Best Credit Cards for Students of May 2022

Some of the card offers on this site are from companies who are advertising clients of U.S. News. Advertising considerations may impact where offers appear on the site but do not affect any editorial decisions, such as which card products we write about and how we evaluate them. Terms apply.

Best Credit Cards for Students of May 2022

Some of the card offers on this site are from companies who are advertising clients of U.S. News. Advertising considerations may impact where offers appear on the site but do not affect any editorial decisions, such as which card products we write about and how we evaluate them. Terms apply.

A student credit card is a starter card that can help college students pay for textbooks or emergency expenses and begin to build credit. As you search for your first credit card, explore U.S. News' selections for Best Student Cards, which are based on user satisfaction data, rewards earning rates, annual percentage rates and other factors. The list features cards that students are likely to qualify for without much credit history.

Best Student Cards of 2022

  1. 2022 Award Winner

    Terms Apply

    Discover it® Student Cash Back

    in Student Credit Cards

    Discover it® Student Cash Back

    On Discover's Secure Website.

    Top Rewards Rates

    • 5%

      cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.

    • 1%

      cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

    At A Glance

    • Credit Needed

      580-740
      Fair to Good

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      13.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

    On Discover's Secure Website.

    On Discover's Secure Website.

    Rates & Fees

    • Issuer Name

      Discover

    • Credit Needed

      Fair, New to Credit

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      13.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

    • Purchases Intro APR

      0% Intro APR for 6 months

    • Balance Transfer Intro APR

      10.99% Intro APR for 6 months

    • Balance Transfer Fee

      3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

    • Cash Advance Fee

      Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

    • Foreign Transaction Fee

      None

    • See all credit card details
  2. Terms Apply

    Chase Freedom® Student credit card

    in Student Credit Cards

    Chase Freedom® Student credit card

    On Chase's Secure Website.

    Top Rewards Rates

    • 1%

      on all purchases

    At A Glance

    • Credit Needed

      670-850
      Good to Excellent

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • Intro Bonus

      $50 Cash Rewards

    • APR

      15.24% Variable

    On Chase's Secure Website.

    On Chase's Secure Website.

    Rates & Fees

    • Issuer Name

      Chase

    • Credit Needed

      Fair, Good, Excellent

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      15.24% Variable

    • Penalty APR

      Up to 29.99%

    • Balance Transfer Fee

      Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

    • Cash Advance Fee

      Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

    • Foreign Transaction Fee

      3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

    • See all credit card details
  3. Terms Apply

    Discover it® Student chrome

    in Student Credit Cards

    Discover it® Student chrome

    On Discover's Secure Website.

    Top Rewards Rates

    • 2%

      cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.

    • 1%

      cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

    At A Glance

    • Credit Needed

      580-740
      Fair to Good

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      13.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

    On Discover's Secure Website.

    On Discover's Secure Website.

    Rates & Fees

    • Issuer Name

      Discover

    • Credit Needed

      Fair, New to Credit

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      13.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

    • Purchases Intro APR

      0% Intro APR for 6 months

    • Balance Transfer Intro APR

      10.99% Intro APR for 6 months

    • Balance Transfer Fee

      3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*

    • Cash Advance Fee

      Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

    • Foreign Transaction Fee

      None

    • See all credit card details
  4. Terms Apply

    Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

    in Student Credit Cards

    Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

    On Capital One's Secure Website.

    Top Rewards Rates

    • 1.5%

      Cash Back on every purchase, every day.

    • 5%

      Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply).

    At A Glance

    • Credit Needed

      580-740
      Fair to Good

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • Intro Bonus

      100

    • APR

      15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)

    On Capital One's Secure Website.

    On Capital One's Secure Website.

    Rates & Fees

    • Issuer Name

      Capital One

    • Credit Needed

      Average, Fair, Limited

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)

    • Penalty APR

      None

    • Balance Transfer Fee

      $0 at this Transfer APR

    • Cash Advance Fee

      3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10

    • Foreign Transaction Fee

      None

    • See all credit card details
  5. Terms Apply

    Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

    in Student Credit Cards

    Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

    On Capital One's Secure Website.

    Top Rewards Rates

    • 3%

      Cash Back on dining and entertainment.

    • 3%

      Cash Back on popular streaming services.

    • 3%

      Cash Back at grocery stores.

    • 1%

      Cash Back on all other purchases.

    • 8%

      cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats.

    At A Glance

    • Credit Needed

      580-740
      Fair to Good

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • Intro Bonus

      100

    • APR

      15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)

    On Capital One's Secure Website.

    On Capital One's Secure Website.

    Rates & Fees

    • Issuer Name

      Capital One

    • Credit Needed

      Average, Fair, Limited

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)

    • Penalty APR

      None

    • Balance Transfer Fee

      $0 at this Transfer APR

    • Cash Advance Fee

      3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10

    • Foreign Transaction Fee

      None

    • See all credit card details
  6. Terms Apply

    Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

    in Student Credit Cards

    Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

    On Capital One's Secure Website.

    Top Rewards Rates

    • 1%

      Cash Back on all purchases

    • 0.25%

      Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time

    • 5%

      Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)

    At A Glance

    • Credit Needed

      580-740
      Fair to Good

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • Intro Bonus

      $60

    • APR

      26.99% (Variable)

    On Capital One's Secure Website.

    On Capital One's Secure Website.

    Rates & Fees

    • Issuer Name

      Capital One

    • Credit Needed

      Average, Fair, Limited

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      26.99% (Variable)

    • Penalty APR

      None

    • Balance Transfer Fee

      $0 at this Transfer APR

    • Cash Advance Fee

      3% of the amount of the cash advance, but not less than $10

    • Foreign Transaction Fee

      None

    • See all credit card details
  7. Terms Apply

    Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

    in Student Credit Cards

    Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

    The information for the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students has been collected independently by U.S. News and the card is not currently available on the site. The information has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer and it is accurate as of the date posted.

    Top Rewards Rates

    • 3%

      Cash back in the category of your choice

    • 2%

      Cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%)

    • 1%

      Cash back on all other purchases

    At A Glance

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • Intro Bonus

      $200

    • APR

      13.99% to 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness

    The information for the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students has been collected independently by U.S. News and the card is not currently available on the site. The information has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer and it is accurate as of the date posted.

    The information for the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students has been collected independently by U.S. News and the card is not currently available on the site. The information has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer and it is accurate as of the date posted.

    Rates & Fees

    • Issuer Name

      Bank of America

    • Credit Needed

      New to credit

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      13.99% to 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness

    • Penalty APR

      Up to 29.99%

    • Balance Transfer Intro APR

      0% Introductory APR for the first 15 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account for transactions made within 60 days of opening your account

    • Balance Transfer Fee

      $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater

    • Cash Advance Fee

      Direct Deposit and Check Cash Advances: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater ATM, Over-the-Counter, Same-Day Online and Cash Equivalent Cash Advances: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater Overdraft Protection Cash Advance: $12 for each transaction

    • Foreign Transaction Fee

      3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each transaction (1) made in a foreign currency, or (2) made in U.S. dollars if the transaction is made or processed outside of the United States

    • See all credit card details
  8. Terms Apply

    Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

    in Student Credit Cards

    Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

    The information for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has been collected independently by U.S. News and the card is not currently available on the site. The information has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer and it is accurate as of the date posted.

    Top Rewards Rates

    • 1.5X

      Points per dollar spent on all purchases

    At A Glance

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • Intro Bonus

      25,000

    • APR

      13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

    The information for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has been collected independently by U.S. News and the card is not currently available on the site. The information has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer and it is accurate as of the date posted.

    The information for the Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students has been collected independently by U.S. News and the card is not currently available on the site. The information has not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer and it is accurate as of the date posted.

    Rates & Fees

    • Issuer Name

      Bank of America

    • Credit Needed

      New to credit

    • Annual Fee

      $0

    • APR

      13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

    • Penalty APR

      Up to 29.99%

    • Balance Transfer Fee

      $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater

    • Cash Advance Fee

      Direct Deposit and Check Cash Advances: Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater ATM, Over-the-Counter, Same-Day Online and Cash Equivalent Cash Advances: Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater Overdraft Protection Cash Advance: $12 for each transaction

    • Foreign Transaction Fee

      None

    • See all credit card details

See all of our credit cards here.

Best Student Credit Cards Compared

Credit Card

Rewards Rate

Intro Bonus

Annual Fee

APR

5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.

1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

N/A

$0

13.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

1% on all purchases

$50 Cash Rewards

$0

15.24% Variable

2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter.

1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

N/A

$0

13.24% - 22.24% Variable APR

1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day.

5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply).

earn $100 Cash Back

$0

15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)

3% Cash Back on dining and entertainment.

3% Cash Back on popular streaming services.

3% Cash Back at grocery stores.

1% Cash Back on all other purchases.

8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats.

earn $100 Cash Back

$0

15.24% - 25.24% (Variable)

1% Cash Back on all purchases

0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time

5% Cash Back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)

earn up to $60 in streaming subscription credits

$0

26.99% (Variable)

3% Cash back in the category of your choice

2% Cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then 1%)

1% Cash back on all other purchases

N/A

$0

13.99% to 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness

1.5X Points per dollar spent on all purchases

N/A

$0

13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Commonly Compared Student Credit Cards:

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Best Student Credit Cards This Month

Discover it® Student Cash Back

Why this is one of the best student credit cards: The Discover it Student Cash Back Card is good for students who want to earn cash back on everyday purchases. Students have a chance to earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. The card offers unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover will match all the cash back you've earned after your first year. There's no annual fee and no late fee the first time you pay late. See our full review.

Chase Freedom® Student credit card

Why this is one of the best student credit cards: Cardholders earn 1% cash back on every purchase and won’t need to track complicated spending categories. The card also delivers 4% back on Lyft ride-hailing purchases through March 2022. See our full review.

Discover it® Student chrome

Why this is one of the best student credit cards: This card is designed for students who primarily spend on gas and dining. Cardmembers earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants, on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back. Discover will match all the cash back you've earned after your first year. See our full review.

Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why this is one of the best student credit cards: The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limit, which makes earning rewards easy to do. With no foreign transaction fee, this card could be useful for students studying abroad. Cardholders pay no annual fee, and rewards won’t expire as long as the account is open. See our full review.

Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

Why this is one of the best student credit cards: With the Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, cardholders earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and eligible grocery purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases and tickets at Vivid Seats through January 2023. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. Build your credit with responsible card usage and be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as six months. This card doesn't charge an annual fee or foreign transaction fees. See our full review.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Why this is one of the best student credit cards: This card offers unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases, which you could increase to 1.25% cash back when you pay your bill on time each month. This card is designed for students who are just beginning to build credit. There's no annual fee and no foreign transaction fee for this card. See our full review.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Why this is one of the best student credit cards: This card offers students flexibility with earning rewards, offering 3% cash back on a choice of gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, or home improvement and furnishings. Purchases at grocery stores and wholesale clubs earn 2% cash back, and all other purchases earn 1% back. The 3% and 2% cash back rewards apply to the first $2,500 in combined card purchases each quarter; thereafter, you’ll earn 1% back until the next quarter. Cardholders do not pay an annual fee. See our full review.

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Why this is one of the best student credit cards: Students can earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases with no caps. You can redeem points for statement credits toward flights, hotels, rental cars, vacation packages and other travel expenses, and blackout dates or restrictions do not apply. If you make at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of opening an account, you can earn 25,000 bonus points. The card charges neither an annual fee nor a foreign transaction fee. See our full review.

What Should You Know About Getting a First Credit Card?

First and foremost, make sure you're ready for the responsibility if you want to get a credit card and you're in college. Cards are a great way to build credit, but you will need to keep balances low and pay bills in full and on time every month.

Look at options that require little to no credit history, including student and secured credit cards. Evaluating APRs, security deposits, annual fees and rewards programs can help you whittle down your choices.

Seek credit cards that offer prequalification, and don't apply for too many at once. Your applications will trigger hard inquiries that can hurt your credit.

For approval, you may need to verify your income and provide proof of enrollment, plus the name of your college or university, state and city.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Credit Card as a Student?

  • Building your credit. Getting a credit card in college can help you begin to learn good credit habits and graduate with some positive credit history. That head start could allow you to rent an apartment, make major life purchases and transition to financial independence more easily.
  • Earningrewards. Issuers may offer miles, points or cash back rewards for every dollar you spend to enhance the value of your card and encourage you to use it. Check program rules, but rewards can usually be redeemed for travel and merchandise, as well as gift cards and statement credits.
  • Protecting against credit card fraud and theft. If a thief steals your credit card or your credit card number and uses it before you report the card missing, your liability is limited to $50. Many credit card companies offer zero liability policies and will not hold you responsible for any unauthorized charges, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

How Can You Compare Student Credit Cards?

Consider these questions as you compare student credit cards to help you choose the right one.

  • Does the card provide your must-have features? Look for a student credit card that charges no annual fee and reports to the three major credit bureaus. Check for no foreign transaction fees if you plan to travel or study abroad, plus a low interest rate if you expect to carry a card balance.
  • Do you have a chance to earn rewards or a sign-up bonus? Rewards can be incentives to use your student credit card responsibly. If you want this type of card, make sure you can earn rewards on the types of purchases you routinely make: gas, groceries, restaurant meals. Otherwise, look for a card that offers a flat rate on all purchases.
  • What happens to the card when you graduate? Some issuers will transfer your student account to a standard card, and others will require you to apply for another credit card.

Why Is Building Credit Important for College Students?

  • Good credit can help students land jobs. An employer may want to check your credit when you apply for a job but will need your written permission to do so. Your credit report can give the employer an idea of how you handle responsibilities. What employers can access varies by state, but they won't be able to see your credit score. Some states have prohibited employers from using credit reports in the hiring process.
  • Credit can affect auto insurance rates. Credit score is one of a number of factors auto insurers may consider when issuing and pricing policies. A good credit rating can drive down car insurance costs. However, use of credit information in determining auto premiums is banned in some states.
  • Good credit can make renting an apartment easier for students. Your credit score indicates your creditworthiness, and a higher number looks better, especially in a competitive rental market. You may also get the benefit of moving in without paying a security deposit. A FICO score of 670, which falls in the good range, can be helpful to rent an apartment, but keep in mind that cutoffs vary. The landlord may take a closer look at your credit details if your score is in the mid-600s or lower, according to myFICO.
  • Good credit is necessary for financing a home or car. A good credit history can help you qualify for a mortgage or car loan with a favorable interest rate. The higher your credit score, the more affordable your monthly payment could be. Even a difference of 20 points between credit scores can add up to thousands of dollars in savings over the life of a loan.

Can Students Get a Credit Card With No Credit?

Students with no credit history who want credit cards are not out of luck. You could ask a parent or trusted family member or friend to add you to an account as an authorized user, or consider applying for:

Can You Prequalify for Student Credit Cards?

Many credit cards allow applicants to prequalify, a process that determines someone's likelihood of approval before applying. The card issuer uses a soft inquiry that does not harm your credit score to see whether you are a good fit.

Prequalification saves you from applying for a bunch of credit cards that are out of your league. Each hard inquiry from a credit application could drop your score by five points or less, although the effect diminishes after a year.

At the same time, prequalification is neither a real application for credit nor a guarantee of approval.

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Student Credit Card?

If you are 18, you can apply for a credit card in your own name if you can show proof that you earn an independent income or have a co-signer. But many issuers do not allow co-signers, and those that do will expect co-signers to have good credit.

U.S. News Survey

U.S. News Survey: Only a Small Percentage of Undergraduates Have Credit Cards

According to a survey by U.S. News, just 6.4% of undergraduate college students have a credit card. Even for those students with credit cards, they pay with their debit cards more frequently (37.5% use debit cards most often, compared with 29.7% who use credit cards). But though college students with credit cards aren't heavy users, they're still carrying debt – 82.2% of respondents have some credit card debt, and 14.7% have more than $5,000 in debt.

Additional Survey Insights

Interest rate is the most important credit card feature for most college students.

College students have high credit limits – 39.7% say it's higher than $5,000.

Less than half of respondents say they typically pay the full balance on their card.

College students are preparing for a life of debt – 14.9% expect it will take more than a year to pay their credit card debt.

A third of college students applied for a credit card to build their credit.

A significant portion – 42.1% – of college students with credit cards aren't worried about either credit card debt or student loan debt.

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  • Interest rate is the most important credit card feature for most college students.

  • College students have high credit limits – 39.7% say it's higher than $5,000.

  • Less than half of respondents say they typically pay the full balance on their card.

  • College students are preparing for a life of debt – 14.9% expect it will take more than a year to pay their credit card debt.

  • A third of college students applied for a credit card to build their credit.

  • A significant portion – 42.1% – of college students with credit cards aren't worried about either credit card debt or student loan debt.

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U.S. News Survey Methodology

  • U.S. News ran a nationwide survey through Google Surveys in August 2021.
  • The sample was derived from users on websites in the Google Surveys Publisher Network, and the survey was configured to be representative of the general American population.
  • Respondents were undergraduate college students with a credit card. The first question in the survey screened respondents, and the remaining nine questions were answered by card-holding college students.

Survey Results

Best Student Credit Cards Methodology

U.S. News has been providing advice to students for more than 30 years. To determine the best cards for students, our Best Student Credit Cards rankings factor in overall satisfaction data, rewards earning rates, annual fees, APRs and the length of introductory APRs. The satisfaction data is based on an annual nationwide survey. On our list of the Best Credit Cards for Students, you will only find no-fee or low-fee cards that students are likely to qualify for. The cards we recommend are for all types of students, but remember each situation is different. Make sure you understand what to expect from the credit card you select.

Student Credit Cards FAQs

Rewards Cards for Students

Rewards credit cards for students earn cash back, miles or points as incentives to pay with plastic instead of cash. Some cards offer bonus rewards in particular spending categories, and others earn a flat rate of cash back – say, 1% back – on every purchase. New cardholders may also benefit from sign-up bonuses worth hundreds of dollars in cash back or travel rewards.

Student card cash back programs

A cash back credit card returns a percentage of what you spend on the card. Cards with bonus categories – some are fixed and others rotate – can boost your earnings for spending in certain categories compared with flat-rate cards.

The Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students is an example of a cash back card with bonus categories. It earns 3% back in a category of your choice, including gas, online shopping, travel, dining, drugstores, or home improvement and furnishings; 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs; and 1% back on everything else. You'll get 3% and 2% cash back on up to $2,500 in the combined choice, grocery and wholesale club category each quarter and then 1%.

Points and mileage programs

Other types of student credit card rewards programs let you accumulate points or miles that you can redeem for travel, such as flights or hotel stays, merchandise or gift cards.

Secured Credit Cards

If you can't qualify for a traditional unsecured credit card, you may want to consider a secured credit card. The difference is that a secured card requires a refundable cash deposit as collateral, and your credit limit is usually equal to your deposit. If you're trying to build credit, a secured credit card is just as good as an unsecured credit card.

Secured Credit Cards vs. Prepaid Debit Cards

Secured credit cards help you build credit, and prepaid debit cards do not. Prepaid debit cards don't report to credit bureaus because the cards use your own money rather than credit for purchases.

Credit cards not only help you build credit but also keep your money safer than debit cards when you shop online.

College student credit cards, unlike traditional cards, are designed for students with little to no credit history. A student card used responsibly can help you build credit and even score some perks.

The typical student card is unsecured, which means the issuer does not require a deposit to open the account. Other features separating student credit cards from traditional cards include:

Lower credit limits. Student cards may have lower credit limits than traditional credit cards because students don't have track records of paying back big balances. You might be able to get a higher credit limit once you make several on-time payments, depending on the card.

Limited rewards. Student credit cards may earn cash back in certain spending categories. But traditional cards offer more generous rewards, such as sign-up bonuses, airline miles and access to airport lounges.

Special benefits for students. These could include credits for maintaining good grades or paying bills on time. Some student credit cards may allow you to view your FICO credit score for free.

A job might help you secure a student credit card. You will need proof of income – whether that's from a job, an allowance or something else – or a co-signer.

When you graduate, your student credit card should as well. Do not cancel your credit card, which could reduce the length of your credit history and hurt your credit. How long you've been using credit makes up 15% of your FICO credit score.

Start by contacting your credit card company to update account details such as your graduation date, income and contact information. If your income has grown, you might be able to get a credit line increase and even request it through your issuer's mobile app or your online account.

After you graduate, Discover will reclassify your card so that it is no longer a student credit card. If you have a student card from a different issuer and an on-time payment history, you can ask for a card upgrade.

You could also ask for a transfer to a product better suited to your needs, which would move your account history to a new card rather than closing the old student credit card.

Comparative assessments and other editorial opinions are those of U.S. News and have not been previously reviewed, approved or endorsed by any other entities, such as banks, credit card issuers or travel companies. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired.

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