Student credit cards are usually one of the first credit-building tools available to consumers under 21 years old.
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) May 17, 2013
As students wrap up final exams and put the finishing touches on another semester, odds are that many students are looking for summer jobs, internships, and anything else that might improve their personal and financial well-being for the future.
Student credit cards of course fit that mold, since they are usually one of the first credit-building tools available to consumers under 21 years old, along with student loans. According to Creditnet.com - an online authority on credit card topics and reviews - today's college are enjoying some of the best credit card offers ever available to their demographic.
That said, today's student credit cards are a little tougher to get approved for, explains Creditnet Vice President Jason Bushey.
"The Credit CARD Act of 2009 requires that students and consumers under 21 years of age show sufficient income, or provide a co-signer to get approved for a credit card," said Bushey. "So while it's a little bit tougher to get approved than it was in the past, the result is that student credit cards are mostly going into the hands of consumers that can actually pay their bills, which is of course ultimately a great thing."
Using factors that included cash back programs, on-time bill pay incentives and overall fee structures, Creditnet.com today revealed its list of the 5 best student credit card offers.
This cash back credit card from Discover is considered one the best for a number of reasons. First, students pay no interest on new purchases for the first 6 months from date of account opening. After that, the APR variable ranges from 12.99 to 18.99 percent based on a consumer's creditworthiness, which according to Creditnet is low for a card aimed at consumers with limited credit.
Another reason this card is so highly-regarded is the bonus cash back program, which includes 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases made in categories that rotate each month with enrollment. Beginning July 1st, students can earn 5 percent cash back at gas stations through September 30th, again up to $1,500 in purchases. Students earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
Finally, this card carries no annual fee, and Discover will waive the first late payment fee made by a cardholder. (It's up to $35 thereafter.) Overall, this is Creditnet's favorite student credit card offer.
Another cash back offer for college students is this credit card from Capital One. Creditnet points to the fact that this card offers a 25 percent bonus on cash back earned each month for on-time payments as the biggest reason why this is a top-ranked card for college students.
Students will earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases, there's no annual fee and cardholders will become privy to free credit monitoring tools to help keep track of credit score fluctuations.
The APR attached to this card is slightly higher than the aforementioned Discover card, and starts with a 19.8 percent variable. However, Creditnet likes to point out that students who pay their monthly bill on time and in full each month will pay zero interest on any card applied for.
Similar to Discover it® for Students, this student rewards card from Citi includes bonus cash back categories that members can take advantage of. Cardholders can earn up to $300 per calendar year in bonus cash back, and categories can include department stores, travel and more with enrollment.
There's also an introductory period of 0% interest on purchases for 7 months, and students earn 1 percent cash back on all other purchases outside the bonus categories. Like the above cards, there's also no annual fee to pay. The ongoing APR variable attached to this card ranges from 13.99 percent - 23.99 percent based on creditworthiness.
4.) Citi Forward® Card for College Students
The second student offer from Citi is also one of the best available, and includes 5 ThankYou® Points for every $1 spent on the items college students spend the most on - books, music and movies. Other purchases earn 1 ThankYou® point for every dollar spent.
Like the above offering from Capital One, this card rewards students for making on-time payments and staying under the credit limit in the form of up to 1,200 bonus ThankYou® points annually. Again, there's no annual fee and the APR variable ranges from 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent based on creditworthiness.
While not technically a student credit card offer, this secured credit card from Capital One works just as well for students most interested in building credit rather than earning cash back rewards.
The category of consumer this card is targeted at is credit newbies who have little to no credit history. The Capital One® Secured Mastercard® requires a security deposit upon approval which guarantees a cardholder's credit line, and includes credit monitoring tools not found on the average secured card.
The perks of owning this card include automatic reporting to the three major credit bureaus (same goes for the above credit card offers), and the risks of falling into a high level of debt aren't as dangerous since a cardholder's credit line is guaranteed by an initial deposit.
There is an annual fee to carry this card - $29 annually - and the ongoing APR variable starts at 22.9 percent. Consumers having trouble getting approved for the above cards may find better luck with this option from Capital One, though Creditnet reminds consumers that approval rates vary and consumers are not guaranteed approval for any of the above cards.
That said, there are the five best options for college students hoping to build credit and improve overall credit history with responsible spending this summer.
Since 1995, Creditnet.com has been an online authority for credit information, credit card comparisons and consumer credit advice. Creditnet hosts the web's oldest credit discussion blog - Credit Talk - and Creditnet is a HUB for credit news, weekly credit tips and credit card reviews.