Category: Student Credit Cards

How Should You Choose a Student Credit Card?


There are specific details that you should pay attention to when it comes to credit cards. They can either help or hurt your financial situation, and being broke AND deep in debt during college is the worst tight spot you could ever be in when it comes to money.

It is important, when you are looking for a credit card to use while you are in school, to find one that will be beneficial to you. You need one that will not allow you to spend so much that you get far beyond your ability to repay in debt, but one that will let you get the things that you need to that you cannot instantly pay for in this scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel time in your life. Here are a few things you should pay attention to when shopping for the credit card that is right for you.


Knowing what and how the APR works is important. The best kind of interest rate you would be looking for is a fixed rate, but those are harder to find than a variable rate, and may not be a very low fixed rate. Sometimes you will benefit just as much with a variable interest rate. Make sure you know which you will be getting with the credit card you go with.

If you are on a variable interest rate, it is important to know by what system your interest rate will go up. Of course, this information is more important only if you will be carrying a balance from month to month on your credit card. If not, or in other words, if you plan on paying your credit card off as you go each month, the interest rate will not be such a big deal for you.

Do not confuse the APR with the introductory rate. Some credit cards will offer you a great intro rate, but will end up charging you a much larger APR after the time given with the introductory rate expires. Make sure that you go for the lowest rate possible that will last you longer than six months.

Rewards Cards

The credit cards that give you rewards for the purchases you make are the best kind. These kind of cards allow you, in a way, to get a discount on the things you purchase on credit. Try to go for a credit card that will give you the kind of rewards that you will use, like ones with points that you can cash in for a numerous amount of items rather than just something like sky-miles that you may not use.


Read the fine print carefully. You need to know how much your interest rate will go up, and what other kinds of charges they will be pouring onto you if you make a late payment or two. You may not plan on making late payments, but it is important, when you are shopping for a credit card, to know how much you will be charged IF you fail to make a payment on time, and what other credit card companies would charge you that might be easier on you.

Student Credit Cards. Your Millions Start Here.


As members of the under 30 crowd one of the biggest topics we talk about is credit and debt. Our parents are, for the most part, baby boomers. Unfortunately that mean they are, for the most part, broke and up to their eyeballs in debt. That’s not a true statement in every case, but it’s the reality for a scary percentage of the over-50 set. A couple of years ago I read that only 1 out of 50 baby boomers are financially ready for a comfortable retirement. Yikes. I guess we better start making some serious money or our parents are going to be in a world of hurt.

Lots of people want to point the finger of blame at the credit card industry as America’s financial downfall. I agree they’re giving us the gun, but we’re the ones pointing it at our own foot and pulling the trigger not once, but several times (For insight into that analogy, google ‘bankruptcy statistics’. You’ll see what I mean.).

Young people should be establishing credit for themselves. Credit is a tool, nothing more. If we’re dumb we’ll use it poorly; if we’re smart we’ll use it to get rich. It’s that simple. If our club-wielding ancestors had given up on fire after they burned themselves the first time, where would we be?

I’ve heard a rumor that Bill Gates started Microsoft with his credit cards. True? I have no idea, but it makes for a good story. I do have a friend whose website made $100,000 in one month thanks to the advertising he was able to do with his credit cards. Without them he would only have been able to accomplish a tiny fraction of that success.

What does this mean for the rest of us? It means we have a few choices: 1) we can buy into the advertising and use our credit cards to buy lots of thing we can’t afford and don’t need, putting ourselves into a hole from which we may never emerge, 2) we can hide our heads in the sand with statements like “I don’t believe in credit cards.” or 3) we can educate ourselves, develop self-restraint, and use credit as a vehicle to help us get to our financial goals a lot more quickly.

Door #1 leads to great friendships with bankruptcy lawyers. Door #2 leads to, well, it leads to being very bored, but probably sleeping well at night. Door #3 probably leads to a few mistakes, but eventually it leads to financial independence.

Here’s how to avoid Door #1 while you’re in college. Open a couple of student credit cards, but keep the limits low. If you’re going to screw up and spend all the way to your limit a couple times, better to do it with a $500 limit and not a $5000 limit right?

Also, get in the habit of paying the balance every single month. If your credit card offers a program where they’ll pay your bill out of your checking account, use it! Anytime human beings can automate good habits into our lives we definitely should. If they don’t offer that program, your bank probably offers something similar through your online bill payer. Use it!

If you’ll get in the habit of paying your bill monthly you set yourself up to use your credit cards intelligently for the rest of your life. I love credit cards. I believe that, used with care, they are the best financial tool in the world today.

Credit Unions That Offer Visa Credit Cards to Students


First of all you should probably understand what a credit union is. Credit unions are what is known as a ‘co-op’ or cooperative. What does that mean? A cooperative is a business or organization owned by its members, as opposed to being owned by an individual or corporation. The single biggest difference between credit unions and banks is that banks are run for profit.

Other than being a non-profit entity, credit unions run pretty much the same way as banks. They offer checking and savings accounts, investments, mortgages and other types of debt tools -including credit cards.

Lots of people seem to prefer dealing with credit unions as opposed to banks, and a lot of students are looking to get credit cards from credit unions. The question is whether they can find any. The answer is, of course, yes.

Before I get into what credit cards a student could get through a credit union, let me explain a little about why people would rather belong to a credit union than a bank.

Credit Unions are dedicated to a philosophy of service to the members. Over 60 years ago the philosophy was outlined in the ‘Seven Cooperative Principles of Credit Unions’. Here they are:

  1. Voluntary Membership. Any person willing to accept the responsibilities of membership can become a member.
  2. Democratic Member Control. One member, one vote. Credit unions are owned and controlled by the membership.
  3. Members’ Economic Participation. Members make the decisions about the financial choices of the institution.
  4. Autonomy and Independence. Membership makes decisions about decisions that affect the co-op as a whole.
  5. Education Training and Information. Credit Unions want their membership to be well informed about what it means to be a member.
  6. Cooperation Among Cooperatives. Credit Unions seek to work in unison with other cooperatives, especially other credit unions.
  7. Concern for Community. Credit Unions were formed for the benefit and strengthening of communities in their financial lives.

Basically, credit unions are by the people and for the people. Seeing these seven governing principles you realize why credit unions are able to charge lower fees and interest rates on all their financial tools – they’re established and maintained by the people paying those fees and interest rates.

Here are a few examples of Credit Unions Offering Student Credit Cards:

  • The Student Credit Union Alternatives Visa Credit Card.
  • Fort Belvoir Federal Credit Union Student Visa Credit Card.
  • University of Wisconsin Student Visa Credit Card.
  • State Employees Credit Union (Maryland) Student Visa Credit Card.
  • Missouri Student Federal Credit Union Student Visa Credit Card.

There are a lot of government organizations and most universities will have a credit union. Any one of them should be able to help you get the student credit card that will get you on track to building credit history and raising your credit score.

American Express Student Credit Cards


American Express has some of the best credit card commercials on tv right now. They’re really working the snob angle with all these celebrities talking about how their “card is American Express.” I’m partial to Shawn White’s commercial, being a snowboarder myself.

Some of you might want to join that elite club of American Express card holders. If you’re a college kid now I’d recommend getting started with an American Express student credit card. If you form the relationship with AMEX while you’re young, someday you might work your way into owning a Black Card. We’ll talk about what that is some other time.

Here are some of the benefits of American Express student credit cards:

  1. Online account management: check your statements and pay your bills online.
  2. Account alerts delivered to your inbox: they’ll send you reminders so you’re never late or miss out on special card holder opportunities.
  3. Automatic Bill Pay Program: a great way to build credit history by using your card consistently. Protects you against ever being late with your bills.
  4. Membership Rewards Program: a points system that allows you to buy promotional items. You can also apply points to airline travel. They’ll give you double points through over 100 different online retailers.
  5. Benefits through American Express Travel: when you’re going to travel you can earn double points by booking through American Express Travel.
  6. Insurance against rental car damage and loss: One more reason to beat up on your rental car. They insure it for you!
  7. Purchase Protection Plan: protects items you purchae against damage or theft for a period of time (can be up to three months). American Express will reimburse up to $1000 on an item, up to $50,000 total in a year. This is a pretty amazing benefit.
  8. Fraud Protection: They’ll cover any fraudulent charges on your student credit card, whether you made the purchase online or off.
  9. Buyer’s Assurance Plan: for items you buy with warranties, American Express will cover extend the warranty up to one year on items costing less than $10,000.
  10. American Express Selects: there’s a long list of benefits for cardholders traveling inside and outside the United States. Check out the website for more details.

There’s a price to pay if you’re going to be a member. American Express cards almost always have annual fees, and their interest rates could be called less than competitive. You don’t want to carry a balance on an AMEX.

Other than that, this is a credit card company known for taking care of its card holders. Membership brings a certain status and the VIP treatment. Get in now; you’ll be in good company.

Low Interest Student Credit Cards

What are the two fundmental principles of Investing 101? Risk and reward. If you’re going to put money into an investment, you have to take the potential risk and the potential reward of the investment. The riskier the investment, the higher the potential reward has to be.

Does this have anything to do with credit cards and interest rates? Of course it does. I want you to find low interest student credit cards, but I want you to understand why it’s not that simple.

Every time a credit card company extends a person a line of credit they’re factoring in the potential risk and the potential reward. You might think credit cards charge high interest rates on most student credit cards because they just want to soak the students for all their worth, but it has more to do with how likely students are to pay their credit card balances.

Interest rates are high on certain types of credit cards for one reason: the people that have been issued that type of card are more likely to flake on their payments, whether that means they pay late or they don’t pay at all. Students are a high risk demographic for credit card companies. According to the standard measurment tools (the credit bureaus), a college student is someone doesn’t have a proven track record of using their credit cards and then paying their balances. They just haven’t had access to credit cards for long enough to prove they’re a safe investment.

The reality is there are a lot of people who just can’t handle credit. They treat it like free money that won’t have to be repaid. They pay late or they don’t pay at all and the credit card company gets stuck with the bill. Most college students represent an ‘unknown quantity’ to the credit providers. Maybe they’ll behave themselves with a credit card, and maybe they won’t. Only a credit history can prove it, and college students haven’t had time to build one.

College students can get higher rate cards and use them consistently as a way of proving their credit worthiness. It may even be in their best interest to carry a small balance on the card and pay it down over time. Yeah, you pay some interest, but just look at it as the cost of doing business. If you can show the credit bureaus you’re trustworthy you’ll be able to get high limit, low interest credit cards down the road that you can use for good purposes like running a business or buying advertising.

All that being said, you may be able to find a student credit card with an interest rate between 8% and 12%. Not bad for a first timer.

Either way, if you pay your dues, you’ll get the best credit cards later.

International Student Credit Cards

For a lot of foreigners, the Amercian Dream begins with college. More and more universities are accepting foreign applicants to improve the diversity of their campuses, and like it said in Field of Dreams, “If you accept foreign students, they will come in droves.” I think that’s what it said anyway, or something very similar.

So what is life like for a college student freshly arrived from Canada, China, India, or Europe? They have to get used to a new culture, a new currency, a different language (although most of them probably come to this country with a working knowledge of English), and they have to get accustomed to the business and financial practices of the United States. Depending on their country of origin, the way our financial systems work may be completely different.

And what is it that makes our financial world go around? Two things: savings tools and financing tools. This blog doesn’t deal much with the investing side of money, so let’s talk about how a foreign student can break into the world of American debt. The way for them to get started is with international student credit cards.

It’s not going to be easy for most international students to get credit cards. First of all, they will come to the country with no credit history or credit score in the eyes of the American credit bureaus. That makes them a big risk in the eyes of any credit card provider.

Since most foreign students will be viewed as a risky client for the credit card companies, the best way to go may be with either a prepaid or a secured credit card.

My preference would be for the student to get a secured credit card, because the provider of that card is more likely to report consistent use and payments of the credit card to the credit bureaus. After several months or a year of positive reports the foreign student will start to establish the credit score and history they need to get better credit cards (as in higher limit and lower interest rate).

Here are a couple credit cards I found that are available to international students:

American Express Blue Credit Card for Students – many international students have been able to establish their first unsecured credit card with American Express. It offers some great benefits as well, with discounts on airfare, no annual fee, and a couple of hours of free long distance phone calls. And don’t forget the snob factor of owning an Amex.

Chase Platinum Credit Card for Students – Chase seems to approve a relatively high percentage of first time foreign applicants. Also, Chase won’t charge you an annual fee if you get this card and they’ll provide fraud protection on the card as well.  You even get to choose from four designs.

Secured Student Credit Cards

One of the best things that any college student can do is get a credit card. There are a lot of options out there where you can go get credit cards. Some of you might have some difficult history in your past when it comes to credit. That is fine because there are still avenues for you to take a look at. One of the best ways to improve your current credit is to go get a secured student credit card.

Next you want to see what type of interest rates you can get. Usually if you have had a bad past with credit, your interest rate is going to be anywhere from 15% and up to 25%. There could be an initial lower interest rate, but make sure you read all of the terms and conditions of the contract. Be aware that there can be changes very quickly in your contract with the interest rate. It can take them only a 15 day notice before they make a change in the APR and bump it up.

Prepaid Student Credit Cards

When you get a secured credit card, you need to decide what type of credit limit you are looking to get. It usually isn’t more than a couple thousand dollars as a possibility, but more than likely a few hundred dollars. Usually the deposit will be about the same as the credit limit, but it could be less or more depending on the credit card company. It might be 50% of the credit limit or it could be up to 150%. You should search around to find a secured credit card that will allow for a smaller deposit.

With these cards, you can build a lot of credit during your younger years. You need to make some improvements to your credit and getting a secured credit card can be a great way to get you back into good graces with credit bureaus. Also with the deposit you might find yourself taking more notice and responsibility for your credit then what maybe you have done before in the past. This could also be a good option if you simply have no credit history at all. Find a lot of options before you make a decision so that you are not caught with a lot of fees and high interest rates.

Another choice you can look at is getting a family member to cosign on a line of credit to get your foot in the door, if a prepaid student credit card appears to much for you to handle. If that doesn’t work out then look to work through a debit card with a checking account and start building a good recognizable history that way.

Canadian Student Credit Cards

Student credit cards in Canada are different from what you might find in America if you are a student going north of the border. There are some common traits that you will have to have whether you are in Canada or America. It is important that you establish good credit. The best thing you can do is build your credit. If you have none then there are some things that you can do to improve your situation.

First of all you can open a saving account and a checking account before you apply for student credit cards. These are great ways to get the ball rolling. This isn’t going to solve everything, but it will help start off on a good note. You can start paying your bills in college such as rent and utilities on this fund. This will allow for credit bureaus to see that you are good on paying your bills. Then it is good if you can get a store credit card from a clothing outlet that will allow you to build more value with credit bureaus. This is all in vain if you don’t pay your bills on time. That is the biggest thing you can do.

For Canadian students to get a credit card it will probably require an annual fee of some kind. The limits are usually around $750 and the interest rates are similar to those of American credit cards. They are usually around 15% or so. This is a good way for you to build a credit history during school. This can help you to eventually lower your interest rates and then be able to raise your credit limits higher. If you are struggling to get a card then you might have to get a cosigner. This is fine and can be a good way to make sure that you are taking care of that card because someone else is responsible with you. I would also ask advice from this person as to how to properly spend wisely with a credit card.

If you are having issues getting a credit card and you can’t get a cosigner then it would probably be good to go after a secured line of credit. This can be a good option for students that are struggling to get a credit history establish and are easier to come by. You will probably have to make an initial deposit equal to the amount of money you want to have as a credit limit. Whatever type of card you are able to get, build a first initial impression with the credit bureaus and your creditor so that they are able to offer your better rates in the future.

Student Credit Cards Interest Calculator


I suggest that you find a credit card interest calculator to be able to find out how your credit is and how it can be affected based on how you spend using that card. This tool is going to help a lot of you to figure out how important it is to pay off your bills. One of the best ones that I had found was at It is pretty staggering to think about it when you see what would happen with minimum payments only being paid on these balances.

To give you an example of what could happen I threw in some numbers into the calculator. I simply charged $2,000 on this calculator for the balance. Then I did an annual interest rate of 14%. After that I put in a minimum payment of 2% or $10 depending on which one is higher. So I calculated it and it came out kind of mind boggling. The interest would be $2,354 dollars and it would take 242 payments to pay it off. That would be over 20 years before that charge of $2,000 was paid off. That is absolutely nuts. You will have lived a quarter of your life before you are able to pay it off. That isn’t a pleasant thought.

I think this shows why it is so important to calculate your debt and find safe and faster ways to pay off interest and get to the principal. These calculators give you a good understanding and at the same time it is probably important to get a financial adviser to help you pay off your debt quicker. It is hard being in college with a lot of student loans because of ridiculous tuition fees.

You have to worry about a lot of debt already so the last thing you want to do is worry about paying off credit card debt. You have a lot more control over this issue because you can budget safely within your lifestyle. This is a hard habit to make for a lot of college students that are trying hard to impress the opposite sex, but it will be even more impressive if you can avoid a lot of needless debt going into a relationship. If you can build those habits of living within your means now then it will help you throughout marriage and especially for the example that you teach to your kids.

Use these calculators to evaluate your debt and make sure to pay off the debt with higher interest rates first. So if you have student loans and credit card debt then stick to paying off your credit cards first and then focus on your student loans.

Low Limit High School Student Credit Cards

To be honest the idea of high school kids running around with credit cards should probably make us all a little nervous. Teenagers aren’t known for their foresight or restraint are they? No, they’re not. They’re known for seeking excess. I’m not saying it’s such bad thing. Teens need to spread their wings a little, rebel a little.

So when we think about the right way to ease kids into the world of credit cards, we want to make sure they have that sense of freedom without giving them the chance to get a headstart down the road to financial ruin.

When I got my first credit card I was 18. I was financially clueless. I was clueless in everything else too. But especially financially. A good friend and mentor advised me to get a credit card so I could establish credit history and get a decent credit score while I was still young. He also advised me to keep the limit low. This was his advice:

“Get a low limit credit card. Everyone screws up and maxes out their credit cards at least once in their life. You’re better off doing it with a $500 credit limit than with a $5000 credit limit.”

He couldn’t have been more right. Sure enough, I maxed that credit card out soon after I got it. Luckily it was only $500 worth, and I only had to see one finance charge on my statement to realize I didn’t want to misuse credit cards ever again. I’ve made my mistakes since then, but I’ve never forgotten the lesson learned from my first credit card.

For parents who want to give their teen an even safer credit learning tool, there are prepaid credit cards. In a sense, it’s not a credit card at all. It’s a charge card. What that means is you load it up with whatever amount of money you’re okay with your teen losing, and then let them experience making purchases with the plastic.

If nothing else, using a prepaid credit card should teach kids that credit cards are ‘real money’. In other words, you may not take the cash out of your wallet and hand it to the cashier, but it’s money you’re responsible for. When you run out of money on the prepaid card, the card is useless. That’s a great thing for a kid to get used to. It should help them understand that credit cards are a tool to be used intelligently.

Best Credit Card Deals For Student Credit Cards


There are a lot of options for you to take a look at. The best credit card deals are going to depend on what you are looking for and what type of credit history that you have. Obviously the best deals are for those that have a higher credit score. If you are in the 700′s or 800′s then you are going to be just fine. I don’t think you will have to worry about high interest rates and if your credit is that high then you probably don’t even care about rates anyways because you are probably very effective in paying all of your bills on time.

So before I discuss anything about credit cards, make sure that you are willing to find out where your credit is and take a look at what you can do to improve your credit score. You can make multiple payments a month and contact any creditors that you owe to pay off debt. Then you can make sure that you have a checking and savings account open. Have a couple credit card accounts that you keep in good standing. Don’t take on a lot of other debt if you can and then it will just take time of good payments that will help you to improve your credit.

So after you have improved your credit then I would look at a major credit card issuer like Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. I have seen a lot of Orchard Bank Credit Cards for students and also a lot Capital One for people with poor credit and looking for lower limits. If you are looking for lower interest rates then I would say that Capital One is good card. A lot of cards will offer very low introductory rates. Be aware that this could change in a heartbeat. So it is important that you are able to check out the terms and conditions to see what is required from you and what obligations the company has. Many only need 15 days to notify you that they are going to change the interest rate.

I suggest that after you have figured out where your credit is, decide what is important to you. You might want a higher credit limit and you are willing to sacrifice your interest rate to get it or maybe a limit might not matter, you just want to get a good interest rate. Many of them will be around 15%. If you can find one lower then that for more than just an introductory rate then you will be doing well.

Free Student Credit Cards

What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think about being in college? Broke. That was me. I was broke from the minute I walked into my first college class until about six months after I finished my last one. Then I finally had job and a little money, and I was able to move past the beater apartments and ramen noodles.

But while you’re in school you have to spend most of your time pinching pennies. That’s why when you’re looking for credit cards you can’t deal with bunch of fees. I mean, they’re already going to charge you high interest rates, given your lack of credit history and a fairly low credit score.

It is a good idea to get a credit card or two while you’re in college. When you get out of school and get that first job, you’re going to want to buy a car to replace your Geo Prizm and maybe even buy a condo or a townhouse. If a bank is going to even consider giving you the loan for your toys and your new pad they will need to see that you know how to use credit. In other words, they need to know you’re probably going to pay them back.

Check out this list of student credit cards that can help you get the right start in the world of debt and credit. Use them wisely.

  • Bank of America Student Visa Platinum Plus Credit Card- no annual fee.
  • Capital One Platinum Student Credit Card – no annual fee and no balance transfer fees. Retail savings program with yahoo!
  • Discover Student Clear Card – no annual fee and 0% APR for six months.
  • Discover Student Monogram Card – 0% APR for six months and choose your own design.
  • Discover Student Tropical Beach Card – 0% APR for six months and no annual fee.
  • Discover Student Card – 0% APR for six months and no annual fee.
  • Citi Bronze/AAdvantage Card for College Students – no annual fee and free membership into American Airlines rewards program.
  • Citi Platinum Select Card for College Students – 0% APR and no annual fee.
  • Discover Open Road Card for Students – 0% APR and no annual fee.

Most of these cards also offer online account management. And one more thing – they’re going to give you a small enough credit line to keep you from getting yourself into trouble while you’re in school.

Student Loans And Credit Cards


A lot of students ask where should they get their funds to support them through school. Student loans and credit cards are two common areas where students look to go with expenditures. I think that both serve their purpose, but you want to make sure that you use them for the right reasons. These are really two different weapons in your arsenal that can go in your favor or against you. It really depends on how smart you are with your spending habits.

Realize first what they are and what purpose they serve. There are so many different types of student loans you can get out there and so many types of credit cards you can get out there too. A student loan is directly related to helping a student with the cost of tuition, possibly school materials, and room and board. It just depends a lot on what type of loan you receive.

A lot of it will also be based on what is the tuition requirement for your school, which can very from a $2,000 to $30,000 a semester. It is important to make sure you know too what rent will cost in your area along with other normal expenditures. Obviously going to New York or California is going to require more money for living standards than going to a school in Utah or Minnesota.

A credit card will also have a lot of different rates and usually have higher interest rates. Now you can find o% APR for a year or six months and it can buy you some time to use these cards. You have to be careful about changing rates. The beauty of a student loan is that you don’t have to start paying until several months after you are finished with school.

A credit card is going to require minimum payments, interest, potentially annual fees and other requirements. A credit card, such as college student Visa credit cards, can also help to build your credit faster than a student loan if you can use it correctly. Also these tend to be less tedious to get as far as requirements, there are many visa credit cards for college students with instant applications and easy approval.

Student Loans Vs. Credit Cards

This answer is decided by looking at what you are going to use it for. Chances are you are going to have a high tuition to cover and it would probably be a lot better to use a student loan to take care of that. If you can get room and board in that then that would be beneficial. You are going to have lower interest rates compared to a credit card and more time to make money before you have to worry about paying it back. This can help you focus on school more and the tasks at hand. You will have plenty of time to make money and start chipping away at that loan.

As far as a credit card goes, I think that these are also necessary. They are great to help you build your credit for the purchases you may make when you begin your career. These are great for everyday purchases like food and clothes. You just have to be aware of what your balance is and how you plan on paying it off.

Fixed Rate Student Credit Cards (That Even Allow Balance Transfers!)


Before we talk about fixed rate student credit cards, we should talk about fixed rate credit cards in general. A fixed rate credit card isn’t such a common thing. Why?

Because interest rates change, that’s why. Think about it – every so often you hear an announcement that the Fed is raising or lowering interest rates. When they do that, all interest rates change with the ripple effect. It’s a good thing and a bad thing for all of us that use the financial institutions (which is pretty much everybody).

For example, when rates go up theirs an upside and a downside. On the downside, it gets more expensive to borrow money. Auto loans, mortgages and credit cards all hike their rates to reflect what the Fed did. On the upside banks will usually pay more interest on savings accounts and other deposits. Any of you that have an ING Direct savings account know what I’m talking about. As interest rates have climbed, I’ve seen them raise the rate they pay on my online savings account to over 5%. Not a bad deal.

Now, in some cases credit card companies will offer a fixed rate on a credit card for as long as you have the card open (for example: Prime + 3.99%). They do it to entice people who don’t like the idea of having a credit card at 18% or 21%. If you’re going to get a fixed rate credit card, though, you probably need a pretty good credit score and some credit history.

So What About Fixed Rate Student Credit Cards?

I found, which gives a long list of student credit card offers. Only two on the list mentioned a fixed interest rate:

  • AmTrust Bank (formerly Ohio Savings Bank) Student Credit Card – offers a fixed rate of 7.9% or 13.99%, depending on your credit worthiness.
  • Sovereign Bank Student Credit Card – 9.9% or 15.99%, also based on credit worthiness.

The reality is it’s tough for students to get fixed rate credit cards because they’re still a risk to the credit card company. If you can’t get one of the two I’ve listed above you may have to use a variable (high) rate card until you’ve proven you can handle a credit card.

United Airlines College Student Credit Cards


One of the best decisions you can make if you are a constant flier of the friendly skies is to get a credit card with an airline company. Many students face the issue of having to travel states away to go to college and back home. You want to make sure that you can travel safely home for holidays and special events. To be honest you probably don’t have the money to spend on flights. If you do then you are going to try to save as much as possible instead of spending hundreds or thousands of dollars to make it home and back.

It is smart to get a credit card from a company that you fly with often because this will help you to put your money to use. You have probably heard of frequent flier miles. Many airlines and companies in general do this to help alleviate the pain of spending. It is amazing how much easier it is for you to go for the more expensive purchase because of these types of offers. Now you might find yourself spending more just because you have a credit card to “save money for more miles” but be careful that you aren’t spending recklessly. This might help toward free miles, but in turn you end up going broke…not good. Just make it your primary credit card and use it when you have to. It will make the swipe less painful.

United Airlines will usually offer you a free mile in the air for every dollar that you spend. Depending on what type of card you get, you could potentially have a limit on the amount of miles you can get unless you get the Platinum card for their “preferred customers”. This is a higher annual fee, which all of their cards have, but this will allow for more ways to build up miles. For some of your spending, including for any United related items or housing related, you will actually get 2 miles for every dollar spent.

In the end it really comes down to how often you plan on spending on these cards. If you are only looking for a trip or two a year then maybe you should go with a more conservative card, but if you plan on spending a lot on credit cards for schooling, dates, or whatever floats your boat, then you will probably want to go with the platinum card. This all won’t matter if your credit is bad or you don’t have any credit history, so you might see if your parents can get one to help you come home.

Student Credit Cards With College Logos

These cards can be very cool to purchase. It is always nice to have a card from your alma mater to toss around to show your appreciation for your experience there. There are a lot of colleges that offer this type of service. You can contact your college’s financial office to see if this is something they personally offer. You might have to go to a bank that is near the school or on campus that will provide you with a school card and a Visa or MasterCard logo.

If you can not find it there, then I would go check online to find your school’s logo and the credit card of your choice. I suggest that you are better off getting a card that can’t get your school’s logo on it with better rates, then going with the card from your school that might not be as good of a deal.

Now realize that this probably doesn’t mean that if you use this then it will be like a airline credit card where they offer a free mile in the air for every dollar spent. They are not going to give you a dollar off tuition. Nice try though. They might offer you deals on clothing products or memorabilia. This can be fine if you are a fanatic about your school. I don’t feel that way about my college I attended, although I enjoyed the experience.

If they do provide offers then you might be required to give an annual fee of some kind to cover all of the materials that they are giving out and simply to build a business. I wouldn’t worry about this if you really like the card. This is definitely more of a novelty item than anything else. I have to say that I have had student credit cards before and they aren’t that impressive. You are probably better getting a student credit card with a company that offers you good value like an airline company or some other company that is going to give you value that you could use for a long time. I don’t know if you want to get a credit card from a school unless you want to create a shrine.

Just make sure that you take the time to check interest rates and see what type of fees you have to pay. I think that there are a lot of ways you can show your appreciation other than just getting the school’s logo on your credit card, but if it helps you to spend your cards often followed by paying it off in a timely manner, then this can be a great way to help with your credit and show your pride.

First (1st) Financial Bank Student Credit Cards


For me there are a few core qualities I’m looking for in a company that’s going to be dealing with my money. First, they need to have some years behind them. If I’m going to trust a company with my personal information and my hard-earned cash I want to know they’ve been around the block a time or two. Second, they need to have a clean history. Clean as in the opposite of everything the guys at Enron decided to pull. Clean as in forthcoming with all the details of our dealings with each other.

Students looking for their first credit card as they leave high school and enter college should be looking for those same kinds of qualities. Debt is getting out of control in this country and you have to make sure the company you’re working with is looking to make a profit, but not if it means your financial ruin.

1st Financial Bank is that kind of company. Look around a little bit on the internet and you’ll find good things said about these guys.

1st Financial Bank was founded in 1910 and is located in South Dakota. The bank has become exclusively committed to providing financial services to students across the country.

They sponsor an entire site dedicated to educating kids about college life, especially its financial aspects.

The site, called, touches on three main topics: ‘college 411′, which is designed to help you find a school that’s a good fit for your personality and goals; ‘prepare and apply’, where they’re looking to help you improve your chances of getting accepted and keep track of what schools are looking for; and ‘pay your way’, which teaches you about scholarships, student loans, and college expenses.

I realize this website is a marketing tool. It’s a lead generator – they get you on the site to show you information about college and the longer you’re on the site the more likely you are to fill out an application. They’re looking for customers, and I don’t blame them. They give some free information and end up with loyal cardholders. It’s a win-win.

If there websites are any indication, these guys are committed to keeping costs down. That can translate into lower fees and interest rates for cardholders. I can appreciate a company willing to sacrifice some aesthetics for the sake of cost control. It’s good business, and it gives me more confidence in them.

1st Financial Bank student credit cards won’t be anything flashy, but they’ll be a good tool to help you get your credit life started in college.

Student Major Credit Cards

The major credit cards for students can be some of the best choices and honestly will probably be the most comfortable for you. For many of you, you are just like me…sheepish. I like to go with a well known brand name because I have heard of them. I know they exist and that many people use them, so the chances of them scamming me tend to be less even though they have more customers. We all figure that they have gotten these customers because they have built a reputation with giving out good credit card offers and they don’t intend to bomb you with high interest rates, an enormous amount of fees, and all of these hidden and misleading charges in the Terms and Conditions…all things you’re not really thinking about when you start to apply for student credit cards.

The American consumer society has become used to not trusting businesses and having to do a lot of research because of the tactics of careless companies. This is warranted because they want to make sure that you truly can provide them with solid value and at the same time it goes too far. That is why it is so important for companies to brand themselves excessively to drill themselves into your mind.

How many Capital One commercials have you seen with their funny skits ending with a simple question, “What is in your wallet?” How many priceless MasterCard commercials have you seen that have made you all warm and fuzzy inside when you realize it is all about making people happy, no matter what goes on the card. This is the beauty of credit cards. They are trying so badly to warm up with you to get your business, but everyone does this.

Obviously for them to spend millions on ads, they have gotten somewhere to do so. It just didn’t happen and surely not by destroying trust with millions of customers. If they did then the government would shut them down. Instead, they have solid systems in place. They take good care of their customers and are willing to resolve issues with you to keep your business. You have to build their trust too in this relationship because it is their money that you are using, no matter what you want to think. So if you build that trust then it should not matter.

So for a college student it doesn’t matter if it is Capital One, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or whomever. They are all good. You just need to be fair to yourself and see what they all have to offer. Don’t go and apply for a boat load of cards or pick your favorite card based on your favorite commercial. Do your research first before your apply. Start with one card and build a good credit history and then you can move on to other lines of credit as you build a stronger income in your life and establish a household.

Discover Card Student Credit Cards


Discover Card might be viewed by some as the little brother of the major credit card providers. Visa is everywhere you want to be (at least that’s what they used to say), MasterCard is for everything that’s not priceless, and Discover…well, I’m not even sure. They’re trying though. I have to give them that.

As Discover tries to build its brand and compete with the heavy hitters of the credit world, it looks to tap into a potentially huge and lucrative market – college students. Tens of millions of kids go to college every year. We’re talking about tomorrow’s earners, and consequently tomorrow’s big spenders.

They’re watching mom and dad sink deeper into credit card debt every year, and as the saying goes, the apple generally heads down the same path as the tree and racks up a bunch of debt on the way. Or something like that.

Anyway, Discover knows that if they can get you on board while you’re in school you’re likely to stick with them for a long time. My parents have had a Discover card for over 20 years. I think they might have the first one.

In order to impress you Discover has put together a ‘Credit 101′ course on their website designed to educate and persuade you – to open a Discover Card Student Credit Card. They put great questions on there such as: What is a credit card? and What is a credit report? and How can you build your credit history?

The quiz is multiple choice, but they’re not actually trying to insult your intelligence. I guess the thought process is if they can educate you and keep you on their website you’ll probably fill out an application. Of course they’re hoping you’ll get approved, run up a balance, and make minimum payments for the rest of your life.

But you are way too smart for that. If you open one of these cards you’re going to use it to build credit score and credit history while making your monthly payments on time and never paying interest. Good for you.

  • Here are a few of the benefits of the card:
  • Six months introductory APR of 0%.
  • They won’t make you pay an annual fee.
  • You can get 1% to 5% cash back, depending on the type of purchase you’re making.

Along with those they give you the standards for most student credit cards – online account management, email bill reminders, etc. It looks like Discover will take good care of you if you pick up their student credit card.

Instant Approval On Student Credit Cards

Instant! This is a beautiful word that so many American’s love to hear. I know I love to hear it and I am sure that you do too. We like instant food, instant love, instant movies, instant money, and instant approval. This is really a loaded term as far as credit cards go. Many cards will give you instant approval as a method of showing their willingness to work quickly and help you in turn use that card quickly.

They know that many people get a credit card on impulse to buy products and not necessarily to improve your credit score. They want you to apply for credit cards with the notion that this isn’t going to take long and you are not going to have to go through a lot of hurdles to get there. Understand that there are still some things you will have to deal with.

One of the best things that you can do is don’t look for instant approval. Take your time to understand your APR, annual fees if you have any, grace periods, and any other noticeable items in the Terms and Conditions. There can be changes in the terms where the APR is 0% for a certain period, but that could increase in a heartbeat, so you want to know when that is going to happen. It might be more important for you to find out how easy it is to get a line of credit and not how fast you can get a line of credit, because that may be where your real problems are.

Easy Approval Student Credit Cards

The real question is how easy is it for you to get a credit card. Now if you don’t have a credit history, that is fine because companies know that you have to start somewhere and they would love to get your business initially so that you come back to them down the road as your income increases and especially for loans and business accounts. So they want to appeal to you to start off with. You can find cards that don’t have annual fees and that is good. Most rates are going to be 15% to 20% and that is pretty standard.

I suggest that you are safe with these cards because if you miss a payment then you can be murdered. Some interest rates can double up near 30%. This can be scary for any student just trying to make it by and I am sure that you don’t want your parents on your back about another issue, along with a creditor and a credit bureau which isn’t as forgiving.

Realize that you are going to have to give your social security number and they are going to do a credit check. This is in accordance with the Patriot Act and also they are going to do it obviously to know what your past is like with credit. This could help with getting a better rate if you have established a credit limit, but realize that it is going to take a several months to a year of good credit habits to impress a credit bureau.