Editor's note: This offer is no longer available. While you'll still see plenty of Discover's competitors promoting credit cards at off-campus events, those cards rarely include cash rebates or other rewards. That's why the Discover Student More Card - Clear stands out in an increasingly crowded pack of student credit card offerings.
Helping students earn credit on their own
Consumer protection rules prevent students from opening their own credit cards until they turn 21. Even then, they've got to prove that they can repay a balance from their current incomes. Discover gained insight into this tricky population when it entered the private student loan business a few years ago. Though company officials remain tight-lipped about their underwriting process, they seem to have relaxed their risk profiles when reviewing applications from currently enrolled college students.
That's good news for students who often have to juggle part-time jobs with class commitments; too low of an income can cause you to fall short of other lenders' minimum income guidelines. Any student credit card will come with a relatively small credit limit, though. Just remember to pay your Discover balance at the end of each cycle to enjoy the benefits of cash back rewards without the burden of additional debt.
Rewarding students with real cash rebates instead of fluffy prizes
Campus credit card promotions attracted the ire of lawmakers and consumer advocates after marketing companies encouraged students to complete credit card applications in exchange for t-shirts, plush animals, and other novelty gifts. The Credit CARD Act of 2009 restricted this kind of marketing on campus, but largely hasn't changed the practice in many college towns. This Discover card appeals to students who know their business is worth much more than a carnival prize.
The first $3,000 of your everyday spending on this card earns a 0.25 percent cash rebate. After that, your rebate climbs to 1 percent. Sign up for Discover's quarterly promotions, and eligible purchases can earn up to 5 percent in rewards subject to maximum spend limit. As with most rewards credit cards, you'll only earn the maximum rebate by funneling as many of your routine purchases as possible through your account. Pay your balance in full, unless you want finance charges to eat your rebate.
How Discover Student More Card - Clear compares to other student cards
Discover's cash back rewards program has inspired competition, especially within the student credit card market. Journey Student Rewards from Capital One offers a Visa with no annual fee and a minimum 1 percent rebate that grows to 1.25 percent when you pay your bill on time. However, Capital One's cash back card comes with a higher APR.
Citi Forward Card for College Students offers 1 ThankYou point for every dollar you spend. Redeem your ThankYou balance for gift cards, statement credits, charitable donations, electronics, concert tickets and other items from their online catalog.
Highlights: Discover® Student More Card - Clear
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12.99% - 18.99% Variable