Best Student Credit Cards in 2023 [UPDATED LIST]

Best Student Credit Cards in 2023 [UPDATED LIST] – A student credit card is a type of credit card that is designed for students who have limited or no credit history. It can help you build your credit score, earn rewards on your purchases, and enjoy other benefits. However, it also comes with some responsibilities and risks. You need to use your card wisely and pay your bills on time to avoid debt and fees.

In this article, I will review some of the best student credit cards in 2023 based on various categories, such as rewards, fees, interest rates, and perks. I will also provide some tips and advice on how to apply for a student credit card, how to use it responsibly, and how to maximize your rewards.

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What is a student credit card?

A student credit card is a type of credit card designed specifically for students who have limited or no credit history. A student credit card usually has a lower credit limit than a regular credit card, which means you can only spend up to a certain amount each month. This helps you avoid overspending and getting into debt.

A student credit card also typically offers rewards, such as cashback, points, or miles, on your purchases. You can redeem these rewards for things like statement credits, gift cards, travel, or merchandise. Some student credit cards also offer other benefits, such as free access to your credit score, discounts at partner merchants, or special offers for students.

A student credit card can help you build your credit history and improve your credit score over time. Your credit history and score are important factors that lenders use to determine your eligibility and interest rate for loans, mortgages, car leases, and other forms of credit. Having a good credit history and score can also help you qualify for better credit cards in the future.

How to choose the best student credit card

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The best student credit card for you depends on your spending habits, preferences, goals, and financial situation. However, there are some general factors that you should consider when comparing different student credit cards:

  • Rewards rate: This is the percentage of cash back, points, or miles that you earn on your purchases. For example, if a card offers 2% cash back on all purchases, you will earn $2 for every $100 you spend. The higher the rewards rate, the more value you get from your card.
  • Rewards Categories: Some cards offer higher reward rates on certain categories of purchases, such as gas stations, restaurants, groceries, or online shopping. For example, if a card offers 5% cash back on gas stations and 1% cash back on everything else, you will earn $5 for every $100 you spend at gas stations and $1 for every $100 you spend elsewhere. If you spend a lot on certain categories, you might want to look for a card that matches your spending patterns.
  • Annual fee: This is the amount that you have to pay every year to keep your card active. Some cards have no annual fee, while others charge a fee ranging from $25 to $95 or more. Generally speaking, the higher the annual fee, the more rewards and benefits the card offers. However, you should only pay an annual fee if the value of the rewards and benefits outweighs the cost of the fee.
  • Interest rate: This is the percentage of interest that you have to pay on any balance that you carry over from one month to the next. For example, if you have a balance of $1,000 and an interest rate of 20%, you will have to pay $200 in interest per year. The lower the interest rate, the less interest you will pay. However, you should always try to pay off your balance in full every month to avoid paying any interest at all.
  • Perks: These are additional features or benefits that the card offers besides rewards. For example, some cards offer free access to your credit score, extended warranty protection on purchases, rental car insurance coverage, or travel insurance coverage. These perks can add value to your card and save you money in certain situations.

Best student credit cards in 2023 by category

Based on our research and analysis of various sources, here are some of the best student credit cards in 2023 by category:

Best for flexible rewards: Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card

The Chase Freedom® Student Credit Card is a great choice for students who want to earn flexible rewards on their purchases. You can earn 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter when you activate them online. The bonus categories change every quarter and include things like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, and more. You can redeem your cash back for statement credits, direct deposits, gift cards, travel, or merchandise through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

The card also offers a $50 bonus after you make your first purchase within the first three months of account opening and a $20 bonus every year on your account anniversaryAdditionally, you can get a credit limit increase after you make five monthly payments on time within the first 10 months of account opening.

The card has no annual fee and a variable APR of 17.74% – 27.74%You also get free access to your credit score and credit dashboard through Chase Credit Journey, as well as purchase protection and extended warranty coverage on eligible purchases.

Best for everyday spending: Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is a simple and straightforward card for students who want to earn flat-rate cash back on every purchase. You can earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day, with no categories or caps to worry about. You can redeem your cash back for any amount at any time as a statement credit, check, or gift card.

The card also offers a $50 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account openingMoreover, you can get access to a higher credit line after you make your first five monthly payments on time.

The card has no annual fee and a variable APR of 19.99% – 29.99%. You also get free access to your credit score and credit report through CreditWise from Capital One, as well as travel accident insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver coverage.

Best for entertainment seekers: Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One SavorOne Student Cash Rewards Credit Card is an ideal card for students who love to dine out, watch movies, or stream music and shows. You can earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery store purchases (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can redeem your cash back for any amount at any time as a statement credit, check, or gift card.

The card also offers a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account openingFurthermore, you can get access to a higher credit line after you make your first five monthly payments on time.

The card has no annual fee and a variable APR of 19.99% – 29.99%You also get free access to your credit score and credit report through CreditWise from Capital One, as well as travel accident insurance and auto rental collision damage waiver coverage.

Best for rotating cash back bonus categories: Discover it® Student Cash Back

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is another excellent card for students who want to earn flexible rewards on their purchases. You can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in rotating categories each quarter when you activate them online, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The rotating categories include things like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, and more. You can redeem your cash back for statement credits, direct deposits, gift cards, charitable donations, or Amazon.com purchases.

The card also offers a unique feature called Cashback Match™. At the end of your first year as a cardholder, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned during that year automatically with no limit4. This means you can effectively double your rewards in the first year.

The card has no annual fee and a variable APR of 17.99% – 26.99%You also get free access to your FICO® Score and credit report through Discover Credit Scorecard, as well as a $20 statement credit each school year if you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher (up to five years).

Best for gas and dining: Discover it® Student Chrome

The Discover it® Student Chrome is a similar card to the Discover it® Student Cash Back but with a different rewards structure. You can earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. You can redeem your cash back for statement credits, direct deposits, gift cards, charitable donations, or Amazon.com purchases.

The card also offers the same Cashback Match™ feature as the Discover it® Student Cash Back. At the end of your first year as a cardholder, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned during that year automatically with no limit the card has no annual fee and a variable APR of 17.99% – 26.99%. You also get free access to your FICO® Score and credit report through Discover Credit Scorecard, as well as a $20 statement credit each school year if you maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher (up to five years).

How to apply for a student credit card

Applying for a student credit card is similar to applying for any other credit card. You will need to provide some personal and financial information, such as your name, address, date of birth, social security number, income, and expenses. You will also need to agree to the terms and conditions of the card issuer and authorize a credit check.

However, since student credit cards are designed for students who have limited or no credit history, the approval criteria might be more lenient than regular credit cards. You might not need a high income or a high credit score to qualify for a student credit card. Some card issuers might also accept alternative forms of income or proof of financial responsibility, such as scholarships, grants, student loans, or bank statements.

To increase your chances of getting approved for a student credit card, you should follow these tips:

  • Compare different student credit cards and choose the one that best suits your needs and preferences.
  • Check your credit score and credit report before you apply and correct any errors or discrepancies.
  • Apply for only one student credit card at a time and wait for the response before applying for another one.
  • Be honest and accurate when filling out the application form and provide all the required information.
  • If you are under 21 years old, you might need a co-signer or proof of independent income to apply for a student credit card. A co-signer is someone who agrees to pay your debt if you fail to do so. A co-signer should have a good credit history and a stable income. However, co-signing can be risky for both parties, so make sure you understand the implications before agreeing to it.

How to use a student credit card responsibly

Getting a student credit card can be a great way to build your credit history and earn rewards on your purchases. However, it also comes with some responsibilities and risks. If you misuse your student credit card or fail to pay your bills on time, you can damage your credit score and incur fees and interest charges.

To use your student credit card responsibly, you should follow these tips:

  • Pay your balance in full every month by the due date. This will help you avoid paying interest and late fees, as well as improve your credit score.
  • Keep your balance below 30% of your credit limit. This will help you maintain a good credit utilization ratio, which is the percentage of your available credit that you use. A high credit utilization ratio can lower your credit score.
  • Track your spending and budget accordingly. You should only spend what you can afford to pay back and avoid unnecessary or impulsive purchases. You can use online tools or apps to monitor your transactions and balances.
  • Review your statements and report any errors or fraud. You should check your statements every month and make sure that all the charges are accurate and authorized. If you notice any mistakes or suspicious activity, you should contact your card issuer immediately.
  • Take advantage of the rewards and perks offered by your card. You should use your card for purchases that earn you the most rewards and redeem them for things that you value. You should also use the perks that can save you money or enhance your experience, such as free access to your credit score, travel insurance, or discounts.

How to maximize your student credit card rewards

One of the main benefits of having a student credit card is earning rewards on your purchases. However, not all rewards are created equal. Depending on how you use your card and redeem your rewards, you can get more or less value from them.

To maximize your student credit card rewards, you should follow these tips:

  • Choose the right card for your spending habits and preferences. You should pick a card that offers the highest rewards rate on the categories that you spend the most on, and that allows you to redeem your rewards for things that you want or need.
  • Activate the bonus categories if applicable. Some cards require you to activate the bonus categories each quarter to earn a higher reward rate. You should do this as soon as possible to avoid missing out on any rewards.
  • Use your card for all your purchases. You should use your card for every purchase that you can, as long as you can pay it off in full every month. This will help you accumulate more rewards and build your credit history.
  • Redeem your rewards regularly and wisely. You should redeem your rewards before they expire or lose value. You should also compare the redemption options and choose the one that gives you the best value. For example, some cards offer more value for statement credits than gift cards, or vice versa.
  • Combine your rewards with other offers or discounts. You can increase your savings by using your rewards along with other deals or coupons. For example, you can use your cashback to pay for a purchase that is already on sale or use your points to book a flight that is already discounted.

In conclusion, A student credit card can be a useful tool for students who want to build their credit history and earn rewards on their purchases. However, it also comes with some responsibilities and risks. To choose the best student credit card for you, you should compare different cards based on their rewards, fees, interest rates, and perks. To use your student credit card responsibly, you should pay your balance in full every month, keep your balance low, track your spending and budget accordingly, review your statements and report any errors or fraud, and take advantage of the rewards and perks offered by your card. To maximize your student credit card rewards, you should choose the right card for your spending habits and preferences, activate the bonus categories if applicable, use your card for all your purchases, redeem your rewards regularly and wisely, and combine your rewards with other offers or discounts.