Student Guide to Student Credit Cards – What Card is right?

Student Guide to Student Credit Cards – What Card is right? 

There are so many financial institutions out there offering Student Credit Cards that it is sometimes a difficult choice deciding which card will work best for you. Obviously, before applying for a Credit Card it is important for any Student to do they part and research all the options that are available to them. Some things to look for are:

  • Rates – What is the interest rate on purchase?
  • Fees – Does it have an annual fee attached?
  • Perks – What are the benefits of this card?

These 3 simple factors can determine if the card is right for you! Asides from items mentioned above, it is important to also look for a Student Credit card that offers flexibility of acceptance! Now, you may wondering, what does that mean? Isnt getting a Student Credit Card with a low rate, no fees and perks to start enough? Yes and no. Here is the reason why. As stated, there are many financial institutions out there that offer Credit Cards designed just for a Student. Obviously, those should be at the top of the list to consider and not the ones that offer all those fancy rewards and miles. Now, between all those Student Credit Cards offered there is a always a brand that is attached to that credit card. You probably notice them on the lower right hand side. Which brand is right for you and will work for you is the question!

Student Guide to Credit Card Brands:

  • Visa – One the oldest in the world and most widely accepted. The Visa Brand is a payment processor. Not to be confused by saying that Visa is extending the Credit to you but, Visa is a middle man between the financial institution that is offering the credit to you and where you decide to spend that credit. Because of its age and popularity in the world, Visa is widely accepted all around the world and many institutions utilize Visa as their payment processor for their customer transactions.
  • MasterCard – Similar to Visa, MasterCard is also widely popular and works the same way that Visa does. They are also a payment processor between the financial intuitions and the place where you decide to use that credit.
  • Discover – One of the newer Credit brands not as large or widely accepted in the world, Discover is still a popular brand. Discover usually has a no annual fee attached and offers some perks that Visa and MasterCard do not.  
  • Amex – Also a newer Credit brand that is not as large or widely accepted in the world. American Express is probably one of the most difficult cards to get for a student especially if this is your 1st card.
  • Department Store Cards – Just about every store in America now offers their own type of credit card. Most of the time these cards little value or spending power outside that particular location but some do partner up with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover to offer more value in having that card.

Many Choices, what card will work for you best as a Student? 

Now that we have mentioned all these different kinds of Credit Card brands, which one is the right one for you as a Student? Well, obviously, asides from the Rate, fees, and perks, a student will want to look at how widely is it accepted. Visa and MasterCard are the 2 best options as they are widely accepted worldwide compared to American Express and Discover. You will find no problems using any of these online, but you have to ask yourself; for a 1st Student Credit Card what is going to be used for? If you are someone that travels, you would carry a card that is going to be excepted everywhere with least amount of issue as possible. Visa and MasterCard due to their popularity make an excellent choice to start. Not to say that Discover and American Express are bad 1st picks, but they can wait. When it comes to immediate flexibility of acceptance that Visa and MasterCard offer. 

Department Store Cards tend to offer a lot of perks within their locations such as cash back, discounts, coupons and etc but you have to be careful making it your 1st credit card. Many a time, you will not be able to use that card outside that location or locations unless you are approved for the higher up card that is attached to one of the major credit card brands listed above. Do not let your determining factor be a card from a location that you buy a lot from as your 1st card. Remember to do you research and read the fine print of any card you are looking to apply to! There are a lot of Student Credit Cards out there to choose from! 

Also Read Student Credit Cards: What to look for to find the best Card!