10 Best Student Credit Cards of 2019

The best credit cards for students help build strong credit.

A credit card can be an essential part of life for a college student. Not only does a student credit card make it easier to cover expenses, but it’s also an important first step in building your credit history. Ultimately, it’s how you use the credit card that matters. The right credit card — or rather, using it responsibly — can put you on the path to a bright financial future, whereas swiping recklessly can leave you saddled with additional debts at a time when your earning power is limited.

Fortunately, many credit card companies have products designed specifically for college students. Student credit cards typically offer low or no fees and rewards points so you can enjoy perks while you’re buying books or supplies. To help you pick the right student credit card for your specific needs, GOBankingRates identified the 10 best credit cards for college students by comparing annual percentage rates, fees, perks and introductory offers.

Here are the 10 best student credit cards with no annual fee:

10 Best Credit Cards for Students
Credit CardIntro RatesPurchase APRLearn More
Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card0% APR for 6 months on purchases13.40% to 23.40%Learn More
Discover it Chrome Student Credit Card0% APR for 6 months on purchases15.24% to 24.24%Learn More
Discover it Student Cash Back0% APR for 6 months on purchases15.24% to 24.24%Learn More
Citi Rewards+ Student Card0% APR for 7 months on purchases16.74% to 26.74%Learn More
Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students0% APR for 12 billing cycles17.24% to 25.24%Learn More
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students0% APR for 12 billing cycles16.24% to 26.24%Learn More
State Farm Student VisaNone17.49% to 25.49%Learn More
BankAmericard Credit Card for Students0% for 15 billing cycles15.24% to 25.24%Learn More
Journey Student Credit Card from Capital OneNone26.99%Learn More
Deserve Edu MastercardNone20.99%Learn More
Information accurate as of Feb. 20, 2019.

Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card

Perks:

  • Get 3 percent cash rewards on up to $2,500 in gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for the first six months
  • Get 1 percent cash rewards on most other purchases

Not only will the Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card give you 3 percent cash rewards on up to $2,500 in gas, grocery and drugstore purchases for the first six months, it has a 0% APR introductory rate during that same period, meaning you can collect rewards on what are effectively interest-free purchases. Wells Fargo also provides budgeting tools to help you establish good spending habits and learn about how credit cards work.

Best Wells Fargo Credit Cards: Which One Should You Get?

Discover it Chrome Student Credit Card

Perks:

  • Get a $20 statement credit each school year that your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to five years
  • Earn an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match on all the cash back you earn in the first year

In addition to a six-month introductory period where you pay 0% APR on all purchases, you’ll get 2 percent back on gas and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter and 1 percent back on all other purchases.

Forgot to pay your bill? This card won’t charge you a late fee on your first late payment, and your APR won’t go up.

Discover it Student Cash Back

Perks:

  • Get a $20 statement credit each school year that your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to five years
  • Earn a dollar-for-dollar match on all the cash-back rewards you earn in the first year with no limit

The Discover it Student Cash Back credit card is very similar to its Chrome cousin. In addition to the statement credit for good grades, you can get 5 percent cash back on purchases up to $1,500 each quarter from places like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon or wholesale clubs, as well as 1 percent back on all other purchases.

Discover it Card Review: Capitalize on Different Cash-Back Rewards

Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Perks:

  • Earn 2,500 bonus points when you spend just $500 in the first three months
  • Get 10 percent of your points back on the first 100,000 points you redeem per year

The Citi Rewards+ Student Credit Card has one of the most robust points programs of any student card. Earn two points per dollar for the first $6,000 you spend per year at supermarkets and gas stations and one point per dollar on everything else. And, points are always rounded up to the nearest 10 points, so that $4 cup of coffee just earned you 10 points.

Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Perks:

  • Get 25,000 bonus points if you make $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of opening an account
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees

Not only does the Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students offer 0% APR on purchases in the first dozen billing cycles, but you get 1.5 points for every dollar you spend. And, you can use your rewards on any airline or at any hotel anytime. The card also has no foreign transaction fees, making it one of the best credit cards for study abroad.

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Perks:

  • Earn a $150 cash rewards bonus for $500 in purchases in the first 90 days
  • Earn 3 percent cash back on a category of your choice

The Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students is similar to its Travel alternative, but it offers cash rewards instead of travel points. With this rewards card, you get 3 percent from a category of your choice: gas, online shopping, travel, dining, drugstores or home furnishings. You get 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. These rewards are capped at $2,500 in combined spending each quarter. You get 1 percent cash back on everything else.

Travel Rewards, NFL Tickets and More: Best Credit Card Offers, Deals and Signup Bonuses

State Farm Student Visa

Perks:

  • Three points per dollar spent on insurance premium payments

State Farm’s student card is offered through Visa and gives you a State Farm loyalty reward point for every two dollars you spend on eligible purchases. However, it’s the three points available for every dollar spent on insurance premium payments — capped at $4,000 annually — that’s probably the most attractive offer for students who drive often. On the other hand, it has one of the highest APRs of the credit cards on GOBankingRates’ list.

BankAmericard Credit Card for Students

Perks:

  • Long intro APR period

The BankAmericard Credit Card for Students offers a 0% APR on all purchases made within the first 15 billing cycles as well as an introductory $0 balance transfer fee for the first 60 days, potentially making it a stronger option for students with existing credit card debt. Its 15.24% APR is among the lowest on GOBankingRates’ list of student credit cards.

Bank of America Credit Card Comparison: Which One Is Right for You?

Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One

Perks:

  • Incentives for paying on time
  • No foreign transaction fees

The Journey Student Credit Card offers some of the most straightforward rewards, offering you 1 percent cash back on all purchases and 1.25 percent if you pay on time. Of course, you shouldn’t need a lot of additional incentive to pay on time, given the card’s 26.99% APR, which is the highest rate of the 10 credit cards on this list.

Deserve Edu Mastercard

Perks:

  • Deserve will reimburse you up to a lifetime total of $59 for Amazon Prime Student
  • No over-the-credit-limit fee

The Deserve Edu Mastercard only offers a credit line of up to $5,000, but it has unlimited 1 percent cash back on all purchases. It’s one of the best credit cards for students with no credit. If you’re an international student, the Deserve Edu Mastercard also doesn’t require a Social Security number.

Related: 6 Best Credit Cards That Allow Co-Signers

How to Get a Student Credit Card

Whatever you choose, you can usually apply for a student credit card online. You’ll need some basic information like your address, Social Security number and source of income, if you have any. Many banks will approve you right away, and you’ll usually get your card in the mail within a few days.

If you get declined for a student credit card, however, don’t despair. You can look into a secured card, like the Capital One Secured Mastercard, which will help you build your credit so that you can qualify for an unsecured card down the line.

Click through to find the 10 best banks for college students.

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Methodology: To determine the best student credit cards, GOBankingRates analyzed student credit cards on the following factors: introductory offers, introductory APRs, purchase APRs, perks, annual fees and other fees. All fees and rates are subject to change at the credit card issuers’ discretion, and some bonus offers might no longer be available on the credit card issuers’ websites, depending on how you access the web page.

GOBankingRates is a personal finance and consumer interest rate website owned by ConsumerTrack, Inc., an online marketing company serving top-tier banks, credit unions, and other financial services organizations. Some companies mentioned in this article might be clients of ConsumerTrack, Inc., which serves more than 100 national, local and online financial institutions. Rankings and roundups are completely objective, and no institution, client or otherwise, paid for inclusion or specific placement. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of GOBankingRates alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the companies included in the article.

About the Author

Karen Doyle is a personal finance writer with over 20 years’ experience writing about investments, money management and financial planning. Her work has appeared on numerous news and finance
websites including GOBankingRates, Yahoo! Finance, MSN, USA Today, CNBC, Equifax.com, and more.