Deserve® Edu Card for Students review
Get cash back and an Amazon Prime Student membership with this no-annual-fee card.
- 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.
Up to 1%
Purchase APR (variable)
Recommended credit score
Kevin Joey Chen was a credit cards, banking and investments writer for Finder. His work and analysis have appeared on CNN, U.S. News & World Report, Business.com, Lifehacker and CreditCards.com.
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.
How to apply for the Deserve® Edu Card
To apply for the Deserve® Edu Card, you must be at least 18 years old, enrolled in a US college or university or be an international student. If you’re younger than 21, you don’t need a cosigner to apply but you may need to prove you can independently pay your card bill.
While having a credit history isn’t necessary to apply for the Deserve® Edu Card, you’ll increase your chances of approval the higher your score is. Here’s how to apply.
- Go to the provider's site and select Apply now.
- Complete the application with details like your name, contact information and student status.
- Continue with the application by adding your address, academic information, Social Security number, employment status and monthly income. Deserve waives the Social Security number 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.
- 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.
- 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 seven to 10 business days.
Deserve® Edu Card benefits
- 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. Deserve will automatically redeem your cash back as statement credit in $25 increments.
- 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.
- 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.
- No foreign transaction fees. The Deserve® Edu Card comes with no foreign transaction fees. That makes it a strong choice to bring for studying abroad.
- Other perks. You’ll also receive perks such as no penalty APR, no penalty APR, car rental collision damage waivers when you book car rentals with your card. You’ll get 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 car, roadside assistance and price protection that partially reimburses you if you find lower prices on items you’ve purchased
Deserve® Edu Card drawbacks
- 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 20.99% 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.
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.
Compare student credit cards
If this student card isn’t right for you, compare other products out there to find a card that best meets your financial needs.
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.
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.