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10 Excellent Student Credit Cards of 2022

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 2022

Excellent Student Credit Cards From Our Partners

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

14.49%-23.49% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • No credit score required to apply.

  • 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, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • NEW! 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 14.49% - 23.49% applies.

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

  • View Rates & Fees
Apply Now

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

  • No credit score required to apply.

  • 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, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

  • NEW! 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 14.49% - 23.49% 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

14.49%-23.49% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • No credit score required to apply.

  • 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.

  • NEW! 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 14.49% - 23.49% 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

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

16.49%-26.49% 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. Plus, earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months

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

  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn

  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this

  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months

  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply

  • 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

  • N/A

Cons

  • N/A

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

16.49% 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

Read full review
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

4.4

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

16.49%-26.49% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

  • Limited Time Offer: Earn $100 when you spend $100 in the first three months

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

  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn

  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this

  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months

  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply

  • 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

  • N/A

Cons

  • N/A

Read full review

Excellent for

Building Credit

Apply now

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

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

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

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Regular APR

24.49% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • No credit score required to apply.

  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.

  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200. That means a $200 deposit for a $200 credit line. Or a $500 deposit for a $500 credit line. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit, and the security deposit equals your credit limit.

  • Automatic reviews starting at 7 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.

  • 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.

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

  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

  • 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

  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

  • Qualify with limited/bad credit

  • Earns rewards

  • New cardholder bonus offer

Cons

  • Requires minimum deposit

  • High APR

Read full review

Excellent for

Flat-Rate Cash-Back Rewards

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

4.7

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • 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

  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply

  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees

  • You can help build your credit with responsible use of a card like this

  • Set up Autopay for your account and your payments will be made automatically every month

  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you

  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months

  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen

Apply Now

on Capital One's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Qualify with average credit

  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Earns rewards

Cons

  • High APR

Read full review

Excellent for

No Credit History and International Students

Apply now

on Deserve's website

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Deserve's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

20.99% Variable

Recommended Credit Score
  • Receive one year of Amazon Prime Student on Deserve after spending $500 in the first three billing cycles with your EDU card (Lifetime Value of $69).

  • Earn 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning cash back on all purchases.

  • Feel secure with cell phone protection up to $600.

  • No deposit required. No annual fees.

  • No international transaction fees on purchases abroad so you can travel with confidence.

  • No Social Security Number required for international students to apply.

  • Refer A Friend Program: Refer anyone to Deserve using your personal referral code. Upon approval, card activation and use, you'll receive $30 and so will your referral. Referral bonuses are unlimited!

  • Manage and track your spending, set automatic payments and securely freeze your card all through one easy to use app.

  • See if you prequalify with no impact to your credit score in minutes.

  • Deserve Mastercards are issued by Celtic Bank, Member FDIC.

  • Enjoy Mastercard Platinum Benefits intended to make your life easier like Mastercard ID Theft Prevention™ and Master Rental®.

Apply Now

on Deserve's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Qualify with limited/bad credit

  • Reports to the three major credit bureaus

  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • High APR

Read full review

Excellent for

Low Deposit

Apply now

on Capital One's website

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

4.8

NerdWallet rating 
Apply now

on Capital One's website

Annual fee

$0

Intro APR

N/A

Regular APR

26.99% Variable APR

Recommended Credit Score
  • No annual or hidden fees. See if you're approved in seconds

  • Building your credit? Using the Capital One Platinum Secured card responsibly could help

  • Put down a refundable security deposit starting at $49 to get a $200 initial credit line

  • You could earn back your security deposit as a statement credit when you use your card responsibly, like making payments on time

  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed

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

  • Monitor your credit score with CreditWise from Capital One. It's free for everyone

  • Get access to your account 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with online banking to access your account from your desktop or smartphone, with Capital One's mobile app

Apply Now

on Capital One's website

Pros

  • No annual fee

  • Qualify with limited/bad credit

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Report to three major credit bureaus

Cons

  • Requires minimum deposit

  • No rewards

  • High APR

Read full review

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

16.49%-25.24% 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 16.49% - 25.24%.

  • 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.