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Deserve Edu Student Review: A Cash Back Card With Lots of Freebies

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The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students may not be the most well-known student credit card, but it's not for a lack of benefits. It offers everything from standard perks like cash back to unique features, including a spending credit with a furniture rental company. Perhaps best of all, this card is easy for most students to get, and that includes international students without a Social Security number.

This card has a lot of good points, but there are also a couple of issues you should know about. Find out if the card issuer deserves your business in our full Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students review.

  • This card will allow students build credit while earning 1% cash back on all purchases. You can get reimbursed for Amazon Student Prime up to $59 if you purchase it with the card.

    • No minimum credit score required
    • No annual fee
    • Cash back rewards
    • Cell phone protection
    • Amazon Prime Student credit
    • Cash back redemption minimum
    • No free credit score monitoring
    • No bonus categories
    • Earn 1% cash back on all purchases
    • Sign up for an Amazon Prime Student subscription and get reimbursed up to a life-time total of $59
    • Up to $5,000 credit limit
    • No credit history required
    • No social security number required for international students
    • No deposit or cosigner required

Full Deserve Edu Student review

This credit card is a good fit for: Students getting started with credit who want a no-annual-fee cash back card. International students, in particular, can benefit from this card since they won't need a Social Security number to get it.

Top perks

No annual fee

We always recommend students start with no-annual-fee credit cards, to avoid unnecessary expense and so they can keep the card open for years to come. Fortunately, the Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students fits that bill.

1% cash back

This card earns an unlimited 1% cash back on purchases.

Read more: Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Cellphone protection

Pay your monthly wireless bill with this card and you'll receive complimentary cell phone insurance. The plan covers damage and theft of your phone up to a limit of $600 per claim and $1,000 within a 12-month period, and there's a $50 deductible. It's still no fun to drop your phone, but at least you'll have peace of mind that you can get it fixed without dipping into your savings.

Complimentary Amazon Prime Student

If you use this card to pay for a subscription to Amazon Prime Student, you'll receive an automatic credit for the membership fee. The maximum benefit amount is $59, which is the cost of a one-year subscription.

Note that the monthly cost of Amazon Prime Student is $6.49 -- Amazon offers a discount when you pay for an entire year at once. Because Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students credits you up to $59, you should make sure that you choose the yearly payment option. If you choose the monthly payment option, the card will only cover nine months of service.

More options: Best Credit Cards for Amazon

No foreign transaction fees

Whether you're traveling internationally for months to study abroad or just a week for spring break, you won't need to pay any foreign transaction fees with this card.

Learn more: Best No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards

Available for international students

Most credit cards require that applicants have a Social Security number, and that makes it difficult for international students to open one.

If you're an international student, you can apply for the Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students without a Social Security number. Instead, you'll need to provide a copy of your passport, your U.S. student visa, your most recent I-20 or DS-2019 form, and the most recent statements from your U.S. bank account.

$10 Lemonade credit

Lemonade offers renters and homeowners insurance plans. You'll receive this credit after paying for three consecutive Lemonade insurance statements with the Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students.

$45 Mint Mobile credit

When you use your card to sign up and pay for any Mint Mobile wireless plan, you'll get a $45 statement credit. This offer is available through Nov. 23, 2020.

$100 off Feather subscription

Feather is a furniture rental service. If you sign up for a subscription with your card and enter the code DESERVE100, you'll get $100 off your first month. This service is only available in limited areas, and probably won't be in many students' budgets. But if you're interested in trying it out, the Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students will save you $100.

What could be improved

$25 cash back redemption minimum

At the end of each billing period, Deserve calculates your cash back and applies it to your bill as a statement credit in increments of $25. If you aren't up to $25 yet, your cash back amount will roll over to the next billing period.

It can be frustrating that Deserve is so rigid with its cash back redemptions, because you can't get what you've earned right away. Since this card earns 1% back, your first redemption won't happen until you've spent at least $2,500. Some credit card companies let you redeem cash back of any amount, and that's much more convenient for cardholders.

No free credit score service

Many credit card companies provide your credit score, updated monthly, free of charge. This perk is especially nice to have for students who are building credit and want to see their progress. Although you can find free ways to check your credit online, it'd be easier if Deserve offered this service and you could view your score through your online credit card account.

No bonus rewards

The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students doesn't offer any bonus categories where you'll earn extra cash back. It also doesn't have a sign-up bonus.

To be fair, this card is for students, and rewards aren't its focus. But some of the best student credit cards earn bonus rewards in select spending categories and/or offer sign-up bonuses.

Read more: Best Rewards Credit Cards

Find the best credit card for your needs

Compare credit card rewards, fees, APRs, and more using our side-by-side comparison tool.

Suggested credit score

There is no minimum credit score requirement to get a Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students. Since this is a student credit card that's also available to international students, you can even get it if you have no credit history.

If you're a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, Deserve may request that you connect your U.S. bank account during the application process. It does so to verify your address and your ability to pay credit card bills. You'll connect your account online through a secure service called Plaid.

Alternatives to consider

  • If you want to earn higher rewards: The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum of $1,500 on purchases and when you activate. All other eligible purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • If you want to finance college costs at a 0% intro APR: You'll get a 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 billing cycles with the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students. In addition to saving you money with that 0% intro APR offer, this card can also earn you lots of rewards, as it offers a sign-up bonus and lets you choose your own bonus category.
As of Aug. 04, 2022
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Image for
Discover it® Student Cash Back

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students

Rates & Fees

Credit Rating Requirement:

Fair/New to Credit Under(669) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Credit Rating Requirement:

Fair/New to Credit Under(669) Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Cashback Match

Welcome Offer: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

$200 cash rewards

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1% - 5% Cashback

Rewards Program: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

1% - 3% cash back

Intro APR:

Purchases: 0% Intro APR, 6 months

Balance Transfers: 10.99% Intro APR, 6 months

Intro APR: Info Icon Circle with letter I in it.

Purchases: 0%, 15 billing cycles

Balance Transfers: 0%, 15 billing cycles

Regular APR:

14.49% - 23.49% Variable APR

Regular APR:

16.24% - 26.24% variable

Annual Fee:

$0

Annual Fee:

$0

Highlights:

  • No credit score required to apply.
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • NEW! Discover helps remove your personal information from select people-search websites. Activate by mobile app for free.
  • No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months, then the standard variable purchase APR of 14.49% - 23.49% applies.
  • Click "Apply Now" to see terms and conditions.

Highlights:

  • No annual fee.
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on other purchases.
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then 16.24% - 26.24% variable thereafter. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards.
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase.
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This credit card is right for you if:

The Deserve Edu Mastercard for Students is a great fit for students, especially international students, who want to build credit. You can use it almost everywhere, both because it's a Mastercard, which means it's widely accepted, and because there's no foreign transaction fee. The card also offers some extras that could save you money, particularly the free year of Amazon Prime Student and cell phone insurance.

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