Student credit cards are designed to help young adults establish good credit history and learn how to use credit responsibly. Many student cards offer a reward program and low fees, but they certainly aren’t created equally. Discover offers two of the most highly rated student credit cards: the Discover it chrome for Students and the Discover it for Students. Here’s how they work and what you should know.
Discover it for Students
The Discover it is one of the most popular cash back credit cards on the market. The student version is identical to the regular Discover it with the same great rewards program, although it has a slightly higher interest rate and a shorter 0% intro offer.
The Discover it for Students offers:
- No annual fee
- 5% cash back on rotating categories every quarter
- 1% cash back on all other spending
- All cash back earned during the first 12 months doubled
- 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months
The reward program is the highlight of the Discover it card. You’ll earn 5% back in rotating categories that change every quarter but include popular spending categories. As an example, here were the 5% back categories in 2016:
- 1st quarter: Gas stations and ground transportation
- 2nd quarter: Restaurants and movies
- 3rd quarter: Amazon.com and home improvement
- 4th quarter: Amazon.com, department stores, and Sam’s Club
The one downside to the program is you need to remember to activate the 5% back every quarter or you won’t earn the 5%. Bonus cash back in every quarter is also limited to the first $1,500 in spending every quarter, after which you earn the standard 1% back.
The Discover it for Students has other perks you shouldn’t overlook; there is no fee for your first late payment, no overlimit fee, no phone payment fees, and no foreign transaction fees. This can make it a bit easier to learn how to use a credit card responsibly without unnecessary charges.
Discover it chrome for Students
The Discover it chrome is a different version of the Discover it card, also designed for students. Rather than 5% back in rotating categories, this card simplifies the rewards program to give you boosted cash back on two categories that likely account for a lot of your spending: restaurants and gas.
With the Discover it chrome card, you earn 2% back at restaurants and gas stations on up to $1,000 in combining spending every quarter. This is automatic so you will not need to sign up for the bonus cash back every quarter like you would with the regular Discover it student card. You also earn 1% back on all other spending.
Like the Discover it for Students, the Discover it chrome has a great signup bonus with all cash back you earn during the first year automatically doubled. That means during the first year, you earn 4% cash back at restaurants and gas stations and 2% back on everything else!
Both Discover student credit cards offer a way to establish your credit history and earn rewards on your everyday spending. They’re also free of many of the fees of other cards, making them a great choice for students who want to establish credit history without spending a fortune in fees. If you want a more straightforward card, the Discover it chrome is the best choice. If you can remember to sign up for bonus cash back every quarter, the Discover it for Students can earn you even more.