Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students Review

A rewards credit card designed for students with little to no credit history, as well as for international students.
By Jennifer Doss  CardRatings Editor  | Updated

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students
Our Rating:   
Excellent, Good, Limited History, No Credit History
on Deserve's secure website

CardRatings Editor's Analysis: Pros & Cons

  • Designed for students with little to no credit history, or for international students looking to apply for a U.S. credit card.
  • Spend $500 in the first three billing cycles and enjoy one free year of Amazon Prime Student, a $59 value.
  • Includes up to $600 in cell phone protection when you use the card to pay your monthly cell phone bill.
  • This card earns users 1% cash back on all purchases, which isn't bad for a student credit card, however, depending on your spending habits, a student credit card that earns extra in select categories, such as the Discover it® Student chrome, could benefit some users more.
Terms and Limitations Apply.

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students essentials

2021 Best Credit Cards for Students

Getting a rewards credit card as a student can be tough, and getting a rewards credit card as an international student can feel next to impossible. With the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students though, it’s simple.

Not only does the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students not require a credit history, it also doesn’t require a social security number from international applicants, making it a solid choice for international students studying in America. Instead, Deserve looks at your full financial picture considering a number of factors, like how you manage your money, if you pay your bills on time, etc., to predict your future credit potential.

When it comes to earning rewards on purchases, the offering isn’t stellar, but it’s solid, at 1% cash back earned on every dollar spent. There’s a generous credit limit, up to $5,000, and this card includes a plethora of Mastercard Platinum benefits, such as cell phone insurance (up to $600 when you use your card to pay your cell phone bill), car rental collision damage waiver, price protection, extended warranty, travel assistance services, and ID theft protection, as well. New cardholders can receive one year of Amazon Prime Student on Deserve after spending $500 in the first three billing cycles with your EDU card. Plus, there’s no annual fee.

Top Features

 Cash Back on Gas
1%
 Cash Back on Groceries
1%
 Cash Back on Other
1%

What our editors like most about the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

College is a great time to work on your credit history, and the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students helps students do just that. Because no credit history is required to apply for this card, it opens up opportunities for students of all credit backgrounds– or no credit background at all. How easy it is for international students to apply is also nice. Many international students spend four years or more in the United States for school. That’s a significant amount of time for someone to go without a credit card– if they want to use a credit card that is. There's also no foreign transaction fees associated with this card, so it's a great one to use while vacationing or studying abroad, or for international students to use on trips home. Plus no annual fee, a year of free Amazon Prime Student, and rewards earned on every purchase made are all nice perks.

Potential downsides of the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students

For starters, there is the APR. At 19.49% Variable, that's somewhat high, though it's kind of in the middle of the range that many comparable student credit cards offer. If all goes well, you'll pay the balance in full every month and the interest rate will be a moot point, but if something does go wrong and you can't pay your balance in full for a while, you could end up spending a lot in interest.

However, while the APR is a bit high, there isn't a penalty rate if you're late making a payment, and the $25 late fee (waived the first time you pay late) you'll pay for a late payment is lower than a lot of late fees on other credit cards.

Also, and this may seem like a downside, but it's really not: you can't take out cash advances with this credit card. Many credit cards will let you take out cash advances, and that can be very helpful if you're in a financial jam, but the interest rates are generally higher for cash advances than regular borrowing, and the interest kicks in immediately, from the moment you take that cash. So doing a cash advance with a credit card is an expensive form of borrowing, and frankly, you're probably better off not having a cash advance "perk" on your credit card, especially while you’re trying to build your credit.

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students Cardholder Scores

CardRatings conducts a survey annually to learn what actual cardholders think of their cards. Here are the results:

Recent Scores (2020) Past Scores (2019)
Overall Score 70.7 Did not survey
Features Satisfaction 7.0 n/a
Customer Service 7.2 n/a
Website/App Usability 7.0 n/a
Likelihood of Continuing to Use 7.8 n/a
Recommend to a Friend/Colleague 6.8 n/a

Is Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students a good card?

We think so. But is it a card you should get? That's a decision only you can make. The best applicant for the Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students is a college student who doesn't have much of a credit history and doesn't want to rely on a cosigner– and would like to earn some rewards for making purchases.

And if you like the idea of getting Amazon Prime Student for a year, then that's another selling point.

Survey Methodology: CardRatings commissioned Op4G in September and October 2021 to conduct surveys among 1,524 cardholders nationwide. CardRatings website analytics from Jan. 1, 2021-Aug. 31, 2021 were used to determine a selection of the most popular cards and additional cards were included to add survey breadth. Responses to each of nine questions were given on a scale of 1-10 and respondents' scores were then averaged under broad topics. To determine the overall score, responses from questions 1-8 were summed and the answer to "How likely are you to recommend this card to a friend, coworker or family member?" was double weighted. "Current Scores" reflect scores from the most recent survey; "Past Scores (avg.)" are the scores averaged over each prior year the card has been surveyed. "Past Scores" indicates a card has only been surveyed in one prior year.

Deserve® EDU Mastercard for Students Compared to Other Cash back Cards

Cash Back on Gas
1% 
Cash Back on Gas
1% Cash Back on all purchases. 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time. 
Cash Back on Groceries
1% 
Cash Back on Groceries
1% Cash Back on all purchases. 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time. 
Cash Back on other
1% 
Cash Back on other
1% Cash Back on all purchases. 0.25% Cash Back bonus on the cash back you earn each month you pay on time. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author\'s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

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