A student credit card is a credit card that is offered to students at college level. Any student beyond the age of 18 years is eligible to apply for the credit card as it does not have an income eligibility limit. The cards have lower interest rates and have a validity period of 5 years.
Student credit cards are the latest entrants in the credit card industry that help college students manage their expenses on their own. However, not all the students are eligible to get a student credit card. Various banks and financial institutions have come up with a different set of eligibility criteria to issue a student credit card. Only those who meet the criteria would become eligible to apply for a credit card.
While some banks such as the State Bank of India provide credit cards only to its education loan customers, other banks such as ICICI Bank offers student credit card over security deposits. Whichever is the process, if you are a student above 18 years of age and would like to apply for a student credit card, you must first know which bank is offering best student credit cards and process to apply for the same.
Once you meet the eligibility criteria set by the bank, you can check with the bank about the procedure to apply for the same. Not all the banks follow the same process. Hence, it’s imperative to talk to the bank personal about the bank-specific process of applying for a student credit card. While a few banks allow you to apply online, others may require you to visit the bank branch and submit an application directly.
With banks offering student credit card without the applicants needing to provide any employment documents or Income Tax returns, there must be some doubt as to how a student can apply for credit card.
Below, we discuss the ways how a student can get a credit card in their name:
To be eligible for a student credit card one needs to be:
As for the documents, one needs to provide:
Though the concept of student credit card is quite new in India, there are banks that are offering the cards to the students. Some of the banks that are offering the cards in the country are:
Unlike other credit cards, student credit cards do not come with a lot of features. Moreover, the cards have a low monthly credit limit and come with low-interest rate and do not come with a long interest-free payment tenure.
Credit Limits: Student credit cards have a lower credit limit compared to other credit cards offered by banks. On average, a student credit card has a credit limit of Rs. 15, 000. This is done to ensure that the cardholders do not incur debts as a result of unrestricted spending.
Card Validity: Student credit cards are generally valid for a period of 5 years from the issue date, as compared to regular credit cards which have a 3 year validity period.
Duplicate card free of cost: If the student credit card holder misplaces their card or it is stolen, a duplicate card would be issued free of cost or at a very nominal charge.
Waiver of fees: Student credit cards often do not have a joining fee and have very low annual charges, making it easier for students to maintain the cards.
Documentation: Students credit cards do not require exhaustive documentation, unlike most other credit cards. The bare minimum of documentation is required when applying for a card.
Special deals and rewards: The student cards come bundled with rewards and loyalty programs that offer cashback or cash points when a certain amount is spent using the card. The cards also have special offers and discounts on services as well as purchases worldwide.
If the cardholder wishes to, the student credit card can be upgraded to a regular credit card anytime during the card’s validity.
As seen above, a student credit card has a number of features that distinguish it from other cards offered. Some of the banks that offer student credit cards are mentioned below:
With the SBI Student Advantage Plus Credit Card, students can learn how to manage their money prudently. The card comes with an array of features designed exclusively for the student demographic, such as the ability to convert all purchases to EMI’s, fuel surcharge up to 2.5 % on all fuel spends charged to the card etc.
The card also has a good rewards program, with every Rs. 100 spent earning the cardholder 1 cash point, which can be redeemed for a range of gifts or used to pay off credit balance, if any.
The card also comes with a low interest rate of just 2.25% per month.
In addition, railway tickets booked using the card will be delivered to the cardholder’s doorstep, making travel plans and arranging tickets quick and convenient.
The HDFC ForexPlus Card is a boon for students who study abroad and require easy access to funds in multiple currencies. This offering by HDFC is a prepaid card which works similar to a credit card, where the amount is debited directly from the card.
For students living abroad, currency fluctuations are a constant problem. This card protects cardholders from this as money can be deposited in the card in all major foreign currencies. Withdrawals and transactions made through the card would also be protected from exchange rate fluctuations if the transactions are conducted in the currencies that the card is available in.
With the ICICI Bank’s travel card for students, paying fees or meeting expenses when studying abroad becomes an easy process. Payments can be made online using a secure channel and daily expenses can be paid for at all stores that accept MasterCard.
The card can be topped up from an account in India periodically and also comes with travel insurance as well as membership to the International Student Identify Card, through which the cardholder can avail exclusive discounts and offers.
Cardholders will also benefit from preferential foreign exchange rates.
With this offering from HDFC, studying abroad can comfortably access their funds in 20 foreign currencies. Currencies can be managed through the card and money transferred through secure online wallets.
Cardholders are also protected against fraud and accidents up to Rs. 5 lakh each.
Cardholders can also track their accounts and make payments through netbanking, as well as avail special discounts and deals.
Student credit cards are a good way for young adults to begin their foray into the world of money management. Cardholders can learn how to manage their finances and hone their financial skills. The low limit and easy access to payment history will enable them to keep track of their spending and also help them start saving.