It’s a rite of passage: parents standing in the doorway of their teens, watching them pack for that first semester of college. It’s a bittersweet moment. Part of you wants to close your eyes and wish for the sweet 5 year old she once was and another part of you is so proud of her accomplishments and you look forward to watching her find her place in the world.
You might not can wish her back to that sweet five year old, but you can send her off as prepared as possible. If you’re looking for a credit card for your college student, we have a few ideas that will provide that safety net for your teen and the peace of mind you’re looking for.
Prepaid credit cards are a great way to cover both bases. Today’s cards allow online access so you can watch her balance and add to it when it begins to run low while also ensuring she’s staying within the budget you set for her. They’re an invaluable tool as you work to ensure your teen emerges as a responsible financial steward of her finances.
The Facecard MasterCard offers everything most parents are looking for. It’s a safe way for your teens and college students to not only learn the responsibilities associated with credit, but for those students who have jobs, they can have their payroll direct deposited – thereby eliminating concerns over getting the bank on time.
An interesting feature that’s not been seen too often in the past is the automatic posting of coupons to the account. Whenever the Facecard MasterCard is used and a coupon is applicable, it’s automatically applied, thereby saving your student money. The application fee is just $5 and the minimum required for opening the account is $10.
Green Starburst Prepaid MasterCard
Another popular choice, the Green Starburst MasterCard offers a bit of creativity for your teen with the 15 different card designs. Parents have the benefit of locking and unlocking the card, which comes in handy if the card is lost or stolen (though you’re also not liable for fraudulent charges). It’s also a great way for friends and grandparents to give cash for birthdays, graduations, etc. as they can easily load it, too. There’s no application fee and you only need $10 to fund the account when you open it. This is another great solution that serves many purposes for both parents and teens.
Of course, there are the traditional credit cards that are designed with the college student in mind. These typically offer low APRs, and few, if any, fees. Protective mechanisms are built in, such as zero fraud liability. Here a couple of those offers.
Discover Mix Tape Student Card
This credit card offers 5% cashback in categories college students typically flock to: gas stations, restaurants (including the local pizza delivery restaurant in every college town in the U.S.), grocery stores and department stores. Students earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. It’s reserved exclusively for students enrolled in college and when applying, proof of enrollment must be supplied. This is required due to the lower late fees and other benefits that are designed for the college student. There is no annual fee associated with the Discover Mix Tape, either. It’s a viable option for any college students and certainly worth the consideration of his parents.
Discover Student Open Road
Another Discover network offer, this low APR credit card also has no annual fee and many other benefits, too. It’s a win-win for both parents and students. The absence of so many fees along with the cash back rewards program makes it a strong financial consideration for parents and for students. You’ll appreciate the zero fraud liability that Discover is so well known for. Few things are more nerve-wracking than realizing you’ve lost a credit card on a college campus. No expiration dates for rewards points and balance transfer is allowed with this credit card.
As you can see, there is no shortage of credit card offers for teens and college students. The goal is to decide together the best solution for your student. Before long, he will graduate from college and begin his own life with his own family. Those lessons taught now will ensure not only he has a strong financial foundation, but his children and then ultimately, his grandchildren will too as those lessons are passed down.
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