Establishing your credit is an important step as a student in college because in order to purchase a number of big items when you are older, you need a good credit history. Not to mention, beginning good credit card habits in college is sure to carry with you for the rest of your life. However, establishing good credit is a two way street. Sure, responsibility of the student is a big part of it but the other part is getting the most reliable card with the most benefits that will help you as you begin to establish a credit history.
That is why I have ventured out to look for the best student credit card out there and I believe that I have found it, the Student Discover Card by Discover. I picked Discover because they have a number of great benefits for a first time user.
Benefit #1: Into APR rate is 0% for the first 6 months. That means you have 6 months to find out how a credit card works, when and how to make payments without getting charged interest for half a year. After 6 months the rate is 13.99%, lower than most other student credit cards. However, it is always best to avoid being charged interest for a balance on your card.
Benefit #2: One of the longest grace periods for students. Discover offers a grace period of 25 days. Most other credit cards offer grace periods of only 20 days. Grace period is essentially the amount of time before you are charged interest.
Benefit #3: Great rewards program. Discover offers you 5% cash back on all purchases in a designated month and it changes every month. For example, December is retail so you receive 5% cash back on all retail and restaurant spending. The theme changes every quarter. Discover also has an online marketplace that offers you 5%+ cash back all year round when you shop certain vendors online. You can receive 5% cash back on all purchases on iTunes, for example.
Benefit #4: Alert system. Discover knows that students are busy and may not necessarily have time to check the free online account for balance information and deadlines. So, now they offer a free text service where they will send you a text if you are close to your credit line or a minimum payment is due, etc. Discover is alerting you instead of blindsiding you with fees and charges.
Benefit #5: You do not need a steady income to apply. The Discover Student card was my first credit card and I did not have a job when I applied for the card. In fact, I did not have a regular income. They granted me a credit card however; it did have a low credit line. The good news is that it is easy to extend your credit if they believe that you will be able to make the payments necessary.
The bottom line is start building a credit history as soon as possible; you will thank yourself in the future. However, do not be fooled. With a credit card comes great responsibility and should be treated and monitored as such.
The Student Discover card is your best option for students. They offer the best benefits and incentives in the business and you can do well if you are smart and pay off your balances. Credit is a part of life whether we like it or not, so it is time to start building your history responsibly so that big purchases will be granted and loans will have a cheap interest rate.