How to successfully apply for a student credit card

Information verified correct on May 25th, 2016

Start building your credit history from the get-go with a student credit card

Student credit cards can be the first step on a credit ladder. While paying on plastic gives a sense of financial freedom, this liberty comes with responsibility. Here we look at the features, benefits and drawbacks students should consider before jumping on the credit card bandwagon.

ANZ First Student Card

Student Credit Card Offer

The ANZ First Student credit card is tailored specifically for students. It features a 44 days interest-free and a low credit limit and no annual fee for the first year.

  • $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) annual fee
  • 19.74% p.a. on purchases
  • Cash Advance Rate of 21.49% p.a.
  • Up to 44 days interest free
  • Minimum Income Requirement of $6,000 p.a.

Student Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated May 25th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee Interest Free Period
ME Bank frank Credit Card
A great credit card option for students. No annual fee and a low interest rate on purchases.
9.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Commonwealth Bank Low Rate Credit Card
$250 cash back offer if you apply by 30 June 2016 and spend $500 on eligible purchases by 31 July 2016. This card offers a low ongoing rate of 13.49% p.a. on purchases with low annual fee of $59.
13.49% p.a. 5.99% p.a. for 5 months $59 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Coles Low Rate MasterCard
A low rate MasterCard with a competitive rate on purchases and a low annual fee.
9.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 6 months $49 p.a. Up to 62 days on purchases Go to site More info
ANZ First Student Card
Student credit card with no annual fee for the first year and up to 44 days interest-free on purchases.
19.74% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($30 p.a. thereafter) Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
Bankwest Breeze MasterCard
Enjoy 5% cash back* (up to $300) on eligible purchases. Terms and conditions apply. Also receive a promotional balance transfer offer and low ongoing purchase rate.
12.99% p.a. 2.99% p.a. for 9 months $59 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
ANZ First Visa Credit Card
This simple a low annual fee credit card is designed as a first credit card with a low fee and low minimum credit limits. Protected by ANZ Falcon's 24/7 suspicious transaction security.
19.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $30 p.a. Up to 44 days on purchases Go to site More info
ANZ Low Rate
A low rate credit card with introductory offer on balance transfers.
13.49% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months with 3% balance transfer fee $58 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Citi Clear Platinum Card
A low rate platinum credit card with a low interest rate on purchases and balance transfers.
0% p.a. for 9 months (reverts to 14.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 9 months $99 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
Citi Simplicity Card
Enjoy a interest-free days and a low interest rate on purchases plus enjoy free bottles of wine from Citibank Dining Program. Offer ends on 31 March 2017.
11.99% p.a. for 24 months (reverts to 19.99% p.a.) $0 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info
28 Degrees Platinum MasterCard
Pay no annual fee ever and make your overseas online purchases without worrying about transaction fees.
21.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Up to 55 days on purchases Go to site More info

What is the purpose of a student credit card?

With the ubiquitous use of credit cards, it is but natural that students get attracted to them. Credit cards also provide easier management of purchases and simpler repayment options for guardians or students themselves. They also help in cultivating financial discipline within the students as any heavy, superfluous expense is quickly noticed.

What factors should I consider when comparing student credit cards?

It is always better to arm yourself with thorough information before making a financial decision. We look at some of the major factors you can consider when comparing student credit cards:

  • Fees. The first consideration should be the fees on the card. As a rule of thumb we can say that the more basic the card, the lower the annual fee. As we go up the value chain of credit cards the annual fees start increasing.
  • Interest rates. The interest cost on credit cards has led to huge debt burden for many cardholders. As a student, it is ideal to look for low interest rate cards. However, you should carefully look at the time period during which low interest rates are provided. Some credit cards offer low interest rate for initial period of three to 12 months after which they revert to a higher rate.
  • Extra features. If you are planning on traveling in the near future you can look at cards offering complimentary travel insurance. Also other features like Purchase Protection Insurance, Lost Card Insurance and Extended Warranty insurance are also quite useful. Some card companies would also provide reward points or cash back on certain purchases.
  • What is my credit history like? For many students, a student credit card is the first card they start using. However some of them might already have used other credit products and would have less than perfect credit history on them. In this case you would need to look for firms which provide cards for your specific situation.
  • Can I manage my account online? The credit card should have easy online management system where you can quickly access the expenses, limits, interest rates and also get to know about any new offers.

What information will I need while applying?

The details required would differ from bank to bank. Some of the most common information required by banks while processing student credit cards includes:

  • Personal details. This includes information like full name, date of birth, contact details, email and more.
  • Co-signer. Credit card companies might ask for a co-signer. This is a person who would act as collateral or insurance, in case you are unable to pay off the debt. This can be your guardian, parent, or any family member.
  • Student details. Information about your university, course, current year, and more can be asked. You would also need to provide your student card details.
  • Present financial details. Your current income and expense details are required during application. They might also ask about your current income or assets.

How can I apply?

The application process is customised by banks according to their requirement. The general process for applying for a student credit card is:

  • Thorough research. The first step should always include thorough research about all the options available in your financial situation. You can compare all the cards provided on this page which will give a complete idea of the various benefits and features of the card.
  • Finalise a card. After adequate comparison you need to pick a card which is suitable for your needs. You should check the eligibility criteria for the card and make sure you meet the conditions.
  • Filling the application form. You can select a card from and click on ‘Go To Site’ on the page. This link will securely redirect you to the online application form for the respective card. Filling the form generally takes around 10 minutes. Make sure that all the information is correct and submit the form to the bank. Most banks will respond within a couple of minutes indicating that they have successfully received the form.
  • Wait for approval. The final verification of details and other documents can take three to five business days. Once your application is verified, the firm will contact you. If you’ve been approved, you should usually expect to receive your card within seven to 10 days.

It is important to note that the credit card firms will look at past credit history while processing the application. A major aspect of past credit history also includes the recent applications sent by the individual. If there are several rejections for applications of a credit card, it would reflect poorly on your credit rating. So it’s important to conduct research to ensure you meet the eligibility requirements before firing several credit card applications off.

Student credit cards can be a good way for cardholders to kickstart their credit history. Generally, these cards have a lower fee structure owing to limited repayment capacity of the students. If you use the card appropriately, by only making necessary purchases and paying your bills on time, you could start building a good credit history which will benefit you later in life. As there are many student credit cards on offer, it’s worthwhile to compare your options to find the right card for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

I am currently in my second year. Should I use a new student credit card or use an additional card provided on my parents account?

Students can choose either of the options. Having your own card will entail an extra expense of annual fee, if there is any. Supplementary cards on your parent account are generally free and would also help in earning any reward points.
However, having your own credit card will help you learn how to manage your finances independently. It would also help in building a credit record which can be very useful once you graduate.

I overspent on my credit card leading to heavy balance amount. What should I do in this case?

If you have a card where the interest rate is low or zero, you can stick with the card and try and reduce the balance in the next couple of months. If the balance is attracting heavy interest rates of 15-20%, you can move to another card using a balance transfer offer. This could give sufficient breathing room of 0% p.a. interest rate for couple of months during which time you can bring the debt to manageable level.

What is the ideal limit for the credit card?

You should keep the credit limit as low as possible. This would deter any unnecessary splurge on expenses and will help keep your balance to a sustainable level.

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One Response to How to successfully apply for a student credit card

  1. Default Gravatar
    Tang | February 4, 2009

    as an international student who has been here for more than 2 years, is there any credit cards that i m eligible to apply for?

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated May 25th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
St.George Vertigo Platinum
A platinum card with a balance transfer offer of 0% p.a. for 20 months and an introductory purchase offer of 0.99% p.a. for 4 months with a low annual fee.
0.99% p.a. for 4 months (reverts to 12.74% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 20 months $99 p.a. Go to site More info
American Express Essential Credit Card
Receive a $50 credit on eligible spend and get Smartphone screen insurance combined with a no annual fee for life card.
14.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 12 months $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
ANZ Frequent Flyer Black
Earn up to 75,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 within the first three months and 1.5 points per $1 spent. Get complimentary airport lounge access, 24/7 concierge with $0 annual fee in the first year.
19.99% p.a. $0 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($425 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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