You're all moved in to the dorm and hanging out with your new roommate when your roommate suggests ordering a pizza for dinner. You offer to buy the pizza and then reach into your pocket for the rest of the money your mom and dad gave you. You come up empty-handed when you remember you spent it on the last textbook you needed to start your first round of classes. Fortunately, your roommate is understanding and pulls out a credit card to foot the bill. Getting a credit card of your own is something that interests you and would help prevent that scenario in the future.
In addition to providing a way to satisfy a late-night case of the munchies, credit cards are also helpful to students because they can help establish a credit rating. Having good credit is essential to such future goals as renting an apartment, financing a car, and maybe even getting a job. Paying your credit card bill on time and using only a small portion of your available credit limit will help keep your credit score high.
With so many options out there for credit cards, how do you know which one to apply for? Many cards are basic sources of credit with no extra bells and whistles, but below are three credit cards that are designed especially for students, meaning they are easier to qualify for with a limited credit history, and also come with bonus features that make them more than just a credit card.
Discover it For Students - Good Grades Rewards
Here is a card that will pay you to spend money with them. You can earn 5 percent cash back on the first $1,500 you spend with them in a set of bonus categories (such as gas, groceries and restaurants) that rotate throughout the year. You also earn 1 percent back on your general spending. One cool feature is that you don't have to pay a late charge the first time you miss a payment. You also get a 0 percent introductory APR, so if there is a big-ticket purchase you have been wanting to make, you have six months to pay it off before you would pay any interest. Finally, the feature that gives this card its name is the $20 cash back reward you earn for achieving a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students
If you spend a lot of money on restaurants and entertainment such as concerts and movies, you might like this card as those categories will earn you two rewards points per dollar you spend, which can be redeemed for things like gift cards, travel and even payments toward your student loan balance. Other purchases will earn you one reward point per dollar. This card extends that 0 percent introductory APR period to seven months and also offers no annual fee.
Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
If you are looking for a higher credit line, this might be your card of choice. After you make your first five payments on time, your credit line will automatically increase. This card also offers a reward program. You earn 1 percent cash back on all purchases (but no special categories to help you earn more cash back), which increases to 1.25 percent cash back after you make your first five payments on time. You also get to choose when you would like your payment due date to fall, which could be helpful if you have money coming in at a certain time of the month.
Getting your first credit card can be an exciting rite of passage, and as long as you are careful by not overspending and always making your payments on time, it can be a useful tool to help you succeed later in life. When deciding which student credit card is the one for you, consider factors such as what kind of rewards program the card offers, what the interest rate will be and what additional fees, such as an annual fee, you might have to pay. In no time, you will be on your way to a solid credit history.