Giving a twenty year old college student a wallet full of plastic can be a recipe for disaster but with the sweeping credit card reform in the wings parents of college or university bound students can breathe a little easier.
Any one under the age of twenty one requires a co-signer to get an account. This may be all that some irresponsible students need to help them make good choices when using a card for purchasing items. If however an applicant can prove that payments can be covered on their own (for example a pay stub from work), they may get the ‘A-OK’ to have their own account.
The co-signers on most college bound accounts are usually parents, and with this co-sign parents will legitimately have more control over the accounts. Picking from among so many different college student credit cards can be daunting that is why we have included a summary of two of the most popular student cards available.
Discover® Student Card
For more experienced users who are looking for a no annual fee card that offers cash rewards for purchases, students should think about looking into the Discover Student card.
It offers an introductory 0% APR for 6 months on purchases and rather than offer points to be redeemed, card holders can earn a 5% cash back rebate from selected categories. With cash back from purchases on department store, gas bar, grocery and restaurant items there is incentive to use the card. In addition to the 5% cash back cards with balances over $3,000 will garner an additional 1% Cashback Bonus®. After the 0% APR 6 month introductory period the regular rate is around 13.9% depending on the prime rate.
If Cashback Bonuses are redeemed with participating Card Partners for gift certificates additional rebates can be obtained.
Other services offered for card holders include:
- Online account management
- No liability for unauthorized transactions
- Discounts on services and products at selected participating merchants.
As with other cash back reward cards there are restrictions and methods of application to determine the Cashback rewards. All rewards and cash should be thoroughly investigated.
Discover® Student cards offer vanity cards to motivate younger card holders to get cards and also rewards options cards. The Discover® Student Card comes in different styles like Clear, Monogram Collection which displays cardholders initials, Open Road Card with 2% Cashback Bonus automatically at any gas station, and the Motiva Card featuring pay on time bonuses and cash rewards.
Student credit cards offer easy access to cash in case of emergency and peace of mind for parents. Cards that offer rewards, decent APR and low introductory rates will allow students an opportunity to build a good credit history which in the long run will come in handy when students graduate and want to take out a car loan or mortgage.
Citi Forward® Card for Students
This credit card is no longer available.
This no annual fee card is a way for new users to learn how to manage their credit as it rewards students when they use the card responsibly. For example users will get up to 2% annual percentage rate (APR) reduction if purchases stay under the credit limit and the monthly balance gets paid on time for three months.
Bonus points are also awarded to the tune of 100 points per billing period when card holders stay within their credit limit and pay on time. Five Citi “Thank You” points are given for every dollar spent at restaurants, book stores, theaters and movie rentals while one “Thank You” point per dollar spent on other purchases. These points are redeemed through the “Thank You” network.
As incentive to trying the card Citi offers a 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months and a honeymoon intro period of 0% for 7 months for new applicants. After this period the APR will vary between 12.99 and 19.99 % based on the Prime Rate.
Other bonuses offered include:
- Identity theft protection
- Cell phone insurance
- $0 liability on fraudulent charges