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Student Visa® Credit Card from San Mateo Credit Union review

A decent student card with a limited time 2.99% intro APR.

  • Get this card if you want a student credit card with a potentially low ongoing APR.
  • Pick something else if you want a student card with rewards or you don’t want to join a credit union.
  • Apply with a good credit score of or higher.
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Points

$0

Annual fee

2.99%

Intro purchase APR

for the first 12 months (then 9.99% to 17.99% variable)

2.99%

Intro balance transfer

for the first 12 months (then 9.99% to 17.99% variable)

Details

Annual fee$0
Rewards2 points for gas and travel purchases
Choose cash back instead of rewards – $50 for every 5,000 points
Purchase APR2.99% intro for the first 12 months (then 9.99% to 17.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR2.99% intro for the first 12 months (then 9.99% to 17.99% variable)

Review by


Steven Dashiell is a writer at Finder specializing in all things credit cards. With more than 300 articles under his belt, he aims to help readers embrace credit cards and maximize their rewards. Steve is studying to become a Certified Educator in Personal Finance, and is a frequent face on Finder’s YouTube channel, offering the latest in credit card hacks and advice. His expertise has been featured on numerous outlets, including U.S. News & World Report, Time, CBS, Fox Business, Lifehacker, Martha Stewart Living and more.

Expert review

The Student Visa® Credit Card from San Mateo Credit Union is a straightforward student card without many frills. It requires no annual fee, comes with an introductory 2.99% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months reverting to 9.99% to 17.99% and offers a credit limit ranging from $100 to $2,000.

There isn’t much else to speak of – there are no rewards or signup bonus on this card and no mention of graduating to a better card after you complete school. The intro APR is appreciated, but isn’t a 0% intro APR, which drops the value of the offer significantly compared to a standard intro APR card. On the bright side, the card does waive balance transfer fees during your 12 month intro period.

If you or your parents are already a part of the San Mateo Credit Union, the Student Visa Credit Card might not be a bad choice for convenience’s sake. The card lacks punch compared to other student cards on the market however and you should look elsewhere for your student card needs if able.

How to apply for the Student Visa® Credit Card from San Mateo Credit Union

You can apply for the Student Visa® Credit Card from San Mateo Credit Union by doing the following.

  1. Go to the provider's site and click Apply now.
  2. Highlight Loans from the top menu bar and click on Personal credit cards.
  3. Scroll down to the Student Visa Credit Card and click Learn more.
  4. Click Apply now and sign into your account. If you’re not yet a San Mateo member, you’ll need to sign up.

Student Visa® Credit Card from San Mateo Credit Union benefits

  • No annual fee. You won’t pay an annual fee to use this card.
  • Intro APR. This card comes with a 2.99% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, reverting to 9.99% to 17.99% variable APR.
  • Intro balance transfer fee waiver. During your 12 month intro period you won’t be charged the standard 3% of the transfer amount typical of a balance transfer.

Student Visa® Credit Card from San Mateo Credit Union drawbacks

  • No rewards. This card doesn’t earn rewards on purchases. In today’s market, it’s not uncommon to find student cards that offer 1% or 1.5% back on purchases.
  • No signup bonus. Likewise, the Student Visa Credit Card lacks a signup bonus. Unlike rewards however, signup bonuses are more uncommon on student cards.
  • No stated graduation opportunities. While you might apply for an upgrade down the road after using this card, there isn’t an advertised promise of graduation from SMCU. Many competing student cards offer a path to graduation or at least a higher credit limit.

SMCU customer reviews and complaints

The San Mateo Credit Union is not accredited with the Better Business Bureau and has an F rating as of September 2021. It has just 1 customer review, which is befitting of this small, local credit union.

The credit union isn’t listed on the Trustpilot site as of September 2021 and customer reviews of the Student Visa card are difficult to find as well.

Compare student credit cards

Name Product Filter values Minimum deposit required Purchase APR Annual fee Minimum Credit Score
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
N/A
26.99% variable
$0
580
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or get 1.25% cash back for months you pay on time.
Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
N/A
26.99% variable
$0
New to credit
A student credit card with a solid 1.5% unlimited cashback rate.
Deserve® Edu Card
N/A
18.74% variable
$0
580
Designed for college students to build credit history and earn rewards.
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Bottom line

There’s nothing wrong with the Student Visa® Credit Card from San Mateo Credit Union per se. There are just many student cards on the market with a lot more to offer. Look elsewhere for a student card first, but feel free to keep this card in mind as a backup if you don’t mind joining the San Mateo Credit Union.

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