Best Credit Cards for International Students (Study Abroad Credit Cards)

For international students, acquiring a credit card in a foreign country like the USA is often a challenge with all the requirements put in place by the card issuers.

For example, you need to provide your social security number (SSN) to apply for a credit card.

Luckily, this is always not the case.

Students’ credit cards are particularly designed for students mainly because they have low-interest rates, lower fees, and in most cases, they have many perks and rewards.

The best credit cards for international students are most likely to accept students with little or lack a credit score or credit history.

And, have no foreign currency exchange fees.

There are several credit card options, and figuring out which is the best to get as an international student can be tricky.

Let us look at the top choices for the best credits for international students and some of their features.

Best credit card option for international students studying in the United States of America: Deserve® EDU MasterCard

Deserve® EDU Mastercard is the best credit for any international student studying in the USA.

The credit card allows students to build better credit without an annual deposit or fee, earn a cashback reward, and some decent perks.

In addition to that, it is an excellent option since applying does not require a security deposit, a credit history, or a social security number. 

This credit card is primarily designed to reward students with positive financial habits and health.

The card has up to a $5,000 credit limit and offers unlimited 1% cashback on all purchases.

The purchases do not include money orders, prepaid cards, or any remotely resembling a cash equivalent. 

One major benefit of this card is Amazon’s Student Prime membership for one year for students who spend $ $500 in the first three billing cycles using the card.

The lifetime value for this benefit is $59. It also comes with a theft and phone damage insurance of up to $600. 

The card has a mobile app that allows students to manage their cards, including enabling international transactions and card lock.

It also has reward redemption, which comes in the form of a statement credit. The reward statements are automatically issued in amounts of $25 once the limit you reach their limit.

Best credit card option for United States Students studying abroad: Bank of America® Travel Rewards credit card for students

Bank of America®’s Travel Rewards credit card for students is an excellent option for frequent student travelers.

The card provides several great benefits with no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee, and for every one dollar spent on purchases, you earn 1.5 points.

With the card, you get a $200 cash reward bonus in the first 90 days of spending $1000. The

This credit card allows you to get 3% cashback on a category of your choice as well as 2% at wholesale clubs and grocery stores.

Alternatively, you can get a $2500 combined wholesale club/ grocery store /choice category quarterly purchases and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

With the card, you can update your category choices for future purchases on each calendar month using online banking or mobile banking or leave it like that; it stays the same.

With the chip technology now, you can get enhanced protection and security at chip-enabled terminals.

Finally, you can maximize your cash back for each of the categories of your choice: home improvement /furnishings, gas, travel, dining, online shopping, or drug stores. 

Best credit card option for building credit: Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Credit Card-Capital One® is an ideal credit card option for any student or anyone who builds their credit and gets a reward for it.

Early or on-time payment of bills is an essential part of building your credit as you also enjoy a 1% cashback on all purchases that go up to 1.25%.

Other benefits with the card include:

  • No annual fee.
  • An increase in credit limit after the first five monthly payments on time.
  • No foreign transaction fees.

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is majorly about helping students or other people build their credit.

For that reason, students with limited credit files have a high chance of getting approval than with any other cards. 

Best student credit card option for no fees: Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card

Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card stands out as one of the many credit cards with No fees whatsoever: no over limit fee, no annual fee, no late fee, no foreign transaction fee.

The card provides 1% cashback for all the purchases and 1.5% cashback after making on-time payments in the first 12 months.

Instead of entirely relying on your credit history, Petal® 2 Visa® Credit Card checks your digital financial records when deciding on your credit approval or determining their potential risk. 

It’s an option for students with no or little credit histories.

It has an advanced Petal’s mobile app with automated payments and makes it easy to track and manage your payments and quick pre-approval rate.

If you are looking for a card with no fees or are worried about getting yourself in trouble with fees, this is a great option. 

Best credit card option for Rewards and Bonuses: Discover it® Student Cash Back

Discover it® Student Cash Back Credit Card is a popular student credit card because of its various rewards, such as rewards for maintaining good grades and several huge bonuses.

Other benefits of the card include no foreign transaction fee or annual fee, 1% cashback on all your purchases, and 5% cashback up to $1500 combined quarterly purchases.

Your list of merchants is usually changed each quarter. 

With the card, all your credit payments get reported to the major USA credit bureaus.

However, Discover it® Student Cash Back requires a social security number for international students’ credit card applicants.

Our selection process

We scanned through multiple student cards and focused more on those that accepted alternative ways of validating identity or determining associated risks.

These two factors are very important for international students, especially those who have no access to Social Security Numbers (SSN)

We also considered cards that charge reasonable transaction fees, which can be beneficial for students with limited resources or those aiming at making savings on their purchases.

We also looked at those that offer rewards, such as cashback or points that can be utilized in other areas such as traveling and hotel bookings.

Making the most out of your international student card

Student credit cards are ideal assets, especially for international students who often find it hard to get credit cards abroad.

While it’s a great privilege, it comes with great responsibility.

To receive the best credit-building miles out of your student cards. You must at least make the monthly minimum required payments on time and in full.

You may also want to set up recurring payments, so you don’t skip a payment by mistake.

You may also want to set up recurring payments, so you don’t skip a payment by mistake.

If you use a card with an exclusive 0% purchase APR for a limited time — say, to buy school supplies to cover an emergency — make sure you pay off the balance before the introductory term expires to prevent interest charges.

After the intro cycle ends, your APR will be determined by the lender’s evaluation of your credit risk.

Important Note: The student cards presented above are not evergreen. As you continue to grow your credit, you can try other credit cards offering more or better perks.

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