The Best Credit Cards for College Students

By Jason Steele. Last updated 24 April 2020. 2 comments

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When I was in college, my mom seemed to call me nearly every week to confirm that I was paying my entire credit card balance in full and on time. It was as if she knew that credit cards and college students do not have a good history together. At the time, banks were employing every tactic possible to get large amounts credit into the hands of young adults. So much so that many felt these banks were acting more like predatory lenders than respectable financial institutions. In response, Congress passed the CARD Act of 2009. This groundbreaking piece of legislation set limits on banks' on-campus marketing efforts and required young adults who applied for credit cards to show some means of paying off loans.

Nevertheless, students continue to obtain and abuse credit cards. They tend to incur debt and struggle to make payments on time. While these are bad practices at any stage of life, starting these habits at a young age sets a terrible precedent for how students will continue to manage their finances after graduation. Therefore it is critical that parents work closely with students to carefully guide them into financial independence. (See also: 40+ College Resources for Parents and Students)

Choosing the Best Student Credit Card

So what should parents and students look for in a credit card? Look for simple terms, no annual fees, and if possible, maybe some cash back rewards. You don't want to get in the habit of paying interest on your credit card balance, but if you have to, it shouldn't be well outside the market rates. Also, opening up a credit card account at the same bank that the student holds their checking account is a great idea. This way, timely payments are just a transfer between accounts rather than a transaction between separate institutions.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

With a $35 annual fee, the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card is a secured card college students might want to consider. There's no credit check so you don't need to worry about an inquiry affecting your score, or even getting declined because of it. Choose your credit line as low as $200 up to $3000, secured by a full-refundable security deposit.

Click here to learn more and apply for the OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card today!

First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured

The First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured card has an annual fee of $29. You'll need to make a security deposit of $200 to $2,000, which will be held in the event you default. You will receive a credit card with a limit in the amount of your security deposit. 

Click here to learn more and apply for the First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured today!

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Guest's picture

Student credit card is very difficult to get in india specially if you are below 18 there are few tips which you can use to get it for your online purchases and as always another informative post liked it

Guest's picture

When I was in college, some of the cheapest students clothed themselves entirely in giveaway t-shirts that CC companies gave out if you filled out an application. Not great for short term credit scores, but it kept them in T-shirts.