Best College Student Credit Cards of 2017
Highlight this: Using one of these cards responsibly while still in school is a giant step toward building great credit.
Here are the best college student credit cards:
If you’re in the market for a new card, here are some of our favorite student card offers.
Credit newbies: Discover it® for Students
Intro APR Promotions
0% on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months
- APR: 13.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
- Cash Advance APR: 25.99%, Variable
Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
- New! We’ll monitor your Social Security Number. Get an alert if we find your Social Security Number on any of thousands of risky websites.* Activate for FREE.
- 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 Amazon.com, restaurants, ground transportation and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
- 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, on mobile and 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 13.99% - 22.99%.
- Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
This card offers 5% cash back (on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter) in categories that change every three months. Recent categories have included Amazon, gas stations and restaurants. It pays 1% cash back on all other spending. New cardholders will get their cash back matched at the end of their first 12 billing periods, and students who maintain a 3.0 GPA are eligible for an annual $20 reward. There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee and no fee for paying late once. Late payments will never increase your annual percentage rate.
Complete card details
For a Discover student card with simpler rewards
Discover it® chrome for Students
Responsible students: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®
Intro APR Promotions
- APR: 24.99% Variable APR
- Cash Advance APR: 24.99%, Variable
Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
- 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 won't expire for the life of the account
- 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
The cash-back rewards are easy to understand and might help you develop good credit habits. You earn 1% cash back on all purchases, and when you pay your bill on time, you’ll receive an extra 0.25% cash back as a bonus. Make your first five payments on time, and you may gain access to a higher credit line. There are no annual fees and no foreign transaction fees. And you don’t even have to be a student to apply.
NerdWallet’s credit cards team selects the best cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen in multiple categories.
Last updated Jan. 27, 2017.
To recap our selections...
NerdWallet's Best College Student Credit Cards of 2017
|Credit cards||Best for|
|Discover it® for Students||Credit newbies: Discover it® for Students|
|Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students||Socializers: Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students|
|Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®||Responsible students: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®|