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Best Student Credit Cards

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by Eric Rosenberg | Updated Mar. 30, 2017
We maintain strict editorial integrity in our writing and assessments. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone.

Best Student Credit Cards Overview

Advertiser Disclosure

One of the most important steps of young adulthood is responsibly building credit. Many people don't know that the length of time your oldest credit card has been open can significantly impact your credit score. For that reason, getting your first credit card when you're a college student can be an incredibly smart move that ends up saving you thousands when you graduate and start looking into buying your first home or a new car. Using our credit card model, we found some of the best credit card offers for students. The cards below provide the best combination of rewards (where available), low fees, and likelihood of approval for applicants with little credit.

Best Credit Card for Students with No Credit

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  • Build Your Credit fast with our monthly reporting to all 3 major credit bureaus.
  • Choose your credit line as low as $200 up to $3000, secured by a fully-refundable* security deposit.
  • Security deposit needs to be submitted before the credit card can be issued.
  • No credit check necessary and no checking account required; apply in less than 5 minutes.
  • *View our Cardholder Agreement located at the bottom of the application page for details of the card.

Annual Fee

$35.00

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

18.14% (variable)

Best Cash Back Credit Card for Students

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  • Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Plus, unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements & online.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.49% - 22.49%.

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

0% APR for 6 Months

Balance Transfer Intro APR

10.99% APR for 6 Months

Regular APR

13.49% - 22.49% Variable

Best Credit Card for Students with Average Credit

More Details

  • 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
  • There's no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn, and rewards don't expire
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Pay no annual or foreign transaction fees
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you

Annual Fee

$0

Purchase Intro APR

N/A

Balance Transfer Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

20.24% - 20.24%

Our Methodology

SmartAsset has developed a quantitative and independent system for evaluating the relative value of a credit card offer versus other offers in the marketplace. Our system evaluates cards based exclusively on their features, such as their rewards earning rate (if applicable), fees, perks, and rewards program redemption options. The annual rewards values on this page are calculated using annual spending assumptions in various categories such as, but not limited to, gas, restaurants, airfare, and US supermarkets. These spending assumptions are built on research that SmartAsset has conducted on existing student credit cardholders. Our promise with our credit card recommendations is that we will always strive to have the most comprehensive, accurate, and objective method of evaluating credit card offers. Any recommendations are solely determined by the result of this research and model, and is never influenced by any fees, commissions, or other forms of compensation that SmartAsset may receive from credit card issuers for leads generated on our website.

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Get Your $200 Credit
Get a travel credit card with massive rewards + $200 Statement Credit
Get Your $200 Credit
Get a travel credit card with massive rewards + $200 Statement Credit
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Data provided by Informa Research Services and CJ Affiliate.
Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which SmartAsset receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). SmartAsset does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.
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