How to Compare Student Credit Cards

How to Compare Student Credit Cards

Not all student credit cards are created equal. Each has their own set of benefits, drawbacks and fees. Below is a list of definitions for you to better understand so you can compare student credit cards to find the best one that suits your needs.

  • APR
    The APR is the annual interest rate of the card. Credit cards charge interest only if you do not pay the balance in full, which means if you pay the balance in full every month, this is not something you will need to worry about.

    Some cards have 0% APR for a certain time ‐ usually about six months. During that time period, you can only pay the minimum amount to not be charged interest. It is important you read the details of your rates so you don't get caught with something undesirable ‐ like paying back interest because you didn’t read the fine print.

  • Annual Fee
    Annual fees are charged by some cards, often between $25 and $99. Try to avoid credit cards that come with annual fees.

  • Rewards
    Rewards are a positive, as you likely guessed. Cash back on certain transactions or points that can be redeemed for merchandise or travel are great reward benefits you can look for.

  • Sign-up Bonus
    Some cards offer sign-up bonuses, like $100 if you spend $600 in four months. This is a benefit that is only offered one time and is only available to new customers. Be careful about spending the required dollar amount unless you are certain you can pay it off. Bonuses and rewards can be canceled if you carry a balance or pay interest.

  • Credit Limit
    Many student credit cards come with low credit limits ‐ often not exceeding $500. Credit limits are the highest amount of money you are allowed to charge on the card.

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