Are you a college student looking to start building your credit history? The Discover card for college students is designed to help you do just that while earning cash back on purchases. Find out more in this article below.
In this article:
There are two types of Discover student credit cards available; Discover it® Student Gas & Restaurants (also called Student Chrome) and Discover it® Student Cash Back. Both of these credit cards have no annual fee and come with a range of benefits including:
- A low introductory rate of 0% APR for 6 months (on purchases) before reverting to a standard variable APR of between 14.74% to 23.74%.
- Good Grade Rewards – receive a $20 statement credit for each school year that your GPA is 3.0 or higher (this is available for up to 5 years).
- Cash back match – Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
- Access to your FICO credit score for free.
- 24/7 customer service.
The main difference between these two credit cards is down to the cash back on offer. The Discover it® Student Gas & Restaurants card will pay 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (that’s on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter). Also, you can get 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases too.
The Discover it® Student Cash Back, on the other hand, offers 5% cash back on purchases up to $1,500 at different places each quarter. For example, from July to September this year, you can earn cash back at restaurants, whereas from October to December, the cash back incentive is available on purchases at Amazon.com and Wholesale Clubs. You’ll need to activate your cash back bonus each quarter. The unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases is also available with this credit card.
What existing customers say about the Discover student credit cards
Both of these student credit cards scores (4.8 / 5) stars on the Discover website. Bazaarvoice manages the reviews on this site – they carry the Authentic Reviews Trust Mark.
Discover it® Student Cash Back card reviews
One student who is using this credit card said she’s glad she chose Discover and that she receives cash back all the time which she uses towards paying off her balance. Another student loved the Good Grades Reward and mentioned that the cash back deals are excellent.
One of the most critical reviews of this particular credit card is about using it internationally. According to one reviewer on the Discover website, the card has been declined at many places and isn’t widely accepted throughout Europe.
Discover it® Student Gas & Restaurants card reviews
Many of the reviews on this card are (5 / 5) with several users saying the cashback bonuses are great. One student left a superb review after using this card for a year. He said he had no credit score when he first got the card, but since then, his limit has increased by $4,000. Also, he praised the customer service support, which was great the few times he needed them, with a real person picking up the phone.
Another student reviewer said this credit card is worth it if you eat out a few times per week and buy a decent amount of gas. One critical reviewer reflected on the card’s interest rate, saying that they thought it was high for a student credit card.
You can apply for either one of these cards and read many more reviews on the Discover website. Amazon.com also has some independent reviews.
There are no foreign transaction fees associated with either of the Discover student credit cards, so if you need to use your credit card outside the U.S., you can do so without worrying about how much you’ll get charged.
Millions of merchants across 185 countries accept the Discover card. However, some parts of Europe, such as France and Spain, have low merchant acceptance. Many countries in Africa won’t take the Discover card at all, but you should be able to use it in South Africa, Kenya, and Morroco.
If the Discover student credit cards aren’t right for you, there are some other options to explore:
Citi ThankYou® Preferred Card for College Students
This credit card comes with a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 7 months. It then reverts to between 16.24% – 26.24% APR.
You can earn 2,500 bonus points after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening an account – this amount of points is the equivalent to a $25 gift card. You’ll receive 2 ThankYou® points for every $1 spent on dining and entertainment and 1 ThankYou® point per $1 on all other purchases. Find out more.
This card scores (4.8 / 5) on Credit Karma, although there aren’t that many reviews available to give a real indication of how well it performs. The rewards system is mentioned positively in several reviews along with the decent credit limit available for first-time credit card users.
Capital One® Journey Student Credit Card
If you’re looking for a card that will reward you for being a responsible credit card user, this could be it. You’ll get access to a higher credit limit after making your first 5 monthly payments on time.
The APR isn’t the cheapest at 22.97% – 26.97%, but you can receive $1 cash back on all your purchases. If you pay when you’re supposed to, you can boost the amount of cash back you’ll receive to 1.25%. Learn more about the card here.
On Credit Karma, this credit card scores (4.4 / 5). Many of the reviews on there touch on how using the card has helped users build (and even rebuild) their credit history. The critical reviews refer to the high-interest rate and low credit limit.
A student credit card can help you get your credit history off the ground and provide flexible financing to help you cover your student bills.
The key considerations when choosing the right student credit card for you are what the interest rate will be, how much of a credit limit you’ll be able to obtain and of course, what rewards are on offer! To build your credit history, be sure to make your payments on time every month (and if possible, in full).
*The information included in this article is correct at the time of publishing.