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Laurel Road, a digital lending platform and brand of KeyBank, has launched a new cash-back credit card with features that can help you put more money toward your student loans.
The Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback Card offers:
A $0 annual fee.
2% cash back toward private or federal student loans with eligible servicers, or 1% cash back in the form of a statement credit.
A limited-time offer: Get a $500 student loan cash-back bonus or a $250 statement credit after spending $5,000 within the first 90 days of opening an account.
A 0% intro APR on balance transfers for the first 12 monthly billing cycles following account opening, if you transfer the balance within the first 60 days after account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply.
No foreign transaction fees.
World Mastercard benefits, including purchase assurance and extended warranty protection.
You can redeem cash-back rewards toward student loans with most major student loan servicing companies. Among those included are Laurel Road, EdFinancial Services, FedLoan Servicing Department of Education, Navient, Sallie Mae and Wells Fargo, to name a few.
Is it a good deal?
Yes, for the right user.
The Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback Card packs richer incentives compared with a lot of other cards. The potential 2% cash-back rate is among the best you'll find, and the card offers flexibility to redeem with a variety of student loan servicers.
Compare that with, say, the SoFi Credit Card. It, too, earns 2% cash back (3% for a year if you set up direct deposit with SoFi) — but only if you apply rewards to a SoFi student loan or other eligible SoFi options.
Similarly, Sallie Mae credit cards start out earning 2% cash back or more during the first year on up to $20,000 spent — but after that, they have a low ongoing rewards rate.
It's also worth noting that as of this writing, the Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback Card comes with a generous sign-up bonus, though it's for a limited time and the requirement to earn it is steeper than on other no-annual-fee cash-back cards. Still, if you can snag it without overspending, it's enough to help with a student loan payment or even a few, depending on how much you owe.
Of course, if you aren't interested in using credit card rewards to help defray student loan costs, then the best you can do with the Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback Card is 1% back on all purchases, which simply isn't competitive in today's market. Any number of cash-back credit cards earn a flat rate of 1.5% back or higher. And you could use those rewards for anything you like, including putting them toward a student loan payment. It would just require more steps than the Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback Card.