How to choose the best credit cards for college students
Originally Posted On: https://www.iquanti.com/
When you’re looking for a credit card as a college student, it may feel like you have to take what you can get. After all, you don’t have a credit history or excellent credit score, so many of the top credit cards will be out of reach.
But nowadays there are a variety of competitive rewards credit cards designed specifically for college students. These credit cards can have excellent benefits and low fees while being a great way to build your credit score. Here are some of the key factors to look at when comparing the best credit cards for students.
Look for a card with minimal fees
Student credit cards will often have a credit limit on the lower side, and you should keep your spending to an amount you can regularly repay. That means you may not earn as many rewards as people who spend more on their credit cards.
In order to keep your card working for you, a card with no annual fee is essential. That means no matter how much you earn in rewards or cash back, the card won’t be costing you money.
Another way a card can stand out is by having a low intro APR period on purchases. Cards with this kind of offer will let you make purchases for a set amount of months without paying interest on your purchases, giving you a bit more flexibility to spend while avoiding interest. Just be sure to pay off your card in full before the intro APR period ends, or the normal APR will begin to accrue.
Look for rewards that match your spending
Credit card rewards tend to come in one of two categories: either they have bonus categories that offer bigger benefits, such as extra cash back on groceries or restaurants, or they have a flat rate of rewards across all spending.
If you’re considering a credit card with bonus categories, make sure they align with your spending habits. Even the most impressive bonus rate won’t matter if it’s not a high spend category for you.
Choose a card issuer that can grow with you
In general, it’s never recommended to close a credit card — having old, consistent accounts is great for your credit score. But that doesn’t mean you have to keep your student credit card forever.
Instead, consider working with a major card issuer that has several credit card lines for both students and non-students that interest you. That way, once you leave college and start earning a higher income, you can work with the card issuer to convert your card to a card that better suits your changing needs. A card issuer with a variety of credit cards can offer this kind of flexibility in the future.