Home > Credit Cards > I Just Graduated, Should I Get Rid of My Student Credit Card?

Comments 0 Comments

As students graduate and head out into “the real world,” many of them begin to question whether they still need their student credit cards. While they may not like using a card that says “student” after they have graduated, are there any important differences between student cards and others? And at what point can students apply for a non-student card?

Student credit cards are varieties of standard credit cards, except they are offered to applicants with limited credit histories. In addition, these cards tend to have lower sign-up bonuses and less valuable rewards and benefits than the standard version of the same cards.

For example, the standard Discover it card is offered in a version with 14 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. On the other hand, the Discover it card for students offers only six months of interest-free financing. Likewise the Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students offers new applicants 2,500 bonus points, while the standard version of the same card features 20,000 bonus points.

Should You Keep Your Student Card?

Once credit card users have been using a student card for at least a year, they maybe able to qualify for a non-student card. First, they should check their credit scores to ensure that they have the excellent credit needed to qualify for the most competitive standard cards. (They can check their credit scores for free at Credit.com.) Next, credit card users can search among the greater variety of credit cards that are not specifically targeted at students. For example, applicants might wish to find a card with a generous sign-up bonus, valuable benefits, or a longer promotional financing period.

On the other hand, some student cardholders might not be ready for a new card. These cardholders could be satisfied with the the features and benefits of their student card, or they might know that their credit has not improved to the point where they are certain they will be approved for a standard credit card. These credit card users may be better off focusing on improving their credit scores by controlling their spending, paying off their debt, and making sure that all of their bills are being paid on time.

So if you don’t care about the name “student” being on your card, and you are not trying to maximize the rewards and benefits offered by your credit cards, then you may be satisfied carrying your student card for a few more years. Besides, having more cards can create more complexity and more temptation to spend, which is not something that young adults should be looking for.

Otherwise, you might want to graduate from student cards to one of the standard cards out there.

More on Credit Cards:

At publishing time, the Discover it and Citi ThankYou Preferred Card for College Students are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

Image: Anmfoto

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Credit.com receives compensation for the financial products and services advertised on this site if our users apply for and sign up for any of them.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.

Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team