Home / Blog / Top 10 Credit Cards for Students

Top 10 Credit Cards for Students

Update: As of June, 2013, some of the below offers are no longer available. Follow the links below for updated information.

We've all heard the horror stories. In fact, you're sure to know a handful of friends or relatives who've racked up an eye-popping amount of credit card debt while in school, and now they're paying dearly for it.

As a college student, you may be feeling as though you don't want to get involved with credit cards at all. And while there's a good case to be made for avoiding credit cards at a time in your life when you might be especially tempted to rack up debt, there are also many advantages to using credit cards wisely during the college years.

If you're responsible with your credit card by paying off the balance in full and on time each month, then you'll be able to quickly build a great credit history before you even get out of school.  

Then, when the time comes soon after graduation to secure a mortgage for a home, an auto loan, or student loans for a graduate education, you'll be leaps and bounds ahead of your peers who simply chose to ignore their credit. To help you in your search for the perfect card, here are my top 10 credit cards offers for students:

1. Citi Forward Card for College Students Citi Forward is one the best student credit cards out there, mainly because of its relatively low interest rate. Other benefits of the Citi Forward Card are gaining a .25% reduction on your purchase APR if you stay within your limit and make three consecutive monthly payments on-time.

2. Discover Student Card As with Citi, Discover has a handful of great student card offers. Its Discover Student Card is particularly attractive because of the rebate program. If you're timely with your payments, you can earn a 5% cashback bonus on purchases you make with hundreds of vendors.

3. Discover Student Card Monogram Collection Similar to the Discover Student Card, the Discover Monogram Collection Card has a great rebate program, no annual fees, and a 0% introductory APR.

4. Citi MtvU Platinum Select Visa Card for College Students The Citi MtvU Card rewards students for achieving good grades. Twice a year, you have the opportunity of earning up to 2,000 bonus points for a good GPA, and you get an additional 25 bonus points simply for making payments on time. As with other good student cards, the Citi MtvU Card has no annual fee and an introductory APR of 0% for seven months.

5. Discover Open Road Card The Discover Open Road credit card is another great option for many college students. Aside from the usual perks of Discover student cards, it has a fantastic rewards program, in which your 1% cash back bonuses are unlimited on virtually anything you buy. You also get a double cash back bonus on any restaurant or gas station purchases.

6. Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card for College Students Citi's Dividend Platinum Select has many features that both college students and parents will appreciate. Like many student cards, you don't have to have a really high credit score to be approved for this card. In addition to no annual fees and a 0% APR rate on the first seven months, Citi Dividend has a wonderful cash back and rebate program, and it also covers travel accident insurance whenever you buy plane, train, or bus tickets on the card. The card also covers car rental insurance, as includes identity theft protection options like having your photo and signature on the front of the card.

7. MtvU Visa Student Credit Card For those of you that really enjoy having a good time and tend to spend more on entertainment, the Citi MtvU Visa Card may be the perfect card for your needs. You'll earn higher levels of points on things like books, movies, and music, and then you can cash your points in for cool prizes like tickets to the VMAs. Although the APR jumps pretty steeply after the introductory period, MtvU Visa does offer a financial education refresher in which students can learn about wise credit management and other important personal financial topics.  Remember, APR isn't something to worry about as long as you commit to always paying your bills in full and on time.

8. Capital One Student Rewards Card This Capital One card is a great option for students with fair to low credit. It has a good rewards/cash back program, focusing on purchases that students are most likely to make, like on textbooks and travel. The one drawback of this particular card is that the APR goes up considerably starting at around 24% and can be as high as 30%, with substantial late fees as well. Once again, that's not a big deal since you'll always be paying your bill on time and in full, right?

9. Chase +1 Student MasterCard The Chase Plus One Student MasterCard is unique among other student cards in that its reward system has gone "social". In other words, their points program is connected to Facebook, where you can accumulate more points, share your points with friends, or even give them to charitable causes.

10. Amex TrueEarnings Card Many college students and recent graduates become members of Costco, a bulk grocery store with steeply discounted rates.  How can anyone turn down a polish dog and Coke for $1.50? If you are currently a Costco member, or if you are considering it in the future, the Amex TrueEarnings may be the perfect card for you. It's not your typical student card, simply because it isn't tailored for students, but it has an appreciably low APR around 13% and a generous rewards system. These are some of the most popular student credit cards on the market today.

Of course, the most important thing is to do your credit card research carefully, educate yourself about wise credit management before applying, and then you'll be well on your way to excellent credit in no time. And remember—always stay within your credit limit and make all your payments on time and in full!

This guest post is contributed by Raine Parker, who writes on the topics of accounting degree. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: raine.parker6@gmail.com.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter.

Get the latest tips & advice from our team of 30+ credit & money experts, delivered to you via email each month. sign up Now

Alice Bryant's picture

Alice Bryant is the Editor of Creditnet and a personal finance expert with over a decade of experience writing about credit cards, credit scores, debt repair, and more.

Visit 's Google Plus profile for more.