Your bags are packed and your dorm room is ready, but do you have everything you need for college? Chances are, you’re missing a valuable tool that can make it easier to budget your money, earn free cash back on everything from textbooks to lab fees, and build the financial savvy and good credit that can help you get ahead in life.
That’s right, we’re talking about student credit cards, and specifically the Discover it® Student Cash Back. With the Discover it® Student Cash Back, you gain several key benefits that will help you not only now, but in the future as well. Its easy to sign up and absolutely no annual fee.
Four Reasons College Students Get the Discover it® Student Cash Back
Here are some of the biggest benefits you get by signing up for the Discover it® Student Cash Back:
Start building your credit today. Since the Discover it® Student Cash Back reports to all three credit-reporting agencies, responsible use can help you build your credit profile while you’re still in school. An established credit history can pay off when you graduate, putting you in a good position when it’s time to get your first car loan or apartment – or even to buy your first home.
Earn cash back for expenses you planned to pay anyway. Being in college comes with plenty of expenses, which is why it makes sense to have a cash-back card on hand. Discover will also match the cash back at the end of your first 12 months.
Track your recent FICO® Credit Scores for free on statements & online. The fact that the Discover it® Student Cash Back offers FICO® Credit Scores for free on statements & online will help you keep track of your credit scores over time — and to make sure they keep improving.
Having an emergency line of credit can bring peace of mind. Even though you should plan on only using your card for small purchases and school expenses you can pay off right away, having a small line of credit at your disposal for emergencies can be a relief. Just remember, a spring break trip to Mexico with your friends is not an emergency.
While the Discover it® Student Cash Back is similar to other unsecured credit cards, certain features make it unique. Here are some details you should know before you sign up:
Discover it® Student Cash Back
Card Highlights Provided by Discover:
- INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
- Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants or Amazon.com up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
- Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
- No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
- Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
- Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
- Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.99% - 23.99%.
How to Use the Discover it® Student Cash Back
While getting a student credit card could be an excellent first step toward a lifetime of healthy credit, it’s important to treat your card – and your credit – with utmost care. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of your card while also achieving your long-term credit goals.
- Only charge what you can afford to pay off each month. If you want all the benefits without all the downside, it’s important to use your credit card as if it were cash. In other words, only charge what you have money in the bank to pay for so you’ll never have to pay interest on your purchases.
- Always pay your bill on time. In addition to avoiding interest, it’s also important to avoid paying other fees that may result from a string of late payments. Furthermore, paying your bill on time each month will help you prove your creditworthiness and improve your credit score over time.
How the Credit CARD Act of 2009 Affects Student Credit Cards
Before you sign up for any credit card, it’s important to understand how the Credit CARD Act of 2009 might impact your ability to qualify. Due to the details in the law, individuals under the age of 21 cannot generally qualify for a credit card unless they earn income or get a co-signer (usually a parent).
If you’re working a part-time job while you study and earn a paycheck, you should have no trouble qualifying for the Discover it® Student Cash Back.
The Bottom Line
If you’re heading off to college, getting a student credit card makes a whole lot of sense. Not only can it help you build credit while you’re in school, but it can also help you earn cash back on books, supplies for school, and even college tuition payments.
But it’s important to choose the right student credit card for you, which is why we suggest the Discover it® Student Cash Back. With FICO® Credit Scores for free on statements & online and free cash back, you’ll have all the tools you need to build your credit, and be able to earn some “fun money” along the way.
Editorial Note: Compensation does not influence our rankings and recommendations. However, we may earn a commission on sales from the companies featured in this post. To view a list of partners, click here. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by our advertisers. Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate info, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult our advertiser's page for terms & conditions.