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Best College Student Credit Cards Of 2020

Last updated on March 4, 2020 by
best student credit cards

Student credit cards are mainly focused on building credit rather than getting the biggest rewards and welcome bonuses. As a college student, it’s important to build up your credit score and history while. Building good credit while you’re a student can positively affect everything from renting an apartment to getting a lease on a car to getting approved for a mortgage on a house. Student credit cards don’t have annual fees, and require a lower credit score to get approved. If you’re a student without an extensive credit history built up already, take a look at this list of the best student credit cards.

Best For

Cash Back In Bonus Categories

Discover it® Student Cash Back

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on Discover’s website

Best Feature: Get 5% cash back in rotating categories.

Interest Rate: 14.49% – 23.49% Variable (0% Intro APR for 6 months on purchases)

Annual Fee: $0

Recommended credit level: No credit

The Discover it® Student Cash Back Card offers 5% cash back in different categories, which changes quarterly throughout the year. Every 3 months, where you get 5% back will change from categories like groceries, restaurants, gas, online shopping, etc. On all other purchases, you’ll earn 1% back. While 5% cash back on a free credit card is amazing, the downside is that you’ll have to manually activate these bonus categories for it to kick in. Plus, the category may not align with where you make the majority of your purchases.

Student Perks: You’ll get a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to 5 years after you sign up. Also, at the end of the first year, you’ll get a cashback match from Discover and you’ll get all the cashback you’ve earned throughout the year x2. Another great feature is that you’ll receive your FICO Credit Score for free on all monthly statements you receive.

Best For

Gas & Restaurants

Discover it® Chrome for Students

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on Discover’s website

Best Feature: Get 2% cash back on gas & restaurants.

Interest Rate: 14.49% – 23.49% Variable (0% Intro APR for 6 months on purchases)

Annual Fee: $0

Recommended credit level: No credit

If you dine out at restaurants frequently and drive a car, the Discover it® Chrome Card for Students is the ideal card for you. You’ll get 2% cash back up to $1000 in spending each quarter on all restaurant and gas purchases. If you exceed $1000 for the quarter, you’ll earn 1% back.

Student Perks: Like the Student Cash Back Card from Discover, this card also will give you a $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher. This is valid for 5 years after you sign up as long as you’re still a student. You’ll also get a cashback match at the end of the year, where Discover will match the cash back you earned throughout the year. And, you’ll also be able to see your FICO credit score on each statement.

Best For

Flat-Rate Cash Back Rate

Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One

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on Capital One’s website

Best Feature: Get a flat-rate of 1.25% cash back on all purchases.

Interest Rate: 26.99% Variable

Annual Fee: $0

Recommended credit level: No credit

The Journey® Student Credit Card from Capital One gives you a high flat-rate cash back rate of 1.25% on all purchases made with the card. To encourage prompt payment of your balance, you’ll get 1% back when you make a purchase, and 0.25% when you pay off your balance.

Student Perks: If you need a higher credit limit, you can request one after making your first 5 monthly payments on time. You’ll also get unlimited access to your credit score, and pay no foreign transaction fees if you’re travelling outside of the US.

Best For

Secured Student Credit Card

Secured Mastercard from Capital One

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on Capital One’s website

Best Feature: More accessibility to higher credit lines.

Interest Rate: 26.99% Variable

Annual Fee: $0

Recommended credit level: No credit

If you have no credit history whatsoever, or need to rebuild your credit, you should look into getting the Secured Mastercard from Capital One. This is a secured credit card, which means that it’s more for building up your credit score than anything else. However, if you don’t have a credit history good enough to get any of the other cards, this is great secured card to start with. You’ll need to connect your bank account to put down a security deposit of $49, $99, or $200 (which is refundable). Once you do, you’ll get an initial $200 line of credit, and access to a higher credit line when you make your first 5 monthly payments on time.

Best For

International Students

Deserve EDU Mastercard

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on Capital One’s website

Best Feature: No social security number required for international students to apply.

Interest Rate: 20.24% Variable

Annual Fee: $0

Recommended credit level: No credit

If you’re an international student with no credit history in the US, or no Social Security Number, you can still apply for the Deserve EDU Mastercard. It’s also a great credit card for students who are only able to consider a secured credit card. You’ll get a 1% cash back on all purchases made. This card also comes with a welcome bonus. Get a statement credit for 12 months of Amazon Prime Student subscription plus a $30 statement credit anytime you refer a friend to get the card.

Student Perks: While this card is popular amongst international students with no SSN, it’s also a great option for those who don’t qualify for other credit cards that require some sort of income or credit history. No security deposit is required. Compared to a secured credit card, the Deserve EDU Mastercard gives you a nice welcome bonus, cash back on purchases, and depending on your history with the card, a credit limit up to $5000.