Best Credit Cards for College Students

By TopTenREVIEWS Editors
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Top Ten Reviews has published a comparison of the best student credit cards. In ranked product reviews, the editors compare annual percentage rates for high-risk and low-risk applicants, rewards programs, redemption methods, fines, fees and features.

“Students would do well to focus on finding a credit card with the lowest possible annual percentage rate,” said Lecia Monsen, Managing Editor of Top Ten Reviews. “Rewards points and cash back are all very well, but not if they come at the expense of a higher APR.”

Top 3 Best Student Credit Cards:

1. Discover Student More: This Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner for student credit cards has competitive annual percentage rates and a 5-percent cash back bonus.

2. Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card: This Silver Award winning credit card for students offers the best annual percentage rate for students who have already established good credit.

3. Discover Open Road: Because of its low APR and good cash back benefits, this student card wins the TopTenREVIEWS Bronze award.

[Complete Student Credit Card Review]

What Makes a Top-Notch Student Credit Card?

The best student credit cards feature the lowest annual percentage rates. Rewards points and cash back programs are not the most important features to consider. TopTenREVIEWS researched and compared popular credit cards for students by closely examining the follow criteria:

Annual Percentage Rate: Even for students with good credit histories, the APR for student credit cards ranges from 11.15 to 21.99 percent. It is not obvious why competitive market forces have not done more to compress this range, but any student who does the homework will soon realize that there is no reason to pay twice the APR that the price leaders offer.

Rewards: Redeemable points or cash back are features that are nice to have but incidental to a low APR. For students with the financial means and the discipline to pay off credit card charges every billing period, then the accumulation of rewards is a real bonus that makes credit card use more attractive than using cash.

Redemptions: The various ways to redeem points and receive cash back range from simple and understandable to confusing and complex. Top Ten Reviews places a higher value on redemption methods that convert to cash as opposed to gift cards or discounts at approved vendors.

Features: In addition to APR, rewards and redemptions, there are many cards that provide other valuable features. Some cards protect students from fraud liability and extend warranty protections. Some cards are especially good for travelers who might need travel and auto insurance, travel assistance or the ability to make transactions outside of the United States without a 3-percent surcharge.

Fees: The credit card industry is somewhat standardized when it comes to fees. All of the providers in the review will charge a late fee of up to $35. Going rates for balance transfers and cash advances range from 3 to 5 percent.

The student credit card industry offers a wide spread when it comes to interest rates and terms. And there is little uniformity to the ways that rewards accrue and are redeemed. The editors at Top Ten Reviews offer this review of college credit cards for students as a service to help those who want to know which one to get.

More product reviews are online at TopTenREVIEWS.
 

 
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