The trouble with life today is that a student loan just won't go far enough, so most students opt for getting a credit card or two to get extra spending power.
Some of the best student credit cards in the marketplace provide great low rates and a few freebies along the way.
If you're looking for student credit cards, you should view all the card providers before making a decision on which card issuer to apply for your new account. Some offer cash back while others offer to help improve your credit rating over the longer-term, so when you complete your university course, you can still get on with your life.
Most major banks offer cards such as Barclaycard, Capital One, Natwest, HSBC, Halifax and Virgin Money. Compare rates, money-back offers and balance transfer rates.
Most banks only offer a credit limit of £500 because they know you will spend it and also know that you won't be able to pay any of it back until you get a job. Even part-time jobs are vital as the interest rates on cards are far higher than any student loan you'll get (or even a conventional personal loan from a bank.)
Even with interest rates at an all-time low the interest rate is still as high as 20% although some credit cards especially made for students can be as low as 14% but still many times higher than other types of loans.
The following chart shows the current deals available for student credit card applications.
|Provider||Interest Rate||Card Limit||Notes|
|HSBC||18.9%||£500||Requires a good credit rating|
|Natwest||18.9%||£500||Existing Natwest customers only|
|Royal Bank of Scotland||18.9%||£500||Existing customers only|
|TSB Student||19.9%||£variable||Existing TSB customers only|
|Halifax||17.9%||£1,200||0% on purchases for 15 months|
|First Trust||12.9%||£variable||Existing First Trust customers only|
|Bank of Ireland||17.9%||£350||Requires a good credit rating|
|Capital One||29.8%||£1,500||Good if you have poor credit|
|Barclaycard||29.9%||£1,200||Good for building a credit profile|
These days most banks charge a 3% transfer fee, which, although isn't free is better than paying 16% APR and is a great way to manage credit card debt and most balance transfers last for 12 months. So that's like getting a loan for 12 months at just 3%!
Don't be swayed by flashy gimmicks like pink coloured cards or shop discounts as it's the interest you are paying and how much credit limit you receive which is most important when applying for a student credit card.