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TOP RANKING BEST CREDIT CARDS FOR STUDENTS WITH NO CREDIT


Finding the Best Credit Card for College Students with No Credit History

Building good credit is extremely important to having a healthy financial life. Bad credit can follow a person for a long time and make the basics of adult life much more difficult. Therefore, finding the best credit cards for college students with no credit history is important because students can learn and practice good credit building habits that will last a lifetime.

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Award Emblem: Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Students with No Credit

Those applying for student credit cards with no credit are often young and financially inexperienced. Finding the right option can be an easy choice to mess up, particularly when students are armed with too little information. Many people often ask the following questions when searching for the best credit cards for college students with no credit history:

  • How can a credit card for students with poor credit improve my future?
  • What factors make some credit cards for college students with bad credit better than others?
  • Do credit cards for college students with bad credit offer rewards?

This article will go over the basics of credit cards for students with poor credit or no credit history as well as provide you with a list of our top credit cards for students with no credit.



AdvisoryHQ’s List of the Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Students with No Credit

List is sorted alphabetically (click any of the credit card names below to go directly to the detailed review section for that credit card):


Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Students with No Credit | Brief Comparison & Ranking

Credit Card Names

APR

Introductory Period

Cash Back

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students

 13.24% – 23.24%

 12 months

Unlimited 1% on all purchases. Up to 2% at grocery stores and 3% on gas (limited to $2,500 per quarter)

Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students

14.24% – 24.24%

 7 months

Points system: 2 points per dollar spent on dining out and entertainment and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

Discover it® for Students Card

 13.24% – 22.24%

 6 month

5% on purchases in selected categories (up to $1,500 per quarter) and 1% on all other purchases (unlimited)

Journey Student Credit Card

 20.24%

 None

1% on all purchases and 0.25% bonus for on-time payments

U.S. Bank College Visa® Credit Card

12.24% – 21.24% 

 None

 None

Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card

 11.40% – 21.40%

 6 months

 3% on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases in the first 6 months and 1% on all other qualifying purchases

 
Table: Top 6 Best Credit Cards for Students with No Credit | Above list is sorted alphabetically


How Do Credit Cards for Students with No Credit Help Build Credit History?

The best credit cards for college students with no credit history will help students establish credit fairly quickly and easily. To build credit wisely, cardholders should be careful not to overspend; instead, keeping their balance low and paying it off on time, every single month. Missing a payment or making a late payment can negatively impact your score, so it is important to stay on top of payments.

While many students do not have a lot of credit, it is often easier to establish credit than you may think. Any expense that has your name on it and requires regular monthly payments, like rent or utility bills, will likely help you build credit. Credit cards for college students with no credit history are designed specifically around the needs of students and are a good way to help speed up this process or get it started.

See also: Top Best Credit Card Balance Transfer Offers & Deals | Ranking | Interest-Free Credit Card Transfers


What Is APR?

To find the best credit cards for college students with no credit history or poor credit, it is important to consider how much interest is associated with each card. APR stands for “annual percentage rate” and indicates the total amount of interest that will be charged to a customer on a yearly basis.

Many APRs are variable, which means that they are subject to change. Also, credit cards for students with no credit typically offer a range of APRs, depending on each cardholder’s credit rating.

The best credit cards for college students with no credit history will usually have the lowest APRs since a lower APR will result in lower monthly payments. However, credit cards for students with no credit that offer higher APRs may also provide different services that fit better with your individual needs. It is important to consider a bank or credit card company in its entirety to make the best choice in the long run.



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Please click here “AdvisoryHQ's Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.

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Detailed Review – Top Ranking Best Credit Cards for Students with No Credit

Below, please find a detailed review of each credit card on our list of credit cards for students with poor credit. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these best credit cards for students with no credit to score so high in our selection ranking.



BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students Review


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Image from Bank of America

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card for Students has an introductory period that offers a 0% APR for the first 12 billing cycles.

After the introductory period, a new APR between 13.24% and 23.24% will be assigned according to a cardholder’s creditworthiness. The best credit cards for students with no credit history, like this one, allow those will low scores a chance to improve their score without being hit with high rates during the introductory period.

This credit card for college students with bad credit offered by Bank of America also come with tools and features to help cardholders build a good credit profile. The tools offered include:

  • Fixed payment dates to eliminate surprises
  • Online and mobile banking options to track finances
  •  Text alerts to provide real-time account information

Rewards and Security

This option is more than a credit card for students with bad credit – it also offers an attractive rewards program. This credit card for students with no credit history will earn you 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% cash back at grocery stores, and 3% cash back on gas. However, the gas and grocery categories are limited to $2,500 per quarter.

The many security features offered by Bank of America may make this one of the best credit cards for college students with no credit history. These features can help customers focus on learning how to build their credit without needing to worry about security. Bank of America offers security features that include:

  • Overdraft protection
  • Chipped cards
  • Unique card numbers for online transactions through the Shop Safe security service
  • Tracking and alerts for abnormal spending patterns
  • No customer liability for fraudulent transactions

Related: Top Best Credit Cards for Students with No Credit or Bad, Poor or No Credit History



Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students Review


This credit card for students with no credit history, the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students by Citibank offers students an introductory period with 0% APR for the first 7 months after an account has been opened. After this time, an APR between 14.24% and 24.24% will be assigned according to the cardholder’s credibility.

Credit cards for college students with no credit, like this one, can be used to safely build credit. The introductory period offers students a chance to earn a low APR through responsible use of the account. The best credit cards for students with no credit offer features to help students learn to manage their credit card and credit profile. This card offers features like the following:

  • Customers are able to select a due date for their bill that works best with their finances
  • Online and mobile banking options allow students to stay up to date on their account information

Rewards and Security

Not only is this a good credit card for college students with no credit, but it also offers a rewards system. With this credit card for students with bad credit, students can earn unlimited points with no expiration which can be redeemed for rewards, including gift cards, electronics or cash. 2 points are earned for every dollar spent at restaurants and entertainment, and 1 point is awarded for ever dollar spent on all other purchases.

The available security features may make this one of the best credit cards for students with no credit. Citi offers a wide range of security features to protect your card and your purchases, including:

  • Citi Price Rewind which can make up the difference if a better price is found for online purchases made within 60 days
  • Citi can extend manufacturers’ warranties to pay for repairs on damaged items or replace stolen goods purchased on this Citi card
  • All cards are equipped with chip technology 
  • Customers are never liable for unauthorized charges


Discover it® for Students Card Review


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Image from Discover

This credit card for students with no credit, the Discover it® for Students Card, has a 6-month introduction period with 0% APR at that time. After the introduction period has passed, an appropriate APR between 13.24% and 22.24% will be assigned based upon each cardholder’s credit. College students can apply for student credit cards with no credit as a way to help build a profile for the future and use the introductory period to earn a low APR.

This Discover card can also be used as a credit card for students with no income. If students do not meet the income qualifications on their own, they are able to use a cosigner to help them meet the qualifications. Credit cards for students with no income, like this one, can be a good way to start building a credit history.

Discover offers tools that make this a good credit card for students with bad credit as well. Every monthly statement includes each customer’s FICO credit score for no extra charge. This is an easy way for students to track their progress and make sure they are building good credit.

Rewards and Security

Some credit cards for students with no credit offer rewards that are specifically tailored to benefit good grads. The Discover it® for Students Card offers $20 cash back each year that a cardholder has a GPA of 3.0 or higher, for first five years that they have the card.

Furthermore, it offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 each quarter on purchases in selected categories and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover will also double the rewards earned in the first year.

Not only does Discover offer credit cards for students with no credit history, it also provides features to avert disasters in the event that a card is lost or stolen. Customers are never responsible for unauthorized purchases, and Discover will monitor all accounts for unusual purchase activity. In addition, customers can receive a new card overnight for no extra charge.

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Journey Student Credit Card by Capital One Review


The Journey Student Credit Card by Capital One does not offer an introduction period and has a uniform APR rate of 20.24%. While there is no introduction period, customers who make their first 5 monthly payments on time will be granted access to higher lines of credit.

This is a good option for those seeking credit cards for students with no credit history or bad credit because cardholders are allowed to advance based solely on their performance with this card and nothing else.

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Image from Capital One

Most credit cards have income requirements which can make credit cards for students with no income that much more complicated. However, with this card from Capital One, applicants can include shared income. Shared income is money from another person that is regularly deposited into the applicant’s bank account. This is a good option for holders of credit cards for students with no income who still rely on their parents or other family members.

The best credit cards for students with no credit offer tools to help customers learn how to best handle their finances. Capital One offers tools that allow customers to track their credit and have unlimited access to their credit score. It also offers special resources to educate customers about their finances and credit profiles.

Rewards and Security

The Journey Student Credit Card is one of the best credit cards for students with no credit or bad credit because the rewards program is build around reinforcing responsible credit card use. This card offers cash back on 1% of all purchases. Furthermore, when payments are made on time, 0.25% is added to the cashback rewards for that month.

Capital One offers more than just credit cards for college students with no credit. It also offers security features to protect card privacy and purchased items. These features include:

  • No customer liability for lost or stolen cards
  • Email or text alerts to track account activity
  • Auto rental insurance when rentals are purchased with the card 
  • Extended warranties on items purchased with the card


U.S. Bank College Visa® Credit Card Review


The U.S. Bank College Visa® Credit Card is another option on our list of credit cards for college students with no credit. It does not have an introductory period but does offer a range of APRs. Qualifying applicants will be given APRs between 12.24% and 21.24%, depending on their credit profile.

When searching for the best credit cards for college students with no credit history, it is important to look for features that can help students learn how to manage their finances. U.S. Bank offers mobile alerts to let customers know if they are approaching the limit on their card.

Also useful for holders of credit cards for students with poor credit, is the ability to receive alerts, which U.S. Bank does, regarding upcoming payments. Furthermore, it offers online and mobile banking that allows students to remain connected to their finances from almost anywhere.

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Image from US Bank

Rewards and Security

As one of the best credit cards for students with no credit, this card comes with a variety of features to offer security, convenience, and to help customers keep track of their finances. Customers are never liable for unauthorized charges. This allows students to worry less about their financial security and more about their grades.

U.S. Bank also offers overdraft protection for this card – an especially useful feature for credit cards for students with poor credit. Overdraft protection can be set up to automatically move money from one account to another in an effort of prevent drawing money from an empty account. U.S. Bank also offers FlexControl that helps customers avoid interest or late fees by setting up automatic payments to their credit card account.

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Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card Review


The Wells Fargo Cash Back College Card made it on our list of credit cards for college students with no credit history due to its rates and features designed specifically for young adults’ needs. This particular card has an introductory period of 6 months with 0% APR. After these 6 months, an APR between 11.40% and 21.40% will be assigned based on a cardholder’s habits and creditworthiness.

Like other options for the best credit cards for students with no credit, Wells Fargo offers customers special tools to help them budget and track their spending. This credit card for college students with bad credit can be connected to a Wells Fargo checking or savings account to automatically transfer money to cover bills each month. This can help students protect their growing credit score by ensuring that they are always on top of their finances.

This credit card for students with bad credit also provides email or text message alert reminders to customers to ensure that payments are never missed or late. Furthermore, with this credit card for students with bad credit, Wells Fargo provides budgeting tools and online and mobile access to further assist students in proper finance management.

Rewards and Security

This credit card for college students with no credit history also offers an attractive rewards program. 3% cash back can be earned on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first 6 months. Cardholders can also earn 1% on all other qualifying purchases.

This option is a top credit card for college students with no credit history due to its numerous security benefits, such as:

  • Its Zero Liability Program ensures you won’t be held liable for unauthorized transactions
  • Chip technology further protects your card
  • Emergency and travel assistance services are available
  • Emergency card replacement feature

Conclusion – Top 6 Best Credit Cards for College Students with No Credit History

It is vital to college students to take advantage of the safety net that credit cards for students with poor credit can offer them. The best credit cards for students with poor credit are designed specifically with their needs in mind and come with tools and features to help them build credit while they learn how to manage their finances.

Image source: Shuttstock

Building credit can be challenging as it can take some time to work your way up. Credit cards for college students with bad credit are a great way to do this. Many card options offer students a chance to earn better APRs as well as increase their credit limits.

When searching for the best student credit cards with no credit history, it is important to keep in mind that every card offers its own benefits and disadvantages. What may be the best credit card for students with poor credit for one person might not work for another. We hope that our list of the best credit cards for college students with no credit history can aid you in determining the top choice that will meet your financial needs.



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Reasonable efforts have been made by AdvisoryHQ to present accurate information, however all info is presented without warranty. Review AdvisoryHQ’s Terms for details. Also review each firm’s site for the most updated data, rates and info.

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