Best Credit Cards for Students in 2022

Find the best student credit card by comparing rates, credit limits, rewards programs, and other benefits.

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by Lauren Ward

Published on June 21, 2022

Edited by Cameren Boatner
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Best Credit Cards for Students in 2022
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A student credit card allows you to build your credit history while still attending college. Even without a full-time job, you may be able to qualify for a relatively small credit line. As you charge purchases on your credit card and make on-time payments, you'll begin to see your credit score increase. However, you do need to learn how to manage your credit well so that you don't end up with a large balance.

What Makes a Good Student Credit Card?

The best student credit card for you depends on your needs and preferences, but there are certain variables to look out for. Here's what we looked at to determine our top picks:

Some student credit cards also offer extra perks, like no transaction fees or bonuses for certain spending categories. These could make a real difference if they apply to your lifestyle and interests.

10 Best Student Credit Cards

It's smart to compare features on multiple student credit cards to choose the one that best fits your needs. Avoid applying for the first offer that sounds good. Also, keep in mind that fees, rates, and rewards can change frequently — for the latest info about these cards, reach out to the providers directly.

1. Chase Freedom Student Credit Card

In addition to offering a cash back rewards program, the Chase Freedom Student credit card comes with a $50 bonus when you make your first purchase within three months of opening your account. Additionally, cardholders receive a $20 reward for each anniversary and ongoing access to their credit score for free. You can also qualify for a credit limit increase when you make five monthly payments on time within your first 10 months.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 15.74%
  • Penalty APR: 29.99%
  • Rewards: 1% cash back

2. Discover It Student Cash Back Card

There's no credit score required to apply for the Discover It Student credit card. Earn up to 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories, such as at grocery stores, restaurants, or Amazon. You can also get the hang of using your card by enjoying a 0% intro APR for the first six months.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 13.24-22.24%
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Rewards: 1-5% cash back

3. Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Rewards for Students card offers new cardholders a $100 cash bonus when they get approved. This card is also great for frequent travelers. You get access to Capital One Travel, which gives you 5% cash back when you use your card to book hotels and rental cars. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees when you travel abroad.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 15.24-25.24%
  • Penalty Fee: Up to $40 late payment fee
  • Rewards: 1.5% cash back

4. Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students

The Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students comes with a variety of perks, including an Amazon Prime Student membership. It's also ideal for international students because you don't need a social security number to apply. Plus, there are no international transaction fees.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 20.24% variable
  • Rewards: 1% cash back

5. Discover It Student Chrome Card

The Discover It Student Chrome card has a competitive cash back rewards program. Cardholders get 1% cash back on all purchases, plus a match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year. Restaurant and gas station purchases also give you a bonus cash back rate of 2%. And when you first open your card, you'll get a 0% intro APR for the first six months.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 13.74-22.74%
  • Penalty APR: None
  • Rewards: 1-2% cash back

6. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

This option provides one of the best college student credit card bonuses. You can qualify to earn a $200 cash bonus, but you'll need to spend at least $1,000 in the first three months of opening your account. New cardholders also get a 0% intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 14.74-24.74%
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%
  • Rewards: 1-3% cash back

7. Capital One SavorOne Rewards for Students Credit Card

The SavorOne credit card gives a $100 signup bonus to cardholders who make $100 in purchases within the first three months. And the cash back rewards program gives you extra savings with a 3% rewards rate on dining, streaming, groceries, and other categories.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 15.24-25.24%
  • Penalty: Up to $40 late fee
  • Rewards: 3% cash back in specific areas

8. Journey Student Credit Card From Capital One

Capital One's Journey Student credit card offers 1% cash back, which bumps to 1.25% when you make your payments on time. You also get an annual $60 streaming subscription credit. And if you want to increase your available credit over time, credit limits are automatically reviewed every six months.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 26.99%
  • Penalty: Up to $40 late fee
  • Rewards: 1% cash back

9. Bank of America Travel Rewards Credit Card for Students

Get travel perks with this card by earning 1.5 points for every dollar you spend. You can then redeem your points to cover travel expenses. There's also a 250,000 bonus point offer when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 14.74-24.74%
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%
  • Rewards: 1.5 points per $1

10. Petal 2 Visa Credit Card

The Petal 2 card comes with no fees and a cash back rewards program that starts at 1% cash back. You can increase your rewards rate to 1.5% when you make payments on time.

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • APR: 13.74-27.74%
  • Credit Limit: $300-$10,000
  • Rewards: Up to 1.5% cash back

Pros and Cons of Student Credit Cards

A student credit card can help you build a positive credit history before you graduate from college. As long as you make your payments on time, you'll start accumulating positive entries on your credit report. It's also a great way to learn how to manage credit and debt before you qualify for a larger credit limit.

On the downside, carrying a balance on a student credit card can quickly become expensive. Interest is charged on any amount you don't pay off by the due date, and it keeps accumulating. Paying just the required minimum usually isn't enough to pay down your debt in the near future. And if you make late payments, you'll hurt your credit and potentially accrue costly late fees.

Frequently Asked Questions About Student Credit Cards

true Which type of credit card is best for students?

Look for credit card offers with competitive rates, low fees, and no annual fee. Also keep an eye out for cards that let you accrue rewards when you spend or offer extra cash when you first sign up.

true Can a college student get a regular credit card?

You could potentially qualify for a regular credit card while still in college. However, your income will need to be high enough to qualify for a standard credit card, especially if you're looking for a higher credit limit.

How many credit cards should a college student have?

Most college students should start off with one credit card to get the hang of spending and paying their bills on time each month. Once you're comfortable, you could apply for a second credit card to increase your overall credit limit.

What happens to student credit cards when you graduate?

It depends on the credit card company. You may be issued another standard credit card, or you may simply be able to keep using your student credit card. Compare benefits, credit limits, fees, and other features to decide if it's time to upgrade after graduation.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute professional financial advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Readers of this website should contact a professional advisor before making decisions about financial issues.


BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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