*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated Jul 26, 2018. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.
Who the card is best for
Students looking for a simple cashback card and the ability to try Amazon Prime Student can benefit from the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students. The cashback program is straightforward — no rotating categories or activation required, simply earn 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases. Plus, this card has a great Amazon Prime Student subscription offer that can save you a lifetime total of $59.
The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students earns 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases, which is decent for a student card. The cash back you earn is automatically redeemed for a statement credit in increments of $25. Plus, cash back doesn’t expire while your account is open.
Where this card stands out in its category
Amazon Prime Student subscription offer. As long as your account is in good standing, you may be reimbursed for an Amazon Prime Student subscription — with a maximum lifetime total of $59. This is a great perk that can allow you to enjoy the wide range of benefits Amazon Prime provides such as free 2-day shipping, video and music streaming and more.
Simple cashback redemption. Cash back is automatically redeemed in increments of $25 for statement credit. That means you don’t have to check your rewards balance for when you can redeem cash back or for redemption options. Beware, the redeemed cash back doesn’t count toward your minimum payment.
Where this card falls short in its category
No intro 0% APR period for purchases. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to benefit from an intro 0% APR on purchases with this card. However, we have a list of the top student cards with many of those cards offering an intro 0% APR period for purchases around six months.
Subpar rewards rate. While rewards shouldn’t be your focus with a student card and it’s great to be earning any rewards, the 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases isn’t the highest rate in the student card market. You can find student cards that offer higher rates in select categories or other flat-rate cards that reward on-time payments.
Additional card benefits
The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students has several added perks:
- Cellphone protection*: Pay your monthly cellphone bill with your card, and you may be reimbursed up to $600 for theft or damage of your cellphone.
- Travel assistance services*: You can qualify for legal referrals, medical assistance and more when you travel 50 miles or more from home.
*You must use your card to qualify for these services. Terms apply.
How to use it most effectively
Take this card if you study abroad. The Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students has no foreign transaction fees, so you can make purchases outside the U.S. without incurring the typical 3% fee other cards may charge.
Pay on time and in full. A good habit to get into when you’re new to credit is to pay each statement on time and in full. Payment history is the most important factor of your credit score, weighing in at 35%. By paying on time, you not only help your credit score, but avoid late payment fees, penalty APRs and interest charges.
Don’t spend more than 30% of your credit limit. The amount of credit you use divided by your total credit limit is known as your utilization rate. It’s important not to overspend since utilization (or amounts owed) is an important factor of your credit score. To find how much you can spend while maintaining a 30% utilization rate, multiply your credit limit by .30. For example, with a $500 credit limit multiply by .30 and you get $150 as the maximum amount you should spend.
Compare it with the Discover it® Student Cash Back
0% intro for 6 Months*
5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
12.99% - 21.99% Variable APR*
- INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
- Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
- Earn rewards while building your credit history that can help you after graduation. And, get your free Credit Scorecard that includes your FICO® Credit Score and important details that help make up your score.
- No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
- Refer-a-Friend: Once you become a Discover it® Student cardmember, you can earn a statement credit each time you refer a friend and they’re approved. Over half a million students got Discover Cards from their friends' recommendations.
- Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
- Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
- Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 12.99% - 21.99% applies.
- See Rates & Fees
See additional details for Discover it® Student Cash Back
If you’re a student looking for a card that allows you to earn high cashback rates in select categories, check out the Discover it® Student Cash Back.
The Discover it® Student Cash Back lets you earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. This is great if you want to utilize the bonus categories, and since they rotate each quarter, there’s a good chance at least one category may suit your spending. Looking at the rewards offered by the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students, they’re pretty basic — 1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases, but may be more beneficial if you don’t want to deal with the activation required with the Discover it® Student Cash Back.
If you plan on purchasing school supplies and textbooks, the Discover it® Student Cash Back’s intro APR of 0% for 6 months on purchases on purchases (after, 12.99% - 21.99% Variable APR), may come in handy. In comparison, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students lacks an intro 0% period.
Here’s a breakdown of the key features of each card:
|Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students||Discover it® Student Cash Back|
|Intro Purchase Period||N/A||0% for 6 months on purchases|
|Regular Purchase APR||18.74% Variable||12.99% - 21.99% Variable APR|
|Rewards||1% unlimited cash back on ALL purchases||5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically|
|Foreign Transaction Fee||None||None|
With its Amazon Prime Student subscription offer and a decent cashback rate, the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a good choice for students who are beginning their credit journey.