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Is a Student Credit Card Different to a Normal Credit Card

Aug 17, 2007
Chances are that if you attend Uni, or are at the age to, you've been deluged with offers to apply for your pre-approved student credit card. If they haven't landed in your postbox, you'll find all the major credit card suppliers and banks vying for your attention at the freshers faires when you start your year. Is there really a difference between a student credit card and a regular low interest credit card - other than all the free swag you can get if you apply for at the faires?

The answer is both yes... and no. A student card is rather like a regular card on stabilizers - helping to keep you steady while you get the hang of managing your newfound financial independence. It's designed with features that make it appealing and especially useful to a student who is just starting off on building a credit history. Generally, they carry a relatively low APR (annual interest rate) and have very small credit limits - usually between 200-300. In addition, a student credit card will also carry reward points for things that are attractive to a student - discounts on music, travel, books and other things from UK merchants.

There are many offers out there for students. Nearly every one of the major card companies offers at least one designed specifically for students. Though they share a lot of features, it's very worth it to compare with one another to get the best student credit card deal for you.

There are some great comparison websites which are a great place to compare cards. In addition to offering descriptions and links to all the best student offers, you'll also find information on how to choose a credit card, how to compare and how to use credit cards responsibly. If you're considering applying, here's some helpful advice on how to compare products and decide which one is the right one for you.

Before you compare
You don't have a past credit history to consider, but you do know yourself and the way that you generally spend money. Different types of credit cards are designed for different kinds of spenders.

Does money burn a hole in your pocket? You've got to have the latest thing, even if it means paying it out of your pocket money for months to get it?
In that case, you'll want a student credit card with the lowest possible rate of interest so that it won't cost you a lot to carry a balance from month to month. When you compare products and good comparison websites, look for the ones with low APRs.

When you borrow money, are you uncomfortable until it's paid back and do you try to pay it back as soon as possible?
The APR isn't as important to you. It's not completely insignificant, but if you pay off your balance every month, the interest rate doesn't matter quite as much. Instead, when you compare credit cards, look for the one that gives you the kind of rewards that you'll use, whether it's points to spend on the latest music, or contributions to your favorite charity.

When you decide what sort of credit card is right for you, visit a comparison site to compare products and find the one that's right for you. You'll find all that you need to choose and apply for a credit card right there.
About the Author
Jon Francis has been involved with finance for many years! With an in-depth knowledge of the credit card UK market help helps others get the best from a credit card.
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