Student Rewards Credit Cards Benefits
College student credit cards allow you to start building credit while earning cashback or travel rewards on your spending. The right student card provides valuable benefits tailored to young adults along with rewards.
In this guide, we’ll look at popular credit card rewards programs for students from issuers like Discover, Bank of America, Capital One and others. We’ll highlight card benefits like 0% intro APRs, good credit limits, and tools to manage spending wisely.
Let’s explore top student credit cards that provide rewards and help set students up for financial success.
Why Earn Rewards as a Student?
Here are some of the key advantages student rewards credit cards offer:
- Cashback or points on college spending – groceries, books, gas, etc
- Valuable signup bonuses to offset large textbooks or laptop costs
- Learn how to manage card rewards responsibly with lower limits
- Establish positive credit history through diligent payments
- Gain financial literacy on earning rewards wisely at a young age
However, don’t take rewards as justification to overspend. Making payments in full and on-time is essential.
Best Student Rewards Credit Cards
Here are some top student cards offering cashback or travel rewards:
Discover Student Cash Back Card
- 5% cashback on rotating bonus categories each quarter
- 1% back on all other purchases
- Cashback match after first year
- $20 Good Grades Reward each school year
Bank of America Student Travel Rewards Card
- 1.5X points on all purchases with no limits
- 20,000 online bonus points after $500 spend in 90 days
- Statement credits when redeeming points for travel
- Free standard shipping on Bank of America Travel Center purchases
Deserve Edu Mastercard
- 1% cashback on all purchases
- First year rewards matched
- No foreign transaction fees
- No late fees
Chase Freedom Student Card
- 1% cashback on all purchases
- 3% cashback in a quarterly rotating category (up to $500)
- $20 Good Grades reward each school year
- Free monthly credit score reports
Benefits Beyond Rewards
In addition to cashback or points, student credit cards offer perks like:
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 6-12 months
- No annual fee
- Free monthly credit score reporting
- Usage & spending alerts to your phone
- Credit education tools and resources
- Security features like $0 fraud liability
- Special discounts and bonus offers
- Deferred payment programs or low late fees if applicable
- Application advice and mentorship
Establishing Responsible Habits
To develop sound financial practices with your first card:
- Only charge what you can pay off monthly
- Pay at least the minimum payment on time each month
- Setup automatic payments to avoid forgetting due dates
- Review charges weekly and dispute anything unauthorized
- Avoid impulsive purchases and cash advances
- Read statements closely and track rewards earned
- Use cautiously – don’t overspend just because you have a credit line
- Build a budget including projected credit card spending
Maintaining Good Credit Status
To keep your credit in good shape as a student:
- Minimize credit inquiries when shopping for rates by soft pre-approval checks first
- Keep individual card balances below 10% of the credit limit
- Don’t open a bunch of new accounts quickly – space applications out
- Request reasonable credit line increases every 6+ months if offered
- Avoid new cards with annual fees you can’t afford long term
- Check your credit report regularly and dispute any errors
- Contact issuers immediately if a payment will be late due to financial hardship
Transitioning After Graduation
Once you graduate and have steady income, consider upgrading to premium rewards cards like:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred for flexible travel rewards
- Citi DoubleCash Card for unlimited 2% cashback
- Citi Custom Cash Card to maximize category bonuses
- Amex Gold Card for 4X points on dining and groceries
Better rewards potential comes with financial maturity. But start smartly with a student card before expanding your wallet.
Closing Student Accounts
Should you close student cards after college? Considerations:
- How old is the account? Keep your first card open indefinitely to anchor credit history.
- Does it charge an annual fee? Consider closing if fees outweigh rewards.
- Will closing significantly lower total available credit or length of credit? This temporarily dings credit scores.
- Are there dormant fees if not using the card actively? Check the terms.
Aim to keep no annual fee cards open long term to preserve credit history depth. Close newer ones with fees carefully.
Final Tips for Student Credit Cards
Here are final tips for maximizing value from your first student credit card:
- Shop APRs across multiple student cards to choose the lowest interest rate
- Review statements closely and track rewards to ensure balances post
- Contact issuers about graduation programs to move to better rewards cards over time
- Set text or email alerts on due dates and large purchases to avoid issues
- Be cautious about quickly accepting credit line increases to avoid overspending
- Build your score diligently to qualify for premium cards offering richer rewards after graduation
Choosing the right student card and using it prudently establishes financial responsibility early on. Take advantage of tools that help you monitor spending wisely as you earn rewards toward your goals.
Concluding Thoughts on Student Rewards Cards
The college years represent the ideal time to make financial mistakes under the guidance of parents or guardians. Approach your first student credit card with care by paying diligently, avoiding impulse buys, and monitoring statements.
With the right student card aligned to your goals, you can earn some nice cash back or travel rewards for books, meals, travel and more – all while establishing responsible habits.
Just focus on building credit first and earning rewards second. Don’t get distracted chasing bonuses. Establish the foundations for financial health as an adult by learning how to maximize the benefits of student credit cards.