How to Choose the Best Credit Card for College
You've made it to college, and now you're ready for the responsibility of
being on your own. And part of living on your own is knowing how to manage
your money so you can both save and spend your finances wisely. So your
next big step into the world of finance after opening a student checking account
is to apply for your first student credit card. This is a big deal because
as a student, you probably have little or no credit history. If you want to
be financially independent and you don't want your parents to cosign on a
credit card, then you have to know what the best credit card is for you as
a student. That's why we're here to introduce you to your first college credit
Establishing good credit brings everything from lower rates on student loans and mortgages to better credit card rewards
Compare student credit cards before choosing the one that’s perfect for you
Selecting the right bank as you settle in for college can save you money and ease your transition to independence
Every credit card company wants to give you the best deals because you are a student, so you want to always choose a student credit card that offers you low introductory rates. This means to look for cards that have a 0% APR so don't have to pay interest on your account for the first few months (most introductory APR's are for 3-6 months). You also want a card with a 0% balance transfer fee because then you can transfer any other outstanding debts from other credit cards for free. Both of these are great incentives to get an introductory credit card as your first student credit card. Review our student credit card comparison to help you find the one that fits your unique lifestyle.
Read Between the Lines
The most important part of getting your first introductory student credit card is knowing when those introductory rates expire. Many credit card companies offer you outstanding deals to lure you into their hands, and they don't tell you about the high fees that you will acquire after a certain period of time. Your best bet is to always read the fine print for the credit card you get. Look for these hidden introductory tricks:
- The 0% or low introductory rate is just that…an introduction. You may get this great discount when you first sign up for the card, but after a few months the APR might jump to 18% or more. You always want to choose a first credit card that has the lowest introductory rate and a future APR of 16% or lower.
- You might have no yearly fee when you first sign up with your student credit card, but after a few months you could be charged as much as $50 to keep your account active. Always look for credit cards that carry no yearly fee.
- That 0% balance transfer fee is a great deal, so you go ahead and transfer the remaining balance from a different credit card. What you may not know is that if you decide to transfer again, you could be charged as much as $35, plus you will increase your interest rate because you now have more money on your credit.
Low introductory rates may be attractive when you're looking for your first
student credit card over a standard credit card, but they won't always look
so pretty. That's why you have to read between the lines of the fine print
and know how the rates and fees will change over time. Introductory credit
cards are the best
type of credit cards to get for a student, and if you manage your account
wisely and make your payments on time, the rates that will soon increase won't
affect you for the worse in the future. You can't control if and when the
rates will change, but you can control how you manage