Student Cards

Your college student may have distinct credit card needs based on lifestyle. Looking for a credit card that meets those needs? Start here with Citi’s ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students.
Select a student credit card that’s made for collegiate living.

Types of Student Cards are:

1. Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®


Benefits of Journey® Student Rewards

1.Unlike with most secured cards, it’s possible to get a credit limit on this card that’s higher than the security deposit you put down. You can get a limit of $200 for a $49, $99 or $200 deposit, depending on your credit.

2. You can make partial payments on your deposit, as long as you provide the full amount within 80 days of being approved. Your account will not be activated until your deposit is paid in full.

3. This card reports to the three major consumer credit bureaus.

Drawbacks of the Journey® Student Rewards:

1. Because of the lower deposit options, Capital One has stricter underwriting standards for this card. You generally won’t qualify if you don’t have a checking or savings account, if you have a bankruptcy that’s still on your credit report, or if your rent is almost as high as your monthly income, among other reasons.

The bottom line

Among all of the secured cards on NerdWallet, the Journey® Student Rewards is the most affordable. Because this secured card comes with more requirements than others, it may not be a good fit for folks recovering from major credit damage, but it could be an excellent match for someone who’s getting a credit card for the first time.

2. US Bank College Rewards Visa


Benefits of the US Bank College Rewards Visa:

1. The annual fee is $0.

2. The rewards would be pretty decent even if this weren’t a secured credit card; for a secured credit card, they’re unheard of. Rewards never expire, and there’s no minimum redemption amount.

3. There’s no penalty APR for paying late, and no late fee the first time you miss the due date.

4. You’ll have access to your FICO score on your monthly statement, or at any time via your online account.

5. The card reports to all three credit bureaus.

6. After 12 months, cardholders are automatically evaluated monthly to see if they can qualify for a regular, unsecured credit card. When they’re ready, the transition is smooth, it doesn’t create a new account, and all rewards are carried over to the new card.

Drawbacks of US Bank College Rewards Visa

1. The interest rate is on the high side: None.

2. The security deposit/credit limit options, while not terrible, are neither the highest nor the lowest available. Your deposit will be equal to your credit limit. For some people, the $200 minimum deposit will be a stretch. For others, the maximum $2,500 credit limit will be too low.

3. You likely won’t qualify for this card if your annual income is under $10,000, according to customer service representatives.

4. The initial deposit must be paid with a bank account, making this card unavailable to people without a checking or savings account.

The bottom line

We’re so excited about the high rewards rate, the automatic process for transitioning cardholders to an unsecured card and the $0 annual fee. This card has some limitations, but the advantages outweigh them. If you’re looking to graduate to an unsecured card as soon as possible, and want to earn some plum rewards while you’re rebuilding your credit, this card may be the right choice.

3. Regions Bank Student with Rewards


Benefits of the Regions Bank Student with Rewards

1. You can qualify for this card within minutes. The bank doesn’t run a credit check and doesn’t require a checking account, unlike other major issuers.

2. Because the annual fee is $35, this card is a relatively affordable way to improve a severely damaged credit score.

3. The card reports to the three major consumer credit bureaus.

4. You’ll have access to your FICO score on your monthly statement, or at any time via your online account.

Drawbacks of the Regions Bank Student with Rewards

1. You generally can’t upgrade your account to an unsecured card.

2. You won’t qualify for the card if your monthly expenses exceed your monthly income. (This is generally the case with all secured credit cards.)

The bottom line

If you want to rebuild your credit but are having trouble finding an issuer that will work with you, the Regions Bank Student with Rewards could be a good match. Its annual fee is $35 — reasonable, compared with other secured credit cards — and your activity will be reported to all three major credit bureaus, making it easier to rebuild your credit. When it comes to funding the account, you a can use a debit card, do a wire transfer, write a check or use a money order, making it one of the few secured cards that you can use without a traditional bank account.