Credit card companies annually bombard freshmen with applications for college student credit cards. It has become a fall ritual. Parents should be vigilant in discussing the importance and responsibilities that go along with a credit card before college students ever leave home.
It’s a great idea that college students have their own credit card when they go away to school, but it is extremely important that they get the right credit card and use it wisely.
The best college student credit cards are the ones that have low spending limits. A high limit credit card given to a college student could be a recipe for disaster. It should be made clear to the students that their credit card is for emergency use only, unless they want to get a job and pay for any of the charges that are made on it. That sounds like a good idea, but probably isn’t very realistic.
When finding the best college student credit cards, it is imperative to seek out the lowest interest rates that you can find. This is really obvious, but nonetheless needs to be stated. Many credit card companies will offer 0% teaser rates for the first six months. Beware of these rates because they’re often followed by exorbitantly high interest rates and then you are stuck. It is most certainly not uncommon for students to carry balances for more than six months, so I suggest that you avoid this option.
Just about all college student credit cards offer some type of incentives such as rewards points or cash back incentives. This is done for obvious reasons. The most common of which is to entice the cardholder into using it more often. Overall it is a pretty good deal to receive rewards for credit card charges as long as you bear in mind that this is not free money. Whether you realize it or not, you have already paid for those points.
Managing credit card accounts online is a great feature for college students. For starters, just about every college student has access to the Internet and can easily access their credit card statements. The second great reason for this is that the parents can also monitor the activity on the credit card even if they are thousands of miles away. This kind of accountability for impressionable young college students is an excellent way to keep them from getting themselves into trouble. It also keeps the parents from getting stuck paying their college kids’ huge credit card bills.
With college student credit cards, it is important that they have a lost or stolen credit card feature that guarantees protection against unauthorized activity. Lets face it, sometimes college students are not as responsible as we might like them to be. Having this protection goes a long way in easing the parent’s mind when they hand their college student a credit card.