Young adults will find that getting a credit card is relatively easy, especially for students. In fact, there are a surprisingly large number of credit cards for students only out there. Credit card companies realize the importance of being the first credit card an individual has, because that card will likely be kept. For this reason, credit card issuers are eager to get a student as a cardholder.
Put the credit card chaser to work for you now finding and comparing student credit cards that best meet your
As with any financial decision, it is important to check out how a company fares before doing business with them. J.D. Power and Associates compiles information on customer satisfaction with credit cards from different lenders. This is a great resource to help you choose the best credit card for you.
What constitutes good student credit cards?
Knowing how to determine whether the student credit card that you are considering is good or not, is important to the individual seeking a credit card. Some of the best cards offer lucrative and convenient features such as:
- Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
- Automatic payment reminders help you avoid late fees
- A 0% APR offer that is in place for a significant amount of time after you take out your card (at least 1 year)
- No annual fee
- A reasonable credit card APR that will be in effect following the introductory period
Rewards credit cards are another option for student credit cards. While these can be a good kind of card to carry, they are not for everyone. Rewards cards tend to have higher interest rates than other cards. Therefore, only opt for one if you are confident that you will pay off your card in total every month.
Why should you choose student credit cards when a debit card works almost everywhere?
Debit cards, even those with a major credit card logo, are not credit cards. While a transaction can be treated like credit for the company, the transaction for the consumer is no different from a debit transaction. In short, if the funds are not there, the transaction will be declined.
Carrying and using a credit card gives students an opportunity to build their credit score. Essentially, when an individual comes of age, there have no credit history. Many lenders see this as a negative and are hesitant to offer competitive rates to someone seeking credit for the first time. A student credit card allows students to make purchases, pay them off and handle credit wisely, building a good credit score in the process.
While debit cards will work most everywhere, there are still situations in which a debit card is inconvenient or even unaccepted. If you are looking to rent a car, some companies will require a credit card. The ones who accept debit cards for payment will authorize a much larger amount than the rental car cost, as security for them. This means those funds will be unavailable to you.
What should student credit card holders know?
If you choose to take out a student credit card, be sure to follow some guidelines. The most important one is to pay off your credit card in full each month. This will allow you to prove that you are capable of handling credit and will help you build the best credit score possible.
Restrain yourself from carrying high spending limits. A $500 limit is sufficient for a student’s needs. This helps keep you from allowing temptation to get you in trouble.
Make your credit card payments in a timely manner. This will help to insure that you do not incur finance charges or other fees, like late payment fees, which can be hefty.
Understand the terminology of credit and the details of your credit agreement. Know the annual percentage rates, what grace periods are, and how finance charges work.
If you have a rewards program, familiarize yourself with it:
- How do you access the cash back that you have earned or the rewards points?
- What rewards are available?
- Do they expire?
- Do you want to work towards a specific reward?
Take the time to do additional research on the topic of student credit cards. A great resource for anything that concerns students is the website College Board. It will provide you with tips and cautions about credit cards for students.
Doing your homework before taking out your first credit card is very important. Once you know what you are looking for, take the time to shop around and compare offers from various lenders.
Let the credit card chaser help you by finding the best credit card for your needs.
- Bank of America Student Platinum Plus Visa
- Credit Cards for College Students: Wisdom or Folly?
- Grow Financial Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum for Students Credit Card
- The Golden 1 Credit Union Student Visa
- Penn State University Credit Card
- Loyola University New Orleans Credit Card
- What are school credit cards for?