Over the last three years, there has been a strong initiative to reform the banking industry in terms of attracting and maintaining credit card customers. Student credit cards have seen many of the changes. Gone are the days of marketing on college campuses for free t-shirts, and if you’re under 21 without a reliable source of income, you’ll need a parent’s permission to obtain a credit card. The debate will continue about whether college student credit cards are appropriate tools for students, but no matter which side of the fence you sit, it’s beneficial to inform students about the best college student credit cards.
If you’re a college student looking to finance your needs on campus or on break, then a college student credit card may be the right choice for you. I recommend saving to cover your expenses as you want to graduate with as little debt as possible to start your career on the right foot. Working to earn money often takes a back seat to education during college, and credit card use is common to smooth out the income you might earn over the summer.
Some of these student credit cards offer great rewards, others offer low interest rates, and a few provide the opportunity to reduce your interest rate with responsible use.
Citi® Dividend® Card for College Students. The best card on this list in terms of straight rewards, Citi Dividend Card for College Students. Cardholders can earn bonus cash back each quarter in must-have categories like department stores, travel and more, with quick and easy enrollment. All other purchases will earn 1 percent cash back. You may earn a total of up to $300 per calendar year. This card does not carry an annual fee. The offer includes an introductory 0% APR on purchases for 7 months for the Citi Dividend Card for College Students. After the introductory period, purchase APR’s will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate and currently is between 13.99% to 23.99% variable – good for a student credit card. Cardholders can build credit with good credit management while earning cash back rewards. You can manage your account online, on your tablet or on your Smartphone and choose your own payment due date. Click card name link for pricing details.
Citi Forward® Card for College Students. The Citi Forward Card for College Students makes the list of the best college student credit cards because it’s the only card that promotes responsible credit card management. If a student can make their payment on time for three months in a row, keep their balance under the credit limit and make a purchase they can receive a purchase APR reduction of up to 2 percentage points (0.25 percent each quarter 8X maximum). For example a 13.99% purchase APR would be reduced to 11.99%. Students can earn 100 ThankYou® points each billing period they pay their statement on time and stay under their credit limit up to 1,200 bonus points per year.
Citi is currently promoting a sign-up offer of 2,500 bonus ThankYou® Points after spending $500 within the first 3 months of cardmembership. The rewards program includes 1 ThankYou® Point for every $1 you spend. The Citi Forward Card for College Students comes with an introductory 0% APR on purchases for seven months. With no annual fee and flexible billing options the Citi Forward Card for College Students is worth a look if you are considering applying for a college student credit card.
Updated March 3, 2014 and originally published August 11, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.