Campus Credit Cards May be a Good Option for Students After All

Cards Offer Bonuses, Rewards and Lower Than Average APRs

Aug 26, 2015, 08:30 ET from

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 26, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- College students are often guided against getting a credit card when they arrive at school.  However, a new study by shows that many campus credit cards offer low interest rates, no annual fees, cash-back bonuses and other benefits such as EMV chips.  To view the study findings, go to:

"Student cards used to have high APRs and very few perks, but things have changed for the better," said Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at "Today's student cards have competitive rates and rewards and even come with tools to help students handle credit."

Study Highlights:


  • Eight out of the 11 campus cards reviewed offer rewards to their customers.
  • The most common rewards offered include cash back on purchases made on groceries, gas, and dining.
  • BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students offers the most cash-back rewards for students, including 3% back on gas purchases, 2% back on grocery purchases, and 1% back on general spending.


  • College students can always use some extra cash, and five out of the 11 cards offer just that. BankAmericard Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students gives students a $100 sign-up bonus when they spend $500 in the first 90 days and Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students offers a 2,500-point sign-up bonus (worth about $25) when you spend $500 in the first 3 months.
  • The Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One is rewarding students for using their credit card responsibly, offering a 0.25% bonus each month for paying on time.
  • Discover It Chrome for Students provides $20 cash back yearly for good grades (3.0 GPA or better).

Interest Rates

  • Six of the 11 cards include 0% introductory rates. These range from 6-12 months.
  • The student cards being offered now, on average, offer better terms than student cards before the CARD Act regulation. The average APR (calculated using the lowest advertised rates) has dropped considerably, from 16.4 percent in January 2008 to 13.37 percent today, which is well below the national credit card average of 15%.

Balance Transfers

  • Four of 11 cards include a 0% balance transfer rate. Wells Fargo Cash Back College Visa Card and Regions Student Visa both offer a 0% balance transfer rate with a 12 month and 7 month introductory period, respectively. The longest balance transfer, 18 months, is from the BankAmericard Credit Card for Students.

Annual Fees

  • None of the 11 cards reviewed charge an annual fee.

EMV chip

  • Just over half of the providers (6) include the benefit of an EMV chip. EMV -- which stands for Europay, MasterCard and Visa -- is a global standard for cards, which involves adding a microprocessor chip into the cards to protect consumers against fraudulent purchases.

Financial Tools

  • Almost all of the student cards include tools to allow students to regulate and monitor their spending. One card waives the late fee the first time students miss a payment and another offers free money management courses to their users.

The Credit Card Student Card Survey was conducted in August 2014 by staff, and includes the student card offerings from all major U.S. card issuers. Information was gathered from the cards' terms and conditions documents, any publicly available cardholder agreements and phone calls to issuers.

About, named a "Best Site for Managing Your Credit" by MSN Money, is a leading online credit card marketplace, bringing consumers and credit card issuers together. At its free website, consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from America's leading issuers and banks and apply securely, online. is also a destination site for consumers wanting to learn more about credit cards. Offering advice, news, features, statistics and tools, helps consumers make smart choices about credit cards. In 2014, over 22 million unique visitors used to find the right credit card to suit their needs.

For More Information:
Kayleen (Katie) Yates
Senior Director, Corporate Communications