Which Credit Card is Best for College Students?

Updated on Apr 01, 2016

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Top Answer:Submitted by Jenny G.

According to the United College Marketing Services, the average college student has 2.8 credit cards and carries an average balance of $885. Despite all the bad press surround credit cards for college students, there are many responsible young adults that can take advantage of this opportunity, and start building a solid credit score. The credit score will follow them for years to come. Having the right credit cards in your pocket is critical to ensuring you have the best ability to build a strong credit score.

Top Credit Cards for College Students

The best credit cards for college students provide affordability, ease of use and the right credit limit. Lenders are happy to provide individuals with credit, but you do need to ensure your score is protected – don't use credit the wrong way. The following are some of the best college student credit cards.

American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday from American Express is a great option because it offers unlimited cash back on commonly purchased items. This includes 3% of what you spend at supermarkets, and 2% at gas stations and department stores. Since food, gas, and clothing are some of the main needs of a college student, it only makes sense to have a credit card that will reward you with cash back when you purchase these items. Card users will also earn 1% cash back on anything else they purchase with the card. That’s right. Anything.


The Discover Open Road card also offers 2% cash back on gasoline. Additionally, it offers 2% back on food purchases made at restaurants. This 2% applies only to the first $250 worth of these items that are purchased each month. After that, you will not earn 2% additional cash back until the next month. However, you will get 0.25% on all other spending, regardless of location.

One perk of this card is that Discover allows card users to get rebates of 5-20% on items purchased through their online shopping portal. Currently, they have over 150 merchants to choose from within the program. If you are searching for specific items that you need to purchase, it is best to check the Discover site first to see if you can get one of these rebates.

College student should select their credit cards wisely. A low interest rate, and no annual fee are important qualities to look for in a credit card. The rewards listed above are no doubt great perks, but interest rates and other associated fees should be considered first.

*Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.

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