can be challenging, especially since 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

The “under 21” guide to credit cards

What to watch out for

  • Relatively high APR.
    Interest rates for student credit cards are typically high since students often haven’t been able to build strong credit yet. A lower score will likely land you with higher interest rates.

    The Deserve® Edu Card has a purchase APR of 18.74% 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.

  • 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. Many cards let you make these transactions, but the Deserve® Edu Card doesn’t.

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

Compare student credit cards

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Recommended minimum credit score
Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card
14.99% variable
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases with this no-annual-fee student credit card.
Deserve® Edu Card
18.74% variable
Designed for college students to build credit history and earn rewards.
Citi® Secured Mastercard®
Starting at $200
22.49% variable
New to credit
A no annual fee secured card for people who are new to credit or have limited credit history.

Compare up to 4 providers

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 also apply for the card if you’re an international student.

Information you’ll need

  • Full name and contact information
  • Residential status
  • Annual income, source of income and employment information
  • Social Security number if you’re a US citizen or permanent resident
  • Student visa, passport and I-20 form if you’re an international student
  • 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 you have a credit score already, you’ll increase your chances of approval the higher your score is.

Apply now

Deserve® Edu Card reviews and complaints

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.

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 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. PST.

How do I redeem rewards from the Deserve® Edu Card?

Deserve will automatically redeem your cash back as statement credit in $25 increments.

Bottom line

The Deserve® Edu Card is still a solid student card offering cash back and credit for your Amazon Prime Student subscription. But — as is often the case with student cards — the APR can be high.

Not sure if this is the right card for you? Compare your options for student credit cards before making a decision.

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