Best Student Credit Cards for College Spending 2014

Simon Zhen

By , Staff Writer
Posted on Wed Aug 20, 2014, Last Updated on Wed Oct 1, 2014

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A young college student such as yourself is constantly swamped with expenses here and there. Make the smarter financial move by  picking up the right student credit card, which will allow you to rack up rewards — and enjoy some perks — while you’re at it.

Best Student Credit Cards for College Spending 2014

Mass. Office of Travel & Tourism / Flickr source

When you should consider a student credit card:

  • You know you can manage your finances responsibly.
  • You want to earn rewards on your common college expenses.
  • You want to begin building good credit.

Once you know you’re ready for a student credit card, the trick lies in choosing the card that will benefit you the most. The easiest way to do that? Just think about what your most common expenses will be. If you’re already in school, look back at your last month of spending. Then, use that information to identify the card with the rewards program that best matches your spending patterns.

We’ve taken a look at the many student credit cards out there. After considering their perks and rewards, here is MyBankTracker’s list of best student credit cards that are most likely to offer great rewards on your college spending:

Discover it for Students

Apply for this card if: You want the best overall student credit card that is forgiving and offers great rewards.

Best Student Credit Cards for College Spending 2014

What college student doesn’t mess up up from time to time? It happens.

Generally, mishaps with credit cards can have detrimental effects (like penalty interest rates), but you can rest easier with the Discover it® for Students card, which has a great fee policy and cash back program — there’s no question why we consider it the best overall student credit card.

The no-annual-fee card has no penalty APR (usually around 30% APR with other cards), no late payment fee for the first late payment and no foreign transaction fees.

To make it a sweeter deal, you’ll get 5% cash back on certain categories that change every quarter after you sign up (limits apply). Past categories that you — as a student — might be interested in include: movie theaters, restaurants, gas and online shopping.

With Discover it® for Students, you’re getting a student-friendly fee policy plus great rewards. It’s a combination that’s hard to refuse.

- Pros: Student-friendly perks; earns cash back

- Cons: Cash back categories can vary

 

Journey Student Rewards Credit Card

Apply for this card if: You want a simple cash back program to assist your busy college lifestyle.

Best Student Credit Cards for College Spending 2014

You’re a busy college student with a million things to think about. Maybe you don’t want your credit card rewards to be another distraction. Instead, you can keep things simple with the Journey Student Rewards Credit Card, which earns 1% cash back on all purchases, and 0.25% cash back for every month that you pay on time.

Designed for students, the card has no annual fee and allows you to gain a higher credit line once you make your first five monthly payments on time.

Capital One also offers a helpful credit-monitoring tool, called Credit Tracker, that shows you how to manage credit responsibly. You’ll get a monthly credit score that will track your progress. Given that you’re a student and just starting to build credit, the tool will be a great resource.

If you’re a student who wants to take the complexity out of earning credit card rewards, go with the Journey Student Rewards Credit Card. That way, you can focus on everything else.

- Pros: Simple cash back program; offers credit education tool

- Cons: Possible low initial credit limit

 

BankAmericard Cash Rewards for Students

Apply for this card if: You want to earn cash back on gas and groceries.

Best Student Credit Cards for College Spending 2014

Do you drive to campus and cook your own food? Well, the bulk of your everyday expenses probably includes gas and groceries. You’re already saving a ton of money by not living on campus, but you can continue to save more by using the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students because it gives a nice amount of cash back on gas and groceries.

For no annual fee, the card offers 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores on the first $1,500 spent in those two categories (combined) per quarter. All other purchases earn a flat 1% cash back.

And, if you redeemed the cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account, you’ll get 10% more cash back.

However, you should choose the BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students mainly because of the cash back potential on gas and groceries. Do you anticipate those two categories being your biggest expenses? If so, this is your card.

- Pros: Earns cash back; bonus for having BofA account

- Cons: Bonus cash back earnings capped per quarter

 

Noteworthy Alternative: Discover it® Chrome for Students

Apply for this card if: You want to earn cash back on gas and eating out.

Best Student Credit Cards for College Spending 2014

Let’s face it. You’re in college. You’ll be going out to eat with friends. For all you know, you could be spending more on dining out than you spend on groceries. If that’s the case, go for the Discover it® Chrome for Students.

The card offers 2% cash back on gas and restaurants on the first $1,000 spent (combined) in the two categories per quarter — no sign-ups needed. It also offers 1% cash back on everything else. Like the Discover it® for Students card, you get student-friendly perks include no penalty APR, no late payment fee on the first late payment and a free FICO® credit score online and on monthly statement so you can track your score’s progress.

- Pros: Student-friendly perks; earns cash back

- Cons: Bonus cash back earnings capped per quarter

You may have noticed that the Discover it® Chrome for Students card is almost the same as the Discover it® for Students card — only the cash back program is different. However, we still vouch for the Discover it® for Students card as the best student credit card because the 5% cash back program can entail many categories other than just gas and restaurants after you sign up.

Disclaimer: MyBankTracker was not paid to publish this content, which was not provided, commissioned, reviewed, approved, or endorsed by the company whose products are featured. We may be compensated through an advertiser’s affiliate programs.

 

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