Who wouldn’t love the freedom that a credit card brings? If you have a spur-of-the-moment purchase or an unexpected expense that comes up, no need to fret about how you’ll make the payment. As a student, a credit card comes in handy for all your expenses, from end of the month cash crunches to sudden expenses due to a project/presentation you have to make for your course.
Being a student, your needs are different from a working professional, and banks have tailor made credit cards to cater to this requirement.
The features of a student credit card differ from other credit cards offered in terms of a number of factors, which are listed below:
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.