The Best Credit Cards for Students: Maximize Your Rewards

The Best Credit Cards for Students: Maximize Your Rewards

As a student, managing your finances and building credit can be a daunting task. However, having a credit card tailored to your needs can be a valuable tool in establishing a positive credit history. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the best credit cards available for students, their benefits, and how to choose the right one for you. Whether you’re a beginner with no existing credit or looking to optimize your rewards, we’ve got you covered.

Discover It Cash Back: The Top Choice for Beginners

If you’re a student with no credit history, the Discover It Cash Back card is an excellent option to consider. This card is highly accessible, with a high approval rate for individuals with limited or no credit history. One of the standout features of this card is its generous cashback rewards program. You can earn 5% cash back on rotating categories such as restaurants, mobile wallet purchases, and more. Additionally, during the first year, your cash back is doubled, effectively giving you a 10% return on these categories. Imagine getting rewarded for your everyday spending!

To sweeten the deal, you can find online referrals that offer a $100 statement credit for making your first purchase. This can be a significant bonus to kickstart your credit journey. Another advantage of the Discover It Cash Back card is that it has no annual fee, which makes it even more appealing for students on a budget.

Chase Freedom Rise: Simplicity for Existing Chase Bank Customers

If you already have a banking relationship with Chase and prefer a streamlined experience, the Chase Freedom Rise card is worth considering. While it may not offer the same level of benefits as the Discover It Cash Back card, it still provides decent rewards and a hassle-free application process. To increase your chances of approval, having a Chase checking account with a balance of at least $250 for the past 48 hours can be beneficial.

Similar to the Discover card, the Chase Freedom Rise card has no annual fee, making it an attractive option for students looking for a straightforward credit card without any additional costs.

Capital One Savor One and Quicksilver for Students: Alternatives to Consider

While the Discover It Cash Back and Chase Freedom Rise cards are popular choices, it’s essential to explore other options to find the best credit card that suits your needs. Capital One offers two student credit cards worth considering: the Savor One and the Quicksilver.

The Capital One Savor One card is an excellent choice for students who enjoy dining out and entertainment. With this card, you can earn unlimited cashback rewards on dining, groceries, and entertainment. Additionally, there are no foreign transaction fees, which makes it an ideal companion for studying abroad or traveling during your academic journey.

On the other hand, the Capital One Quicksilver card offers simplicity and flexibility. It provides unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, making it a reliable option for students who prefer a consistent rewards program without the hassle of rotating categories.

Bank of America Custom Cash for Students: A Rewarding Option

If you have a pre-existing relationship with Bank of America, the Bank of America Custom Cash card for students could be an excellent choice. While it may require a bit more effort to obtain, having a checking account with Bank of America can increase your chances of approval.

This card offers a unique rewards program where you can earn 3% cash back in a category of your choice, such as online shopping, dining, travel, and more. Additionally, you can earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, which can be especially beneficial for students looking to save on daily essentials.

General Tips for Using Student Credit Cards

Now that we’ve explored some of the best credit card options for students, let’s discuss some general tips and considerations to make the most out of your credit card:

  1. Maximize Your Rewards: Take advantage of your credit card’s cashback or rewards program by using it for everyday purchases. However, ensure that you can afford these purchases and pay off your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges.
  2. Avoid High Fees: While you can use your credit card for most purchases, be cautious about using it for bills or expenses that may incur additional fees, such as rent payments. Assess any potential fees before deciding to use your card for specific transactions.
  3. Build Credit Responsibly: Building credit takes time and responsible management. Make sure to pay your credit card bill on time and in full each month to establish a positive credit history. Avoid carrying a balance, as student credit cards often have high APRs that can quickly accumulate interest.
  4. Consider Long-Term Goals: If you’re planning to finance a car in the future, keep in mind that having a limited credit history may impact your ability to secure favorable terms. It’s wise to plan ahead and consider building credit for at least a year before making major financial commitments.


Choosing the right credit card as a student can set you on the path to financial success. The Discover It Cash Back and Chase Freedom Rise cards are excellent options for beginners, while the Capital One Savor One, Quicksilver, and Bank of America Custom Cash cards offer alternative rewards programs to suit your preferences.

Remember to use your credit card responsibly, pay your balance in full each month, and avoid unnecessary fees. By doing so, you’ll be well on your way to building a positive credit history and enjoying the benefits of responsible credit card usage.

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