What are the Best Credit Card Options for College Students?


A new CNBC report provides insight into some of the top credit cards options for college students in America.

An Overview of the Best Credit Card Options

Of the plethora of available credit cards, the Discover It Student Cash Back Rewards card, Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card, Capital One Journey card, and Discover It Secured card made the list. Each card comes with its own options and (like all credit cards) overspending can be incredibly costly.

Discover It Student Cash Back Rewards Card

First and foremost comes the Discover it Student Cash Back Rewards card. One of the most notable upsides of this particular credit card is its 5% cash back bonuses. However, these bonuses are only applicable for specific category spending which amounts to $1,500 in charges. Accepted categories include grocery stores, gas stations, wholesale clubs, Amazon purchases, and restaurants. Discover will award any other purchases with 1% cash back bonuses.

The Discover It Student Cash Back Rewards card comes with no annual fee. However, the annual percentage rate (APR) ranges between 14.99% and 23.99% after six months of card membership. The state of the student’s credit will significantly impact their APR. This card furthermore offers a $20 statement credit for each year that students maintain a grade point average (GPA) of higher than 3.0. The aforementioned statement credit is applicable for up to five school years.

Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students Card

Like the Discover It Student Cash Back Rewards card, the Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card also offers rewards. Gas station charges permit 3% cashback while grocery stores and certain wholesale clubs offer 2% in cash back rewards. Any other purchases are granted 1% cashback.

The Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card comes with no annual fee. Moreover, college students are awarded $200 if they spend more than $500 within the first 90 days of securing the card.

APR rates range between 15.24% and 25.24% based upon the credit of the college student. However, APR only kicks in after 12 months of card membership. The Bank of America Cash Rewards for Students card furthermore offers 10% on cash back bonuses if the rewards are placed into a Bank of America savings or checking account.

Capital One Journey Card

The Capital One Journey card offers 1% cash back rewards for all charges. However, 1% increases to 1.25% if users punctually pay their bills. There are no bonuses and no annual fees. The Capital One Journey Card also comes with a 24.99% APR and foregoes all foreign transaction fees.

Discover It Secured Card

The Discover It Secured card is specifically designed for individuals who may be experiencing financial struggles or working to overcome bad credit. Therefore, there is no annual fee or late fees on the user’s first tardy payment. However, the Discover It Secured card does require a deposit between $200 and $2,500 for usage. The aforementioned deposit then becomes the allotted credit line.

This particular card furthermore offers 2% cash back for gas station and restaurant charges for a maximum of $1000 worth of charges within each quarter. Any other charges on the Discover It Secured card are granted 1% in cash back rewards. This card also maintains an APR of $24.99.

A Word to the Wise

Credit cards offer cash back points to incentivize consumer spending. However, any college student with a credit card should proceed with caution. Reckless spending and/or the inability to pay when the credit card bill arrives can be disastrous. Therefore, any credit card user has the responsibility to make responsible and affordable charges which fit into their budget.