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5 Excellent Student Credit Cards of 2023

If you’re in college and want to start building credit, check out these student credit cards, some of which are from our partners. Starting early can pay off in a big way down the road.

NerdWallet's Excellent Student Credit Cards of 2023

Excellent Student Credit Cards From Our Partners

Recently Updated January 3, 2023

Excellent for

Bonus Cash Back Categories

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

19.24%-29.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), with 1% on all other purchases

  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months

  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024

  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges

  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees

  • Lock your card in the Capital One Mobile app if it's misplaced, lost or stolen

  • Earn up to $500 a year by referring friends and family when they're approved for a Capital One credit card

  • Earn 8% cash back on entertainment purchases when you book through the Capital One Entertainment portal

  • Build your credit with responsible card use

  • Whether you're at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you

Apply Now

on Capital One's website

  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), with 1% on all other purchases

  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn $50 when you spend $100 in the first three months

  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024

  • Enjoy peace of mind with $0 Fraud Liability so that you won't be responsible for unauthorized charges

  • Enjoy no annual fee, foreign transaction fees, or hidden fees

  • Lock your card in the Capital One Mobile app if it's misplaced, lost or stolen

  • Earn up to $500 a year by referring friends and family when they're approved for a Capital One credit card

  • Earn 8% cash back on entertainment purchases when you book through the Capital One Entertainment portal

  • Build your credit with responsible card use

  • Whether you're at a 4-year university, community college or other higher education institution, this card might be an option for you

Apply Now

on Capital One's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Bonus categories

  • No rewards caps

  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

Cons

  • High APR

Read full review

Excellent for

Cash Rewards for Students and Credit Newbies

Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Discover it® Student Cash Back

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Regular APR

17.24%-26.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, and gas stations, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • No credit score required to apply.

  • Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.

  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.

  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 17.24% - 26.24% applies.

  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Qualify with limited/bad credit

  • Bonus categories

  • Intro APR period

  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

Cons

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review

Excellent for

Rewards for Students

Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Discover it® Student chrome

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR on Purchases for 6 months and 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Regular APR

17.24%-26.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • No credit score required to apply.

  • Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.

  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.

  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 17.24% - 26.24% applies.

  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

on Discover's website, or call 800-347-0264

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • Qualify with average credit

  • Bonus categories

Cons

  • Complicated rewards

Read full review

Excellent for

Simple rewards + Easy-to-Earn Bonuses

Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

4.6

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

19.24% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • $50 Bonus after first purchase made within the first 3 months from account opening

  • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases

  • No annual Fee

  • $20 Good Standing Rewards after each account anniversary for up to 5 years

  • Earn a credit limit increase after making 5 monthly payments on time within 10 months from account opening when meeting credit criteria

  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open

  • Free credit score with Chase Credit Journey

Apply Now

on Chase's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Earns rewards

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • No bonus categories

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Excellent for

Cash-Back Pairing with Chase Sapphire Preferred®

Apply now

on Chase's website

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Chase's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

Regular APR

19.24%-27.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!

  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).

  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!

  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 19.24% - 27.99%.

  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card

  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.

Apply Now

on Chase's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Intro APR period

  • High rewards rate

  • No minimum redemption amount

Cons

  • Requires good/excellent credit

Read full review

A student credit card is a great first step in establishing a good credit history

Building good credit might not seem like a priority when you're still in school, but you'll need it down the road if you want to finance a car, buy a house or qualify for the best credit card offers. Your credit can even affect your job prospects and your ability to rent an apartment.Be aware that simply being a college student may not be enough to qualify you for a “student” card. You’ll generally need access to income, and if you have shaky credit or no credit history at all, you may find it hard to get approved. In that case, consider a secured credit card. These cards require you to put down a cash deposit as collateral. The deposit protects the issuer in case you fail to pay your bill, which reduces the risk of approving you for a card. If you’re in the market for a new card, here are some of our favorite offers for student credit cards.