Is this a good credit card for a college student?

Tips and Deals Forums Consumer Credit Credit Cards Is this a good credit card for a college student?

  • This topic has 2 replies, 3 voices, and was last updated 9 years ago by Anonymous.
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    • #221851

      I’m looking around for a good credit card and saw a flyer for this at my school

      Citi Platinum Select MasterCard for College Students – here’s the terms and conditions

      Is that a good APR? It also has 5% cash back on purchases at supermarkets, drugstores, gas stations, convenience stores and utilities, including cable, for 6 months; 2% thereafter2
      1% on all other purchases

      My main expenses are gas and food, I have a checking account with a debit card, and I’ve never overdrafted or anything. I also have a part-time job so I’ll definitely be able to keep up with monthly payments, so don’t give me some “credit cards are the devil and teenagers are easy prey” warnings. I’ve been very responsible with my money thus far
      The only reason I’m looking for credit cards so to build credit history

    • #286548

      Citi Student cards are great cards. My son has one, and has had no problems, the APR is great, and no annual fee. Go for it

      I am adding to this after reading answers behind mine……
      Some people purchase things on their credit cards when they have the money in the bank. The reason behind this, is to build their score. So even if he has the cash on the debit card, he should use the card to help build his credit, but not use it for more money than he has in the bank…. Credit Cards are not the devil if you use them right. stop trying to scare people… Sometimes people know what they are doing and what they can handle. I am confused as to why you would actually write, “credit cards are the devil” after he asked us (the answerer) not to.

    • #290273

      If you plan to use the card as you have your debit card – meaning, you don’t intend to spend money you don’t have, and won’t run a balance – then the APR is meaningless. I have a Chase card that came with a 29% interest rate right out of the gate, but since I never run a balance, I have never paid them a dime in interest; they pay ME, because it’s a rewards card, like the one you’re looking at.

      However, if you DO plan to run a balance, then any mistake, even being an hour late with your payment, will jack your rate up to 29.24%. The terms listed also allow for “universal default,” wherein they can raise the rate to 29.24% at any time if they see something appear on your credit report that they don’t like. Furthermore, if you run a balance of any kind, your purchases will start costing you interest from the moment you make them.

      So be careful. This could be a good deal if you don’t run a balance, but credit cards ARE the devil. You can’t live in the modern world without one, unfortunately, and you sound like a responsible person, so good luck with it, and watch out for the traps they will set for you.

      Edit: Cincinnati Reds, below, is partially correct. You definitely should have an emergency pad in the bank, and $500 is the usual minimum amount suggested. However, a debit card is not a good substitute for a credit card, for two reasons:

      1) Usability. There are some things you can’t do with a debit card. You will have a hard time renting a car or a hotel room with a debit card, for example. (What they’re worried about is the possibility that you will not have enough money in your account at the end of the rental to pay the bill, even if you had it in your account when you began.) Also, some merchant pre-authorizations exceed the actual amount charged – gas pumps and restaurants mainly – which, with a debit card, means your actual money in the bank is frozen until the pre-auth expires, which can take up to a week. That in turn can cause you to bounce checks even when you actually do have the money.

      2) Fraud. Legal limits on liability are much looser with debit cards than with credit cards if your card number is stolen. Most banks will work to get you straightened out, but they are not REQUIRED to do so by law as is the case with a credit card. Also, if unauthorized charges appear on your credit card, you’re just arguing about whether to pay a bill, whereas with unauthorized debit card transactions, your money is already gone, and you’re arguing to get it back. Which situation would you rather be in?

      Edit: Jon K – because it’s true. Credit cards ARE the devil. But the poster’s point was that he doesn’t want the answer “Don’t get any credit card because they’re evil,” because that doesn’t help him. And that’s not the answer I gave him. I advised him that if you make a deal with the devil, you have to pay attention to the details. I also pointed out that we almost ALL have to make that deal. If he watches out for the traps, he’ll come out okay.

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