Tag Archives | credit card

Image by 401(K) 2012, Flickr

Image by 401(K) 2012, Flickr

With the fall semester starting up, you have some big decisions to make. Where are you going to stay, who will your roommates be, and what classes will you take? You also have to decide if you will continue on the same financial path you’ve been on all this time, or if you’ll take the next step to building your credit score as high as possible by the time you graduate. If used responsibly, a student credit card can do just that. So, we’re going to show you one of the best options for student credit cards available today.

Student Credit Cards

Student credit cards work the same way regular credit cards do, except that they are only available to college students. The reason for this is because there is an approval process that goes into applying for a credit card, and most students do not have enough credit history to qualify. Student credit cards make this approval process a little easier and help college students get approved for a base level credit card that may come with some great tools and knowledge on how to use them responsibly to build and maintain an excellent credit score. Choosing which student credit card is right for you is a personal decision – you should make sure to choose the card that will work best with your financial situation. We will show you a great example of one of the best student credit cards available and the features that come with it, so you know what to look for when choosing for yourself.

Journey Student Credit Card from Capital One

The Capital One Journey Card is one of the best student credit cards available, for many reasons. Remember that the main objective for getting a student credit card is to build up and maintain your credit score. You will need the tools and education to know how to monitor your score, along with the process to follow in order to build your credit history as much as possible.

Capital One CreditWise

What makes the Journey Card one of the best options is that it comes with unlimited access to the Capital One CreditWise Program. This program allows all Capital One account members, and even anyone who doesn’t have a Capital One account, access to their personal credit score anytime and anywhere they have internet access. It will also let you know key factors that have an effect on your credit score, and simulate how future financial decisions may affect your score. The best part is that it is completely free! To complement the Capital One CreditWise program, you will also have access to Capital One’s Financial Education website to improve your knowledge even more.

Journey Card Benefits

Besides having unlimited free access to your credit score and insight into the effect spending with your credit card will have, there are even more benefits that come with the Journey Student Credit Card. First, after you make your first five payments on time, you could gain access to a higher credit limit. It is important to always stay well below your credit limit to give your credit score the best chance at improving. You can also enjoy extended warranties on the items you use your card to purchase, sign up for auto rental insurance and travel insurance, and eliminate foreign transaction fees. The best part is that you will earn rewards for every dollar that you spend.

What sets the Journey Card apart from many other student credit cards is that you have the ability to earn 1% cash back on all purchases you make. And, if you make your monthly payment on time, they will boost your cash back up to 1.25%. You’re pretty much getting paid to spend money that you had to spend anyways.

Excellent Credit Score

Now that you know one of your options for a student credit card, you can do your own comparisons to find the right one for you. A great place to start is the CardMatch Program. It’s free to use and can even tell you what student, or regular, credit cards you are already approved for. After you get your card, utilize any tools and credit knowledge centers that might be included to get the most out of it. That way by the time you graduate, you will have a diploma along with an excellent credit score to help you tackle whatever personal financial situations may come your way!

This article was contributed by guest author Matthew Coan.

Resisting the urge to open up a credit card at your favorite department store, paying for Spring Break with plastic, and the appeal of buying now and paying later is sometimes so tempting for college students. The truth of the matter is that while in college, there is an opportunity to begin building your credit so you will be able to buy a house or car once you graduate. You should never have to wonder if you’ll be approved for a mortgage or a loan because you have no credit history or you really screwed up your finances while in college. Take a look at our helpful tips and advice on how to build the most important score of your life with a student credit card. If you have any questions on what the best card could be for you to open to pay for things you were going to buy anyways, please contact us.

This article was contributed by guest author Matthew Coan.

Image by frankieleon, Flickr

Image by frankieleon, Flickr

Being a college student comes with a ton of daily decisions you have to make. You want make the most of your time and your money, get good grades and keep up relationships with friends and family, all while trying to find time to get quality rest. So when it comes to getting a credit card, you want to make the process as simple as possible, but you also don’t want to take it lightly – we’re talking about maximizing the money you’re spending. There are some factors you need to consider before choosing which credit card is best for you:

Your Credit Score

Credit card companies don’t just hand out credit cards to anyone. When used responsibly, getting a credit card while in college can be a good thing, and can make your financial life after graduation much easier.

Your current credit score will come into play when applying for a credit card. Just like your GPA is a reflection on how well you’re doing in school, your credit score is a grade on how well you pay back money that you borrow – which is what you’re doing when you spend with a credit card. You do not have to prove that you have the money in your possession when you buy something with a credit card; you just have to be able to pay it back at the end of each month when your credit card payment is due. If you have some form of a credit history (which can include a car loan, rent, student loans) then you will have a credit score. If your credit score is good, you will have many options when it comes to choosing which credit card you want. If you have bad credit, or do not have any credit history, there are still options, such as student credit cards and secured credit cards.

Interest Rate and Fees

One of the most important things to learn about credit cards is how interest works. If you do not pay your bill on time or do not pay it in full each month, you will be charged interest on what is left. So basically, you are paying money for spending money. With a credit card, you need to be diligent in paying off what you spend on it. Just because you have a credit card does not mean that you need to use it to pay for everything. If you know that you have the money to pay it off, then use your credit card to spend, possible earn some rewards (see below), and use it to increase your credit score. Not paying your bill in full each month will end up costing you more money and making your financial life more difficult than it already is. But on the off chance that you do miss a payment, or cannot pay off your credit card balance in full, you need to know what interest rate you will be paying – an important factor when it comes to researching credit cards.

Fees are another variable that you need to do some research on. When you miss a payment, or are late, there will be a fee that you have to pay. Again, you will be paying money for spending money. If you go over your credit limit there could be a fee for that as well. Some cards even come with monthly fees. Read all of the fine print on the credit card you are researching to understand the fees that could be associated with it.


Yes, there are credit cards that offer rewards for spending money with them. What pays for these rewards? The people who do not pay their bill in full each month and end up paying interest. But, as we said above, if you pay your bill on time and in full each month, you won’t pay any interest and you can take full advantage of the rewards that credit card companies offer. These rewards come in the form of cash back, free to discounted travel, or points that can be used for just about anything. There are even student credit cards that offer rewards for having good grades. So when looking at which credit card is right for you in college, take a look at the rewards that each card offers and see which card can maximize the money that you are spending.


Now that you know the factors you need to consider when choosing a credit card, you need to do some research. Knowing your credit score will make this process a lot easier. You don’t want to apply for credit cards that require an excellent credit score when you don’t have one. Companies like Equifax and TransUnion are dependable and will mail you your credit score. You may even find a rewards credit card that comes with a great sign up bonus, as they sometimes have offers that cannot be found anywhere else. And of course, when in doubt, head to your bank and talk to a financial services representative about what your options are. After you obtain the credit card that you want, and use it responsibly, you will be on your way to getting the most out the money that you spend by increasing your credit score and earning some nice rewards in the process.

This article was contributed by guest author Matthew Coan.

Image by GotCredit, Flickr

Image by GotCredit, Flickr

Credit is fairly essential in today’s world. And at this stage of your life, there’s good news and there’s bad news. The good news is, you probably haven’t had a chance to ruin your credit just yet. The bad news is, you likely haven’t had the ability to build any credit history either. In order to get credit, you need a credit history, and it needs to be good. It’s important, however, that you know what you’re doing before you start building credit in order to avoid common mistakes that will haunt you and your credit score for years to come.

Take responsibility for your own finances and credit history

As a college student, you’ve already taken an important step towards moving into adulthood and making your own decisions about your future. Now, you need to go one step further and take responsibility and ownership for your finances and your credit. While you may still need some help from mom and dad, it’s a good idea to move into the mindset that the buck stops with you.

Learn to save, budget and track your finances

Once you’ve taken ownership of your financial situation, you can start controlling it. It’s never too early to start saving. This is a valuable skill that will serve you well your entire life, but one that most young people aren’t taught. Your first step should be tracking all of your finances – your incoming and your outgoing. Mint.com is a popular application for this task. This will demonstrate how you’re spending your money and help you create a workable budget. Resolve to stick to a spending plan and to pay yourself first by putting money into savings.

Don’t max out on student loans

Student loans are another thing that will follow you for many, many years. It’s important that you only borrow what you need. Look very closely at all the lending terms, such as the interest rate and repayment terms. Don’t just accept whatever the school suggests. Do your research and compare lenders. It’s a good idea to consider a part-time job while attending college to help offset your educational costs instead of relying entirely on student loans.

Educate yourself about credit and credit scores.

You’re in college, so you understand the value of education. Understanding how credit works, credit scoring and how your financial decisions impact all of this, are essential for building credit and making smart financial decisions. Many credit card issuers now offer several tools, services and tips to help card holders keep track of their credit score and their card usage, and to be responsible with their finances.

Get a credit card and use it wisely

Research credit cards that are available to college students (here are some). Don’t allow yourself to be distracted by “shiny” offers. Identify what you need in a credit card and look for those features. After you narrow down your search to 2 or 3 possibilities, carefully read all the terms and conditions to make sure there are no nasty surprises in store. Once you’ve chosen and received a credit card, treat it responsibly and respectfully. Pay on time every month. Don’t max it out, and keep track of your credit card spending on a regular basis.

Consider becoming an authorized user

Despite the large number of credit cards targeted towards college students, you may not be able to qualify for one right away. If this is the case, you may want to speak to your parents about being added on one or more of their cards as an authorized user. Being added as an authorized user with bad credit or no credit can be a very effective way to boost your credit score and enable you to then qualify for your own credit card so that you can begin building credit through experience. Your parents can use this method to help you start on the path towards a long and excellent credit history.

This article was contributed by guest author Michael Austin.

Image by StockMonkeys.com on Flickr

Image by StockMonkeys.com on Flickr

From textbooks to late night pizza runs, you’re going to make a lot of purchases in university. Since you won’t always have cash on hand, credit cards become very useful. Student credit cards are a great first credit card for students because they are specially designed for students and usually don’t require an income. By getting a credit card early and paying off all of your monthly balances on time, you can establish a good credit score which will help you later in life when you buy a car or a home. Here are just a few credit cards out there, and the benefits they offer:

Annual Fee

Purchase Interest Rate

Extra Perks




  • 1 AIR MILES reward mile for every $20 you spend on the card
  • SPC (Student Price Card Ltd.) discounts of 10% to 15% at hundreds of your favourite stores
  • Earn 1.25x CashBack at Shell locations in Canada
  • Earn 1.5x CashBack and get up to 25% off rentals at National Car Rental & Alamo Rent A Car locations worldwide
  • Limited time offer: 500 Bonus reward miles

BMO SPC CashBack MasterCard



  • Earn 0.5% CashBack on all purchases
  • SPC (Student Price Card Ltd.) discounts of 10% to 15% at hundreds of your favourite stores
  • Earn 1.5% CashBack at Shell locations in Canada
  • Earn 1.5% CashBack and get up to 25% off rentals at National Car Rental & Alamo Rent A Car locations worldwide

L’earn VISA Card



  • Earn up to 1% Moneyback on the purchases you’ve made with your card
  • 20% discount rates at Avis Car Rental

mbna rewards Studentawards credit card



  • Earn 1 mbna rewards point for every qualifying $1 spent on retail transactions
  • 1,000 bonus points after your first qualifying purchase
  • 1,000 bonus points each year on your account anniversary date
  • Redeem points for cash back, travel, brand-name merchandise, gift cards from top retailers and charitable donations
  • Show school pride with a specially designed card for your university/college

RBC CashBack MasterCard



  • Earn 2% cash back credits on grocery store purchases
  • Earn up to 1% cash back credits on all other purchases




  • Earn 5 SCENE points for every $1 spent at participating Cineplex theaters, or online at cineplex.com
  • Earn 1 SCENE point for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Limited time offer: 4000 bonus SCENE points with first purchase (enough for 4 free movies)

Once you’ve chosen your card, be sure to use it responsibly. Check out our article on avoiding credit card mistakes to learn how!

Image by Philip Taylor PT on Flickr

Image by Philip Taylor PT on Flickr

Credit cards are a great way to make purchases, if you’re careful. Some credit cards offer reward points, cashback, discounts, extended warranties and other perks to help make the most out of your money. However, there are also risks associated with using these cards. From identity theft to an unpaid balance, credit cards can put you in a lot of trouble. Here are some tips on how to steer clear of common credit card mistakes:

  • Spend what you can afford. This may be a no-brainer but some people tend to forget how much money they actually have when their credit limit is really high. If you can’t pay for it, don’t buy it!
  • Keep track of all of your spending. Not only will it help you make smarter purchase decisions and cut down on excessive spending but it will also help you when you’re a victim of identity theft.
  • Keep your card safe. Identity theft is a huge issue and if you’re not careful, it can cost you greatly. Avoid suspicious websites and giving your credit card information to others.
  • Avoid annual fees. Don’t be blinded by promises of reward points and cashback when they also have a hefty annual fee. The price of the annual fee might end up cancelling out the price of all the rewards you’ve earned. There are plenty of other cards that offer these rewards with no additional annual fee.
  • Avoid making interest payments. In other words, pay off your balance in full each month. Paying the minimum each month may be enough to satisfy the credit card company, but it will also prolong and increase your debt. Especially since interest rates are really high on student credit cards (approximately 19%-20%), this can make it even harder to pay off that debt.
  • Don’t get one if you don’t think you’re ready. The whole purpose of getting a credit card as a student is to establish good credit history. If you are unable to pay your balance, this is going to hinder your ability to meet future financial goals. You need good credit to help make purchases like a car or a home in the future so be careful with your card!
  • Choose wisely. Don’t apply for the first credit card you see. Research different credit cards before choosing one. Check out our article comparing different student credit cards for help.

Check out this video on some more common credit card mistakes and how you can avoid them: