Best Student Credit Cards for 2020

20 Jan 2021

Why do you need a student credit card?

Do you have a sense of realization that bigger responsibilities are coming your way when you become a college student? Yes, it happens with the most. Some college students have a tough time while managing their expenses and managing their money. This is because they are mostly busy with academic activities and do not find enough time to get actively involved in money matters.

Getting a student credit card, while you are still in college can teach you your first real lessons on how to manage your expenses/money and you learn to avoid unnecessary spending. This, in turn, sets you up for the inevitable financial success ahead. If you are aged over 18 and have access to a steady income, you may apply for a student credit card and it will get your credit history underway. Thus, you can start increasing your credit score, by effectively managing your expenses. As you will discover later, having good credit will play a very important role when you will apply for auto loans, home loans and even student loans tomorrow. In addition, a student credit card will continue to carry out its primary task, i.e., to provide you with funds whenever you need them. You can also earn reward points against purchased made through your credit card, which you can redeem later for a plethora of useful items or you may opt for cash backs into your account.

Having a student credit card early in your life will help you to be at a few steps ahead than your friends who have zero or limited credit history. Do have in mind that every transaction you make through your credit card can either improve or damage your credit score. This is why it is extremely important for you to use your credit card responsibly enough so that it can convey a positive track-record about your credit to the major credit bureaus every month.

What are the Key Factors for Selecting a Credit Card?

Credit cards come with a lot of conditions, so you must be cautious while choosing a credit card. You can take into consideration the following points before choosing the credit card as a student:

  1. Annual Fees- Make sure that the credit card company doesn’t charge a yearly fee. Various credit card providers offer their credit card at no annual fees.

  2. Bonus and Rewards- Credit cards offer you a multitude of benefits regarding points and cash backs. While choosing the credit card, you must do a comparative analysis of the various rewards points offered by these credit companies.

  3. Foreign Transaction Fees- As a student if you are planning to travel abroad or study abroad then find out a credit card which offers no foreign transaction fees.

  4. Upgrade opportunities- Also check whether the credit company allows you to upgrade from student credit card to regular card.

How Can You Qualify for Your Student Credit Card?

You need to be enrolled as a college student at the time of applying for a college credit card. The card issuer would also ask for a valid income proof from you. Income from part-time jobs will be counted in this regard but grants, work-study or scholarships won’t. Even if you do not have a job on your own, you can have one of your parents as a co-signer on your card. In this case, your parent will be responsible if you fail to pay the outstanding balance on your card.

As mentioned before, the approval of your credit card depends big time on your credit score and it’s imperative that you should check your credit reports for any errors before you apply for your student credit card. There will be entries in your credit report if you have availed any debt products (auto loans, student loans, personal loans and so on) in the past. Even if you have never availed a loan in the past, you would do well to check the credit report every now and then as issues of identity theft are common these days. Miscreants can open up new credit lines in your name and run the same for years even before you discover them. This is the reason why you should regularly check your credit reports for mistakes/errors and dispute/fix them at the earliest.

If for some reason, you are denied a student credit card, you can opt for a secured credit card. These credit cards require you to pledge collateral in the form of a security deposit. Therefore, they are easier to get and they also help you to build up credit. Another option for you may be to become an accredited/authorized user of a credit card belonging to someone of your trust ( a parent or relative). You can take advantage of their responsible credit behavior.

Best Student Credit Cards for 2020

Here is the tabular representation of 5 best student credit cards along with its key features:

Name of the card

Ideal For

Foreign Transaction Fees

Regular APR

Annual Fee


  • This card is perfect for cash back and rewards.

  • It Chrome card gives students a cashback of $20 every year if their GPA stays above 3.0 for 5 years.

No Foreign Transaction Fees

14.99% - 23.99%

Zero Annual Fees

Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students

  • This card is perfect for international students

  • It gives 1% cashback on all the purchases

No Foreign transaction fees


No Annual Fees

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

  • This card is perfect for students who are looking for card with great cash back offers.

  • It gives you 1% cash back on every purchase and 1.25% cash back every time you pay on time.

No Foreign Transaction Fees


No Annual Fees

Citi Bank Thank You Card

  • This is an excellent choice for college students. It also gives you the sign-up bonus.

  • On every spending of $1 for dining and entertainment, you earn 2 Thank you points.

  • Every point ranges between $0.005 and $0.01

No Foreign Transaction Fees

16.24 and 26.24

No Annual Fees

State Farm® Student Visa® Credit Card

  • This card also offers point system where if you spend $1 on the insurance premium, you earn 3 points and 1 point every time your spend @2 on other purchases.

  • 1 point per $2 spent on other purchases

No foreign transaction fees

17.24% - 25.24%

No Annual Fees


With the help of this table, you can shortlist the credit card and apply for the same. But remember it comes with repayment clause so us your credit card judiciously. For any query, contact us at +1 (925) 317-8255

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