From a financial perspective, life as a college student can be tough. When the money’s tight, it can be difficult to pay bills – especially if you have student loans to pay off. In such a case, having a credit card could help you make ends meet. However, selecting from the best credit cards for college students can be tricky, so it’s important that you tread carefully.

With the right credit card, you can enjoy tons of benefits, and even answer the age old question of how to build credit.

Continue to read in-depth reviews of the 7 best credit cards for college students.

1. Discover it® Student Chrome

Discover is a well-known brand of credit cards, and is one of the biggest payment and direct bank services in the US. One of their flagship cards is the Discover it® Student Chrome, a starter card with no annual fee and zero change in APR for late payments.

The required credit score range for this card is 630 to 689.

Benefits of Discover it® Student Chrome

  • The card doesn’t require you to have a FICO history.
  • Gets you 2% cashback at restaurants and gas stations (on up to $1,000 worth of purchases) each quarter.
  • There are no foreign transaction fees.

The Verdict

This card is perfect for students who don’t have a credit history, and/or rely on their cars to get around town, and like to eat out.

2. Deserve Edu Student Credit Card

Deserve is another credit card company that serves businesses/entrepreneurs, as well as, regular folks with decent credit scores, and of course, college students. The Deserve Edu Student credit card earns unlimited 1% cashback on all (eligible) purchases and has a regular 20.24% APR.

For this card, the required credit score range is 630 to 850, which is relatively higher than others.

Benefits of Deserve Edu Student

  • Users get a 1-year complimentary Amazon Prime subscription.
  • There is no annual fee and introductory APR.
  • Users get to enjoy MasterCard platinum benefits.
  • It offers cellphone protection.
  • There is no foreign transaction fee.

The Verdict

Deserve Edu Student is one of the best credit cards for college students who have access to third-party rewards programs (and would like to enjoy Amazon Prime for free for a whole year).

3. Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

The Journey® Student Rewards card from Capital One®, requires an average credit score, with a regular APR of 26.99%. The card offers decent cash-back rewards and bonuses for making on-time payments.

Benefits of Journey® Student Rewards Card

  • Offers unlimited cashback of 1% on all purchases.
  • Zero annual and/or foreign transaction fees.
  • Access to the CreditWise feature that lets you predict changes in credit scores, based on certain financial decisions.

The Verdict

The Journey® Student Rewards is suitable for students who have a decent, stable income, and are expected to graduate (as you don’t have to be a student to use this card).

4. State Farm® Student Visa® Credit Card

The State Farm group specializes in providing insurance and financial services in the US. Their special Student Visa® credit card has a low credit score cut off (starting from 300 to 850) making it one of the best credit cards for people with bad credit.

The card has a regular 17.24% to 25.24% APR variable.

Benefits of State Farm® Student Visa®

  • Like all other cards, there is no annual fee.
  • Users join the State Farm loyalty program (and earn a point for every $2 spent on certain transactions, as well as, 3 points for every $1 spent on premium insurance payments).

The Verdict

State Farm® Student Visa® credit card is suitable for those who have limited credit, but also want to enjoy decent rewards.

5. Citi Rewards+℠ Student Card

The next one on our list of best credit cards for college students is the Rewards+℠ Student Card by Citigroup®. This annual fee-free card has a variable APR of 15.99% – 25.99%, and requires a good average credit score (690 to 719).

Benefits of Citi® Rewards+℠ Student Card

  • Gives rewards on even the smallest of purchases (users get 2 rewards points for every dollar spent on gas and groceries for the first $6,000, per year).
  • Citi rounds up all of the purchases made with this card to the nearest 10 points.
  • The APR period is zero.

The Verdict

This card is perfect for those with decent credit scores, and spend a significant portion of their incomes on gas and groceries.

6. Citi® Secured MasterCard®

Citigroup’s Secured MasterCard® is yet another credit card with no annual fee and introductory APR. Prior to applying for this card, you need to deposit between $200 to $2,500 as collateral. The regular APR for this card is 24.49%.

Benefits of Citi® Secured MasterCard®

  • After 18 consecutive, timely payments, Citi returns your deposit and changes the card into a standard unsecured one.
  • Other benefits are similar to that of Rewards+℠ Student Card.
  • Citi accepts applications from those with limited credit history.

The Verdict

This card is perfect for those who have a limited credit history, and are NOT studying abroad.

7. Discover it® Student Cash Back

The last on our list of best credit cards for college students is the Student Cash Back card. It’s a starter-card, with minimum-fees, for those new to managing their credit scores. The regular APR is 14.49% to 23.49% variable. 

Benefits of Discover it® Student Cash Back

  • Users get 5% cashback (for up to $1,500 spent per quarter) on categories such as gas, groceries, Amazon, etc. in addition to 1% cashback on other transactions.
  • Students that do well at school and maintain a 3.0 GPA get an annual $20 statement credit.
  • There are no fluctuations in APR for late payments.

The Verdict

The card is suitable for people with little experience in managing credit scores.

Final Thoughts

Selecting from the best credit cards for students can be tricky, but if you’re aware of your requirements – and all of the options available to you – you can easily pick the perfect one.