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The best travel credit cards for students

Bank of America’s student cards are excellent choices.

There are plenty of reasons to travel as a student, from study-abroad programs to vacations with friends. However, you’ll need to spend money along the way, which means getting a travel credit card can be wise.

In this guide, we’ll give you the scoop on the best travel credit cards for students — and how to pick the right one.

We evaluated cards on factors such as fees, rewards, signup bonuses, international acceptance and intro APRs. Standout credit cards in these areas made our list.

The best travel credit cards for students

While you’ll find many stellar travel credit cards for consumers with established credit, there aren’t many travel products aimed at students. Nevertheless, there are impressive picks among the few that are for students.

We highly recommend each of the following cards for students with a passion for traveling.

Our best overall pick

Bank of America® Travel Rewards for Students

Finder rating 4.1 / 5 ★★★★★

This card checks all the right boxes for a strong student travel card: no annual or foreign transaction fees, solid rewards, an excellent signup bonus, worldwide acceptance and a market-leading intro APR.

Top rewards rate on travel

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards for Students

Finder rating 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

You can choose to earn 3% cash back in travel on up to 2,500 in purchases each quarter, then 1, which is an excellent rewards rate. The signup bonus and intro APR are impressive benefits as well. Watch out for the 3% foreign transaction fee, which makes the card better suited for domestic travel.

How do I choose the best travel credit card?

If you’re unsure which student travel card to choose, here are a few things to consider depending on your needs:

  • Ditch the annual fees. Plenty of great student cards don’t have annual fees.
  • Check the rewards you’ll earn. Many of the best student cards offer some type of rewards on your purchases. For example, you might earn 1% cash back per dollar you spend on your card. You might earn points instead, redeemable for travel purchases.
  • Avoid foreign transaction fees. These are fees you incur when you use your card abroad or on international websites. Typically, this comes out to 3% of each transaction, which can quickly add up with many purchases.
  • Consider the card network. Visa and Mastercard are valid virtually anywhere credit cards are accepted. While you’ll find merchants abroad that take Discover and American Express, these networks lag behind in worldwide acceptance.
  • An intro APR might help. If you’re very careful about paying off your card bill, an intro APR travel card can help you finance your trip interest-free.

For example, your card might offer a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months. You can use your card to buy your $450 plane ticket, then slowly pay it off throughout the year before your intro APR expires. If you do, you won’t accrue any interest.

Be careful with intro APRs

Having an intro purchase APR can feel great: During a period of time, you’ll accrue no interest on what you buy. But every intro APR ends at some point, and cardholders who don’t pay off their balances by then often spiral into debt.

If you’re new to credit cards, now’s a great time to build strong financial habits. Consider this advice: If you’ll take advantage of an intro APR, do everything in your power to pay off your balance completely before your special interest rate expires.

Pros and cons of travel credit cards for students

ProsCons
  • You’ll often pay no foreign transaction fees.
  • If your card offers points, you can use them for a variety of redemptions.
  • These cards are often great for everyday purchases too.
  • There aren’t many student cards intentionally geared toward travel.
  • Accelerated rewards specifically for travel are uncommon among student cards.
  • These cards are often great for everyday purchases too.

Is a travel student credit card right for me?

A travel credit card might be especially useful if:

  • You want to save your rewards for travel. Offsetting your trip cost with rewards can lessen the strain on your budget.
  • You’re taking a trip abroad or studying abroad. Look for a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • You want to pay less interest on your trip. Traveling can be expensive, which means you might not have the funds to pay for it up front. With great caution, you can leverage an intro APR to finance your trip.

Compare travel credit cards for students

If you’re looking for a side-by-side look at your card options, select your credit score below and click “Show cards” to start comparing.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
$5 per month for 12 months on select streaming subscriptions when you pay on time for up to $60 total credit
1% cash back on all purchases, 1.25% for months you pay on time
$0
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
1.5% cashback on all purchases
$0
A student credit card with a solid 1.5% unlimited cashback rate.
Deserve® Edu Card
Amazon Prime Student subscription credit up to $59 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
1% cash back on all purchases
$0
Designed for college students to build credit history and earn rewards.
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Bottom line

With the right credit card, you can earn rewards while seeing the world. Stay out of debt while watching your credit score, and you can eventually upgrade to more-powerful travel cards.

If the cards mentioned don’t seem right for you, compare more student cards until you find one that meets your financial and travel needs.

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