A student credit card is nearly an essential item for college students today. Whether for buying textbooks or to help cover the costs of that spring break road trip. A card can help with a lot of things while you're in school. It's hard to get by with one these days.
A credit card makes shopping much more convenient and lets you build a credit history independent from your parents. Students tend to receive a lot of card offers.
You should always read the fine print on these offers. While most are from banks and other reputable companies, some are just short of scams. There are high pressure sales tactics and slick ad campaigns all designed to lure students.
Young people are almost more comfortable getting their information online than from other places. This is also the best way to do comparison shopping for all cards.
Since all of this information is freely available on the internet, you don't need to listen to some sales reps pitches. Just a few minutes of free time in between classes can work to do a little student card window shopping.
Websites are out there which feature card by card comparison charts – you should look for a card with the lowest possible APR (interest rate).
It can't be stressed enough – read the fine print. Some cards offer an introductory 6 months of 0% APR but then jack your APR as high as 26%! Avoid these if at all possible.
You should get a card as soon as you can to help establish a credit history. If you like to travel on breaks, look for one which gives reward points which are redeemable for travel.
You can also get cards linked to airlines; These will give you frequent flyer miles. Every time you use your card, you'll be earning points towards your next trip.
There are also student credit cards which have your school's logo on them! This is a great way to show your school spirit. Some will give a percentage of your purchases to your school.
You can tell your parents that you shop to give your school a hand. It may not convince them, but it's worth a try. Before getting multiple cards, get used to the responsibility of one; make sure you are ready before you go for that second card.
Remember never to apply for a new card because you have maxed one out. Prudent use of your credit now will yield rewards later. There are a lot of things which having a good credit history will help you with later, so use your student credit card responsibly!