Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students review July 2018 |

Deserve® Edu Mastercard for Students review

We know that everyone's situation is unique and we aim to help you find the right product for you. We may receive compensation when you visit our partners' sites or are approved for their products. You can read more about how we maintain editorial independence and how we make money here.

There’s a lot to like, such as cash back, no annual fee and a free Amazon Prime Student subscription.

  • Get this card if… you want cash back and like shopping at Amazon.
  • Pick something else if… you want balance transfers or cash advances.
  • Customers new to credit are welcome to apply.
Product NameDeserve® Edu Card
Card TypeMastercard
Annual Fee$0
APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases20.49% variable
Cash Advance Feeor of the cash advance amount, whichever is greater
Foreign Transaction FeeNone
Interest Free PeriodUp to 23 days
Minimum Interest$1
Late Payment Fee$25
Returned Payment Fee$37
Additional Cardholder Fee$0
Minimum Age18 years of age

The basics

Is the Deserve Edu a good student credit card? Absolutely: It hits the high notes of its competitors, such as cash back, no annual fee and even no foreign transaction fees. Then again, mainstays like the Discover it Chrome and Capital One Journey bring a stiff challenge and are still the cards to beat.

Silicon Valley-based Deserve offers two big benefits that differentiate 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. This can help you get a credit card even when other banks say no.

A free subscription to Amazon Prime Student. Use your Deserve Edu card to buy a Prime Student subscription, and Deserve will reimburse you up to a $49 lifetime maximum. It’s a unique perk in the student credit card market.

The perks

  • REWARDS: 1% cash back on all purchases.
    The Deserve Edu isn’t the only student card that offers rewards, but its 1% cash back is comparable to what you’d get from big-bank cards. Learn how cash back works.
    Updated July 22nd, 2018
    Name Product Annual Fee Maximum Credit Limit APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for Purchases
    14.74% to 23.74% variable
    2% cash back on gas and dining. 1% on all other purchases.
    16.24% to 26.24% variable
    Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of account opening.
    Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One®
    Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One®
    19.98%, 23.98% or 26.98% 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.

    Compare up to 4 providers

  • ANNUAL FEE: None.
    A $0 annual fee is an excellent perk — especially if you’re on a tight budget.
  • Free 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 $49.

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. You’ll have to apply for a secured credit card instead, 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 for studying abroad or your upcoming summer trip to Europe.

You don’t need a Social Security number if you’re an international student.
Getting a credit card as an international student can be challenging, in part because many banks require a Social Security number.

Deserve waives this requirement if you’re an international student. Just provide a copy of these documents:

  • Student visa.
  • Passport ID.
  • School document (such as your I-20 or DS-2019).
  • Proof of a US bank account balance.

Other benefits

  • No penalty APR.
  • No over-the-credit-limit fee.
  • Car rental collision damage waiver.
  • Travel assistance services for lost luggage and medical assistance.
  • Extended warranties on products you buy.
  • 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 usually don’t have strong credit scores. The lower your score, the lower interest rates you’re likely to get.

    Learn more about credit scores
  • The Deserve Edu card’s APR is 20.49% — not unheard of by student credit card standards, but still relatively high. The average credit card APR is around 16%.Consider paying off your credit card each month, which will save you from accruing interest on your purchases. This is a great habit to start now that serves you well in the future.
  • No balance transfers or cash advances.
    Balance transfers let you move debt from other places to your credit card. Cash advances let you draw cash from your credit card. Most cards let you make these transactions, though the Deserve Edu doesn’t.
    Though that technically limits your options, it might not be a bad thing. People often get in trouble with balance transfers and cash advances, accumulating lots of debt on their credit cards. By not making these transactions, you keep things simple by sticking to purchases only.

What to know before you apply

To apply for the Deserve Edu card, you must be at least 18 years old. You must also be currently 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 and mother’s maiden name.
  • Your current bank account information if you’re a US citizen or permanent resident.

What credit score do I need?

You’ll have a better chance of approval for the Deserve Edu card if you apply with a good to excellent credit score of 680 or higher. However, you don’t need a credit history to apply.

How to apply for the Deserve Edu Student Credit Card

1. Go to the Deserve website and click Apply for Edu.
Deserve® Edu Mastercard screenshot

2. Complete the application with details like your name, contact information and student status.

Continue with the application by adding in your address, academic information, Social Security number, employment status and monthly income.
Deserve® Edu Mastercard screenshot v2

3. Connect your bank account. This gives Deserve the ability to read and analyze your financial records to determine an appropriate credit limit — it can’t make any changes to the connected account.

4. Review and submit your application.

How long will it take to be approved?

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 days to a few weeks to receive a response.

I got the card. Now what?

  • Make timely payments. Pay your card bill online at the Deserve website, where you can also enroll in autopay.
  • 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 Thursday from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday through Saturday from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Pacific standard time.

Bottom line

It doesn’t offer much that the Discover it Chrome and Capital One Journey don’t, but the Deserve Edu is still a great student card. Cash back is a nice touch, as is the free Amazon Prime Student subscription. And if you’re having trouble being approved by other banks, Deserve may be the company that welcomes you.

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

Frequently asked questions

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.
Go to site