Banking and Finance

5 of the Best Credit Cards for College Students in 2022

July 27, 2021

Last year, 56% of college students reported that they had at least one credit card, with 60% of those noting that they used the card as a way to build credit before graduating and entering the real world. 

The same study revealed, however, that 40% of college students weren’t taught about how to manage their spending before taking out the card, resulting in maxed out lines of credit and past-due payments. As long as students are able to be financially responsible, a credit card can sometimes be a good idea, especially in financially uncertain times like we’re in now when credit might be the only way to pay bills on time or purchase necessary items for school. Wonder how you can build credit as a college student? Starting from getting credit cards is a great choice.

Students need different things out of credit cards than older adults, such as more opportunities to earn rewards, 0% APR, and even cards that don’t require a high credit score (as most young adults have no credit). Here are our picks for five of the best credit cards for college students or just out of college in 2020. Take a quick look and find which student credit cards do you prefer?

Best Credit Cards for College Students in 2022

1. Discover It Student Cash Back

Discover it Student Cash Back Card Review
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Definitely one of the best credit cards for college students. Rewards, rewards, rewards! That’s what the Discover It Student Cash Back card offers college students. If you’re more interested in what you can gain from spending on a credit card as opposed to building credit, this is the card for you. With the chance to earn up to 5% cashback on certain purchases, it’s one of the highest rates for rewards amongst competing credit cards. On top of that, there's no annual fee, no late fee on your first late payment, and a $20 annual statement credit for good grades. It’s worth noting that Discover also offers a student gas and restaurant credit card, too. However, this card offers more rewards overall.

2. Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card Review
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BOA is typically known for offering great rewards credit cards, and they now extend that same offer to college students, too. If cashback is your goal and you’re using a credit card as part of a savings strategy on top of building credit in college, check out this card. Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice – online shopping, off-campus dining, and more with no annual fee. You can get online $200 cash rewards bonus after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening. It’s ranked as the best college credit card for 0% intro APR, and there isn’t a fee associated with making transactions.

3. Citi Rewards+ Student Card

Citi Rewards+ Student Card Review: For Credit Builders
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As a college student, you likely don’t spend enough to really reap the benefits of most major credit cards. This is where the Citi Rewards+ Student Card really shines. It’s the best college credit card in 2022 for students looking for big rewards on small purchases. You can earn 5X points per dollar at restaurants plus 2X points per dollar on the first $6,000 spent each year at supermarkets and gas stations. And, they automatically round up rewards on purchases to the nearest 10 points, making it even easier to save for those with more conservative spending habits.

4. Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students

Deserve EDU
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Deserve has won awards from Nerd Wallet, Money, and Fast Company for the innovative ways in which they’re giving more back to their credit card users. The EDU Mastercard for students has largely been regarded as one of the best cards for international students or students without credit. Why? They use their own underwriting process to evaluate applications based on alternative criteria, so college students are more likely to get approved. And, like the Cheese Debit Card, you don’t need a Social Security number to apply. Once you’re approved, you’ll gain access to perks such as Amazon Prime Student for a year, 1% cashback on all purchases, a $0 annual fee, and no international transaction fees.

5. Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Review
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There’s a lot to love about the Wells Fargo Active CashCard, and that’s what makes it one of the best credit cards for college students in 2022. Let’s start with the introductory award. You can get $200 cash rewards bonus, if you spent a total of at least $1,000 in purchases. Its APR is amongst the lowest when compared to other college credit cards. It starts as low as 15.74%. And, while theirs no introductory award, it’s the best for cashback and other rewards, such as 2% cash rewards when you spent gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases and all kinds of purchases.

No Credit? Start Building Your Credit With Cheese

If you have no credit history at all, a Cheese Credit Builder is a great way to build your credit score and save money at the same time. Simply apply for a credit builder loan of as little as $500 and choose a term length of 12 or 24 months. Use our autosave feature to make on-time payments and build a great credit history little by little. We’ll automatically transfer your savings to your bank account at the end of the term.

Sign up here to get started today!

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