Whether for a semester abroad or for everyday life, a credit card can have many advantages for students – but which credit card for students is worthwhile?? And which bank should you look at? Here are the 5 best student credit cards we can recommend to you.
What should a credit card for students be able to do?
Whether Visa or Mastercard: credit cards are practical companions and an indispensable part of everyday life. For booking a hotel, flights, a rental car or a vacation home, credit cards are most often accepted as a means of payment. With a normal Girocard you don't get far today.
As a rule, you only need to take out a current account with a suitable credit card to take advantage of the benefits of a credit card for students.
A student credit card should meet the following requirements:
- No annual fee
- Free cash withdrawals and payments in the country
- Favorable conditions for cash withdrawals and payments abroad
- Worldwide acceptance
- Linking with the smartphone, Google Pay and Apple Pay
Credit cards for students: We recommend these 5 credit cards
According to our criteria we have picked out the best credit cards for students for you.
Most of the mentioned credit cards are accompanied by a suitable current account.
DKB student account with Visa & student bonus
- Combination of current account with debit Visa card
- +1 year ISC student card for free with discounts for Flixbus, Microsoft etc.
- Free account
- Free cash withdrawals worldwide with active customer status (otherwise 2.20% foreign currency fee)
- First 6 months active status free of charge, after that 700€ cash receipt required
- Linking with Apple Pay, Google Pay as well as Paypal
With a debit card from DKB you are well positioned. The card comes free with the DKB account and has good terms if you have active status. Checking account ranks high in our student account comparison.
In the first 6 months after opening an account you get the benefits for active customers for free. After that you need to receive 700€ per month on the account to keep the active status.
As an active customer, you can use the student debit card to withdraw money for free and also pay in foreign currencies for free.
Hanseatic Bank's GenialCard: no annual fee, perfect for foreign travel
With the GenialCard, the Hanseatic Bank offers a great alternative if you don't want to open an extra account but still want a free card with good conditions.
You don't need an account with Hanseatic Bank to apply for the GenialCard.
In the offer with the Hanseatic bank there is in addition still the gold Card. This is more expensive, but offers a whole range of additional extras.
Barclays credit card: for students who don't want an extra account
The Barclays company has many credit cards in its assortment. Barclays student credit card is a "real" credit card (revolving card) and not linked to a current account.
With the Barclays credit card for students you pay no fees for cash withdrawals or payments in foreign currencies worldwide.
The monthly credit card statement can be paid in full or in installments. You can defer payment for 8 weeks. After that, interest accrues, as is usual with a credit card.
Vivid Money current account
- Vivid Standard completely free
- Free Visa Debit Credit Card
- Free cash & free payments worldwide
- Up to 25% cashback
- Securities trading via integrated securities account
- Up to 15 free sub-accounts with IBANs
- Subscription control
- Management exclusively via app
- No overdraft facility (Vivid Now does)
- Young Start-Up
With the Vivid current account you get a free Visa Debit credit card in addition. You can withdraw cash worldwide for free with this card (Vivid Standard 200€; Vivid Prime 1.000€) or pay for free. There is no foreign currency fee.
In addition, Vivid has an extensive cashback program. Every time you pay with your card, you get a certain amount of money back. The cashback and good payment terms definitely make the Vivid credit card a good choice for students.
Santander 1plus Visa
The Santander 1plus Visa is a free credit card, which remains so, because there is no annual fee to pay in the long term. Plus, the credit card is the perfect companion at home and abroad when it comes to money transactions. Around the world, more than 37 million customers can be reached in this way. Acceptance points are paid free of charge.
Targobank credit card
As the credit card comparison proves, there are now numerous providers of free credit cards. TARGOBANK's online Classic card also joins the ranks. A highlight of the TARGOBANK Online Classic card is that you can choose the last seven digits of the credit card number – so the credit card account can be individualized. This makes it easier to get started, because you know your account number by heart so quickly and don't have to look it up all the time.
How do credit card types differ?
Different providers sometimes offer different types of cards, which differ fundamentally in the way they work. At this point we would like to briefly point out the differences.
Tip: Debit credit cards from Visa or Mastercard are often issued with a current account and are easiest to obtain for students as well. A revolving credit card has many advantages when traveling or also additional insurances. To get a revolving credit card, you often have to prove sufficient creditworthiness.
Interest-free loan through deferred payment: once a month, the credit card holder receives a statement of payments made with the card.
Allows the monthly billing amount to also be paid in installments (as a fixed amount or percentage of sales).
Not a "real" credit card, as the card's sales are immediately debited from the current account linked to the credit card, thus not an interest-free loan.
Here, as with debit cards, there is no interest-free loan either. For functionality, credit must be loaded before use.
No overdrawing possible, no credit check necessary, therefore especially suitable for students.
For whom is a credit card suitable?
Many people carry around prejudices against credit cards and their owners. However, a credit card is by no means a practical thing only for shopping maniacs and managers.
Actually, pretty much everyone can benefit from a practiced approach to plastic money without ending up falling into the debt trap and taking out a student loan.
Advantages of a student credit card
- Easy to pay in online stores, delivery services or in apps
- Booking of flights, rental cars, hotels or hostels often only possible by credit card
- Withdraw money worldwide or make cashless payments
- Use contactless payment
- Use Google Pay, Apple Pay and other services
Having money available at any time is the biggest argument for a credit card. It is simply more convenient, faster and less complicated to use a credit card for payment. The additional payment scope can be a real lifesaver in emergency situations.
In addition, credit card providers often offer very favorable terms for international payments. Withdraw money in foreign currencies is often free of charge. You are traveling on the other side of the world and want to rent a car or book a flight? No problem with a credit card.
Because of these advantages, the Girocard (also called EC card) continues to be pushed out of the market. The current account is almost always accompanied by a free Visa or Mastercard debit card.
Tip: Banks charge money differently for credit cards. Either the money is taken out of the account once a month or it is taken out in installments – whereby the individual installments are interest-bearing, which usually leads to higher costs! So if you have the choice, we always recommend the option of monthly debit of the entire amount.
Disadvantages of a credit card for students
- High interest rates if you don't pay your credit card bill
- Credit cards and bonus programs tempt you to spend money
The biggest advantage of the credit card is also its biggest disadvantage, because the easier you can spend money everywhere, the higher the risk of slipping into overdraft. In addition, with a real credit card, high interest rates are incurred if the credit card bill is not paid.
If you also take out too many credit cards and open many accounts, then your Schufa score may be affected.
To avoid the disadvantages of a student credit card, we recommend you to use debit credit cards or prepaid credit cards. With a debit credit card, the money is always debited directly from your account and you don't receive a bill to pay at the end of the month. The prepaid credit card is loaded with money. You can't spend more than you charge, either.
Conclusion on credit card students
That a credit card can help students resp. Is useful, there is no question. However, which student credit card is right for you depends entirely on your individual needs. For some, the most important thing is that there are no fees, while others would rather have a branch network in connection with their credit card as well.
More help on loans and credit cards
We are not just one, but many! Our experienced team supports you in all financial matters related to your studies. You have questions about our articles? Then contact us, we will be happy to help you.