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Which Credit Cards for College Students Come With a Free FICO Score?

Dec. 18, 2014
Credit Cards, Student Credit Cards
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  • Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

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It’s important to build your credit early in life to take advantage of the benefits an excellent credit score provides. If you’re a college student who wants to monitor your credit score as it climbs, we have two student credit cards and one student loan for you with free access to your FICO credit score.

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Like the regular Discover it® Cash Back, the Discover it® Student Cash Back has 5% bonus rewards on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter) and 1% back on everything else. To earn the 5% cash back, you need to activate the bonus categories each quarter.

Here are the latest bonus categories:

Discover bonus rewards categories for 2019
Q1 (Jan. 1 – March 31)Grocery stores
Q2 (April 1 – June 30)Gas stations, Uber and Lyft
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)Restaurants
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)Amazon.com

The Discover it® Student Cash Back has an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.24% - 24.24% Variable APR. There is an annual fee of $0, no over-the-limit fees, no foreign transaction fees, and no late fee on your first late payment. The Discover it® Student Cash Back gives you access to your free TransUnion FICO score on your monthly statements, online and in the mobile app.

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students offers 2 ThankYou points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment and 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent on everything else. There’s also a signup bonus: Earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening (This offer is no longer available on our site) ThankYou points can be redeemed for cash, cash equivalents, gift cards, travel, merchandise and more, but they’re best redeemed for gift cards and cash equivalents, like student loan rebates and mortgage payments.

The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students has an introductory APR of 0% on Purchases for 7 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49% - 26.49% Variable APR. The annual fee is $0, and the foreign transaction fee is 3%. The Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students offers cardholders access to their free Equifax FICO score online, updated monthly.

Another way to check your FICO score for free

If you have a Sallie Mae Smart Option student loan, you can get your free FICO score quarterly. You’ll also receive information about the personalized factors affecting your score, online credit score education and information about how the FICO score is calculated.

This article was updated on April 21, 2016.