Best credit cards for students from our partners

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Platinum Prestige MasterCard Secured Credit Card
Platinum Prestige MasterCard Secured Credit Card
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on First Progress's website

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on First Progress's website

APR
9.99%
Intro APR: None
Fee
$49
Rewards
N/A

Balance Transfer

None

Credit Range

Poor - Exceptional

No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards are Accepted!
Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
Get Approved Fast - Just Click Below to Start the Process!
Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card
Platinum Select MasterCard Secured Credit Card
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on First Progress's website

Apply

on First Progress's website

APR
13.99%
Intro APR: None
Fee
$39
Rewards
N/A

Balance Transfer

None

Credit Range

Poor - Exceptional

No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards are Accepted!
Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
Get Approved Fast - Just Click Below to Start the Process!
Merrick Bank Secured Visa®  Card
Merrick Bank Secured Visa® Card
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on Merrick Bank's website

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on Merrick Bank's website

APR
18.45%
Intro APR: None
Fee
$36
Rewards
N/A

Balance Transfer

None

Credit Range

Poor - Exceptional

Unsecured credit line increases - after the first year, your account will be regularly reviewed for credit line increases with no additional security deposit required.
Monthly FICO® Score for free - get your updated FICO® Score each month when it is provided to us from the credit bureau.
Build your credit - performance is reported to all three major credit bureaus, unlike a prepaid card.
Flexible credit line - the amount of your deposit determines your initial credit line - up to $3,000 and increase your credit line anytime with additional deposits.
Easy funding options - several convenient options to easily submit your security deposits.
Worldwide acceptance - use it anywhere Visa is accepted.
See additional details for Merrick Bank Secured Visa® Card
Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card
Platinum Elite MasterCard Secured Credit Card
Apply

on First Progress's website

Apply

on First Progress's website

APR
19.99%
Intro APR: None
Fee
$29
Rewards
N/A

Balance Transfer

None

Credit Range

Poor - Exceptional

No Credit History or Minimum Credit Score Required for Approval
Monthly Reporting to all 3 Major Credit Bureaus to Establish Credit History
Good for Car Rental, Hotels; Anywhere Credit Cards are Accepted!
Credit Line Secured by Your Fully-Refundable Deposit of $200 -- $2,000 Submitted with Application
Receive Your Card More Quickly with New Expedited Processing Option
Get Approved Fast - Just Click Below to Start the Process!
Discover it® chrome for Students
Discover it® chrome for Students
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on Discover's website

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on Discover's website

APR
13.99% - 22.99% Variable
Intro APR: 0% for 6 months on purchases
Fee
$0
Rewards
2% Cashback

Balance Transfer

10.99% for 6 months

Credit Range

Fair

Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter -- no sign-ups needed. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.99% - 22.99%.
Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
See additional details for Discover it® chrome for Students
Discover it® for Students
Discover it® for Students
Apply

on Discover's website

Apply

on Discover's website

APR
13.99% - 22.99% Variable
Intro APR: 0% for 6 months on purchases
Fee
$0
Rewards
5% Cashback

Balance Transfer

10.99% for 6 months

Credit Range

Fair

Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like Amazon.com, restaurants, ground transportation and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
Good Grades Rewards: $20 cash back each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
Get 100% U.S. based customer service & your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 13.99% - 22.99%.
Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
See additional details for Discover it® for Students
Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee
Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee
Apply

on Discover's website

Apply

on Discover's website

APR
23.99% Variable
Intro APR: None
Fee
$0
Rewards
2% Cashback

Balance Transfer

10.99% for 6 months

Credit Range

Poor - Fair

No Annual Fee, cash back on every purchase, and helps you build your credit with responsible use.
A security deposit of $200 or more will establish your credit line (up to the amount we can approve). Automatic monthly reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an account with no security deposit.
Reports to the three major credit bureaus. Plus, get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
Earn 2% cash back at restaurants & gas stations on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
Tools to assist you; email alerts, text reminders and 24/7 customer service.
Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
See additional details for Discover it® Secured Card - No Annual Fee

Advertiser Disclosure: The offers that appear on this site are from third party companies ("our partners") from which Experian Consumer Services receives compensation, however the compensation does not impact how or where the products appear on this site. The offers on the site do not represent all available financial services, companies, or products.

Credit scores are used to represent the creditworthiness of a person and may be one indicator to the credit type you are eligible for. However, credit score alone does not guarantee or imply approval for any offer.

For complete information, see the terms and conditions on the credit card issuer's website. Once you click apply for this card, you will be directed to the issuer's website where you may review the terms and conditions of the card before applying. We show a summary to help you choose a product, not the full legal terms – and before applying you should understand the full terms of the product as stated by the issuer itself. While Experian Consumer Services uses reasonable efforts to present the most accurate information, all offer information is presented without warranty.

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Student credit card basics

Applying for student credit cards

Getting credit cards for students can sometimes be a difficult process, as it is regulated and comes with requirements from issuers. There are also instances where students with no credit history, or with a credit standing below what issuers are looking for, can be declined when applying for credit cards. One of the first steps before applying is to get your free credit report, and to make sure everything is accurate. Once you have a better understanding of your credit, you can get a better view of what the best options are for you.

Student credit cards and federal law

The Credit Card Act of 2009 prevents credit card issuers from providing credit cards to anyone under 21 years of age, unless the individual applies with an adult co-signer or can show proof they have enough income and/or assets to make payments on the card. Credit card issuers are also limited and even restricted from promoting and offering credit to students under 21.

Building and establishing credit

Starting your credit history is an important step in establishing your financial life, and starting that history sooner can be beneficial, since mistakes such as missing a payment will stay on your credit report for 7 years. The impact of negative items, such as a late payment will decrease over time, and quickly learning from mistakes and becoming literate in credit will help to ensure your credit is in good shape when you are ready to rent your first apartment, finance your first car, or even purchase your first home.

Options for student credit cards

Depending on your credit history, you may have multiple options available to you. Whether it is finding the right credit card or other options to help you establish credit, starting and maintaining your credit early can help you as you move forward and towards the financial goals you wish to achieve.

  • Before you start college: When you have no credit history, a good option before you start college could be to become an authorized user on your parent’s or family member’s credit card account. When you become an authorized user on someone else’s credit card, payments made would appear on a credit report in your name. As long as payments are made on time, the history would appear and benefit your credit report.
  • Secured credit cards: Another option for someone with no credit history is a secured credit card, since some issuers do not require any credit history during the application process. Secured credit cards require deposits into a bank account and act as a sort of collateral, but in other aspects behave as a normal credit card, where you make charges up to a defined credit limit and have balances, along with interest. Making sure to read the terms and conditions of a secured credit card can be beneficial in helping you understand the actual costs, since all secured credit card offers can vary in terms of APR and fees.
  • Credit cards: Typically, people with very good and excellent credit have long credit histories, among other things which have contributed to their high credit ratings. So, as a student and on your road to establishing credit, you may find that your credit standing might be lower on the credit scoring range. However, there are still many opportunities for individuals with fair credit, and even credit cards with rewards and promotions that could be within your reach. One of the most important things in this part of your journey is to realize that credit should be used responsibly and applied for when you need it.

1 Credit score calculated based on FICO® Score 8 model. Your lender or insurer may use a different FICO® Score than FICO® Score 8, or another type of credit score altogether. Learn More.