Acquiring Student Credit Cards – What You Need to Know

Okay, you’re finally off to college and you’re applying for your first credit card. Do you have any idea about how credit cards really work? Researching on some of the most important credit card terms will help you understand credit cards better. Let’s talk about some of the most frequently used terms you will encounter when applying for a credit card:

Used Terms When Applying for a Credit Card for Students

APR. APR or the annual percentage rate is the interest rate that the credit card company charges on your account each time you fail to pay off your monthly balance. This means the lower the APR of the credit card, the better it would be on your budget.

Some credit card companies offer a 0% APR as part of their introductory offer, which means the 0% rate will only last for a certain time period. It’s good to take advantage of the introductory offer as long as you make sure you can pay off your balance on time.

When you’re looking for the best credit card, always inquire how much APR the card offers. Know about how long the introductory interest will last. Furthermore, see to it that the APR stays within a reasonable amount even after the introductory period expires.

Grace Period. Without a grace period, you will be charged the interest rate right after you make your purchase. That is why it is extremely important to choose a card that provides sufficient grace period. Some credit cards give as long as 30 days of grace period which means you can pay back your balance on or before 30 days without incurring any interest. Any payment you make after the grace period will incur the additional interest so it is really crucial to be punctual in paying off your credit card balances.

Other fees. Aside from the APR, credit cards also charge additional fees on your account. Some of these fees are the annual fee – the annual membership fee needed to re-activate your card; the late payment fee or the penalty you will pay for a delay of payment; and the credit limit fee which is the fee you need to pay whenever you exceed your credit limit. Comparing these fees can help you weigh the differences of each credit card and choose the best one that will work for you.

Rewards. Most credit card companies provide incentives through rewards programs. Examples of rewards programs are cash back system, cash rebate and free travel miles. Choose the credit card with the rewards programs that you most often use.

If you’re not into traveling, you’ll benefit from a credit card that offers travel rewards. If you’re a college student, you might want to obtain gas rewards credit card which allows you to collect points equivalent to free gasoline refills for your car. Of course, before considering the rewards, check out the important fees associated with the card.

You can also check out websites that offer free reviews on the best credit cards for students that are available for you. This helps you see all your choices and compare each offer before deciding which credit card will be best for you.

About the Author

Samantha Wilson is a consultant for credit cards for students. For years she has written student credit cards articles that would help build student credit.
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